31 March 2007

Something 4 The Weekend # 32

Jazz clarinetist Tony Scott died yesterday at the age of 85.

Now, I would consider myself a Jazz aficionado, but I have to admit that I really didn't know anything about Mr. Scott until I read this morning's news stories about his passing. Like the fact that he played with Charlie Parker and Billie Holliday, among other extremely heavy hitters in the Jazz world.

What I do know is that Tony Scott's album, Music For Zen Meditation, is a fantastic album, one of my favorites, and a rare gem among my collection. As its title suggests, it's a very calm, soothing album of music that skirts the outside edges of "proper" Jazz, and truly is conducive to meditative states, or even just taking naps. Quite lovely.

I really don't have much else to say about this week's selection except that I hope and assume that Mr. Scott is resting in peace somewhere in the great beyond.

Hotcha! Hank

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25 March 2007

Andrew Bird -as- Dr. Stringz

This week's sideways maneuver features Andrew Bird, appearing on the children's show, Jack's Big Music Show, which is on the Noggin cable channel. On the show, he appears as "Dr. Stringz", sings a song, and goes along his way. Enjoy!

Hotcha! Hank

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24 March 2007

Something 4 The Weekend #31

It was 1992, and we were driving home, northbound on I-43, from Milwaukee to Grafton at about 3 in the morning. "We" being Biff, Dan, and myself. Earlier that evening we had seen The Pixies live on their Trompe Le Monde tour at the Eagles Ballroom, and had scarfed down a post-show, post-doob pancake meal at a nearby George Webb restaurant.

So, there we were, barrelling down I-43 in Biff's Camry in the middle of the night with ringing ears and the faint scent of patchouli and mosh pit sweat lingering in the car, and not a care in the world.

But as we crested a hill right around Good Hope Rd., we were astonished to happen upon a wicked car accident about 100 yards ahead, and as fate would have it, at 3 am, we were only the second car to happen upon this wickedness.

The first thing I noticed was the small black girl, about five years old, standing in the middle of the highway crying and bleeding. Behind her was her mother, and still further back was a middle aged white man wearing a white linen suit and a very thin moustache. Later Dan remarked that the guy looked like John Waters, and Biff and I agreed...

The white guy, we surmised, was the driver of the big yellow Cadillac which rested sideways on the shoulder, while the black woman drove the small Japanese car that was presently resting upside down, on it's hood, with small flames dancing on the undercarriage.

The white man was yelling and cursing the black woman, and the small girl kept crying, and bleeding, as we exited Biff's Camry and quickly ran towards the scene.

That's when we saw the humongous black man still trapped in the upside down car, his head shiny with blood.

"My husband is stuck, my husband is stuck - please help him!" the woman yelled, and without much trepidation, Biff, Dan and I ignored the enraged white dude who was now pleading his case with us, and rushed towards the huge black dude trapped in the flipped, flaming wreckage...Were we fools? Heroes?

Well, our intentions were heroic, I guess, though I admit that we were unable to get his door open, or cut him from his seat belt, and in general, get him out of the car. Dan, for his part, was able to extinguish the couple of small fires with his flannel shirt, and fortunately, a county sheriff happened upon the scene about two or three minutes after we did, and this guy was take charge and fucking awesome...He got the white dude to shut the fuck up without breaking stride, assess the state of the trapped black dude, and calm down the girl and her mother...

"He's going to be fine, ma'am. It appears to be just some minor cuts and abrasions. The firemen will be hear in a minute."

And indeed, the firemen showed up a minute later, and were able to easily extract the enormous black man from the car, without the need for the jaws of life, just an ordinary pry-bar...

The sheriff took statements from the three of us, and since we hadn't witnessed the actual accident, all we could tell him was the white dude was being a dick, and a racist one at that, and we were on our way back home, our ears still ringing in the stillness of the night.

Whether or not the sheriff noticed the stench of weed on us was probably inconsequential, and as far as we knew, everybody was alright..."Fuckin' A!"

