26 August 2006

Something 4 The Weekend # 2

Ahhh, the best 28.57% of the week is here again, and in honor of this small occasion, it is time for the second installment of Something 4 The Weekend.

This weekend's song is by The Vapors. It's called "Waiting For The Weekend" and it's from their 1980 debut album, New Clear Days, which has been one of my favorite 3 albums, well, for 26 years now.

The Vapors: New Clear Days: "Waiting For The Weekend" [mp3 removed]

New Clear Days really is a perfect Pop/Power Pop/New Wave/Rock album. Ten tightly-wound, high energy songs, well-recorded and brilliantly sequenced for maximum impact.

The band followed up their debut classic with Magnets, which is almost as great, and then they just disappeared. And you know what? I never cared to wonder too much why. They gave us two fantastic recordings which is a bright, shining legacy that goes waaay deeper than "Turning Japanese". Plus, they didn't have to risk the chance of totally fucking up "the difficult third album".

BTW and FTR - Not every song featured on Something 4 The Weekend will necessarily be about the weekend, or contain the word "weekend", so don't get any bright ideas.


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19 August 2006

"Hey, you got your religion in my chocolate!"

"No, you got your chocolate on my religion."

I looooooove it (albeit sarcastically) when people claim to see the Virgin Mary in different places and everyday objects, and this past week, a worker at Bodega Chocolates in Fountain View, California claims to have discovered the Virgin Mary in a pile of chocolate drippings at the plant.

Some of these sightings are actually rather compelling, but in this particular instance...Well, I'm sorry, but this pile of chocolate drippings doesn't look so much like the Virgin Mary as it looks like an owl. C'mon, you know I'm right. I'm not saying that owls aren't sacred creatures in their own right (ask me about alien abductions sometime), but as far as I know, an owl never gave birth to the son of some people's God.

Speaking of the son of some people's God, Jesus Christ actually did return to earth this past week, and ironically, he materialized in a vat of chocolate in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The problem was - he found himself stuck in the delicious ooze, and was only freed on the third day by firemen bearing vodka.

The final ironic twist to all of this, is that while the faithful have begun flocking to Fountain View to pray to the chocolate owl, Jesus is currently sitting alone in a room at a Motel 6 in Kenosha, eating bag after bag of Reese's Peanut Butter Cup miniatures, and wondering why nobody is visiting him.

Hotcha! Hank

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They're Super, They're Furry...They're Animals!

How's about some hotcha bonus SFA video action?

And how about that lefthanded Flying V? Suddenly, there's another guitar I want...

Ya see, I'm a southpaw...

A sinistral minstrel...

I play guitar.


18 August 2006

Something 4 The Weekend # 1

So, I've decided to start up this weekly feature called Something 4 The Weekend that would simply be an mp3 of some semi-random song posted every Friday/Saturday, a little something to get the weekend started right...Right?

Now, you'd think, considering the title, that the first song of this weekly feature would be the Super Furry Animals' "Something 4 The Weekend" , right? Right!



Super Furry Animals: "Something 4 The Weekend": 128k mp3

The Super Furry Animals are Welsh, and they're quite fantastic. Psych Rock masters, really...Or is it Pop? Sometimes I think they turn Techno, or Ambient House. They could be Twee, but they are fantastic. Quite. Really. Reggae?

"Something 4 The Weekend" is off their 1996 debut album, Fuzzy Logic, and it's a stellar debut, solid from start to finish. They set the bar high for themselves, but dammit if they haven't lived up to expectations with each new album...Dammit!


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The Dinks

Here's a photoshop thing I did about a year ago, that turned out quite nicely, if I do say so myself...Enjoy!George (Or The Decline & Fall Of The American Empire)
This is a photoshopped image I created using Ulead PhotoImpact...

For those of you too young to know any better, here is the original album cover from The Kinks' Arthur (Or The Rise & Fall Of The British Empire) LP...

Hotcha! Hank

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02: Crystal Pepsi

01: Grover Cleveland's second term


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17 August 2006

Taking Liberties...Again!


Reports out of London are indicating that earlier this evening British supermodel Kate Moss was arrested on suspicion of Contributing To The Delinquency Of A Meerkat. The photo below was released by Scotland Yard less than an hour ago, and clearly shows Ms. Moss offering cigarettes, alcohol and a jaunty scarf to a slightly dazed and confused, possibly frightened, meerkat known to live in the Soho area of London - a meerkat apparently quite popular with the locals.

According to Mr. Cecil "CC" Curtis, who often patronizes The Red Lion, a Soho pub, "Petey is an alright meerkat, really. A bit shy and reserved, but not unfriendly. If you whistle a Kinks tunes, he'll do a little dance, and then take a peanut from your hand. But I've never seen him smoke, or drink a pint, and surely nobody would be thick enough to offer Petey such things. It's despicable, what Ms. Moss has done."

