26 November 2006
25 November 2006
24 November 2006
Something 4 The Weekend # 15
Why is the biggest shopping day of the year called "Black Friday"?
Is it an ironic nod to the fact that the stores, the restaurants, the parking lots and the roads are an absolute nightmare on this day? This holiest of consumer celebrations?
Why do the news anchors say "Black Friday" with a smile on their faces?
Is it because they're comfortably removed from the bedlam, sipping coffee in their offices?
Quite frankly, I don't care about Black Friday, since I traditionally stay in the house on this day. I listen to music, maybe read a little, take a nap every few hours and in general try to forget that the reason for the season involves things like Best Buy Reward Zone Bonus Points.
Black Friday brings Nick Cave to mind.
Nick Cave: Up Jumped The Devil: 128k mp3
Dissonance abounds this time of year!
23 November 2006
21 November 2006
Do You Want Teen Pop, Or Do You Want The Truth?
One of my favorite performers in the whole world, and Kelly Clarkson, are working together, and here's the photographic proof.
Mike Watt, legendary bassist for Minutemen, firehose, and a billion other bands and projects, lent his thunderbroom prowess to a half dozen tracks slated for Kelly Clarkson's next album. On my short list of heroes, Mike Watt certainly makes the cut. Not only are the Minutemen arguably the finest rock band of all time, but over the years Watt has proven to be THE GLUE of the underground/indie rock scene in America. The Minutemen literally paved the way for every band that followed 'em, in terms of putting together a network of clubs, fans, and local bands which makes it possible for any indie band to mount a national tour. Plus, he's always honored the memory of d. Boon, my one true rock hero, with great humor, affection, and class.
Kelly Clarkson. You know why I love Kelly Clarkson? Because 99% of all celebrity bloggers call her a fat-ass, a fugly cow, or something else rather rude and undeserved. The truth is, she's alot like that chick yr gonna hook up with at yr dorm's Christmas party (don't deny it) right down to that punk rock chin zit, and you know what? She's gonna be all kinds of fun. All kinds. She ain't no skin and bones, babycakes, she's built for the high energy party lifestyle. Plus, Kelly Clarkson can sing like nobody's business, and that's actually kind of rare for the top of the Billboard charts, to say nothing of yr coed dorms, where auto-tuners are definitely the norm.
Anyways, I can't wait to hear this Watt-Clarkson thing. Unreal.
Thanks to Pitchforkmedia for the story and picture.
20 November 2006
Let's Go To The Mall!
Back in 1987, I was in a band called Mumniti. We were five entirely pretentious art punks who were mad at the world, and more specifically, the recording industry, because there we were, a middling band on the Milwaukee scene, watching acts like Richard Marx, Wang Chung, and The Jets on MTV and sitting near the top of the Billboard charts.
Oh, we were smart enough to realize our Art Punk pretensions would never make us rich or famous, but I think we were too young and naive to understand exactly how Pop Culture behaves and exists.
Anyways, I remember one night, after a typical band practice, we sat around Biff's living room with our girlfriends and a couple other hangers on, and we took turns talking to teenybopper strangers on the Tiffany Hotline, a 1-900 chatline brought to synergistic life through the wonder that was Tiffany, heir to Debbie Gibson's teen pop throne. Tiffany, who's ascent to that throne went through any and every mall in America.
So, here we are.
I watched the CBS sitcom, How I Met Your Mother, tonight, and the big payoff of the episode was this video, which shows one of the characters in her teenage years, when she was a Canadian pop princess who rose to semi-fame via a mall tour of her own.
I laughed a little, and I cried a little. I laughed because America really loved its denim back in the late '80's, and I cried because Mumniti was a great fucking band, and I miss those guys.
OJ Simpson just received word that both his book and subsequent 2-part interview on FOX television have been cancelled, and now he won't be able to tell the world how he would have killed his ex-wife Nicole, and her friend Ron, if given the opportunity.
You know, hypothetically.
Moments after this picture was taken, a heartbroken Juice ran off the stage crying.
The killer is still out there, people. Let's be safe.