Hotcha! Hank

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21 March 2007

So Here's The Thing

I was sitting in my car in Taco John's parking lot...The one on Regent, right?...

Lunch hour, and I was sitting there eating my Taco Bravo and Potato Oles while listening to "The Lake", one of Madison's Classic Rock stations, and suddenly, a shot rang out...


...And there I was, sitting in my car, waiting for the man...You know...Hundred and sixty bucks in my hand, and there's somebody with a gun somewhere nearby! And I'm thinking, Taco John's Potato Oles are good because of the celery salt, which is the same reason Pizza Extreme has the best potato wedges I've ever eaten in my life, plus the fact that they throw in a quart's worth of ketchup packets, but the main point here is that Blue Oyster Cult's "Godzilla" was playing on the radio and there was too much syrup in the Pink Lemonade...


My guy shows up two minutes later in his stone-washed pickup truck, hauling pallets for cash and hooking me up...Hundred and sixty bucks in his hand, and you know somewhere in the front of my mind I'm wondering if he had something to do with the shot that rang out two minutes earlier...Hauling pallets is a nasty, cutthroat business, and don't let anyone say otherwise...

My guy and I leaned up against his pickup truck in Taco John's parking lot, and we talked for fifteen minutes about car accidents and Wu-Tang Clan (don't ask me how) and this and that and other things, and we chowed down on our grub and lemonades, and after bumping fists and a warm hug, I went back to my office and spent the next two hours creating UPC numbers for 64 localized products (software) coming out in a couple months...I was spinning an MP3 CDr loaded with ZZ Top and Lynyrd Skynyrd albums, when suddenly a shot rang out!


Can't you smell that smell?

Gunpowder and fried synapses...Celery salt and Alabama bambalancha...

Godzilla sportin' ketchup breath...

Right there in the office, mid-afternoon.

And the thing is - I like it this way.



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16 March 2007

Something 4 The Weekend # 30

38 years since The Stooges eponymous debut album, and still they stand on the sidewalk outside the Rock'n'Roll Hall Of Fame...Watchin' Patti Smith waltz in this year, and all I'm gonna say about that is WTF?

The Stooges: "Real Cool Time": 128k mp3

History is fluid, and so are opinions and marketing campaigns, and here we are in 2007 with a new Stooges album, The Weirdness, and heightened talk about the band's importance and influence is flooding through the culture again...Of course time is firmly on The Stooges' side, so I've got no worries, but ya still gotta ask, what's taking so long????? If I did the math right, they were first eligible in 1994...If my memory still serves, REM was pushing their faux-grunge Monster album on the masses in 1994...Iggy Pop must hurt, sometimes...

Anyways, this post hasn't come, half-baked and undercooked from my noodle, to bury Patti Smith and Michael Stipe...No, this post is a celebration of the fact that three old dudes, and one kinda old dude (Mike Watt) have delivered a disc of greasy garage energy and a real cool time for a full 40+ minutes, outshining their peers, for sure, and even showing the kids a thing or two...

The Stooges: "ATM": 128k mp3

So, this weekend we've got two Stooges song, one old, one new, 38 years removed from each other in time, brought together to say "Get yr shit together, Hall of Fame committee"...

Hotcha! Hank

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15 March 2007

Fresh-Baked Jesus!!!!!

Meet Aaron Frazer.

He's a cook at Cowboy Coffee Cafe in some small town up in British Columbia, Canada, and the other day, after roasting some peppers in the oven, he saw the face of Jesus Christ, in profile, on a pepper grease stain left on the baking sheet.

Remembering the Florida woman who sold a half-eaten grilled cheese sandwich with the face of the Virgin Mary for $28,000 on eBay, Aaron naturally had visions of hard currency dancing in his head.

And so Aaron got himself a business partner (a coworker at the cafe), and put the baking sheet on eBay with a starting price of $49.99 (plus shipping), because when miracles happen, there's money to be made.

The young man also hopes to land a movie deal, and knowing the lame state of Hollywood these days, he might just get it.

Good luck, Aaron! Jesus died for your fiscal gain!


