Thursday, July 31, 2008


Thur 31: 10-6
Sat 2: 9-5
Mon 4: 3-cl
Tue 5: 10-6
Wed 6: 9-5
Thur 7: 10-6
Fri 8: 5-cl

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Motor Law Be Damned

I am suddenly recalling that night in early October of last year. Nags Head, NC. Cruising down the main drag in Al's Jeep with Mike in the front seat and me in the back, following closely behind Al's friend Freck in his awesome 1970 Chevy Monte Carlo, with Joe as his co-pilot. Screaming down the highway at night with the stars in the sky and the wind wiping our hair, singing along with the guys to Rush's "Red Barchetta" on the radio at the top of our lungs, and nothing but salty sea air burning holes through my nostrils. Just the way I like it.

Looks like the third week of August this year. And maybe even more people showing up than last time. Perhaps even the entire core membership of the Sunday breakfast bunch. My goodness, drunken karaoke this year is going to be quite the pip.

Now I seriously need to find my good bathing suit.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Rock The Cradle Of WTF

Speaking of weirding out over memories of childhood traumas, my old friend Wembly hipped me to the aptly titled Kindertrauma blog, which is where I've been spending my week catching up on all the unnerving little pieces of childhood entertainment from the considerably unfiltered 1970's -- or unfiltered compared to what I've seen children watch or read these days. Or maybe it's all subjective. Being practically adult and all probably colors my world a little differently, I would imagine. But anyway, some of the traumatic pop culture moments from childhood that I had long since put aside in my mind -- and in a way find comfort in others commenting on the affects some of these movies, books, and TV shows had that were almost identical to mine.

I saw the 1977 animated film The Mouse And His Child in the theaters back when it was released, and my 8-year-old brain was forced to wrap itself around the darkness that was toys whipped and beaten into hard labor, a poor overworked toy donkey who was torn to shreds by rats while he screamed for his life, and strangest of all, a disturbingly Beckettian play centered around the concept of "The Last Visible Dog"-- a can of dog food with a label featuring a dog holding the very same can of dog food, which in turn features a smaller version of the same dog holding the same can, and on and on presumably into infinity. This film has been out of print for years but I never even bothered to try and hunt it down because a part of me, loving toys as much as I do, probably couldn't bear another viewing of this torture porn even as an objective adult. But it is available on youtube here. Worth checking out for its animation, voice-over work (Peter Ustinov, Cloris Leachman, and he final film of the late great Andy Devine) . I still haven't got the guts to watch it again. If anything, for the "The Last Visible Dog" routine once more.

I have heard plenty of people tell me how disturbed they were by early Sesame Street episodes from the 70's, from their unsettling music scores, twisted animation, and most of all, their monsters. Over the years, starting with the early 80's, the muppets started taking on more pleasing, less threatening visages, morphing into more child-friendly characters like Elmo (who is scary enough in his own right), a less irascible Oscar, and a Cookie Monster who wasn't such a complete bastard (yes, check out the early days -- that bitch was a straight-up monster). Actually as much as I've always loved Jim Henson's work, his early muppets (including Sam And Friends, and even first season of The Muppet Show) used to scare the bejeezus out of me. Too much to choose from during those early, formative Sesame Street years to place here, but these two skits from around that era kind of give you the idea. I remember once, back when I was a child, asking my mother why Sesame Street was always trying to scare us little kids so much. And she answered, "Maybe (being scared) helps you learn". God help me, I never forgot that.

One that I have completely forgotten until I read about it here for the first time sine I was old enough to comprehend, was the children's book Miss Hickory by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey, which I think dates back to the 1940's but my mother had bought me the book back around when I was a wee thing, and what an impression it left on me. Although the story itself remains murky, it was the graphics, specifically near the end of the book, where the handmade dolly Miss Hickory, made of a twig body and a nut for a head, gets her noggin eaten by a squirrel ( the floor of his nest littered with nutshells like the skulls of the dead). After which the protagonist wanders headlessly for a spell until she gives up, sticking her neck into a high tree branch until her body becomes a branch itself, arms and legs sprouting leaves in the spring -- and then the little girl who once owned Miss Hickory looks up and notices that the branch looks eerily like the body of the little doll she once owned and mysteriously lost last winter. Man, THAT shit kept me awake at nights! And now strangely enough, I wanna find this book again. Because now, as a level-headed adult, squirrels eating the nutty heads off of dolls... FUNNY! How can it not be?

