Friday, April 30, 2010

Isn't this hilarious!?

Hey hey! It’s morning and for some reason I’m awake. I should really start staying in bed. That’s the move for the unemployed innit? Sure it is. Wake up about two, put some whiskey in some coffee, watch TMZ, eat some ice cream, whack off, take a break, have some cheetos and then have a shower, whack off again, make some phone calls to some people and overstate the scope of my ambitious day (“oh, I’ve been checking the ‘help wanted’ section and you know, putting stuff together for my portfolio, but right now I’m just having some cheetos”) have a beer, go out for a walk, stop in a bar, [scene missing], wake up about two…and so on.

I’ve been thinking about the crazies lately…there was this pretty heinous crime that went down in Chicago over the weekend. Two young girls, 23 and 24 were walking home from a bar around 330 am when some dude came up behind them and beat them severely with a baseball bat, took their wallets and cel phones and left them to die under a viaduct. This took place about six hundred yards from the bar that fired me. One of the girls is a student from Ireland, she’s in a coma. The other girl is awake, but apparently she’s stuttering and twitching and not ready to do any dancing or synchronized swimming or anything anytime soon. Both girls have broken skulls.

Jesus. Fucked up, right?

I mean, what kind of a person needs to beat girls with a bat? Especially drunk girls at 330 in the morning. Here’s how you rob two drunk girls at 330 in the morning:

You (a big, intimidating creepy man): Hey bitches, I’ll be taking your purses.

Them: Fuck you! You’re not gonna…

You: (snatch purses, walk off, light smoke, flip them off over your shoulder as you vanish down an alley)

That simple, kids. There’s no need to blindside someone with a bat. That’s so fucked. It’s horrifying. But this brings me to my point:

Remember when I was talking last week about my friend who’s into Nazism, like, not the politics of it, but the uh…’cultural mythology’ or whatever euphemism you want to use to try to distance yourself from being into genocide? Remember that? Okay, good.

Now, there are people out there that are really into John Wayne Gacy. They buy his paintings and stuff and obsess over his style and all this. (Gacy, for those of you who don’t know, was a Chicago man who dressed as a clown for kids parties, abducted and raped and murdered young boys [like 33 of them] and then buried him in satanic patterns in his basement. Yay!)

Similarly, people are into Jeff Dahmer. He’s a fucking people eater, and people love it. He’s real creepy and he’s kind of the blueprint for the ‘williamsburg look’ that is all the rage right now. But here’s the thing:

These people are so evil that our brains can’t even compute the evil and so we compartmentalize them in the same parts of our consciousness that houses uh…you know, freddy kreuger and the yeti and shit like that, which makes sense because Hitler? Gacy? Dahmer? We’re talking about things that shouldn’t be human; and it’s much easier to make them ‘other’ because, well, isn’t it obvious? Sure it is.

Now, I don’t think there’s any question that as shitty as this dude is that beat up these women with a bat, he’s no Hitler, or gacy. BUT, if I went on the internet and looked for some of this guy’s paintings or was casually talking to my buddies and mentioned that I thought he was a “cool dude…like, not the bat wielding psychopath stuff, but like, his aesthetic sense, he’s just awesome and fascinating…you know what I’m saying?” people would be fucking disgusted, and with good reason, but you know what? If he’d instead killed hundreds of thousands of kids and women or raped a bunch of little boys, that would somehow be an okay position to take. I’ll pause for a moment to let that whole thing sink in.

We good? Okay, moving on.

I mean, emulating George Bush is reprehensible, but HITLER(!!!!!???) is fine? Look, I’m no fan of the neocon administration or movement and yes, there’s some pretty evil things going on and lives being gambled with and exterminated for sure. Bush is a bad guy. But come on folks, he’s no Hitler.

Well, I suppose that you can’t really dress up as Hitler for Halloween, but you could be Gacy or Dahmer or Bush. Actually, scratch that. I was Hitler for Halloween a few years ago. I grew out the mustache and cut my hair like his and wore a camera and a lei and a Hawaiian shirt. I was Hitler hiding in South America or Hitler on vacation, depending on how familiar with the whole great migration of the Nazis I thought the people I was around were.

Oh, man. Did I imply that I wasn’t into these monsters? That would be disingenuous. I’m completely fascinated by that inconceivable evil, but I was thinking about it and I realized that when you say something like ‘thirty three boys raped and murdered and buried in satanic patterns in the crawlspace’ it sounds pretty wild and all that, but when you personalize it even a little; your little brother or kid or sister or best friend or even just ‘that kid over there in the McDonalds’ or whatever, all of a sudden it’s like “what the fuck am I doing here? This shit is not something to even really joke about, man. Ugh.”

So yeah, while that Bombshell McGee lady dresses as a Nazi and Marilyn manson continues to buy Gacy’s art, I’ll uh…what? I don’t know where this is all going I guess. It’s a gross world. I’m pretty sickened. If you ever want to see how gross the world is folks, have a kid. It’s like sobering up and looking at the person that you fucked after your three day bender. It’s the most hideous thing you can imagine.

Um, what else? Cobra Skulls are in Chicago this weekend! Pretty dope! I won’t be there, as I’ll be waiting for my wife to pop, which will presumably make me even more disgusted with the world…jesus.

Oh shit! You guys ever hear about that guy named Manwoman? He’s some crazy old dude with a pussy tattooed on his forehead and swastikas tattooed all over his body. He’s “taking the swastika back” apparently. But funny thing, he gets his ass whupped on a daily basis. Not a popular cause you’re championing there, Manwoman. You’d probably be better off trying to convince people that having a cunt tattooed on their face is acceptable, and uh…good luck with that.

Also, um, nice representative Take-Back-The-Swastika movement. Manwoman? Pussy tattoo? I mean, you should have just used gacy. He’s less creepy, for real.

Okay, so since this has been filled with horror, I want you all to enjoy this for a second before getting on with your lives.

It’s a palate cleanser, yall. Enjoy your weekends.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

oh. my. good. lord. why?

Okay, this is getting out of control. Now the IRS is hassling me about some travel expenses from three years ago. Don’t they know I’m unemployed and about to have a kid? I mean, jesus, Jesus, what else are you gonna throw at me? AIDS? Long lost creepy brother who wants to stay on my couch? Bedbugs? I mean, fuck! It’s a good thing I’ve got an accountant, because I understand taxes about as well as I understand Chinese crossword puzzles, which is to say I can do the easy shit but then I get pretty distracted.

Seriously, there’s nothing scarier than a letter from the IRS. It’s like getting called into the fucking principals office, even if you’re, to the best of your knowledge, just cruising around doing the right thing, you can’t help but think “man, these motherfuckers are the most notorious hard asses in the world…and now they’ve got their sites on me. Fuuuuuuuuck. (this is to be groaned in a note of overwhelming despair). So yeah…fuuuuuuuuuck. Anyway, should be fine, it’s not like I have or have ever had any money, so that’s a good thing. AND, it’s not like I’m sitting around in a house made of diamonds and Stradivarius’s snorting strawberry cocaine off of a gold plated dong that was found in Jefferey Dahmer’s fridge and purchased at some weird auction in Amsterdam or something either. Is that a thing? Do you think that those dongs that they found in Dahmer’s drop freezer found any sort of commercial success after the whole trial was done? Like one of John Wayne Gacy’s paintings or Hitler’s sketches or anything like that? I mean, those dongs were his art, weren’t they? Well, I guess they were also his snacks. Uh…anyway.

Look, now it’s just getting ridiculous. Since I started writing this today my dog has gotten into my kids dirty diaper pail and eaten up some of the yummy shit from inside. That means she’s gonna be sick, I’m gonna be sick and then I’m gonna have to clean up frothy baby-shit-re-imagined-as-dog-barf later today, which I don’t feel I need to overtly express, is gonna be gross as hell. I mean, seriously, how much can one man take?

This evening, Nofx is playing in Milwaukee. Now, for those of you who don’t know, Nofx is the punk rock flavored proof that when two jews team up to subjugate the Mexicans and the poor white folk, they can pretty much do anything they want, even play songs that sound like old ragtime numbers about how it’s cool to be gay to a bunch of amped up bro-style frat boys and mongoloids. (editor’s note: holy shit! I’ve been spelling mongoloid wrong for maybe my entire life! I JUST realized that…sigh). They’re a great band and I know them a little and it’s always a great time to see those dudes, and my friend, sidekick and Jughead/Gargamel impersonator Toby is going up there and I’d love to go too, but I can’t. There’s no way. I’ve got a baby coming any second.


I mean, can you imagine that fucking scene? I’m in Milwaukee, drunk off my face, asking Eric Melvin (for the probably twentieth time) if the rumors about him having the biggest wang in punk rock are true when suddenly my wife calls, screaming from the back of a cab to announce that she’s just gone into labor ninety miles away…sigh. That would be the real end of days, folks. That would make my unemployment, my letter from the IRS and my shit eating dog seem like nothing worth thinking about. And let’s be honest, none of it’s a really big deal, is it? It’s all stuff that weighs on my mind, but really, it’s all stuff that will work itself out (a particularly gross expression when applied to the shit in the dog, I guess). Okay, I’m gonna go ride my bike to the gym and then hit some places to see if they want to hire me.

See you kids later.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Are you folks ready to laugh??!?!?!

