Saturday, November 27, 2004


The Velvet Tackhammer
Ol' Chumthroat
The Anthropomorphic Knish
Lady Eunuch
The Special Prosecutor of Love
The Malfunctioning Baler
Kid Vitiligo
The Stammering Inuit
Not Available in Michigan
Hubris Personified

Thursday, November 11, 2004


(content guaranteed 100% not-made-up-by-me)

I solemnly make a promise to you.If i ever happen to be catching multiple homes on fire in the beverly hills area and have enough gasoline left over as im walking to home depot to attempt to shoplift a ceiling fan,ill be reminded by the piercing fucking ring tone playing American Idiot from an a list celebrity and i will simply offer ashlee simpson for example, a box of untampered cabinet handles,attempting to get her to follow me out into the remote hollywood hills,then i will proceed to burn her.To burn her oh so badly,and i will have no regrets in my blood.And then i will go home and make 142 sandwiches with the main ingredient being a washcloth and the blood of a deer.See were all a bit fucking nuts arent me.My point exactly.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Okay, people, you know what today is and you know what to do. I've already sent in my absentee ballot, and, of course, this blog officially endorses James Harris and Margaret Trowe of the Socialist Workers Party*. We're going all the way to .0000000001% of the vote this year, comrades!

* Not to be confused with Bill van Auken and Jim Lawrence of the fucking Socialist Equality Party. Splitters.

Thursday, October 28, 2004


(content guaranteed 100% real)

people of this world

dont u hate it wen plp write all over ur pictures and they make funny signs and weird signs u dont undrstand which makes u more confussed then u dont know why they are doing it and u tell them 2 stop but they dont, and u dont know why eni one would deface ur own drawings like that and then u wonder why u drew them in the 1st place and then u start to think well if they are drawing on them they cant be that good eniway so why does it matter, it just gets worse and you hav all this going on in your mind and then u hear th voise of the steak role man and ur mind suddenly stops ubruptivly and u wait then u turn and head out that way2wards the steak role man. 4the rest of your life you never remember the 7 minutes you took contemplating all of this and how much of a complete and utter waist of time, energy and probably sum space?( i dont know maybe u got in sum1s way) thats just how we are, i mean really what can we really do in 7minutes? we could wash the dishes, phone someone, polish our shoes, take a shower, pump up your bicycle ties, i dont know but half those things are boring and dont really matter. Or in that space of 420 seconds we could have told about 3 plp or more about the name of Jesus Christ, briefly but o it matters it really dus. those small things Do count so we should get our act together and sort it out!

Wednesday, October 27, 2004


I just realized something.

The Boston Red Sox last made it to the World Series in 1986.

I moved to Massachusetts in the summer of 1987.

I fled Massachusetts for the West Coast six weeks ago.

To Red Sox fans everywhere, therefore:

You're welcome.

(I promise to stay out of the Commonwealth at least until after the election.)


(content guaranteed 100% real)

todae less0ns quitee short bahh ?
yahh . coshh g0t fire drill .
who0pie . sho fun de okie .
i was with liJian at the front gate dere .
then we were supp0sed to erm .
prevent any parents or reporters
into the sch0ol . uh huh `
then got this set of parents lahh
pretend to have children injured .
then tried to barge in okie .
wahh . me liJian felt the weight of them .
they kept pushing the gate lehh .
sh0 farnie . they made a big scene .
then neighbours were lo0king .
c0uldnt help laughing like crazy .
even the parents were laughing
when tobias wasnt dere lahh . grinns`

the sec 4s sh0 farnie lehh .
kept wanting to c0me into the sch
to sturdie lahh of coshh .
but can0t mahh . winkks`
sho they stayed outside with us
then zehou go0d soul gave me choc
whole bar lehh . smiles` thanks arh .
marcus t0o . gave me sweet . yahh .
but me and liJian enjoyed ourelf lahh .
can l0ck people outside . prisoners .
evil ehh . grinns` ow kept scolding them .
ask them go somewhere else first .
but when they came backk arh
haven finish the drill yet . wahh .
then they complain sh0 muchh .

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Sad news: John Peel is dead. Stream BBC radio's tribute here and download his favorite song of all time here (October 26 entry) (and bookmark the page while you're at it). No moment of silence, please - a minute of Extreme Noise Terror would be more appropriate, which averages out to about five songs.

Good news: My book is out! (Well, mine and about seventy-five other people.) It's supposed to be, anyway. I think it is. Maybe. Yeah.

Monday, October 25, 2004


November 20, 1976 - Paul Simon catches a glimpse of his bald spot on a studio monitor and abruptly aborts "Still Crazy After All These Years," going on a violent rampage with his acoustic guitar and a sharpened tuning fork, mortally wounding two stagehands and severely impairing Chevy Chase's ability to make people laugh. Livid, producer Lorne Michaels punishes Simon by banning him from performing on the show for six days.

October 20, 1979 - Bob Dylan surprises fans by converting to Islam, then Hinduism, then Zoroastranism, then briefly becoming a Druid before re-converting back to Christianity during his performance of "Gotta Serve Somebody." He's said to have changed the lyrics as he went to reflect each conversion, but no one's quite sure.

December 7, 1985 - An uproar arises when it's discovered that Mr. Mister does not actually perform, NBC having outsourced their slot to a less-expensive group of migrant musicians, Señor Señor. Reps for SNL promise that the real band would perform the following week.

December 14, 1985 - An uproar arises when it's discovered that Mr. Mister actually performs.

May 13, 1989 - Fine Young Cannibals eat three babies during the bridge of "She Drives Me Crazy." Attentive viewers will notice a marked change in tempo.

February 18, 1995 - Hootie blows a fish.

November 8, 2003 - Sinead O'Connor climaxes her powerful a capella rendition of the Coasters' "Get a Job" by dramatically ripping up pictures of Pope Innocent VII, Alexander Pope, Ron Popeil and Po from Teletubbies. Despite the provocation, the incident results in no calls or letters of complaint, mostly because the Saturday Night Live she's performing on is taking place in her attic for an estimated worldwide audience of her three cats. Cast members Gail Matthius, Tim Kazurinsky, Rich & Anthony Michael Hall, Morwenna Banks, Dean Edwards and Beth Cahill resign in protest. Joe Piscopo offers to stay.

Monday, October 18, 2004

The past couple years have been quite astounding, never-thought-I'd-see-the-day times for the music geek. Mission of Burma reforms. Brian Wilson finishes Smile. The return of Slint. But this, my friends, takes the cake, the frosting and the stand it's sitting on. The über-indie Loch Ness Monster has apparently been sighted, in Scotland, and there's even photographic evidence.

I give you...



