Monday, June 30, 2008

Obligatory Upgrade Update

Further updates on the store's neverending remodel. Although things are starting to shape up at last. The Planet trademark silver ball (left) hanging quite dangerously over the information table for almost two decades was finally detached and lowered gingerly onto the center table platform, only to have it tilt over and smash into one of the computers. It was fine though (the ball, that is -- the computer has always sucked) and when it was back relatively safe on the ground we all got to gather 'round, touch it (ew, dusty!), pick off all the old rubber bands at the top where we have been shooting them at it over the years, and finally having one of the construction crew drill into it and saw out a small rectangular portal so that we can see inside. Aged jokes of it being a dormant pterodactyl egg ready to hatch at any moment and kill us all faded when we all peered inside and saw vast, hollow emptiness. Several of he girls took pictures of each other inside the ball, peaking out of the portal, before it was rolled away at last, never to be seen again. So what's going up there instead? Probably nothing else. Although I'm still lobbying for the disco ball idea. One about the same size would make that dull and dreary sore look super dy-no-mite, sistah.

And we have light boxes now. Which weren't switched on when I took this picture, but they are on now and will pretty much stay on until the electrician moves the breaker switch down off near the ceiling where he installed it. Some place we could actually reach it would be nice.

Our game section now has a, uh, "Gameworld" sign? Kinda ugly I think, but hey, I just work here. It already appears to be broken, with something jutting out of the red "G" circle that looks like it was supposed to be another yellow zig-zaggy lightning bolt thingamabob. But you know, customers really do often need these kinds of blatant sign posts all over the store. Signs pointing to signs pointing to signs pointing to the very thing that they are looking for, or else you'll get a raging earful about how disorganized our store really is. And to be honest, right now they ain't kiddin'.

Our rank carpet is gone, and replaced with tile, and although I will be the first to admit that my sinuses have greatly improved due to the giant fungus farm being incinerated (sweet merciful heavens, why does it burn so long?) I'll reserve that moment for when the smoke and dust clears and we can finally wipe the filthy cling off of every available surface once again. Some of the exposed CDs are so dusty from the construction work it's difficult to tell what some of them are anymore. Some of the CDs lying around look like dusty old relics from the fall of Pompeii. Which is probably what future giant-brained generations will think when they dig this music store up from the ashes in the year 3521 (with my skeleton still there, clutching an Air Supply CD).

The last area to be tiled, which is where the Dance and Reggae section used to be, and now has two walls built in where we'll be hanging the electronics. As in, the electronics are going to be on my side of he store now, which also means I need to know something about electronics real darn fast or else I'm pretty much up Scheiße Creek. One of the construction crew said that while he was working up against the wall near the white door he distinctly heard the meow of a cat within the walls. Well, that's just marvelous. And would hardly surprise me in the least. Might actually explain that dying rat Miranda found in the music warehouse a few months ago.

The carpet will remain in the newly forming Used Room (formally known as the Classical Room) since it's about a dozen times less jankity, although probably still as old as the building itself (I wouldn't be surprised). Ted Liles finally came down to get his Bach, Beethoven & Bernstein painting, which I am very pleased and relieved about, even though I apparently missed his visit (and he lives in Richmond now -- I had no idea!). And ahhhh.... one of many ubiquitous scissor lifts that roam the aisles and beepbeepbeep forever in your brains when you come home after a long day. Although every time I see them I get to giggling and singing "Scisssssor-liiiiiffffffffft! Scissssssssor-liiiiiiifffffffffffffft!" to myself and then all is right in the world again.

Finally, and most importantly... MOST IMPORTANTLY. They are working on fixing the broken sprinkler directly over my work space, which has been dripping continuously into an old squirt bottle sitting on my desk which I have to empty every other day, and get constantly splashed in the face as I'm having lunch or doing just about anything sitting there, and what grates my cheese is that nobody even thought to do anything about it until our last visit from the Fire Marshall lit that flame under their collective corporate ass. But other than removing the rotted ceiling tile -- well, they didn't even do that. They just knocked it out and left it as a disgusting brown and wet crumble-mountain all over my desk and floor and chair -- they haven't been back to fix the leak, let alone clean up the mess. Ahh, but in the end it's all for the greater good, isn't it. Uh, isn't it?

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Sun 29: 11-7
Mon 30: 3-cl
Wed 2: 9-5
Thur 3: 3-cl
Sat 5: 9-5

Eyes Without A Face

Kind of unsettling to say the least. But the cat appears to not be in any kind of pain, or so they assure us. Still. Whooooo, doggie. That's some nightmare fuel right there.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Girl Turned Ripe

Although I've felt for a long time that I probably don't ever need to see another ruddy freakin' documentary film about the history of punk rock, I did watch Punk: Attitude last night and... kinda sorta dug it. More talking heads than actually, like, THE Talking Heads (and boy, everybody looks so gosh darn old now) so the music took an enormous back seat to the People Who Were There nattering on like aged burned-out hippies trying to recall Woodstock, but more than anything it reminded me again how I haven't heard "Typical Girls" by The Slits in a long time and it made me dredge up the old album again and groove to that phenomenal bass line. Reminds me of a time back in the early 80's when my girlfriends and I were also so much in awe of all-female rock bands, as if they doing something magical -- or in the case of Slits lead singer Ari Up, something shamanistic. At least in the way she busts a move.