Man, last night I went to see some stand up comedy. It’s the first time I ever did such a thing. Really. I went with my wife, who’s nine months pregnant. The ‘event’ had to do with her job and was somehow tied into axe body spray, (which I get as much of as I can use, by the way. Every morning, I crack open a can of axe body spray, pour it into a bowl and ritualistically dip my penis and testicles into it until the whole thing is coated in a fine, glossy sheen) and everyone from her office was there. There were jokes going on the whole time, so thankfully people couldn’t bullshit with each other. It was great to not have to talk to people and say things like “oh, what am I doing right now? Funny you should ask. I’m unemployed! Yeah…no, no, no. It’s cool. Seriously, don’t worry about it. Yeah, she IS ready to pop any time, isn’t she? Yeah. Due date is next week. So, uh…spare any change?”

Instead we just watched jokes get told. We got there while a hot girl talked about getting fucked in various ways and then a sloppy jew came out and vacillated between saying just (gasp!) outrageous things! and doing jokes about how (for example) cats are always putting their butts in [one’s] face. He was funny. The girl was funny too. At some point I turned to my wife and said “you’re not gonna like what this is inspiring me to do” which is, of course, attempt stand up comedy.

What? Yeah I could! Suck a dick, naysayer! Nah, discount that dumb joke about the bowl of axe body spray then. It’s seven in the fucking morning! Oh, okay. You be funny then. Go on.

I thought so.

Yeah. I’m fixin’ to dive face first into stand up like greg louganis into an Olympic length dong. What? Still no good? Well, I’ll have you know that I’m saving my A material for the fucking giggle barn. And hey! Back the fuck off me, huh? Remember my whole thing? Failing=trying? There’s no success without putting yourself out there? Remember that shit? Jesus. You people can get so fucking aggressive the second I decide that this next one isn’t gonna be a fast punk rock song. You’d think I was suggesting doing a hip hop record or making a new religion or something…

Now, let’s make no mistake, stand up comedy is brutal and I’ve never heard of anyone EVER talk about their success in stand up without talking about how many times they’ve bombed and bombed and bombed and been humiliated and on and on like that. It seems like something you just HAVE to do in order to get the feeling of what it’s like to tell jokes in front of a room of people. Sean Nader, my good buddy and number one merch master texted me recently and asked “on a scale of 1 to 10 how hard do you think it is to do stand up?” and I said 8. I say that because I think it’s probably just as hard as, say doing heart surgery, in that first and foremost you’ve just gotta be the right kind of person or you’re NEVER EVER gonna be able to do it and then you need years of practice and careful instruction (and listen, save me the bullshit about pre med and med school and all that. If ALL you had to do was one kind of heart surgery, you could learn it [provided you’ve got the constitution and a steady hand] without all that bullshit. It’s basically carpentry and needlepoint, as far as my understanding goes. Sure it is. Hey! Quit with all the fucking skepticism this morning. That shit will age you before your time), but it’s not as hard as, say, building the pyramids in ancient times before toilets or cranes (a 9) or uh…I don’t know what a 10 would be…I’m sure there’s something out there that’s harder than that. Uh, space travel and contact with aliens on their planet on our terms (which means no probes) How’s that? Yeah. That’s a ten for sure. Nice.

Okay, firstly, don’t judge me. I’ll probably never really do stand up. I’m too scared of it. The people that do it are crazy and it seems like a very painful and disgusting way to make a living. Comics are always alone, touring in their cars, and then they get old and you just hear how fucking sad and broken they become. I think you could do a very good movie, not unlike the Wrestler about a past-his-prime stand up that was fleetingly kind of huge but is now, you know, Jake LaMotta-ing around the midwest. Eh, that idea is free today folks. Go for it. Make me proud.

Here’s the thing though: I’ve already been on stages telling jokes in front of tons of people for years and years and I’ve bombed, but I don’t really bomb anymore. Maybe I’ve secretly paid my dues, like the way Danny Laruso thought he was just waxing cars but secretly he was learning karate. Maybe I’ve been honing my standup skills without knowing it this whole time! And, I’ve already got some folks who would come see me, right? Sure I do. That should make up for the fact that I’d be starting (yet another) new endeavor in my thirties, right? Again, sure. AND when you start doing stand up, don’t you do like, 2 minutes? Sheeeeeit, man, I could comb through this fucking blog and have two minutes of solid gold, man. AND, the standards are low. You don’t have to sweat, you can look at a notebook. The rooms have tables and shit in them, so they look sold out even if it’s just a couple of assholes in there. I guess they make everything else easy because getting up there and saying “white guys fuck like this but black guys fuck like this” is so tough in the first place. Man. Fuck. Shit. Fuck. I’m in. that’s it! See you turds at the laugh factory!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Will the mirror mirror on the wall see my smiling face again?

Bret Michaels, man. He’s sick. He’s got bleeding in the brain and they don’t know how to stop it.

Now, this is where lots of people will say things like “who knew that all those different strains of herpes and crabs (etc.) would result in an aneurysm?” or some shit of that nature but man…I like Bret Michaels. No, for real. I do! Hey asshole! I’m serious!

Okay, okay okay. Let’s back up.

Before Bret Michaels was an orange colored leather bag wrapped in Bandanas and Ed Hardy designs that starred on a reality show about whores, he was the singer of a band called Poison, and man, seriously, Poison was one of my favorite, FAVORITE bands when I was a kid. And they signified a key part of my musical development, which I’ll get to in a bit. First though, Poison.

Now, Poison was kind of like the Fall Out Boy of their time in that they came along after a few key artists had sort of paved the way for a boomingly popular slightly edgy, slightly repackaged genre of music to hit the mainstream and they kind of did it without the blessing of the underground or the other bands doing it, but they got super duper popular anyway. Here’s what I mean:

Poison was technically a “metal” band, as far as marketing went, but in terms of almost nothing else. Compare this to FOB being a punk band (Nerds: before you fire up your keyboards, I refuse to sub-delineate between punk and emo [especially in this dumb essay] and I further refuse to get into any sort of discussion that involves this kind of genre nit-picking. Those dudes [FOB] grew up in Chicago going to punk shows and listening to NOFX, named their band after a Simpsons character and play powerchords and sound like a ‘punk’ band at least as much as poison sounded like a ‘metal’ band. That makes FOB a ‘punk’ band for our purposes here. The fact that US weekly or whoever calls ‘em emo has more to do with how a braindead correspondent in LA repackages something in the service of trying to sell pictures of Ashlee Simpson’s husband to housewives in Tulsa than anything. There’s no one on earth who has a notion about dumb splinter genre distinctions that would hear “Dance Dance” [for example] for the first time, with no knowledge of who the band was, and call it emo…jesus fucking Christ. I’m wasting my time here. This parenthetical notation is over).

Furthermore, while Poison were heartthrobs who played stadiums, they were in no way accepted by their predecessors. Read “the Dirt,” and marvel as Mick Mars refers to Poison as ‘ruining the 80’s,’ or watch any interview with any member of Guns n’ Roses. Bret and his boys were mocked openly and often by everyone. Sound familiar, tubby little scarf clad pillsbury doughboy with the combover under all his velvet hats? Sure it does.

Of course, this was hair metal in the 80’s so there was a more overtly confrontational tone to the whole thing. You don’t hear Green Day talking shit about Fall Out Boy, but you don’t really see them hanging out either. It’s a different time, and FOB gets to instead hang out with Jay Z and the cast of Keeping Up with the Kardashians or whatever…but you get the point:

Part of their genre in hair only, lame dorks to their ‘peers,’ Fall Out Boy and Poison are petals of the same flower.

Here’s the other thing: people love the shit out of both bands. People who thought Motley Crue was too abrasive and didn’t like Metallica could still go to the Poison show and get the fuck down, and why not? Let’s be honest, they sounded a lot more like Bob Seger than they ever sounded like Sabbath. They were playing regular, inoffensive and bluesy rock to masses and marketing it as metal, to the great dismay of ‘purists’ like Mick Mars (which is hilarious, because Motley Crue has exactly three songs that don’t suck, those songs being Live Wire, Too Young to Fall In Love, and Kickstart My Heart and the rest is dogshit. Yes, yes it is. Oh, get the fuck out of here with your bullshit nostalga for an era you weren’t even old enough to wipe your own ass for. Motley Crue sucks balls. I’ve actually seen them live twice (!) and I left early both times. Why? Because they suck. Vince Neil sucks, Nikki Sixx suxx and Mick Mars, while probably the best guitar playing exhumed mummy on the earth, still doesn’t really stack up to his non bandaged brethren, and man, don’t get me started on Tommy Lee…that’s a whole other entry) and fat turds in record stores decrying the ‘death of metal’ as brought forth by bands like Poison and slaughter.

Well, here’s the thing, or rather, the list of things:

1) Poison, unlike say, Slaughter had some pretty fucking kick ass songs.

