26 November 2009

A Word With Moshammer's Ghost


Function: noun

Etymology: earlier iname, from Portuguese inhame & Spanish ñame, of African origin; akin to Fulani nyami to eat
Date: 1657
01: the edible starchy tuberous root of various plants (genus Dioscorea of the family Dioscoreaceae) used as a staple food in tropical areas; "I'm gonna eat so much stuffing and yams, I'm not gonna poop for a week."
02: a moist, usually orange-fleshed, sweet potato; "I'm not shitting you, the guy's head was so fucking misshaped, and his hair was so fucking orange, that we called him 'The Yam' or just 'Yam', and believe me, he hated it. Even his girlfriend called him 'Yam', or her 'sweet potato'! Fucking priceless."

Hotcha! Hank

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A Very Nice And Well-Behaved Sideways Maneuver

...And don't the kids just love 'em?

Hotcha! Hank

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24 November 2009

Tuesday's Fortune: 24 November 2009

MEAL: 1 Vegetable Spring Roll + 1 small order Hunan Pork = $5.75 + $1.25 tip

Hotcha! Hank

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20 November 2009

Something 4 The Weekend # 144

The Jesus & Mary Chain: Psychocandy: "Taste Of Cindy" [mp3]

One must wonder if Dean Wareham was using "Taste Of Cindy" as inspiration when he wrote "Cindy Tastes Of Barbecue", featured on last week's S4TW...

Well, one mustn't, but one could...Is mustn't even a word?

I just checked Merriam-Webster.com, and hell yeah, it's listed...

One could wonder about these things. About Dean Wareham's inspirations. About contractions. But I'm gonna reminisce about the Cindy I knew who tasted like a Beth I knew....

The Beth I knew tasted like Root Beer. I knew her the year this album came out. She didn't like The Jesus & Mary Chain at all, her tastes running towards Classical and German Opera. I was fairly apathetic about JMC then, and I guess I still am now. While I love tons of distortion and feedback in many situations, I've just never been much of a fan of heavy reverb in almost any situation. All things considered, this is a pretty cool song (it's brevity is a plus+++), and I can respect JMC for sounding pretty much nothing like any other band that had come before them...

I have no idea whether the Cindy I knew who tasted like a Beth I knew liked or disliked The Jesus & Mary Chain, or even knew who they are.

Hotcha! Hank

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17 November 2009

Tuesday's Fortune: 17 November 2009

MEAL: 1 Roast Pork Egg Roll + 1 small order Chicken With Pea Pods = $5.35 + $1.65 tip

Hotcha! Hank

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My 12 Favorite Groucho Marx Character Names

The Marx Brothers made 12 films together (Love Happy, the 13th, finds Groucho only narrating), about half of which still stand as absolute classics of the Comedy genre, and which still are absolutely hilarious after 70 years. One of my favorite aspects of these films are the names of Groucho Marx's characters. This is a ranking of those twelve names, complete with a little blathering about each.


12: Gordon Miller; Room Service [1938]
The most pedestrian name of the bunch. I'd venture to say that maybe after 8 films, Groucho Marx was just getting tired or lazy, but character names from two of the Marx Brothers last four films are much higher on this list.

11: Captain Spaulding; Animal Crackers [1930]
There's nothing necessarily funny or unusual about the name Captain Spaulding, but at least this character has a title, and not just some beige suburban name like Gordon Miller.

10: Quentin Quale; Go West [1940]
A couple points for alliteration, and another couple for using the letter Q, which everybody knows is the fifth funniest letter in the alphabet. Minus one point because Go West is my least favorite Marx Brothers film.

09: Rufus T. Firefly; Duck Soup [1933]
Duck Soup was the first of four Marx Brothers film in which Groucho's character had a middle initial in his name, so you'd think this name would be higher on this list, but I'm going to justify the ranking by suggesting that Groucho was just getting warmed up with this maneuver. Not that it really matters, and everybody already knows this, but T is the 18th funniest letter in the alphabet.