As we all probably know by now, Kate Moss has had an on-again, off-again romantic relationship with Babyshambles frontman Pete Doherty, who was recently nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his continuing efforts to educate England's youth about the perils of heroin. It remains to be seen how Mr. Doherty will react to these allegations against Ms. Moss. When asked to comment on this breaking story, Mr. Doherty only wrinkled his nose and asked reporters if they wanted to hear a new tune. They did.

Hotcha! Hank

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16 August 2006




09: Prince Edmund, Duke Of Edinburgh: The Black Adder: Rowan Atkinson

The first Blackadder, Prince Edmund, was about as dumb as a bowl of hair, and hey, would ya look at that 'do? This immaculate bowl-cut perfectly captures the pristine dumb that was Prince Edmund, and that is really what this particular list is all about - the way in which the hairstyles and facial hair of the various Blackadder characters brilliantly reflect/illustrate their personalities.

08: Queen Elizabeth I: Blackadder II: Miranda Richardson

Miranda Richardson played Queen Elizabeth I as childlike, a bit mischievous, and altogether insane. The curly red locks and ornate tiara remind me of a girl dressing up and having magic tea parties, wherein she isn't just somebody's little princess, she's a queen. The hairdo and the performance are perfect together.

07: Squad Commander Lord Flasheart: Blackadder Goes Forth: Rik Mayal

Lord Flasheart is a brash and daring flyboy in the Royal Air Force, and his golden, windswept hair and sharp, sweeping golden moustache reflect just that. Indeed, Flasheart's moustache illustrates the vital role facial hair can play in character development, especially in the Blackadder universe. It's also great to have Rik Mayal on this list, in a role so different than his gig as the punk Vivian on The Young Ones.

06: Captain Edmund Blackadder: Blackadder Goes Forth: Rowan Atkinson

Another character made great by the moustache, and in this case, the hat. Yes, sometimes the hat is the hairdo. Trim, sarcastic and self-centered as ever, Captain Blackadder was a coward looking for any way out of World War I that he could find. In the meantime, he cowered in bunkers, under hats and helmets, behind a sharply cut moustache, and he complained.

05: Baldrick: The Black Adder: Tony Robinson

Baldrick is the most timeless of all the Blackadder characters, really. Sure, his hair gets shorter with each subsequent Blackadder series, but he always remains dirty-faced, with open sores and unwashed hair. The first Baldrick, from the original series, was naturally the dirtiest, and the most diseased, with the longest, filthiest hair. But damn if he didn't have some cunning plans, sir.

04: Lord Percy Percy: Blackadder II: Tim McInnerny

Well, with Lord Percy Percy it's an anti-hairdo, innit? It's really about insanely receded hairline that presents a great wall of a forehead. An unavoidable forehead that represents the arrogance and sense of entitlement that is Lord Percy Percy. But it would be wrong to neglect what hair is there, hair that hugs his skull like a frightened rabbit. Or something...

03: General Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melchett: Blackadder Goes Forth: Stephen Fry

Is it the slick, oily hair with a part as wide as the Western Front? Or is it the big, bold moustache cascading down like mustard gas? Either way, Melchett was a total nutcake.

02: Prince George IV of Wales: Black Adder The Third: Hugh Laurie

Prince George is a prattling, silly and dimwitted ponce...A manchild of circumstance and leisure, with a fine, powdered wig to prove it. Prince George is just smart enough to understand how much power he has, especially in relation to his butler, Edmund Blackadder, yet in the end he is essentially a kind-hearted fellow. I often wonder if this was Hugh Laurie's warm-up for his subsequent portrayal of Bertie Wooster, which is essentially a much more nuanced and subdued version of this character. Of course, they are both the exact opposite of Laurie's current performance as the likeably poisonous Dr. Gregory House. Great stuff, all around from Mr. Laurie. Tally ho, my fine saucy young trollop! Onward to Number One!

01: King Richard IV: The Black Adder: Brian Blessed

There was no real Richard IV of England, but Brian Blessed's portrayal of this fictional King Richard IV makes me think of the REAL King Richard I, aka Richard The Lion-Hearted. It's the lustrous mane of hair and beard encircling his ruddy face (not to mention the eyebrows) that makes this the best hairdo in the Blackadder oeuvre. Blessed plays Richard IV as loud and lusty, drunk and gluttonous, fearless and intimidating, but somewhat dim-witted. A lunatic beast of a man who does look like a lion. It's a role that demands alot of beard, and Blessed delivers.

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12 August 2006

Luna - "Dear Diary"

Luna was (and remains) one of my favorite bands of the 1990's. Definitely under the influence of the Velvet Underground, which is a good start, Dean Wareham excedes Lou Reed in all aspects - lyrics, singing, songwriting, guitar-playing (Sean Eden, on the video's right, is Luna's knockout punch), and you bet yr ass I realize what a ballsy call that is...None of my friends like Luna. I guess that's their problem.

Anyways, I'm streaming this video because I just watched the Luna documentary, Tell Me Do You Miss Me, which is a bittersweet look at a life on the road during Luna's last tour, before the band called it quits after 16 years. If you are interested in the Rock'n'Roll Lifestyle, like to bathe in the wonders of a rich travelogue, or just enjoy well-made documentaries, I highly recommend this DVD.