2) Poison was THE band that made me want to play the guitar (‘every rose has its thorn’ being the first song I could ever play and sing at the same time)

3) Poison had a great image and great videos complete with serious gender bending, stacks and stacks of wacky guitars, pyrotechnics, slo mo sweatiness way before it was cool, awesome live footage (the part in the ‘every rose’ video when Bobby Dahl passes out on the stage (drunkenness? Seizure? Rocking too hard?) is so ballsy in its vulnerability)

4) They broke up on stage at the VMA’s due to some massive wastedness and a total trainwreck of a performance (still better than Axl, that same night, butchering Welcome to the Jungle while sporting a terrible beard)

5) Poison dudes seem cool, even now. Axl’s a dick, Slash hangs out with that dildo from Stone Temple Pilots. Motley Crue is full of complete assmasks (though I loved ‘the Dirt’. One of the best books I ever read. It also confirmed my sneaking suspicion that someone needs to pee on tommy lee.) CC Deville is just awesome, all gravel throated and deadpan and hilarious. When he was talking about his coke mansion: “man, it went from the house of whores to the house of horrors.” So awesome, cuz his PA accent makes ‘whores’ and ‘horrors’ kind of sound like the same word. Bret Michaels, sure he bones drunk skanks on a lame tv show, but who doesn’t these days? He seems like he’s got a pretty good sense of humor about where the grinder of pop culture has spit him out, and good on him.

Okay, let’s make no mistake: Poison had some TERRIBLE songs too. Look no further than Unskinny Bop, the first song I ever heard by a band I liked that I decided was not just “not that good” but actually ‘utter dogshit.’ Of course that song, video cycle wise, followed “Ride the Wind” which was mind meltingly kick ass in a sort of Kenny Loggins-ian way, so maybe it was simply the dichotomy.

But ultimately, my point is, when I was a kid, I was listening to Guns N Roses, Bad Religion, Poison, Jawbreaker and Minor Threat all at the same time, and I loved them. I love poison for what they’ve done for me in terms of my rock and roll taste and personal history. And Bret Michaels is the main force behind poison and as goofy as it sounds (as goofy as it’ll sound twenty one years from now when some kid’s saying this about Pete Wentz) he’s kind of a hero of mine, so get well Bret. I hope you get to make another season of Rock Of Love (which I think should be set at sea, by the way: Rock of Love: The Deadliest Catch) and I hope you get to hang with your family and see yer kid and do all the shit you need to do, because well…you’re way too young to be bleeding from the brain.

Okay, is that everything? Are we good?

I’d make a joke about the wig and the bandanna and all that right now but, well, kind of seems tasteless under the circumstances, don’t it?

Get well soon, Bret!

The rest of you, take care of each other, eh?

xoxox

Monday, April 26, 2010

everything's magic, y'all!

When I need to gauge how successful my life has been up to now, I tend to look at people my age from the places I’m from and see how I match up with them. I don’t think of it as competition, more just a little bit of good old fashioned stock taking. And listen, I’m not talking about some dipshit from my highschool class being a surgeon or anything lame like that. That’s a ridiculous way to torture yourself.

I mean, there are lots of factors at play there, not the least of which is my aversion to blood. I don’t care about ‘money’ or ‘respect’ (obviously), especially when the endgame is me removing tumors from someone’s liver. Ick. No thanks. I’d rather live in a room with a shared toilet at the YMCA.

No, there are a couple of guys that I like to compare myself to, just to make sure I’m on track. Cool guys, motivated guys, guys who are interested in the same general things as me, and guys that are from similar backgrounds and of a similar age. I figure if I stack my life up against theirs and I still look okay, then I’m doing all right. Get it? Good. Well, you’re in luck because it just so happens that this is my morning of stock taking. So here’s what I’m gonna do: brief rundown of who the guy is followed by how they’re doing, followed by how I’m doing, a little quick comparison and then we’re done, cool?

Good.

Up first, Nelly. Nelly and I lived within about three blocks from each other in St. Louis when I was a little kid (pre 10) and I’m about two or three years older than him. So, what’s he been up to? Well, he’s retired due to the massive popularity of the “I’ma wear a bandaid under my eye” trend. He’s also famously had to keep all his jewels on while banging so hoes don’t gank his shit (that means steal his rings and/or monocles). Also he’s super rich and successful, hence being retired.

I uh…I don’t need to get into what I’ve done recently, do I? Uh…I have a blog. I’ve done some reading. Used to be a bartender…uh, Oh! I host a music video show. Maybe I should get nelly on there and we can really go head to head. Since he seems to be in the lead, music career wise, I’ll pick the topic: “Hey Nelly!” I may ask, “What do you think is the significance of the eels in the Tin Drum? Could you draw a correlation to the eels from Grass’s work and Vonnegut’s tralfamadorians in terms of their perception by and relevance to the underdeveloped heroes of the two novels/ German and American armies respectively?”

See, the thing is, I don’t even know if that’s an essay worth writing, and I’ve really got no reason to believe that Nelly wouldn’t do at least as well as I would (though, I’d LOVE to hear him expound on something like this, honestly). No, this whole thing is getting a little weird. I mean, I’m sitting here trying to justify my poor showing in this head to head by suggesting that I’m somehow on the same plane as Nelly because I presumably know the ins and outs of two of my favorite books a little better than he might. Pathetic. I doubt he’s doing that to me on his blog….

Sigh. Edge: Nelly

Okay, next guy:

Kanye West is my age and he’s from Chicago just like me. Unlike Nelly, West is still working, however, also unlike Nelly, West is one of the most successful, influential and wealthy artists of all time. He’s also a raging dingus. Honestly, I don’t really compare to him that well either. He’s in videos with Pam Anderson. I just spent the weekend interviewing Max Bemis and Tom Delonge.

Oh, you want to hear about that instead?

Fine, let’s talk about it. Tom Delonge is only one year older than me and Bemis is only like 26!!!!! And they’re playing at the fucking Aragon. I’m an unemployed father of two, riding my bike in the rain to ask them about their various ‘intentionalities’ like ANYONE cares about that shit.

Nah, listen, this was all just a big segue into me telling you guys about my interview with Delonge. It’s the first time I’ve ever interviewed someone and I did it with my pal Toby. Before the interview we talked and while we were trying to formulate questions we realized that he’s such a crazy nut and he’s taken so many lumps in the press that it’s probably pretty hard for him not to be defensive in interviews and putting someone on the ropes isn’t really a good interview. It’s easy, it’s rude and it never works out well. That’s pathetic dick flexing by a dumb journalist. Sure, it’s fun for a few smug dipshits, but think about it. Great interviews are always done with a semblance of respect even if the interviewer HATES the person they’re interviewing (think Borat if you need an example). Antagonistic interviews are like that one that the Latina chick on Inside Edition did with “Bombshell” McGee. It only served to emphasize what a smug and angry bitch the interviewer was, and that’s a bad interview since McGee is, you know, a homewrecking Nazi.

No, a good interview is like the playboy john mayer interview, where you let someone get comfortable and say stupid, stupid things. And to that end, we asked Tom, very respectfully about the arching scope of Angels and Airwaves, aliens, the future, the titanium pods that the galactic history of the human race is recorded in and pigeons, and he responded with very earnest, very goofy notions and phrases like ‘galactic esoteric symbolism’ which is, you know, pretty funny coming out of the mouth of the dude who played on Take Off Your Pants and Jacket.

It’s all gonna be available on JBTV soon enough. Toby asked the best questions, but I was there too, and together we went on a journey through space and time with one of the wackiest bastards I’ve ever spent any time with.

Compared to him, I’m doing all right, I think.

Now Bemis…that’s another story for another day.

Friday, April 23, 2010

the story of coco

Hey, I woke up this morning and for whatever reason, I had this notion of exactly what I was going to write here. I’m gonna tell you the story of Coco.

That’s cool, right? After all, I’m a luminary in the punk rock scene and while I’m not personally successful or interesting, I am friends with lots of successful and interesting people, and you’re not, so I can offer you, the unwashed filthy and unconnected hordes, a little insight into what it’s like to be friends with all your favorite uh…what? “Stars” seems a little much, right? How about ‘dudes in bands that are successful?’ Does that work? Sure. Good enough. Think of this as like, some kind of travel show, but the places I’m showing you are places like “Fat Mike lounging on a couch with a hurt ankle backstage at the NorVa with a slice of pizza on his bare stomach screaming at Limo” or “Tom Gabel shitting his pants” or even “Tim McIlrath age nineteen bringing a keg of rootbeer to his backyard bbq.” That seems like it may be fun to read, right? Okay. You convinced me. So up first, the story of Coco.

Now, Coco is what I call Brian Fallon from the Gaslight Anthem, and before we get any farther in this whole thing let me state unequivocally that I think Brian is a good dude and he’s in a good band and this will not be in any way an attempt to smear or talk shit about him, as he’s always been a pretty nice fella and I find myself listening to his records a lot, AND we’ve spent a TON of time together, and, well, that’s where the story of Coco begins.


The first headlining Lawrence Arms tour was in 2000 and featured the Berkeley band the Wunder Years (a band that would eventually morph into the Ghost and later splinter into Hanalei, and Lanemeyer, a new jersey quartet featuring a young Coco on guitar/backing vocals. This tour was something ridiculous like 18 weeks long. We all became much closer than we ever dreamed we’d be. Just sayin.