08: Professor Quincy Adams Wagstaff; Horse Feathers [1932]
In this film, the one immediately prior to Duck Soup, Groucho's character uses his full middle name, and not just the initial, and it works not only as an allusion to President John Quincy Adams, but also to elongate the name to funny proportions without turning into outright absurdity. This was 1932, after all. BTW and FTIW - Horse Feathers is my favorite Marx Brothers film.

07: Wolf J. Flywheel; The Big Store [1941]
This was the fourth and final time Groucho would use a middle initial in his character's name, but as you can tell by the rankings, I'm not willing to contend he had perfected the maneuver, or at least improved upon previous efforts. Still, the combination of the words Wolf and Flywheel is pretty ridiculous, and of course everyone knows J is the sixth funniest letter in the alphabet.

06: Groucho; Monkey Business [1931]
By naming his Monkey Business character "Groucho" after the name he had used since his old vaudeville days, Julius Henry Marx was perhaps actively trying to blur the lines between Groucho the flesh and blood man, and Groucho, the broad, ridiculous, larger-than-life character he portrayed consistently through all twelve Marx Brothers films. Nah. Groucho's a hilarious name when you think about it.

05: Hammer; The Cocoanuts [1929]
Hammer is a great name for a Groucho character because when you imagine a character named Hammer, the last person you'd expect outside of Don Knotts is Groucho Marx.

04: Attorney Loophole; At The Circus [1939]
Like most of you, I get fairly irritated by most puns and punnish names. Attorney Loophole is a rare exception. Too bad At The Circus is one of the weaker films in the Marx Brothers filmography, despite the potential of the movie's setting.

03: Ronald Kornblow; A Night In Casablanca [1946]
I've never personally known a Ron who went by his full given name of Ronald. I suspect that anybody who goes by the name Ronald, well, the rest of us secretly believe might be a little slow. Kornblow is fantastic. This was the Marx Brothers last film together with Groucho in the starring role.

02: Dr. Hugo Z. Hackenbush; A Day At The Races [1937]
I'm pretty fucking sure this name is supposed to be dirty. Bonus points because I appreciate a nice bush. Plus, I don't have to tell you that Z is the fourth funniest letter in the alphabet.

01: Otis P. Driftwood; A Night At The Opera [1935]
This was the second of four times Groucho's character had a middle initial, and obviously, the highest ranked of the four, but that's because of Driftwood. It's probably only me, but I find Driftwood to be a perfectly silly name, especially when hitched to another doofus name like Otis. Considering the character is a greasy, weaselly business manager, Driftfood also serves to suggest a man who lacks a moral center. An ethical anchor. Also, P is the third funniest letter in the alphabet, as everybody knows.


Hotcha! Hank

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In case you didn't know the popularly accepted rankings of the funniest letters in the Roman alphabet...I don't necessarily agree with this list, but I won't argue about it either, except to say that I am surprised that G is #1. In who's world? I'm a P guy all the way...

01: G
02: K
03: P
04: Z
05: Q
06: J
07: W
08: M
09: F
10: B
11: S
12: O
13: X
14: V
15: H
16: L
17: U
18: T
19: Y
20: D
21: R
22: N
23: A
24: I
25: C
26: E

Hotcha! Hank

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16 November 2009

HOT FIVE: Pere Ubu

01: Datapanik In The Year Zero EP [1978]
Featuring..."30 Seconds Over Tokyo", "Heart Of Darkness", "Final Solution", "Cloud 149", "My Dark Ages", "Heaven"

Datapanik In The Year Zero is really a collection of Pere Ubu's singles, dating all the way back to 1975, that hit the streets the same year as their first two longplayers...So, if 1977 was the Year Of Punk, does this make 1978 the Year Of Post-Punk? Because to my mind, Pere Ubu owned 1978, and they weren't really a Punk band. "Final Solution" might have the right attitude and guitars, but it's too slow. Metal slow. Shit, "30 Seconds Over Tokyo" has a metallic ring to it as well, and as I'm writing this, I'm wondering, as I have so many times over the years, exactly what kind of band is Pere Ubu? My friends and I always called 'em "Art Punk", although I guess we considered 'em punk because they mostly defied classification, the ultimate punk maneuver, and we thought they were arty because they were purposefully doing so. David Thomas has an "interesting" voice that he uses in interesting ways, singing enigmatic lyrics that might be children's stories and myths, but could also be dark and creepy, and other times seemingly non-sensical. He sang about animals and monsters and neighborhood weirdos, but he also sang about young love and lust, teen angst and drinking wine, and war and death and God and devils...Life. [An affordable an easily available alternative to this album is Terminal Tower, a collection which actually has all these songs, plus a couple more]

