A sub-division of oldpunks.com

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Super-duper-fluous Cover Songs And The Bulletproof Song

This morning I worked out to The Futureheads. It's a great cd and they do a nice cover of Kate Bush's "Hounds Of Love", possibly her most enduring track. This brought to mind the concept of the bulletproof song. Then while doing situps I heard "Is She Really Going Out With Him" by Sugar Ray and thought about the superfluous cover song. Both ideas are patent pending.

The bulletproof song is eminently worthy of being covered, cannot be equaled or bettered, and is nearly impossible to ruin. The Residents came close with their version of "Satisfaction". A few bulletproof songs that come to mind are "12XU" by Wire, "Suspect Device" by Stiff Little Fingers and "Gates Of Steel" by Devo.

Two glaring examples of the superfluous cover song are the Joe Jackson one above and The Wallflower's version of Bowie's "Heroes" for the Godzilla soundtrack. Allmusic.com's review of the Joe Jackson cover fawns it's "where vocalist Mark McGrath precisely mimics the tone, timbre, and phrasing of Joe Jackson". Like it's a good thing! Bowie's "Heroes" will never age and it annoys me to no end that some numbnut decided to have a popular young band do a cover instead of using the bulletproof original by old man Bowie.

If you have other examples of the bulletproof song and the superfluous cover song, please leave a comment.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Punk Dog, Punk Car, Punk Wig and Punk Action Figures

Punk Dog

Punk Car

Punk Wig

Punk Action Figures

Funny Scene In Bad Movie

I never thought Spaceballs was any good but it sells well on DVD. While no worse than Robin Hood: Men In Tights, it's just as bad. I watched it last night to be sure. The jokes are groan-inducing puns, Bill Pullman and Daphne Zuniga act like it's the first read-through, and for what comes across as a kids movie there's a lot of cursing for shock value. John Candy and Rick Moranis are great as usual.

The only bit that made me laugh was when John Hurt recreates his Alien role and a chestburster pops out of his stomach. The thing is cheap yet scary looking, and the close up on the teeth is nasty. The tight camera sets up the joke: a little hand pushes a little straw hat on his head and he song and dances his way out the room like Michigan J. Frog in the ultra-classic Warner Brothers cartoon "One Froggy Evening". When the alien sang in that Al Jolson voice "Hello my baby, hello my darlin’, hello my ragtime gal..." I fell over laughing.

Now THAT'S funny!

Here's pics of models and such: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Rich Kid anarchists In The News!

Drudge links this article on the wacky hi-jinx of two teen anarchists from Sarasota, FL who burned flags and stuff to protest stuff. And, oopsie, they also tried to firebomb a car:

Scott A. Baber and Brian A. Richard III, both 18, told deputies they burned the flags because they are anarchists and disagree with the war in Iraq and other U.S. government policies.

If Scott and Brian have two brain cells and an original thought between them I'll eat my hat. Notice the article put anarchists in quotes. These adult children live in the Bent Tree subdivision, "a gated neighborhood with curving streets and elegant homes surrounded by large manicured lawns blending into natural areas with some of the homes edging the Bent Tree golf course." They might as well have claimed to be pirates.

I'll never grow tired of mocking the idiocy of so-called anarchists, be they angry rich kids still acting out their terrible twos, or angry old hippies too bitter to accept their ideals were all lies in practice. anarchy is an imaginary construct considered irrational even by diehard communists. In a way you can say anarchy is utopian, since utopia in psychology is a state of mental illness. Utopia for anarchists begins and ends in mindless destruction.

There's no shiny, clean, peaceful end to anarchy, only the act of destruction. anarchy is nihilism - it just sounds cooler and there's bands and clothes and patches and stickers and records and stuff, like this shirt for $59.99! It costs money to look this good whilst smashing the state.

6/29 update: The Smoking Gun is there with pics of the "Baby Faced anarchists". Isn't that the young Fred Savage on the right?

7/5 update: Here's an editorial from a SoFla paper, with my favorite kind of cut in this situation,"Their political extremism may well be as fleeting as many a boneheaded and rebellious conviction that 18-year-olds adopt for a while, before settling down to become taxpayers trying to make mortgage and car payments."