Now, Lanemeyer had recently lost their main singer/guitar dude and they were transitioning their bassist, Doyle into “main dude” status. They brought Coco on as the replacement guitarist and let him sing two songs a night, an original and a cover of “someone to shove” by that dumb band with the guy with the mongo face and the caveman-jen-anniston hair (who, by the way was caught by my friend Brandt doing blow in the off the toilet in the smart bar bathroom when his crappy band [I’m now remembering that they’re called Soul Asylum {also a song by English-fake-Doors/Indians The Cult}] sold out the metro many years ago. Brandt kicked his mongo face and caveman-jen Anniston hairdo right out of the building. Not so fast, Dave Pirner!) and generally, in the Lawrence Arms van it was agreed upon that Coco was the best guy in the band by far, in terms of skill. His songs weren’t all Brucey yet, but he had a good voice (better than Doyle, though Doyle was pretty talented in his own right) and a passion that bordered on embarrassing but never quite got there, and so, remained endearing. In the van we’d say things like “man, they should let coco sing more” and “man, coco’s song is kind of the jam of the Lanemeyer set, innit?” Shit like that. We’d bring it up to Baby Beluga (the drummer and leader of Lanemeyer) and he’d just kind of shrug it off. He was bitter and jealous because his buddies in Midtown were getting famous. He saw Doyle’s boyish good looks and big hooks as the road to success, not coco’s wacky teeth and coffee cup tattoos.

So, here we are. 2000. New Found Glory was blowing up and the Lawrence Arms and the Wunder Years and Lanemeyer were limping around the contiguous 48 in three crappy vans (ours being far and away the coolest and most sketchy, by the way…we had a tv with tetris. Hey! This was 2000 when that shit wasn’t just in everyone’s van, you fucking unimpressible new generation!) and there’s coco, just kind of rolling along as the least important member in the opening band of the three band bill that would MAYBE draw sixty kids a night.

I remember he was really into the following things: tattoos, new jersey, jesus and coffee. Now, since then, I’ve seen Coco a few times and I’ve noticed a few things: he’s still very much into coffee. I’ve actually not seen him drink anything but coffee in the past ten years. He’s got tattoos on his hands, which, well, good thing the band is doing okay, and he’s become sort of a poster child for new jersey, which is great. The young coco used to sit there and try (in vain) to convince me that new jersey was actually the most beautiful state in the union. It’s true folks. He really, really, really believes that shit. He loves new jersey as much as it sounds like he does on those records. Wow.

So, what else can I tell you? Oh, me and coco, along with Chongo who was the roadie for the Wunder Years, all got suicide king tattoos in Toronto on that tour. A few other dudes got them a few days later, back in the states. At the time, they weren’t Lawrence Arms tattoos. They were just tour tattoos, but when we ran out of shirts, the only art I had to send into the shirt place was the stencil of our tattoos, so we made shirts with the tour tattoo on them. We didn’t at the time know that it would wind up being our most popular design and turn into something of a logo for us and ultimately backhanding Chongo and Coco into having retroactive Lawrence Arms tattoos…Pretty funny when you think about it, eh?

Yeah. Sigh. What else?

Oh, right? Why do I call him coco? On the first day of tour, to establish dominance, chris and I gave everyone unflattering nicknames. Most of them didn’t really stick, but coco was such a great one, and Brian was such a good sport that it’s maintained to this day. Our roadie from that tour still doesn’t even know Coco’s real name. He only knows him as coco. Now, the drummer, Baby Beluga, he was just so pissed about his nickname that we had to keep it just to kind of chap his taint. Everyone else’s nickname kind of just dissolved. The tour was long, man.

Okay, so that’s the story of coco. Good dude. Loves coffee. Has tattoos of coffee cups. He should probably give me some money or something, right? Sure he should. Hey coco! I’ll write your bio or press releases! Need a bass player? How bout a jester?

Hello?
Coco?

Hello?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

guns are...uh, guns are pretty cool...so um...

Well, shit’s looking good. 7-11 is getting into beer. They’re making a beer called “game day” which is cool. Here’s why: Game Day is being brewed at the City Brewery up in LaCrosse Wisconsin which used to be the Heileman Brewery that was responsible for so many great local brews including Old Style, Black Label, National Bohemian, Ranier, Olympia and of course, later, with the subsequent repurchasing of the brewery by local interests (after miller disgraced all these venerable beers by saving the packaging and putting a new gross beer inside) they brought out LaCrosse lager which is, in fact, the original Old Style recipe. That’s right folks! LaCrosse Lager was the same stuff that my friends and I used to get bums to buy us when we were out for a night on the town when we were in highschool. Of course, back then it was still called Old Style, and didn’t taste like the Old Style that exists today. Is this confusing? It shouldn’t be.

I understand though. there’s a certain kind of expectation that’s really a new phenomenon here in the brave new world of global capital driven colonialism and that’s the expectation of, nay, right to familiarity at all costs based on packaging.

Here’s what I mean: Not long ago, like when your parents were kids even, KFC for example franchised by sending out a packet of ingredients and a recipe to whoever wanted it. They sent em a sign and that was the whole thing. The chicken was prepared with these spices and sold under this sign but the idea that it would be the same wherever the sign was was absurd. There were too many x factors: The chickens, the kitchens, the people cooking the shit, the weather etc. It just wasn’t expected. There was this reasonable belief that things could and would be different wherever you went and while sometimes that made for a pretty bad cheeseburger in Holland (they still do it pretty weird, just by the way) generally it was seen as not just an inevitability but also an interesting insight into the way the world functions differently in different locales.

Well, of course McDonalds changed all that with assembly line production and factory and farm exclusivity and all that kind of nonsense and these days the burgers in the Burger King in Tokyo are the same. Oh sure, they have different items in the US and Japanese franchises, but you get the idea. Shit’s the same. Although, coke in England is made with sugar, not corn syrup and the results are palpable. Same goes for the ketchup. That shit’s sweeter over there, or at least sweet in a different way, but you get the idea. Generally, the shit’s the same. WAY more similar than it used to be. No one familiar with the fare is gonna walk into a mcdonalds anywhere on the earth and be shocked by the taste of the cheeseburger.

Now, of course there are great exceptions to this, like the difference between the taco bell in, say, rural Indiana (Chesterton has the BEST fast food service I’ve ever encountered) and oh, I don’t know, south St. Louis, where shit’s been sitting under those lamps since the morning and well, it’s gnarly and if you ask about maybe getting something edible they look at you like your face is leaking semen. That’s just how it goes though. Much in the same way one guy on the Denver Broncos can tackle the shit out of you and another guy can’t. Different team members, different weaknesses and strengths. Jesus Christ, what are we even talking about here?

Here’s what I’m talking about, folks! These assholes are changing up the beer inside the cans and leaving the cans the same and it’s a total mind fuck. The logic is that we’re too stupid to realize it, and for the most part, we are. I mean, fuck. It’s just cheap beer, being funneled into sloppy fat drunks, right? What’s the problem?

Well, they’ve got a point there…so uh, what am I saying over here? Oh, that’s right! 711 is making beer and it’s coming from a place that used to make some really great beers, so that could be cool. Except that now they make Arizona iced tea and shit at that brewery, so maybe it’s lame. Look, I don’t fucking know. Let’s leave this discussion with the following things in mind:

  1. Don’t eat fast food when you travel unless A) your only other choice is a gas station sandwich or nothing or B) you’re desperately disappointed by everything you’ve eaten since you’ve been wherever you are. Here’s why: You’re missing out on a huge part of the cultural experience. After pornography, there’s no better way to see the intimate details of what locals are into than by eating their food. The American guy in Athens at the McDonalds is the saddest man on the earth (to other people. Sadly, to himself he’s thinking “man, I hope they do 20 piece McNuggets here. I’m so fucking sick of dolmas.”
  2. You probably don’t need to shop at 711 either, but hey, whatever you’re into. Lord knows when I want a Juggs magazine and a slurpee and a pint of jim beam and a string cheese it saves me a few trips.
  3. The times are changing folks. I tried to get my kid a unique gift from Wales just recently and there was nothing in the toy store that I couldn’t get here. Globalization’s comforts are more than just ways to keep travelers on a familiar ground. It’s also a great way to get all sorts of stuff that you’d never otherwise be able to get right in your home town (like, for example, Lawrence Arms records! Right? Of course). The downside is, there’s not a lot of uniquely cool stuff in the stores anymore. It’s all familiar. That’s because I’ve got great choices at home, but still. The end result is that if you live in Bloomington, you could travel to Chicago to get about 80% of the same shit you could get if you traveled to London for a shopping trip. That don’t seem right somehow, but I guess it’s cool. I don’t know. Fuck.

Okay, that’s all. I gotta go hopefully have three big meetings and do a small film shoot today, so I’m fucking out of here. Later, assholes.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Shameless promotional material below

Hey hey! First things first: I host a show with my trusty steed Toby Jeg of Red Scare Industries. It’s called “Static Age” and it follows the tried and true model of success that is the video dj show. From MTV to uh…I dunno, what else has proven that playing videos isn’t a viable way to keep people watching tv? VH1? FUSE? MuchMusic USA? Or was that last one’s kiss of death just the deep seeded hatred of all things Canadian? I don’t know…Point is, over at JBTV we’re not listening to history and we’re trying it again! And Toby and I host the single greatest hour of punk rock themed videos on the earth. Check out episode 2 over at jbtvonline.com. I think it’s pretty funny, but what do I know? After all, I host a music video show.

Hey, and that reminds me, I know lots of important folks out there read this here blog, as I’m nothing if not a cutting edge tastemaker, at least when it comes to new words for jizz (the latest: frosted tinkle) and as such, there are people in bands and people who run record labels that are out there currently reading. To you folks I say “Listen up! Bug your label or if you’re the person at the label, send in your videos to JBTV and we’ll play them on our show! We’ll even make jokes about your appearance!”