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14 March 2007


12 March 2007


You're gonna have to take my word for it, but back when I was in high school (1980-1984) I told all my friends that REM was destined to be one of the greatest and biggest bands in rock'n'roll history...Of course, my friends were all metal heads and punks, and they laughed their asses off, and I can certainly recall the term "fag rock" being bandied about on numerous occasions, but I didn't care.

So, when it was announced several months ago that REM had been inducted into the Rock'n'Roll Hall Of Fame, you can bet yr ass that I contacted the few friends I still maintain from those years and basically rubbed it in their fucking faces. And in hindsight, all those hair metal bands and their requisite spandex looked a hella lot more homosexual than the boys in REM.

Their debut EP, Chronic Town, was good, and I liked it, but it wasn't until the release of Murmur that I was convinced of their greatness then, and their potential to become legendary. That was also the album that made REM my favorite band, which they remained for the next decade. These days, REM is no longer my favorite band, but I always say they'll always remain my "sentimental favorite", and I still listen to 'em with regularity. And who knows, if Bill Berry had remained in the band, they may still be my favorite band to this day, which is my way of saying that they lost a hella lot more than anyone thought when Berry left. He and Mills were an ass-tight rhythm section, dig?

In hindsight, what's important to know about REM, aside from the great music, is what they meant to "indie rock", or as it was called back then, "college rock". You see, the indie scene as we know and love it today, didn't really exist the way it does now. It took REM, and a small handful of similar bands, to prove to the music industry as a whole that smaller bands could thrive, and labels could make money, underneath the radar of the mainstream media and the Billboard charts. This was the era when college radio coalesced and rallied around these bands, and conversely, when these bands began enjoying this newfound network of stations. One hand washed the other, so to speak, and everyone's profile increased. We're seeing the same dynamic at work today with the blogosphere, where "marginal" bands can find at least a certain level of success that can sustain them. Where would The Hold Steady, Arcade Fire, or The Decemberists be without the internet? Hard to say for sure, but I'd be willing to bet their successes wouldn't be nearly as noticeable. That's what college radio meant to REM back then, but in this chicken and egg scenario, college radio would never have exploded the way it did back then without REM. Name any other band you want from that decade, and I will tell you without hesitation that REM was far and away the most important band of that era. That they were a truly great band was just the icing. I could write all night about how and what they meant to me personally, but I've really got to get to bed.

Congratulations Mike, Bill, Michael and Peter. You've earned it all.

Hotcha! Hank

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10 March 2007

Something 4 The Weekend # 29

John Inman, Jean Baudrillard, and now Brad Delp, former lead singer of Boston...

Brad Delp died today, at the age of 55, from unknown causes, at his home in the greater Boston area.

Man, I can still vividly recall the very day I bought Boston's debut album at Galaxy of Sound, a record store in the Manchester Mall in my hometown of Grafton, WI...Brand new vinyl, on sale for $3.99, and "Sting", the Punk/New Wave douchebag who managed the store, gave me sooo much shit for the purchase, because it wasn't the Sex Pistols, or the Ramones, or whatever, you know? I was fucking 11 years old at the time, so what the fuck did I know, and really, how fucking sad and pathetic is it for a 20 year old douchebag to be giving shit to a pre-teen?

"Sting" was one of these elitist bastards who simply couldn't like, let alone accept, any form of popular music because it fucked with his credibility as a so-called tastemaker and his image as a "punk", whatever the fuck that meant in 1977, or today...But the joke was really on him, in hindsight, because the truth of this particular matter is that in 1976/1977, that first Boston album was every bit as radical as Never Mind The Bollocks or Rocket To Russia...Yeah, you read that right...I mean, c'mon, The Ramones were nothing more than a bubblegum pop band with distortion pedals and a fondness for The Shirelles, and the Sex Pistols sang about feelings just as much as Boston did...Anger and cynicism ain't more than feelings, dig, so what makes 'em preferable, or better, than unrequited love and heartbreak?

