Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Miss Teen Wordpower

A couple of weeks ago I was browsing a local thrift store, buying up cheap paperbacks like Melville's Billy Budd and old childhood favorites like E.B. White's Trumpet Of The Swan and Judy Blume's Otherwise Known As Sheila The Great, and just now I was about to relax with Sheila The Great and relive a favorite story of mine from since about 1979, when I was right around the same age as the protagonist herself.

As I was going over all of Sheila's familiar inner monologue, I got to Page 6 and read this:

"I went into the living room then. My mother was reading a book. The CD player was on and my sister Libby was twirling around in her pink tow slippers."

The CD player? I flipped to the front of the book and I only saw one copyright for 1972. I'm not quite sure how all that works, but I'm assuming that this is not really a first edition paperback, am I correct? And if they went through to make changes like, oh say, magically transforming a record player into a CD player, wouldn't there be another printer's date? Or at least a notation about such alterations at the beginning of the book?

And not that I've re-bought much of my old favorite books from childhood, but has this been a trend that I wasn't aware of? Tweaking words hither and yon to make old classics seem oddly anachronistic in order for kids today to relate? Let me guess, the further I read, they'll have Sheila typing out her newspaper on a Macbook while still printing them out on a mimeograph.

Does this mean that all references to Louis Armstrong in The Trumpet Of The Swan will be switched to... um.... (scratches head) Louis Farrakhan? I got nuthin'.

They Poop Green, I Hear

First 20 tracks on my iTunes going through photos that I took at Mt. Trashmore early in the morning last week watching the groundskeeper repeatedly chase the hungry geese off of the freshly seeded grass.

1. "Breakfast In Vegas" - PragaKhan
2. "Smooth Operator" - Big Daddy Kane
3. "Mrs. Murphy's Ovaltine" - Slim G
4. "Hayman" - Young Marble Giants
5. "Walking On Sunshine" - Katrina & The Waves
6. "Wax Simulacra" - The Mars Volta
7. "Venice Beach" - Anne Dudley
8. "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" - Santa Esmeralda
9. "When The House Guest Is Frank Lloyd Wright" - The Hollowbodies
10. "Jizzlobber" - Faith No More

11. "The Influence" - Jurassic 5
12. "Africans In Space" - E.S.A.
13. "Move Over Little Dog" - Lonnie Brooks
14. "Jo Jo Gunne" - Dave Edmunds
15. "Mr. Know It All" - Primus
16. "Night Scented Stock" - Kate Bush
17. "El Salvador" - In-Sane
18. "Hot Pink" - Meat Puppets
19. "You Broke My Heart In 17 Places" - Tracey Ullman
20. "Mexico En Una Laguna" - Lidya Mendoza Y Familia

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Last Days of Pompeii

I was sorting through all this used landfill fodder, primarily artists who were hits in the 1990's, and just thinking how funny it is going to be when all of this becomes "hot" again in about five to ten years from now.

It seems that every generation becomes nostalgic for the one that happened twenty years before. There was a 50's revival in the 1970's, with movies like American Graffiti and TV shows like Happy Days. In the 1980's it was all about the 60's, with movies like The Big Chill and dozens of Vietnam flicks, TV shows like The Wonder Years, and a full-on Beatles resurgence. In the 1990's we were bombarded with disco, bell bottoms, Boogie Nights, and That 70's Show. And now in the "aughties", who here hasn't been inundated with all things 80's? And while the 80's has been proclaimed this decade's "best decade ever", everything pertaining to the 90's has been flooding back into my store by people with popped collars and checkerboard Vans who never want to hear "Smells Like Teen Spirit" ever again.

So when are we expecting to see all these these same adults pouring back into the store wearing Timberlands and flannel and demanding their Natalie Imbruglia and Coolio CDs back because they want to "revisit the best years of their lives" back when they were kids and "Kate Pierson was a member of R.E.M.". Well let me tell you right now, I doubt this store will still be standing when that time comes.

More on that later.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Transmitting In The Blind Guard

A new comic book store in Ghent, right next to Cogan's. Damn, makes me wish I lived on that street again. My apartment was a 5-minute walk from Cogan's, back in the 90's, and back when Cogan's was a bar before it became a pizza place. Damn, I miss Ghent.

Comic book stores have never faired well in Ghent for some reason. Something tells me I should give them my support. ;)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Unlucky Creature

It never fails to amuse me how customers at my store are shocked... SHOCKED! I say... to discover that we are sold out of everything pertaining to Michael Jackson. I hear that Thursday night was a nuthouse, with customers screaming at the staff, fighting with each other over the last CDs, and then the one guy who just stood there and cried. Everybody today is still talking about the crying guy.

But then again maybe most people in general don't really stop to think that they aren't the only ones who had the bright idea to race down to the local music store to buy up Michael Jackson CDs the moment that they heard that he was dead. People did this with Ray Charles, though not to this extent. Heck, people are still trickling in looking for Wayman Tisdale albums. But I have never seen the sheer volume of customers pouring in looking for one artist's CD since Mary J. Blige's The Breakthrough four years ago. Luckily our store has one thing that all the other music stores in town don't: A burning station. Yesterday we broke our own record downloading and burning sales since Christmas, every last piece of it MJ material. And in fact today we just went ahead and burned everything we could ahead of time and handed them out to customers as they approached the information table with that obvious question in their eyes. And they were buying it. Burned copies of CDs. They couldn't even wait for the new shipment of Michael CDs to come in on Monday. It was now, with whatever we had, or nothing at all.

So many crazy, wild-eyed, money-spending Michael Jackson fans, all in one place. Who'd have thunk. Although my friend at work Tracy pointed out, "They're not real fans if they didn't have all this stuff in their collection already!" Speaking of which, right before I left today, I walked out to Tracy's car and she let me root through a box of vinyl in her trunk. Old records that belonged to her dad that she was going to try and sell down at American Oldies, but let me have first pick. I took home Buddy Miles' A Message To The People and We Got To Live Together, and Come Together by Ike & Tina Turner. I felt like I had the bigger score than anyone else who came into the store today.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Margin For Error

The Friday Five:

1. If you can only hear one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?
If the rest of my life lasted until the end of this week, I think I'd choose The Kinks' "Village Green Preservation Society".

