31 October 2008

Something 4 The Weekend # 91

Pig Destroyer: Phantom Limb: "The Machete Twins" [mp3]

Happy Halloween, everybody!

Pig Destroyer is a Grindcore band outta Richmond, Virginia. To my ears, they are one of the heaviest, craziest bands working today, and I feel about them how I used to feel about Voivod circa 1987 - that they are cut from a completely different cloth than just about any and every other heavy band in their peer group.

Now, to be honest, I don't listen to all that much Heavy Metal. I enjoy heavy music, sure, but I've always been hung up on the lyrical content of most Metal bands. Alot of these bands sing about death and despair, Satan and Hell, demons and zombies and all sorts of things that might be lumped together under "horror", and to be perfectly blunt, I find their earnestness towards these topics to be nothing short of laughable.

Serial killers are horrific. Rape is horrific. Camp X-Ray at Guantanamo Bay is horrific. The Wall Street "rescue" is horrific. My point is, real life can oftentimes be a motherfucker, and imaginary horrors like vampires and Chtulu, while perhaps adequate symbols for the vague dread of living, just don't compare. Which isn't to say that I prefer songs about rape and mutilation, but that I typically don't listen to music that is meant to horrify and depress, especially when it has no basis in reality. Zombies are funny to me, Satan is a joke, and dudes who wear Mercyful Fate t-shirts and constantly flash "the horns" are some of the funniest people I don't know.

And just in case you want to know the lyrics to this particular song, here they are:

Shannon's got an eye for shallow graves and a stomach that can handle all the gore...Her sister Lucy's in charge of selection seduction and complete lack of remorse...They'll take his wallet down to the mall for the jewelry and the perfumes they adore...Then they'll drive out to Route Five and leave his carcass by the reservoir...They got cornered last year in a Nashville hotel and the girls had to chop a whole S.W.A.T. team to pieces...


Hotcha! Hank

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30 October 2008

Sideways Cherry Tulip Maneuver

One of the weakest songs on Headlights' Some Racing, Some Stopping LP, by my estimation, so of course it was the first single off the album. But hey, it's an actual music video, so I guess we all win, right?

Hotcha! Hank

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28 October 2008

ROUGH RYDERS 2008: Week Eight

Well, babycakes, our beloved WINONA ROUGH RYDERS won again this week, defeating THE HAIRY NIPPLES by a respectable 34 FP. However, we were projected to win by about 100 FP, and the fact that we didn't is a huge cause for concern.

I'm not worried about Pittsburgh's team defense, or James Harrison's performance, as I had picked the Giants to beat the Steelers, and their underperformance was somewhat expected.

No, I'm concerned about my fucking wide receivers, none of whom are playing anywhere near their potential. Terrell Owens was a bust for the third week in a row, and 4 out of the last 5 weeks, and I've completely lost confidence in his ability to, you know, actually perform like an All-Pro WR...The sad part is, when Tony Romo gets back from his broken finger, I have doubts this is going to change. TO is a non-factor in the Cowboy offense, it's as simple as that. He's become an overpriced decoy this season and nothing more. This isn't completely his fault, since Brad Johnson can't throw the ball more than 15 yards downfield, and when Romo was healthy, he never threw the ball TO's way too often anyways. But now I have this gut feeling that TO just doesn't give a shit anymore. He recognizes his reduced role in this offense, and I believe he's just stopped trying.

Meanwhile, I picked up Derrick Mason on a whim because I had a feeling Marques Colston wouldn't do anything this week (he didn't). Of course, this would be the week that Mason caught only one pass for 3 yards, after being the #1 targeted receiver on his team all season long. This is an omen, I'm telling ya...An omen that my receiving corps is going to continue sucking the rest of the season.

Greg "Brillo" Camarillo exceeded (barely) expectations this week, but when expectations are this low, it's not hard to excel. I should point out that Camarillo has been his teams #1 targeted receiver all season, until this week, of course. No, this week Ted Ginn exploded. Fuck the Dolphins. Fuck Chad Pennington. Fuck Ted Ginn.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Stewart was little used in Carolina's victory over Arizona, and it's only through luck that he's put up much better numbers all season. He's the #2 back in Carolina, but at least he's been getting red zone touches. Not this week.

Likewise, the Jets continue to underutilize Thomas Jones. They were playing the very worst run defense in the NFL this weekend, the KC Chiefs, so what does coach Mangini do? Has Favre throwing the fucking ball all over the place, all day. He threw three interceptions, by the way, and the Jets were lucky, and nothing more, when they squeaked out a victory over the Chiefs. Fuck Eric Mangini. Fuck the Jets. Hey, Jets fans, you wanna know why your team won't make the playoffs this year, and won't improve as long as Mangini is coach? The fuckstain doesn't know how to exploit his opponents' weaknesses.

Otherwise, I guess I can't complain. I started Jason Campbell in place of "Fucking Cuts" Cutler, because of the Bronco BYE, and he played well. In fact, it should be noted that Campbell hasn't thrown a single interception yet this season. Amazing.

Anyways, next week our beloved ROUGH RYDERS are taking on THE WINOS. At the moment the idiot oracles at Yahoo are predicting a very tight score, but I'm here to tell you right now, we're going to lose to THE WINOS next week, and it's gonna be ugly. That's right...I may love my team, but right now and for the forseeable future, I have no faith.

Hotcha! Hank

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Tuesday's Fortune: 28 October 2008

MEAL: 1 order (8) Crab Rangoon + 1 small order Pineapple Fried Rice = $8.10 + 90c tip

Hotcha! Hank

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27 October 2008

Tony Hillerman, RIP

Acclaimed mystery writer Tony Hillerman passed away this weekend at the age of 83, most likely from old age, and complications due to previous illnesses.

Growing up, I probably read more mystery novels than any other kind of genre fiction, and Hillerman's Chee & Leaphorn novels, set on the Navaho Reservation in the Four Corners section of Arizona/New Mexico, were second only to Doyle's Sherlock Holmes mysteries for me.

Hillerman had a clean, lyrical style to his prose, but more importantly, he had created two of the most unique and complicated and endearing characters in all of modern fiction, Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn and Seargant Jim Chee, both working for the Navaho Tribal Police on the rez, but both approaching life and the mysteries they must solve from entirely different directions. Leaphorn was the slightly grizzled pro - the older lawman who had a rather pragmatic view of life and people, as opposed to Jim Chee, the younger, more idealistic crimesolver who was studying to become a Shaman because he believed in the magical and mythical.