It seems Tommy Lee enlisted in the Army this past weekend, when the cognitively-challenged musician mistook a recruitment center on Hollywood Boulevard for a Starbucks. He will be stationed in Afghanistan after completion of his basic training.
Reached for comment, the Motley Crue drummer said, "At first, I was scared shitless, but then Nikki Sixx told me that Afghanistan is covered with poppy fields, so I figure my tour of duty will be alot like the Crue's Theater Of Pain Tour, which was a fucking blast. Now I'm wicked psyched to go. Plus, I convinced Scott Weiland to enlist too. We're gonna be bunkmates."
An NBC film crew will be embedded with the duo's unit to record footage for a live-action sitcom to premier sometime next year.
18 November 2006
Making War Just For Fun
Osama Bin Laden is left-handed. So is Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Kim Jong Il is not left-handed, but Hugo Chavez definitely is.
John Kerry and John McCain are both left-handed, but Kerry writes right-handed, so he's a goddamned traitor to Thee Sinistral League. They both voted in favor of the War In Iraq.
Barack Obama is a lefty.
As far as I know, none of the main players in the current administration are southpaws, but you know, this schtick's gotta breakdown sometime...
Shout out to Ben Franklin, yo!
Speaking Of Southpaws...
The Kinks: Sunny Afternoon
Some people will tell you that The Kinks invented Heavy Metal (and possibly Punk) in July of 1964 when they went into IBC Studios and recorded "You Really Got Me", and ya know what? I'm not gonna argue.
Check out Dave Davies' Flying V guitar in this video. The Flying V went on to become one of the two or three truly iconic guitars of the Metal genre, and the only other guitarist slinging a V in 1966 would have been American Blues master, Albert King.
But "Sunny Afternoon" is not a Heavy Metal song, and there are no crying guitar solos ala Mr. King. This is simply a scathing indictment of the idle rich masquerading as a perfectly lovely 3 minute pop song that's fun to sing along with anytime, but especially in the summertime. That may not be Metal, but it certainly seems Punk. Whatever.
This also must be considered a very early music video, since the producers took the band off the stage and outta the studio, and had 'em playing in a clearing in the woods. In the winter. So cheeky. And what's with the car and the pack of dogs at the beginning? All I can figure is that our beloved Kinks are on the lam from the law, possibly for criticizing the Ruling Class, and I wonder if this video ended too soon, before a scene of the Davies brothers and their rhythm section being mauled by the dogs of law.
Anyways, what I love best about this particular render, is the fact that the video and audio don't synch, giving it a decidedly "lazy feel".
Also, I think I see where Panic! At The Disco stole their look.
17 November 2006
Something 4 The Weekend # 14
16 November 2006
15 November 2006
Move Over, Frankenstein!
Maybe I've seen Young Frankenstein too many times over the years...It started when I was 8 years old, in 1974. My family was camping in Door County, WI, and there was a terrible thunderstorm one night, so dad drove us into town, Egg Harbor, and we went to a theater and ayup, we saw Young Frankenstein...I didn't understand plenty of it, though I got the knocker joke...
Over the years I've seen that film a dozen times, I suppose, and yeah, it's a classic, to be sure, but last night I watched The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother for the first time, and it was fantastic. And maybe it's just the thrill of that first, fresh viewing, but I dare say, this film might just be better than Young Frankenstein. Yeah, I will dare.
Wait, no I won't. But it's a close second, if that counts.
Why did it take me 31 years to see this film? How did I miss this for so long?
This is Gene Wilder's writing and directing debut, and the title pretty much says it all - this is a farce about the sibling rivalry between Sherlock Holmes and the younger brother forever living in his shadow. Wilder plays Sigerson, the jealous brother who just so happens to be private detective himself. As the film begins, Sherlock passes off one of his cases to Sigerson, and from there it's 90 minutes of clever wordplay and Marty Feldman's eyes. Advanced swordplay and silly slapstick. Sight gags that Gondry might steal, and Madeleine Kahn at her very best, playing the damsel in distress, who yeah, just so happens to sing in a semi-operatic style, one of Kahn's trademarks. The lady did shrill like nobody's business.