(That's him on the right. And, just in case you aren't so snivelingly hip that you're given to arguments with record-store clerks along the lines of "Dude totally sold out after Telegraph Melts, man!," this page should give you some indication why approximately eight people worldwide are so shocked and amazed right now.)

Tomorrow: XTC tour dates and my review of the new My Bloody Valentine album, featuring Syd Barrett on guest vocals (first 1000 copies come with a handwritten letter of apology from Mike Love for being such a schmuck for the last forty years).

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Reportedly, the 0.74 regular readers of this blog have evinced something akin to concern (though mild, fleeting curiosity has reputedly renounced its kinship after that ugly Easter dinner two years ago) as to be whereabouts and attendant well-being over the past several months. (For further reading, please refer to "whuts w/ u, man? :(" from The Collected Instant Messages of William Ham, Vol. I, 2 pp., 2004.) I can now break my self-imposed silence of several weeks to assure you that, apart from the simultaneous supernova-like collapse of several romantic assignations, the surreal performance review at my now-former retail job that climaxed with a hearty round of mutual biting, and the sudden change in temprament in my six-year-old son whereby his affections for me have come to be expressed in a manner reminiscent of Joe Don Baker in Walking Tall, all of which has necessitated an unannounced fleeing of the state that can be likened to a combination of the Kindertransport, the Underground Railroad, and Dick Clark's 1966 Caravan of Stars (minus the sociopolitical underpinnings of the first two and sharing only the bass player from Paul Revere and the Raiders with the latter), everything has been just fine.

As I write this, I am about to embark on the final, unshaved leg of my journey, sitting on the tarmac at MacGuffin International Airport in a known desert town and tourist mecca I can only, for legal reasons, refer to as "Vos Legos, Nongrata." (My attorney hasn't been well for some time.) For the past nine hours of my layover, I have gorged myself with the sumptuous repast of Vos Legos' cultural institutions, of which its world-famous Longest Off-Duty Taxi Queue In the World was merely the beginning.

For those whose experience with Vos Legos is restricted to the poetic paeans of the bards of the city (Presley, Eszterhas, Urich), the tone and character of that Shining City on a Flat, Low-Altitude Hill Comprised Solely of Sand have undergone more changes than my son can shake an enormous piece of oak at. It's no legally-actionable mistake that it's been hand-picked by the current administration as the location for the new Library of Congress, In-Flight Magazine Division (scheduled to open in the spring of 2007 and to burn down mysteriously in late August, 2009), as Vos Legos has become the epicenter of a new sophistication that makes the quotidian look utterly plebeian and vice-versa. The twice-daily show currently playing at the Stardirt, The Defenestration of Prague - NUDE!, has elevated the level of area entertainment single-handedly, if the way the gentlemen in the matinee audience were showing their appreciation is any indication. Forthcoming events, such as Siegfried and Freud: On Sequins and Their Relation to the Subconscious, The Trojan She-Males, or Helen IS Troy, and Bubbles McKagan and Some Artfully-Utilized Grapes Explain the Treaty of Versailles, are sure to to take Vos Legos' newfound commitment to the fine arts and find a safe place for it where the cat can't knock it over.

And even the other two activities synonymous with Vos Legos have undergone a major makeover. Wait here while I look up what they are.

Oh, yes.

On the surface, nothing has changed: slot machines still dot every inch of the landscape, blackjack dealers still wield more influence than most politicians, and the Great Chain of Being is still governed by the spin of the roulette wheel. (Just don't put all the chips of civilization on Red 23 this time, goddammit.) But gambling has taken a new turn in the last few years; while money remains the currency of choice in many of your more traditional wagering dens, a new breed of casino has been proliferating along the Vos Legos Strop. At the Gilded Collander, located in the palatial utility closet of the RKO Grand Motor Court, high rollers come from all corners of the world (editor's note: being round, the world does not have any actual corners) to lay down their sense of personal well-being to the whims of Lady Luck. During my brief stay, I witnessed an elderly couple from Montana parlay their mild fear of young minorities into a full-blown paranoia of Hispanic street gangs rampaging through their retirement community in just twenty minutes at the craps table. A wide-belted Texan of my brief acquaintance squandered all his self-esteem and sent a young podiatrist's assistant from Queens home with his family fortune in blustery bonhomie in a high-stakes game of Fish in the VIP Room. And to witness the desperation in the face of an out-of-his-element emigre from Switzerland, which was then confiscated by the floor manager, is to stare into the face of the abyss, or at least of a foreigner with his worry lines freshly stripped off by a casino employee.

There's more, of course - the story of my side trip to Nongrata's world-famous Quick Draw Ranch, where high-priced courtesans cater to the whims of extremely premature ejaculators by timing their faked orgasms to when you're still halfway down the walkway, deserves to be told as soon as I come up with a name that'll look good in quotes to avoid embarrassment - but it will have to wait for now. I'm being told to get the hell off the tarmac and into a plane and, frankly, I'd better split this town as soon as possible. I got a little carried away back at the Collander, and now I owe the mob a sizable debt of gratitude.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Looks like, in my efforts to reclaim the blog name on the top of the page by changing my template, I have succeeded in destroying all my links and erased all previously-stated comments. Sorry, folks - Phil Nugent's comment from today was quite a funny one, too.
Well, hey, in lieu of compelling new content, howzabout a bittersweet outlay of evidence in re: how prolific I used to be? It seems that my ex-employers at Lollipop magazine were kind enough to construct a page containing links to most of the features I, my rock-crit pseudonym, my pseudonym's nonexistent 14-year-old brother, my pseudonym's pseudonym (and, in the case of the haiku reviews, my pseud's pseud's pseud), composed for the mag during my last two years of quasi-gainful employment there. And shock/horrors, not a whole lot of it sucks outright. Some of it's even pretty good. There are some embarrassments as well, but I'm not telling you which ones I think they are. And I do find it most interesting that I composed a piece filled with the purest self-loathing and anguish during what comes to mind now as my peak-to-date of productivity and creativity. Anyway, poke at these aged entrails if it suits you.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Okay, I'm back, sort of. Probably not best to give too many details about the elapsed time 'twixt posts (not when prying eyes are smiling) - suffice to say, the kidney stones that attacked me a week and a half ago served as light entertainment by comparison to everything else. (When your cheeriest recent moment involves you lying supine, pharmed-out to the max on Percocet just enough to reduce the burning pain in your side to Zippo-strength, and ruminating on what a great band name "Renal Colic" would be, well, that's just nutty.) But fear not, gentle reader - any further entries in this slowly-rolling web log will be free of self-pity, corked whine and primal screech. The byword here - hell, the very mandate - is now and shall forever hereafter remain simple, unadulterated, capital-F lowercase u-n Fun.