Chee also believed in the sanctity of his people, the Navaho, where Leaphorn, as I've mentioned, wasn't so idealistic. The Navaho people, to him, weren't necessarily "special" in any meaningful way, something the crimes he had to solve would tend to prove. And yet, Hillerman himself seemed to have a great affinity for America's desert southwest, and for the Navaho people in particular, because he so painstakingly wrote about the majestic beauty of the land, and the pride of it's honorable inhabitants.

In the end, I believe it was the Navaho Reservation setting, and Hillerman's great affections for it, that really elevated the writer's work above just about everybody else working in the mystery genre, with the exception of the aforementioned Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and possible James Lee Burke.

RIP, Tony Hillerman, and thanks for all the great mystery novels. You will be missed.

Hotcha! Hank

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24 October 2008

Something 4 The Weekend # 90

I have a thing for girls in retail...Meg at the grocery store, tall temptress Amanda at Best Buy, that plump rasta honey at Half-Priced Books...I also have a thing for waitresses, so when I tell you that I frequent Nick's Diner on State Street, know that it isn't because of their coffee or their Reuben, which doesn't even make my top ten list for Madison...
(I'm on a life-long quest for the world's greatest Reuben sandwich, if ya didn't know)
And I've been thinking about this, and have come to the conclusion that this attraction I have to clerks and waitresses isn't healthy, because it's a little, or maybe alot, chauvinistic...Misogynistic. I mean, in essence I have a thing for women who take orders from me, and in general, serve my wants and needs...They're the ones who put plates of food in front of me, they're the ones who put my purchases in a bag, all my wants and needs, and hand them to me with a smile, urging me to have a nice day...
So here we have the twee pop "Market Girl" by a band called Headlights, and it's all very shiny and convenient, I'd say.
Hotcha! Hank

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21 October 2008

ROUGH RYDERS 2008: Week Seven

Another week, another victory for our beloved WINONA ROUGH RYDERS, who stomped and squished the BUGMANIACS. We are now 5-2 in the FICL, and in second place in the standings. Barring a total team collapse in the next 2-4 weeks, I would think a spot in the playoffs is all but assured at this point. Of course, most of my stud players still have BYE weeks coming up, so anything is possible.
Anything is possible, and if you don't believe me, take a look at the final score up above, and notice how both teams woefully underscored their projected totals. In the case of the ROUGH RYDERS, I can only point to all of my studs - "Fucking Cuts" Cutler, Frank Gore, and my entire WR corps of Terrell Owens, Marques Colston, and Greg Jennings.
Cutler had his first truly questionable outing of the year, and he still put up 30 FP, which says more about the FICL's crazy scoring system than it does about Cutler's studliness.
Gore simply got shut down by the Giants, one of the better defenses in the NFL...Still, 11 yards on 11 catches is abysmal for any running back, and especially a dependable monster like Gore.
Terrell Owens has all but disappeared in the Cowboys' offense lately, and if you don't think that factors into the Cowboys losing three of their last four games (two of those losses against the middling Cardinals and the inept Rams), then you probably don't follow football very closely, and think TO is just being his usual primadonna self when he bitches about this fact. These are trying times in Dallas, and if they lose either one of their two games before the BYE, I won't say their playoff chances are gone, but I think it will help foster a really toxic Cowboys clubhouse. Anyways, TO has caught a paltry 8 catches in the last 3 games, and nobody's gonna win many games when a player the calibre of Owens isn't getting the ball...
Marques Colston was active this week for the first time since Week One, and while he played most of the game, did not catch a single pass. I didn't see the New Orleans-Carolina game, so I don't know if he dropped any balls, or if Brees simply didn't throw in Colston's direction...There are alot of weapons on that offense, so it's easy to get lost in the shuffle, but now that Reggie Bush is out for the season with a knee injury, my only hope is that Colston factor's more in that offense moving forward. If there's one player I need on my team right now to step it up and contribute, it's definitely #12.
Greg Jennings wasn't really needed in this week's Packers defeat over the Colts, but of course if would have been nice to see him catch more than 3 balls for a tepid 30 yards. He's the leading yardage receiver in the NFL for a reason, and it ain't because of a bunch of dink passes. Anyways, Jennings and the Packers have their BYE this next Sunday, and right now it looks like I'll be starting Greg "Brillo" Camarillo, who was my best WR this week while sitting on the bench...
Otherwise, my team did fine...Thomas "Green Moses" Jones had another stellar week of rushing, and Jonathan Stewart, whom the shifty oracles of Yahoo! Sports kept saying was Questionable this week because of some undiagnosed illness, had another worthy day on the field. Yahoo! has proven time and again, this year more than in years past, that their coverage and analysis of NFL football is absolutely fucking horrible...
Here's a prime example - they suggested I bench James Harrison in favor of Omar Gaither, nevermind that Gaither was on BYE this week and Harrison is the NFL sack leader at the moment and earning just about every penny of his huge contract from the Steelers...
Finally, Chris Cooley had a fairly quiet game this week, and as far as I know, didn't accidentally post more pictures of his sausage on his personal blog. It's a good thing our beloved WINONA ROUGH RYDERS are winning this year, because otherwise I'd be starved for excitement and silliness on my team right now.
Onward, to Week Eight, when we'll be taking on THE HAIRY NIPPLES, who are currently sporting a 2-5 record, soon to be 2-6...
Unless it all goes to hell this week, which could happen, because in the world of fantasy football, anything can happen at any time...
For example, how badly did Fucking Cuts Cutler hurt his hand last night?
Hotcha! Hank

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Tuesday's Fortune: 21 October 2008

MEAL: 1 Vegetable Spring Roll + 1 Roast Pork Egg Roll + 1 order (8) Steamed Dumplings = $7.35 + $1.65 tip