I know most guys may remember this video for the band in their naked mud-covered boobies, but I could watch Ari Up dance like that forever and never not be entertained.

Don't create
Don't rebel
Have intuition
Can't decide

Typical girls get upset too quickly
Typical girls can't control themselves
Typical girls are so confusing
Typical girls - you can always tell
Typical girls don't think too clearly
Typical girls are unpredictable (predictable)

Typical girls try to be
Typical girls very well

Typical girls are looking for something
Typical girls fall under spells
Typical girls buy magazines
Typical girls feel like hell
Typical girls worry about spots, fat, and natural smells
Sniky fake smells

Typical girls try to be
Typical girls very well

Don't create
Don't rebel
Have intution
Don't drive well

Typical girls try to be
Typical girls very well

Can't decide what clothes to wear
Typical girls are sensitive
Typical girls are emotional
Typical girls are cruel and bewitching
She's a femme fatale
Typical girls stand by their man
Typical girls are really swell
Typical girls learn how to act shocked
Typical girls don't rebel

Who invented the typical girl?
Who's bringing out the new improved model?
And there's another marketing ploy
Typical girl gets the typical boy

The typical boy gets the typical girl
The typical girl gets the typical boy

Are emotional

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Seems Like Old Times

First 20 tracks on my iTunes this morning happy to see my backyard bunny back and rolling in the mulch.

1. "In The Street" - Big Star
2. "Mary Magdalene" - Me'Shell Ndegéocello
3. "Society" - The Ruts
4. "Just Passin' Time" - Dwight Yoakam
5. "1000 Points Of Light" - Candiria
6. "Foolin'" - Def Leppard
7. "Silent Night" - Bootsey Collins
8. "Top Of The Pops" - The Rezillos
9. "Days Of Swine & Roses" - My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult
10. "Mirame-Mirate" - Natalia Lafourcade
11. "Monkey Man" - The Rolling Stones
12. "Pouring Water On A Drowning Man" - James Carr
13. "Bernadette" - The Cold
14. "Dear God" - XTC
15. "Sweet Child" - Micatone
16. "Strength" - The Gadd Gang
17. "Theme From Route 66" - Nelson Riddle & His Orchestra
18. "There's A Ghost In My House" - R. Dean Taylor
19. "Changeling/Transmission 1" - DJ Shadow
20. "I Think We're Alone Now" - Lene Lovich

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Idiot Control Now

My right knee is becoming quite the growing concern over the last month or two. The same knee I hurt on New Years Eve at Hunter's party, which just popped suddenly while I was standing around in her kitchen chatting with Al's sister's friend Monica -- loud enough for Monica to actually hear it pop and make an alarmed expression. I spent the rest of the evening dragging a dead limb behind me at the party, but it was fine by the next day and forgot all about it. Since then it will pop occasionally, usually when I'm at work, and the pain would return. But within the last month or so the popping has been nearly constant, and getting through work 8 hours on my feet has become increasingly undoable. I have managed to survive this past week taking the Darvocet that Joe's dentist prescribed when he was getting his tooth pulled last week, and it has gotten me through the long days (including the Bayou Boogaloo Festival Sunday, which might explain how high as a kite I was during the Wild Magnolias show). But I just took the last one right now after getting out of bed and nearly taking an ignominious morning tumble down the stairs when the pain shot down my calf, but now this means that the drug will wear off around 1pm today, and that leaves me with wondering how to get through the four hours after until it's quittin' time. I'm taking a buttload of Aleve with me, and that's about it.

But it doesn't address the long-term issues about what could be wrong with my knee. Other than the fact that my rapid weight gain probably has a lot to do with it. Having a knee pop on you just standing around at a party should send flares up instantly that my body has issues with me neglecting my health over the last two years. I'm still working on the weight loss, and exercise is nearly non-existent besides my 8 hours dashing about the store, but any power walking like I've done in the past isn't gonna start happening until the knee situation is resolved. I've become very much the veggie lover these days, perhaps as a result of the sickness and revulsion I experienced during Atkins. Yesterday I had tomato slices and mustard with sliced apples for lunch, and for dinner I cut up fresh avocado and onions and a little pesto and wrapped them in lettuce leaves and some olive oil for dinner. It was so rich I feel positively nauseous this morning. But the idea of eating meat or cheese right now makes me even more upchuckulous. Plus something about the summer months makes me gravitate more towards fruit and veggies. I tend to eat lighter in the heat anyway.

I need to fix this. I want to go to New York City in October and see The Residents with my friend Paul. There's no way I can walk around the city dragging my dead limb. And I'm not about to ask Paul to carry me. He's done enough for me as it is.