Which we'll get to soon. I'm ten minutes late for my daily self-flagellation and psychological auto-abuse appointment, then it's an hour of lacrymose wailing before work. I'm a busy man.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Exhausted. Wrung out. Depressed/despairing. Finished. Giving up. You kids enjoy yourselves.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004


Actual text of an e-mail received by me this morning:

"Bruto Assassino Sonofabeetch piece of shit" Sophia struggled wildly, to her satisfaction getting several solid kicks in and she felt that she was on the verge of breaking free but then someone else g t even their combined efforts came to naught. The camel sighed pleasurably. precise mathematical wave moment must be found and accessed, "Proving that there is no Plan, and that the universe does exist at random." design to Pegasus, we can increase energy output by 25," Alkema That looks like Hebrewyes, it looks familiar. writers and a new series of works by Vietnamese writers. "About time," the Fhrer said ungraciously. Fullerton 7145299525, Irvine 7145819699, Mission Viejo 7148379677, Simi Valley Other Online Magic Shops he followed me around from the minute I was maybe we can set up a chat, if you have aol instant messanger my screen name is DeanNBuffie. Hope I can be of some help.: Buffie Re: looking for scholarships mujeeb 01:56:35 10012003 know you had a ped versus m.v. when I brought him""Regardless," Lorna said. "I can't help you with Grynbaum. He died exactly as it looked.""Any idea what made the cuts""Something with three points," Tips for Parents and Children Using the money." parents here.But everything changes when Harry is summoned to attend an infamous school for wizards and he begins to discover some clues about his illustrious birghright.From the surprising way he is breathing disorder that causes chronically interrupted sleep) and as an option to treat syndromes like multiple sclerosis, where fatigue is a big problem, Walsleben tells WebMD. The only caution: mod http:new.usps.comcgibinuspsbvscriptscontent.jspBmailing101C9894D19026 She drew in a deep breath and took a You will also be able to visibly transform a silk into a cane. peace. A peace settlement that could not be lived with was created. We did Maybe Shelley wanted to get the paperwork done fast, before I changed my mind. 38528 like that. And then I noticed his eyes. They were getting very intense when he I need a schoolarship Salah Hammad 11:14:50 10302002 produces, vanishes items they want us to fight each other. Don't you see That's how they t of your life, can we" all around them. The air was filled with hooting of the dragons was hoove all of us to start working on a Magic Dictionary Back in the day Kevin had some very cool, very twisted material, including the Adams Family act... granted, I know what you mean by todays pov on service in the Peace Corps. She's in Samoa (that's in articulate.One of myears is clogged up with wax, and Venus in Furs vent like the conclusion of the Gulf War against Iraq to make it worth the Others' while to fix something complex like arranging for a particular team to win the football Premiership title. jagPenguinJoined: 09 Nov 2003Posts: 4 by Nova Development Show respect least she was pleasant enough in that her caustic sarcasm was totally absent, Catch gratification is so common to their illusions: she was weak. The Kind have no place for the weak, the powerless, natural events but rather the richness and wisdom of humanity played out in a Your Personal Messenger 3116 Printer Features motivate your children to keep reading. I approve this, Keeler asked, How will you guarantee our safety An andoroid assessments were administered to all subjects before and after the study ly straight. The colonel was in Communications, and he was kept busy day and night transmitting glutinous messages from the interior into square pads of gauze which he sealed meticulously and delivere supply lasts. I didn't say a word. I just stood there grinning, "While they count up what it's cost them to date" Large Size a. Neutral Monism: thousands of people everywhere. I was thinking how Balducci and I had walked phenomena. From a certain two quarters of their new fiscal year when more money is generally available. produced by it, of which mankind forms a part. great show but they Pro Engineering Inc ....... General ............... 6137383864 nbspnbsp"But, I could arrange for you to watch a television. Everything that I have written can be rewatched on the TVs. All you would have to do is ask the TV to play what you would like, and it will Portrait of Houdini (Monticup Collection) Well, okay. She studied his face; he seemed to the reader. I also feel that by the authors writing in the story that maybe he had been betrayed sometime in his life. The reason I feel this way is because the animals in the book follow the rule on a nearby hill, and they watched the Knight stomp away into the forest with einstall Acrobat 4.0 which works much better. What will I need to remember for a discussion Do I agree with what is being ceramic material. In this case, when the arm is cocked to throw the knife, the Direct Help serving Connecticut, U.S.) is an entirely new way for onesided moments by the ego's own activity, this identity comes to be for the

Tuesday, June 22, 2004


(Don't know when this was written, for what purpose it was intended, or indeed why I'm retyping it here. Enjoy.)

Scene: restaurant. X & Y in mid-conversation; food has just been served.

X: ...Oh, for crying out loud... Waitress! Waitress!

W: Is everything okay?

X wordlessly gestures towards plate.

W looks, shakes her head - she has no idea what he's gesturing about.

X raises his eyebrows emphatically, gestures again.

W: I'm afraid I don't...

X: Look at my plate. You remember my order, don't you?

W: Yes, of course. T-bone steak, medium well, garlic mashed, zucchini circles, medium coke, light ice, hold the parsley. The Saturday special.

X: Mm-hmm. Now look at my plate.

W (scrutinizing it for a second): Is it dirty, or...?

X: No, not the actual plate! What's wrong with the order?

W: I don't... I have other tables, you know.

X: The entree. What's the matter with the entree?

W: It's cooked the way you like it, isn't it?

X: Jesus god, yes! You don't see what the problem is? You really don't see it?

W: No, I'm afraid I don't.

X: The bone is not shaped like a T.


W: Um, what?

X: It's a T-bone steak, right? That's what was listed on the menu, that's what I ordered - but that's not what I got.

W: So... the bone is the wrong shape?

X: Goddamn it, yes! That doesn't look the slightest bit like a T, does it? I mean, this is a decent restaurant most of the time - you earned those two stars honestly - but this, this is no good.

W (slowly, with mounting disbelief): Because the bone isn't shaped like a T.

X: Grrr! Yes! I come in here, I order a T-bone, I want a T-bone! I didn't see an "L-bone" listed on the menu! I'm a strong believer in truth in advertising and I know when I've been scammed. I order a T-bone, and that's the letter of the friggin' alphabet I want my bone to be shaped like! You might be able to pass off an "L-bone" or an "S-bone" to the rubes, but I'm local, baby! Lived here all my life! And in spite of the poor educational system in this country, I can read quite fluently. And I'm not reading "T-bone" right here!

Y: You know, from where I'm sitting, it almost looks like a cursive "T." You know, a little more flowing...

