Frank Portman’s Andromeda Klein was just about the best book I read in 2009, despite the fact that others (I’m looking at you, entire world) found its obsession with occultism so manic it bordered on impenetrable. Okay, so this may not be a book for everyone. But it is the book for that smart weird kid in the back of the room. And aren’t those the books that make the most difference?
It just so happens that Portman is also “Dr. Frank” from the punk band The Mr. T Experience, which provides him with the unique opportunity to introduce his challenging novel in a decidedly bouncier fashion. Hence the peppy single “Andromeda Klein,” which kicks off with the following lyrics:
Andromeda Klein, Andromeda Klein
Born under a cryptic sign.
The water of air, the fire of earth
Whatever that might be worth.
The video doesn’t make a whole lot of sense unless you’ve read the book, in which case the blond wig, the tarot cards, and the tattoos will be tantalizingly familiar. The mix of processed footage and animation is a little inconsistent, but overall this has the feel of a mid-1990s video that MTV would have played in the middle of the night–which, when you think about it, hits the same kind of audience that the book does. Not precisely a mainstream crowd, but one with eyes and ears open to something daring and different.
Verdict: Rock on, Dr. Frank. I imagine this is especially effective when played live at book readings. Bad place to crowd surf, though.