Friday, November 7, 2008

Return of the Fiend Club

Misfits fans rejoice! The band's official fan club has risen from the dead. This event has set off a flurry of rumors regarding a possible reunion next year. With Glen Danzig. Catch the Danzig-less Misfits on one of the following dates:


Thursday, November 6, 2008

REMINDER: It's Thursday...30 Rock tonight!!!

And once again I will be taping it since I'll be watching the Browns [hopefully] defeat the Denver Broncos along with the other members of the Browns Backers Worldwide chapter that I belong to.

In case you weren't aware of this...Oprah is on 30 Rock.

Tracy: Winfrey or Billingham?
Jack: You know someone named Oprah Billingham?
Tracy: No. that's not from the script. It's a slight alteration of a Season One scene where Jack mentions Arsenio and Tracy asks "Hall or Billingham?" This was the same episode that contained the following exchange:

Tracy: I'm gonna make you a mix tape. You like Phil Collins?
Jack: I have two ears and a heart, don't I?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

SSFM: Look what I saw at CVS

I don't consider myself a Trekkie by any means. I enjoy the original series but didn't really care for The Next Generation or the series that followed it.

I do however have a nice little collection of PEZ dispensers and I'm looking very forward to adding these dispensers to my collection [yes...I will remove them from their packaging].

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

SSFM: Animal Crossing on Wii!!!

Ohmygawd...I just received an email from Nintendo about this game. It's going to be released on the 16th. Now I'm really going to start searching for a Wii. The original Animal Crossing is one of my all-time fave video games. It's the sole reason I've held onto my GameCube. The sequel - Animal Crossing: Wild World - was the game that inspired me to purchase a Nintendo DS.
I still haven't played any games on the Wii. But from what I've read about what the system's capabilities I imagine that AC Wii will not disappoint.
Time to get out my shovel and go dig up some bells!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

SSFM: Browns change QBs

Will the "Brady Bunch" be the new "Kardiac Kids"???

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Twenty years ago this month...

...a single called "Love Buzz" was released.

In related news, rumors abound that Universal will be releasing a DVD of Nirvana's set at the 1992 Reading Festival. Good stuff!

Happy New Month!!!

Just before 2am I closed out my tab and departed from the Lakewood Landing. I guess Halloween parties ended around 1am because around 1:15 the place filled with teetering, slurring folks. Several persons drink orders were denied creating a tense vibe at the bar. I decided to make the short trek home before the Landing closed down for the night so that I could decrease my chances of being run over when the drunk exodus occurred.

As I walked up Gaston I passed a girl. We said "hello" to each other. I ducked in and picked up a package of CDs that I then dropped off about half a block away. En route to the drop-off I passed the girl again. This time "hello again"s were exchanged.

On the way back to my apartment I noticed that there was a gathering of emergency lights a couple of intersections away. It was like a disco had opened up in the middle of the street. I debated whether or not to give into my urge to go see what the fuss was all about. I got about halfway to the mid-street disco when all of a sudden it was gone. I crossed the street to make sure I wasn't overlooking anything.

Going back home I couldn't help but notice a strong scent of french fries and ketchup lingering in the air. I became transfixed by it and tried to find where it was coming from. But alas, I was unable to locate the source.

So I went home and watched a couple episodes of Freaks & Geeks and went to bed.

Friday, October 31, 2008

FEY-dar - "Do-Over" recap [30 Rock 3.1]

So somewhere around 2am I finally got to see the season premiere of 30 Rock. I had taped [yes...I'm a VCR using luddite] Kath & Kim and The Office as well. It took every ounce of restraint I had to not fast forward through those two shows to get to 30 Rock. I had never seen Kath & Kim before and to be honest I don't see myself watching it again. [On a side note...I'm wondering if Molly Shannon is bothered by the implication that she must look older than she does. She's only eight years older than Selma Blair but plays her mom on the show.] The episode of The Office left me *meh*.

And then there it was... 30 Rock!!! What a nutty way to start off the season. Jack returns from Washington to get his old job back. And he's going to start at the bottom and work his way back to the top! Liz is trying to adopt a child! Tracy's video game has sold 61 million copies! Kenneth doesn't know what "imperative" means! Frank gets solid gold nunchuks!!!

My favorite quotes from the episode:

Liz: I was arrested once in Germany for public nudity. I thought it was a topless beach. It wasn't. Shipyard.

Liz: Can I hide this box of penis pasta in your dressing room?