Now, keep in mind that if you’re not in a good band, or your label is terrible, I’m not really talking to you, so uh…I dunno. Keep trying or whatever it is people say to losers to keep them from getting discouraged (which is really cruel, because let’s face it, your crappy band isn’t getting any better. You shouldn’t waste your youth like this…I know from experience, pal), but if you’re, say, Ryan Young from Off With Their Heads, hey dildo! Send us some fucking videos and we’ll play the shit out of them. All the garbage men and insomniacs and cokeheads around Chicago will be humming along to your jams in no time!

Okay, speaking of Off With Their Heads, I just heard the new tune from their Epitaph debut and it’s pretty fucking rocking. I searched the internet to see what the losers were saying about it and I can’t say I was shocked. I mean, after all, most people are so fucking stupid that it defies all logic, but some of the consensus was absolutely stunning. I don’t see how you can physically type and breathe and be that stupid all at the same time.

Here’s what I mean: Overwhelmingly, the song was received positively and there were tons and tons of “aaaaaaw fuckin’ yeah!”’s being thrown around, which is pretty much the camp that I fall into. The criticisms, however, were pretty uniformly concerned with this amazing gap in logic that I’ll get to in a moment…but first:

For those of you who don’t know and are starting to feel left out, Off With Their Heads is a band of stinky men from Minneapolis who play uh…very dark pop punk. Death and depression and drug abuse and misanthropy are some prevalent themes and Ryan, who’s the singer/songwriter guy, sings like he’s been gargling barbed wire schlongs and smoking cigarettes dipped in kerosene. They’re awesome. And they just signed to Epitaph, which will presumably hook them up pretty good, which is great, since they’re a hard working band and they’ve been doing it for a while. Here’s a link to the new song.

Okay, we’re all caught up now? Good.

Here’s what the mongo patrol is saying about the new OWTH song (paraphrased): “Dude, I don’t believe he’s singing clean. Epitaph totally made them change their sound! That’s fucked up! They’re trying to appeal to a big audience. Oh well, another one bites the dust, duh duh duh (drools) doye doye doye.”

Let’s just talk about this for a moment, shall we (I know, we JUST went through this!)

Firstly, if the label signed them based on liking how they sound, WHY IN THE FUCKING WORLD WOULD THEY WANT THEM TO CHANGE THAT SOUND? That doesn’t make ANY FUCKING SENSE AT ALL!

Secondly, Ryan has a fucking raspy and throaty voice, for sure. Ever think that the reason for switching it up a little may have to do with pushing himself/experimenting, doing what’s best for the song and yes, even (and probably mostly) confounding expectations and pissing humorless dipshits off on purpose? I mean, fuck. Listen to the song. It’s brutal. There’s no punches pulled there. If you think that a few bars of clean singing hides the lyrics or uh, the rest of the song, well, you’ve got a very strange view of how people hear music. That’s all I’ll say about that, except if you haven’t checked out these dudes yet, do yourself a favor.

Finally, we’ve got a broken hearted sock in the drawer (which is code for ‘we’ve got a broken hearted reader commenting in the comments section’ for those of you who don’t know the BSC lexicon) named, ahem, Balls, Yo! You can check out his advice query in yesterday’s sock drawer (comments section).

A:

Well, Balls yo, here’s what I think:

You’ve got a really, really good handle on what’s going on. Things like “I need to ask her about her day more” are things that realistically almost any guy could say to anyone at any time regarding their girlfriend/wife/24 hour slave/whatever. To throw out a completely sexist generalization, it’s like a woman saying she probably doesn’t give as many blowjobs to her husband as he probably wants. No shit. That’s just kind of the way it is. Now, there’s a true lack of empathy that lots of dudes give off to their gals, just like there are girls that never ever give their guys bjs, and these are reasons to cut the cord and move on, but it sounds to me like you’re at least conscientious enough to say something like “I do know we need to slow down more often and I need to just look straight at her and ask more about her day and listen patiently…” so you’re probably not, you know, like The Situation or whatever creepy turd you’d rather insert there that treats women absolutely horribly.

No, sounds to me like her life is hectic and she’s using a tried and true defense mechanism: the vague emotional complaint, in order to try to get some footing. She wants to move out. Oh yeah, that means you guys are done, at least for now. The fact is, it sounds to me like she’s kind of in a desperate situation. Who moves out of their place when they don’t need to in the middle of med school? That’s what you do when you’re panicking (or someone’s beating the shit out of you or something like that, I suppose).

It sounds to me, simply, like she’s gotta collect her shit a bit. Does that suck for you? Big time. Are you gonna continue to barf up your bagels? Oh yeah. Is it gonna take longer than you ever thought possible to get perspective on this thing? For sheezy.

Put the wedding plans on hold, let her go about her business and don’t act like a desperate clingy weirdo. She’s begging you for space, because she doesn’t seem to know where else to push (very amateur assessment based on a very short, single perspective letter, keep in mind) so give it to her and hope for the best. There’s no magic way out of this one. Once her head clears she’ll either go “Man, I don’t believe I almost married someone named Balls, yo” or she’ll say “Oh my god! I pushed away my best friend because I was so overwhelmed and he was gracious and selfless and let me figure this shit out on my own and man, I need to get him back asap.”

That’s about all I can tell you, bud.
Good luck.


Holy shit! Why is this all blue and huge? I have no idea what's going on...It's the rapture, folks. Ta. It's been real.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Are you telling me you built a time machine out of a delorean?

So, hey! Big day, right? I mean, hitler’s birthday, Oklahoma City bombing, Columbine, uh…the day that every single Kottonmouth Kings record came out. Yup, 4-20 is a huge day. No doubt about it. Okay, sure. The OKC bombing was yesterday, but when you’ve got a PR event like “HITLER’S BIRTHDAY” so close, you kind of absorb any like minded (read: evil) events into the greater umbrella of said event. It just makes good sense. It’s like if my band was coming through LA on the same weekend as a larger but similar band was coming through. Chances are, and it’s happened before, that we’d just jump on their show, maximizing the returns instead of competing and thereby splitting all the focus. That’s kind of how it is with April-scheduled evil deeds and hitler’s birthday.

Sorry, Tim McVeigh, I know you were fighting for the sovereignty of Montana or something like that, but it’s much more exciting to imagine you as a nazi of some sort. Sorry, bro. Militant hicks just don’t have the staying power of Nazis when it comes to demonizing things. Think about it, man. How many movies feature militant hicks as the antagonists? I can’t think of any. In fact, when “salt of the earth” types wind up as bad guys in movies it’s not militant ones, it’s those ones that are into buttfucking and toothlessness and overalls and having sex with pigs and then having sex with Ned Beatty and comparing the subsequent squeals, shit of that nature. BUT think about how many movies have Nazis as the bad guy, eh? Think about it.

Hello? Anybody home? Think, McVeigh, think.

Heh. Anyway, you get the idea. Demonizing things is fun and easy when you do something as wacky as blow up or otherwise destroy a bunch of innocent people and if there’s one thing I’ve tried to hammer home to you all here at BSC it’s that PR people and journalists A) are ridiculously uninterested in doing something new and B) have no respect for the intelligence of the general public at large (which results in dumbed down news and advertising, which results in people feeling their intelligence is being insulted which results in people not paying attention all the time and not feeling the need to do their due diligence when it comes to paying attention [and/or watching news and/or determining the true worth of a product/story] which, when the shit goes down and some dumb product sells like crazy or some news story gets everybody all worked up, despite the fact that it’s written by and for morons, winds up proving our journalist/PR girl’s point B, and the whole thing spirals one level down and closer to a universe where we overtly just fart on each other whenever we please), and MAN OH MAN is it easy to lump the OKC bombing in with the Columbine kids and of course, the birth of the biggest little Austrian guy with the biggest little mustache and the biggest little plan to exterminate the biggest little demographic of G-d’s chosen people, I mean, heyooo! Am I right?

Okay. Anyhow, let’s make no mistake here. That shit’s all waaaaaaay evil. And it’s just sad, more than anything. I get bummed out living in a world where people want to eat bacon and cheese sandwiched between two slabs of fried chicken, or a world where Dane Cook is a hyper successful comedian but this is the real sad stuff, folks. The stuff that makes you really weep for humanity. Kids killing kids. Marginalized hicks blowing up people. Crazy genocidal maniacs in (admittedly) sharp looking uniforms carrying out mass torture and executions and somehow inexplicably influencing and inspiring people for years to come just by being so thoroughly reprehensible and awful. That’s some sad shit.

People love them some Hitler though, don’t they?

In italy, you can still buy wine bottles with Hitler on them right in the gas stations. I’m shittin’ ya negative, folks. Hitler’s also kind of popular right now because of his lasting influence on one Jesse “West Coast Choppers” James and his various assortment of jizz depositories. It’s so fucked. What’s the lure? Clothes. Seriously.