Tell Me Do You Miss Me: Amazon Link

Luna: Wiki

Fuzzywuzzy: The Official Luna Website


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Earlier this evening Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff announced that in light of Thursday's terrorism arrests in the United Kingdom, the United State's commercial airline industry was immediately banning all books from carry-on baggage, and must be checked with luggage stowed in the aircraft's hold.

"Books can, and often have, been used as weapons, most often to bludgeon people in the head, and we must now confront that fact directly." Chertoff said. "Obviously, heavy books, such as the Holy Bible or the Koran, must be kept off commercial flights because they pose the most immediate threat to innocent civilians, but we must also consider the dangers of Harlequin romance paperbacks, the collected works of Tom Clancy, the Harry Potter series, and rolled up copies of In Style Magazine, to name just a few titles illustrating exactly how pervasive the threat of literature truly is. At this critical juncture in the War On Terror, Americans must be more diligent than ever, and that diligence begins with an understanding of the weapons and tactics being used against us. More than ever, books are a crucial part of their arsenal."

A contemplative and slightly morose Val Kilmer wandered aimlessly around Hermosa Beach on Friday, refusing to speak to reporters.


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11 August 2006

Thanks, Boy Least Likely To

10 August 2006


This noisy quartet is Last Exit, one of the most intense bands I've ever heard, and they've been a great musical tool for me over the years - to clean my sinuses and generally "get my shit correct". I'm posting this because Sonny Sharrock is the guitar player in Last Exit, and Sharrock is one of my biggest and deepest influences as a musician and guitarist. I was young enough, and foolish enough, once upon a time (around 1988), to believe I could fake my way into a "career" as a Free Jazz guitarist, just like my hero, Sonny. I was soooo wrong, of course, which basically makes me respect Sharrock even more. So, anyways, as far as I can tell, this is the only video currently streaming at YouTube that includes Sharrock, and of course I had to link it here. This music certainly isn't for everybody, but it takes more ability than one might realize to play this kind of skronk.

Sonny Sharrock died in 1994 of a heart attack brought on by his daily consumption of In'n'Out Burgers, but not before recording his 1991 solo album, Ask The Ages, which is one of my Desert Island Discs. Such an album of beauty and power, I strongly urge everyone to check it out...

The last thing I'll say about Sonny Sharrock that might interest non-fans, is that he did the theme song and show music for Space Ghost Coast To Coast.

Sonny Sharrock - Wiki

Last Exit - Wiki

Ask The Ages - Amazon


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09 August 2006

Ladies and Gentlemen...

Elvis has re-entered the building!

Hotcha! Hank

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07 August 2006





I picked up a 14" Margherita and an order of Nickel Nuggets (garlic bread nugs) after work tonight, and decided to make this list, even though it means absolutely nothing to you, except to say that there's probably a small pizza place near you that makes the same pizzas, just different names. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to wash my mouse.

07: Sacre Bleu
Canadian bacon, salami, tomato, onion, special blend & bleu cheese, plus walnuts upon request...

06: Cardiac Arrest
Pepperoni, sausage, bacon, ham & extra cheese...

05: Margherita
Ricotta, tomato, fresh basil & garlic...

04: The Ranch
Ranch dressing, house blend cheese, bacon, chicken, onions & tomatoes...

03: Mediterranean
Pesto, feta, black olives & tomatoes... (I add half-anchovies to this one)

02: Border-To-Border
Hot marinara sauce, tomatoes, special blend cheese, pineapple, Canadian bacon & jalapenos...

01: Feta-Licious ***THEIR #1 PIZZA!***
Chunky tomato sauce topped with spinach, red onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, and their special blend cheese, plus feta...


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The 7 Non-Original Members Of KISS


07: Tommy Thayer: Lead Guitar: 2002-Present
Nowadays, KISS is a brand, not a band, really, and Tommy Thayer is nothing more than a marker until Ace Frehley returns for The KISS Company 35th Anniversary World Tour.

06: Eric Singer: Drums: 1991-1996, 2001, 2004-Present
Much like Tommy Thayer, drummer Eric Singer is little more than a marker, though he's drummer for KISS for 9 out of the last 15 years, which warrants a bit more than a footnote, I guess, but no better than the sixth spot on this list. While not quite a session man, Eric Singer has also played for the likes of Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper, Lita Ford, and The Cult throughout his long career. Eric Singer plays Pearl drums and Zildjian cymbals exclusively.

05: Mark St. John: Lead Guitar: 1984
Mark St. John played with KISS just long enough to appear on 1984's Animalize album. Then egos clashed and St. John conveniently developed arthritis and couldn't tour in support of the album. Since then, he's only managed to squeeze out stillborn demo tapes for a couple of different projects, including one with Peter Criss. Nowadays he might be Materials Manager for Uline, I dunno.