Tracy: Let's go shopping. TO THE BATMOBILE!!!
Grizz: [to Liz] Don't worry. He's just leasing it.

Jack: [to three mailroom co-workers] What I'm saying is don't dress for the job you have. Dress for the job you want to have. So now Manny...
Manny: Tomorrow I'll show up for work dressed as a Mexican wrestler.

Devon: I'm gonna shut [GE] down. I'm gonna shut the whole thing down for two years. Imagine how badly people will want lightbulbs then.
Jack: Are you insane? Think about the jobs. Think about the economy. This is GE.
Devon: It's just "G" now, Jack. I sold the "E". To Samsung. They're Samesung now.

Jenna: Well I first met Liz in 1993. She was fresh out of college and I had just broken up with OJ Simpson. Can I just say something? Total gentleman.

Tracy: Petey-Pete...for letting us use the soundbooth please accept this chinchilla coat. You're gonna get so much nice-nice in that you're gonna have to grow another ding-[Liz interrupts]

Liz: You smell like strawberries.
Jack: That's just the lip gloss [Kathy Geiss] put on me so I could be her fancy boy.

Jack: Is this the way my life was supposed to play out? The kid who walked four miles every Saturday to caddy because mother said that golf was a game for businessmen. Paid his way through Princeton by working days at that graveyard or graveyard shift at the Days Inn.

Jack: This job is all I ever wanted and now it hinges on how far I'm willing to go with a woman in Dora the Explorer panties that were clearly made for an obese child.

Jack: We might not be the best people but we're not the worst.
Jack and Liz [simultaneously]: Magic kids were the worst.

Devon: [to Tracy] I'm going to sue you.
Tracy: You can't sue me. I'm already being sued. Double indemnity.

There was also a great sight gag: a woman from the adoption agency [Megan Mullally] is coming to visit the studio. Liz tells Frank to change his baseball cap [it has "HORNY" on it]. Frank shows up later wearing a bowler hat that says "HORNY".

All-in-all a solid episode. Certainly the best season opener thus far. The series has a history of becoming funnier as the season progresses so I have extremely high hopes for this season. I'm confident that they'll be met.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

BWE overtime continues!!!

Brand spankin' new SLAYER track - "Psychopathy Red"

Boys becoming becoming wolves.

To commemorate MN, Halloween, and the season premiere of 30 Rock, I share this with you:

Happy Mischief Night!

A few weeks back I paid a visit to the best ecards site EVER so I could send some cynical ecards commemorating Columbus Day to a few friends. There amidst the "holiday" ecards was one that made reference to something called Mischief Night:

I had never heard of Mischief Night. So I turned to that bastion of truthiness [Wikipedia] to educate me on MN. It's basically Halloween Eve and seems to be quite popular in parts of Europe and the UK. But seriously, do teenagers really need a specific night to TP houses and throw eggs? If you'd like to get the scoop on MN click here.

And if you're too busy to get caught up in some MN hijinks of your own don't fret: MN occurs TWICE a year [mark your calendar to remind you that March 31 is a good day for shenanigans].

Tonight: 30 ROCK season premiere!!!

The best week ever [ of 'em anyway] which started last Thursday spills into overtime with the premiere of my current favorite TV show: 30 Rock. Right now it consistently brings the funny more than any other show [yes, The Office is really good too. But it sometimes trips over its own cuteness].

I urge everyone to take 30 minutes out of your eve
ning to watch the show. And if you won't be at home then tape it or Tivo it or whatever you do to watch a show later [have your brood watch it then act it out for you later].

Like me. I won't be able to watch it as it airs since I'll be at this show:

[I told you the BWE was in overtime!] are only TEN BUCKS! Dimmu Borgir alone is worth that. But look who else is playing: Moonspell!!! MOONSPELL!!!

So in the coming days you can look forward to recaps of the above concert AND the season premiere of 30 Rock AND a Slurpee review. you're having the BWE!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: Rizz reads my email on-air

It's the little moments that sometimes make life worthwhile. Each morning I listen to Tony Rizzo's WKNR radio show online. From time to time I craft a witty little email pertinent to whatever they've been talking about. This morning a listener called in saying that the General Manager of the Cleveland Browns [Phil Savage] popped up at the tailgate the Jacksonville chapter of Browns Backers Worldwide was holding prior to this past Sunday's Browns vs. Jaguars game. The listener said Phil hung out for a couple of hours taking pictures with the assembled Browns fans. Rizz found this a bit far-fetched but the listener was insistent that it was Phil Savage.