X: A cursive T? What am I, French? I don't want any pretentious calligraphy on my goddamned plate! I want a decent, angular, all-American T. Now take this back and bring me what I ordered! Now!

W (sarcastically, even for a waitress): Yes, sir!

X (calling after her): And make sure it's a capital T! I don't want any lowercase bones at these prices!

Monday, June 21, 2004


I don't think I'll be able to hear the Cocteau Twins the same way again.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004


Bad days, bad days. Block'd like I've never been block'd b'fore (as bad as it gets - ideas in mind, no ability to flesh 'em out). One 'ticular assignment, months late, hanging over my head like the shiv of Damo Cleese (John's Japanese half-brother). Grouchy, hateful, envious, jealous of those around me able to perform without breaking a sweat. Stagnating. Atrophying. Need help. Should I just drop the delusion? Give up the ghost? Get on with my life (such as it is)? Leave it to the actual talents? Goddammit. Goddammit. Goddammit.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

The good thing about the brand-new repressive media environment? John Waters stands a chance of being gloriously, deliriously offensive again. Seems that his new movie, A Dirty Shame, has been slapped with the MPAA's scarlet letters, dash and number, and God love 'im, he must be proud. I'm hoping this presages the best of all possible scenarios - a) it gets released uncut (and I think it'd be an utter insult if New Line Cinema, the people who helped build his towering edifice of cine-trash in the first place by distributing Pink Flamingos, choked at this juncture) and b) it's the proper (heh) combination of filth and production values the faithful have been waiting for through all of his sorely disappointing output since the nineties. And it may well be - Mink Stole seems to think so. And you can't tell me that this image of goofy ingenue Selma Blair doesn't look, um, promising:

Here's to hoping our man comes through for us on this one - a refreshingly foul gust of giddy bad taste is exactly what this country needs.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004


Roger Miller, Mission of Burma's guitarist/chief songwriter and bottle washer, begins a week-long online diary in Slate. Check it out.

Practically nothing else in the world (macro- or micro-) is going the way it should these days, which is what makes it so heartening to see so many of my personal musical heroes of yore returning to the fray after years out of commission and defying natural law by resolutely refusing to suck. It's not an isolated condition, either - band after band after band, mostly from the artier spasms of the punk movement, adjusting their guitar straps to accommodate their increased waist sizes and somehow spewing out stuff that stands proudly (when even unembarrassingly will do) next to their vintage material.

Burma, then.

The surprising reunions keep on coming - the surviving members of proto-post-punk legends Rocket From The Tombs reunited last year for a well-received tour and the studio album they never got a chance to record in the mid-seventies, Wire (on their third go-round) delivered two EPs and a full-length containing the fastest, most aggressive music they've ever produced, the famously contentious Pixies managed to bury the hatchet somewhere other than each others' foreheads for an open-ended return jaunt, and even the Buzzcocks (a decade into their second wind), the Mekons (who never broke up in the first place) and the Fall (who never did either, though their members keep falling out faster than their lead singer's teeth) surprised even the faithful with their strongest albums in ages over the last year or so. But it's Burma's unlikely rejuvenation that has me by far the most tickled, mostly because it seems almost as big a surprise to the Missionaries themselves as it does to their fans. But then, everything about them was unlikely from the word go - a dense, abrasive and challenging band with a deep pocket of tunes you could shake your fist and drunkenly bellow along with; a completely original sound coming out of a scene (Boston) where gimmicks and stylistic retreads are the order of the day, every day; a rock group without ego clashes, substance abuse problems of note (one of them drifted briefly into alcoholism, realized it, cleaned himself up and carried on) or the merest strain of arrogant posturing, neither rock star (no big surprise, as they never were) nor cult hero (which they most definitely were, though they evidently didn't even realize it until they read the chapter about them in Michael Azerrad's eighties-indie overview Our Band Could Be Your Life); a group that broke up simply to save their guitarist's ears (wisdom the Who have never known). Integrity? Unfeigned modesty? Basic regular-joe likability? MoB's got it in spades, hearts and clubs. There's just no way these mugs should be able to survive in the rock 'n' roll ecosystem, much less pick up where they left off over twenty years ago with faculties intact, and yet they've done it - a trio of fiftyish family/career men getting together for an impromptu jam session in the avant-garage and casually recapturing the vitality they had as kids.

Burma, now.

Their new album (and only their second official full-length studio release, as every reviewer is obliged to mention), ONoffON, is simply every bit as good as it should be - hearing that guitar sound again, that particular melodic bass, those intently pummeling drums, those tape loops and treatments that suck the whole thing up and spurt it back out in new and exciting combinations every time, even those songs ("Dirt," "Hunt Again" and "Playland") that cried out in demo form for a proper studio treatment that never came until now, all of this is purely and deeply satisfying. And while I almost never get personally involved with even the greatest of my song-slinging heroes (they'll only break your heart, kiddo), I feel something whipping up the stagnant leavings of my ashtray heart when I listen to this that can only be described as happiness. And not merely for myself, either, perhaps not even mainly so. I feel happy that Miller has found the fortitude and bravery to put his battered ears to the test again beneath those firing-range earpieces. I feel happy that Peter Prescott is getting a little well-deserved attention after so long playing in excellent combos (this one, Volcano Suns, Kustomized, the Peer Group) that hardly anybody west of Route 128 gave a shit about. I'm even happy for newbie Bob Weston (filling the sound-manipulating shoes of the absent Martin Swope) that he got the chance to muck about with the noise made by his heroes. But above all, I'm happy for Clint Conley - the guy who wrote the biggest "hits" in the Burmese catalogue ("Academy Fight Song," "That's When I Reach For My Revolver," "That's How I Escaped My Certain Fate") surprised and saddened all three dozen of us by being the only MoBster to walk away from the life after the initial split, settling down to a life as a local-TV producer, seemingly never to write another indelible hook again. Now he's apparently making up for lost time bigtime, writing and performing for two bands (the other being Consonant, whose two albums play like a cleaner version of his signature sound and are highly recommended) while still keeping the day job. This is the best kind of success story - a return to form on their terms, with no particular aspirations beyond making music they can be proud of and an agreement to set it aside without regrets or recriminations the moment it ceases to be fun. May the Burmese flag continue to wave for exactly as long as it wants.

Sunday, May 09, 2004


So, how's everybody gonna be spending their Nueve de Mayo? A random sampling of passers-by:

FNORD HYUCKMAN, Cutislaxa, WV - For the first consecutive year, I will be officiating at the annual Neuve de Mayo Pond Fire, where citizens from yards around come and toss their spare flaming rags into the kerosene-coated waters of Condyloma Pond and others come along and stare at it.

YUNIS VARON, Floating Harbor, MN - Binge drinking Clamato juice. Just like every night, I know. But today it's for the troops.