And now just one more spooktastic memory, this one from the the very end of the 70's so technically it still counts. Anyone remember the 1980 Roger Corman horror camp novelty Humanoids From The Deep? I was too young to see it in theaters, but I distinctly remember the commercials for the film running on local TV continuously, and I was flippin' terrified of what I saw. Or maybe it was just the concept of sea aliens dragging girls down into the ocean to mate with them that kept me from going to the beach that summer more than Jaws did five years before. Anyway, here's the trailer, kind of how I remembered it. Sorry it's so dark, but it was the most lightened up version that I could find.

Aaaaand My Childhood Is Dead.

Bloody hell!

When my brother and I used to watch The Electric Company when we were little kids back in the 70's, we always got a giggle over this truly bizarre skit, which popped up from time to time as a pumper in between longer, more educational segments, and it consisted of nothing more than what you see here; weird speeded up animation and gibberish. And gibberish was all that my brother and I thought it was at the time. We'd laugh and try to imitate it ourselves, and never once did we question its reason for being there. It was just weird and funny, and due to it being the 70's we had no VCR to record the skit, nor futz with it in any way. Why question one weird skit on a show of many? Albeit, this one was weirder than most.

This person on youtube has played the strange segment backwards, and slowed it down. And a few other people seem to confirm that this indeed is what it really says. What, in fact, it had said all along.

And I say, HA HA!!


No wonder I turned out the way that I did.


(oh yeah, slow down the animation, and you can see a guy giving the finger... among other things, I'm sure!)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Fishy Swa Ska

The one time I ever actually considered getting a tattoo in my entire life was embedding the Fishbone logo -- you know, the fish skeleton in the circle -- someplace on my temple of a bloated, pock-marked body. Of course this was back in 1988, when I was young and dumb and completely devoted to all things Fishbone. Now that I'm old and dumb I do just fine immortalizing their heyday as a band by remembering how Joe first introduced me to them back in college. Or in turn introducing them to my friends back home. And the first time I saw them live when I was nearly crushed to death in the front row, but I had a pair of drumsticks up my nose which made one of the guys in the band laugh. When lead singer Angelo Moore passed me the microphone to sing but the song that they were playing at the moment was "V.T.T.L.O.T.F.D.G.F." which is almost totally incomprehensible so I just made "bluh-blup-blup-bluh" noises. How I passed out on the hood of Just Dave's car at the Open House Diner shortly after the show from a combination of extreme heat and collapsed lungs. How Joe and Just Dave and I tried to drive down to Chapel Hill to see them the next night (gluttons for punishment we were) and asked every person on the street but could never find out where they were playing. When I saw them a few years later in Richmond and I was able to get in early when the venue was empty and watch Angelo expertly swing dance with his wife to Raymond Scott's "Powerhouse" alone on the dance floor. How hard I laughed when I saw Bruce Hornsby in the mosh pit, walking around and looking perplexed.
Too many great memories of a band that I once followed religiously without question. That is, until their albums shortly after Truth And Soul started dripping in quality a smidge. But vivid memories trump a tacky "ass antler" of Angelo Moore's rictus grinning face right over my heinder.
Did I say tacky? I meant the other T-word.... TOTALLY AWESOME!!!!
(m4a file, available for 7 days)

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Sat 26: 3-cl
Sun 27: 2-cl
Mon 28: 3-cl
Wed 30: 3-cl
Thur 31: 10-6
Sat 2: 9-5

Punch-Drunk Love-Sick Sing-A-Long

The official unofficial street video to "Sly Fox" from the new album by Nas that just dropped this past week.

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Most Delicious Piece Of Fried Gold

At long last, Spaced: The Complete Series is being released in the United States for the first time tomorrow. Aside from the same extras found on the UK version, this set features episode audio commentaries by fans such as Kevin Smith, Patton Oswalt, Quentin Taratinto, Matt Stone, Diablo Cody, and Bill Hader, as well as an hour-long 2007 Q&A with director Edgar Wright and the cast.
I already have the British version, so do I want to shell out for the domestic copy as well? We're only getting one copy in at work tomorrow, and I'm thinking about selling some CDs to shave a little off the price. But I mean, I already have it. But, but... it's Spaced. Did I mention it's Spaaaaced?
Er, tomorrow, that is. :)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Question Of Balance

First 20 tracks on my iTunes this morning trying to figure out where this is all heading.