This of course gave me fodder for an epic email. Rizz is always ragging on his co-host, Aaron Goldhammer, because apparently he really does like the Jonas Brothers. Aaron also enjoys saying the work "succulent". Here's the email I sent:

Hey Rizz...I wanted to let you know that I was tailgating recently at a Jonas Brothers concert and guess who was wandering around? Hammer! He hung out and took pictures for a couple of hours with a bunch of succulent teenage girls. It's good to be alive indeed!
Around 11:15am CT ["Cleveland time"] my email was read on-air. Rizz got such a kick out of it that he felt it warranted some ringing of the cowbell. High honors indeed.

It's good to be alive!!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

POLYSICS are go!!!

Japanese band POLYSICS brought their new wave sounds to Prophet Bar last Friday and rocked the house. Decked out in matching jumpsuits and future shades they were reminiscent of Devo. They sound a lot like Devo as well but much more frenetic. It was clear that the band was having as much fun onstage as those of us in attendance were having. Several attendees wore their own handcrafter Polysics jumpsuits. There were also several audience members that were in cosplay mode, no doubt a reflection of the band's having tapped into the rabid anime followers found on these shores.

The set featured several songs from the band's new album - We Ate the Machine - as well as many of the songs featured on their "best of" compilation from several years back [Polysics Or Die!!!]. And of course there heavy vocoder usage. But when was the last time you went to a show that featured a recorder solo? Polysics can be full of surprises.

Opening act Black Gold churned out a brief set of hook heavy power pop that seemed to go over well with those who arrived early. The second act - Jaguar Love - were at times amazing and other times extremely grating. Their sound harkened back to classic Detroit soul and garage rock. Their vocalist sang out in the most high-pitched voice I've heard since Ween's "Push the Little Dasies" [I suspect there was some vocal trickery being performed by their sound guy]. One's enjoyment of JL's set clearly hinged on how well one enjoyed his shrieking and shaking.

All in all it was a fun way to spend a Friday evening. I'll definitely check out Polysics again next time they come through town.

FEY-dar - Tina profiled in USA Today

I stopped by a 7-Eleven yesterday on my way back from watching the Browns beat the Jaguars with other members of the Browns Backers group I belong to. My mission was to try a Hazelnut Slurpuccino from a location with working Slurpee machines.

Mission accomplished!!! Review to follow shortly.

While standing in line I glimpsed over at the newspaper rack [something I generally don't do] and lo and behold there was Tina on the front page of USA Today. It was a small photo promoting an article on her in that day's edition. Seventy-five cents later and I was able to read said profile. You too can read it for yourself here.

DON'T FORGET: The new season of 30 Rock premieres this coming Thursday on NBC.

Friday, October 24, 2008

After seeing WATAIN I have the cleanest hair in town!!!

I'm not certain what manner of animal skull is pictured in the photo to the left. I'm guessing either lamb or goat. There were three others strategically placed around the stage. And any doubt one had as to the authenticity of said skulls was wiped away within about 20 seconds. There was no mistaking where that smell was coming from. They also had two candlesticks under each skull so once those were lit the smell really intensified. There was some incense burning as well but I think it was for purely ceremonial purposes. Nothing was going to be able to overpower the stench emanating from the skulls. So yes...Watain had, as promised, animal skulls. And they had blood too. But apparently not too much as the only appearance of it was when bassist/vocalist Erik Dannielson returned to the stage for the encore with a fresh coating on his face. Reports from other stops on the tour have the band pouring buckets of blood upon themselves before taking the stage as well as Erik spitting blood into the audience. So we got a toned down show from a sanguine standpoint. But the band more than made up for the lack of gore with their set. Local act Resigned to Fate started off the evening's festivities with a brief set that apparently is the band's last. There music was a blend of black metal and classic thrash. Their set started off promisingly before derailing into monotony, a trait that unfortunately befalls many bands of the genre. I'm not really sure why the band had decided to call it quits. With some guidance I could easily see them becoming a vital act on the national scene. Perhaps their lead guitarist was responsible. Of his numerous tattoos the most striking was the one that arced just above his navel:

BLACK METAL [except in Old English font]

That tattoo shows a level of commitment to a specific genre that I think many musicians would be unwilling to make. I seriously doubt that when Dwight Yoakum takes his shirt off at the end of the day that Mrs. Yoakum gets treated to "Honkytonk Country" emblazoned across his belly.

A visit to Resigned to Fate's page on Myspace offered zero clues as to why last night was their final show. I like to assume that it had something to do with a reluctance on the other four members of the band to get "Black Metal" permanently inked onto their torsos.