Hotcha! Hank

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17 October 2008

My Levi Stubbs Story

The year would have been 1992 or 1993, I'm guessing...I can only guess because I used to go to Las Vegas twice a year, every year, from about 1986 to 1997...Once a year for Super Bowl, and random 5-day jaunts from time to time, not to mention the summers when my long road trips through the western US blew me through that sinful city...
Now, it's probably no surprise that as a young boho hipster doofus I took a few cues from Hunter S Thompson, which means my trips to Vegas were oftentimes literally, trips...Self-experimentation RE my interaction with the people and assorted stimuli of that loud/colorful city whilst intoxicated on various substances...
So, to cut to the chase...In 1992 or 1993 I went to a Don Rickles show at the Golden Nugget while tripping on a tab of Blue Bart (Simpson) acid...It was a damn good thing we had cheaper seats in the back half of the hall, cuz Rickles works the front of the room pretty damn heavily, and had I somehow ended up the target of his jabs that night, I most certainly would have completely melted down...So yeah, it's a good thing Rickles is a short, fat man who won't or can't stray more than about 15 feet from the stage, wireless mic be damned...
So, there I was, tripping balls about 100 feet away from Don Rickles, watching his head balloon in-and-out, in-and-out, in-and-out, and changing colors slowly...All the colors of the rainbow, not to mention ultra-violet, infrared, x-ray and for a short burst, I'm pretty sure he turned into pure radio waves...
In addition to the Blue Bart, there was a two drink minimum, which was outright laughable for a drinker like me (then, not so much now), so I downed about 4 or 5 Brandy Alexanders during the show, and I laughed like a maniac, which went completely unnoticed because, well, Don Rickles is a damn funny mofo, and all 2000 of us were howling...
We all know the man's schtick - he tells ethnic jokes, and in that live club setting, he picks out individuals for his various target groups - blacks, Asians, Arabs, Jews, the fat, the ugly, the effeminate - and he keeps going back to 'em throughout his set...So, that night he's zero'd in on a particular black man who is sitting, dressed to the nines, in the very front row...And Rickles rocks this guy time and time again, working him into the act, mostly with jokes about pimping and black sexual endowance and endurance...Coming back to the dude time and again for the better part of an hour...
So, at the end of his show, Rickles reiterates his MO about being an equal opportunity offender, and he takes time to apologize to those specific people he's used in his act, and he gets to the last guy, this dapper black man...Rickles has him stand up, and ask him his name...
"Levi Stubbs."
Now, I don't know if Don Rickles was merely playing ignorant, or if the name meant absolutely nothing to him, but he started walking away from Levi Stubbs, and that's when the piano player who had opened the show chimed in, "Levi Stubbs! He's the singer from The Four Tops!"
A look of utter shock and surprise seemed to cross Rickle's bulbous and quivering purple head, and he went back and the two talked some more before Stubbs sang some "Sugar Pie Honey Bunch" and brought the room down...It was one of the greatest and most memorable nights of my life...
And that's my Levi Stubbs story.
Hotcha! Hank

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This Post Was Inevitable

Levi Stubbs is the kind of man who gets his name in the titles of other people's songs.
Hotcha! Hank

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A Tear For Levi

The Four Tops: "Standing In The Shadows Of Love" [mp3]

Levi Stubbs, lead singer of The Four Tops, passed away today at the age of 72.

I heard plenty of Motown and Mr. Stubbs commanding yet pleading voice in the house and car growing up...Motown was right up my mom's alley, and my Sister Starsky and I dug the hell outta Hitsville USA too, and if you have any doubts about just how powerful that Motown Sound truly is, play it to children...Play it to babies, even...It's been my experience with my two nieces, Shorty and The Manga Queen, as well as the experience of several other parents I've discussed this with over the years (hey, I consider this an important phenomenon worthy of examination) that any given Motown song, whether sung by The Four Tops, The Temptations, The Supremes, The Jackson 5, Gladys Knight & The Pips, The Spinners, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, will put a smile on a small child's face, and get them bopping around...The consensus is that the Motown Sound, more than any other music, save perhaps Sesame Street, has the most profound effect on the young...toddlers in particular...1-3 year olds...

So, what is it? What's the secret? Holland-Dozier-Holland songcraft? The sweet strings? Those supple horns? James Jamerson's amazing bass? All those amazing vocal arrangements and harmonies? Berry Gordy's production style/philosophy in general?

It all adds up to the most sophisticated simplicity, that's all I can say, something powerful and upbeat and joyous even when Levi Stubbs is singing about his heart being ripped apart...

RIP, Levi Stubbles.

Hotcha! Hank

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Suspect Sideways Maneuver Device

Man, Grace was this young Irish lass on my freshman dorm floor (Hazeltine House!) who was way too serious to party...Way too smart to drink and drug...Way too activated to fuck...And all of us 18 year old sacks of testosterone thought it was a shame, cuz she was hot and we were fucking unchained for the first time, you know?

Ach, it was a senseless bitch cuz of course there were probably about 20 of the 31 other young women on our floor who weren't as serious as her...

I was just serious enough, often enough, to be friends enough with her to know that Stiff Little Fingers was her favorite band, and she gave me her "Suspect Device" 7" on my birthday that year, and I've still got that 7", and it's still one of the coolest gifts I've ever received.

Grace was/is Irish-Catholic, and proud of it, and as you might expect, she was an Irish Nationalist in favor of a unified Ireland, independent of Great Britain...I was born and raised Catholic, and even though I was a Polack who had lapsed by 18, I still appreciated and agreed with one of her more passionate causes. A free Ireland.

So, I don't know who put this video together, this pairing of "Suspect Device" with riot footage straight outta Belfast circa then, but it almost perfectly embodies how I've remembered Grace through the years...

A serious beauty with her clear eyes focused on violence.

"I'm a suspect device the Army can't defuse...You're a suspect device they know they can't refuse...We're gonna blow up in their face..."

Hotcha! Hank

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Something 4 The Weekend # 89

Gentleman Jesse & His Men: Introducing Gentleman Jesse: "The Rest Of My Days" [mp3]

Don't let the album cover fool ya - Gentleman Jesse's music ain't copping Elvis Costello so much as he and his men are aping the pure mania of The Vibrators, and all things considered, they coulda done worse...

The important thing here, at least in terms of this particular song, is that the band ain't afraid to embrace Chuck Berry, and I mention this because there are plenty of bands, and plenty of fans, and plenty of tag-alongs and also-rans who don't, and won't, cuz Chuck Berry is exactly what their music, philosophy and lifestyle seek to destroy...Well, maybe not the lifestyle, cuz only the straightest edgers wouldn't take advantage of all the white groupies and substances...