04: Bruce Kulick: Lead Guitar: 1984-1996
Bruce Kulick was in KISS almost as many years as Ace Frehley, but holds the record for most consecutive years as KISS' lead guitarist. Most of these years where served when KISS was lost in a creative wasteland and mostly off the pop culture radar. What is probably more interesting about Kulick is that he's played guitar on Meatloaf's 2 year-long Bat Out Of Hell World Tour, and played on a bunch of Michael Bolton albums. Yes, there is one degree of separation between KISS and Michael Bolton. Currently Kulick is the guitarist for Grand Funk Railroad, a thought that I cannot even begin to comprehend, because WTF is Grand Funk Railroad without Mark Farner?

03: Eric Carr: Drums: 1980-1991
Eric Carr's first album with KISS was Music From 'The Elder', which is auspiciously lame enough to land him in the top half of this list, and if his part in The Great Unmasking of 1983 isn't enough to nudge him up to 3 on this list, then his death in 1991 of heart cancer (HEART CANCER!!!!) certainly does, and earned "The Fox" a place in the hearts of KISS fans around the world.

02: Anton Fig: Drums: 1979-1980
Anton Fig is a well-known and well-respected session drummer who played on the Dynasty and Unmasked albums for KISS. He is number two on this list because he is the long time drummer for The CBS Orchestra, which is David Letterman's house band, led by Paul Schaffer. The list of artists he has recorded and toured with is way too long to list here.

01: Vinnie Vincent: Lead Guitar: 1982-1984
Vinnie Vincent spent the least time in the Lead Guitar role for KISS (hey, I've already forgotten about Mark St. John), and yet he's at the very top of this list. Why? First of all, he never officially signed a contract with The Kiss Company. Secondly, he played the majority of the guitars on the Creatures Of The Night album, and its subsequent tour, but it was Ace Frehley on the album's cover art and "I Love It Loud" video. This confused fans. Alot, apparently. Some of 'em still bitch about it. Thirdly, his real name is Vincent Cusano, but Gene Simmons made him change it to Vinnie Vincent, even though Cusano wanted to call himself Mick Fury. Like Eric Carr, Vincent was a part of The Great Unmasking of 1983, his make-up being an Egyptian ankh designed by Paul Stanley. I don't believe Vincent's character ever had a name. Vincent's post-KISS solo career consists of two Vinnie Vincent Invasion albums, and two lawsuits against KISS for royalties, both of which he lost. He also lost an $8 million dollar lawsuit with Chrysalis Records and is currently bankrupt and out of the music biz. See kids - all yr Rock'n'Roll dreams can come true!


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06 August 2006

RE: zomg!omg!omg!1!

According to an email I received today from benben77 in Dayton, OH, the hottest poop this past week was the news that actress Maura Tierney, star of News Radio, and ER, is divorcing husband Billy Morrissette after 13 years of marriage. benben77 went on to wonder if this was finally his chance to "live the Maura Tierney dream", and I re: "Yes. Yes it is."

Yes, benben77, Ms. Tierney is an attractive woman, and I wish you well in yr efforts to see her naked and possibly touch naughty bits. In response to yr email, and in honor of yr delusions, I have just added Welcome To Mooseport to my Netflix queue, against my better judgement.

BTW - benben77 also writes, "Your blog is okay, but it needs more pictures of Jessica Alba and hot celebrity stuff in general. I only ended up at your page because of the Tara Reid story, which wasn't funny, btw."

Food for thought, benben...


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Red Meat Will Kill Ya...


Esther Snyder, In'n'Out Burger Matriarch, Dies At 86

Esther Snyder founded In'n'Out Burger in 1948 with her husband Harry Snyder. Together they revolutionized the restaurant industry by introducing the two-way speaker system that is now synonymous with Fast Food, making the couple at least as important to that industry as Ray Kroc and his McDonald's franchising model.

The tragic death of Mrs. Snyder this past Friday has again shined the bright light of public scrutiny on the dangers of a regular diet of fast food burgers, as the In'n'Out matron famously ate her own company's fare every single day. In a press release from earlier today, Mrs. Snyder's granddaughter, Lynsi Martinez said, "While her passing was unexpected and much too soon, we've been assured by her team of doctors that her daily "Esther Special" played no part in this tragedy."

Shown here is a photo from the Snyder Family Archives showing "The Esther Special", a secret item never found on any In'n'Out menu, but known inside and out by every In'n'Out employee, on the very good chance Mrs. Snyder might make one of her surprise visits to random franchise locations. "The Esther Special" includes a classic Double Double with a cheeseburger on the side, two orders of French fries, and two medium Dr. Peppers. On Saturday, Mark Taylor, Vice-President of Operations for In'n'Out announced via a drive through head-set, that starting Monday, "The Esther Special" will be officially and permanently added to the restaurant's menu. "We think it's perfect for healthy eaters like Esther, but at $6.99, it makes a great and affordable meal for two." Previous to this announcement, In'n'Out was notorious for refusing to serve drunks and teenaged punks who had the nerve to request "The Esther Special" , though the numerous lawsuits throughout the years always found for the company.

"The Esther Special" announcement has shocked and outraged Christians and the cardiology community.