New Wave Memory 41

In my junior year of college I transferred to the University Of Maryland and joined a fraternity because I was #1499 on the waiting list for dorm housing. A frat brother was the college rep for CBS records, so he set up store displays, distributed promotional records and even drove artists around to radio stations.

One day he asked if I wanted to drive around with him and this new artist. I would have gone but I was on my way to the gym. I did see the concert that night at the 9:30 Club and when I came back I told everyone this singer was going to be HUGE. I was less than believed because I was into all kinds of strange music, which made me a strange person who didn't know nothin' about nothin'.

The singer was Cyndi Lauper and she was touring her debut LP, Girls Just Want To Have Fun. It just came out or was about to. I could have spent the afternoon with her, which would have been great because she's a sweet and entertaining person. She grew up in Brooklyn, I was born there -- I could have joined her entourage or received a thank-you on her next record or something. I'm sure of it. I did have a good lift that day, so I at least have that.

Monday, June 27, 2005

What I Like About Living In The USA

It finally hit me that The Romantic's 1980 hit "What I Like About You" rips off Steve Miller's 1973 hit "Living In The USA". The Romantic's "When I Look In Your Eyes" is an inverted version of "What I like About You" from the same album.

So, I throw the ball to who. Whoever it is drops the ball and the guy runs to second. Who picks up the ball and throws it to What. What throws it to I Don't Know. I Don't Know throws it back to Tomorrow, Triple play. Another guy gets up and hits a long fly ball to Because. Why? I don't know! He's on third and I don't give a fugg!

Review: Kraftwerk - Minimum-Maximum 2 cds

Read this and this for info on Kraftwerk. As an aside, Wolfgang Flur's book Kraftwerk: I Was A Robot was poorly received. To me they've had three stages: their early, prog-electronic period (up to Autobahn), their golden creamy middle period (Radio-Activity thru Computer World) and their we're still here period (the single version of Tour de France is the exception). This 2 disc set from various stops on their 2004 world tour visits them all with loyalty to each as they were in their day. I was able to salvage one full disc of material from the first two stages, banishing the Eurotrash enviro-sounds that open and close the set to the humorless folks who "must get back to Dancecentrum in Stuttgart in time to see Kraftwerk".

Kraftwerk were an incredibly influential band but that doesn't mean the bands they influenced aren't crap. I loved Komputer's The World Of Tomorrow, an ode to Radio-Activity, Trans Euro Express and The Man-Machine. This is also really good.

I'm so glad Kraftwerk didn't modernize "Autobahn" and "The Model", which would have been desperate and sad. Whatever tweaks they give tracks from Computer World I can live with, this album being as close to electronic dance music as I'll get. It helps that I loved the previous five albums.

The sound quality is great and the audience is barely discernible. I saw Kraftwerk on their Computer World tour and didn't want them to vary one note. That's what I came to see: man-machines replicating electronic music as man-machines would. You mostly get that on Minimum -Maximum. If only the new material wasn't so damn weak.....

6/29 update: I watched a bootleg of the London stop of this tour. Florian Schneider seemingly can't sing and play at the same time. It's impossible to figure out how much is real and how much is pre-recorded. I imagine a lot of it was planned because it matches perfectly with the background visuals, often song lyrics in huge letters. These robots were brought out for one song and then the band came back dressed like Tron characters. Pictures are here at the Kraftwerk home page.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Review: Kung Fu Hustle

I think I've just seen the greatest b-movie of all time. I'll know by tomorrow when I get over the initial shock. It reflects a storytelling culture I'll never fully grasp and it's casually cruel and sexist in ways only Asian movies can be, but oh my freakin' god was Kung Fu Hustle amazing, fantastic and gagadeeplopadoo, a word I just made up but there needs to be a new word for how great it is.

When the Buddha Palm forced through the tenement I nearly crapped. It was the culmination of all the beauty, violence, comedy and dramatic power of the film. Director/writer/star Stephen Chow and stunt master fight coordinator Yuen Wo Ping have created a masterpiece.

Shaolin Soccer was really good but Kung Fu Hustle rules the wasteland. If Chow can top this I will definitely crap my pants. Oh yeah, and it won't be pretty.