A HUGE part of the Nazi philosophy and marketing campaign involved fashion. This is true. Like I said before, those suits and shit are pretty sharp looking, and this has led to everyone and their mom (well, not often their mom, I guess) deciding to ‘blow some minds’ (this, by the way is the fashion version of constructing a crucifix out of turds for your college fine arts class) and dressing up in some sort of vaguely reinterpreted nazi uniform and saying things like “Nazis just fascinate me. I’m very interested in the fashion and some of the more mysterious elements of the party,” which, make no mistake, makes you sound like either A) an asshole or B) completely fucking out of your mind. This also is true. It’s gonna be A or B EVERY TIME folks.

I’ve got a good buddy who gets drunk and starts talking about (this ALSO is true) the pyramids that the nazi scientists built on the dark side of the moon and the secret underground labs where they invented anti-matter and all sorts of wacky shit like this. He’s the B to Jesse James A if you get my drift.

The thing about this guy, is he really BELIEVES this stuff, which is disturbing for a few reasons.

1) He’s an otherwise extremely intelligent guy

2) He’s charismatic and people tend to listen to him, which really only serves to drive home what a fucking whacked out nutjob he secretly is

3) He’s really giving the Nazis quite a bit more credit than they deserve, and finally

4) He cites these books as his point of reference for this crap, and when you look at the books, they’re clearly works of fiction. He ignores this unpleasant detail.

Yeah, it’s pretty funny. I dunno. Listen, this is a day that could potentially be a real drag, so let’s get out there and build our own pyramids on the dark side of the moon, kay? Let’s…wait, what did I just write? Okay. I gotta go eat breakfast. I’m losing it over here folks.

Monday, April 19, 2010

I recognize all those words, but that sign makes no sense...

Well, it’s Monday and I’m still unemployed. It’s a grim feeling, to be sure, and when I see all the success and opulence that surrounds me, hell, all of us, it becomes brutal, frankly. But you know what? I may have no job, but I’m a fucking pioneer. No! Hey! Where are you going? I’m fucking serious! What’s that? You want proof? Okay. Okay. How ‘bout this:

Juggalos. Yeah, they’re all the rage right now thanks to “Miracles” and the subsequent “aw shit! That’s awesome!” that the song inspired, both from previously unincorporated fatties and turds and from smug hipster shitstains, ostensibly citing the ‘awesomeness’ of the song “Miracles” for different reasons. However, the fact remains: “Miracles” is the shot in the arm that may have pushed ICP into the category of ‘ironic awesomeness’ that COULD, and I’m thinking it’s probably already happening somewhere in the absolutely COOOLEST part of Brooklyn, result in hipster clowns.

Now, I know what you’re saying…Brooklyn is already chock full of hipster clowns, and yes, yes…ha ha. Very good. You know what I mean. Fully realized ironic juggalos are coming. Sounds far fetched? Well, I’d like to remind you that co-opting super uncool and laughable styles is exactly how we wound up with the wolf-shirt clad, mustachioed guy that’s looking at you like you’ve got three ballsacks on your forehead because your bike has brakes.

Hipsters LOVE taking ironically appreciated facets of humanity and co-opting their styles like a bunch of culture locusts. If molester chic and county fair chic have already plagued the appearances of all our food delivery guys and dishwashers. Why do you think that Juggalodom isn’t next? It could be. Thanks to “Miracles”. And THAT is a true miracle. IF ICP succeeds in getting all the hipster dumbasses that think they’re making fun of the Juggalos to dress up as clowns, then they’re like Kevin Spacey at the end of Seven and they’re even more genius than I ever gave them credit for being.

Now, I’ll get to why they’re geniuses in a second, but first, I need to address what you’re all thinking:

“Dude, seriously? Another post about Juggalos? Are you even reading what you’re writing? Not only have you worn a deep tread over this subject already, but you’re doing exactly what you’re talking about here. You’re lauding ICP from an ironic and smug distance. You’re the very hipster you decry, you dumb felch-farmer!”

Okay, well…firstly, I’d like to go back to my opening paragraph, where I discussed what a pioneer I am. This is exactly what I was talking about. I’ve been rapping about Juggalos for YEARS. Check out the song “On With the Show” from 2003 where I’m name dropping juggalos a full seven years before “Miracles” or any of this new jack juggalo-love-irony-fest. And I’m not appreciating the culture as anything more than a fantastic and bizarre anomaly that I want to observe from a distance, far from the sea foam like kisses of faygo spray and FAR from the big fat clowns and their meat on a stick, or whatever disgusting things they eat. I find face paint and back acne to be gross and I’ve maintained this opinion for the past ten years. The shit’s fascinating, but I’ve got no connection to this resurgence of pop recognition for the clowns, this is all part of my decade-long ongoing research, so suck it.

Now, why are J and Shaggy geniuses? Here’s why, by way of example:

In the 80’s when crack first started ravaging black communities, people, social scientists and various old white folks at cocktail parties started saying things like “you know, it’s really fascinating. These black drug dealers, they speak a completely vulgar form of English and they seem strange and disgusting to us but believe it or not (!) they’re actually very astute businessmen, and their acumen rivals that of an MBA grad!”

Now, this went from fascinating discourse to condescending racism almost in the exact amount of time it took to be uttered, and now we know that running an empire, be it drugs or McNuggets or Red China takes lots and lots of critical skills and we wouldn’t dare question the business sense of, say a coke trafficker in Brazil or a chop shop owner in Jersey. It’s obvious that these are smart guys and it’s become increasingly obvious that there are other ways to become incredibly specialized and intelligent besides going to college. But in the early 80’s, this casual racism was a bit of a revelation. When the Times started citing Ice Cube as a lyrical and poetic master (and he is. His shit on Straight Outta Compton” is the most ahead of its time hip hop in the history of the genre) people were flipping out. “He’s no genius!” (adjusts comb-over) “He says shit like ‘finna’ and rhymes about eating Burger King” but that was a pretty square critique. The kids knew that Cube really was pretty brilliant, and everyone who didn’t think so just looked like Mortimer and Lewis from Trading Places.

Now, you see where I’m going with this obviously. I personally find ICP’s lyrics and songs to be so terrible that it’s absurd. “What is a Juggalo?” they ask. “He’ll eat Monopoly and shit out Connect Four.”

I don’t get it. Clearly. It’s so fucking dumb and it celebrates things I don’t think are supposed to be celebrated (stupidity, being fat, murder, being dumb [did I already say that one?], having BBQ sauce all over your hockey jersey, etc) but that’s really no different than what my mom’s generation said about gangster rap. Now, yeah, big difference: I’m PART of the Juggalos generation. I’m fucking younger than those two dumb clowns, but the general idea is the same, and the numbers and everything don’t lie.

What I mean: These guys are probably, no, definitely the most successful musicians of all time. They have a complete vertical monopoly on all things ICP. They OWN the factories where they print their shirts, they own the factories that print their CD’s, they own the trucks that take those fucking cds and shirts to the stores. They own the studio they record in. They own the label that they’re on. They’ve got less people to answer to than Paul McCartney does. They’ve done something that NO ONE ELSE has ever done on such a massive scale, and that cannot be reduced to dumb luck. There’s something else going on there, folks. Something huge.

Yes, the reason that they started doing everything themselves is because no one would touch their dumb ass music with a ten foot pole, but that can’t be grounds for being dismissive about their empire. All great advances come from being ignored, marginalized, fired, pushed into a corner or otherwise stuck. Listen, if Einstein was getting regular blowjobs from hot twins every afternoon, there would be no E=MC2. That’s true. Being ignored doesn’t negate genius. In most cases, it’s the fucking catalyst for it.

So, there’s these two clowns (one fat, one ‘I smoked myself into a piece of beef jerkey’ thin) and they spray soda on one another and they sing songs about chopping up turds and they wrestle and they probably have something to do with nascar and they’re pretty clearly the most successful musicians of all time, just due to the fact that they’re the ONLY people that have ever existed on that scale that answer to NO ONE. And they’ve got a whole CULTURE that’s been created around their retarded mythology. There’s no way to ignore it folks. It’s the big fat, drunk elephantine clown in the room. They’re geniuses. AND, to go back to my earlier point, if they get those Brooklyn dipshits to ape their style, they’re not just geniuses, but they’re truly doing the work of a very hilarious god too.

But still…

Sigh.

I’m gonna go take a shower and pretend the world is a very different place. You should all maybe do the same.

Ta.

Friday, April 16, 2010

hear the angels sing...

Well, as my lovely Dogs of War and regular socks already know, every now and then I have to step back and enumerate the evidence that clearly points to the world coming to an end. There’s no two ways about it people. This is the end of all things. Have you seen 2012? Me either, but I think the science behind it is pretty right on. Some ancient people stopped their calendar thousands of years after they knew they’d all be dead. That seems like pretty rock solid evidence that we’re screwed, right? I think so too.

Just look at that Icelandic volcano. That’s earth telling us to go get fucked. Same with all these devastating earthquakes that are all the rage this 2010 spring third world season. I mean, fuck. That’s not even man vs man or man vs god, that’s just the earth or “mother nature” and we’ve known for a while how that bitch has it out for us. That’s why we’re fighting back with those giant garbage islands that we’re building in all the oceans and cutting down trees and cluttering our atmosphere with space trash, and good for us. I’ve always said that you can’t take a beating lying down. For every earthquake, we should eliminate a species, that’s what I think. Who’s first, you ask? Well, I’m hardly qualified to make these decisions, but since you asked, I’d say either dolphins or the Chinese. What?