PICK NEIMANN, Nystagmus Gorge, VT - Celebrating the twelfth anniversary of the weekend after my uncle Ellis Van Creveld invented Fauxfu, the world's very second man-made synthetic tofu substitute. Celebrating it the only way we know how. Which always seems to involve sodomy for some reason.

HOLT ORAM, Kernicterus Falls, FL - Same as the day before, I suppose: tirelessly lobbying on behalf of The Constrained Free Speech Amendment. I believe you should be able to say anything you want so long as you say it within a very specific set of verbal strictures. What am I talking about? Two words: two words.

PAPILLON LEFEVRE, Otopalato, GA - Taunting Lutherans.

SCHWARTZ JAMPEL, Iganephopathy Township, CO - It'd be redundant to do anything specific to Nueve de Mayo here in Polyposis County, seeing as it falls smack dab in the middle of our annual "Beat 'Em Literate!" week, where we encourage young folks and the slow-moving to appreciate fine literature by hitting them repeatedly with large leather-bound volumes of Proust. And whenever anybody recoils, traumatized, from the sight of a book thereafter, we remind them that that's more or less how that dude Swann reacted when he ate that cookie. Kind of. It changes every year - I won't give away what we have planned for 2005, but it does involve the Penguin Classics edition of Ulysses and an acetylene torch.

GALLOWAY MOWAT, Ruvalcaba, TX - Playing Russian roulette, only with quoits.

Monday, April 26, 2004

Haven't done this in a while - for my own delectation and your mild irritation, here are the 50 latest adds to the Radium Crass playlist:

1. David Grubbs - "Pullover"
2. Bad Brains - "Attitude"
3. Onion Radio News - "Islamic Fundamentalists Condemn Casual Day"
4. John Fahey - "The Assassination Of Stephan Grossman"
5. The New Pornographers - "The Laws Have Changed"
6. Onion Radio News - "The Long Awaited Baby Boomer Die Off Begins Soon"
7. Sukia - "Me! I Disconnect From You"
8. Bill Hicks - "You Suck"
9. Man Ray - "Interview (1963)"
10. Screaming Trees - "You Know Where It's At"
11. Bill Hicks - "This Is Comedy Hell"
12. Flux Of Pink Indians - "Tube Disaster (first demo)"
13. Young Marble Giants - "Credit In The Straight World"
14. Three O'Clock (Salvation Army) - "She Turns To Flowers"
15. Bill Hicks - "You Will Be The First To Leave"
16. Prefab Sprout - "The Ice Maiden"
17. Stan Ridgway / Stewart Copeland - "Don't Box Me In"
18. Franz Ferdinand - "Van Tango"
19. Tindersticks - "Let's Pretend"
20. Hüsker Dü - "Ticket To Ride"
21. Fall - "Like To Blow (Peel Session)"
22. Soft Boys - "Give Me A Spanner, Ralph"
23. National Lampoon - "Light Your Faith"
24. Buzzcocks - "Sixteen"
25. David Cross - Even Though I Am in the Closet, That Won't Prevent Me from Getting Cheap Laughs at the Expense of Homosexuals!"
26. Natonal Lampoon - "Public Disservice Message: Zip Codes"
27. Richard Hell - "That's All I Know (Right Now)"
28. William S. Burroughs - Ah Pook Is Here: Introducing John Stanley Hart. He Entered The Bar With The Best Intentions"
29. Love - "You I'll Be Following"
30. Cleopatra Wong - "Hearts Will Be Falling"
31. Wire - "Blessed State" (Third Day version)
32. Lounge Lizards - "Harlem Nocturne"
33. SF Seals - "Bold Letters"
34. Tango Argentinos - "Un Chien Andalou (1928)"
35. Blue Humans - "Under Power"
36. Felt - "Jewel Sky"
37. Eric Matthews - "Forging Plastic Pain"
38. Ben Watt & Robert Wyatt - "Another Conversation With Myself"
39. Albert Ayler - "Holy Family"
40. Dos - "Little Doll"
41. Iggy And The Stooges - "Rant #1 (Michigan Palace 10/6/73)"
42. On! Air! Library! - "Feb."
43. The Who - "Great Shakes"
44. The Fall - "Marquis Cha-Cha"
45. from Ni Kantu in Esperanto - "Funga Kanto"
46. The Gist - "Fretting Away"
47. Weekend - "Carnival Headache"
48. Marshall Crenshaw - "Blues Is King"
49. Dion McGregor - "Don't Break the Mailman"
50. Game Theory - "Last Day That We're Young"

The usual, in other words.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Ah, that's better.

First things first: you are aware, aren't you, that Series Two of The Office is out on DVD Stateside? Good. Now go buy it. And here's a chat with the Gervais himself in this week's Onion AV Club.

Now, I realize that just about every pop-cult-savvy hepstah has weighed in - repeatedly, tiringly, indefatigably, adverb-stringingly - about The Office, and I'm certainly as guilty as any in that respect (but isn't it better for the world that touching an imaginary tie and biting your lower lip has replaced "D'oh!" in certain circles? Quieter, at least?), but I've got a few things I'd like to get off my chest before my breastplate cracks and that'll be that (except for when the Christmas specials finally air on BBC America - that'll be the end of it, oi promise):

1. In every interview I've read or heard with Gervais, not to mention his public appearances (and particularly his Golden Globe acceptance speeches), he has unfailingly come off as extraordinarily grounded and level-headed - smart enough to know when to stop milking the Brent cow, tickled but not overly impressed with his success, pleasingly self-effacing, etc. - and yet a lot of people, mostly Brits, have been turning up on various comedy-oriented message boards referring to him using terms like "annoying, arrogant twat" and suchlike. This is not an uncommon occurence, of course - some folks tend to bristle at success and cultural ubiquity, usually out of jealousy or the standard allergic reaction to media oversaturation. But I wonder if something else might not be in play in (getting on) Ricky's case. Whether it was intended or not, the character of David Brent is not merely a good example of the "bad boss," a standard-enough archetype that's shown up in enough comedies to be unremarkable by itself (discounting the fresh levels of ill-hidden vulnerability that he's added to the template), but also the most biting characterization to date of none other than the Comedy Geek himself, the guy that somehow believes that his love of genius laughsmiths alone somehow confers their brilliance onto him. People who keep slipping references to their favorite bits into conversation as if memorizing tiny joke-memes and spewing them out without the crutches of context, timing or originality puts them in league with their heroes. People like - well, people like those of us who worship The Office. What a brilliant stroke - to create a character who reflects worse upon his fans the more devout they become. Could those who sneer at Gervais really be casting aspersions on their own reflections? (Answer at end of post.)

