Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Nobody's Fault But Mine

You know, back in the early 80's and late 90's, when what was once "underground" music starting leaking into the mainstream, I was happily convinced that people's attitudes about music variety would change. Pop and rap and punk and everything in between would adorn every household CD rack in the nation, and people will grow more curious about what's out there and more experimental in their selections. Joe, however, believed that the opposite would be true, that people's tastes would instead become much more marginalized. I didn't know how that could be, when there was so much out there now for people to explore.

Turns out he was right.

I am becoming amazed every day, working where I work, and meeting people and learning about their tastes, how increasingly limited their musical scope has become. And you can tell it just in the way they ask for certain "sections" in the store. Kids who like metal only listen to metal. And not only that, but certain kinds of metal. People who listen to new bands like Becoming The Archetype won't touch anything older like Iron Maiden or Metallica. People who like melodic metal like Nonpoint won't touch the instrumental proggy stuff like Pelican. And not only that, they ask for sections in the store where we keep only the stuff they like. Sections where we would keep the new metal away from the old metal. Or the "nu" metal away from everything else. The term "hardcore" which I grew up thinking of as early 80's punk like Black Flag, now means something completely different to these kids, and they want their "hardcore" metal section away from everything else. I can't even imagine what our metal section would look like with that many dividers and sub-sections, especially on opposite ends of the store. One thing I've learned -- and this applies to all genres -- people don't like their favorite kind of music touching anybody else's. Especially the jazz fans. Whoosh. There's a whole 'nuther story.

And that's just an example of sub-genre nitpickery. People who hate rap are infuriated that we keep the Beastie Boys in rap, because they are horrified to even think that they could actually be rap. The weirdest gripe of all was this teenage punk kid who sniffed at me because we didn't keep the pop-punk band Millencolin under new age. I admit, I didn't quite know how to respond to that.

Personally, I'm all about alphabetizing everything in the store, tossing out these ridiculous labels and letting the old biddies looking for Barbra Streisand duke it out with fans of Strapping Young Lad. So I can stop having arguments over whether or not "beach" music is actually called "shag" music and just say "Look, if you want Bill Deal, look under "D" for Deal. End of story." (Actually I'd more likely say "Go to Birdland" since they carry more local artists while we carry, er... none. How sad is that?)

I'm seeing an increasingly leisure world where there are more entertainment options than ever before. And more options means people can build an entire library on that one little thing they like and be perfectly content with it, not knowing and maybe even not caring what else could be out there. That they become so immersed in their "thing" that exposure to anything else that isn't their thing, even a slight deviation, almost seems abrasive to their ears. A world of possibilities open to people, and I was once naive enough to believe that everyone would rush to embrace it. Now I see people into the Red Hot Chili Peppers thumbing their noses at cars driving by with Nine Inch Nails stickers on them, when there was once a time, back in 1989, when I was lucky enough to hear them both back-to-back on the local alternative station, just because it was something different than the Paula Abduls and New Kids On The Blocks that were dominating the mainstream airwaves at the time.

Now of course not everybody is like this. I can point to maybe one or two examples of young people that i work with who are willing to step foot in a section of my store that they might not know anything about, just out of idle curiosity. But I want to still be proven right, however. I want to be told that all of this is just part of the wee little microcosm that is my admittedly backwards local community. Has anybody else seen this phenomenon in their local music scene? For once, I want to be known as the exception, and not the gosh-darn rule.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Signature Sounds

Prince covers Radiohead's "Creep" at this year's Coachella '08.

The Ear? Really?

A funny and rather thought-provoking entry from Greta Christina's Blog discussing "Why Religion Is Like Fanfic". A line that made me laugh the most:

"I wish I could find it now, but there were some hilarious comments on an old Pharyngula thread about how the New Testament was Old Testament fanfic, and the Koran was Old Testament fanfic with Muhammad as the Mary Sue character."