2. What one song would you like to be played on your funeral?
"Ha Ha Ha" by Flipper

3. What one song that is best to describe your feeling right now?
"Hungry, So Angry" by Medium Medium

4. What one song would you like to hear when you're sad and depressed?
"The Motor Booty Affair" by Parliament

5. What one song that you wished you have written?
"O, Canada"


Sky "Sunlight" Saxon hasn't been getting enough love in light of the ostentatious Michael Jackson demise, or the more sombre Farrah passing. Must rectify that immediately.

RIP Mr. Saxon. Wish I could have seen you while I was in Austin earlier this year.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Sat 27: 9-4
Sun 28: 10-5
Mon 29: 4-cl
Wed 1: 10-5
Fri 3: 4-cl

Pushing Too Hard

Now Sky Saxon from The Seeds? STOP DYING, everyone, NOW!!!

Ray Charles Didn't Even Sell Out This Fast

Mother of God. I just ran down to my store, and we are completely wiped out of all things Michael Jackson. People are still pouring in, asking for his stuff. And we called down at Best Buy... they're out, too. Mamma mia.


Mother of God. What does one say about Michael Jackson that a million other people on the internet will say with more considerable eloquence than I can?
Michael Jackson runs through my veins. Even when his music, particularly during the latter years, no longer touched me, he was always there. From my childhood watching the Jackson 5 cartoon on Saturday mornings. Cranked the soundtrack to The Wiz just for hear Michael's sublime voice. My gym teacher in junior high school used to play Off The Wall on a little toy record player while we did our jumping jacks, something I Pavolvianly still get the urge to do every time I hear "Don't Stop Til You Get Enough". I recorded the night he performed "Billie Jean" on the Motown 25th anniversary special, screaming almost as deliriously as the audience, and I had that very same VHS tape up until a mere 12 years ago when it broke in the VCR showing it to some friends. Thriller sat on every person I know's turntable, although I also had the singles to "Beat It" and "Billie Jean". I can still remember the day when the "Thriller" video debuted on MTV, how all my friends in my next door neighbor's living room (coincidentally the same house with the teenage boy who had that Farrah Fawcett poster in his room) screamed and cheered with hysteria watching Michael's face morph into a werewolf for the very first time.
I didn't really like the Bad album when it came out, already feeling like the Michael who is compelled to take on a tougher image after the speculations about his sexuality where rampant in the news. His once soulful voice twisted into macho growls and shrill shrieks, in way that forgo the natural vocal talent that he already had. In fact, I haven't heard a Michael Jackson song I liked post-Thriller since the lovely "Butterflies" off the Invincible album. Just because he sang on the record -- just sang -- probably for the first time in what felt like another lifetime.
Michael got strange. But then who potentially couldn't, having the life he had since childhood. A life without a childhood, crippled with insecurities, with the kind of wealth and fame that cannot be measured by previous standards. Surrounded by his select posse of yes-men who were probably paid not to tell him that he was going off the deep-end. And the issues with the children who stayed at Neverland Ranch? I don't know if I am in any position to really judge. I mean, I hope it was all innocent. But if we're able to accept Michael and all his face-morphing llama-riding, baby-dangling eccentricities, all childlike and innocent in their nature, could it be possible that he'd be capable of innocence in other aspects of his private life as well? I admit that's naive, but then again, in many ways, so was Michael.
In a way, Michael appeared to transcend mortality. Yet as the same time I never could picture Michael growing old and passing away of old age. Yet how does one pass away when you have achieved such a level of fame where, like Charlie Gordon in Flowers For Algernon, you can no longer relate to your fellow human beings, and ascend to a level of godlike stardom where humanity has no charted maps for what lies beyond. After all, it seems, Michael was human, just like the rest of us. No fanfare, no drama. No deathbed vigils or candlelight marches. He was here, and then he was gone. It's so... human. It's so staggering.
Michael Jackson was an integral part of the soundtrack to my life. I may reflect a lot more on his career throughout the week, as well as his music. Meanwhile, I'm going down to my store, which is playing his music all day long, and then listen to Off The Wall for the rest of the night.

Look Who's Got A Farrah-Do!

When I was a kid, the teenage boy that lived next door to me had this poster in his bedroom, right as you were walking up the stairs to your left. I suppose at the time I never quite understood what the mass appeal of this poster meant for millions of men out there, though I knew it had some significance. Blond hair, icy blue eyes like a Siberian husky, and a rictus grin that actually kind of unnerved me. Took me half a lifetime to realize that you can see her nipples through her bathing suit, undetected in the dim light and long shadows along that staircase all those years ago.

But her impact on pop culture at the time couldn't be denied. I watched Charlie's Angels, and I even went as Jill Munroe for Halloween back in first grade. But the jiggle-fest aspect was lost on me, being too young to understand. All I saw was a whole lotta ass-whuppin'... or at least what I perceived as ass-whuppin' at that tender age. I even had the set of dolls, which I used to take with me to the beach and build sand castle dream houses for them. Jeez, I wonder how much they'd go for these days. I wonder if I actually lost them at sea.

But could Farrah do more than just fill out a bathing suit? She was also fabulously nuanced in The Apostle, one of my favorite films of all time. With all the drama and weirdness that took place in her life behind the scenes, it was nice to be reminded that she was always capable of more than just titillation.

RIP Ms. Fawcett

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Totally Awesome Music Video Of The Week #7

Don't know yet if I have this Sunday off from work. Brunch this week is sounding more and more like dinner with the gang instead. There is a one-year memorial party for Matt Odietus at the Colley Cantina that night, but you have to RSVP ahead of time.

In case you can't recall (and I don't blame you if you couldn't) Matthew Odietus was the guitarist for local punk stalwarts The Candysnatchers, who passed away a year ago this Sunday. Anyway, if I don't make it to the cantina, here's a video tribute to Matt, Larry and the rest of the guys. Ah, memories and all that.