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Man Man: Black Mission Goggles

I was just f*cking around...

I found this video in my YourTubes right away. It's Man Man playing "Black Mission Goggles" live at The Silver Dollar in Toronto, Ontario, Canadacore...Circa 07 June 2006...I coulda plopped it on ya two hours ago, or last week, but I'm wireded awake on more excruciating minutae. This video of moderate quality but high performance is courtesy of Svonco.

Hotcha For kristin!

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Black Mission Goggles

I've been hunkered down in teh Tubes through this long night, waiting for the bona fide and elusive Man Man video to appear. Just moments ago this 22 second video of Shannon's two favorite people dancing to Man Man's "Black Mission Goggles" scurried across my vision. It's not even a taste of savory Man Man, but it's something. While I continue to search, and you continue to sleep the sleep of someone who doesn't even know HOT POOP exists (and justly so), won't you please (not) enjoy this MP3 of "Black Mission Goggles" , courtesy of THEE BST. It's 5 minutes of Spaghetti Polka madness...Or maybe Polish Raga Surf...I dunno, it's early/late/caffeine/fumes...

Man Man: "Black Mission Goggles": 4.59mb MP3

Hotcha Hotcha!

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Machine Man!

This is a quick and trim, high-energy opening sequence for a Japanese television show called Machine Man that I found while searching YouTube for Man Man videos. At first I thought our hero looked like an old friend of mine who signed Vyvonne to all his painting, but upon further inspection, I decided I was wrong, cuz Vyvonne is only 1/4 Japanese. It is true that he listened to The Cure's Japanese Whispers with some frequency, and once I think I caught him spinning Half Japanese at a punky suburban basement party. It's also true that Vyvonne is 1/4 Korean, and he always had a jar of kimchi in the fridge at our Grafton beatnik flat, circa 1989, and he got me hooked bad for awhile...The other 1/2 of Vyvonne is French, but I'm not sure how that fits into this post's equation. Maybe Honus Honus of Man Man is French. I'm still looking for a decent video of theirs to shoot to you, again with teh tubes.


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05 August 2006

Celebrity Blog Rip-Off Maneuver # 1

This just in...

Washed up actress and active press junkie, Tara Reid, beached herself this afternoon on the island of Crete.

As these photographs attest, a mysterious and handsome Greek fisherman (name unknown) attempted to get Ms. Reid safely back out to sea, but this proved a difficult and dangerous endeavor, and ultimately the dark and salty man failed.

Currently Tara is sitting poolside, where she is being adequately Mojito'd while the swarthy Greek angler tries to figure out what to do with her. Nicole Ritchie has been quoted as saying that he will "keep her drinking until she passes out", at which time he'll secretly load her into the hull of a Carnival Cruise ship and let them deal with it.

Updates as warranted.

Disclaimer: While I'm certainly willing to call Tara Reid "thick", I do not actually believe her to be a whale or any other large, blubbery mammal. Any and all implications to this effect are strictly for journalistic reasons, and do not reflect my personal opinion of Ms. Reid. Besides, you know you'd tap that ass like the kind of dude who posts at Dlisted.com ... I know I'd tap that like sloppy innuendos.

Hotcha! Hank

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14: Alice Cooper: "School's Out"
Not a great song, but my lifelong obsession with RADIO starts here. I was seven years old, and our family was about an hour into our road trip vacation to The Badlands and MT. Rushmore, and yes, school, first grade, had justed ended for the year, and this song came on the radio...It isn't my earliest memory of music, but it is the earliest memory I have of RADIO, and how it connected so many people...I remember imagining wavy lines moving through the air from the point of an antenna on the top of a tall building in downtown Milwaukee...Thousands and maybe millions of waves vibrating out from this single point to as many radios, and as many or more people sitting and standing and dancing in orbit around those radios...There I was in the backseat of our Plymouth Fury station wagon, and the DJ played "School's Out", and I fucking felt it...I remember my dad, behind the wheel, laughing when I tried singing along with the chorus. Seven years old, school was out, and we were going to someplace called "The Badlands". Yay!

13: Steely Dan: "Hey, Nineteen"
Steely Dan is a band that I would never turn off, or dial past, no matter what song might be playing...This certainly isn't my favorite Steely Dan song (it probably ranks about #8), but I like hearing this song in the car. The funny thing is - this really isn't a driving song. "Reelin' In The Years" is more of a driving song. This is more of a candlelight, fireplace, bottle of wine, bearskin rug, barely legal off-campus co-ed kinda song...But early in the evening, before the real sweaty stuff starts happening...I guess that makes this a hanging out in the kitchen drinking wine kind of song...Sly verbal seduction and making with the jokes kinda song.