So what kind of a doctor do I go see about knees? A knee doctor? Joint-ologist? A remover of increasingly unnecessary limbs?

Monday, June 23, 2008


Shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker. Oh, and Tits.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Son Of A Gun Gonna Have Big Fun

After our usual Sunday brunch in downtown Norfolk this morning the gang and I trotted on over to Town Pointe Park for the 19th Annual Bayou Boogaloo Festival, where Mike was to be sitting in for the drummer of New Orleans band Wild Magnolias, with less than 24 hours notice ahead of time, so it behoved us to all be there to, you know, root him on. Or heckle him. Or both. Of course heckling is our group's way of rooting each other on. Anyway, photos galore.

Entrance gate to the Town Pointe Park, made up like every annual Boogaloo as some terrifying mutant crawdad crawling up out of the Norfolk sewers brandishing a corn-on-the-cob. I wonder where the city of Norfolk keeps this thing stored for every single year. I vote for it being a permanent fixture all year round as a welcome to our habor park. And to let folks know what fishy smells they're in for when they enter. And that's just the daily stench coming from the habor.

Joe and Dave merrily do the "we're all a-gettin' in free!" dance at the Will Call tent while we stand in line for wristbands, since Mike put us all on the guest list. Hunter, center, strides over after locking her bicycle, and soon does a little dance of her own. That being done, it's time to go find the center stage.

And there it is (I saw Cowboy Mouth play on this stage this time last year with Anita when Vance was still in the band), with Mike in the middle of sound checks and roadies milling about, doing what roadies do. Mike sees us and is apparently on his cell phone, dialing one of us to beckon us over. He's letting us backstage (or rather, Al kind of marched past the gates and led us all back there -- why didn't I just do this at Cowboy Mouth? What kind of twit am I? [don't answer that])

Backstage! The glitz! The galmour! The sound check! MIKE!

A nice full shot of the band as they start to rip into The Meters' "Cissy Strut", and da funk doth commence.

Mike is doing that drummer's overbite thing that always makes me snicker. But he's doing wonderfully for someone who hardly had any time to rehearse, if at all. That's mah boy.

Joe finds a seat directly in front of the stage, while Al (left) and Dave (right) sit with their backs to me.

It's still a little too early for the crowd to start gathering around, but a few people have staked their claim, and it's a pretty nice day, hot if slightly overcast. The bluish tint to everything is from the smoke that has blanketed half of Hampton Roads due to the week-long forest fire out in the Dismal Swamp. Lovely Hunter, right, looks on.

Hunter's clapboard tat. I think AL was pointing at something for me to take a picture of over Hunter's shoulder but this was all I got. I'm just not very deft at all these picture-takin' shenanigans. Oh well, I loves me some Hunter tat!

This lady in the blue dress was blind, stinkin' drunk. How do I know? Because she and this dude stood there swinging and swaying like a coupla hippies with heat stroke...

... when seconds later the woman tumbles backwards, falling straight like a felled tree, legs in the air like a Wyle E. Coyote cartoon. Moments later she was sitting with her legs folding, grumpily rubbing her ankle, and then hopping over to where we were standing, asking Al if he had "a foot of duct tape" on him, and then giving him a tube of cheap drugstore lip gloss. That's how blind, stinkin' drunk she was. But then again I'm sure she wasn't the only one.

Hunter and I did manage to acquire several strings of beads this afternoon, and neither of us had to show our boobies to do so. Who knew that people could actually give me things for keeping my clothes on for a change?

Al wanted me to get a picture of this because he found it extremely amusing, but I had a difficult time trying to get the entire metal archway into the frame. The metal pole which Alvin is sitting next to is part of an enormous, convoluted-looking archway that appears to hold the front of the tent open. The size is pretty much what you'd image the entire tent covering the stage would be...

... and right at the base of the pole, a tiny golden tube with a single sheet of paper, and a sticker that says "Operator's Manual Storage Container". 'Cause iffin ya lose that, dang, you're up merde creek.

Coming down off the hill, Mardi Gras indians! They certainly bring the crowds. The field begins to fill up, and especially the children seem intrigued enough to gather closer.

The indians take the stage with the band, which I think is a regular part of Wild Magnolias' stage routine. Or just an amazing coincidence. Or a reason to call security.

Mike pounding away with a Mardi Gras indian mere inches away. Al told me that this guy in the yellow plummage had the most bodaciously un-Native American-like gold "grill" when he opened his mouth, but every time I tried to snap a picture, he kept his trap tightly shut (like here).

In your face, Pittman! The indians threw more beads, but apparently I catch like a girl just as much as I throw like one, especially with Al being taller than me and all that. Al taunts me with his hard-won prize.

Ladies and things.... we have GRILL!

A stage hand grabs me by the wrist and hauls me up on stage to dance with the band, followed close behind by Dave and Al and Hunter (Joe seems to remain in front of the stage, cheering us on). Here, Al and Hunter bust a move.