Review: ...Trail Of Dead - Worlds Apart

Trail Of Dead is the last part of ...AYWKUBTTOT. Who has the time? Who am I kidding, I do, but I refuse.

In a way Trail of Dead's career has paralleled Sense Field, but the latter is the better band. Both released two average post-Nirvana Emo records before recording their classics: Source Codes and Tags and Building. Both were urgent, hungry, focused and a statement that might be repeated to less effect but couldn't be built on.

Sense Field went the route of catchy melodies and can crank them out with ease. Trail Of Dead's Worlds Apart starts off where the last ended but settles immediately into a pattern of simple and ineffectual songs framed by expertly produced progressive rock. It's all flourish and little substance, and the melodies are weaker and less thought through than you'd think after the last disc. Both bands love The Beatles with Sense Field doing a better job at making it interesting.

Trail Of Dead has the talent to right the ship on their next cd and I hope they do.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Review: The Velvet Underground and Nico - A Symphony Of Sound (videotape)

I watched most of this last night. More specifically, the most I could handle was ten minutes. What I remember is retained like a dream - a slow moving, senseless, melodically noisy yet tuneless dream. It's in the collection of the Museum Of Modern Art Film Library. Way in the back somewhere.

Paul Morrissey, who filmed Chelsea Girls, Flesh, Trash and other movies people think were directed by Andy Warhol, here displays the talent of an eight year old on hashish. He zooms in and out, focuses and unfocuses, moves the camera up to the ceiling then down to the floor, and films the spaces between people. There's also a thousand edit cuts that create endless annoying time skips. It's hard not to think of both Fritz Lang and David Lynch. It's art because an artist says it is. I understand that much.

The jam they're playing is about 54 minutes long and drugs would definitely help for both musicians and viewers. The sound may or may not be synched but I can say it sounds like it's coming from a heat vent in a tenement.

After the band stops playing the camera stays on while people mill around. A policeman shows up and Andy Warhol walks around. Lou Reed stands next to Nico The Drug Sponge and other people stand around for a few minutes. I don't remember much because it was a dream I had, I think.

No Bulls--t, Psychopath

Entertainment Weekly lists this book at #79 in their most recent list of things they like to make lists of because it's an easy way to fill up space. It's a philosophy book with a curse word in the title. Like, how cool is that?

What caught my eye was "Retired Princeton prof Frankfurt's slim philosophical tract theorizes that bulls--ters - those who don't care whether what they say is true or false - are more dangerous than liars". It's not an original idea but one that needs constant repeating. The master is Robert D. Hare and his classic Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us. The standard test for psychopathology has his name on it and he runs an organization dedicated to psychopathology and sociopathology.

I try not to call every habitual asshole a psychopath but the urge is strong. Without Conscience is a great and easy to read book, and it had a profound effect on how I view the world. It doesn't have a curse in the title though, so choose wisely.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Health Club Design Failure #1

Want to know how I keep my girlish figure?.....Estrogen.

This and this should never be placed next to each other. Whenever two lumpy Hausfraus enter the weight room they waddle directly to the inner and outer leg machines where they mime a workout while gabbing about their lives of whiny desperation. They do sets of 100 with no weight and then rest for 5 minutes. When they finally get bored they stand up and trade places. Synchronized sitting is not an exercise and doing nothing is the same as doing something completely wrong.

Straight Edge Snitch List

This probably isn't a joke, at least intentionally. Here's the "How's Your Edge?: The Straight Edge Break List", where traitors to the SXE death cult are outed, nailed to the "X" and removed from all crucial crew lists. I'm so glad someone's finally naming the names.

Choice examples of Edge Breakage:

Chris "Sweeper" Murphy, Buffalo, NY. Mid 90's Buffalo crew. Called Sweeper for his sweeping mosh maneuver. Played guitar in Lockjaw and Wrong the Oppressor/The Fire. Replacement member (replaced before any shows were played) of The Alleged.

Little" John Mordan, South Orange County, CA. Founding member of alliance crew. let everyone know what was coming when he started eating meat again. once had LORDS after his hide for calling them sellouts. now drinks like a sailor, but still a solid dude.