12: Stevie Wonder: "I Wish"
Another song I heard on the radio in our family's Plymouth Fury station wagon...This time, I was eleven, and I was laying on my back looking out the back window, so that all I could see what was directly above...The sky, mostly, with trees and phone and power lines passing through my vision...I was playing a game that afternoon, a game that I used to play alot, where I would try to guess where we were in a trip based upon the turns my mom or dad made when they were driving, estimating distances, and what I saw through that window, from that perspective...Every few minutes I would sit up to see if my guesses were accurate...Anyways, I remember one particular afternoon coming home from my grandparent's house in Milwaukee. My mom was driving, and she turned this song off when it came on the radio, and I yelled up to her to change it back, and she did. This is the song that made me love Stevie Wonder. It's still my favorite of his.

11: Carole King: "So Far Away"
Carole King's Tapestry album was one of my mom's favorites, and I heard it alot when I was a kid...It really is a great pop record, and this is my favorite song from it...Does this qualify as Geezer Rock? Meh, why not? Such a bittersweet song of distance and longing that came to be a true heartbreaker after my mom died.

10: Lynyrd Skynyrd: "What's Your Name?"
Lynryd Skynyrd is another one of those bands that I'd probably not scan past or turn off, no matter what song it was. Even "Freebird". Anyways, I was pretty deep into puberty when this song hit the airwaves, and it's subject of groupie hotel sexcapades hit me right in my tender and fuzzy nuts. In fact, I lost my puberty the next summer to the strains of Cheap Trick's Heaven Tonight album, but that's another story. The story here is that this song taught my young, soft mind that being a rockstar was a good way to get laid and drink champagne. Very valuable hot poop.

09: Al Stewart: "Year Of The Cat"
This is one of those songs I really like, but I just can't explain why. Another fun fact is that I've always associated this song with George Harrison's "Crackerbox Palace" for some unknown reason. A third fact is that I'm a "Cat Person". Supplemental Fact 3a: I have a cougar in the basement.

08: Steve Miller Band: "Jungle Love"
Steve Miller's Greatest Hits 1974-1978 is one of the finest greatest hits albums ever released. It should be in everyone's collection, and is available in about a million used CD stores throughout the world for about $4.99. I probably wouldn't change the station on any of the songs from that collection, but I'm picking this one cuz when that lazerbeam gunfire synth starts shooting at the beginning, and it fades into the chirping bird, I'm already hooked. "Jungle Love" is a cheesy song, but again, I was deep into puberty and my sexual awaking around this time, and you bet yr ass I fantasized about being shipwrecked on a deserted island with any number of different celebrity babes of the era. Around this time I think it was mostly Kate Jackson from Charlie's Angels, and Susan Saint James from McMillan & Wife.

07: Jackson Browne: "Doctor My Eyes"
What can I say? I've got a soft spot for Jackson Browne. He's always felt like a guilty pleasure for me, cuz if my friends back in high school woulda known, they'd a crucified me, but as I've said a thousand times, I don't believe in "guilty pleasures". OWN what you like. Don't make excuses for bad taste. Is it wrong to like Jackson Browne? You know, the old stuff, up through Running On Empty, or maybe the Hold Out album is damn solid west coast soft rock. I dunno. I cannot, for the life of me, tell you why I love this song. I know there is an event/story/reason that I do, but that memory is missing at the moment.

06: Queen: "Killer Queen”
I'll mention Brian May's unique guitar tone first, just to get it out of the way. Then I'll pay my respect to Queen's always inspiring vocal harmonies, so that I can get to the real greatness of "Killer Queen", it's lyrics. Whether you've heard this song only once, or a hundred times, you very likely have no idea what the lyrics really are. Check it...
She keeps her Moet et Chandon, In her pretty cabinet
'let them eat cake' she says, Just like Marie Antoinette
A built-in remedy, For Kruschev and Kennedy
At anytime an invitation You can't decline
Caviar and cigarettes, Well versed in etiquette
Extraordinarily nice
She's a Killer Queen, Gunpowder, gelatine
Dynamite with a laserbeam
Guaranteed to blow your mind
Ooh, recommended at the price, Insatiable an appetite
Wanna try ?
To avoid complications, She never kept the same address
In conversation, She spoke just like a baroness
Met a man from China, Went down to Geisha Minah
(Killer, killer, she's a killer Queen)
Then again incidentally, If you're that way inclined
Perfume came naturally, from Paris (naturally)
For cars she couldn't care less, Fastidious and precise
She's a Killer Queen, Gunpowder, gelatine
Dynamite with a laser beam
Guaranteed to blow your mind, Anytime
Drop of a hat she's as willing as, Playful as a pussy cat
Then momentarily out of action, Temporarily out of gas
To absolutely drive you wild, wild..
(She's all out to get you)
She's a Killer Queen, Gunpowder, gelatine
Dynamite with a laser beam
Guaranteed to blow your mind, Anytime
Ooh, recommended at the price, Insatiable an appetite
Wanna try?
You wanna try...

Now that’s a mouthful of Freddie Mercury.

05: Blue Oyster Cult: "Burnin' For You"
I can't say that I'm an enormous Blue Oyster Cult fan, but D. Boon and Mike Watt from the Minutemen were huge fans of BOC, and I truly do believe that BUCK DHARMA RULES, so I should say that I mostly love them. BOC are more of a singles band than an album band, to me, meaning each of their albums has anywhere from one to three good/great songs on 'em, and the rest are just kinda alright. "Burnin' For You" is a great driving song that I've always really loved to sing along with. And perhaps surprisingly, while I wouldn't turn off this song, I will turn off "Don't Fear The Reaper" sometimes, because as timeless as that tune is, I've heard it plenty.