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Trouble Waiting To Happen

I wanna thank Paul for the box 'o coolness I received the other week when I was sick, although it was more a birthday gift it did do wonders for my overall attitude for the rest of the long, hard ride, which was grumpy to say the least. On top of the hilarious Pink Lady album a few other notable items, including:

Two burns of Parliament-Funkadelic live at Howard University November 1st, 1978. We had discussed my reverence for the P-Funk at some point -- either that or it was just an impressive guess, but thank you for da funk! Mein mind has been emancipated! (posterior soon to follow)

A sweet collection of post cards, oddly random Brady Bunch autographed scanned glossies (Paul deals in Brady Bunch memorabilia on eBay, among other things) and a nifty Star Wars birthday card. ALL of it is nifty! It's swell, it's the bee's knees, it's the cat's ass... it makes me wanna start another postcard wall around the door frame again. Ah, college.

Another postcard (boobies!), a "Soul '69" antique button that I've worn to work a few times already, an original "Walrus Man" action figure from the first run of Star Wars toys in the 70's (boy that takes me back) and what appears to be a strangely fabulous generic-brand gladiator figure still in its card, with a busted up foot, which makes it even more hilarious. Don't worry, though. He shall be freed soon, and then heck will be unleashed. Hopefully while wearing that keen pleated skirt he comes with.

Paul got these Beatles pins at a flea market in Rhode Island, and believes they might be original 1964 items. Although they were in a big box for 50 cents each, and this was just five years ago. But I'm just stoked to have them, Beatles nut that I am. Even better, it's George and Ringo. John and Paul can be sooooo played out.

Some vintage issues of DownBeat, circa 1974 and 1980, a jazz mag that I think might actually be defunct these days (don't quote me on that). Both with Miles on the cover. Schweeeeet.

And ah, last but hardly least... er um, Paul denies his true motives for purchasing these great pair of Pogues "booty shorts" back when he attended their St. Patrick's Day concert at the Roseland Ballroom last month, although I'm sure it wasn't intended for Al to slip them on over his jeans and prance around my living room in them waving a box-cutter and a hammer and threatening to hold up the Shell station around the corner this past Tuesday night. And Al's quite the skinny dude, so it's unlikely you'll be seeing me squeeze my ginormous badunkadunk in these babies, although the surveillance camera image might wind up funnier than Al's if I followed through on the gas station stick-up. Joe doesn't want me to wear them anyway because all he can picture when he sees them is Shane's toothless old mug and it's a bit of a wood-killer (then again so is my butt in booty shorts). I absolutely love it, though. By the way, I think "Pogue Mahone" is Gaelic for "Kiss My Ass". See? That's sexay, ain't it?
Thank you again, my friend. You do realize that you have just laid down the challenge for your birthday this year, and I'll see your Pink Lady LP and raise you.... well, I guess that will keep you up at nights wondering. ;-)
In other news: Wow, I am still very, very sore.

If Samuel Beckett Wrote "Charlie Rose"

I just realized how much Joe and Mike converse like this. But with a lot more insults flying. And strangely enough, a lot more rhyming.

Friday, April 25, 2008

And They Do "Walk Away Renee" Too

First 20 tracks on my iTunes this evening enjoying my belated birthday package of scrumptious retro goodness (thank yew, Paul!)

1. "Burn Down The Malls" - Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper
2. "Too Much Pressure" - Manazart
3. "Gypsy Woman" - Crystal Waters
4. "Grace" - The Time
5. "Brussels 109" - Grimskunk
6. "Slowfire" - Scifier
7. "The Empty" - Le Tigre
8. "My Definition Of A Boombastic Jazz Style" - Dream Warriors
9. "Spidey's Wild Ride" - Tom Waits
10. "You Need The Glory" - The Minutemen
11. "Ain't That A Shame" - Fats Domino
12. "Conquering Judah" - H.R.
13. "Ain't Cha" - The Clipse
14. "What's Going On (Featuring Roxanne Shante)" - Mekon
15. "The O-Men" - Butthole Surfers
16. "Away" - Meat Puppets
17. "War Eagle" - Early Man
18. "When You're Falling" - Afro Celt Sound System (w/Peter Gabriel)
19. "Ocean" - The Cure
20. "Wild One" - Darius Rucker

Hel-looo... Falling Apart Over Here

Damn, I took a hard fall tonight. All I can guess is that I must have twisted my ankle trying to step off the brick step that leads into my front door, and before I knew it my head smacked the concrete. But other than that twisted ankle, two scraped knees and a right hand, a very sore right shoulder, and a slightly scraped face, I guess I'm none the worse for wear. I was extremely disorientated and dizzy for about 20 minutes after, and both Joe and Mike were worried about me having a concussion and that I should probably go the hospital. But I shaped up after a few and other than a thousand little ouchies all over I think my head's still screwed on relatively straight. These things happen. They just haven't happened to me in a very, very long while. I literally don't think I've taken a hit to the street that hard since the late 70's/early 80's when Jeanne Gainer and I used to build ramps in her driveway and wipe out on them in our dirt bikes and skateboards. I'm so old now! Land 'o Goshen, dat hoit dis ole biddy!

