A real poet would never do what I just did.
December 28, 2013 4:11 PM   Subscribe

Though best known to fans of Joe Frank, This American Life, and Hearing Voices for the irreverent spirit medium recordings he made as an telephone psychic in the 1990s, the Baltimore poet, composer, and artist David Franks spent decades creating his own work. Several recordings are now available at the internet archive. (previously)

Also, Three memorial reviews, two experimental films featuring Franks, and some post cards.
posted by eotvos (4 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
I love Joe Frank. I've bought a few pieces off his site, and downloaded every free daily download (they repeat). I'd give him more money if this would let me have access to everything. Otherwise for the money I have enough. I'm always in the market for free though! I still think his show "The Great Pretender," is some Robert Coover level fiction and some of the best radio ever made. It juxtaposes Monmouth the Pretender with the fictionalized (?) life of a school teacher using the Great Pretender song as a transition between the two stories. Joe Frank is my idol and I can't wait to follow the links!

I wrote him a fan letter once, but he didn't write back.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:08 PM on December 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

I totally misread your post! I thought you wrote, "Better known as Joe Frank."

I am a bit said the David Franks website is no more. Sounds like a cool guy. I am listening to his tracks now.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:15 PM on December 28, 2013

I became the reluctant archivist of the surviving worldly goods and archives of the late David Franks immediately upon his death, and I should point out that his website is not so much a thing of the past as a project for the future that's been stalled by a lack of resources. There's more to come, just not yet, largely because his brilliance was equalled only by his inability to organize things in a way comprehensible to normal humans and the project of trying to pull it together has been a one-man-show until very recently.

If you're unfamiliar with his work, "Pay Attention" is a perfect introduction, though I wish the Internet Archive had the cleaned-up edit we did instead of the muddy straight-from-tape version.

I also converted a U-matic cassette of his 1978 show at the Psyche Delly in Bethesda, Maryland, which is a great take on his work, and the first sample edited, "Mistakes," is on his youtube channel.

David made me insane while he was alive and has managed to continue doing so in death, yet in spite of everything, I will be very, very happy when more people know this amazing, difficult, inspired, exasperating man for the absolute artistic genius he was.
posted by sonascope at 8:21 PM on December 28, 2013 [8 favorites]

Thanks for this. Indeed I'm familiar with him through the work of Joe Frank. Many of my copies of Joe Frank stuff are from cassette and omit the credits. I never knew his name, I just knew him as the dial-a-psychic.
posted by werkzeuger at 5:08 AM on December 29, 2013

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