1. "Your Mind And We Belong Together" - Love
2. "Little Brown Jug" - Glenn Miller & His Orchestra
3. "Nightmares" - Clipse w/Bilal
4. "Nursery Rhyme Breather" - U.N.K.L.E.
5. "25 Or 6 To 4" - Chicago
6. "Mr. Know It All" - Primus
7. "Sorceress" - Return To Forever
8. "To Look At You" - INXS
9. "Joint 2 Joint" - Prince
10. "Into A Nightmare" - Classic Case
11. "When Doves Cry" - Prince & The Revolution
12. "So Tough" - The Slits
13. "Cream" - Prince
14. "Then Came The Last Days Of May" - Blue Oyster Cult
15. "Mind Your Business" - Hank Williams
16. "Nothing Before Me But Thang" - Parliament
17. "Can't Front On Me" - Pete Rock & CL Smooth
18. "Crazy Little Rocker" - Paul Robertson
19. "Blood Of The Moon" - Dead To Fall
20. "Epitaph 1919" - Dagmar Krause

Friday, July 18, 2008


Sat 19: 3-cl
Mon 21: 3-cl
Tue 22: 10-6
Wed 23: 9-5
Thur 24: 3-cl
Sat 26: 3-cl

Somebody Might See You

File this under "Stupid Criminals Week" at work.

One guy came up to the register with a CD and asked to have the security shuck removed. The cashier asked the man if he intended to buy the CD, and he said he just wanted to look at it first. She unshucked the CD and handed it to him, and he shook her hand and said "Thank you very much, ma'am, have a good day" and proceeded to walk out the door with the CD in hand. Then he comes back the next day and cheerfully asks me to help him find another CD. When asked to leave the store he seemed baffled, as if he didn't understand. Even in front of the cashier girl, who was asking him over and over to leave, until I hollered "Sir, please leave!" before he shuffled out the door, still confused.

All week we've been having a small ring of young guys and girls that come in every day, stuff their jackets and pants with Blu-Rays, and stroll out of the store arrogantly, knowing a store full of girls aren't going to stop them. They know that we know what they look like and confront them every single day, but they brush past us (one threatened to hit one of the girls) and sweep out with the discs, promising to return the next day -- and they are never in the store long enough to call the police either. Then yesterday one of the known thieves actually had the audacity to come into the store to sell back the Blu-Rays as "used" for cash. I did the transaction, gave him a mere $37 for the discs, and took down his name, number, address, and social security number from his I.D. Then we called the cops and gave them all the information.

Sigh. I swear, sometimes.

Anyway, what I really wanted to natter on about was the recent used music haul this past week. Mah boo-tay, so to speak!

I think I might be finally shutting the door on punk music in my life, as far as inviting any more in at this point. The sheer glut in the mainstream, the lack of any new ideas, it's safe to say that I ever need to hear punk again in my life, I have my beloved Bad Brains or Buzzcocks. So maybe it's this attitude that's clouding my judgment of Get Awkward, the second album from Nashville peppy punksters Be Your Own Pet! Several of my customers were raving about their first album but I had never got around to listening to it, but this promo copy came in and I figured now was the time to get acquainted. And it'ssssss...... okay. I mean, what else can I say about punk anymore? What else can anybody say, really? It's not bad, though. It just treads no new ground, and its polished production files down the rough edges that they might have had. But I do enjoy the snappy "Bitches Leave", more because it's my favorite line from the movie RoboCop than anything else. But it's cute. I'm glad that they acknowledge the humor of those two words, in pretty much any context.

Bitches Leave by Be Your Own Pet!

(m4a file, available for 7 days)

Buy the CD here

When Will came in to sell CDs the other week I managed to nab two items for myself, one of which was The Cannonball Adderley Quintet In San Francisco, which features his brother Nat Adderley on cornet, Bobby Timmons on piano, Sam Jones on bass and Louis Hayes on the skins. This live 1959 recording of Cannonball's first truly successful quintet collaboration (after a stint with Miles Davis) features some original material as well as covers, including Thelonious Monk's "Straight, No Chaser", but it's Timmons' lively "This Here" that I have placed here for you to enjoy. Wonderful stuff.

This Here (alternate take) by The Cannonball Adderley Quintet
(m4a file, available for 7 days)

Buy the CD here.

The other disk from Will was Tilt by Walker Brothers legend Scott Walker, released in 1995 after a nearly ten year absence which, when you listen to this, you can't help but wonder what kind of changes a man goes through who used to used to sound like this in the 1960's to what he produces these days. Tilt oftentimes comes across as a minimalist gothic opera, with Walker's low, rumbling voice taking on a new, haunted quality that would throw old school Scott fans for a loop at first listen. The cover art of flesh and feathers and avian eyes peering out of the whirlwind paint the picture of the dark, ghostly texture of this album pretty accurately. Not for playing late at night alone in the dark of your bedroom. Or, uh, so I found out myself.