Resigned to Fate was followed by Book of Black Earth. This Seattle quintet played an uninspired set of blackened death metal. Repeated attempts by the band to get the assembled crowd to form some sort of pit resulted in epic fail. The crowd was clearly unmoved by these guys.

Atlanta's Withered graced the stage lit only by several orange lights placed at various points. The lighting provided the perfect accompaniment to the band's concoction of black, thrash, and doom metal. Things were finally taking a turn for the better.

Watain hit the stage hell-bent on validating their position as one of the top black metal acts in the world. The best black metal acts straddle the fine line between earnestness and parody. The corpsepaint and blatantly Satanic lyrics and imagery so often prominent can be hard to take seriously. And the names of the bands and members will have you doing Google searches to find out what obscure demon inspired this name or that name. Often one gets the impression that the band members are "in on the joke" and have their tongues firmly planted in their cheeks.

Watain seem to be 100% serious in their service to their dark lord. They're certainly one of the few bands whose members aren't resorting to "stage names". But more importantly Watain backs it up where it truly counts: these guys rawk!

Starting off with "Legion of the Black Light" - the blistering opening track from the band's most recent release Sworn to the Dark - Watain ripped through a set taken mostly from SttD but also covering the band's earlier works. The crowd, which had pretty much been lulled into a catatonic state by the opening acts, responded with extreme fervor. Watain returned the enthusiasm by never easing up. Their set was relentless and certainly helped by the new found sense of melody that they seem to have discovered with SttD [a style I refer to as black & roll].

But all good things must come to an end. Watain called it an evening after an epic rendition of "Stellarvore" that had the crowd screaming along:


It was the perfect way to end a perfect set. I left not only wanting to run home and listen to my Watain CDs. I left vowing to try to make it to Austin to see the band again tomorrow night [work pretty much precludes my being able to make it to tonight's show in Houston]. I also now have a couple more awesome shirts that are pretty much guaranteed to shock.

And that leads me to why I now have the cleanest hair in town. You know how your hair smells "smoky" after spending an evening in a smoky bar? My hair had a certain smell to it as well. I'm not really sure how to describe it. I suppose if it were to be a Glad Plug-In fragrance it would be called "Rotting Carcass". I washed my hair as soon as I got home. But upon going to bed I could still smell that unmistakable scent. So I took a full blown shower which apparently only temporarily covered it up as I awoke to that smell again this morning. It's like the b.o. the valet had in that episode of Seinfeld. It clearly had no plans on going away anytime soon. So another shower took place during which I washed my hair with some fancy schmancy shampoo as well as a dandruff shampoo. That seems to have taken care of the odor. But I'll tell you...when I look at the photos below I can pick up traces of it all over again. Aah...the memories!!!

A quick note

I'd like to point out the precarious position I put myself in to take the photos posted below. I have a history of receiving some of the most severe eye injuries [one that nearly resulted in a cornea transplant]. So I'm a bit leery of pointed objects in the general vicinity of my face. Take a look at this photo:

What you've probably immediately noticed are the numerous spikes protruding from Watain's touring guitarist's shin guard. This gent [apologies...I don't know what his name is...let's call him Spike] spent a good deal of time onstage directly in front of me. Spike also had a tendency to prop his leg up on the monitor directly in front of me. This meant that Spikes spikes were literally a couple of inches from not only my face...but my eyes.

I considered reaching out and touching the spikes to see if they were made of metal or some sort of rubber or plastic. But I thought that Spike might not enjoy me touching his spikes and would show his disdain be sending said spikes through my skull. So I merely made sure his spikes didn't get to close to me.

The same can't be said for the douchenozzle next to me hoisting invisible oranges [you can see him holding one in the photo]. This was not the Ell-Hag referred to in my earlier post. No, this DN had invisible oranges in each hand and was clearly proud of his invisible fruit as he felt the need to swing and wave his arms all over the place. But it gets better.

Sometimes the DN would squeeze his invisible oranges. Of course this resulted in invisible orange juice spilling all over the place. We all know how sticky orange juice can get. Just imagine how treacherous it is when you can't see the orange juice. But he's not done yet.

After squeezing the life out of his invisible oranges he produces new invisible oranges in each hand. This is ridiculous. I'm not sure where he was hiding all of those invisible oranges. He seemed to have a veritable invisible fruit stand stashed in his pockets. And trust me, I wasn't the only one less than thrilled at having to deal with his invisible fruit hijinks.