04: Cheap Trick: "Surrender"
Most importantly, Cheap Trick's Heaven Tonight tape was playing on the boombox on the night I lost my virginity. This auspicious occasion occurred in a tent camper that was set up on the side of Steve T's garage. It was the summer of 1978 and I was twelve years old. Her name was Carrie, and she had watched me dominate on the mound AND at the plate in my Little League game earlier that evening, and when I met her at the camper, she was soooo ready to go. I was still in uniform, and when she put her hand down my pants, I was still wearing my jockstrap and athletic cup. Things progressed in an awkward manner from there, but it was still alot of fun. I still get a boner every time Bun E. Carlos' drum roll rocks head on into those thrusting power chords. "Then I woke up, mom and dad are rolling on the couch, rolling numbers, rock and rolling, got my KISS records out!" Oh, hell yeah - What happened that night in that tent camper was a permanent pass into the adult world...That night I gained the same secret knowledge as mom and dad...And hell yeah, in 1978, I still loved my KISS records...Man, you'd think "Surrender" should be #1 on this list, but you'd be thinking wrong..."Surrender" still slays me, but there are other songs in heavier rotation on the dinosaur dial, and their grooves dig deeper than this...

03: James Gang: "Funk #49"
That stuttering guitar intro, that fucking tone...Joe Walsh, jerking his way into one of the great White Funk tunes of all time..."Out all night, sleep all day, I know what yr doing..." Oh, hell yeah! The sinewy groove of the bass, the call and response gang vocals…This is 4 minutes of Geezer Rock perfection.

02: Kansas: "Carry On Wayward Son”
The power, and grandeur, and riffage of this song cannot be denied. A stone cold staple of the air guitar set. I've heard this song five thousand times, and I'm still jamming along and singing along every time. The Reverend Screamin' Ben Jenkins and I even called our CountryFolkBlues band The Wayward Sons for awhile, and our first tape was entitled Carryin' On With The Wayward Sons. That's a fact.

01: Warren Zevon: "Werewolves Of London"
Quite possibly the perfect pop song. Not only is it a fantastic song to sing along to when yr driving around alone in yr car, but if you've ever been in a good ol' dive bar when this song comes on the jukebox, or on the stereo at a party, almost everyone in the place will start smiling, and plenty of 'em will howl along in the chorus. Bikers, bankers, sorority sisters, yr mom, they all know the words, and they all sing along. It's just so damn catchy, with that piano vamp and the subtle fuzz guitar stuttering in the background. Then Warren starts speak-singing about a vampire on the streets of Soho, looking for a Chinese restaurant in the rain, and you laugh, and you howl along in the chorus, and right as you realize how much fun this song is, Warren's in the second verse, telling us about little old ladies getting mutilated in the night, and you maybe start thinking about a killer's knife being no different than a vampire's teeth, and maybe it don't matter if vampires are real or not, cuz people are cruel enough. Yeah, howl along, babycakes, the joke's on Warren, dead from Pina Coladas and Winstons. But you probably don't really think about these things when you hear this song. Hell, I don't either, except this one time, right now, and that's the true power of this song. It's seemingly frivolous, and even silly, and that piano, it just hypnotizes, but really it's just another one of Zevon's paeons to Death and Celebrity...But no matter...We get to howl.

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04 August 2006


Some of you non-visitors to this HOT POOP blog may not be aware that I have a rather large website called The ButterScotch Threshold, a site that is chock-full of music and words and pictures and whatnot...It doesn't get updated quite as much as it once did, but one part of the website that does is EVERYTHINGATHON!, an hourlong podcast of sorts that is updated at the beginning of each month. I've been told that it's quite entertaining, and sometimes even educational, and I urge you to check it out for yourself. As the name implies, there is no set format for the show, and anything and everything is possible. This month's episode, entitled EPIC SUMMER, was just uploaded a couple days ago, and I think it's a groovy audio trip...While yr listening, feel free to snoop around the rest of Thee BST - you never know what you might find...


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03 August 2006

My Hate Is True

First let me say that Elvis Costello has been one of my absolute favorites since 1978 and the release of his second album, This Year's Model, and he has remained on that pedestal ever since.

Having said that, yesterday's announcement that Universal Music Enterprises will be releasing deluxe editions of his first eleven albums has pissed me off to no end. It pisses me off because this will be the fourth time these albums have been issued on CD (to say nothing of their original vinyl/cassette release), and the third deluxe packaging of said albums. First, Rykodisc re-released deluxe editions of Costello's catalog in 1993, and then Rhino did the same a mere three years ago. Those Rhino editions are still in print and readily available at finer record stores everywhere. Now here we are with Round Three of this crass money-go-round.