02: The Modern Dance [1978]
Featuring..."Non-Alignment Pact", "The Modern Dance", "Laughing", "Chinese Radiation", "Life Stinks", "Sentimental Journey", "Humor Me"

I was in an Art Punk band of my own back in the 1980's called Mumniti, and without a doubt I can say that three of our five members (including me) took our greatest inspiration and influences from Pere Ubu, writing songs long on groovy bass, spiky guitars, Jazz drumming, and weird, almost childlike, lyrics sang with strange affectations and plenty of repetition. The capper, I suppose, was the fact that I strongly resembled David Thomas, Ubu's singer, and there I was, co-fronting a freakshow of a band...We had two dozen original songs within the first two months we were together, but that didn't stop us from covering "Non-Alignment Pact" and "Life Stinks" from this album, The Modern Dance, and "Final Solution" from the Datapanik EP...I always thought we were a pretty good band, and we made a decent go of it for the better part of three years, but cocaine and a woman got in the way eventually, the guitarist lost interest in all of it, deciding he'd rather sit around his place drinking all day and practicing bluegrass fingerpicking...Me and the bassist started up a D&D campaign with some dudes from another Milwaukee band, and before ya knew it, Mumniti was only practicing about once every 10 days, and gigging once every month or so, and we never got around to finishing the album we had recorded in a church basement a few months earlier...Then my mom got sick, and I bought a four-track...Pere Ubu could have been my life, but they weren't.

03: The Tenement Year [1988]
Featuring..."Something's Gotta Give!", "George Had A Hat", "Talk To Me", "Busman's Holiday", "Universal Vibration", "Miss You", "We Have The Technology"

It's 1988, and Pere Ubu are a decade into their recording career when they get the original line-up (minus guitarist Tom Herman) back together and locked into an undeniably strong groove. This album has energy to burn, coupled with a move towards Pop...Capitalized P...Capitalizing on their always-strong songwriting skills and their ability to find melodies in the strangest places...Cashing in on Tony Maimone's bass. Over the next five years and three albums, Pere Ubu would take a deep and almost sentimental journey into the land of Pop, even garnering a small but respectable hit with "Waiting For Mary" thanks to a video and MTV's 120 Minutes. The Tenement Year is the album that really started that journey into Pop, while still retaining most of the band's quirkier, Art Punk aspects. In fact, this might not be their best album, but in most respects, it might very well be the easiest entrance into Pere Ubu for a newbie because it does deftly balance their past and future , with David Thomas' unique vocal style and lyrical views remaining the one true constant, the pin in the middle...

04: Dub Housing [1978]
Featuring..."Navvy", "On The Surface", "Dub Housing", "Caligari's Mirror", "Ubu Dance Party", "Blow Daddy O", "Codex"

Dub Housing is critically-acclaimed in most circles, but I've got to admit, it remains the knottiest of Pere Ubu's 1978 recordings for me to understand and appreciate, and there was plenty of Pere Ubu mersh hitting the streets in '78. Two full-lengths and an extremely deep EP (a singles comp, really) to be exact. Of course, that's about the best I can say about an album I've listened to enough times over the years to finally find some agreement and comfort with, if not an outright appreciation and full-on connection to these songs. Still, Dub Housing is a fine example for a young musician such as myself, of how a band like Pere Ubu might stretch things out, take some chances and find out how far they might go as some sort of art-damaged Post-Punk band. This was the album where they first took a few giant steps into unfamiliar and sometimes uncomfortable territories, which they would continue to wander into deeper and deeper over the next few years and albums before making a fairly quick u-turn towards Popland.