Boston's essential sound, due in large part to Tom Scholz's engineering, was fairly groundbreaking in 76/77, and the same couldn't really be said about The Sex Pistols, who were as much a heavy metal band as they were punk, and as such, they simply didn't hold a candle to Black Sabbath or The Stooges...As for The Ramones...Well, let's just say that my belief has always been that The Ramones were/are one of the most overhyped bands in the history of rock music, and let's leave it at that...That doesn't mean I hate 'em, it just means, well, let's get real here kids...


Brad Delp died yesterday, and at first I thought I'd stream a Boston song in his honor, but instead, I thought I'd unleash this nugget from Barry Goudreau's 1980 solo album, and in case you didn't know, Goudreau was the lead guitarist for Boston, and his solo album was ostensibly the third Boston album, as it featured Delp on vocals, as well as Sib Hashian on drums...Hell, even Epic Records promoted the album as "Boston-Lite", which infuriated Tom Scholz, who subsequently fired Goudreau from the band. Of course, Boston never did anything significant again...

So, here's "Dreams", off Goudreau's solo album, featuring Brad Delp on vocals...Enjoy!

RIP, Brad Delp...

Hotcha! Hank

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RIP Jean Baudrillard

Jean Baudrillard was a French Post-Modernist philosopher, sociologist and cultural critic who was perhaps best known for his ideas regarding hyperreality and simulacrum. In essence, Baudrillard argued that contemporary culture isn't real, and that all our feelings and experiences are simulated. Our reality is prepared for us, whether it is an edited Iraq war presented to us on the nightly news, or having a poster of the Mona Lisa in our office, rather than experiencing the painting first-hand in the Louvre. And of course, the actual painting of the Mona Lisa is itself a simulation of the actual woman who originally posed for Leonardo da Vinci.

In other words, how many "friends" do you have on MySpace that you've never actually, physically met?

Anyways, this post isn't meant to be some sort of half-assed pontification on Baudrillard's ideas, but merely an acknowledgement of the man's passing yesterday, and the fact that he kinda looks like my dad. As usual, on these here internet tubes, WIKI is a good place to start.

RIP, Mr. Baudrillard.

Hotcha! Hank

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08 March 2007

RIP John Inman

When I was younger, our local PBS station used to show the British sitcom, "Are You Being Served?" regularly, and I loved the show, not necessarily because it was all that funny, but more because it was British...Hard to explain that, except to say that like many Americans, I have an inexplicable fondness for BBC programming, in the same way that the British adore much of American television...The stuff we think is crap, or camp, the British eat it up, and likewise, dick and fart jokes just seem funnier to us Yanks when they're told with a British accent...

Anyways, "Are You Being Served?" certainly wasn't the greatest sitcom ever aired, but John Inman, as the flamboyant Mr. Humphries, was definitely the the strongest part of that show, and now he has died, at age 71, from Hepatitis A.


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Ahh, The Dutch...

There's really nothing that can be said about this Dutch television commercial except that I once dated a Dutch woman (hey, this is Wisconsin, and we're swimmin' in Dutch women), and well, um...Yeah, I dated a Dutch woman...

If yr at work, I recommend turning up the volume on yr PC as loud as it will go, and then dance around yr office/cubicle with yr junk hanging out...It'll be yr own 30 second sexy dance party, and then you'll get to go on unemployment for awhile...

Hotcha! Hank

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02 March 2007

The Pretenders: Brass In Pocket

So, it's 1979, I'm 13 years old, and MTV is still 2 years away...

8th Grade, and Cory McC____ , John C___, and me would ride our bikes home from John Long Middle School, NO HANDS style, and yeah, it was a contest, every day after school, who could ride the longest with no hands...The three of us were all capable of making it all the way back to Cory's house, where we'd sit around the living room, chewing Copenhagen and watching Speed Racer...At 4, a half-hour music video program would air, a precursor to MTV, but damn if I can remember the program's name...Anyways, The Pretenders had three or four video off their debut album, this one, which is definitely one of the early conceptual music videos, and a live in studio video for "Tattoed Love Boys" which I can't seem to find on the YouTubes...They also had videos for "Precious" and "Talk Of The Town", so yeah, video definitely didn't kill The Pretenders, it actually made 'em stars...