Anti-Misogyny Maneuver

New Audio Junk! Fresh offa Tuesday nite! This week's show features songs from the Jim Carroll Band, Basehead, Funkadelic, Papa's Culture, Slum Village, The Jam, and more. Audio Junk is on every Week @ 8:45 pm EST on randomradioonline.net & 7 pm EST on CTIRADIO.COM.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Trembler

I finally caved and started a Facebook page today. I feel so flippin' Amish right now.

My arms have not stopped trembling since I took the hedge trimmers to the weeds in the backyard this afternoon. I spend so much time working out my lower body I tend to forget that half of my existence resides above the waist.

In other news, something tells me that this is going to be my parents' dilemma when I finally pass on.

A New Career In New Town

First 20 tracks on my iTunes going through pictures of my old "Dexter Diatribe" comic that I wrote and drew for Bowling Doughnuts zine back in the 1990's.
1. "Know Your Rights" - The Clash
2. "Back Of A Car" - Big Star
3. "Lady" - Modjo
4. "Plastic Dreams" - Jay Dee
5. "Don't Sweat The Technique" - Eric B & Rakim
6. "Free" - Vast
7. "High" - Prince
8. "Don't Dance Her Down" - The Fiery Furnaces
9. "Space Station #5" - Montrose
10. "Gypsy Love Songs" - Richard Thompson
11. "Hello Baby" - Barbara Mason
12. "Downtown" - The Cold
13. "Heaven" - Talking Heads
14. "Personals" - Jon Hassell and Blue Screen
15. "So He Won't Break" - The Black Keys
16. "Zaius" - Eddie Russ
17. "Jenny Take A Ride" - Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels
18. "On And On" - Pete Rock & CL Smooth
19. "Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean" - Ruth Brown
20. "Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens" - Louis Jordan

Monday, June 22, 2009

Margin Call

My hairpiece did a three-sixty this weekend when I bought back a used copy of Steps In Time, the 1984 album by Coventry quartet King, into the store and saw how much we were selling it for. Not that I doubted that it was out of print so much as that I didn't even remember it being in print on CD at any time, since I have had it on vinyl dating back to college or sometime around those parts. "THAT'S NOT EVEN THE ORIGINAL FIRST PRINTING!!" Lee roared incredulously when he dropped by the store and I show it to him. And he should know, well-versed in all things 80's and British that he is. "This was one of those RE-ISSUES that came out around 1993 or 94 or so and I bought it way back then -- that's INSAAAANE!!" Well maybe that's a bit overstated, but I get what he's saying; makes one wonder how much an original CD version would be going for on eBay or some real music store that knew exactly what they had, and even more, what they were doing. All I remember was that King had a a song called "Love And Pride" which actually charted to #2 in the U.S. That, and the video that used to get strip-run on MTV hour after hour to the point where once I saw lead singer Paul King and his "Code 7" level mullet appear on the screen I had to change the station. It became a kind of game! Here... wanna try?

Something else that came in the same buy-back batch, and surprised me even more, was the CD version of Bloodrock's Bloodrock 2, which I have also never seen on CD and was even more aghast that it wasn't worth more than twelve bones. Maybe because it was, y'know, Bloodrock and they were never really, y'know, good. Well, not they they weren't any good, but, well... the only reason I even knew about this band was because their single "D.O.A." (#36 on the U.S. charts in 1971) was featured in Guterman & O'Donnell's hilarious Worst Rock-And-Roll Records Of All Time and if anybody knows me they know that I love and cherish wonderfully original bad music as much as I love good, if not more, so I finally managed to download an MP3 of the track and was so amazed and delighted by its utterly sincere campy awfulness that I just can't restrain myself from letting you enjoy the moment of first-contact the way I had over tens years ago -- except this time with LYRICS! Because it's just one of those things ya just gotta read along.

Laying here looking at the ceiling
Someone lays a sheet across my chest
Something warm is flowing down my fingers
Pain is flowing all through my back

I try to move my arms and there's no feeling
And when I look I see there's nothing there
The face beside me stopped it totally bleeding
The girl I knew has such a distant stare

I remember
We were flying along and hit something in the air
I remember
We were flying along and hit something in the air

Then I looked straight at the attendant
His face is pale as it can be
He bends and whispers something softly
He says there's no chance for me

I remember
We were flying along and hit something in the air
I remember
We were flying along and hit something in the air

Life is flowing out my body
Pain is flowing out with my blood
The sheets are red and moist where I'm lying
God in Heaven, teach me how to die

I remember
We were flying along and hit something in the air
I remember
We were flying along and hit something in the air

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Cats 'N Gardens

R&B Bastard!

A 2007 commercial for a Blowfly concert on Belgrade.

Happy Father's Day, daddy-o's! Gonna go visit my paw-paw tonight, get us some Chesapeake Pizza for dinner (ooooo my diet has hit the skids hard), and must remember to text message Papa Holmes sometime today. Dad's rule, OKAY?

Wrong On So Many Levels

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Joys Of...

I finally found the very first moment that I was ever exposed to THE GREAT DARYL NATHAN!

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Public Excess
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorJason Jones in Iran

All is right in my world.

The Games Have Been Changed

I used to work as a dishwasher in my college cafeteria during the summer season, when the campus would host events. Diners would set their dirty trays on top of a conveyor belt, which rolled them back into the dishwashing room, where I would collected the plates before the got to the end of the belt, where if not retrieved, would fall and smash to the floor. The cafeteria manager's grandsons worked there too, but they never lifted a finger, not really seeing a need to since their grandmother never got on their case to do anything around there. During hectic, crazy, busy lunch hours, I was slammed with work, grabbing hundreds of plates off the conveyor belt at a time to keep them from hitting the floor like an I Love Lucy skit. 'Til finally, one day I'd had it. I started grabbing one plate at a time, washing it casually, while the clusters of trays paraded past me, and the sound of plates crashing to the linoleum floor echoed across the back of the building. Minutes later, the manager frantically sent her grandsons into the dishwashing room to start grabbing plates and trays, and worked their asses off.

After looking at my lack of hours on next week's work schedule, and discussing it with one of my more trusted allied managers, it is becoming clear that I am being phased out. Not for not being a great employee and hard worker, but for not getting as many metrics as some of the others (i.e., magazine subscriptions, membership cards, etc).