05: New Picnic Time [1979]
Featuring..."The Fabulous Sequel", 49 Guitars & One Girl", "A Small, Dark Cloud", "All The Dogs Are Barking", "Make Hay", "Goodbye"

By 1979, Pere Ubu were 4 years into their career, and had evolved from a somewhat weird but still fairly conventional Punk band into an entirely different beast. New Picnic Time and 1980's Art Of Walking rarely sound like anything they were doing just a couple years prior, save the singular vocal stylings of Mr. Thomas. Still, there's some sweet urgency to the album opener "The Fabulous Sequel", which still ranks high on my list of great album openers because of the wonderful jolt of silliness that comes with David Thomas' voice "It's me again!" that starts the whole thing off...From there, the songs go to some rather strange and whimsical places, trying to keep up with the lyrics, I suppose. Like most every album in Pere Ubu's long and varied discography, this isn't the best place to start, but it's an album worth visiting soon if you decide to follow the band's journey yourself.

Hotcha! Hank

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A Word With Moshammer's Ghost


Function: noun

Etymology: Hindi pandit, from Sanskrit pandita learned

Date: 1672

01: a learned man; "I've got a BA in Communications - that makes me a pundit."

02: a person who gives opinions in an authorative manner, usually via the mass media; "Christ, these cable news networks will let any dope with big teeth and a Communications degree play pundit on their shows."

Hotcha! Hank

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15 November 2009

Stay Sideways With Me

I haven't fooled around with the list lately, but I'm pretty sure "Stay With Me" still maintains a spot in my top ten favorite songs of all time. That opening guitar riff alone enshrines this song for the ages in the greater Rock pantheon, and then it choogles along for another five minutes as perfectly as any Rock song ever has or ever will.

I believe this song is so fucking good that it embarrassed and pissed off Keith and Mick so much that they pilfered Ron Wood just 3 years later. If the Rolling Stones couldn't even beat the Faces at their own game, might as well nick their guitarist...

I mostly just kidding about that, but just mostly.

Hotcha! Hank

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13 November 2009

Something 4 The Weekend # 143

Luna: Rendezvous: "Cindy Tastes Of Barbecue" [mp3]

I've been with two women in my life named Cindy, and neither tasted of barbecue, which is fine with me, because I'm not much of a BBQ fan.

For the record, one of those Cindys kinda tasted like pineapple. The other tasted like, well, a Beth, really.

Hotcha! Hank

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11 November 2009

Good Tattypoo

Hotcha! Hank


Wicked Sally

Hotcha! Hank


10 November 2009

Tuesday's Fortune: 10 November 2009

MEAL: 1 order (8) Crab Rangoon + 1 small order Sweet & Sour Chicken = $8.30 + $1.70 tip

Hotcha! Hank

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06 November 2009

Something 4 The Weekend # 142

You've never heard this song on Classic Rock Radio™, and you never will, which is certainly a shame. "Stay With Me" is probably the only Faces song you've ever heard anywhere on the FM dial, and that's a shame too, because even though it's one of the finest rock songs ever written, it really ain't enough Faces for the airwaves. For every time "Stay With Me" gets played at 2:13 AM on yr local Classic Rock Radio™ station, you'll hear 19 Rolling Stones songs, including "You Can't Always Get What You Want" twice, and I guess that's my way of saying the Faces were pegged as some sort of second-rate Rolling Stones, which is kinda, sorta true, but that 19:1 ratio is absurd. Unfair. There were plenty of times, when the Faces out-stoned the Stones...
Now, I don't know if "Cindy Incidentally" out-stones the Stones, mostly because I don't think the Rolling Stones were actually capable of this exact kind of smooth swagger...Alot of that has to do with Ian McLagan's piano, no doubt, and yes, Ron Wood's guitar, which would soon after be poached by you know who...
In the end, I'm like 99% of you, of course, and take The Rolling Stones if forced to choose, but that still doesn't mean a song like "Cindy Incidentally" doesn't deserve to shine a bit...Or "Flying"..."Glad And Sorry", "Bad'n'Ruin", "Had Me A Real Good Time", "You're So Rude"...And if that can't happen, how about Classic Rock Radio™ should adjust that Stay With Me Ratio™ to something like 9:1.
I, for one, could live with those odds.
Hotcha! Hank

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05 November 2009

A Word With Moshammer's Ghost


Function: noun

Etymology: British slang, from bobs - testicles; earlier, bob - a man

Date: late 1700's

01: testicles; "Don't talk to me, Randy's the one who dipped his jiggumbobs in the hollandaise."