Farmer In The City by Scott Walker
(m4a file, available for 7 days)

Buy the CD here.

Most long-time readers know of my love for The Mars Volta's 2005 jazz/prog/salsa outing Frances The Mute. But as much as I dug that joint, I somehow steered clear of their next release, Amputechture, because of the wellspring of bad reviews it seemed to incur. But it was Big Kev who gushingly informed me that their newest concept album Bedlam In Goliath is an outstanding return to form, in a way that brings both Frances The Mute and their first album together -- being mostly shorter songs this time, the album itself clocking in at nearly 75 minutes long. The story revolves around a cursed Ouija board that the band bought while on tour in Jerusalem which apparently brought about all manner of chaos while in their possession. But the most stand-out change in their sound is the recent addition of part-time guitarist and Red Hot Chili Pepper John Frusciante who brings an edge of funk-rock to a span of tracks, most of which meld into one another as if a single continuous listening experience. Looking forward to getting to know this one a little better, though I doubt much could take the place of Frances The Mute in my heart.

Ouroborous by The Mars Volta
(m4a file, available for 7 days)

Buy the CD here.

I couldn't pass up the latest N.E.R.D. release, Seeing Sounds, despite having played it in our store so continuously throughout the past month. The pop side project of producer wunderkinds The Neptunes (named after Virginia Beach's Neptune Festival) featuring local anti-Spector producer/rapper Pharrell Williams, Chad Hugo, and Shay, it's one of those rare new pop CDs that I haven't gotten sick of after the first dozen listens over the cruddy store speakers. Meant to be a "summer album" of nostalgia for our more active, less sedentary childhoods, the band encourages listeners to play this disk loudly while jogging, riding bikes, picnicking at the beach, throwing the ball with your children, and feeling the heat of the day on your face while the sunniness of the music seeps in, and the multiple layers of influences on these tracks, from the 1960's to the 80's, take you back to the more carefree years in your life. Too many good tracks to mention, and my harddrive doesn't seem to be letting me upload a track onto yousendit. But I have provided a youtube link to "Sooner Or Later", which starts out Beatlesque and delves off into a fiery Prince guitar raid at the end. A little something from both decades in one.

Sooner Or Later by N.E.R.D.
(youtube sound clip)

Buy the CD here.

And speaking of nostalgia for the 80's, few bands take me back to that first time seeing Risky Business, Legend, or Miracle Mile quite like those avatars of all things electronic; Germany's Tangerine Dream, and their spiffy mini 2-CD box set The Electronic Magic Of Tangerine Dream: The Anthology contains 19 tracks spanning two decades from 1967 (with original two tracks of original project, The Ones) to 1988, dabbling in most of their stand out album tracks (but nothing from Zeit, darn it) during those times. A good introductory set, with nice pictures and a very swell Tangerine Dream bumper sticker of the box set cover art.

Sunset In The Fifth System by Tangerine Dream
(m4a file, available for 7 days)

Buy the CD here.

I could probably spend the next week or so getting over the idiocy at work by immersing myself in the nostalgic sounds of Tangerine Dream and N.E.R.D. for the next two or three days. In fact, I think I will. Preferably outdoors, in the sunshine, just like it was 1983 again. Except without the handmade half pipe in the driveway next door.

Monday, July 14, 2008

More News That Made My Day

You know those hideous tribal tattoos right over a girl's butt, commonly known as a "tramp stamp"?

In Germany, they call them arschgeweih.

That's right. "Ass antlers".

That is all.

Run Like A Villain

It's nice being home on a day off, thunderstorming outside, and not worrying a lick about leakage into my house for a change. It allowed me the peace of mind to curl up under my blankies in bed and read Jessica Farm which, um, wow, actually kinda scared me. And it's rare when a comic book genuinely scares me, as in actually makes me not want to shut my eyes at night. Luckily it's not night right now, although you'd never know from the lovely shade of Armageddon Black it is outside, giving my house a dim gray, shadowy hue. Much like Jessica Farm's house. Holy cats.... just like Jessica Farm's house!