And the thing is, I thought I had been. But the ones that I had been getting weren't being counted, due to a miscommunication. From their perspective, I haven't gotten any in months. Therefore, I haven't any value to the company. They would rather take a chance on a new kid coming straight off the street who might get those metrics up, to wasting any more time on someone like me, who has proven that she can't.

I sat in the handicapped stall in the ladies room and cried my mascara off for about a half an hour, then sat on the sink with a folded up piece of paper towel to fan my face, trying to get the red eyes to dry, for another 20 minutes or so. Oddly, I was hardly missed. I usually get paged out the wahoo any time I duck into the toilet for a quick pee.

And then I went back to work. Despite the new kids loafing around the store, or the managers chatting for over an hour about nothing in particular. And I worked hard. Because that's what I do. Disgruntlement won't chance my work ethics.

That doesn't mean, however, that from here on out I might let a few dishes fall.

Friday, June 19, 2009

I Love The Sound Of Breaking Glass

The Friday Five:

1. If you could go back in time to change one choice in your life, what would it be?
Maybe finish my college education. And then go back in time about twenty more times, to try out all the careers that I wanted to do but could never decide. Eternal flake!

2. What would you like your dying words to be?
Nothing I could say could beat the greatest last words of all time.

3. If you HAD to change bodies with someone you knew for 1 year, who would it be?
Probably Joe. I just don't know how that man stays so healthy.

4. Choose your favorite license plate combination. What does it read?

5. What fantasy world would you live in (i.e., movie, tv show, book)?
Fraggle Rock


Sat 20: 4-cl
Mon 22: 5-cl
Wed 24: 10-5
Sat 27: 9-4

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Totally Awesome Music Video Of The Week #6

Oh Jack Jack Jack. You're the only reason to watch Weeds. The. Only.

Not really so much an awesome video, but one of the few live performaces of Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears on youtube that doesn't sound like they were recorded out of somebody's armpit.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Who Are The Mystery Girls?

Hunter at her apartment in Ghent with her friend Lynn (left).

I hauled ass to Hunter's house immediately after work, wired on too much coffee and shaking like a chihuahua, soon reeking of a putrid combination of Narciso Rodríguez perfume, spilled Cafe Americano, and the two bowl hits I took (only the second time in my life and it was almost ten years ago) trying to mellow out on the couch while Hunter had the movie Wild Guitar on continuous loop in the DVD player. With me behind the wheel we passed the Norva, looking for a place to park along the road in order to bypass any parking garage fees, and saw a valet parking sign pointing around the corner. Turning the corner, all we saw was what appeared to be a strange little man in a floppy hat and pink shirt with clear plastic gun holsters on his hip, standing alone rocking on his heels, and I laugh and say jokingly "Well there's our valet right now! Should I pull up next to him and offer him my keys?" And as we cruise by slowly Hunter says, "Yes, let's just pull up a little closer and BLAARRGGHHH AHHHH OH MY GOD IT'S SYLVAIN SYLVAIN AHH BACKUPBACKUPBACKUP AHHHHH!" But hell my friends, I was on a one way street, with cars parked along both sides, and I was too stoned to dare attempt it. But I looped around the block again but alas, he was gone, like a sweet, pink pixie into the ether (actually I think one of the roadies dragged him in). Dude. What if Sylvain Sylvain agreed to park my Taurus? Would I never wash my front seat again? Oh hell, not like I've ever washed it before.

But wow. The turnout for the show? Crikey. We're talking maybe 200 people, if not slightly more if I were in a generous mood. Or at least that's what Alvin was speculating when I asked him to guess. Oh yes, Al was there. And so was most of the old local music scene. Rachel, of course, whom I first told about the show. Rose. Diane. Nathan. Anthony from Antic Hay. Dave from brunch. Barry from Birdland. Steve from Skinnies. A few others. Hugs, kisses, how've-you-beens all around. But really, that was kind of it. At least we got there early enough just to catch most of the opening act.

Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears

Apparently most everyone at the show had already heard Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears on local DJ Paul Shugrue's show "Out Of The Box" on NPR, or at least Rachel had because she kept telling me how much airplay he'd been giving them before the show. So I suppose Hunter and I were the only ones not really familiar with the material, but dang... Lewis sure puts on a funky good show. Blues and funk with a small horn section. Damn fine stuff. Bought his Tell 'Em What Your Name Is! CD at the t-shirt stand, which I still haven't heard yet so I don't know how well he translates over from live to studio. Maybe I'll still have some time in the afternoon tomorrow, after listening to the recent purchase of Anvil's Metal On Metal album (yes, seeing the movie made us want to run out and buy some of their music -- I am a monster dweeb).

The New York Dolls (Sylvain Sylvain far left)

I kinda wished a had brought my actual camera, because I was up pretty close for a spell and for once photography was allowed legally into the show (not when I saw Elvis Costello it wasn't). But since I have a friend who is starting her own website called "Shitty Cell Phone Photos Of Bands" I thought I may as well whip out my cruddy Motorola and start snapping away. And honestly, you can't do much more poorly than these, which could be any band for all you can tell. They did from what I understand most of their new material off their current album, but threw in a few covers, including their version of The Cadets' "Stranded In The Jungle" (I thought Rachel was going to tackle me and then pee down her leg with excitement when they went into that one) and of course their classics "Pills" (Hunter's favorite song), "Looking For A Kiss", and "Personality Crisis", breezing through each performance with the kind of effortless stride that comes from being relatively tight and having done this for almost 40 years

David needs lyrics sheets?