Wilder, Feldman, Kahn - yeah, it's the same trio from Young Frankenstein, and yeah, it's similar in taste and tone to Mel Brooks' best films, though in Wilder's hands, it's all a bit more intellectual, and possibly more absurd.
And then there's Dom DeLuise, playing the blackmailer, Eduardo Gambetti, and first of all, it's DeLuise at his best, before he got hung up with Burt Reynolds, and secondly, I just want to say that Jack Black is the Dom DeLuise of this generation. Yeah, I dare, dude.
Gene Wilder only directed five films in his career, and wrote nine, but this was his 14th film as an actor, and it's clear that he learned alot from Brooks, and was smart enough to essentially "cash in" on the success of Young Frankenstein from the previous year. Hell, Brooks even has a voice cameo near the beginning.
Speaking of voices, pay attention to Wilder's. That's the first joke. And then there's a whole lot more.
And Marty Feldman's eyes.
Five stars and all that...Queue it up today...
$16.47 at Amazon
O.J. Simpson just won't go away, will he? I mean, for the most part, he stays out of the media spotlight, and sticks to the golf courses of Florida, where a man can be alone with his own thoughts. But every once in awhile, every couple of years since his acquittal in 1995, O.J. leaves the links just long enough to grant a cryptic/creepy interview, or promote something like an appearance at a charity golf event.
So, here we are again...
O.J. is back in the news, this time to promote a new book entitled If I Did It, in which he hypothetically explains how he would have murdered his ex-wife, Nicole Brown, and her friend, Ronald Goldman.
His publisher, Judith Regan, told the Associated Press, "This is an historic case, and I consider this his confession."
Well, fuck yeah, it's his confession. Every time he's been in front of the bright light of a television camera over the past decade, spewing strange soundbites to the aether, he's been confessing.
People have an incredibly hard time keeping secrets, especially the deep and dark kind, and O.J. is people, after all. Good people. He'll tell you so himself. He pleads "Not Guilty" every once in awhile, and in the court of public opinion, the vast majority of us go "Pfft, yeah right." and then we get back to our online Soduko puzzle and Paris Hilton upskirt pics.
"Double jeopardy, dude, nothing we can do about it now."
Confessions or not, O.J. Simpson craves attention. How could he not, considering his legendary football career, and his transition into acting and announcing in the Monday Night Football booth with the greatest sports announcer of all time, Howard Cosell. The Juice needs that spotlight, and maybe even demands it. Those lights shined bright from the start - He won the Heisman Trophy at the age of 21, right there in downtown Los Angeles at USC, and three years later he bacame the NFL's first "2000 Man".
Hell, it's my belief that O.J. murdered Nicole and Ron because she wasn't giving O.J. her attention anymore, and some of the attention that had been O.J.'s was shining down on Ron, and The Juice wasn't having any of that. Hell no.
So here we are, a dozen years after that horrible night, and O.J. is sitting down for an interview with FOX, natch, and among other things, he's gonna discuss the way in which he would have murdered Nicole and Ron, IF he had done the deed. Fuckin' A! And for those of us who aren't gonna be DVRing the hell outta that, never fear, he lays it all down in black and white in the book.
Even if he truly didn't do it, this is just so twisted and surreal. Creepy and wrong. It serves no purpose other than to terrorize the victims' families and friends, and to remind everybody else that the killer is still out there, and we haven't caught him yet.
Happy Birthday, Weinermobile!
I don't know 'bout things where you live, but here in Madison seeing the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile rollin' 'round town is a daily happenin'...Hell, Weinermobile convoys ain't outta the norm, babycakes. Ya see, Oscar Mayer's world headquarters are here in Madtown...In fact, it's only about 2 miles from my house, and yeah, there are days the entire Northeast part of the city smells faintly of bacon. Add to that the fact that there's a Gardner's Bread factory just two blocks away, making my neighborhood smell like toast, and well, I always eat a heavy breakfast.
Anyways, the Weinermobile turned 70 years old this week, and due to Oscar Mayer's lame insurance plan, retirement is nowhere in sight.