I'm sad that I can't eat tomatoes anymore. Well, I guess at least for awhile, anyway. I became quite addicted to eating tomato slices with mustard for lunch at work every day, which I think is delicious. But the last few times it gave me the worst indigestion to where I was doubled over and I can't afford to have that keep happening when I'm on the job -- delicate, sensitive work that I do and all (second only to air traffic controlling). Now I get mesclun salads at Schlotzsky's, which is about the only thing I can eat at that jankity joint. Something about their spongy bread there... shudder. At least you can't jack up shredded carrots and cucumbers. Cucumbers are hard to digest, but their lack of sugar makes them all the better to keeping me awake, unlike sugary carrots. I can't keep gulping coffee just to keep me from going all River Phoenix in My Own Private Idaho -- what the heck is the deal with Schlotzky's, anyway? People seem to love that place. What am I missing? In other words, what should I try if I already hate nearly everything I've ever had on the menu? Am I being difficult? :-D

But you know who has the BOMB salads? And I never would have thought this, ever: Cafe Nordstrom. Ain't that a pip? Something of quality, that you can actually buy in a mall, of all places. I know, I know -- I came of age in the 1980's, back when there was that old defiant backlash mentality against shopping malls and a lot of that still hasn't gone away. Now I find myself wanting to make the trip out to Norfolk every day to get their grilled chicken and lime salad, or their strawberry and walnut with goat cheese covered in black cherry balsamic.... gaaahhhhh.... *wantwantwant* I'd even risk the sterile air, the fluorescent lights, and the live painist tinkling quiet, harmless, and soothing melodies lulling bovine-minded shoppers into a state of consumerist security as they all lug the same Banana Republic shorts up to the registers as their Crocs scrape listing across the glistening linoleum floors...

Oh, and another thing. Why do modern women's fashions blow so flippin' hard these days? Every girl between the ages of 16 and 25 I saw in Nordstrom yesterday had the same exact haircut -- long and ironed straight and stringy, and every dress looked like a cross between a child's frilly pink nightgown and something Tarzan tore off of Jane in the heat of passion. Even Joe, who always appears oblivious to anything pertaining to fashion, couldn't stop commenting on the hideousness of young girls' clothing. He couldn't help noticing the recent proliferation of what Maddox calls "tit curtains" or something like that. Although I think, like Maddox, he's probably less in favor of seeing less defined breasts in public than the actual aesthetics. Maybe a little of both. Joe will whisper "tit curtains" to me whenever we're in a restaurant or some other crowded public place where one can guarantee some chick will come in with a shower curtain wrapped under her armpits. And where do they find these things, anyway? I could wrap a bath towel around my torso and stroll down the street for less expense. But you'd have to get me drunk first. Or, uh, drunk for the first time, I guess.

But then again I'm one to talk. I hate shopping for clothes, so when that time of year comes around and I need new panties or I have one two many holes in my shirt I have been known to slip into "Lame" Byrant and get just enough to cover me big bum. Although you can tell how long it's been since I've step foot in an LB because I have just discovered that since my last visit (last year?) they have started color coding their clothing, which I also discovered irks me to no end. I go in to buy some pants and all the sales clerks are like "Oh, you're definitely a RED. Go try on RED". So I try one one size RED (again, this is their fit color, not the color of the fabric itself) and it's too tight. I tell them and the say "Well go up on size more in RED" so I do and it's too big. But since they kept saying that I am a RED I left with the larger size because, what the frak do I know about what flippin' color my body is? So I'm wearing silly-ass suspenders under my clothing just to hold up my silly-ass RED pants that are too big for me and hoping that I can lose enough weight to go down to the next silly-ass RED size since, well, apparently I am a freaking RED, whatever the fuck that means. See why I only do this once a year?

So, uh... where was I going with all this? Oh yeah, tomatoes and mustard. It's what's for dinner. Yep, look out tummy, I'm takin' the acid plunge!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

1985 Summer School Computer Class Flashback

God help me, I laughed like a drain at this.
EDIT: A friend told me that if you type "If you're happy and you know it, syntax error!" into MS DOS now it gives you a completely different message. I just tried it, and he's right. And what's more, the message is even funnier!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

What A Long Strange Strip It's Been

Over the years, every time I manage to read one of Keith Knight's syndicated cartoons, I always think to myself, "Myself, why aren't you doing something this wonderful with your talents?" Until I remember, of course, the reason being is that Keith Knight is already doing it for me. And I can rest assured that it will be done right in his steady hands. I recently, and quite giddily, bought The Complete K Chronicles at Trilogy last week, not even realizing that it had been released, since I used to buy "Keef's" books individually over the last fifteen years that they have been released. This collection compiles the first four books of his single-page, slice 'o life illustrations of our protagonist, an African American living in eccentric San Francisco telling "true-life" tales of wacky roommates, family oddities, musical musings, politics, race, sex, romance, all done with Knight's signature big-nosed, googly-eyed self portrait looking on and interacting. With the kind of self-depreciating sense of humor that makes me fall recklessly in love with many a cartoon character, if they don't watch themselves (oh, I have already said too much).