I used to feel like that...In my younger years I vowed to never listen to rock music made before I was born...Classical and Jazz and whatever else got a pass, but I didn't want anything to do with rock and pop before 1966...So back then, when I was a more foolish young man, I'd load up my main cassette case, the one that stayed in my car, with whatever SST and Touch'n'Go had going on, you know...Blast First and Factory...

But dammit, this is supposed to be about Gentleman Jesse & His Men, and the rock solid Power Pop record that they've made this year...A fine 32 or so minutes of timeless music, really, a garage/basement thing that works circa 1957, 1967, 1977, and right now...

It's 1957 that's most important...I suppose I'm old enough now to appreciate Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley and Rockabilly and Doo Wop...Rock'n'Roll is 97% a nostalgia act these days, after all, it's got a small but fancy hall of fame museum, but CBGB's, that urinal of a club that supposedly represents REAL Rock'n'Roll, is history, and it's owner, Hilly Kristal, is gone gone gone...Punk and Post-Punk and Grunge and Gangsta Rap and what else you got? It's all fucking nostalgia these days...Legacy Editions and bonus DVDs...

With each passing year, I hear less and less Rock'n'Roll bands that sounds truly new and different to my ears, and I wonder if it's because I'm old, or Rock'n'Roll is older...The truly legendary are already dead, and most of 'em went young anyways, but now we're getting to a point where guys like John Rutsey and Rick Wright are passing away, and I, for one, never thought I'd actually lament and feel a bit of my own mortality with the passing of the Rush drummer before Neil Peart...The guy on the first album...

So here we have Gentleman Jesse (Jesse Smith), making a smooth and timeless Power Pop/Rock'n'Roll album...No new tricks, but twelve good songs played well...Time will tell if the gentleman has legs, or if this album is his Pure Mania, and nothing more...To be fair, The Vibrators have released 15 studio albums since 1977, but really, they've been out there milking that one great album, their first, all along and as recently as 2004...They'll never find their place in that hall in Cleveland, and neither will Gentleman Jesse, I reckon...

Gentleman Jesse and His Men, straight outta ATL with a slightly British accent, to wherever you are this weekend...Plenty of us with nothing better to do than sleep and drink the rest of our days, or maybe just this weekend...

My own plans include some JG Ballard short stories, a film or two from the Alien Quadrilogy, and of course, NFL football Sunday...

Where you at? Whatcha got?

Hotcha! Hank

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16 October 2008

1001 Words

I skipped the joke about Zombie McCain needing braaaaaains...

Hotcha! Hank

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A Word With Moshammer's Ghost

Hines Ward

Function: proper noun

Etymology: Korean Hyun-ae son of Hines, Old Gaelic werd marsh

Date: 1976

1: the name of a wide receiver (#86) for the Pittsburgh Steelers

Hotcha! Hank

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15 October 2008

Covering Covers # 7

So, there's Ozzy, flashing the peace signs on the cover of an album that is a somewhat conceptual song cycle about love gone wrong, isolation, changes, death, cocaine, religions both pagan and organized, and if that sounds kinda heady, keep in mind that Ozzy's lyrics were never much more complicated than what you might find in a 15 year old's secret notebook, especially when they concerned love gone wrong...

But his words don't matter so much when the riffs are so fucking heavy...

On the other hand, Volume 4 has the echo noodlings of "FX", the gentle faux flamenco and synthetic strings of "Laguna Sunrise", and the stately electric piano of "Changes"...

But to get to my point, Black Sabbath got wrongly tagged as some sort of Satan-Worshipping motherfuckers from the very start, when the message Ozzy was mostly peddling is that the world's a cruel cruel place, women aren't much better, God ain't gonna help you (and neither is Satan, chump!), drugs are fun until they're not, and eventually they aren't, and in the end there's death for you and me and all our friends...

The thing is, if you've watched only one episode of The Osbournes, you know that Ozzy is a genuinely good and smart man who found a woman who can be cruel to everybody in the world except Ozzy, a woman who ran his business and took care of his money and helped him sober up and built a small empire outta her man, and built a brand...OZZFEST! THE PREVIOUSLY MENTIONED TELEVISION SHOW!! And now these...
Sharon Osbourne, in cooperation with Converse Shoes, gave her man and the rest of us these "massive kicks" as the kids and one of the dudes on our Tech Support team likes to say...
When I saw the full-page ad for these shoes in the most recent issue of Alternative Press the wad of cinnamon chiclets fell outta my mouth. After the initial shock wore off, I thought, well, if there's gotta be a Sabbath shoe, I suppose this has gotta be it...
Paranoid might be their most popular album, but it's a picture of a goofy pink swordsman, and only fairies would wear boots like these, as Ozzy all but said himself on "Faries Wear Boots"...
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath wouldn't work because it's too busy, and it's a soul-rape scene...
Sabotage is one of the ugliest album covers in rock history because it features a mirrored-image of one of the ugliest bands in rock history...
No, this image from Volume 4 is the best, and only Sabbath cover that (almost) works on the side of a cheaply made tennis shoe...
The question is - is it a truly iconic image? Ancillary question - An image actually worthy of a shoe?
Not really. Sabbath's most iconic cover is probably that goofy pink swordsman on the cover of Paranoid, but only cuz it's so damn goofy, and it is Black Sabbath's most popular longplayer...
If this Volume 4 image is iconic, it's because of its high-contrast simplicity and nothing more...
I mean, the idea of Ozzy flashing the peace sign on the cover of an album full of woefully bleak shit is an indication that this image is meaningless...Maybe it's got something to do with Vietnam, but in the end, it has as much poignancy as Miley Cyrus and her own peace sign waving...
Finally, if this image is accurate, then they flipped the image backwards on the shoe, and as a fetishist of album covers and whatnot, this is a shame, whether it was intentional or not.
But hey, we're living in a post-album culture, so what does it matter?
Hotcha! Hank

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Maneuver The Sea Beast Sideways

You might be expecting a Torche video this week, but to be honest, I couldn't find a single video at YouTube with decent-sounding audio, something I've bitched about on more than one occasion in the past...

Now, maybe my ongoing bitch about this phenomenon made me give up on my search quicker than I should of, but I'm sorry - if yr video sounds like shit, why bother uploading it? I'm getting too old for crappy bootleg quality, you know? I could accept it back in the 1980's, when 10 pound VHS camcorders with cheap condenser mics were the norm, but this is 2008, and I think we can do a little bit better than that...We have the technology...