Dancing on stage with three Mardi Gras indians in front of a few thousand people at Town Pointe Park is a bit daunting. And sweaty.

Great show, and wacky hijinks to amuse Mike, who is still laughing here after the show as he breaks down his set, as Joe gets in one final jab.

After the show, we sit in the grass along the edge of the park eating sno-cones while watching Dave and Hunter do some kind of synchronized soft-shoe to a zydeco version of "American Woman". Being up on stage has given us the fever. The fever... for daaaaaahhhnce. Well, these two goofballs anyway. I was pooped!

So anyway, a nice afternoon spent along the habor being in good company and walking off brunch. Makes me wonder why I moved away from Norfolk all those years ago.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Mon 23: 3-cl
Tue 24: 3-cl
Wed 25: 9-5
Thur 26: 10-6
Sat 28: 3-cl

Hunters And Collectors

Can somebody help me track down a possible vintage Knebworth 1979 t-shirt? It's not any of the ones with Led Zeppelin on the front, or even mention Zeppelin at all. It's red with the word "Knebworth" in black letters beneath what was either a dragon or a lion -- sort of a coat of arms symbol that looked like this, but facing to the right and down on all fours. Might have been a dragon now that I think about it, because my father gave it to me when he came back from Knebworth '79 and I was largely obsessed with dragons at the time. I had that t-shirt with a silver dragon necklace that my father bought for me in Iceland as well. Yeah, pretty sure it's a dragon at this point.

But damn, that was my all-time favorite shirt. I think the last time I ever saw it was sometime in the mid-80's, when I was on the local swim team and I had gone back into the locker room after practice to change clothes. The shirt was sitting like an untidy heap on a bench and I slipped it back on when suddenly I felt this weird pinching sensation on my shoulder, like when a tag scratches you. I looked down the back of my collar and saw a wasp inside my shirt, and I shrieked and tore the shirt off over my head and threw it across the locker room, staring it with wild eyes and panting breath. I'm pretty sure I didn't leave it there, but for some reason that was also the last time I remember seeing that shirt. I wasn't like I was about it leave without something over my torso. Not with these knockers on display. Wasp or no wasp, that was a pretty kick-arse shirt (as they'd say in Jolly Olde).

All my dad has left of his souvenirs of Knebworth '79 were photographs from so far back in the crowd that you could barely see the stage, let alone hear a thing. But he still has a close-up shot of a hippie-girl's crotch with the zipper of her jeans all the way down. Nice, dad. Way to commemorate a seminal moment.

Help, please?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Results Are In

The insurance company has agreed to pay for the repairs to my home. Including redoing almost the entire right hand side, which wasn't even damaged in the storm, but needs to be repaired to prevent this from happening again.

I feel like power-walking down the street and kissing every person I meet. Preferably with P-Funk on the Ipod. Maybe that Live In Houston bit. MmmMMMMmmmm, that's good fuuuuunk....


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Born A Woman

One of my favorite comic/graphic artists Ellen Forney has a blog. She seriously, seriously needs to put out another book. Seriously. Where else in the new millennium can kids today learn how to comb your wings? That is, if you didn't already live in southeast Virginia.

9 Kinds Of Awesome

Not a bad slide show, if I do say so myself. After all the years listening to this song, it's nice to finally place a face on some of the many, many talented stars.

Heh. Sessions gorilla.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Crazy All The Time

First 20 tracks on my iTunes just sitting here taking each days as it comes...
1. "The Bends" - Radiohead
2. "Sunshine Day" - Osibisa
3. "Thirteen"- Madhouse
4. "Get Busy" - Mr. Lee
5. "I'm Called Little Buttercup" - Gilbert & Sullivan
6. "Roadhouse Blues" - The Doors
7. "Beautiful Girl" - Robyn Hitchcock
8. "In The Summer" - Terry Riley
9. "Hired Gun" - Bad Brains
10. "Out Of Head" - Korekyojin
11. "Flesh" - Ken Nordine
12. "Can't Stop Falling In Love" - Louie Cordero
13. "I, Pistol" - Verbena
14. "Damage I've Done" - Heads
15. "Emile" - Presure Of Speech
16. "Sacajawea" - Wayne Shorter
17. "Venus" - Television
18. "Skipping" - The Associates
19. "Glad All Over" - The Rezillos

Friday, June 13, 2008


Sun 15: 2-cl
Mon 16: 3-cl
Wed 18: 9-5
Fri 20: 3-cl
Sat 21: 9-5

Well Gamble My Huff

A couple of new purchases this week. Yes, new. As in not used this time. Yeah, heyyy big spend-ah... but I kind of had to treat myself this week to at least acknowledge how hard I tried to work staying on Atkins for two whole weeks, despite all the sick that went along with it. Then to discover that after two weeks I hadn't lost an ounce. Which is weird. I mean, I haven't gained anything either. I'm just precisely were I was. But when I first did Atkins four years ago I lost 14 pounds in the first two weeks, so I don't know what I could have been doing differently. Well, expect for eating the occasional steamed broccoli here and there, which I didn't do last time but I just caved this time around because it was the only thing that kept me from barfing out my ovaries half the month. So fuck that noise, I'm going back to Weight Watchers. And heck, I might just go all vegan the first two weeks this time. Way I feel right now I never want to see an egg or a piece of cheese for as long as I can help it. Just thinking about it right now makes my arms flail.