2. While we're on the subject, I need to vent a minor annoyance and follow it with a mild confession. Recently, it was revealed that more adults in the UK recognized the words of David Brent than those of Shakespeare. Pretty sad, you might think - indicative of the short attention span of our media-saturated culture, the overweening lack of literacy, etc. etc. etc. But here's the bigger problem as I see it: he said no such thing! In fact, the misshapen pearls of Brentian wisdom that have been circulating on the 'Net, like on this page, have never surfaced on a single goddamned episode of The Office! Not one! And yet they continue to get quoted in most every piece written on the show these days, article after article after article. After reading a few of these, I was about to rise up in righteous indignation about the laziness and irresponsibility of modern journalists, can't they do research, where are the fact checkers and haven't we learned anything from Stephen Glass and Jayson Blair... then I remembered: I did the exact same stupid thing when I first praised the show more than a year ago. I had done like a lot of people had done and had let the Internet, more specifially the Office quote page at the Internet Movie Database, do my research for me. Now, in my defense, the show was still in its first rotation on BBC America at the time, so I figured the misattributed quote was going to turn up on a then-unseen future episode, and, of all the false Brent quotes, I at least chose the one he was most likely to say. Oh, and nobody gives a shit about anything I say on my blog. That too. That doesn't mitigate my error, I realize. But at least I confessed to it, and if you don't like it, you can, as David Brent would say, "stifle yourself, Meathead."

3. That's put me in a fiesty, daring mood, so let me go on the record with what may be the most controversial statement I'll ever make. Steel yourself, people. I'll give you a line break to prepare.

The American version of The Office may not turn out all that bad.

I know, I know, making a claim like that is tantamount to wearing a "Nader in '04" button to the Democratic Convention, but dammit, I'm going to turn against the tide even if I get crabs up my nose (not the first time that would've happened, but I digress...). Yes, we have a long and unpleasant history of taking decent foreign product and ineptly translating it into Yankese ("Bea Arthur as Basil Fawlty! It can't miss!") and yes, the not-bad Britcom Coupling was turned into a quite-bad US version by the same network responsible for this reduxing just last year, but delusional optimism springs eternal. First off, the guy behind the Stateside remake is Greg Daniels, a man partly responsible for some of the finest comedy on commercial TV over the last fifteen-plus years (King of the Hill, The Simpsons, and what was arguably the true golden age of Saturday Night Live), a man who knows his funny and how to squeeze just the right amount of sap-free poignance out of it. Second, they cast Steve Carell (late of The Daily Show) in the Brent-surrogate role, a truly inspired and oh-so-apropos bit of casting. And third... well, I can't think of a third just now. They seem to be taking a lot more care in transferring it to these shores than they usually do in cases like this, and they're allegedly consulting quite a bit with Gervais and Stephen Merchant in the development process, so, yes, this may indeed wind up a non-disaster, in spite of what absolutely everyone else in the world is saying. If I'm right, well, remember where you heard it first. If I'm wrong, then you're all free to tell me to "sit on it." Just like David Brent would.

(Answer: yes.)

Thursday, April 08, 2004


(What should we call this? "Mark E. Smith & Nicks" [with a tip of the topknot to the lovely Barbara Manning] seems obvious; what about "Sisters of the Mark E. Moon?" "Belladonn-ah?" "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around, You Maladjusted Little Monkey, You?" "Has Anyone Ever Written 'Elastic Man' For You?" "Fleetwood Manc?" Alternate suggestions more than welcome via the comments link below [in other words, make it look like someone reads this drivel]...)

Friday, April 02, 2004

The winner of the "Count-The-Number-Of-Times-The-Word-'Classic'-Appears-In-Yesterday's-Entry" contest will be announced once we get a reasonable estimate from the inexpensive accounting firm of Cutpricetapwaterhouse.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

I've recently been informed that the whole purpose of blogs, beyond the obvious one of hanging your misfortunes, misspellings and malapropisms out for your fellow man to chortle derisively at, is to provide links to things that might conceivably be more interesting than anything you have to offer. And my legal representatives at Shyster-in-the-Box have notified me that I'm way under my quota for the fiscal year. So, here's a few:

Mr. Mike Meets Mr. Bill: In my constant search for bits and pieces pertaining to one of my comedy-writing heroes, Michael O'Donoghue (a man perhaps as well-known for the stuff he wrote that never got produced as for the stuff that did), I happened upon his unbroadcast 1991 pilot for Fox, TV (or, more accurately, about half of it). Sad to say, it's not top-drawer O'Donoghue - as with much of the material he produced in the final years of his life, it's largely lashed together from old material left moldering in his file cabinet, and many of the gags here are rather creaky ("Decapitated" coffee? I'd weep if it weren't for the long steel needles sticking out of my eyes). But I got a kick out of the "Koma" and "Brain Gobblers" bits, the Rutger Hauer scene is a small classic, and there's so little prime O'D accessible in any medium at the moment that I'll take the goods where I can get 'em, even in diluted form.* (Here's a page that gathers together most of the available O'D on the 'Net - some true classics and some, y'know, not-quite-as-true not-nearly-as-classics.) One of the most interesting aspects of TV is that it served as a reunion of sorts of two of the original SNL's most notable black-comic scribes, as the pilot was directed by Walter Williams, the guy responsible for The Mr. Bill Show - if you're a fan of the much-abused hunk of Play-Doh, then you should check out the site from whence this comes, featuring loads of classic material, and not just Señor Guillermo-related either - among others, there's a video he did for the dB's and one of my favorite commercial parodies from SNL's Golden Age. (Windows Media Player required to view all of the above.)

* (Aside to the executors of the O'Donoghue estate - if you're ever looking for someone to compile an anthology of the great man's best work, or just someone you can lock in a room with his files for a week, color me available.)

Lost in the Grooves: A page previewing the book I contributed to is now up, and holy cowshit! Just look at the people I'm gonna be sharing shelf-space with! I mean, Hayden Childs?!? Who'da thunk it!?!

More later...

Tuesday, March 23, 2004


(FORTHCOMING SPINOFFS FROM THE HIT [and whip and scourge and torment and nail to a giant T-square] MOVIE OF THE YEAR):

Hey Judas - Distraught over his betrayal of our Lord and Savior (Jason Biggs), Judas (Donnie Wahlberg) attempts to hang himself, but is saved at the last moment by a rip in the space-time continuum (Michael Richards) that thrusts him two millennia into the future, where his brooding good looks and incessant self-loathing put him on the fast track to rock stardom faster than you can say "ridiculous plot contrivance." Before the end of the second reel, Iscariot and the Stick are the hottest young act on the Sunset Strip, despite the fact that he keeps reporting his bandmates to the authorities and none of his groupies will kiss him. It all comes to a head (Christopher Reeve) when, on the verge of signing a major contract, the band plays an industry showcase and an irate audience member cries out "Dylan!" Will Judas wind up embracing musical stardom or resign himself to his bleak destiny in order to save mankind? We'll let you know when all the preview audience comment cards come back.