Which is a shame this week, because Torche's studio recordings are awesomely heavy and great, but the live clips littering YouTube are lame...Maybe if I get bored during tonight's presidential debate, I'll search the web a little more and see what surfaces...

In the meantime, here's a video from Mastodon, probably my favorite contemporary metal band, or at least the first band that popped into my mind when I thought "hmmm, what other metal band video can I post tonight?"


Hotcha! Hank

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ROUGH RYDERS 2008: Week Six

This week's victory over THE DOUG FLUTIES had more to do with their underperformance than our beloved WINONA ROUGH RYDERS own performance, which was slightly underwhelming itself. Nevertheless, a win is a win, and we are now 4-2 in the FICL.

Terrell Owens continues to disappoint, and now that Cowboys' QB Tony Romo is out for 4 weeks with a broken finger, who knows to what depths TO's uselessness will go...Even with former Lion WR Roy Williams being traded to Dallas, I don't have much hope of things improving. New QB starter Brad Johnson doesn't inspire any hope in me, and you might think the addition of Williams is a good thing, but I'm here to tell you that the dude is one of the most overrated WRs in the NFL. I couldn't tell you how many dropped passes I've witnessed from the man over the past 3 years...Some people say he's an elite WR, but some people are fucking morons.

On the bright side, the Saint's WR Marques Colston should be back in the ROUGH RYDERS' lineup in the next week or two from the thumb injury that has sidelined him through the first six weeks. And still, I feel like we're thin at the WR position, and the pickings are slim on the free agency wire.

The story this week, however, is New York Jets' RB Thomas Jones, who scored THREE touchdowns in their victory over the Bengals. I watched that game, and what I don't understand is why the Jets don't utilize Jones more than they have so far this season. He's proven to be a solid, dependable RB, and yet, they continue to use Leon Washington far too much in my mind. Washington is an adequate change-of-pace back, but I don't believe he's good enough to warrant the amount of time he gets in any given game. Still, I can't bitch too much, at least they're using Jones more than they did last year.

LB Nick Barnett continues to disappoint, and I finally had to pull the plug on him this week and send him to free agency. As a Green Bay Packer die-hard, I naturally watch every game, and it seems to me that Barnett has lost a step, or maybe even two steps, in the early part of this season. Where once he was the first hitter, and one of the guys at the bottom of any given pile, nowadays he's one of those guys who runs up to stand over the pile when the play is whistled dead, like a fucking cornerback, you know? It's sad.

Quentin Jammer had a big game this weekend, shutting down Randy Moss, and deflecting about 6 passes during the game. What a great DB...

Chris Cooley and his sausage had another solid game this week, though he didn't catch any TD passes, and he didn't accidently expose himself again. Oh well.

As far as my own brand of brilliance is concerned, I picked up Broncos' WR Brandon Stokley at the last minute, and he caught a touchdown pass for me, which was excellent. If he hadn't suffered his 10th concussion this Sunday, he may have caught more than 3 passes, but I'm not bitching.

I also grabbed the New Orleans Saints team Defense at the last minute, since Pittsburgh had a BYE this week, and they performed exactly how I expected them to against the fairly anemic Oakland Raiders offense. I had been carrying the Jacksonville Jaguar defense all season, but at the last minute didn't feel like having my QB Jay "Fucking Cuts" Cutler going up against my own team defense, so...

Like I said at the top, this week's victory over THE DOUG FLUTIES is attributable to their complete and utter underperformance...In fact, only two of their players, QB Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packer, huzzah!) and Cleveland DB Eric Wright exceeded the predictions of the completely inept Yahoo! Fantasy Football Oracles...

So, after six weeks of exciting FICL fantasy football action, our beloved WINONA ROUGH RYDERS are in second place with a record of 4-2. Next week, we face the 1-5 BUGMANIACS, but don't let that rotten record fool ya - this might very well be one of those so-called "trap games"...At the moment, we're only favored by 5 FP, which is a blip in a high scoring league like this one, and BUGMANIACS are capable of scoring huge if the luck goes his way just a little bit...

See you on the other side...

Hotcha! Hank

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14 October 2008

Tuesday's Fortune: 14 October 2008

MEAL: 1 Vegetable Spring Roll + 1 small order Curry Chicken = $5.65 + $1.35 tip

Hotcha! Hank

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10 October 2008

Small Town Values

I would like to write about "values" today. The desire arose because once again this election year, we are hearing the term "small town values" bandied about by the Republicans in the context that people who live in major metropolitan areas (presumably more liberal/Democratic) have lesser values than people who live in small towns. This notion is complete and utter bullshit, of course, and I just thought I'd share some anecdotal evidence to counter this claim.

I grew up in a suburban town of 8000 people. For the most part, it is an upper-middle class community, and as I was growing up there in the 70's and 80's, there were exactly two black families in the entire town. This wasn't by accident, either. If you've heard the term "white flight", that's pretty much the reason why Grafton is 99% white - these white families were literally escaping the city of Milwaukee and it's minority populations in the aftermath of desegregation, as dictated by the Supreme Court's 1954 Brown Vs. Board of Education ruling. Grafton was founded in the 1870's, but didn't see it's one major population "explosion" until the decade or so after that ruling, and this holds true for many small towns just like Grafton. I mention all this because this trend, this phenomenon, illustrates a very specific value - that many white people simply do not want to live, work, play, or go to school with non-white people.

Racism is a value.

That's the most pervasive value in Grafton, but it's not a value that's readily apparent on the surface. No, this sort of racism is a quiet kind, so subtle that plenty of small town people don't even realize they're practicing it, but it is there nonetheless. It's part of a larger mindset that shows itself more readily in other prejudices and opinions, many of which are easiest to identify in the halls of a typical small town high school, where cliques inform the dynamics of the entire school, and one's status is pretty much wholly determined by surface and appearances.

In high school, if you are fat, you are almost guaranteed to never be one of the "cool kids", and you will have to suffer countless slings and arrows of outright mockery and public humiliation. If you do not wear the most current and fashionable clothing and shoes, you will be ridiculed and reminded of those shortcomings ceaselessly. If you are gay, you will face all those slings and arrows, nevermind the steady, neverending beatdowns (or threats of beatdowns) from "the jocks". If you are a girl who is sexually active, you will be called a "slut" and a "whore", but if you are a girl who who isn't sexually active, you will be called a "dyke" by the very guy who want to sex you up. If you are academically gifted, you will be marginalized, mocked and perhaps even beat up with some regularity. Hopefully, you are not a fat homosexual who is academically gifted.