That is why I am urging all concert venues to begin searching people for invisible fruit at entry. Invisible fruit is no doubt a part of a healthy diet but it has no business being brought into a performance space.

WATAIN photos

BREAKING NEWS: Mythological [???] creature sighted. For real!!!

Yes, yes...I know you're all waiting to hear about last night's black metal hootenanny. And it will happen later today.

But something occurred at the show that I felt was of such urgency that it should be shared ASAP. I witnessed a creature that I have never heard about. I've never even considered the possibility of its existence. But let me tell is definitely real.

I'm sure you're thinking that I saw Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, a chupacabra, or one of those Geico cavepersons. was something far more rare. Prepare yourself for complete shock as I tell you about...

The left-handed air guitarist.

I realize that you're thinking "lots of dunderheads at concerts play air guitar." And I'm not denying that. Hell, lots of 'em don't even need to be at a concert to break out their imaginary axe. But up to this point every air guitarist that I've seen has been of the right-handed variety.

Now you're thinking "so the guy plays air guitar with a different hand. What's the big deal?" I'll tell you what the big deal is. It's a very subtle difference that would likely only be noticed through careful observation of the Ell-Hag.

The Ell-Hag's right handed brethren, while playing their oxygenated instruments, are prone to raising the horns, throwing the goat, whatever you wanna call that hand sign that's of unknown origin [though credited to Ronnie James Dio]. But Ell-Hag does not do these things. No...he does something far more puzzling.

Ell-Hag hoists invisible oranges into the air.

Be wary of any Ell-Hags you may encounter. They may be a peaceful bunch. But then again the invisible fruit may be a sinister attempt to lower the defenses of those who cross its path. I will continue to keep my eyes open for another Ell-Hag. And you should as well. Only through combining our shared observations will we be able to put together a proper character profile befitting of a creature of such rarity.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Stop the madness

I ask all perusers of this blog to join with me and help spread the word about a travesty of such cruelty that is being perpetrated not only in our country, but also around the world. Yes, I'm talking about the sales of mittens.

I know many people who would never purchase a rabbit's foot keychain. Everytime I see a three-legged bunny it gives me pause to think about how some assclown is walking around with that poor creatures foot attached to his keys under the guise that it will bring him "good luck".

The same goes for mittens. It has been in the past couple of hours that I was able to deduce why cats are running rampant across our fair lands. They're looking for their mittens. We all learned in nursery school that kittens without mittens shall receive no pie. And kitties love themselves some pie!

Of course these poor kittens mittens - mittens which were likely stolen from said kittens - are being sold in stores everywhere...especially now that the temperatures are starting to drop. The cats are not able to simply stroll into Target or Wal Mart or The Bon Marche to purchase mittens. Most retail establishments preclude animals entering their stores unless they are service animals.

So the cats have no option but to roam the streets in search of a pair of mittens that somebody has discarded haphazardly alongside the road. All for the sake of a getting a piece of pie.

So please...spread the word. DO NOT BUY MITTENS!!!

Better yet, take the money you would have purchased mittens with and use it to buy some pie to give the poor roaming kitties. They can has cheezburger...but they'd really prefer pie.

What I'm doing tonight

I'm going to go see Watain. Should be a good show based on this nugget from the band's website:

Hark in woe, infidels! One and a half year after their triumphant display of magic and death upon North American, Watain shall now return to those lands on a headliner tour. Due to the strict prohibitions of anything Satanic and Criminal passing over the border to USA, a lot of compromises had to be made on the last US tour regarding both members and stage-show. This time however, the full artillery shall be brought across the sea, in all it's terrible glory. The first date is on October 3rd and after that the wolves shall storm from Canada through USA on what shall constitute the last part of the monstrous crusade that has been the Fuck the World Tour.

The band's US distributor had this on their site:

WATAIN thirsts for BLOOD!

Release Date: -- [ 9/16/2008 ]


WATAIN needs at least 1 liter of blood for their live rites each night. Can you assist?

Likewise, if anyone can bring carrion(pig/sheep/other heads) to add to the feast let us know by sending an email to ajna @ theajnaoffensive . com. Be sure to let us know what city you'll be attending.

Recompense will be made when/where it can.

This sounds like guaranteed hijinks to me! I'll post a recap tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

FEY-dar - Tina on Letterman and SNL

I love Tina Fey. She's cute and witty and clever and seems to be as obsessed with pop culture as myself. But she's married so she and I are probably never going to happen. But I'm content with admiring her via television.
Tina's been all over the place lately. 30 Rock [consistently the best comedy on television since my beloved Arrested Development] recently won several Emmys. The second season was released on DVD a couple of weeks ago to give fans time to catch up before the third season premieres on October 30.