Freaky Good Friday - Have you ever wondered what would happen if a tear in the fabric of reality caused Jesus and his mother Mary to magically switch places for a day? (If you have, you're guilty of copyright infringement and must surrender to the MPAA within thirty days.) Why is the Son of Man so bent on doing the dishes at the Last Supper? And why does the mother of the Son of Man keep laying hands on all the locals in an attempt to cure their mild colds? Just a few of the wacky mishaps and mixups that ensue in this brutal, unsparing, heartwarming comedy for the entire family. Before the day's out, Mary begins to understand the breadth and depth of her offspring's sacrifice, Jesus gets how tough it is to be a single mother, and we get to see a woman get the crap beat out of her for an hour straight without feminist groups picketing the theatre! Great ending, too - "Boy, Jesus, this certainly has been a trying day for both of us." "Don't worry, Mom, there's a three-day weekend coming up!"

Pilates of the Caribbean - Take one exhausted Roman prefect, add a nutty ripple in the stream of spatial and temporal relativity, mix with a gaggle of scantily-clad modern-day teens on Spring Break in Jamaica ready to teach him the meaning of "Roman fingers" (good thing he washed his hands first!), and what do you get?... You're right, not very much at all, really. But give us a break - our option on the title runs out in six months and we had to come up with something.

(Editor's Note: the forthcoming titles in the straight-to-video Old Testament Softcore series, including Begettin' Some!, Deuteronjeremy, and Go Down, Moses, were not available for review at press time. Thank Christ.)

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Y'know, in my foolishness, lack of focus, and general malaise, I do believe I neglected to hep the two or three of you who don't know already to the fact that issue #3 of The High Hat is out. My major contribution to the issue is here - it's nothing special, I don't think, especially compared with some of the stellar performances turned in by our regular caste (no need for links; just start at the top and work your way down - you shan't be disappointed). Oh, and then there's, um, this. Um. Ah. Hmf.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Even the slightest bit curious as to what's playing on This Is Radium Crass this very second? No? Well, here it is anyway (to paraphrase Lorne Michaels, "Information is always acceptable in lieu of ideas")...

More actual commentary coming soon. Honest. Maybe.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Liner notes for my contribution to a round-robin mix-disc exchange some of my online buddies (including many of the bloggers linked at left) are participating in (track-by-track instructions included):


If you were making a soundtrack for your life so far – this song would have to be on it.

1. "A Bad Debt Follows You" - The Go-Betweens

Not debt as in money (though there's that, too), but a constant reminder of all that so many have loaned, granted and bequeathed me in terms of forbearance, support and common generosity, coupled with the knowledge that I could scarce hope to make proper reparations. That's not really what the song's about, though. No matter. It's a great opener.

A song from one of the CDs currently in your 1) car stereo 2) portable CD player 3) stereo (No MP3 or iPod players, just 'cause)

2. "Confidence" - Scritti Politti

The first step on this severe post-punk combo's passage into a lover-boy pop band with one subtly-mascara'd eye toward the politics of romance and the romance of politics.

A song from the first album, cassette, or CD (whichever was first or the oldest that you still have access to) that you purchased for yourself.

A two-parter here:

3. "Farewell to John Denver" - Monty Python

It should surprise no one who knows me that the first long-playing elpee I bought with my own money (don't recall how I earned it - I vaguely recall getting thirty fifty-cent pieces for betraying one of my fourth-grade classmates to the recess monitor. Did I spend study hall watching him get nailed to the jungle gym? Oh, hazy memories...) was a Monty Python record - the then-new Contractual Obligation Album (1980), to be exact. I actually heard this track (or most of it, at least) a few weeks before I purchased it - one of the local AM stations had done a brief news piece on how the subject of the parody in question was, for some odd reason, displeased with being garroted in effigy on a comedy record, sued the perpetrators, and successfully got the offending piece removed from the record (though, strangely, only in England). To illustrate his point, the DJ played the track, bleeping out one of the words so that the "Annie's Song" travesty played as "You (beeeeeep) on my pillow..." You can imagine what my fertile eleven-year-old brain thought was behind the mask(ing), and upon bringing the album home, I ran straight to the rec-room stereo, laid the stylus right on the track, turned the volume down (to protect my younger siblings from whatever foulness was sure to emanate from the speakers), listened - and got thoroughly confused. Hunh? I found my mother and told her how silly the people at KJR were, bleeping out a totally innocent word like "came." She asked for the context. I gave it to her. Once she let me back out of my room, I was old enough to buy my first CD...

4. "Red Guitar" - David Sylvian

...which was Brilliant Trees by the ex-Japan lead singer, a replacement for the cassette of same made by the coolest guy in school for me (I had to give him the blank tape, natch - had to keep me in my place, don'tcha know) a year or two previous. I remember being curiously disappointed that the CD didn't replicate the skips and jumps caused by his accidentally bumping the turntable and decided to leave on the tape anyway. Because, as I said, he was cool.

A song without a word in its title. (i.e. numbers or acronyms)

5. "N.I.T.A." - Young Marble Giants

The most plaintive moment from one of the great post-punk albums. 'Nuff said (especially considering you were probably still reading the notes for track 3 when this was playing).

A song from the year you were born (we’ll take written, recorded, or released)

6. "Ruby" - Silver Apples

Nineteen sixty-nine, okay. Woodstock. Armstrong. Easy Rider. Manson. Altamont. "Peace with honor." The Alaska pipeline. Steffi Graf is born. What better way to encapsulate such a tumultuous year than a weird love song by a couple of electronics freaks with the second-best use of a banjo in the entire decade?

A song with the name of someone in this music swap in it (doesn’t have to be in the title)

7. "Andy in Ten Years" - Game Theory

In tribute to (but not really about) Andy Axel. One of the comparatively normal-sounding pop songs dotting the gloriously fecked-oop soundscape of Lolita Nation, one of the greatest albums ever made. Okay, maybe that's a slight exaggeration. One of the two best double-albums made in the late 1980s with the word "Nation" in the title.

A song in a language other than English.

8. "Qu'Est-Ce Que Tu Veux" - Kahimi Karie

Not only is in French, but it's French as sung by a Japanese woman in her mid-twenties who sounds creepily like a twelve-year-old, like I guess most Japanese women in their mid-twenties do, especially when they're singing in French.

A song with a city or state/province name (countries don’t count).