And you know, I think that was precisely the problem with the entire performance. I was reminded of what Joe told me about the time he saw the Sex Pistols during their "Filthy Lucre" tour in 1996. How really quite good they were. Very tight, really on the mark, and what well-rehearsed entertainers they all were. Which of course was nothing like the Sex Pistols back in 1976, when they were a bunch of snotty kids who hated each other that couldn't play and spat on the audience. He didn't feel as if he had gone and had the Sex Pistols "experience", but instead went and saw a good clean concert performed with note-by-note perfection with a room full of outdated mohawks and safety pinned t-shirts either trying to capture the nostalgia or try to imagine that they were there when it all happened. Filthy lucre, indeed! Alvin was saying something to that effect to me during the Dolls show, how he sneered in my ear "Yeah, this ALL couldn't be about the MONEY now, could it?" But I can't exactly say that I hated their show the way Al did. The band did just fine. But like the Sex Pistols, it wasn't 1974 and I wasn't in platform shoes standing ankle-deep in someone's vomit at a crappy little club in New York's Bowery, watching a clusterfuck of cross-dressing heroin addicts on stage stumble through "Jet Boy" for the second time because they were too wasted to remember that they had already just performed it. In other words, the show was okay. I was neither moved, or repelled. And something tells me Al had a better time than I did just because he was so repelled. At least he came away from it all with a more passionate emotion than mine.

Afterwards there was the usual mumbling throughout the crowd of getting together for the traditional after-gig party down at the Colley Cantina, but Hunter and I decided to skip the noise and the crowds and head down to Granby Street to get our grub on at Havana, where the nachos are far superior and all the waitresses are unearthly hot with push-up bras and low-cut shirts. Some friends of Hunter's were already there, and they bought us nachos and I, still high as a kite, spent most of the time leaning hard against the bar nursing my Coca-Cola while the 13-year-old boy in me couldn't stop staring at the bartender's cleavage.

Then I went home. And this is precisely why I never partake. I was still so racked with the "munchies" I actually stopped off at McDonalds on the way home! Oh sweet, sublime Mickydee french fries. Let us never part again.

I Got What You Need

Heading off to bed again soon, but before I forget, don't YOU forget to download last night's Audio Junk, with tunes from Anvil, Prince, and Sly & the Family Stone, plus clips from Woodstock, Zach & Miri Make A Porno, and more. Audio Junk is live every Tuesday night at 8:45pm EST over at randomradioonline.net, and reruns again Thursday nights at 11pm EST at CTIRADIO.com.

Things to Do At Concerts When You're Bored

Text message conversations last night during the New York Dolls concert with Alvin sitting next to me at the same table, and Mike, who was one city away driving to his own gig:

AL-to-ME: This sucks.
ME-to-AL: Where is hot hot hot?
ME-to-MIKE: AL is sitting next to me having the time of his life.
AL-to-MIKE: No he is not he wants to die.
MIKE-to-AL&ME: I Wanna see both things happen!! With the death @ the end!!
ME-to-MIKE: Wish u were here! I'm sure al wishes u were instead of him!

*I actually wrote "These guys are OLD!!!" but then Al grabbed my phone from me, wrote the rest pretending to be me, and hit send before I could stop him.*

MIKE-to-ME: I'm On my way to Goodfellas in Hampton. Bridge is backed up. I will be there by 11 I left home @935!!
ME-to-MIKE: Who cares about u asshole.

*Al still holding my cell phone, typed that pretending to be me again, and sent it. At this point I am wrestling the phone away from him yelling over the Dolls playing "Trash".*

ME-to-MIKE: Aaah those last 2 were from al not me!
MIKE-to-ME: I know (flips Al off & shrugs shoulders)
ME-to-MIKE: Al left he couldn't take it anymore!
MIKE-to-ME: figures
ME-to-MIKE: He is a poopy head.
MIKE-to-ME: yup
ME-to-AL: Al where r u? U r missing teh suck

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Black Strap Molasses

First 20 tracks on my iTunes this morning discovering that I seem to be needing more and more of this stuff lately in order to stay awake.

1. "Journey To The End Of Night" - Elria Canral
2. "9 Milli Bros." - Ghostface Killah
3. "Yellow Sunshine" - Yellow Sunshine
4. "Kilo" - Ghostface Killah
5. "Love At First Sight" - Gist
6. "Caravan Of Love" - Isley, Jasper, Isley
7. "The Bride" - The Marble Index
8. "Look At The Fool" - Zoogz Rift
9. "Les Chiennes d'Appollon" - Les Teratoloques
10. "Don't Panic" - Coldplay
11. "Memories" - Public Image Ltd.
12. "Porcelain" - Populous With Short Stories
13. "Hello I Love You" - The Cure
14. "One, Two, Three, Kick" - Xavier Cugat & His Waldorf Astoria Orchestra
15. "Ain't No Need" - Skye
16. "Ultima Thule Part 2" - Tangerine Dream
17. "Jesus Made Me" - Swan Silvertones
18. "Who Got The Props" - Black Moon
19. "Ava (Nu Wage Mix)" - David Byrne
20. "George Davis Is Innocent (live)" - Sham 69

Monday, June 15, 2009

Dire Protest

Joe and I went to see The Brothers Bloom because it was directed by the same guy who did Brick, which Joe is a fan of -- but gollyalmighty, if we hadn't been trapped in by people in our aisle on both sides we probably would have bolted in the first fifteen minutes from the assault of derivative stylization and smug quirkiness up on the screen. A flick about two con artist brothers who go all dirty rotten scoundrels on an wealthy young eccentric woman to con her out of a million bucks, the whole picture felt like you'd seen it all before, but done with a mishmash of Wes Anderson/Harold And Maude-esque whimsy (all the way down to the Cat Stevens on the soundtrack) meets René Magritte with a little James Joycean allegory to boot. And if that couldn't sound more pretentious and annoying, then rest assured, it was. The rich young woman's character could have been phenomenally more interesting given her sad background, if they hadn't have painted her with such a heavy-handed cypher brush trying to keep her "interesting" and "quirky" to go along with the extra doses of quirky ladled everywhere else. I mean, I could see what the director was trying to do, and I can appreciate the aesthetic. But other than the stylish clothes and romantic European scenery it really isn't anything you hadn't already seen before, story-wise. In fact it seemed to telegraph its final denouement just from some of the dialogue early in the picture, which left me barely holding my head up from exhaustion waiting for the inevitable and merciful end to come. After that I needed a cup of coffee, because Mike and Al were meeting us outside to re-enter for the second feature, and I definitely wanted to be more awake for this one.