A self-described gumbo (according to one of Knight's strips) of influences including "Charles Schulz, Garry Trudeau, Jules Feiffer, MAD Magazine, Parliament-Funkadelic, Warner Bros. cartoons, Berkeley Breathed, Bill Watterson, Garry Larson, The Young Ones, Richard Pryor, Bill Hicks, Paul Mooney, R. Crumb, Mary Fleener, Harvey Pekar, Matt Groening, Pete Bagge, Jaime Crespo, Nina Paley, Eve Gilbert, Eric Drooker, and hip-hop music", I think Keef covers all the essential basics, leaving me with very little to follow up with, especially when I become overwhelmed with the clever ease in which he makes it all seem, with his simple writing and free art, something I'd no doubt complicate if I were at the helm. Check out his website, with a regularly updated blog, comic strips, and some information about his hip-hop group the Marginal Prophets. God love you, Keef. And don't ever stop what you're doing. Or else (shudder) I might have to take over after you (cracking knuckles).

Something else I've read recently. Jessica Abel's La Perdida is the story of a North American woman named Carla who comes to find herself as well as lose herself in Mexico, trying to absorb the culture as well as assimilate with the denizens in order to connect with something that she felt she may have been lacking in her life back home in Chicago. Crashing temporarily with her increasingly put-upon ex-lover, she mingles with the rest of the "gringo" expatriates who associate together within their neighborhood in Mexico City before she struggles to fit in with the actual Mexicans, getting a place of her own and a job, despite hardly knowing the language and what bit of Mexican culture she knows comes from her obsession with Frida Kahlo (even she looks pretentiously out of place with her long Frida dresses and plaited Frida hair amongst the Mexicans in their casual jeans and T-shirts).

Carla soon runs with her own crowd, including Memo (above), a contentious communist who fails to see the irony of making a living selling Che Guevara T-shirts to tourists on the street, and Oscar, a aspiring famous DJ who doesn't even own a turntable. The art is a bit scratchy for my tastes, but still distinct enough to follow, and the language gradually shifts from English to Spanish in a wonderfully fluid manner that allows us to assimilate into Carla's new life right along with her (there is a Spanish-to-English glossary in the back) in a way where we learn as she learns. Most interestingly of all, Carla is not by any means portrayed as a hero, or a Mary Sue, or some perfect protagonist for the reader to identify. Carla can be annoying, whiny, pretentious, and hard-headed at times, which makes her one of the most realistic characters I have probably ever seen in a comic, even from my most favorite of artists/writers. A good read, and terrific for keeping you guessing how the rather terrifying dénouement might end.
So it's been a good past month for funnypapers. And since I got my stimulus check today I helped boost the ever-struggling artist once again by taking a dive at the first installment of Jessica Farm.

And no, I haven't read it yet. In case you've missed the story (according to the write-up on "This book is the first volume of a life-spanning comics project in which (Josh Simmons) drew one page every month for the past seven years, starting in January 2000—and will continue this project for 50 years in total, making up the story as he goes and releasing 96-page increments every 8 years until he amasses a 600-page body of work." So I'm thinking, do I really want to get involved with a story that will finally sort itself out by the year 2050? Should I be reading one page a month, until the next book comes out? Can someone say "gimmick"? And again, why am I not doing something like this myself?
This is why I've been brainstorming, people. I'm hoping... we'll here's to hoping on hoping, anyway. I have some ideas. We'll see where this all leads. If I don't completely collapse first.

Friday, July 11, 2008


Sun 13: 2-cl
Tue 15: 10-6
Wed 16: 9-5
Thur 17: 9-5
Sat 19: 3-cl

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Hooterville Hotline

I don't quite know what to make of this.

Anybody remember several months back when I mentioned that my foot had been vibrating like a cell phone going off continuously?

Well for the past two days, it's been my right breast.

Okay, so I know what you're thinking. Should I answer it?

Even scarier: Who could it be trying to get in touch with me?

"I told you never to call me here..."

Scariest of all: My breast probably actually could reach all the way up to my ear.