So, back to the good schtuff. I special ordered both of these at work, since our ever increasingly lame store doesn't keep them in catalog....

Several customers were coming into the store a few weeks ago with an article clipped out of the local paper highly recommending Conquer The World: The Lost Soul Of Philadelphia International Records so when I ordered a few for stock I added an extra for myself, even though my friend Kevin told me that he had already heard it and wasn't impressed. Oftentimes "lost tracks" such as these were never released for a reason, which is that they were sometimes not very good. But that's not always the hard 'n fast rule, and I tend to think that this is not one of those times when the rule applies. Some really nice stuff on here from obscure Philly soul artists that according to the liner notes "never went far beyond the neighborhoods and bars of Philadelphia" which names such as Bobby Bennett, Carolyn Crawford, and this lovely title track performed by Bunny Sigler and Dee Dee Sharp. And how can you deny smooth cover art like that? Oh oh, looks like somebody forgot to wear their matching shoes for the photo shoot (I'm lookin' at you, Mister Orange Hat).
Conquer The World Together by Bunny Sigler & Dee Dee Sharp
(m4a file - available for 7 days)

And I couldn't resist getting Devotion by Beach House after hearing their lovely, if quite obvious first single "Heart Of Chambers" on youtube a few weeks ago, the track of which I will place here for you to enjoy. The second album by Baltimore duo Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand (yes, niece of Michel) aren't treading any new ground with their slow, lo-fi, minimalist dreampop. But there is something about Victoria's voice that resonates with me. Something about this that chimes within me when back in the early 90's when this style was more popular didn't do much for me. Something that reminds me of cooler weather on this scorching hot day. Something that reminds me of an actual beach house in winter -- closed up and empty, with the ghosts of its former residents echoing on a haunted moonlit night, with the waves crashing right outside the balcony. Damn, I miss Nags Head in October.

Heart Of Chambers by Beach House
(m4a file -- available for 7 days)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Burning Eyelids Give You So Much More

I helped Timbaland in the world music section today. Not that it isn't any big surprise to see Timbaland in my store from time to time, being from this town and all, and both he and Pharrell Williams pop in on alternating months almost continuously. But I never had Timbaland approach me needing my help before. And what a coincidence that his appearance today also happened to coincide with the release of an album that helped produce, Tha Carter 3 by Lil' Wayne, which was the hottest thing selling out of our store since we sold Wii systems during Christmastime. People were actually lined up outside the store an hour before we opened waiting to get a copy, and people were calling all morning trying to reserve multiple copies, and I had to replenish the front racks almost continuously throughout the day. I mean I knew it was going to be big, but I didn't expect this kind of wackiness, despite how many times this album had been pushed back, and how the single to "Lollipop" should probably be played out by now. Although I had never heard it myself until today (and frankly I can't see the appeal). Still, days like today remind me of how it can be kind of exciting to work in a place like this, when we have people there actually excited to be there, to be buying a CD, to watch it fly off the shelves. I admit though, I was personally pushing the new N.E.R.D. CD all day, playing it instore all afternoon as opposed to any Lil' Wayne whatsoever. Oh! I wonder if Timbaland heard me playing Pharrell while he was in the store today. Snerk.

Sorry I'm out of it this evening. I'm having one of those table-for-one pity parties for myself tonight -- a moment of weakness when I get frustrated when everything appears hopeless, yada yada. One of those "I need a hug" kinda nights. You know, we all have 'em. I promise something more substantial next time. I have new music! And it's actually good! *cabbage patch*

Get some sleep. , my friends.

Monday, June 09, 2008

I'd Really Rather Not Picture Him Dancing Down At The VFW To "I Touch Myself"

Funny how the hottest song in country music right now is a cover of one of the hottest pop songs in 1985. Hardly any customer I've spoken with who is looking for the song has ever heard the Dream Academy's version of "Life In A Northern Town", and since Sugarland's version isn't out in stores yet I always suggest their version to tide them down in the meantime. Most of these customers are either my age or older, so they were around for the original but I guess they either never heard it or don't remember it. I dunno. Maybe it's not all K-Mart Country-fied for them to absorb. Or has that patina of 80's gilt to it that puts people off, so long as it's the right kind of 80's music. Heck, that's another whole blog entry in itself.