Ben Hughes, South Wales, UK. Played guitar in From This Moment On. Broke his promise to become a football hooligan. Still busting a Converge shirt but with a Burberry scarf. Go figure!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Review: The Epoxies - Stop the Future & The Epoxies

The Epoxies have their own line of skateboards and actively recruit visitors to their site to promote them in a street team. Something tells me they want to be famous. Stop the Future is their second full-length, and it's a great slice of aggressive new wave dance mania.

Keyboardist/vocalist FM Static was in the killer snot-pop-punk garage band The Automatics. This is a whole new gig. What I'm reminded of when I listen to The Epoxies are Kim Wilde, Flock Of Seagulls, The Go-Gos, Servotron and the first album by The Anniversary. The beats are new wave but the energy and drive are from this new century. The theramin-feel on some of the keyboards is new too.

Roxy Epoxy's voice is powerful and distinctive yet I feel I should be placing it elsewhere. Her look is inspired by Toyah Willcox, and maybe the voice too. No matter how many reviewers say it there is no Blondie or Devo influence on this disc.

Every song is melodically fast and every instrument works overtime to defeat dead air. There's a recurring sci-fi theme and "Robot Man" is a Scorpions cover done equally well by The Vindictives. Stop the Future is a very fun record and there's a real punk energy to songs that are not punk. Loosen up and have some fun for a change. And tuck your shirt in.

6/26 update: I just listened to their debut cd, The Epoxies. It's more straight ahead casio punk than the follow up, and the insistent speed of The Automatics comes through more, but it's a great recording and also worth having. Throughout both cds I keep on wanting to sing the line "We're the kids of America".

His Heart Was Too Big For Him To Live. Literally. Or How About: He Died Of A Broken Heart

Courtesy of SondraK, I would have fallen down laughing if I wasn't already sitting. This is a real obituary, with the punchline:

Alas the stolen election of 2000 and living with right-winged Americans finally brought him to his early demise. Stress from living in this unjust country brought about several heart attacks rendering him disabled.
I'm laughing with Corwyn (Cory) William Zimbleman, not at him. Oh, he's not laughing? Well, that's uncomfortable.....

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Hippies Love Genocide & I Don't Heart Commies

I answered a comment from MikalM on the post below (re: pretty boy mass murderer Che Guevara) by stating the obvious -- Hippies Love Genocide. He later added:

Yup. Just a few days ago I was reading an online commentary at Tribe.net, and some brain-dead bliss-bunny was whining about how humans are destroying Mother Earth, and how she wanted 90% of humanity to perish to save the planet. (Obviously she and her friends would be among the lucky tenth of survivors, although she didn't explain how they'd deal with all the dead bodies and the collapsed infrastructure of human civilization...) Last time I checked, 9/10ths of humanity is 5.4 billion people. The combined wars, genocides, plagues, famines, natural disasters, and other assorted die-offs of history amount to a small fraction of this number. It's funny -- people who will proclaim their "compassion" and "peacefulness" until they're blue in the face, will turn around and advocate a ten-digit omnicide that the worst mass-killers of history would have never dreamed of, nor desired. When I read that post and thought about the implications, even the usual Hitler/Stalin parallels didn't work any more. The first thought that came to my mind was the story "The Call of Cthulhu" by H.P. Lovecraft, where a cult was trying to call in supernatural powers to destroy all life on earth so that its members could become godlike rulers of a cleared planet.

MikalM knows. Peace is a marxist codeword for War, which they call The Struggle, just as Justice, Fairness and Equality are excuses for resentment and retribution.

I imagine there are true pacifists who aren't cowards or pathological liars. They're cuddly and sweet but useless in an emergency. Stories of pacifist accomplishments in Mao's China, Stalin's Russia and Pol Pot's Cambodia are legion.....(snort). It's better to do nothing than something and to die quietly on your knees instead of fight. How pure.

Cardboard Mike Tyson sports huge Mao and Che tattoos. He's a homeless, washed up nobody so I don't hate him for his ignorance. I can't work up any anger either over Green Day's great political statement, American Idiot, because they're adult children in teenagers bodies. Bad Religion, now there's something solid to hate. The only advice a heroin addict can and should offer is to stay off heroin. To come back as a political pedophile is even worse than sticking needles filled with smack in your veins because hate is better taken out on yourself than spread like a cancer in the minds of impressionable children. I also wonder if Gnome Crapsky, the sociopathic Mr. Rogers, actually teaches any classes at MIT.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Che Shirts

Che-Mart sells t-shirts mocking master prick Che Guevara. Freakin' Sweet!