What I didn't mention to anyone was that for more than a split second, I had the most frightening flashback to my mother's bad spill off the back porch last January, the one that shattered her wrist and has left her with diminished mobility in that right hand. The same hand that went up to protect my head, the same way hers did instinctively. I think that scared me more than the thought of maybe breaking my foot or even a concussion. You never think about those kinds of things, I guess until they happen.

To top it all off, I have a zit... on my finger! What the diddly-hey-hey?

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Sat 26: 9-5
Mon 28: 3-cl
Tue 29: 10-6
Wed 30: 3-cl
Fri 2: 3-cl
Sat 3: 9-5

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I Gave Thurston Moore A Moist Towelette

A new documentary is in the works. Something that will undoubtedly hit a little too uncomfortably close to home...

It's about the indie store, of course, and not so much the mega corporate monstrosity that I work for -- although in a sense it probably is more about my store than theirs, putting theirs out of business I'm sure will be said.

But I gotta say, from the inside looking out, I think it's just more than the Wal Marts and the Trans Worlds puttin' the hurt on Bleecker Bob's. In fact what I'm hoping this does is reveal the real status of independent record stores everywhere, and how the ones that still stand still manage to stay standing. It's no secret that my huge megastore is not meeting its goals in the music department. But I have talked to two local music store owners that claim that they are doing fine, and yet when I look around their stores I see less and less product, fewer and fewer customers... what is the truth, really? Is it really just the record store industry that's dying? Yet, why did my friend get laid off from the Caroline Record label after 15 years as a faithful representative and now works for UPS in Manhattan? Why did Joe's video rental store company go out of business even though they were the third largest chain in the country? Why is it that I only ever get to see independently owned book stores, video stores, clothing shops, and restaurants whenever I visit Nags Head on the off season?

Not like I don't use iTunes these days myself. Woot! I'm part of the problem!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Lollipops And Heat Rash

I apologize for the delay in getting back to everyone. Being sick? Sucks. Actually I was technically down for about four days straight, and then by Wednesday I was sort of upright and sick, as I was more sick of being in bed for 46-hour stretches than being sniffly and fevery. But I was weak for several days, and with our air conditioning breaking down again at work I've felt miserable every day coming home, stripping naked, leaving my soaking work clothes littered on the floor, stretching out on my cool bed sheets and pretty much drooling onto my pillow until I have to do it all again the next morning, but with a lot less Dayquil involved. I am feeling considerably better today... except for my "mystery cancer", as I have come to call it. That mysterious pain in my left side that the doctors haven't a clue about, which fired up for the first time since November this past Tuesday, and then kicked in this afternoon at work, although to a lesser extent. Man, I am shoddy goods. Why am I falling apart like this? Who will want me for their softball team? Wait, what? Why did I ask that? Why do I care whose softball team I'm on? I don't like softball. Did I just take Nyquil instead of Dayquil again? This is why I shouldn't idly pick the labels off of all the medicine bottles when I'm busy talking on the phone with Leslie. Who might come to visit me next month! Holla.

Oh, and I got some nifty swell presents from a friend of mine that I met online, and I plan to take pictures and gloat about share them with you soon, but for now I'm exhausted and lacking in substantial content. Plus I owe everyone emails. In the meantime, here are some pics I took of the wall collages from inside my store's video warehouse. Customers never see this side of our store, so consider this a backstage pass. The lamest backstage pass you'll ever receive in your lifetime.

We get boatloads of promotional posters and dump bin displays and crap, so we have been known to take some artistic license with original copyrighted materials, seeing as how we're already breaking them down at the end of the period month. Personally, I think BloodRayne would have been much improved with gun-totin', boobalicious dancing penguins. Or maybe not.