It is interesting, however, looking back 20 years ago now and it not seeming that long ago, when back when I was a teenager 20 years ago, of course, seemed like an eternity. I guess not being 20 years old yourself yet gives you that kind of perspective. Last week I had this old man, probably around in his late 70's or 80's, hobble over to me and asked in his creaky voice if we carried "any o' them oldies but goodies." Now usually gentlemen of that greatest generation refer to music from their own youth as "oldies but goodies" and they drop that appellation about every other day to where I typically know where to direct them. But this fellow had other ideas. "I already have this here Adam Ant CD, but I shur cain't fahnd any o' your Divinyls." Holy cats. Is the stuff from my teenager years now considered "oldies but goodies"? How can it be when the rest of today's pop music sounds as if it were lifted straight out of 1983? I'm supposed to be the 80 year old crazy lady thirty years from now, wandering around the with Adam Ant CDs wondering where they keep the rest of the "oldies" in this futuristic Jetsons-era record store yet to be. Wait, what am I saying. There won't be any record stores in the future. Just jack it all into my head Neuromancer-style, which by the way is the next gradual upgrade step at my store's renovation this week. Coming to a local head-shop-cum-discount-vinyl-outlet near you!

A lot going on this week, and I'm sorry correspondence has been scarce. House still not fixed, and I've been a little sickly from the diet change, which is taking longer than it did the last time I want this route. Oh, and my only child boyfriend discovered a half-sister that he never knew he had. I'm overstimulated and just can't stop myself!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Drink Up And Be Somebody

The Friday Five:

1. if you had to participate in one olympic event what would it be and why?
If you asked me back when I was 10 or 11, I would have said gymnastics, since I was taking them religiously then. Although I wasn't all that good on anything else but the floor, and maybe the balance beam. If you asked me when I was 13 or 14 I would have told you swimming, since I was on a local private club swim team and I could beat the trunks off most ladies with my mad freestylin' skills. But since you are asking me today, I am going to say, uh... the 100-meter cotton ball toss. Because I'm almost 40 years old and I've been practicing, bitches. Bring it on.

2. what is the one song you always sing along to?
"Minimum Wage" by They Might Be Giants

3. do you wear a seatbelt in the car?
Always in my car. Unless I'm in Joe's car, because his rarely comes all the way out of the slot. So I just tug on it and pretend that I am wearing it so passing cops won't pull us over. And they will find a reason to pull you over, I am sure. I remember the time Joe and I were sitting at a red light and he reached over and placed his hand on my breast. Then suddenly we hear a police siren and we turn and notice that there is a cop car in the lane next to us, pointing at us to roll down our window. Joe quickly jerked his hand off my breasts as if it burned him, shaking as if he had just been caught by my father instead of the cop. But the policeman just said, "I noticed that your front right tire needs air. Please pull over to the nearest gas station as soon as you are able." and then he drove away. Hrm, I don't know why this question made me thing of that. But oh well, wacky titty stories are always a hoot!

4. car, suv or truck and why?
Car. Or maybe a pick-up truck, but whichever does better on gas. The green side of me is a little bit interested in those Prius models, but I can settle for a small car that gets good mileage any day. I'd probably drive a Smart car just for the whole high hilarity factor, because like a friend of mine said they look just like garbage cans on wheels. Which makes me think of Oscar The Grouch. Which makes me smile.

5. are you a good/bad drive? explain
Er, maybe you need to explain the question better. Is that supposed to be a good or bad driver? I think I pass muster, although if you could hear me cursing up a storm inside the car at everybody else you'd think I'd be on the cusp of taking out small, defenseless honor roll students in back of soccer-momobiles. Maybe it's time I put my Q action figure back as my signature dashboard deity again.

Rip It Up And Start Again

After years of empty promises and inhaling bacteria-encrusted carpetry, my music store is finally getting its long overdue renovation this week. 8 o'clock am and I was there taking pictures of the construction crew tearing down and carrying away and all manner of drilling and sawing and noisemaking and scissor-craning and so long as they continued to drown out the new Usher album playing in the background I was perfectly "all good" with all that. That Classical Room is going away, which will undoubtedly piss off our snootified classical costumers more than they already are, having to dash through our store with their hands over their ears to drown out the devil's flatulence that we play over the speakers (that would be Madonna's new album, by the way) just to reach the sanctuary of the glass enclosure. But all that signage is coming down. If you look closely, the "T" in Tchaikovsky has already been scraped off, although they have mysteriously left the rest to go do something else. Yeah, a lot of half-assed tasks all up in this jank. At least the filthy carpet's going. It will all be replaced with new tiles. Wheeeee, so long dysentery, hello new moping nightmare!! :-D

And most of all, new CD bins. These are the ones we've had forever, which have understock shelves and are actually pretty tall. That top blue border comes about up to my ninnies... no, more up like to my Adam's apple. HA, I KEED, I KEED!! I don't have an Adam's Apple and ninnies! That would be silly. I have one, but not both. And yes, I'm not tellin' you which.