I mention these sorts of things because they point to an overriding set of values that are pervasive in small town America, a set of values that is best described as xenophobic, I suppose. If you do not "fit in", or are merely perceived to be "different", the chances are quite good that you will be ignored, marginalized, ostracized, and perhaps even the target of physical threats and violence itself.

(WHO IS BARACK OBAMA? McCain's campaign commercial asks countless times every day, and if you do not believe his campaign is deliberately feeding into the xenophobia and racism of the Republican base, you're probably a part of that base, a base that is becoming increasingly rabid with vocal hatred, if you've seen the YouTube videos of recent McCain-Palin rallies.)

It would easy to say that racism and xenophobia are interchangeable, but that isn't quite true, because I moved to a small unincorporated farming town of approximately 120 people, a place called Helenville, where I lived for about two years before coming to Madison. Now, I'm a white male, so you would think my presence in Helenville would not be an issue, but I was instantly perceived as an outsider, an "other", and during those two years, I couldn't seem to shake that stigma.

First of all, I have a Polish name, which proved to be troublesome to a community that was almost entirely German. I was even asked by one of the locals once, "So, are you one of those Polish Jews?"

I shit you not.

In this small, unincorporated town of 120 people, there are three churches, two taverns, a post office and a bank. God and alcohol rule Helenville, and as you can imagine, drunken fundamentalism was rampant. Even in the most innocuous of conversations, somehow topics such as "fags" and "baby killers" would get woven in. At first I would protest, exposing my liberal tendencies, and I believe these outspoken protestations were responsible for the locals never liking or accepting me. Like most small towns like this, word travelled fast, so after the very first of my protestations, I started noticing the dirty looks, and the way the locals basically shunned me. A friendly wave to neighbors as I walked to the post office would be met with cold indifference. If I entered one of the local taverns, all conversations would cease immediately and all eyes would turn to me. It was unnerving at first, but soon became laughable.

Like I said, gossip is quite prevalent in communities like this, so from time to time I would hear word of alcoholism, infidelity, domestic abuse, and even incest. It would seem every last person in town had their secrets, except that there were no secrets.

In that way, Helenville is no different than Grafton. I can tell you that on my own block in Grafton, we had a married woman having an affair with a married man who lived in the house behind hers. More than once, my friends and I saw him sneaking from his house to her house late at night (yeah, most of us had very liberal curfews), when her husband was out of town on business. Across the street we had a raging alcoholic that beat his children with regularity. These children would grow into teenagers who were exceedingly violent and hateful themselves. Meanwhile, up the street, there was a kid who took great pleasure in torturing and killing cats, and was so creepy in general, that none of the other kids in the neighborhood wanted anything to do with him. When my sister's cat, Tigger, suddenly disappeared, never to be seen again, we immediately suspected this kid. I assume this boy grew up to be a serial killer.

Alcoholism and drug abuse were also fairly rampant in Grafton. In fact, around 1982, two former Grafton high schoolers stabbed a third to death in his bedroom over a cocaine deal gone bad. Stabbed him more than two dozen times, in fact. In my own experiences, it was just as easy to procure any kind of drug imaginable as it was to go to one of the four liquor stores in our town to buy beer.

I guess I could go on and on with anecdotes about small town life, but I hope I've made my point.

And my point is this - conservative Republicans can talk about "small town values" all they want, but the fact of the matter is, small town values are no better than the values found in any large city. People are people, flaws and all, no matter where you live, and if anything, I would argue that people are worse in small towns, because there is the sheen of hypocrisy that covers everyone and everything. Many people in small towns are doing the exact same bad shit that people in the cities are doing, but they wrap themselves in scripture and the flag, and claim to be better than all the "fags" "niggers" and "commies" who are supposedly a blight on those cities and a threat to their "small town values" and America itself.

So, Sarah Palin can invoke "Joe Sixpack" all she wants, but know this - plenty of those Joe Sixpacks are alcoholics who routinely abuse their spouses and children, and then they go to church on Sunday where they're repeatedly told that it is the Godless liberals and secularists who are the problem with America.

Now I'm living in Madison, a progressive, liberal city which those same smalltown Joe Sixpacks like to say is "20 square miles surrounded by reality". If places like Helenville are "reality", I'd much rather stay here, safely ensconsed in our relative "insanity", thank you very much.

Hotcha! Hank

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Something 4 The Weekend # 88

Torche: Torche: "Fuck Addict" [mp3]

Torche are a fucking Metal band from Miami, Florida, though the simple term "Metal" doesn't really do 'em justice, because within their heaviness, they explore all manner musical styles...I'd personally call 'em a Pop band who happens to crank their amps to 14 or so...
Otherwise, I really have nothing else to say about this band except that both of their albums are crazy fun, and heavy as fuck...
And yeah, I chose the song "Fuck Addict" because that's exactly the kind of values I have, and if you ain't thinking about sex on yr weekends, let alone the rest of the week, well then yr probably one of those uptight freaks who scare the living hell outta me because yr so afraid of life.
Sure, there's more to life than sex, but is there anything better than sex? Maybe butterscotch pudding and the anticipation of sex, but let's not quibble.
Hotcha! Hank

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07 October 2008

ROUGH RYDERS 2008: Week Five

Gloom! Despair! Anthony Gonzalez!

Our beloved WINONA ROUGH RYDERS lost this weekend's fantasy football matchup against ChicagoBare'sAll by a score of 240.28 to 224.78, and I'm going to take the easy way out and blame Indianapolis Colt's WR Anthony Gonzalez...Well, and Peyton Manning...I mean, Manning finally threw more touchdowns than interceptions in a game, completing 25 passes in total...Unfortunately, only one of those receptions went to Gonzalez...It's tough to win any fantasy matchup when a WR is that inconsequential...

And speaking of wide receivers, it's tough to win when one of your opponents DL scores more points than all but one WR on either team...Patrick Willis was a tackling machine this weekend...

Otherwise, nothing really stands out in this week's contest...Sure, Frank Gore didn't meet expectations, but Chris Cooley and his sausage made up for that...

Nick Barnett continues to disappoint, and if he weren't a beloved Green Bay Packer, I'd certainly have dropped him by now...