Okay, now, western Christian mythology has long foretold four horsemen riding across the sky to signal the apocalypse, but those people had NO FUCKING IDEA what they were talking about. I mean, fuck, have you read that shit? Talking trees, locusts falling from the sky. Methuselah? Shit just doesn’t add up. Jonah and the whale? Virgins having kids? Complete horseshit, folks. What we have here is simply the case of an old man prone to exaggeration, a guy who got straight up eaten by a big sea creature (or maybe just drowned) and of course, in the ultimate twist of hilarity, a chick that liked to bone but wasn’t married and stuck to her story that she’d never boned anyone once someone knocked her up and anyone else would have just come clean.
This is a delicious little twist because this young girl who was having premarital sex and lying to everyone about it, is now seen as an abstraction of divine purity. No wonder depravity and hardcore Christianity go so hand in hand. Pretty cool, really. Even if it is lost on people like Ted Haggard and Larry Craig.

But okay, we’re off topic here. We’re talking the end of the world and I was discussing the four horsemen and how I think it’s a woefully inaccurate portrayal of what’s happening here, at the end of days. I would posit that there are MANY more horsemen out there signaling our doom. Oh yeah, man. Wanna sample? Here goes:

Steven Sagal and his sex slave!- The world is truly coming to an end when A) Steve Sagal is forced to import sex slaves and B) when a woman can resist the greasy, tubby bacon flavored advances of Mr. Sagal. This news is shocking and disturbing for such a long list of reasons that I’m gonna just move on before my head explodes.

Ricky Martin is GAY!!!!- No one saw this coming. Well, maybe one or two people had an idea that he was gay after he got that woman to get artificially inseminated and have his twins. But before that, nah. Ricky Martin, straightest guy in gogo shorts on that entire white yacht full of nothing but muscular oiled up dudes. By far.

A bunch of Hillbillies who are on Medicaid and public assistance protesting the president’s tax and healthcare platforms. These teabaggers are geniuses, or at least the pundits at fox are, because yesterday they warned us to watch out for sneaky liberal-socialists POSING as teabaggers doing idiotic things that will make the whole teabag party look like a bunch of mongoloids. I mean, is there a smarter way to preempt the inevitable embarrassing moment that’s just the overwhelming destiny of bringing the stupidest five percent of the active and aggressively loud population together to protest their own best interest because of some vague notion of a god and communism? Good on ya, Fox news. That’s some crack evasive maneuvering.

Jesse James and that nazi girl- Hey, she’s pretty good looking (if you ignore the fact that she clearly has syphilis) I think and uh…man, who really didn’t see this coming? I mean, the second I first saw Jesse James and Sandra Bullock together I thought to myself “now there’s a couple that’s gonna get ripped apart by a skanky nazi scandal right during what’s supposed to be the best time in their lives and immediately following a series of public proclamations of how in love they are.” Eh, whatever. If you’ve got Nazis in your story, it’s more interesting. That said, end of days, people.

The pope is maybe gonna have to step down due to allegations (that seem pretty fucking dead on) that he engineered a cover up of a boy fucking situation over there in Bavaria when he was a cardinal. Ooooooooooooooooops. And he’s supposed to be God’s voice on earth, eh? Only one explanation: God made little boys gorgeous for a reason.

Finally, Kate Gosselin has been pushed to the breaking point. This once kind, gregarious and beautiful woman is now a raging bitch! How in the world did that happen? And when did she get so fucking ugly? And when did they start making her try to dance? She moves with the grace of a fucking dairy cow trying to do the cha cha. Oh, wait…I was thinking of someone else, because my research indicates that this woman has always been an intolerable cunt with a terrible haircut/face/body. Never mind. Apocalypse averted.

Enjoy your weekend. Folks. Tomorrow is my kid’s birthday. He turns 2! We’re celebrating at the titty bar.

See you there.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

It’s Thursday. I’m exhausted. I’ve been going to bars, interviewing for jobs and generally hanging out and acting awesome and the results are way less sleep than I like to get. It’s a good thing my wife’s having a baby in a few weeks. Then I’ll be able to relax and get the sleep that I’ve been missing out on. I’m going nuts, folks.

Speaking of sleep deprivation induced lunacy, I just saw a trailer for a movie starring Gavin McInnes called “A Million in the Morning.” It looks pretty good. Also, I just got a crazy head rush. If I wasn’t already sitting down, I would have sat down. As it stands, I don’t really know what to do. Lie down? That’s ridiculous. Who ever heard of blogging while lying down? That’s the absolutely last rung on the ladder of creative output. Blogging while lying down…jeez. That’s a step beneath tricking out your World Of Warcraft avatar with new cool tights and tunics even.

Okay, whatever. Headrush gone. Now I’m gonna get into the meat of today’s article. You dildos ready?

Good.

When I was a youth, I often found myself in debates about whether something was ‘punk rock’ or not. Now, let’s make no mistake here, this is a stupid conversation absolutely 100% of the time. You’re quite literally better off having that dumb conversation about the notion that colors are different to different people, as in: “what if my blue is your red, bro?”

The general notion here is that since we all have necessarily unique world views (from inside our heads, duh) all sorts of shit, specifically colors, could be totally crazy different to everyone’s eyes and the fact that you and your homie agree that your chuck taylors are red and so is period blood only really exemplifies that you two have the same grasp on colors relative to other things, but the true objective meaning of “red” (ready for this?) could be anything bro. Anything at all.

This is the dumbest conversation of all time. Everyone has it. Everyone freaks out over a huge bowl of Cookie Crisp while high some afternoon and wonders if in fact the milk doesn’t look more like blue goop than what we traditionally think of as milk (whiteish), but the fact is, that’s how you see things and you’re never gonna occupy someone else’s mind, so color vision is a case where objective=subjective and that’s all there is to it. Also, you and your turd friends are no more unique and inquisitive when stoned than me and my turd friends were twenty years ago or my dad thirty years before me and back and back and back all the way to the pharaohs.

Now, as I read over this last paragraph, I’m struck by three things: 1) I’m absolutely awesome at blogging 2) that’s up there on the uselessness meter with being awesome at not clinking those Chinese relaxation balls together when you rotate them in your hand (something else I’m awesome at, by the way, ladies) and finally 3) The ‘is this punk rock’ question is even dumber than the endless skullfuck that is the objective color theory. Here’s why:

Punk rock is just a dumb idea that a bunch of people cooked up and ascribed a bunch of different notions to. It’s been woven with ideologies as completely opposed to each other as ‘no future’ and ‘eliminate our carbon footprint, don’t eat animals love your mother’. That RIGHT THERE is enough of a reason to be able to say that defining something as ‘punk rock’ is like defining something as ‘my favorite.’ It’s a completely subjective, arbitrary thing that can and will change as your own tastes and lifestyles change.

What kids are really asking when they ask “is this or that punk rock” is more along the lines of “I define myself as a punk rocker. Is this something I approve of on an either visceral or logical level? Can it fit into my own identity as something that I associate with or not?” And that’s navel gazing at best and a completely idle masturbatory excuse to hand down judgments and call your friends half stepping posers at worst.

Here’s an example from a conversation I had with Matt Stamps, the guitarist from my old band when we were sixteen:

Matt: do you think wiping down your strings after a show is punk rock?

Me: (unintelligible mumbling)

Matt: What?

Me: I said ‘no way, broseph!”*

Matt: Well, I think it is. Know why?

Me: Why’s that?

Matt: Because wiping down your strings keeps ‘em bright for longer, and that means you don’t have to change them as much and saving money is punk rock.

Me: (thoughtfully) Hmmmmmm….

Now, I don’t think I need to go into why this conversation is so mind numbingly stupid, do I? Of course not. But I’d just like to posit that ‘saving money’ is something that your parents do and try to impress the importance of onto you, and punk rock, like it or not kiddos, is really just one big response to lame parents constantly being up in kids shit, and therefore saving money is NOT punk rock. However, being poor, or at least not having a job or relying on your parents, some would argue IS punk rock, and therefore, saving money is a lifestyle necessity which makes it totally punk, bro. So there you go. We’re both wrong.

Okay, I feel stupider for even having indulged Matt’s and my sixteen year old selves with any response at all that doesn’t just sound like a giant fart noise.

The funny thing is, there’s very few musical genres that offer a lifestyle to go along with it. Hip hop, Metal and punk. That’s about it. I mean, sure, if you’re into white guy funk or gay pop or whatever, you probably have some mannerisms and fashion ideas that come from your musical genre’s culture, but people don’t say “that shirt is really gay pop” or “dude, Wolf Blitzer is totally white guy funk.” It doesn’t happen. It’s not even REALLY overtly stated with hip hop, though people tend to define hip hop in the reverse of metal and punk. Here’s what I mean:

People say shit like “John McEnroe is totally Metal” or “KFC is NOT punk rock dude!” but with hip hop they tend to define hip hop by what it’s about. “Hip hop IS three in the morning grilled cheese specials at the diner” “Hip hop is all about fresh, clean socks.” I don’t know why that difference exists. Is there any sort of fundamental cultural difference between metal/punk tastemakers and those of hip hop? Huh. None that I can think of.

Anyway, moving on.

This is becoming long, and I have to go get on my bicycle. It’s beautiful out there and I’m rambling on the internet about what’s punk and what’s metal and what hip hop is. I may as well be lying down.