Are you sick of seeing the face of a communist murderer everywhere? Does the sight of trust fund kids clad in "cool Che" t-shirts make your blood boil? Do you find it ironic that a dedicated communist has contributed to massive retail profiteering by capitalists t-shirt manufacturers? Then you've come to the right place. Here at Che-Mart we sell our t-shirts solely for capitalist pig profits. Please help us laugh all the way to the bank!

Review: MOTO - Concert and Singles File CD

MOTO is short for Masters Of The Obvious, Paul Caporino's band since 1981. I own 13 MOTO cassettes and 14 singles. The cassettes are handmade with pen and bad penmanship, and Paul scribbles liner notes and doodles on some singles. He's the king of lo-tech lo-fi. I was very lucky to see MOTO live, just down the street from my apartment. God knows how lazy I am and he/she came through.

Paul in person is a great guy and he was pleasant to everyone. His voicebox was shot so he carried a bottle of honey in place of booze. I liked the set but the sound was horrible, with bad separation and it was so loud my teeth hurt. I bought a cd so I did my bit for the MOTO cause.

Single File is a 28 track collection of old singles, some with Beck Dudley, the MOTO fanatic's sentimental favorite. Paul's recorded alone, with Beck on drums, and with any number of other musicians in the full band format. MOTO is at its core a lo-fi band with punk, pop and cheese leanings. Where Beat Happening favored a spy-surf beat MOTO delivers a go-go dance beat, specifically The Pony and what the B-52s called "All 16 Dances". Paul's voice is nicely odd, and while he does leave his range at times he does have pretty good control. The lyrics are often bad puns, and juvenile penis references do rear their ugly heads. "Crystallize My Penis" and "It's So Big It's Fluorescent" open the cd, begging the question of where's "It Takes Just Like A Milkshake". I'm a big MOTO fan but it's an acquired taste so go to the MOTO site and listen to some samples.

I don't know if anyone but me considers MOTO lo-fi, but even as a 4-piece that's what it is. I would have preferred if they brought their own amps and bypassed the club's board entirely. I don't see why loudness is all that matters. Loud is cool. Yeah, I get it. I'll stick with my records, which don't sound like unintelligible explosions.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Death Is Yummy

I'm watching the entire run of Millennium, a mostly great TV show that should be called Se7en: The Series. I only watch one or two at a time because I don't want to go insane in the process. I just finished "The Well Worn Lock" and I'm very angry. Even the title is horrific beyond words. On Thursday came news this baby fricker kept records of 36,000 child molestations. Thirty-Six THOUSAND.

These people need to be stopped immediately, and hopefully killed in the process. Killed so we don't have to spend an extra dime on them working the system for mercy and understanding because they themselves were victims of porn or a mommy that didn't love them or a daddy who loved them too much. There are certain acts that destroy pity - murder, rape, incest and child frigging top my list. By rape I mean real rape, not the all-men-are-rapists idiocy of man-haters.

Who am I to judge? I'm Emerson, and if it ever comes up on a ballot my vote is that these monsters should be killed first and asked questions later. There are too many people who need legitimate help to have time and money wasted on the irredeemable and those unworthy of redemption. The far left talks of social and economic justice, just another marxist revenge fantasy. I believe in criminal justice that protects victims and stops victimizers. If victimization is a cycle there's one way to definitely stop the cycle from repeating.

The "peace" group behind International ANSWER was created by Joseph Stalin, who said of his rivals "No Man, No Problem". For certain people I definitely agree.

Again, who am I to judge? My name is Emerson.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Review: Green Day - American Idiot

Our story begins in the present, with a Green Day concert memory from Dr. John down in Florida:

"They had tons of pyrotechnics and shooting flames like an 80's metal show. The whole thing started with someone dressed up in a bunny suit dancing and drinking a beer while the P.A. played Y.M.C.A. and the whole audience danced to it. First time I ever saw guys with Mohawks dance to Y.M.C.A.. They shone the lights on the audience a lot. The really cheezy part, they had this hanging curtain of lights, it didn't come on till after the show, it flashed Green - Day - Green - Day to get the audience to chant Green Day for an encore. As you may remember I chanted 'Day - Green' cause I thought it was so dumb."