So here are the new bins. Much, much shorter, considerably wider, and uh, quite frankly, a bit ghetto-looking in my opinion. Like a girl at work said, we look more like a flea market than a music store. And they take up far more floor place so we'll have to space them super-super apart to make the aisles wide enough for baby carriages and wheelchairs. Although I'm sure our regular wheelchair costumers will be pleased as punch to have more CD within easy reach for a change. Oh, and that purple wall back there (our sprinkler room) had the big display taken down and painted over white yesterday, and the area will be wainscoted with wall slats where we will be hanging the Webkinz that are already there. If 44% of our yearly profit comes from CDs, then the rest of that must surely come from selling those cheap, perpetually shedding little abominations.

I will say though that the new bins do hold a lot more CDs than the old ones. Not that we have that many CDs to hold anymore from the way we recall it faster than we restock. And you see all those CDs with the orange stickers? Those are used CDs, and they are all getting pulled out of those bins and dumped someplace else. That someplace else...?

Yep, the soon-to-be-emptyfied CLASSICAL ROOM. This will all be used product soon, and nothing but -- with a desk for doing buybacks (which means I'll probably be trapped back here most of the day, every day) and an enormous nest for thieves since it's easier stealing used product than the new, shucked stuff. And all that covered equipment will be our new "burning station", which from what I hear means that soon you will be able to enter our store, download songs and burn our own CD, or even upload your MP3 player. This will be outside the room nearer to the entrance however. But I have to say I am a bit excited about the prospect of an all-used room to maintain, since I am really big on the used product and push that even harder than the new stuff, not to mention it's nearly 99% profit for the store to sell used anyway. All I know is that if they take down that giant painting of Bach, Beethoven, & Bernstein painted by my old friend Ted Liles I want to take it home with me instead of tossing it in the damn dumpster with the rest of the detritus. Or at least send it back up to Lebanon Valley where Ted lives now. I remember working under Ted at the old Music Man back in the late 80's/early 90's where he would paint all over the store, giving it so much character and individuality.
I guess the era of individuality is over for Planet Music. Oh, and we're changing our name to FYE soon, too. I suppose then I will be finally and properly assimilated by the Borg-like hive mind that is Trans World, and the girl you once knew as Melissa will be no more. Hey, maybe this means their evil Queen will make me wear tight and sexay uniforms like Seven Of Nine this time. Heck, I was the one who suggested the dancing cages over the Information desk for a rotating staff of go-go dancers. Heh. No Lada Edmund Jr. am I. ;-)

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Wienie Roast (Bitches, Man!)

Can't believe I still have my ragged old 7 Year Bitch t-shirt, let alone still pack my winnebagos in 'em in this day and age. I got this shirt back when Joe booked Da Bitches at the old King's Head Inn back around, oh I think early 1993 or something. It was sometime after guitarist Stephanie Sargeant passed away, and shortly before Mia Zapata was murdered, so I'm guessing it was around that time period... OH! That's right. It was Mother's Day the day after the concert, because the girls stayed over at my house and all wanted espressos and breakfast the next day, but the local hip coffee joint Cabaret Voltaire wasn't open on Sundays so our only other option that morning was Dennys, which was right after church let out so these girls with their multicolored hair and multiple tattoos (remember this was 1993, and the tattoo and Manic Panic hair dye look hadn't quite gone the way of mega-mainstream acceptability these days where all the cool Sneeches on the beaches had to have one) were sitting with me at the lunch counter while mothers in all their church finery where clutching children to their bosoms, crossing themselves and praying their daughters don't wind up looking like them ten years from now (ha ha, they all did!). And I remember all the girls crying "Shit! It's Mother's Day! I gotta call home to Seattle right now!" and being this was also the era of the no-cellphone they all took turns using the Dennys payphone to call their mom's, and each one coming back to the table sniffling, all "I miss my mommy" and whatnot. It was very cute.

Actually these girls were by far some of the nicest people in the industry that I have ever met. That same morning as Joe and I sat and watched them get dressed for the day, stretching out and relaxing across the floor where they had slept (lead singer Selene slept in the tour van in our driveway with her boyfriend, who might or might not have been her current husband Brad Wilk at the time) we chatted for a long time, especially about their home in Seattle, showing off their tattoos -- drummer Valerie showed me the gorgeous detail of her new Lilith tattoo on her arm, and Selene's circle of elephants going around her upper arm, which was some of the most lovely and delicately detailed work I had ever seen up to that point -- and we talked about the movie Say Anything, which I think bassist Elizabeth told me was filmed in a lot of places right near her home, talking about the scene with John Cusack talking into a recorder driving past a building with lots of reflective glass (a mall, I think she said) and how she lived right behind it, or something. Either way, it was very significant and the girls were very animated in telling me about it.