I think that I may have had vague memories of the Canadian metal band Anvil back in the early 80's, although I really wasn't listening to much metal during that time (unless it was the occasional Brit metal like Iron Maiden or Motorhead). Although watching Anvil! The Story of Anvil didn't bring back any memories from their hilariously Spinal Tap-ian repertoire and stage antics. In fact there were moments where you couldn't help but wonder if this wasn't some elaborate put-on with all the This Is Spinal Tap references, like the visit to Stonehenge, the "Hello Cleveland!", or that legendary metal producer Chris Tsangarides' amplifiers go to "11" (not to mention that Anvil drummer's name is Robb Reiner). But the reality of the picture is far funnier, and sadder, and much more fascinating for being the very thing that This Is Spinal Tap spoofs. Childhood best friends Robb Reiner and lead guitarist Steve "Lips" Kudlow are now in their fifties, married, fathers, and doing gruntwork during the day to support their middle class homes and lives. But their dream of hitting the big time never died, and their frustrations, desires, and their love for playing never once feel false. Neither do their fights, which Joe as a concert promoter for fifteen years has seen his fair share of. But as naive as these guys seem at times to the likelihood of fifty-year-olds hoping to make it big in a decade where their style of "hair metal" hasn't been in vogue for thirty years, you really can't help but root for them along the way. I highly recommend it, whether you're a metal fan or not. Even moreso if you are.

Oh yeah, the New York Dolls concert is tomorrow night. And I have a date! :D Let's see if I can still remember how to change clothes while driving down the interstate coming straight off from work.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Please Stand By

Sporadic internet connection problems. Hopefully things will be fixed very soon.

Sorry, my dears.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Totally Awesome Music Video of The Week #5

Okay, I'm going to hell for laughing at this. Seriously, I hope Bret Michaels isn't too badly hurt or anything, but I swear to God it looks as if he just merrily skips right into it. And then followed by the majestic camera fade-out into the next singer and scene... Christ on a bicyle, I have to keep wiping the tears from my eyes. Great googily-moogily, that's some funny shit.

Who Moved My Cheese?

I think I've found the perfect substitute for my addiction to parmesan cheese. This stuff is the shit. It's about the same amount of calories as parmesan, but none of the saturated fats, because it's made primarily of crushed walnuts and gives pastas a cheesy, nutty flavor that makes regular parmesan bland in comparison.

My elimination of all things dairy is pretty much complete.


Friday, June 12, 2009

Yes Yes What?

The Friday Five:

1. What was your favorite class/subject in school?
In high school, it was art. Although my senior year consisted of all classes that were favorite subjects of mine: Art, Ceramics, Creative Writing, American/British Lit, Psychology, Advanced Reading, American/British Government. First year in my life I actually got on the honor roll.

2. Who was your favorite teacher?
I had a lot of nice teachers during my senior year, but none that really stood out as a favorite. Ironically my art teacher for three years, Mr. Roberson, was one of the meanest teachers I've ever had. But in a way, it made him one of the best teachers that I ever had.

3. Why was your favorite teacher your favorite?
Going back to Mr. Roberson, he was a Vietnam vet who sort of ran his classes like a drill sarge. Even if somebody hiccuped in his class during his lecture he'd bark, "YOU WOULDN'T BE HICCUPING IF YOU WERE COWERING IN A FOXHOLE WHILE THE ENEMY WAS MARCHING ABOVE YOUR HEAD!" He wasn't afraid to literally ball up your work and throw it back at you, telling you "That looks like shit! Do it AGAIN!" He didn't mince words, and that more than anything probably helped me get past my obstacles in learning how to paint or draw. By the time I got to college, I would get so frustrated with my art instructor because she wouldn't tell me what was wrong with my picture in order for me to improve, instead of just nattering on pleasantly about "Well... it's very nice right in.... this area. Yes, very nice." Argh. By the way, Mr. Roberson chose me out the that year's graduating class to give a $100 art scholarship. Hey, $100 is something!

4. What would you have liked to major in in college? Or what will you major in if you go to college?
I was an art major. I had planned out two years of fine arts, then two years of commercial art once I built up enough of a decent resume to apply to VCU.

5. Would you rather go to a small, medium, or large college, if you had the money to go to any of the three?
I went to a small private college with the intention of transferring to a bigger one in my sophomore year. Richmond has always had a vibrant, thriving art scene and VCU seemed to be the place to go to get my degree taken seriously. But for all the jokes I make about Ferrum it was was a pretty nice little school. The teaching staff was extremely dedicated, but the student body was always wearing sweatshirts with the name of colleges that they really wanted to attend.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Sat 13: 10-4
Sun 14: 11-5
Tue 16: 10-6:30
Thur 18: 5-cl
Sat 20: 4-cl

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tree vs. Lightning

New Audio Junk! Order UP! And ready to deliver some clips from Fear City and A Letter To Three Wives, plus tunage from Merzbow, Sugarbabes, and more. Audio Junk is on randomradioonline.net every Tuesday night at 8:45pm EST and reruns again at CTIRadio.com Thursdays at 7pm EST.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

I Can't Be Satisfied

First 20 tracks on my iTunes this evening sitting here both trying to relax and trying to ween myself off of whole wheat pasta with parmesan cheese (the only dairy in my diet).
1. "Lookin' For My Mind" - Merle Haggard
2. "A Handful Of Stars" - Dinah Washington
3. "Twp Whoops And A Holler" - Jean Shepard
4. "Sardines" - DJ Mike Sky
5. "No Particular Place To Go" - Chuck Berry
6. "There Is A Mountain Filled With Blood" - Consolidated
7. "Like I Love You" - Justin Timberlake
8. "I Don't Care" - The Roots
9. "Peg" - Steely Dan
10. "Stop Taking (So Many)" - Circlesquare
11. "Your Kingdom Will Fall" - Gehenna VII VII VII
12. "Whatever U Want" - Christina Milian
13. "Rage Against The Machine Are Capitalist Phonies" - White Flag
14. "Reynardine" - Bert Jansch
15. "Pardon Me Madam, My Name Is Eve" - Elvis Costello
16. "Kibbutz" - Ruins
17. "Stab Your Back" - The Damned
18. "Spiderbite Song" - The Flaming Lips
19. "Mam'alobi Na Bala Yo" - Bowane
20. "The Federation" - Helios Creed

Monday, June 08, 2009

Dibs On The Otis Redding

A had read Nick Hornby's novel High Fidelity about a year or two before they made a movie about it, and ever since I had heard about the making of the film I was really, really eager to see if they would attempt to film my favorite scene in the book where audiophile Rob is presented with the opportunity to buy hundreds of rare singles worth thousands of dollars for a measly fifty bucks, and turns it all down because, as a fellow record collector, he can't screw over another passionate record collector like himself, no matter what kind of a scumbag that guy may be.

