#172: Alex Ross Perry
Alex Ross Perry on Evil and Cursed Seeming Lawn Ornaments, Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein’s Protein Powder, Mass Market Nonfiction, and more.
Cool people like cool things, which is why we asked Alex Ross Perry to share a taste of his taste on Perfectly Imperfect.
Alex Ross Perry is a writer and director based in New York City. Over the last decade he’s made a bunch of cult classics such as Golden Exits, The Color Wheel, Queen of Earth, Listen Up Philip, and the incredible Her Smell, which follows a punk rocker struggling with sobriety that’s played by Elisabeth Moss. Perry also makes music videos for artists such as Soccer Mommy, Sleigh Bells, Yumi Zouma, Aly & AJ, and most recently, Pavement’s "Harness Your Hopes". Earlier this month a documentary he made for Ghost, a doom metal band out of Sweden, dropped on Youtube. Lucky for us, Alex is here to tell us what he’s been into.
Without further ado
Alex Ross Perry (instagram)
After rehabilitating my backyard a few summers ago, I wanted to reward myself by purchasing some unique and frightening statuary to decorate it with: durable, stone pieces that would thrive outside permanently and look peculiar to neighbors. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this is not an especially robust market. The overlap between people who want a Hellraiser Cube made of stone and people who covet investment-piece outdoor décor is apparently me and me alone. However there are a few great etsy stores where I have bought a Cthulhu, a Pazuzu and a Baphomet made of very heavy stone that are still thriving outside among the ivy.
🥤 Junk food and soda
I try to enjoy some junk food and drink soda every day, albeit in small quantities. Junk food and especially soda are wonderful treats, and the cultural drubbing they have taken in recent years really is a shame because there’s nothing more rewarding than a daily potato chip snack or perhaps a cold can of Dr. Pepper. They make these little cans of soda that are perfect for this. Herrs potato chips are of course the best, and I have made sure to feature them in many of my movies. I’ve also become fond of these Chippea puffs that are sort of like cheese balls.
Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein is the guitar player for the Misfits. He joined the band when he was like 16, is now pushing 60 and has worn corpse paint the entire time. His physique is that of an action figure and he is an outspoken vegan. I really like his instagram, which is an odd combination of cute animal photos accompanied by captions like ‘HAVVA GOOD CATURDAY’, pictures of his workout equipment and vegan food. He started selling his own protein powder, called “Death By Chawklit” claiming it was the best tasting vegan chocolate protein powder he had ever had. So I bought some and, it turns out, it is actually superior stuff. It isn’t excessively sweet and is not dry or chalky at all. The packaging is extreme and my wife prefers that it not be on display when we have company.
📚 Mass Market Nonfiction
I will read any book that presents either one specific story or consolidates a broad historical subject into roughly 300 pages and is presented in a paperback measuring like 8.25”x5.5”. Sometimes these become best sellers so you know the type: Devil in the White City. Killers of the Flower Moon. Things like that. But I’ve started branching out into even more culturally irrelevant subjects that I want to learn about and will probably never find occasion to discuss with anybody else. Two recent hits were Crusaders: The Epic History of the Wars for the Holy Lands (Dan Jones) and Over the Edge of the World: Magellan’s Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe (Laurence Bergeren). Please alert me to any recommendations as I am always on the lookout for more!
Probably my favorite thing about Los Angeles (it’s a short list) is making time to walk around Amoeba until I have to be somewhere else. I haven’t been to the new location yet but have started buying CDs from their website fairly regularly. Not only is shipping free, even if you buy a single CD, but they also list the same used inventory you’d find while browsing so it’s very easy to recreate the in-store experience while still supporting one of the last great temples of physical media.
🚫 🤑 Doing things for no money or no reason
This is hard to explain because it requires the understanding of what is was like for me to make several feature films for next to no money with a crew of friends who were being paid nothing, but it has become important to me to sometimes create work devoid of any financial consideration. I get asked to make music videos every so often and have not been paid for one in over four years. Which is fine. Doing something with the understanding that it is not a financial transaction, and thus ought to be categorized as “for the art” forces me to remind myself why I even ostensibly enjoy creating anything in the first place, which is increasingly easy to lose sight of considering the rotten and broken state of the industry in which I have chosen to work.
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