Oh, and the night before was pretty funny. The girls had just crawled into their sleeping bags and were fast asleep, when my then-roommate Goofy Steve had come home with a pizza box full of leftover hot dogs (he was selling hot dogs at a rave that night, which I found an odd item to be selling at a rave) and he was trying to get me to eat the rest of them, which I didn't want, and then I caught him quietly tip-toeing around the band sprawled out on the floor, gingerly placing hot dogs next to their sleeping heads. I remember whispering "No, no Steve! They're vegetarians!" and demanded that he pick up every last one of those hot dogs immediately before he went to bed. The image of the two of us arguing over hot dogs in loud, heated whispers while standing over a pile of snoring Bitches must have looked pretty humorous to anybody peeking in through the windows. As I tucked myself in Goofy Steve poked his head into my bedroom and said "I picked them all up like you asked... oh, except for one! Hee hee! Mystery dog!" and he closed the door before I could protest. So next morning I hear Robin, their tour manager yell "Ahhhh! Somebody left a WIENIE next to my head!!!" I guess she rolled over and face-splatted right into it that morning. Oops. Er, Merry Christmas?

Anyway, wonderful women. I loved their company, and I loved their show as well. Last time they came into town years ago supporting their Mia Zapata tribute album they asked after me, but I was working that night and sadly missed the show. Wherever the ladies are today, I wish them the best, and they have my love and fondest, most wackiest hot dog memories forever.

Here's their video to "Hip Like Junk". Boy, that early 90's Seattle grunge sound so, well, early 90's these days. But damn these girls had play. Best wishes, my lovelies... and thanks for the shirt that I can still wear! They really don't make tour shirts like they use to, do they.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


Thur 5: 9-5
Sat 7: 3-cl
Mon 9: 3-cl
Tue 10: 9-5
Wed 11: 9-5
Thur 12: 3-cl
Sat 14: 3-cl

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

He's Sweet, I Know...

So I splurged this week, if $9.99 (not including employee discount) could be considered splurging even though my flippin' house isn't fixed yet, and bought This Is Gospel: Swan Silvertones Happy With Jesus Alone which has "If You Believe Your God Is Dead, Try Mine", one of the most freak-nasty funk jams I've heard in a gosh-darn long time ("freak-nasty" being one of the defining sounds of gospel, or so I was taught in Sunday school). Popular in the 40's and 50's, originating in West Virginia before moving to Tennessee, the group was led by the magnificently voiced Claude Jeter, and the way these men's harmonies fell into place was some of the most spellbinding vocals I have ever heard, in this genre or elsewhere.
The rest of the album is straight, lush, gorgeous gospel harmonies, but "If You Believe Your God Is Dead..." just makes me wanna get up out my seat and testify. And it takes a lot to get me out my seat, you mugs.
Enjoy for yourselves...
(m4a file, available for 7 days)

Monday, June 02, 2008

Don't Try To Cure Yourself

First 20 tracks on my iTunes looking forward to spending my afternoons in the pool this summer...

1. "Dead Beat Descendant" - The Fall
2. "The Chant Has Begun" - Level 42
3. "Take" - Vance DeGeneres
4. "Let's Go Crazy (Special Dance Mix)" - Prince
5. "Kasalèfkut Hulu" - Mulatu Astatqé
6. "A Foolish Arrangement" - The Cure
7. "Old Man From The Mountain" - Merle Haggard
8. "Memories Can't Wait" - Talking Heads
9. "Kiss Me Deadly" - Generation X
10. "The Web" - Neurosis
11. "Girls In Their Summer Clothes" - Bruce Springsteen
12. "Ginza Strip" - The Executives
13. "Pulling Muscles From The Shell" - Squeeze
14. "Just For You (w/Flipmode Squad)" - Rah Digga
15. "Still Not A Prayer" - Big Punisher
16. "Christianity Is Stupid" - Negativland
17. "Twelve" - Madhouse
18. "In Heaven There Is No Beer" - Bravo Combo
19. "Music For Money" - Nick Lowe
20. "Don't Even Trip (feat:Amon Tobin)" - Peeping Tom

Sunday, June 01, 2008

I Really Wish It Was Peanut Butter Jelly Time

Am I the only person left in the known universe that just doesn't get into The Family Guy? Okay, maybe one joke per episode might coax me to make an audible little "hrfff!" laugh escape from my throat, but honestly that's really about it. I mean the dog is kinda funny, and the Stewie baby with the dog often gets the most of those "hrff!" sounds outta me. But the show just feels so... forced. Like the writers reached into a mixed bag of random jokes of random laff factors and threw them against the wall as hard as they could and hope one of them will stick. And I've been trying, Yod help me I've been trying to understand what everybody else seems to get so easily. I have been watching the Adult Swim shows almost nightly for the past few weeks, hoping something will inspire me the way it does the kids these days. Am I old? Am I not "with it"? Is this the part in my encroaching old age where I throw up my hands to the youth of today and declare, "teach me what you know!" (this might explain the penchant for "grannie-panties" I've had since I was a whatnot).

In fact, that's what I'll do. Fans of the Guy, post about your favorite moment on the show, or better yet, a link to a youtube clip or something, so's I can see what you see, know what you know, and laugh. Hopefully, finally, once again, to laugh. Christ on a bicycle, I want to laugh at puerile humor! I do! Isn't it obvious?