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Portrait of the Artist

December 12, 2012

The first instrument he learned to play was trombone.

“The only reason I got picked for it, the teacher was like, oh you got long arms – trombone! I was just like, I do have long arms, awesome! I guess I have long arms, I don’t know.”

So Alexander Gregory Homan describes to me his entrance into the world of music. More than ten years have passed since, and the talented musician has come a long way.

(Listen to or download songs by his band Tendrills here.)

“Yo I danced the shit with that dude,” he says, recalling an incident with one of his peers at a show. “Yo – cuttin – the rug. With all these fuckin’ cats. Dude I didn’t know that dude could fuckin’ dance! Cause every time I see him he’s all like, got his hands in his pockets, then this one time he’s just like, fuck!, and then he punched me in the face. We were jivin’. We were splittin’ that rug with scissors. Carvin’ it up real fuckin’ nice, mu-CHA-cho! You got a problem with my noodle!?”

He twirls himself around and jumps in place and begins a wiggly “necrodance” along with the spinning Beach House record.

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Alex and I wander into an empty-ish back room office the two of us last occupied during a show in a mutual friend’s apartment. “Yo – I slept like a babe in this room. This is actually a comfy rug! I had the mighty North Face on. I was just like, fuck you Josh, I don’t care what you have to say.” He lays back, arms crossed, demonstrating the pass-out technique.

“I love Josh though. I love you, Josh. He was freezin’ his ass off right there! He was like this.” He mock shivers, imitating the troubled expression of his bandmate and fellow artist Joshua DeLorimier, who performs under the name Cloud Destroyer. “I’m asleep, he was snuggled up in the projector sheet. Wrapped in the projector sheet. I was like, why didn’t you bring shit! That’s why I wear that jacket, so I can sleep on the floor.”

Alex and I sit cross-legged in the office room for some time.

“I owe the Newark Free Library five dollars,” he tells me. “It doesn’t matter, I just owe the Newark Free Library five dollars. And it’s Thurston Moore’s fault. Thurston Moore – gimme five bucks. Psych. You don’t have to do that.

“I wanna show you my video Golden. Actually, eventually I’m trying to do a screening. I did a trilogy of movies that are radically different from each other. Kind of like the way The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly – the same character in different situations – these three movies – the character’s name is Julian – he’s played by my friend Kian [Sorouri]. Each movie is totally different, a new scenario. And it’s pretty much a story of transcendence. By the third movie, he only appears in a photo that someone holds up. ‘The Julian Trilogy.’”

(Links to watch all three parts of The Julian Trilogy can be found here.)

“When my book comes out later this year – titled Confetti: A Story About Frank Miller’s Martian Revolution – I have this dad that locks me in the basement creating songs, and I tell him I’m making songs, but I’m really making the Frank Miller novel that I’m telling you about now, so.”

“Dictated into a tape recorder?” I ask.

“Yup. And then the machine translates it into some language that’s fictional, it’s elvish, from Lord of the Rings. It’s elvish princess language, so I can’t describe it – there’s a lot of th-th-th-th-tha sounds in it, kinda sounds kinda satanist.”

“So your book would be dense to say the least?”

“Yeah, very dense, very dank. Probably illegal, I don’t know. I haven’t decided on how illegal.”

Alex Homan’s mind races between topics. He has a manic, mystic demeanor tempered by a comforting, agreeable disposition, an endearing humility, and an enthusiasm and energy that fill the room. He’s eager to talk about just about anything, and our conversation strays far and wide.

“Like, say I left my matchbook in the bathroom on the tour; laser time. Just through the wall. Just cut right through the wall. And then escape in a Transformer – they’re more than meets the eye.”

Eventually I ask him what he thinks about Tom Cruise –

“Well, there’s a couple things about him. One – not a guy. Not a girl either. Not a human. He is a robot constructed by the Illuminati, and the Illuminati are not who they think they are – they’re a small – ”

“Not who they think they are?”

“Who we think they think who they are, but what we’re supposing they might think about themselves, from time to time.”

And later we began to discuss conspiracy in major league sports –

“Yeah, the cockfighting is a separate issue. If it’s like six months later and we’re still talking about players like Michael Vick, we’re not gonna get anywhere when we should just combine all the sports into one sport. It’s a conspiracy that goes to the top of the organization. The players aren’t getting the shit they need to succeed, the coaches got their thumbs up their asses…. I feel like I’m repeating myself!”

“One last question,” I promise. It is late now. “It’s gonna be a big one,” I say.

“Yeah.”

I consider for a moment, and then ask, “In what way were you not affected by the imaging powers of the CBS preview DVD-ROM, optimized for Playstation 2, that was included in the Frosted Flakes Olympics 2008 Edition box?”

“Well, it was a really exciting time for boy scouts everywhere because you come home from scouts, you know, you just accidentally killed your friend, and the ROM was this cutting edge technology. And even though later on they did find it had a surveillance system that pedophiles were using behind the company’s back without anyone knowing. Years later, when it came out I think it was shocking, but I think people were able to get past the initial wave. But it was, at the time, just mind-blowing, and not knowing that when you were undressing to get ready for school, or scouts – you go to scouts and you’re like, oh hey Johnny, long time no see, just kidding, and you’re like, whaddayou mean just kidding, it has been a long time. And in his mind he’s trying not to say, I just watched you  all morning, like you woke up, and you brushed your teeth, and you put your toys away. It was cutting edge technology even for 1993, I mean, you think – what was new back then? Zelda? That was a new concept to humans. Satellites – yep – Goldeneye – it wasn’t even made yet. Sean Bean dies in that film. Just like every movie Sean Bean ever is in. He’s the kinda guy that dies.”

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