Well, the scene didn't make the final edit of the movie, and when I saw it in the theater, I was rather disappointed.

But it did, however, make it onto the deleted scenes on the DVD.

Years ago Joe and I used to tear through the local trading post looking for people selling their vinyl collections from their homes, and I think we went to maybe one or two stranger's houses plowing through their records but never really coming up with anything worthwhile. Like Rob, we had discovered that most of these people were mild-mannered middle-agers (while at the time Joe and I weren't even in our 20's) with nothing much to offer but Barbra Streisand albums and maybe even a stray Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack. In the book, Rob was expecting the same thing when he saw the wealthy, straight-laced fifty-something woman answer the door when he went to her house responding to her ad to sell her husband's records. But he was completely not braced for what he was presented with in that immaculate collection. I loved his internal dialogue, sadly left out of the scene in the film, for obvious reasons. But you can see it all on his face, and his reactions are priceless.

But damn, why can't I ever be presented with such a dilemma in my lifetime?

Sunday, June 07, 2009

The Full Monte?

Yes. I actually ate this. THIS. For brunch this afternoon. A flippin' Monte Cristo sammich, which looks and tastes just like something that would be featured in the blog This Is Why You're Fat, while the gang and I were out dining at the kind of place that looks like it would be featured in the blog Stuff White People Like, which is also ironic since it's the place where our black friend Mike chose for us to eat (isn't having a "black friend" something white people like, too?). In case you weren't made aware, a Monte Cristo is a turkey, ham, and cheese sandwich deep fried in pancake batter, sprinkled with powdered sugar, and served with raspberry jam on the side. And it was a thousand times bigger than it looks in the photo, and one bite made me feel as if I had just negated everything healthy that I had done to my body in the last month. But Mike had one, and he had been telling me about them for weeks after going to 37th & Zen the first time, and Dave had one too and since I was sitting directly across from Alvin who eats shoots and leaves I figured I'd make his head spin by plopping one of these artery-bursters down in front of his lean vegetarian frame and be all like BOOM! NOW WHAT, MUTHAFUCKA? But it turns out he may have the last laff in the end when I wasn't able to even finish the whole thing when my heart

slowly started giving out somewhere after that first bite into the second half of the sandwich (a gradual giving-out, as I am sure my ticker will come to a slow and hideous halt at some point around 11:45pm this evening) and had to take the death shroud (napkin) off my lap and place it over the food so that just looking at it wouldn't cause further coronary arrest. But I gotta admit, the three of us eating these things didn't cause the all-out prandial pandemic that I thought would occur when I suspected everyone else at the table were going to be forced to decide which one of their dear friends they wanted to resuscitate first. We ate. We survived. We paid our bill. And now I'm going to spend the rest of the day eating kale salads and doing sit-ups. Sheeee-it... after that sandwich, I'm not even sitting up typing this now.

Saturday, June 06, 2009


Brunch is at 37th & Zen. My PMS is finally on the downslide, so my stress levels are balancing out. And I'm getting ready lie down and watch A Letter To Three Wives.

Whew. Wotta day.

This Is Turning Into Twitter...

Alright, I'm freezing cold and still stressed and Mike still hasn't called to tell me where to meet him for brunch tomorrow. I'm heading out to drive around a bit and listen to my iPod before I pick up Joe from work. And before I pass out from nervous exhaustion.

Sorry for being such a total squirrel today. More hilarity in the coming week, I promise!

Totally Awesome Music Video of The Week #4

Okay. THIS just made me feel a bazillion times better.


Okay, so my deductible is gonna be bigger than my estimate.

Phooey. I'm gonna make dinner and chill now. Bought some amazing hydroponic tomatoes from the Shenandoah Valley today. Diced them up for my organic whole wheat pasta. Tomatoes are great stress relievers. Or so I've been told.

And I have to stop surfing around at Etsy.com because I see things like this and remind myself that I can't afford them until I take care of more pressing issues first. But God, I love that website.

Insurance Purposes

Photos from the broken tree branch after last night's severe thunderstorm, that will undoubtedly be the financial death of me.

Damn brittle Bradford Pears.

A Lack Of Support

Holy cow. I just ate an entire 3.50 ounce Equal Exchange organic chocolate bar. And worse, I don't feel any better than I did a little more than a half hour ago.

What can I do for high-volume stress that doesn't involve so much theobromine and empty calories?

Friday, June 05, 2009

The Hangnail

The Friday Five:

1. What do you feel is the most important quality in a close friend?
To hold back my hair when I vomit. Oops, I meant to hold back my hair when they vomit.

2. What is the one quality in a stranger you'd just met that would make you want to get to know them better?
Their ass-less chaps.

3. What do you think is the most important quality in a good leader?
The importance of a good Napoleon hat.

4. What is the one thing that makes a child likable to you?
Their shocking white hair and the way their eyes glow right before you die. Oh wait, that's two things.

5. What do you think is the one thing that makes a good parent (other than loving their children)?
A Napoleon hat and ass-less chaps. Dang, I can't seem to keep these things narrowed down to just one.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

David Carradine, 1936-2009

So long, grasshopper.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


Wed 3: 5-cl
Thur 4: 10-5
Fri 5: 4-cl
Mon 8: 5-cl
Tue 9: 5-cl
Thur 11: 10-5
Sat 13: 10-4

The Cow Says...

Mike enjoys a little soft serve at Jason's Deli.