In any event, we are now in the BYE week portion of the season, when finding adequate fill-ins becomes crucial, and just about anything can happen...I believe that if our beloved ROUGH RYDERS can escape the next four weeks with a 2-2 record, we will be in good position to make the league playoffs, when again, anything can happen, and everybody has a chance to win it all...

Perhaps I shouldn't be looking so far ahead, but I'm confident we've got the right team to make a run at the FICL title...

Our beloved ROUGH RYDERS are now 3-2, and next week we take on the always dangerous DOUG FLUTIES, managed by Thee Fractioneer, who beat us in last year's championship game...He doesn't have fucking Anquan Boldin to mess things up this year, so I feel confident that another victory is at hand.

Hotcha! Hank

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Tuesday's Fortune: 7 October 2008

MEAL: 1 order (8) Crab Rangoon + 1 small order Pineapple Fried Rice = $7.15 + $1.85 tip

Hotcha! Hank

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04 October 2008

Sideways Block The Catholic Maneuver

You see, in 1987, I had moved back home to help my dad and the visiting nurses take care of my mom, who would die of pancreatic cancer in the early morning of Christmas Eve that year...Now, I won't get into all the frightening details of her decay, except to say that the Sister album by Sonic Youth was the soundtrack to the trip, for me, anyways, and that's what's relevant to S4TW #87 and these subsequent sideways maneuvers...

1987 was a crazy fucking tuff year, to be sure, but it had it's good moments...My mom and I spent a ton of time together...Talking, reading to each other, watching movies, listening to records...

I didn't spin the Sister LP around her, because she didn't like anything remotely like Sonic Youth...So I kept a cassette dub of the album for my commutes to UWM and back, or when I made a buzz run out into the country late at night, trying to get away from everything for an hour or two...

I listened to this album sooo fucking much in the latter half of that twisted year because Sonic Youth more than any other band at that particular time, had found the perfect mix of magic pop riffs and atonal bliss, harmony and noise, beauty and decay...For me, this was/is the music of life itself (and the fact that death is always in its midst), the sacred and the profane, waves of madness and love, and eruptions of anger, it's all there in the music...

Music that underpins a loose song cycle about ghosts and regrets, drugs and faith, insanity, Nazis, a static future, a kinetic past, aliens, entropy, death, decay, and the healing powers of Rock'n'Roll...Words that spoke directly to my life and experiences that year, right down to the Christmas tree, it's mirrored bulb ornaments reflecting my dying mom a dozen or more times in miniature...

Come back to me awhile.

Hotcha! Hank

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Considering "Ralph"

You know, a sufficient amount of fuss has been made about the names Sarah and Todd Palin gave to their five children, and plenty of stale and pedestrian jokes have been made about such on late night television and elsewhere, but I don't agree with any of this poo-pooing and tittering, so I would like to take this opportunity to say that the names she gave those kids are really the only thing I actually like about Sarah Palin...That and the fact that she looks alot like the woman who is #3 on my 2008 Laminated List, but that's an entirely different issue I won't get into now, or ever...

"Consider for a moment the beauty of the name 'Ralph.'" - Frank Zappa on The Joan Rivers Show

By now you should be aware of my great love for Frank Zappa, naming this very HOT POOP blog after one of his songs after all, and I happen to agree with Frank's philosophy on names and the naming of things, be they children or studios or your favorite fountain pen or touring vans or sandwiches, or all ten of your wife's toes...Life's too short to be boring, first of all, and secondly, what kind of leg up are you giving your child if you name him Ralph or Steve or Brian? Those are names custom made for Accounts Payable, you know? But more to Frank's point, "Ralph" is just an ugly fucking name.

Frank Zappa named his four children Moon Unit, Ian Donald Calvin Euclid, Ahmet Emuukha Rodan, and Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen...

If you don't see "Dweezil" on this list, that's because the hospital refused to put that name on the birth certificate...Ian Zappa's name wasn't officially changed to Dweezil until he was five years old, and at his own, Dweezil's, request...As the well-known story goes, he is named after one of Gail Zappa's pinky toes...Seems quite natural to me...Of course, his first official name is derived from three Mothers Of Invention members - Ian Underwood, Donald Preston and Euclid James "Motorhead" Sherwood - and Frank's best friend and graphic artist Cal Schenkel, and I think that's pretty cool...Rather conventional, too.

As for his other three children...Well, I'm not sure what the meaning of Moon Unit might be, though I can tell you that "Unit" is her middle name...The name Moon itself, is quite hippie-ish, which is baffling to me because Frank had absolutely no love for the hippies...Hmmm...Perhaps his wife Gail actually named their eldest child...Again, if you don't consider "Unit", Moon is a pretty conventional name for a year like, oh, 1967...

Ahmet Emuukha Rodan is a damn fantastic name in my book...The first name, Ahmet, is a derivation of the Arabic name Ahmad, meaning "highly praised", and is one of Prophet Mohammad's many given names...Now that's a name to live up to, and again, is an incredibly conventional name in many parts of the world...Emuukha was a name of Frank's own creation, and also the name of one of his groups, The Abnuceals Emuukha Electric Orchestra, and Rodan, of course, was/is the winged dinosaur nemesis of Godzilla...A strong, masculine name, and all in all, a very fine name for a young man with which to make his mark in the world...

Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen was the loudest baby in the the maternity ward, and that's how she got her first name, a name which prefigures the whole "diva culture" that has become prevalent over the past decade or so, and once again Frank proves scarily prescient, and has given her a name readymade for greatness...With a name like Diva, anything seems possible, and probable...As for Thin Muffin, well, who doesn't love a muffin, even a thin one? And let's not forget, Frank's studio is named The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen (UMRK), and as much as Frank loved that studio, and lived much of his life in there, you gotta believe naming his youngest daughter after his studio is a damn fine way to keep her in this thoughts when he's slaving away over tapes down in his dangerous kitchen...Pigeen? Ya got me.

"People make a lot of fuss about my kids having such supposedly 'strange names'. But the fact is that no matter what first names I might have given them, it is the last name that is going to get them in trouble." - Frank Zappa in The Real Frank Zappa Book

Enough about Frank Zappa's kids...What about Sarah Palin's children?