But what part do I speak into?

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Message For The Mess Age

First 20 tracks on my iTunes this evening while sitting here.... brainstorming (for a change! Yesss!)
1. "Who Does She Hope To Be?" - Sonny Sharrock
2. "Autonomy" - The Buzzcocks
3. "I Kissed A Girl" - Jill Sobule
4. "How To Kill A Radio Consultant" - Public Enemy
5. "From The Nursery" - Wire
6. "My Sweet Lord" - Edwin Starr
7. "Doom's Night" - Azziddo Da Base
8. "I Got Rhythm" - Fats Waller
9. "1 Step Closer" - Linkin Park
10. "Sucks To Be You" - Prozzak
11. "Fourteen" - Tiny Tim w/Brave Combo
12. "I've Been Waiting For You" - ABBA
13. "The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts" - The Minutemen
14. "Get Misunderstood" - Troublemakers
15. "La-La-La" - Jay-Z
16. "Thousands Are Sailing" - The Pogues
17. "Sari Sari Raat" - Lata Mangeshkar
18. "Rockaway Beach" - The Ramones
19. "Sleepwalker" - The Kinks
20. "Viva Del Santo!" - Southern Culture On The Skids

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Willful Damage

First 4th of July off in years, and I was actually invited to three parties for a change. What does a terminal wallflower do in such situations? Turns out I only managed to squeak in two parties, and one of which was my parents' cook-out in Chesapeake, which... does it count when it's your own home? Even if you don't technically live there anymore (okay, so I've done laundry there a few times). But afterwards Joe and I headed out to P-Town where Randy had set up his brand-spankin' new projector hooked into his laptop out in the backyard, and Liz cooked burgers and dogs while we all lounged about in the grass as Randy proceeded to show us (as well as Sam and Tricia and about ten other people) what he had set up and pre-edited beforehand. Which included this great, cartoonishly gory German industrial safety video followed by a series of Russ Meyer trailers (Faster Pussycat, Kill! Kill!, Blacksnake, Vixen, Wild Gals Of The Naked West, Mudhoney, Supervixens, Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens) while the neighbors shot off fireworks from their own backyards, lighting up the sky above us. It was shortly after the trailers when the sky was soon lit by lightening and thunder, and we all managed to grab food and electronic equipment before the cloudbursting and hustle it all inside the house. After waiting about twenty minutes when the rains let up we rushed the gear back outside again, laying everything on top of dry towels, and proceeded to watch about the first fifteen minutes of Perdita Durango (a.k.a Dance With The Devil) when suddenly the downpour hit again and that pretty much ended the rest of the film festival for the evening. But it was nice to hang with Randy and Lizzie and them for a spell, however wet and rainy and mosquito-bitey it all was. I still smell like one of the Off! insect-repellent wipes that Liz gave me last night, no matter how hard I scrubbed when I got home. Not to mention my ass still feels wet from the rain-soaked chairs. And you know it was a good party when you come home with a wet ass, I always say.

But overall I ate a lot and laughed a lot and petting Randy's dog Roky (yes, named after Erickson) a lot, and Randy let me borrow his rare Region 2 box set to the British comedy series The Comic Strip that ran briefly on MTV back in the 80's along with The Young Ones and had much of The Young Ones cast in it. I've only had several early Comic Strip episodes on tape from recording them on the air way back when and I think those old tapes are dust now, so there are no words to describe how stoked I am to see this again, needless to say. Too bad I'm still too worn out to watch any of it at the moment. How I wish during times like these I could call S. again and invite her over to watch them with me, like the old days. She developed such a crush on Adrian Edmonson after seeing him in the "Summer School" episode that we joked about it all through to the end, with her busting me up repeating "Day-um, is it wrong of me to wanna bang Vyvyan in this episode?" And gadzooks.... so do I now!

Hope you all had a nice holiday weekend. Now I must go stanch the blood flowing from my forehead for some reason.

Thursday, July 03, 2008


Sat 5: 9-5
Mon 7: 3-cl
Tue 8: 10-6
Wed 9: 3-cl
Thur 10: 10-6
Fri 11: 3-cl

Circle Of Fifths

Getting boxes and boxes of used CDs from other stores to prepare our used room, while frustratingly time-consuming, has its share of perks. Like taking a box-cutter to a fresh package of used product, the instrument quivering in your hand with the infinite potential of what could lay inside. Most times, it's merely enough Jaime Foxx albums to top off a land fill in the Arizona desert. Then in other times, you get three out-of-print sparkling little jewel cases of this...