Of course, heroin killed half the band by 1983, and if ya wanna read a bit about that, head to the Wiki, right?

1979, and The Pretenders were already on our television, three, four times a week...So were Quarterflash, who were bigger stars than they ever, ever, ever should have been...There were also videos by the likes of Alice Cooper and Black Sabbath...Hell yeah...

4:30 and I'd walk down the block to my house, mom making dinner for 5:15, when my dad got home...I'd sit in the dining room, where my mom had her stereo, spinning stuff like The Supremes, Carole King, Linda Ronstadt, Tammy Wynette...And yeah, Elvis, Sinatra, Beatles, Beach Boys...She liked Hendrix and The Doors, but hated The Rolling Stones...She thought Marc Bolan was cute, but she also thought Kenny Rogers and Mac Davis were hot...Her undying crush on Kris Kristofferson is definitely understandable...

I'd sit there at the dining room table, listening to her records while she worked the stove, five feet away in the kitchen...I'd draw, or read the liner notes and lyrics of the album being played, and my mom and I would go through the "how was school today" routine...My sister Stacy was often involved in all of this...

So innocent, you'd think, but I was thirteen, and when Chrissie sang about knowing what her mouth was for, I understood...I wonder if my mom knew that I knew...She probably did...

Hotcha! Hank

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Tis the beginning of March, and it's Springtime For Davies, a horrible title for a superb episode of EVERYTHINGATHON! , my monthly podcast streaming over there at Thee Butterscotch Threshold.

Springtime For Davies is a solid hour of The Kinks and the return of our friend, Trevor Hastings, Podbot extraordinaire...Version 4.21, by the way, and he's hosting the whole shebang...
Hotcha! Hank

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Donnas: Do You Wanna Hit It?

Much more than a sideways maneuver, this is parallel...Same song, "Do You Wanna Hit It?" in animated video format...Making this week's Something 4 The Weekend audio file pretty much obsolete...Except that it's better quality audio...

Boys and girls - The Donnas!

Hotcha! Hank

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Something 4 The Weekend # 28

This week's Something 4 The Weekend is dedicated to Nort Weston. He's a pretty big Donnas fan, definitely a bigger fan than I am, though don't get me wrong, I like 'em enough to own all their albums. But let's get something outta the way up front, a good part of my love for the Donnas is tied up with my lust for guitarist Allison Robertson, formerly known as Donna R., one of the hottest foxes to ever sling a guitar, and as far as that goes, she plays the glam/boogie/metal riffing game with the best of 'em - Malcolm Young, Marc Bolan...Hell, just about any '80's hair metal slinger you care for me to mention...Do you want me to mention 'em?
CC DeVille? Warren DeMartini? Mick Mars? I can do this for another two minutes...
Pete Willis. Jake E. Lee. Those dudes from Judas Priest.
The dudes from The Scorpions.
Anyways, women who play electric guitar automatically jump up the sexy scale, and Allison's got loads of classic chops...

The Donnas: Do You Wanna Hit It?: 128k mp3

As I write this, I imagine Nort's fucking some semi-random chick at a swinger party in the greater Chicago area. That's his main game, if I'm not mistaken, and if I am, then I'd have to imagine that he's drinking hard liquor at a metal dive, though the odds are better it's a sports bar, cuz hey, it's the greater Chicago area. But for my musings tonight, he's banging some quasi-strange chick at a swinger party, and right now, the image of a rose tattoo on a blonde's pelvis throbs through my mind...

What brings this all together is the fact that The Donnas play sex music. Oh sure, it's also party/drinking music, driving music, stripping music, sporting arena music, and video game music, but mostly it's sex music. But not just any kind of sex. It's leaning up against a wall in the alley behind that sports bar kinda sex...It's backseat '77 Chevy Impala kinda sex...It's a bathroom blowjob at a party kinda sex...Do you wanna hit it? Meet me behind the garage in 5 minutes...


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