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Feb 192015

Dave Cloud beard 15022008

Nashville punk/lounge legend, Gospel of Power singer, actor in Gummo and Trash Humpers, Murakami of pickup artists, force of nature, and king of karaoke night at the Springwater Supper Club Dave Cloud passed away last night due to complications from cancer. Sources close to him say he passed calmly surrounded by friends and family. He was 58 years old.

Dave appeared on two episodes of Theatre Intangible, two of our best: the episode that got us banned permanently from WRVU and the Fourth Annual Halloween Extravaganza. Whenever I ran into Dave after that final WRVU episode, he told me he felt terrible and guilty about getting my show banned. And then I would reassure him that it was not his fault. He was very careful to avoid the FCC dirty words and to replace anything objectionable with surrealistic placeholders. The objectionable material came from the callers, who we monitored (unsatisfactorily, apparently) with a three-second delay. I would then tell Dave that were it not for Theatre Intangible getting banned from WRVU, I would never have started the website and podcast version. I guess I owe all that to Dave and everyone involved with the episode Get It On with Dave Cloud.

Then he would ask me to buy him a beer, and I would. Dave was a drinker and a chain-smoker. While we were taping Get It On, he would excuse himself for “quick” smoke breaks that ended up lasting 20 minutes. The other performers just kept improvising music until Dave returned. When it was time to record the Halloween Extravaganza, I had learned my lesson. At this point, I was recording the episodes in my basement, and when Dave asked to take a smoke break, I told him he could smoke while performing. Before long, other performers were lighting up, and my house smelled like cigarette smoke for two weeks. But the recording is better for it.

I didn’t know Dave very well, and I don’t feel qualified to write a eulogy for him. We only had a handful of conversations at the Springwater and Betty’s, and, of course, we had the live tapings. One thing that I do know is that Dave possessed a rare magnetism that made his performances (and pickup lines, rants, boasts) hypnotic. And that has me thinking about the parallels between Dave and other outsider musicians like Daniel Johnston, Frank Sidebottom, and Wesley Willis. Magnetism such as Dave’s often comes with depression and mental illness, and I wonder if we enabled Dave with our attention and admiration. We were always willing to buy him a beer in exchange for a song. Jon Ronson writes about the magnetism / mental illness duality beautifully in Frank: The True Story That Inspired the Movie. In an interview with the The Wire about his time performing with the Frank Sidebottom Oh Blimey Big Band, Ronson writes,

… it just interested me so much, that kind of beautiful naïveté when you’re young and see the tortured artist as being fabulous, and then when you’re faced with the reality of being with a tortured person and it’s not at all fabulous. It’s not fabulous to the person and it’s not fabulous to the people around the person. I’ve known that from my own life, and also this brilliant documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston talks about that too, about how awful it is to be Daniel Johnston’s parents, the hand they’ve been dealt. It’s heartbreaking, and there’s nothing romanticizing about mental illness in that documentary.

Dave lived with his parents for most of his adult life, and right now I’m thinking about them. I am sorry for their loss. I will never know Dave, in all his unvarnished glory, the way they did. I will never know the struggles Dave and his family faced. I only know the Dave behind the microphone. But that is enough.

Feb 072011

In this episode:

  • THEATRE INTANGIBLE breaks into WRVU for one last in-station show!
  • A VSC BOARD MEMBER calls the COPS!
  • CODY BOTTOMS takes his clothes off for the webcam!
  • Trainee TERRY finds his broadcast voice!

THEATRE INTANGIBLE celebrates our 50th podcast by performing LIVE from our original home 91.1 WRVU fm on the campus of Vanderbilt University. As you might remember, I was kicked off of WRVU and permanently banned from the station. Luckily, my door key scan card still works. I’m joined Theatre Intangible’s first guest ever Cody Bottoms (THE MANPOWER), early collaborator William Davis (OH NO IT’S HOWARD), and ex-host of the also-banned WRVU show GET UP STAND UP Mark Anundson.

Things start off smoothly with calls from champion wrestler Jocephus The Shelby Street Brawler and WRVU’s POCKET NINJAS’ host Amanda Tucker. Things get a bit out of hand when Mark busts out the alcohol, we get a call from VSC Board Member Dick Shell, and a dj trainee hiding in the control booth becomes our “reluctant” guest. We barricade the door with the station couch and hunker down for an all-out siege.

We discuss VSC president Chris Carroll, Director of Student Media Jim Hayes, and since-resigned student general manager Mikil Taylor. Board member Dick Shell calls to complain and lets slip a shocking revelation about the sale of WRVU that you are most definitely NOT going to like.

Featuring call-ins by T.I. participants pimpdaddysupreme, Chris Rauh (Arclyte), Chris Murray and Craig Schenker (Square People), and Joseph Hudson (Dave Cloud). More calls from officer MacBeth, Officer Fritz, Hostage Negotiator Lieutenant McKinley, Amanda Tucker, Tiffany, Kurt, and trainee Terry’s mother Misty.

With music by T.I. participants Tim Kaiser, Ken Soper, Strotter Inst., Leslie Keffer, Anthony William Herndon, DaveX, pimpdaddysupreme, Lawrence Crow, Mark Anundson, and WORLD PREMIERE tracks by Square People Jazz Maturity and Lylas recorded exclusively for Theatre Intangible!

Special thanks to Brad Edwards, Sean Parrot, Ben Sullivan, Melody Holt, Tommy Stangroom, and most especially Jesse Perry. Mark, Brad, Sean, and Jesse are all podcasters too. Check out their many shows, including HAPPY FOR APATHY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY GARY, and MANGY DOG RADIO HOUR WHOOP-DEE-DOO.

If you like the show, tell a friend or write a review in iTunes. And without further ado, we bring you, the Theatre Intangible 50th Podcast Spectacular!

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