Go download the new Audio Junk: SWIM TRUNX episode from Tuesday night and hear songs by Cozylab, new Elvis Costello, Prince, Deerhunter, Madhouse, Method Man, Jimmy Cliff, Meat Beat Manifesto, Dead Kennedys, plus clips from the Sopranos, Albert Finney, Bob Roberts and more. Audio Junk is on randomradioonline.net every Tuesday @ 8:45 pm EST and on CTIRADIO.COM every Thursday @ 7 pm EST.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Human Being Lawnmower

There was a flyer on the Heritage community bulletin board this morning about what looks to be a raw food community picnic down at the oceanfront on the 16th (or I think it was the 16th, because I can't seem to google any information about this online), and I was kind of rather intrigued about attending. But it states to bring a "prepared raw vegan dish" enough to serve 6-7 people, and although I was entertaining some ideas about this fruit salad of mangoes, bananas, blueberries and pomegranate seeds that I think is delicious, a part of me is wondering what they really mean by "prepared raw" dishes. Knowing absolutely no one in the local raw food community, am I up against a gaggle of high-raw gourmets who know how to mold a gelatinous mass of pureed hemp seeds into meatloaf and Sloppy Joe's? Would a so-called "prepared dish" of me hauling a trunk full of watermelons to a picnic be looked down upon by dyed-in-the-wool raw types who spent hours slapping together some kind of fancy-schmancy eggplant pizza? Eghads, am I actually questioning the validity of bringing watermelons to a... a picnic?

I think this somewhat address an issue about raw food that I want to make clear to those who think that they could never do it because they are both intimidated and quite frankly grossed out by the idea of eating a cold, raw millet "cheeseburger". Because quite frankly, I'd be grossed out, too.

I was watching an episode of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern one night, where Zimmern was invited to a California home to eat specially prepared raw cuisine, including raw "hamburgers" made of pureed vegetable matter, and durian "milkshakes". And this man, who we have all seen devour the likes of pickled pig 'nads with a feverish relish, cringed in disgust at the raw "hamburger", despite it being made with all familiar, everyday ingredients that even he has probably used in cooked recipes at home. And why? Because as he said before he had even taken his first bite, he loves a good, real beef hamburger anytime he can get it. So he was already setting himself up for a thunderous disappointment. As I would imagine.

And I would be, too, because I love a great real beef burger myself as well. And I love steak and pizza with cheese and tacos with beef or chicken or fish -- and when I crave those things, nothing short of the real thing will satisfy me. But raw food "cookbooks" and raw restaurants try to sell the concept of eating fresh raw fruit and vegetables to the SAD masses by trying to coax these recipes into recognizable junk foods like hamburgers and pizza, when they aren't anywhere close to tricking anyone into thinking their version is just as good or better than the original. And therefore turning people off to the idea by proving what they already believe: That raw food makes for a boring meal.

But the thing is, you don't need to squeeze a ball of tahini into the shape of a hot dog. You don't need to pay some waiter at a raw food restaurant to open a papaya for you at your table. Once you have trained your tastebuds off the SAD addictions, the simple joys of a banana or a crunchy green bell pepper take on a nuanced texture that is perfect in its simplicity. Sure, there's nothing wrong with a steak or a burger now and then. But if you want a steak, get yourself a great (preferably) organic choice cut of beef and grill it yourself. But when it comes to raw, savor the juice of a pineapple as you bite into its fleshy fruit. Or the cool crisp crunch of raw almond butter spread over a celery stick. When it comes to raw, I'm of the belief that simple is better. And once you get hooked, you will know exactly why.

Just got back from the pool. Wow, that was marvelous. I didn't get to swim at all last summer, but it's reassuring that I can still freestyle across the 25 meter long pool without getting winded. Of course 25 meters isn't very long, but considering how out of shape I am I'm pretty darn pleased with myself. I gotta work off my "SAD" lunch, even though I didn't get in much exercising since all Joe and I did was goof off and pitch the ball back and forth to each other a bit. Joe's been sick so I don't want to overexert him. But it's a pleasure to see him eating more fruits and veggies and temporarily trading in his Mountain Dew for bottled water this week while he recuperates.

The Most Americanest

Looking for anything on the menu that's not fried at Buffalo Wild Wings in Greenbrier.

First 20 tracks on my iTunes this morning still trying to stay optimistic.
1. "Spice Island" - Bernie Worrell, DJ Logic, Global Noize & Jason Miles
2. "Fried My Little Brains" - The Kills
3. "Freak Off" - Orchestra Harlow
4. "Burnie The Toaster" - Rev. Billy C. Wirtz
5. "Emotions" - Clinic
6. "Memphis" - Hasil Adkins
7. "Everything Crash" - The Ethiopians
8. "Counting Blue Cars" - Dishwalla
9. "Interlude" - Skylab
10. "Can Blue Men Sing The Whites?" - Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band
11. "Walk It Off" - The Breeders
12. "Oh My Gosh" - Basement Jaxx
13. "Kindergarten" - Faith No More
14. "I Wanna Be Sedated" - Ramones
15. "To Far Gone" - The Feelies
16. "It's A Sunshine Day" - The Brady Bunch
17. "If I Only Had A Brain" - MC 900ft Jesus
18. "Rocket Reducer No. 62" - The Humpers
19. "Wildflowers" - The Holy Mackerel
20. "Gator Hater (Instrumental)" - The Residents

Monday, June 01, 2009

Where My Dogs At?

This Clerkdogs site appears to be finally up and running, and it really seems to work so far. I typed in Scarlet Street as a movie that I liked and it not only recommended The Woman In The Window (also starring both Edward G. Robinson and Joan Bennett AND directed by Fritz Lang) but also Jean Renoir's 1931 La Chienne, which is the original version of Scarlet Street, as well as more and less funnier, sexier, and violent recommendations in a similar vein. Pretty snappy service! UNLIKE ME! :D

"Clerking" ain't exactly brain salad surgery, but coming from my experience, when you make a connection with somebody who knows their stuff, that there is an invaluable human resource.

Then again, your priorities may differ slightly than mine.