Track...I'm not sure what Track Palin's middle name is, but the name Track is a very strong and masculine name, evoking trackers, and the tracking of animals, or even those who blaze trails through the wilderness...Trackers are smart and sensible and fearless, and so a name like this is outstanding in my mind...Of course, we shouldn't forget father Todd Palin, who happens to race snowmobiles, among other manly, Alaskan pursuits...Racing those snow machines around, ayup, race tracks...All in all, the name Track is an athletic and manly name, a name to aspire to...

According to Sarah Palin, daughter Bristol is named after Bristol Bay, where her and her husband have both pursued commercial fishing careers, a decidedly rugged and demanding occupation in a certainly beautiful body of water, and an Alaskan body of water at that...It is a name that evokes home and hard work and beauty and nature, so how can anybody make fun of that?

There have been no official explanations for her other two daughter's names, Willow and Piper...It has been noted that there is a small Alaskan town called Willow & Piper, and that seems like an easy explanation...Willow isn't an entirely uncommon/unknown name for a girl, and one thinks perhaps of Sci-Fi Fantasy novels, and of course, the lesbian witch character Willow from Buffy The Vampire Slayer...Taken as is, it is another perfectly fine and lovely name for a daughter, as hippie-ish as Moon Zappa, and fairly conventional at heart. And the name Piper is just as conventional, an Old English name that according to my googling, is the 240th most popular name for a girl in the past decade...If I'm not mistaken, actress Gillian Anderson has a daughter named Piper...Of course, the Piper Super Cub is a very popular small engine plane used extensively for tracking and hunting...

Speaking of tracking again, we finally arrive at Sarah Palin's youngest child, her infant son Trig. Our first thought when we hear this name is Trigonometry, of course, which just so happens to be the mathematics of triangles, the measuring of their sides and angles...From there, we must consider triangulation, the process of finding the location of a point by measuring angles to it from other known points...Trig Points are beacons placed out in wilderness terrains, especially hills and mountains, to help rescuers locate missing people and vehicles and small aircraft such as Piper Super Cubs...Trig also happens to be an old Norse word meaning "true" and "strong", and again, taken in context like this, is a completely masculine name that makes all the sense in the world to me...Anyways, the baby's full name is Trig Paxon Van Palin, and his middle name Paxon, is named after "one of the most beautiful spots in Alaska" according to Sarah and Todd Palin. But finally, Sarah Palin has joked on record that she chose Van as his second middle name because Van Palin sounds like Van Halen, and being a rather big fan of that band's original line-up, I don't even really consider this a joke at all. Seems perfectly cromulent to me...

My point to all this blather is that I find the names of Sarah Palin's kids to be not only normal, but actually rather striking and powerful...They are names that might be helpful to them in finding their own identities...Names to aspire to...Names to become...They are certainly not boring names...They are not the names of Inventory Managers or Chiropractors, and so all the jokes on late night TV and zipping around the internet just aren't funny to me...

As Frank Zappa noted in his book, it's that last name that's gonna give 'em trouble...Many might think Sarah Palin gave her kids unusual, even funny, names, but whatever obstacles those names might incur, they're nothing compared with being Palins...And the only thing funny about that is Tina Fey...

You Hotcha! Henry Ezekiel Mohaski

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Business Syphilis

Having trouble getting a handle on the crisis on Wall Street? Giving up on ever understanding the complexities of credit default swaps and derivative contracts? Not so fast, Suzy Creamcheese, let Stephen Cobert and Stephen Cobert help us all get to the bottom of it.

Hotcha! Hank

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03 October 2008

A Word With Moshammer's Ghost


Function: adjective

Etymology: Latin pungent, pungens, present participle of pungere to prick, sting; akin to Latin pugnus fist, pugnare to fight, Greek pygmē fist

Date: 1597

1: sharply painful

2: having a stiff and sharp point, pungent leaves

3 a: marked by a sharp incisive quality, caustic

3b: being sharp and to the point

4a: causing a sharp or irritating sensation, especially acrid

4b: having an intense flavor or odor, a pungent belch

Hotcha! Hank

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Schizophrenia Maneuver

In it's way, this video is classic Post-Modern Art, all capitalized and whatnot, and if not, well, it just feels like a Sonic Youth video anyways...

Hotcha! Hank

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Something 4 The Weekend # 87

Sonic Youth: Sister: "Kotton Krown" [mp3]

Love has come to stay in all the way it's gonna stay forever and
everyday it feels like a wish coming true it feels like an angel dreaming of you
it feels like heaven forgiving and getting it feels like a fading celebrating
gonna call them spirits grey I'm gonna laugh it up
you gotta cotton crown I'm gonna keep it underground.

You're gonna take control of the chemistry you're gonna manifest the mystery
you've got a magic wheel in your memory
I'm wasted in time and I'm looking everywhere
I don't care where
angels are dreaming of you

NYC is forever king
I'm wasted in time and your never ready
fading fading celebrating
I've got your Kotton Krown.

Sonic Youth: Sister: "White Cross" [mp3]

Burning inside (I cross myself, it doesn't help)...
Because I'm not smart enough (I'm digging into hot white)...
Learning not to lie (we cross it out and stay away)...

Burning inside we cross it out and stay away...

Hotcha! Hank

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01 October 2008


Well, here we are babycakes, at the start of another month, and that means a new podcast has been uploaded to EVERYTHINGATHON!


This month, our good friend BIGFOOT spins a solid hour of songs about Jesus, because you know the holiday season can't start soon enough, right? Besides, as the title says, Bigfoot loves Jesus...

So, go and listen/download all through the month of October, because come November 1st, Bigfoot is gone, and another podcast will be ready for streaming...Enjoy!

Hotcha! Hank

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ROUGH RYDERS 2008: Week Four

Let's keep this week's recap short and sweeeeeeeeet, shall we?

Our beloved WINONA ROUGH RYDERS handily defeated the previously undefeated BLACKANDBLUE in this past weekend's fantasy football matchup. In doing so, we are now tied with three other teams for first place in the FICL with a record of 3-1. In this coming weekend's fantasy action, we will be taking on one of those other 3-1 teams, CHICAGO BARES ALL, and while it should prove to be an exciting matchup, I feel confident right now predicting that we will embarrass CHICAGO BARES ALL...

I'm also predicting that Chris Cooley will once again "accidentally" post a picture of his sausage on his blog, this time wrapped in either some undercooked bacon, or a Rough Rider Warming Pleasure™ condom.

Hotcha! Hank

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