Oh yeah...she's been lampooning Vice President wannabe Sarah Palin quite successfully on Saturday Night Live.

Tina was on David Letterman's show this past Thursday and I couldn't help but feel that she had probably been booked to promote 30 Rock. But Dave seemed to want to talk about the Palin impersonations and Tina seemed fine with that. 30 Rock was almost entirely an afterthought to Dave. Oh's his show so I suppose that gives him the right to talk about whatever the heck he wants to talk about.
Something that came up during their conversation was whether or not the real Sarah Palin would be making an appearance on SNL. Tina said that Palin had contacted the show about dropping in. This certainly wouldn't be the first time that a politician has dropped in on SNL. Earlier this year, Hilary Clinton walked onstage while Amy Poehler was impersonating her. The desired effect seems to be to make the politicians appear more "human" by showing that they have a sense of humor and can laugh with everybody else at the exaggerated spoof of their idiosyncrasies [or, as in Palin's case, their general idiocy].

Jump ahead to Friday. The media is all abuzz with reports that Palin - the real Palin - would be appearing on SNL alongside "Fey-lin". The local NBC affiliate even plugged Palin's upcoming "drop-in" several times during their late news on Saturday night preceding SNL. So now everyone's expecting Palin to show up. Any surprise or spontaneity on the part of Palin or the show is completely sucked away. I think Palin's people were responsible for issuing the alerts. If SNL was in some sort of ratings quagmire I would suspect it of leaking the news. But SNL is experiencing the best ratings it's had in many, many years due largely to the "Fey-lin" appearances.

SNL starts off with "Fey-lin" making a speech during which the show cuts to a backstage shot of Palin standing alongside SNL creator and producer Lorne Michaels. Then Alec Baldwin and Mark Wahlberg show up [Baldwin being Fey's co-star on 30 Rock; Wahlberg there to settle a score with Andy Samberg over Andy's Wahlberg impersonation the previous week] and generate the only real surprise of the opening. Palin eventually replaces "Fey-lin" at the lectern and delivers one of the least enthusiastic "Live from New's Saturday Night!"s I've ever witnessed. But she's not finished.
Palin pops up during the "Weekend Update" portion of the program apparently to deliver a witty bit the show's writers have prepared for her. She says that she's not going to do it because she feels it crosses the line. So a very pregnant [and I mean water's gonna break any moment pregnant] Amy Poehler does the bit which turns out to be a rap song about Palin and he kickass life in Alaska. Palin gets so caught up in it that she "raises the roof". Seated. Now I'm no expert on roof raisin'. But I'm pretty sure it can't be done from the comfort of one's seat. To really maximize your roof raisin' you gotta be standing up. But that's just me. I could be wrong [and sometimes am].

So a great big "Way to go!" Sarah Palin. You clearly have a tremendous sense of humor in addition to having your finger on the pulse of popular culture. You truly are a maverick.

[Please note the introduction of this blog's official Sarcasm Color]

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Peace & love! Peace & love! Stop sending mail to Ringo! Peace & love! Peace & love!

Normally I could care less about what Richard Starkey is up to nowadays. But I read about this earlier today and had to check it out for myself. Maybe it's just me...but does anyone else feel like they're watching one of those terrorist demand videos? If Ringo is inundated with letters will he post another video in which he beheads some 50-something year old Beatles fan??? Maybe The Dead Milkmen's song - "Ringo Buys a Rifle" - is about to come true.

This certainly is the end times. Dolphins are leaping out of the water and striking people. Ringo is miffed. Look out! Ragnarok is near!!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Eau'Bouzouki - A maudlin evening with MAGNETIC FIELDS

So last night the Magnetic Fields FINALLY came to town. I say finally because I bought my ticket three months ago. At the time of purchase I didn't realize that the Cleveland Browns were going to be making the first of three regular season appearances on Monday Night Football otherwise I might have passed on attending this show [from what everyone tells me I missed one heck of a game]. Nevertheless, I was looking forward to the show though I was unsure of what to expect.
I was never all that familiar with Magnetic Fields until a few months back. A friend from LastFM provided me with a crash course in all things Stephen Merritt [the ringleader of MF]. I've still barely scratched the surface of Magnetic Fields and Merritt's numerous side projects. But for the most part I've enjoyed what I've heard.