Happy Birthday, Weinermobile!
14 November 2006
Extra! Extra! Read All About It!
13 November 2006
I figured I ought to post this MUCKO! before this entire Ted Haggard noodle chewing story is gone and forgotten.
It's not that I have a problem with snorting meth and engaging in cranky man-on-man action, but I do have a problem with hypocrites, especially people who claim some sort of moral authority, damn homosexuals to eternal hellfire, convince thousands and millions of others that cranky man-on-man action is a deadly sin, and then commit this so-called "sin" in some two-bit Colorado Springs motel while his pious wife and kids think he's working late at the Church, trying to keep the world, and especially the children, free and safe from meth-sweaty bear action.
If there is a heaven above, I believe Ted Haggard's day of reckoning is gonna be an eye-opener.
Good luck, dude!
Scenes From A Mid-Life Crisis # 73
Now, what you need to know is that I did my fair share of professional cooking in my younger adult years, which is my way of saying, I'm a pretty damn good cook. In particular, I'm a damn fine soupmaker. Not a "Soup Nazi" though, because I believe that "soup is love" (not to be confused with Robyn Hitchcock's belief that "casserole is friendship")...
But I digress...
So, I made a crockpot full of chicken noodle soup tonight, and I just had the first bowl from the pot a few minutes ago...Sadly, I must report that this batch of soup has reaffirmed the fact that I still haven't mastered the use of celery salt.
I'm 40 years old, and have been cooking seriously for the better part of 20 years, and I have yet to master the the wily celery salt. Granted, it is one of the most difficult seasonings to master, but that is no excuse. After 20 years, I really should have a better handle of the stuff.
This is exactly the kind of thing that keeps me up at night.
That is all. (I bet you never expected to see a picture of celery salt on this blog)...
While Winona Ryder's tight connection to my heart will never be severed (in other words, she'll always be #1 on my Laminated List), it must be said that if Kristen Wiig continues to be the funniest and most reliable member of the current SNL cast, as well as a bonafide beauty, then I have to admit Monica Bellucci's current standing at #2 (on my aforementioned list) is in serious jeopardy. Seriously. So, do yrself a favor and check out SNL, if yr not a hardcore regular like me, and see the bright new star of comedy.
And please don't tell me SNL sucks, and has sucked for years, because if you do, I'll just call you a lemming. And a moron. I'll call you a moronic lemming.
11 November 2006
I Call Her "Britney" To Fight Her Terrors
Labels: Interdimensional Witches
10 November 2006
Something 4 The Weekend # 13
"George had a hat, but it wasn't where it wasn't at..."
George had the House, and the Senate...He had cover, comfort...a bit of protection against the elements...
George's hat blew off and away on Tuesday...The winds of change, if I may be so trite...
Today? Trombone solo!!!!!
Pere Ubu: "George Had A Hat": 128kbps mp3
06 November 2006
EVERYTHINGATHON! November 2006
This month's episode of EVERYTHINGATHON! is a slightly tweaked version of an old episode of the classic radio show, Tales Of The Texas Rangers. I've added some sound effects, did some audio editing, some dialogue rearranging, added a few appropriately old and dusty countryfolkblues tunes, and slapped that EVERYTHINGATHON! label all over it, for your listening pleasure...Thee WBST Radio Playhouse presents...The Suck Tip!
As usual, it's available for streaming and download at The ButterScotch Threshold, my groovy and uselessly excessive website, soon entering it's fifth year of irreverent irrelevance. Enjoy!
04 November 2006
HANK RANKS, No.6
04: ABC 27 WKOW: "Making A Difference"
At some point in the hazy past, local news teams came to the market-driven conclusion that giving us the news simply wasn't enough, and that they needed to be our friends, and as our friends, get involved in our lives and communities in such a way that they improved our lives. Now, before you judge me as being cold and crass, let me just say that it IS good when people help people. Having said that, let me just say, I turn on the news to get the news, not to watch any number of self-serving, self-aggrandizing weeklong series about anchormen doing bike rides for deadly diseases, weathermen in soup kitchens and simply adorable kittens named McDreamy and Simba at the Park Street animal shelter. I say this as a lifelong cat-owner - just read the fucking news, Greg Jeschke, you only got 22 minutes, minus the Weather Central Microcast bullshit and Action Sports.