Okay dildos. I can’t figure everything out for you today. Your turn.

Bye.

*I probably didn’t really say it this way.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

so it goes

How do you think “Tralfamadore” is pronounced? There’s really not much of a way to find out, unless there’s some tape of Vonnegut reading from Slaughterhouse 5 I guess. I looked it up on the internet and I came quickly to the conclusion that aside from Vonnegut himself, there’s really no one who has any authority regarding the pronunciation of Tralfamadore. It’s just a bunch of people casting judgment down without any indication that they know what they’re talking about. That’s a strange thing to have happen on the internet, but apparently all sorts of people have just decided that they fancy themselves experts without having any credentials. Truly a cyber anomaly if ever there was one, right?

Is it Tral FAM a dore, or TRAL famadore or what? Now, this may seem like a finicky little point, but it’s not. It’s a big deal. Pronunciation is important and mispronunciation just fucks up everything, from your enjoyment of a piece of art to your opinion of a friend to your own self esteem. Allow me to elucidate by way of example:

Age sixteen, I, a young Brendan Kelly first meet one of my boyhood heroes “fat” Mike Burkett. My band at the time, Slapstick had just attempted to open for his band, Nofx at the fireside bowl in Chicago, but our bass drum broke during the first song (a little ditty called “The Geek” [really? sigh…] and we left the stage brokenhearted. Mike approached me and kindly bullshat with me for a while about disappointments and how they were to be expected in a crappy industry like this. After a while of what seemed to me at the time like hours of exercising all the restraint that my sixteen year old self could muster, I had to stop pretending that I was just hanging out with a peer and start to punish him a little.

My two best friends at the time, Eric and Chris and I used to listen to the last song on the Nofx album Ribbed, entitled “the Malachi Crunch” whenever we wanted to get stoked for anything. That was THE song that got our blood flowing, and at the time, it was about our favorite song in the world. For those of you who don’t know, it’s about a bully who ends up getting fucked in the ass in prison. It’s probably the only good song in the world to use the phrase “hot beef injection”.

Anyway, we loved that shit and I decided that I’d pluck up my courage and say “man, I gotta tell you, me and my friends we fucking love your band. Our favorite tune is The Malachi Crunch. You gonna play that tonight?”

Mike looked at me like I was sprouting dicks off my chin right before his eyes. I had pronounced Malachi like the name, like Children of the Corn, like MAL-uh-kye. He said “MAL uh kye? It’s pronounced (now at this point, I don’t know how to spell out phonetically the way he pronounced it, but it was pretty much exactly like how you say Siracha but with the appropriate consonants replaced) Malachi, dude.”

And I was crestfallen. I went back and told Eric and Chris that Malachi was pronounced Malachi not Malachi and they too were crestfallen. It kind of ruined the song for us, actually. I felt like a boob and well, it’s like finding out your uncle is a dog fucker or something. Well, no. Not quite. It’s like finding out your architect uncle is into Nascar. Nothing changes. He’s still an architect. He’s still your same uncle, but this thing you thought you knew…nope. You didn’t know at all. It’s unnerving. Shouldn’t be, but is.

I have certain pronunciation issues that completely dictate my opinion of those people pronouncing things thusly. Supposably is a big issue for me. So is lit-rally instead of literally. What else? I heard a girl say vivrations one time instead of vibrations and any notions I’d maybe had of fucking her vanished quicker than the mozzarella sticks at the celebrity fit club wrap party. I can’t stand when people say nucular instead of nuclear. Shit like that. The big stuff. There’s lots more of these, but I’m blanking a little bit right now. As it is, I try very hard to keep these irritating mispronunciations far from my brain, so maybe that’s why I’m having a hard time listing my least favorites.

Conversely there’s certain mispronunciations I think are awesome. The reverend Bob Levy says ‘innerduce’ instead of introduce, and I think that’s pretty righteous. Actually, lots of regional mispronunciations-as-built-into-dialect tend to be pretty awesome. Like when a girl from boston says “Haahdah” when she’s getting banged for example. Pretty great. That’s unfortunately a key part of a great dream that I never got to see come true, but hey, this isn’t about the different types of girls I wish I’d boned…sigh. This is a highbrow discussion on grammar, innit? Of course it is. Let’s get back on track, shall we?

Good.

Finally, there’s at least one word I can just barely bring myself to pronounce properly. It’s sycophant. I have traditionally mispronounced it as ‘syncophant’ which I think is so much easier to say, but a few years ago I realized to my abject horror, that I’d been mispronouncing this word for years and therefore unwittingly exposing my lack of erudition to all sorts of mofos. But man, it’s so fucking hard to say without the N in there. And I know that’s the way you’ve gotta say it, but it just feels wrong on my tongue.

Anyway, where were we? Oh, right? Tralfamadore. What’s that? You don’t know about Tralfamadore? You gotta look it up man. It’s a cool spot. They let you fuck movie stars on Tralfamadore, apparently.

Today, we hit the zoo. Watch out sheep! I’m comin for ya!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

ah, back to the mind numbing reality of being useless

Okay, so it’s Tuesday. Last night I went to a pretty hilarious bar/club type place to see about getting a job. I felt, erm…uh…old in there, to say the least. Lots of headbands and neon sleeveless v neck shirts and lots of people dancing really jerkily to kind of attempt to mask how awkward and insecure they were clearly feeling. I’m sure that place turns into an everyone-find-someone-to-fingerbang-in-the-bathrooms type place about one am, but I took off before that bell tolled, thankfully.

I was there to meet a manager, but I couldn’t find her. I hung out and asked around for her for about an hour and then, faced with the impossibly early morning that is part and parcel with having a child, I pulled the ripcord and went home. Every person I asked said the same thing: “oh, she should be here. I’m sure she’s around,” but that wasn’t the case at all. Oh well. Stupid failure. There’s probably a lesson to be gleaned from trying and failing, right? Probably. I dunno. I’ll figure it out another time.

As of now, I’m still unemployed. I’m in workout clothes and my kid’s watching Jack’s Big Music Show in his pajamas. Just got an extension on our taxes. I’m tired from hanging out with a bunch of hipsters…no. that’s not right. I’m tired from standing in the same room as a bunch of hipsters. I didn’t so much as make eye contact with any of the patrons of that place. Not that they seemed like bad kids. Just…huh. I gotta imagine that I seemed like a creepy old dude. Regardless, the end result is today I’m feeling a little bit useless. Also, I keep reliving my Saturday in my head, which was pretty fucking intense. Here’s the story:

My kid got up at 645. I got up with him and let my old lady sleep in. We cruised down the road and got some coffee and then went to a playground. Then we went and did some off-road downhill stroller race stuff that was pretty cool for a while and then we headed back to the little playground right by our house to do a little last minute climb/swing type shit before breakfast.

Well, at this point, it’s about 745 in the morning. My kid is on this series of metal blocks that sort of resemble a large area of indeterminate Escher-esque stairs and he stepped off one, missed the one he was trying to step on and wound up tumbling down these metal steps, got flung onto the monkey bar platform, bounced off that and hit the ground. It was gnarly. Not the worst fall in the world. I wasn’t concerned that he was dead or anything, but it looked like it hurt pretty good.

He started to cry and I picked him up and that’s when shit got a little bit crazy. When I picked him up, I realized that he was bleeding. I realized this because his entire chin and neck were so covered in goopy red that I couldn’t see his skin, and his jacket and shirt had blood ringing the neck out to the shoulders. This huge amount of blood escaped from this kid in under two seconds.

So yeah, shit was terrifying.

I ran him home and threw him in the tub and when all the blood was off it was revealed that he had a pretty decent gash under his chin. I put a band aid on him, but he wasn’t really having it, so I had to wear a band aid on my chin too all day, you know, in solidarity. I felt like Nelly. (remember nelly?)

After his nap, there was this yellow fat cell thing just kind of hanging out of the hole in his chin, so my old lady and I decided maybe to go down to the hospital to get him patched up.

Everyone has been telling me that they glue kids up now. That sounds okay. We get there and the doctor says, ‘nah. That’s gotta be sutured.”

Know how they stitch up a baby’s face? Let me tell you: they strap his head and body to a board and then they give him nine shots of lydocane in the chin and then they just go in and sew him. He screams the whole time. His dad becomes very pale and dizzy and the doctor looks at the dad and says “dude, you’re already pretty pale. How bout you wait outside.”

Dad almost passes out in the hallway. Dad talks to an 82 year old woman to kind of take his mind off the screaming terror/torture sounds coming from behind the hanging sheet that’s like 8 feet away. Dad is actually feeling dizzy RIGHT NOW just recalling this shit.

Kid comes out of the whole thing just fine and gets to eat taco bell and ice cream as a reward for going through Civil War style surgery.

Lemme tell you, you need some sort of exciting way to fill your day and get your blood flowing, just poke a hole in your kid and watch the doctors in the ER fix him up. Better than coffee and an apple. No shit.

Glad that’s done, to be honest.

Oh, and the other night I saw K’naan. He was incredible. I feel pretty bad for Wale, who had to go on after him, as there is NO WAY that anyone could follow K’naan’s last tune. He did this version of Wavin’ Flag that absolutely blew my mind. One of the most captivating live performances in recent memory, for sure. Am I rambling? Well, fuck, man, there’s lots going on.

Whatever. I’m going to the gym. Fuck all y’all.