I find it absurdly hypocritical when the major labels and the RIAA that represents them have been bitching and whining and sueing about filesharers making a small dent in their ANNUAL $800 million in profits, and then they pull shit like this. Unfuckingbelievable.

And hey, as painful as it is for me to report, Elvis Costello himself appears to be a part of the problem regarding his catalog. If you read that linked story, you will find this quote from Mr. McManus, circa 2001, when the Rhino editions were first announced:

"When you've got a record that maybe didn't reach its audience in its time, you have to use a bit of imagination in the way that you present it, to make it seem as if it might be worth investigating now."

Hey, numbnuts - you don't need to re-release these CDs for the third fucking time to accomplish that goal. Here's an idea - why not simply have the record company invest in a bit of marketing to try exposing the music to a new generation and consequently selling the existing versions of these albums?

Is that so hard?

My guess is that around 2011 Sony will buy the rights to these albums from Universal, and re-release a fourth deluxe edition of them. Then, around 2015, the catalog will be sold to EMI for their chance to milk it, and again in 2019 EMI will sell Costello's catalog to Warner, who will release the sixth, and definitive, deluxe editions of these CDs. In between, you can be sure that at least 9 greatest hits packages will be released as well. Listen, it's the only way everyone involved can be sure that these great albums reach their audience.

Remember, kids, the "big four" are our friends.


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02 August 2006

Yo! Where My WASPs at?

It's funny cuz it's true - Hip Hop has finally been 100% co-opted by white America, but that's okay, cuz these people are Puffy's friends and neighbors, and Puffy is the coolest, blackest man alive.

BTW: In case you can't pick up on it, this video is major domo promo shtuff for Seagram's. It's probably viral, so please use accordingly.


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01 August 2006







Sonic Youth.


Hotcha! Hank

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Who Stole The Soul?

Take a good look at Beyonce's blank stare. That stare perfectly captures the state of modern Soul music. Modern R'n'B. Contemporary Urban. Call it whatever you like, the genre is a sad and pathetic shadow of its former self.

If you wanna call it Soul, well, it's soulless, plain and simple.

If you wanna call it R'n'B, well, the rhythms have very little groove or funk, and good luck finding even the slightest bit of the Blues.

If you wanna call it Urban, well, that's really just a polite way of saying Black music, but the bottom line here is that "Urban" doesn't really stand for anything because I live in a fairly big city (Madison, WI) but you wouldn't call Sufjan Stevens an Urban artist, would you? What about Man Man, or The Fiery Furnaces? These artists all live and create in large metropolitan areas, and most of their fans do as well. By the same token, most Country artists don't live in the Appalachians, and neither do the majority of their fans. Of course, most modern Country music isn't really Country, but I digress...

Modern Soul music is as empty and soulless as Beyonce's zombie countenance, and no amount of Melisma (the garish kind of "scat" singing one can hear in so many modern Soul songs...Think Christina Aguilera) changes this fact.

Of course, a huge part of the "problem" is the music, which seems to be increasingly created and produced by a short list of people, people like Jermaine Dupri, Timbaland, Pharrell Williams, Scott Storch, and Rodney Jerkins. This fairly insular group has naturally led to a very homogenized sonic landscape in contemporary R'n'B. It doesn't help that these producers also do Hip Hop, and of course, the fact that so many contemporary Hip Hop songs utilize melismatic diva vocals from the likes of Beyonce further blurs the line between Hip Hop and R'n'B, and has led to a similar homogenization in Hip Hop.

Timbaland is probably the most responsible, as he was at the vanguard of the current style(s) found in contemporary R'nB, but please don't misconstrue my thoughts on Timbaland. He's an original, he's unique, and he's a master of this music. As Missy Elliot's main producer, he was/is brilliant. The problem is, there's only one Missy Elliot, and while Timbaland's strange and wild sounds perfectly compliment Missy's style and personality, his work becomes diluted and loses much of it's power when a half dozen artists on the Billboard charts at any given time are singing over his production, or production work by others that are merely biting his style.

Technology is also to blame for the sad, soulless state of contemporary R'n'B. Why bother with a horn section when one can punch up a synthetic approximation of a horn section on a Korg Triton synthesizer? Why bother giving the funky drummer some when one can program beats on a Roland 808? In essence, how can we expect to find even the slightest glimmer of soul in this music when it's being made and played by machines? We can't. Should we?

I've been thinking about the sad state of modern Soul music for quite awhile now, but my lamentations have been brought to the fore in my thinking lately because I've been listening to Aretha Live At Fillmore West quite alot lately. The difference between Aretha Franklin's singing and Beyonce's singing are startling, as well as the musical accompaniments. If you aren't familiar, or interested, in Aretha Live At Fillmore West, all you need to do is take a look at the cover of that album, and then compare it to that Beyonce cover.

Now THERE'S a woman who's obviously overflowing with Soul Power. A natural woman. By comparison, Beyonce is...what? A robot? Borg? Whatever she is, it ain't natural, and like I've been saying, there is no soul, and she's just one artist among many, and they all add up to something less than awe-inspiring.


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