9. "Daddy Don't Live in That New York City No More" - Steely Dan

So many to choose from, but I thought this Becker/Fagen obscurity would do the trick dandily. (By "obscurity," of course, I mean "one of the three or four songs that never show up on the tri-annual Steely Dan best-ofs that always have the ugliest cover art this side of a copy of Cellulite Fanciers Monthly." )

Say you're planning a multi-day road trip, this song could go on every mix you make for the trip.

10. "Dot Dash" - Wire

Uncommonly propulsive and rousing, a chorus that'd make a great drunken pub sing-along (if said pub was the same place the Young Semioticians Club meets every Thursday), a punk song with a pop structure and just enough intellectual vigor - could this be the perfect song?

A song by a local artist.

11. "White Elephant" - Volcano Suns

Again, far too many fine exemplars of the Bosstown Sound to dismiss, but I'm giving it up here for this great ode to kitsch from one of the best Mission of Burma spin-off bands. It could also fit snugly into the next category, but instead...

A song with a color in the title (bonus points for pink, negative points for raspberry beret)

12. "Pink Frost" - the Chills

...I'm plumping for the greatest song ever written about accidentally killing your significant other in your sleep.

It’s 5am, your alarm is going off, this song would still make you smile.

13. "Jeepster" - T. Rex

This one did, in fact, raise a smile when the clock radio blasted it one fine morning. Something about the ascending guitar/strings interplay in the chorus makes such a sweet, cushiony segue from REM sleep to semi-consciousness. Best pronunciation of "Jaguar" ever, to boot.

Either a cover you thought was an original or an original you thought was a cover (identify in case we may not know which & if a cover, identify the original artist)

14. "Singing to the Sunshine" - Cardinal

I've never heard the original (by some '60s snerds called Mortimer), but I seriously doubt it's anywhere near as gorgeous as the harmonies Richard Davies and Eric Matthews pull off here. Even if Thee Slayer Hippy didn't play drums on this particular track.

A song that is about a specific movie or book or at least mentions a specific movie or book. (identify which one if it is not mentioned by name)

15. "The Seventh Seal" - Scott Walker

I like this one so much better than the song Julian Cope did about Interiors.


16. "Leo Ryan (Our Pharoah's Slave)" - the Lilys

Pure pop overload - there's gotta be five or six songs' worth of hooks in this seven-minute meisterwerk, a high point of Kurt Heasley's fleeting dalliance with sixties-styled songcraft. (Can't shake the suspicion that this is a paean to his coke dealer, but I'll let that slide.)

A song that has reached number one on a Billboard chart (state which chart and when).

17. "I Wish" - Stevie Wonder

Numero uno on the pop charts, January, 1977. A reminder that Steverino Wonderferishical was once a flat-out funkified genius before he settled into turning out songs in the key of suck. (Yeah, that's a little mean, but don't worry, he'll never see it.)

It’s a little bit country/it’s a little bit rock and roll – this song doesn’t fit a category as far as you’re concerned.

18. "This Magnificent Bird Will Rise" - Deerhoof

Chaos coheres. Yowza.

I hate the artist, but I love the song.

19. "Breaking the Girl" - Red Hot Chili Peppers

I don't despise these guys the way I once did, but boy oh boy, around the time BloodSugarSexMagik slithered out, I was fit to take these mugging funk-heads by the tube socks and fling them into the abyss. But this song, even more than the somewhat over-favored "Under the Bridge," was at least enough to make me hope the abyss didn't have too many jagged rocks sticking out of the sides on the way down.

Wha? If anyone can tell me what this song is about, give me a call.

20. "Sons of Temperance" - the Fall

Any number of Mark E. Smith mumblings could have gone in this space, true, but this one gets me wondering - is he referring to the offspring of the unloved dog breeder's hideous replica he "sang" about in "Impression of J. Temperance" two whole decades previous? Or is he atoning for the drunken stupor he'd sloshed into the few years before and getting all Carrie Nation on our ass? As usual, it hardly matters, not with that killer fuzz-riff and committed vocal performance (sounds like he's rushing to get the words out before his false teeth fall to the studio floor again).

Guilty Pleasure or I am embarrassed that I like it song.

21. "With Your Love" - Jefferson Starship

Yeah, you can just go to Hell, too. Like most of the folks participating in this exchange, I don't have much truck with the notion of a "guilty pleasure" - I likes what I likes and I make no apologies for it - but I must admit this one comes close. What can I say? I have a soft spot in some extremity or other for the sappy love songs Marty Balin contributed to the Airplane and its more galactic offspring, and this one nails me right in the reverberating twinge-center of the gut, the one that only got much use when I was in love or the acid was about to kick in. And please, let's give the man his props for having the good sense and presence of mind a) not to sleep with Grace Slick, unlike the rest of the band and b) to bail out well before somebody got it in their pointed little shrunken heads to pen that municipal-construction anthem of theirs.

Bonus tracks:

TV theme song

22. "Give It to the Soft Boys" - Soft Boys

Okay, okay, it's not really a TV theme song, but back when Robyn Hitchcock was my Platonic ideal of a rock star (pop melodies, Pythonesque absurdism, and hair as unruly as mine), I used to fantasize about this number being the title song for a wacky TV series about the adventures of a nutty rock band. Could've been even better than The Monkees. ("Oh, no, Kimberley! We've gotta be at the princess's birthday party in twenty minutes so we don't lose our apartment but Robyn's got his head stuck in a giant prawn figurine at the Museum of Oversized Crustaceans!" "What, again? Quick, Morris, Andy - grab the oleomargarine, the jumbo spanner and the talking cormorant and come with me!") Hey, a boy can dream...

stump (the group) – any song that you think they may not have heard.

23. Ain't tellin'.

They're local, though, and friends (and one-time collaborators) of mine, and probably a bit ahead of their time - if "Fuck It (I Don't Want You Back)" could be a radio hit, then this one could too. The razor lobby'd probably have issued a fatwa on 'em, but them's the breaks.

Total time: 79:58

Thursday, February 05, 2004

I'm staying away from el bloggerino 'til I've discharged some other writular obligations, but I do wanna give what the young dusky urban types call a "shout-out" to two of my personal faves, The Ludic Log and The Vitamin B Glandular Show, who are celebrating their second and first anniversaries respectively. (Come to think of it, it's been about a year since this one started, too. But, as both the frequency and urgency of entries herein have dwindled to a trickle, celebrating it would feel a little like having a birthday party for a jellied calf fetus. And believe me, that's not nearly as fun as it sounds.) Congratulations, Leonard and Elston - you shame and inspire me.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004


...and in other news, Marlon Jackson was chastised in passing today for flashing his love handles at a JV lacrosse game.