I'm beginning to think that this originally came with the store. The giant red "S", that is. Ash and his hand, they can take their shenanigans outside.

I know there's a flash glare, but that's supposed to be the Metallica monster swallowing Tom Cruise. By the way, if you haven't seen Some Kind Of Monster yet, I highly recommend you check it out. If anything just to see a band full of arrogant pricks work out their hatred for each other with therapyspeak like "shame spirals" and trying hard not to hit each other. Talk about twenty years in the making!

Awwww. One of the very last "art" projects that Mary bestowed upon us before her last day this past Tuesday. Again, the flash glare obfuscates the pair of scissors jabbed into Robert Redford's gullet, with red Magic Marker blood for effect. One of our many daily constructive uses of company time and supplies. Watch and be amazed as video manager Miranda both holds the piece and deftly hides behind it... all at the same time!

The collage over Miranda's desk. Where she can sit, do her paperwork, text message me, and eyeball both Ric Flair AND Xena all at the same time. Well okay, just Xena. Between you and me, I have seen Ric Flair's naked backside. And when painting your living room walls, might I suggest some tasteful variety of Sherwin-Williams shade of white somwhere between "Egg Shell" and "Nature Boy's Ass".

These has been sitting behind the warehouse door for a month. I'm beginning to think I need to set out traps.

Friday, April 18, 2008


Sat 19: 9-5
Sun 20: 11-6
Mon 21: 3-cl
Tue 22: 10-6
Thur 24: 3-cl
Sat 26: 9-5

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Nyquil Elephants On Parade

Sorry no bloggings for awhile. And sorry about the lapse in email responses to friends and so-forth. I've been sick for the past three days and really haven't felt like being upright for a bit.

I'll be back soon. You guys stay special.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Mon 14: 4-cl
Wed 16: 9-5
Thur 17: 3-cl
Fri 18: 4-cl
Sat 19: 9-5

Nutted By Reality

Book Autopsies by Brian Dettmer.

Pretty darn spectacular.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Last Chance Texaco Station

First 20 tracks on the iTunes this rainy (again) afternoon trying to dislodge the Blackadder theme song from me noggin...
1. "81" - Headcase
2. "Grow Fins" - Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band
3. "Think That Thought" - Planningtorock
4. "Sleepwalking" - The Raveonettes
5. "Rune 'Em Off" - Merle Haggard
6. "Memories Of You (Take 1)" - Thelonious Monk
7. "How To Be Invisible" - Kate Bush
8. "An Hawaiian Christmas Song" - The Jackofficers
9. "Fear Of Ghosts" - The Cure
10. "A B-Boy's Alpha" - Cannibal Ox
11. "Rang Tang Ding Dong (I Am A Japanese Sandman) - The Cellos
12. "Long Gone Lonesome Blues" - Hank Williams
13. "Fashion" - David Bowie
14. "Body And Soul (Take 3)" - Thelonious Monk
15. "Many Years Ago" - Rotta Rudy
16. "Missed The Friction" - Self
17. "Oh, How To Do Now" - The Monks
18. "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You" - Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra
19. "Tragedy" - RZA
20. "Liebe And Romance" - The Slits

Saturday, April 05, 2008


Sun 6: 11-6
Tue 8: 9-5
Wed 9: 9-5
Thur 10: 3-cl
Fri 11: 3-cl

Friday, April 04, 2008

Body Issues Ahoy

Days like this I really wish somebody would rub my poor feet. Have no fear, they're clean! And amazingly soft. They just really hurt like the dickens right now.

And although I care nothing for shoes, I have to admit I really want a pair of these plaid brothel creepers like crazy. Yeah, just want I need. More elevation.

I really need to have the infection on my arms looked at again. It's been since high school, and quite frankly I'm convinced I've already reached the point of no return. Scar tissue upon scar tissue and all that. Although I always did like scars. To quote Kate Winslet in Heavenly Creatures, they are all "so frightfully romantic".

My weight. That's the big issue, pun intended. I need to take some time and concentrate, work to flip that breaker in my head that will put me back on the right track to good health again. I miss power walking every day. I miss the energy. Lord, I miss size 14 jeans.

The bags are gone from underneath my eyes. Finally.

I'm having happier moments now.

Lots of water, people. Lots and lots of water.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

My Day In A Nutshell