New Model Army's Radio Sessions 83-84. Tracks 1-4 of this anthemic Yorkshire post-punk trio were first broadcast on the David Jensen Show on July 17, 1983, with tracks 5-8 on the John Peel Show December 14, 1983. Track 9 is an unreleased demo and tracks 10-12 were first broadcast on the Janice Long Show December 30, 1984. Hard to resist the lure. Hard to steer from that distinctive sound that takes me back to college in the 80's. Hard to keep moving one step forward when my current mindset keep tugging me twenty years back.
Notice Me by New Model Army
(m4a file, available for 7 days)

Although some 80's can be too much, er, 80's. As much as I have loved what I have heard of the earlier work from Portland punkers The Wipers, their 1996 album The Herd has the kind of mid-tempo samey-ness that reminds me of one of those 80's bands in the 90's still unable to evolve their sound beyond well-treaded territory by everyone else from that era. Not that it's not good, but the fact that it was hard to pick a track to sample for this blog entry might give some indication of the lukewarm niceness that flows through every song, making each one sound as if they are bleeding into another. I chose the last track, "Insane", for it being the most uptempo and most likely to snap me awake after a run-through from the album at least twice in a row. Kind of a reminder that the album is over, perhaps.
Insane by The Wipers
(m4a file, available for 7 days)

And most deliciously, the long sought-after Holy Ghost box set from the short-lived career of free jazz king Albert Ayler (even more deliciously, with my discount and trade-in value, bought for little more than $12!). Ayler's work, though rarely discussed, was still heavily influential in the free jazz scene, inspiring many, most notably my beloved German saxophonist/clarinetist Peter Brötzmann. This set features rare and unreleased tracks from 1962 through 1970,
which includes a grainy sepia-toned childhood photo of Ayler with saxophone, a photostat of a handwritten note from a Copenhagen hotel, a Slugs flyer reprint including Ayler's quintet listing, a 1965 pamphlet (reprint) by the late poet Paul Haines entitled "Ayler-Peacock-Murray-You and the Night and the Music" as well as a reprinted newsletter from 1969 by Jihad Productions with excerpts about Ayler, a bonus CD of two army band rehearsals from 1960 (in a mini-sleeve that recreates the original reel box), and strangely enough a dried yellowish-white flower in a little plastic baggy.

Best of all, a 208-page book that serves as a guild and yearbook to Ayler's life and career, with lovely little photos and such. Man, you really can't beat a box set like this. And the music? Well, the first two or three disks or so left me a little eh, and the last disk of studio chatter would be gold for anyone that interested in the minutiae of such things. But the free jazz work is phenomenal. It can't be stressed enough. I wish I could put a longer track on yousendit with the whole bloody thing crashing so here is a shorter clip "D.C." which builds into a whirlwind of emotion, then dips and dives into waves that almost wash completely over you. Best music purchase I've made in awhile, and with nine disks to explore, I think I'm gonna sit and stay awhile.
D.C. by Albert Ayler Quintet
(m4a file, available for 7 days)

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

If You Can't Have Fun, You Ain't No Fun

Matt Odietus, 40, passed away June 28, 2008 in Virginia Beach, VA. The cause of death is not yet determined.
Matt was crazy and contentious at times, whip-smart and amazingly congenial at others. All of that combined with his axe-welding whirlwind licks helped make The Candy Snatchers part of the local legend that they already were since the beginning. Matt might get naked on stage and slice his forehead until he could barely see from all the blood, and most folks might remember him just for that. I will remember him more for the conversations we'd have hanging out at Electric Smiles, since we always had a way of showing up at the same time. I remember the night back in 1993 when Joe and I were stranded after a Buzzcocks gig at the Floodzone in Richmond and it had snowed like crazy during the show, but Matt happened to be there with his van-ful of friends and offered us a ride back to our hotel. I was sitting up front in the passenger seat with Matt when he leaped out of the van with a cassette case -- something most of us music geeks know used to make a pretty handy ice scraper for car windshields -- and Matt was scraping and scraping and finally in a punk rock fit 'o rage threw the cassette case at the windshield, inches from my face, plastic shattering like an echo in the snowy dark alley behind the Floodzone, before climbing back behind the wheel and cheerfully driving us all away into the night.
Matt's trademark troublemaking unpredictability coupled with his generally good-natured personality is what I'll remember about him the most.
R.I.P. Matt. May there be no ice on the windshields in heaven.