The members of Magnetic Fields took the stage right at 9pm. Claudia Gonson, seated at a piano, informed the crowd that Stephen would be playing a bouzouki during the performance. This led to a genuinely witty interchange between her and Stephen, the first of many throughout the performance.
For the next 45 minutes Magnetic Fields [Sam Davol, John Woo, Shirley Simms, Gonson, and Merritt] performed songs from the entire Merritt oeuvre on acoustic instruments [cello(Davol), guitar (Woo), piano (Gonson), and yes...bouzouki (Merritt)]: "No One Will Ever Love You"; "California Girls"; "I Wish I Had an Evil Twin"; and "Papa Was a Rodeo" to name a few. The performance was a precise exercise in chamber pop peppered with genuinely funny moments courtesy of Gonson and Merritt. A fifteen minute intermission [which gave me an opportunity to check on how my beloved Browns were doing] was followed by another 45 minute set. "Take Ecstasy With Me", "The Tiny Goat", and "What a Fucking Lovely Day!" were standouts. The encore consisted of "Three Way" and "Grand Canyon".
The audience consisted of mini-cliques of assorted hipster doofi who seemed to eat up every song and humorous comment with ravenous glee. It was very much what I imagine a taping of A Prarie Home Companion would be like.
My main criticism about the show was that it all seemed just a bit too cute and precious. The recital format really didn't lend itself to much interaction between the audience and the performers. I came away from the show content that I had seen the group at its best yet without the urge to run out and listen to all of their records immediately. And for me that's really what a concert should do: turn a casual fan into a super fan and turn the super fans into uber-fans. I suspect that I'm in the minority in thinking that the Magnetic Fields show was sort of ho-hum. I guess I'll just take some advice from the title of one of Merritt's side projects: The Gothic Archies' "Smile! No One Cares How You Feel".

To quote Rizz...It's good to be alive!!!

New York Giants: 14
Cleveland Browns: 35

Giants are no longer undefeated!!! I wasn't able to watch the game with the Browns Backers chapter I belong to as I was attending the Magnetic Fields concert at Majestic Theater [more on that to be posted later].

Monday, October 13, 2008


Today I had planned on posting a review of the new Slurpee flavor - Hazelnut Slurpuccino. I tried one yesterday and have my suspicions that the 7-Eleven on Gaston Ave has the wrong flavor in the machine. I just got back from attempting to get a Slurpee at the Deep Ellum 7-Eleven but was unsuccesful. Their Slurpee machines aren't working properly. What comes out is pure liquid. There's nothing Slurpee-ish about it. The thing is their machines are NEVER working properly.

Congratulations Deep Ellum are full of FAIL!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Save the date: November 23, 2008

It was announced today that GUNS & ROSES years in the making album - Chinese Democracy - is to be released on that date. And it will be available in the United States only at Best Buy stores.

In related news, a monkey just flew out of my ass.

Want a free subscription to ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY?

I received my renewal offer from Entertainment Weekly recently. EW is one of the few mags that I generally peruse from cover to cover every issue. I'd even venture that I read at least half of every single issue. For less than the cost of three issues on the newsstand I get roughly an entire year's worth [double-sized issues count as two issues]. I was pleasantly surprised as they're letting me renew at the exact same rate I initially subscribed at: $10.00 for 57 issues. But they went a step further in sweetening the deal: I get to give a 57 issue subscription to someone for FREE!!! This has proved to be more a more difficult task than I thought. I've asked several friends and acquaintences if they would like to be the recipient of the free subscription and nobody wants it. So I'm offering it up here.

If you're as obsessed with pop culture as I am email me the name and address you would like to have 57 issues of Entertainment Weekly sent to. That's it. No obligation to be my friend [but it would be sweet if you would become a follower and sing my praises!] or buy me dinner or anything like that.

I hate to see free magazines go to waste.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

New SATYRICON track streaming online

Satyricon's new album - The Age of Nero - will be released in a few weeks in Europe [I have yet to find a US release date]. The single "Black Crow On A Tombstone" is streaming online. All indications are that TAoN will pick up right where 2006's Now Diabolical left off. I know the band gets a lot of flack from the black metal denizens for not being trv and kvlt. But they sure do rock! Satyricon is slated to be the opening act on Cradle of Filth's US tour in early 2009. I'm not at all a fan of CoF but I'll be there solely to see Satyricon.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Happy 22nd Birthday to REIGN IN BLOOD!!!