Hotcha! Hank

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04 November 2009


Wherein yours truly plays "His Indie World" by Mary Lou Lord, then proceeds to play songs by most of the bands she mentions in her song...Simple as that...


Enjoy, you quickly aging hipsters! Sebadoh! Sentridoh! Silver Jews! Bikini Kill! Butterglory! And many, many more indie rock superstars from the front half of the 1990's...

Oh, and no, that's not me in that picture, although I have much respect...According to Fudgie's Beard Index, this young independent man is sporting what most closely resembles an "Extremely Cheech"...

Hotcha! Hank

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Not Sideways At All

One time, just once, I had this dream that I was standing on a beach at night, and way, way, way up in the sky above the ocean, there was what appeared to be a rather enormous flourescent tube, just kinda floating there, a mile or three above the water.

I decided that this was the corridor from the reoccurring dream (what else could it be?) but wondered exactly what it was...Heaven? An alien vessel? An enormous flourescent tube?

Now, Imagine that the the entire world has a PA system, which is typical in most of my dreams. Well, in this particular dream, Tom Petty was acapella singing "The Waiting" from the skies.

He really doesn't have that good of a voice without the Heartbreakers.

Hotcha! Hank

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The Belle Sinking Sideways

See, here's one of my greatest fears, of which I have many...Phobias might be a better word, but whatever...

I have an almost deathly fear of water, of large bodies of water, and of being submerged in said bodies...

And I'm an Aquarius, babycakes!

I've had a reoccurring dream since about the age of six or seven, of barely treading water out in the middle of the ocean in the middle of a black, black night. I've had this dream at least two dozen times in my life, and half of the time the dream is nothing more than that - me floating in the ocean at night - except to say that there is an overwhelming feeling of helplessness, that the situation will never change, a feeling that borders on dread. What is in the dark, dark waters beneath my feet? What toothy death awaits?

Like I said, half the time I wake up before anything happens, though there have been variations of the dream. At some point in my teens, I began dreaming that there was a door in the sky, just out of my reach, a few feet above the water. So of course, there was hope in the dream now. Hope that my paddling and the fate of the swelling ocean would lift me to this door.

Which it did, eventually. On the other side of the door, I found myself in a long, white corridor. Extremely clean and brilliantly white like a brand-new hospital, except it was also extremely empty. At one end of this long corridor was a glass counter, and behind counter was a voluptuous Hispanic woman in a nurse's uniform. Ahh, puberty...

I walked the long corridor towards the woman, passing door after door on both sides, until finally she stood in front of me. I spoke to her, asking her the questions you might expect me to ask - Who are you? Where am I? What the fuckity fuck fuck is going on? Are you God? Goddess? Can I see your boobs?

The Goddess never spoke and never showed me her boobs, but she did hand me a fairly large, black spider encased in amber, and at this point I should note that I have a fairly strong fear of spiders.

I turn and walk down the hall away from the woman. Some of the doors are now open, revealing random scenes of life on earth, including the middle of the black ocean at night. I keep walking towards the opposite end of the corridor, which is so far away at this point as to be a brilliant white pinpoint in the distance.

I've never made it anywhere near that brilliant point, but I do have to mention that one time about ten years ago I had this dream, and the door from which I had came from had another guy floating in it as I passed, and I heard his yelling, and so I lay down on my stomach, dangling my arms down towards him who was splashing about no more than twenty feet down and away from me.

This went on for awhile, until the fate of the ocean took him out of sight and sound of me and the door...

Then I woke up.

Hotcha! Hank

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03 November 2009

Tuesday's Fortune: 03 November 2009

MEAL: 1 Vegetable Spring Roll + 1 small order Chicken With Pea Pods = $5.45 + $1.55 tip

Hotcha! Hank

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