Ryan Avery: Man-Child in the Promised Land...

Ryan Rules, AZPunk Still Sucks Donkey

Nothing steamrolls over one's enemies like success. And as sure as the moon is pockmarked like Artie Lange's buttcheeks, I can promise you that pudgy performance-artist/rocker Ryan Avery will one day be trading quips with Conan O'Brien while the limp-dicks at AZPunk.com will be watching him on TV from the trailer park, gnashing their teeth, wondering why the world doesn't recognize their musical genius. Oh, the pissing and moaning that will transpire! Oh, the hatred these tatted punker pukes will spew.

These douchebags got a head start on their playa-hata loserdom when they whined up a storm after Benjamin Leatherman's intimate portrait of the downtown art scene's clown prince appeared as a New Times cover story ("Hi, My Name is Ryan," 8/03/06). Members of the AZPunk.com "community" mercilessly ragged on the Mormon Andy Milonakis (like the MTV star, Avery also suffers from hypopituitarism), calling him talentless, and unworthy of such press coverage. The AZPunk brigade, who obviously spend a lot more time bitching like little girls on their website than they do actually creating some friggin' music, kvetched for page after page about Avery, just as they do whenever Katie Rose, or anyone else garners more ink than they do. Which, by the way, is pretty damn often.

Now they have another reason to hate on Avery while noshin' Funyuns in their dirty drawers before their 'puter screens: this fresher-than-thou CD Hi, My Name Is Ryan: Live from the MTC (remixed), the debut release from the Trunk Space's new label OneWordLong. Essentially, the recording is an audio love-letter of sorts to Ryan, who's currently on a two-year Mormon mission in Portland, OR. According to Trunk Space ringmaster JRC, Avery sent Trunk Space a recording from the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, an LDS boot camp for future missionaries which sorta sounds like the Hitler Youth or the Boy Scouts, minus all the fun.

Avery's audio journal of life at the MTC reveals how adept the cherubic cut-up is at amusing himself in the driest of environs, whether he's discovering "found art" in the trash can, running laps 'round a Mormon race track, discussing women with his fellow MTC-ers, singing his famous "Bambi Jam" tune while pumping iron in a workout room, or even taking an extended piss. (Some bladder Avery's got there.) All of this is remixed by Avery's PHX collaborators, Archbishop Jason Pollard, Zach Burba, Djentrification, and The Coitus.

Admittedly, the results are a mixed bag, but no less interesting listening for this fact. My favorite tracks come from The Coitus, which is basically Corey Busboom, and any of his various wingmen. Busboom is P-town's Mozart of circuit bent toys -- old toys and dated electronics that he jimmies into an orchestra of odd, cartoon-like sounds. To emphasize the effect, he samples from old Warner Bros. animation, with the voices of Elmer Fudd or Porky Pig popping up briefly before diving back into the beeping morass that Busboom massages into a bizarre, and strangely affecting composition, calling to mind, for lack of a better analogy, a thrift store Philip Glass.

What's also intriguing is that Avery sent his audio journal to JRC just asking that it be used in some sort of performance, and that JRC's not even sure if Avery's aware of the record yet. Avery has his own recordings available from Nightpress Handmade Records in Cali. But this JRC production serves as proof of Avery's enduring influence over the PHX art scene, and his potential for success beyond the confines of the Valley. His local fan base awaits his return from his Mormon missionary work the way Elvis devotees awaited the King's return from his stint in the Army, or Muhammad Ali fans awaited Ali's return to boxing after being banned for avoiding the draft.

What does AZPunk.com have by comparison? A circle-jerk compilation they put out regularly that's ballyhooed and bought, basically, within their own little incestuous daisy-chain. I'm sure their 'rents ask every time they churn out another of these vanity CDs, "Will he/she/it ever amount to anything?" Sorry, Ma and Pa Punk, chances are, no. Get used to your aging offspring mooching off you indefinitely. It doesn't get any better than this.

PS: In response to the statement by Mr. Not-So-Awesome in the "comments" below, I should point out that the initial Avery story generated pages of AZPunk response, then my alter ego The Bird published a piece called "Punk Playa Hatas" on 8/31/06. In turn, AZPunk nimrods went on another spleen spree. So Mr. Not-So-Awesome, is an Awesome Idiot, even when it comes to his own site.

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