Slayer's Reign in Blood was a life changing album for me. It took the fury of punk and crossed it with the speed of bands like Venom and Celtic Frost. But with great production value.
There were two kids that were in the same shop class as me in high school that had this underground metal fanzine [Skull Press if memory serves correct]. They were always coming in with the craziest stuff I'd ever heard. One day they came in raving about this advance album they received. They had been listening to it all weekend and made a cassette copy so that they could continue listening to it when they weren't at home.
Reign in Blood was love at first listen. It was short, fast, and sweet. It still is. There's rarely a day that goes by that I don't listen to RiB from start to finish. Often I listen to it several times a day. Twenty-two years have done nothing to diminish my love for this record. It still sounds as great today as it did 22 years ago. As a matter of fact...I think the production on this record beats many albums being released now. Rick Rubin produced one for the ages.
Would the overall history of the world have changed without Reign in Blood? Probably not. The Berlin Wall would still come down. The ATF would still raid the Branch Davidians. Seinfeld would still be about nothing. Princess Diana would still die tragically. Jihad would still occur on 9.11.01. The space shuttle would still explode on reentry. American Idol would still be the #1 show on television. The Red Sox would still win the World Series.
But it would have been much different living through it all without that perfect little 29 minute and 3 second blast of pure adrenaline. EXAMPLE: South Park would still be populated by hundreds of thousands of hippies. That alone is reason enough to praise a higher being for the creation of Reign in Blood.
Ultimately it was an anonymous fan waiting in line for the doors to open at a Slayer concert that summed it up best. When asked by a writer from Spin magazine if the fan thought the latest Slayer record was better than Reign in Blood the fan responded "What is?"

Monday, October 6, 2008

DOUBLE FEATURE: "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist" and "Blindness"

This past Saturday I spent the afternoon at AMC Northpark catching a couple of new releases. Both films are based on books neither of which I have read. So I can't offer any insight as to whether or not they stayed "true to the book" [and many films are?].

The first flick I saw was Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. I'd been looking forward to this film based the stars: Michael Cera and Kat Dennings. Cera is probably best known for the films Juno and Superbad but I first became aware of him as George Michael Bluth on Arrested Development [one of my all-time fave TV shows]. Denning had a breakout role as Catherine Keener's daughter in The 40-Year Old Virgin.
Cera's Nick is a recently dumped bassist in a band whose other members are homosexuals [Nick is hetero]. He's also a bit of a hipster doofus and makes numerous mix CDs in hopes of winning back the love of Tris [played by Alexis Dziena]. Tris is a bit of a twatwaffle and brings said mix CDs to school where she has a laugh with her friends at his desperation before tossing the CD in the trash. Norah [Dennings], who is a frenemy of Tris, rescues the assorted mix CDs from the trash because the compiler has really good musical taste [he is a hipster doofus after all].
Jump ahead to a club where Nick's band - The Jerk Offs - is performing. Tris is present with her new flicker of the moment and Norah is accompanied by her BFF Caroline [a delightful Ari Graynor in a breakout performance]. Without going into every detail of the story just suffice it so say that hijinks ensue. And you will never again share gum with someone.

The performances are pretty solid all around. The same can't be said of the story. It often felt to me that the script was a veiled attempt to name-check a bunch of hipster doofus bands [especially during the opening credits] while sending the characters all over New York City. It plays out like a cross between Before Sunrise and Bringing Up Baby. It's certainly not a terrible film. It just didn't work for me. I'm sure my parents probably felt the same way about all those precious John Hughes flicks of my youth. A good friend of mine saw it Friday night and enjoyed it. So give it a try. Maybe you'll feel it more than I did.

But take this as a warning: do not under any circumstances go see Blindness.

The film has an interesting premise [people suddenly go blind for no reason; hijinks ensue] and a solid cast. The first ten or fifteen minutes creates an appropriate amount of dread and then it just meanders. After what seemed like an eternity I glanced at my watch to discover that it had been about 50 minutes since the film started. That's when I realized that Endless might have been a more appropriate title. After sitting through the following 70 minutes I changed my mind. Pointless would have been a much more fitting title.

**********SPOILER ALERT***************
There's no explanation given as to why everybody [except for Julianne Moore] went blind nor why they suddenly regain their vision at the end.

Trust me on this. Blindness is two hours of your life that you'll never get back. As much as I hated Mama Mia at least that film made sense. I'd gladly sit through that again instead of Blindness. To put it differently...I'd subject myself to the "singing" of Pierce Brosnan if it meant not having to sit through the cool looking flick starring Julianne Moore. I can't put it any more plainly than that.