03: CBS 3 WISC: "Informed, Involved, In Touch"
Rather than "Making a Difference" like my friends at ABC, my other friends at CBS are "Involved". Not only are they "Involved", they're also "In Touch", and most importantly, "Informed". It's great and slick of them to put "Informed" first in their tryptych of super news powers, but in the end, there's too much touchy involvement in my life, and I'm not too cool with that. Like I said, I've already got cats, and like I haven't said, my friends don't wear suits, and many of them don't even brush their hair.
02: NBC 15 WMTV: "Coverage You Can Count On"
Now we're getting somewhere. My friends at NBC don't bother bragging about making a difference in my life, being in touch with my world, or really getting involved in any overly intimate way that I'm not cool with. Oh sure, they're still patting themselves on the back for a few minutes every broadcast, but at least they're promising Coverage. And yeah, it might be a bit touchy-feely, but I Can Count On That Coverage. Well, except for Charlie Shortino's TrueView weather forecasts.
01: FOX 47 WMSN: "Your City, Your Source"
Hell yeah, this is my city! Madtown Madison, and damn if my friends at FOX ain't claiming to be my source. Black-brimmed and trenched like some deep-throated Jack Abramoff weasel. "Your City, Your Source" hits hard, and as a slogan, can't be beat by the other three. But slogans are one thing, and affiliations, another. FOX News sucks from my vantage point, and Mark Hyman's The Point is nothing more than ninety seconds of nightly Republican Party talking points and an Honorably Discharged hairdo.
Velvet Welk Underground
OH MY! Two of my favorite things, The Lawrence Welk Show and The Velvet Underground, mashed together in video format for two plus minutes of glorious Sister Ray goodness. If the video quality was better, this would be one for the ages...
03 November 2006
Something 4 The Weekend # 12
This song has killed people, but I'm not sure Lou Reed can be held as an accomplice. Gramercy Park Hotel cocaine groupies out on the balcony in the pale moonlight, girls of sixteen, white as bags of wicked good heroin, and what's a poor boy to do but sing in a glam blues band?
Glamercy Park hangers on kept hanging on...Monkey on the shower head with a double-barreled microphone...And birds...So many birds...Exotic...Uncaged...And what's Lou to do, after his machine and pure speed nearly crushed him?
Take the scene to Mediasound, NYC, lord the main and master in the back, so many illicit thrusts and jams...Hallucinating kind and $500 bottles of wine in the control room...The maker is outta his mind, and the fakers hang on for their lives...Yeah, more birds and apes...Death in the vocal booth, but it's not the singer this time, it's the song...Pre-meditated heart attack, or something like that...
Hey, babycakes, what's yr style? How do you come back after yr big crash? Eyeliner and more electricity, or acid naps and dreams of milk?
Lou Reed: Coney Island Baby: "Kicks" [128kbps mp3]
Hey, babycakes! How do ya get yr kicks for living?
01 November 2006
Shreddin' For Truthiness
This photograph has been making the rounds in the liberal blogosphere the last couple of days. It shows a truck from Mid-Atlantic Shredding Services outside "His Excellency President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Dick Cheney, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Sea, and Conqueror of the Baa'thist Empire in The Fertile Crescent in General and Iraq in Particular" compound at the Naval Observatory. Mid-Atlantic Shredding Services has been contracted by the Secret Service to handle all the White House's shredding needs. Naturally, the liberal blogosphere has gotten itself into a tizzy regarding this development.
Exactly what is Dick Cheney shredding in there?
The liberal blogosphere, of course, assumes the worst, but I'm here to tell you, babycakes, that according to my well-placed operative within the Cheney compound, that our honorable Vice-President is simply trying to dispose of the three tons of credit card applications he has received from Capital One over the last six months. I believe all of us can relate.
Thanks to Wonkette for the picture.