Green Day were once another great pop-punk band on Lookout! In that style I liked Sweet Baby a little more and Sludgeworth about the same. Dookie broke in 1994 and their instant fame didn't bother me as much as the fact the record itself wasn't as good as the last two, a real lesson in what defined good to the masses. I stopped paying attention until they released their epic political rock opera American Idiot in 2004, and every article and interview I came across touted their new seriousness and sense of purpose. It won the best rock album at the Grammys. Ten years went by and they put out another Dookie. This time only the lesson changed. Critics will support anything that supports their politics.

Green Day become less adult as they age. They're all about 33 years old but seem stuck at the social and intellectual level of their fan base, which stays the same in real years. This is being compared to Husker Du's masterpiece Zen Arcade, which is true only in that there's no complete story being told, but Zen is for big kids. When Green Day drop the F-Bomb or any of the endless cliches they spit out you expect them to giggle like the Teletubbies and peek around to see if adults heard them be naughty. The lyrics on this album are hysterically bad, as in "Welcome to a new kind of tension. All across the alien nation. Everything isn't meant to be okay. Television dreams of tomorrow..." "New kind of tension" is a Buzzcock album reference, Television City Dreams is the name of a Screeching Weasel album, and alienation an ancient piece of marxist psychobabble. If this album speaks to anyone, that person is not of driving age.

This might be clever if done well but Green Day is not a clever band. They write catchy tunes but are stunted adolescents and write lyrics from that POV. On a production level American Idiot is flawless. Every record should sound this good. Green Day are being credited with creating a complex masterpiece but it's so not true I'm embarrassed for humanity. Songs may shift gear and pace but that's not complexity, it's just shifting gear and pace. Compare it to this and this for some perspective on complexity. Green Day throw in surf, doo-wop, a little Bad Religion pompousness, Jim Steinman, Johnny Cash ("Ring Of Fire" is ripped off), Peter Gabriel's "Biko", the Beatles, African drumming, Hawaiian guitar and the sound of marching feet. Does this make American Idiot an epic masterpiece? Yes, if you don't know any better or lower the scale to fit a non-musical agenda.

Would I like this any more if I didn't think they were immature political 'tards with too much money and free time? Probably not. I like "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams" but even if they wrote lyrics I agreed with the rest would still be just another Green Day album, of which there will be a new one each year for many to come.

Silly Blimp Attack Thought

A Goodyear blimp crashed last night in Florida and my silly cinematic blimp scene came to mind. This is in no way a mockery of what happened on 9-11. Believe you me I'd give my left one for this to have happened instead.

Evil doers hijack a blimp and they're going to fly it into a skyscraper. People on the ground and in the building see what's about to happen and they panic as the blimp attacks at full blimp speed, which I imagine is still comically slow. The blimp finally hits the building, flattens out a bit, and then bounces backward leaving the building unharmed. The End.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Review: What The Punk?! DVD

More like what the hell IS this crap?! A large distributor, MVD, slapped 49 minutes of randomness on a dvd and sold it for $7.95. There's a Vol. 2 in the works so for a cheap gift for that pun crocker in your life you can do worse. Maybe not.

There's VHS quality live and video tracks from Bad Religion, Johnny Thunders, the Dead Kennedys, Sublime, Sleater-Kinney, Christian Death, The Genitorturers, TSOL, Debbie Harry, GG Allin, Psychic TV, the Ramones, Horace Pinker, The Hives, The Offspring, the Cramps, the Butthole Surfers and Ivan Kral. There's also short films from Richard Kern and one of his contemporaries.

Kral's piece is credited to Patti Smith but it's only photographs and it's also the closing credits of his video. TSOL is from a promo for the film RAGE. GG Allin's bit is the opening credits to HATED. The Offspring track is a song played over snowboarding. Why would anyone want to look at film credits just to hear a song?

Watching Jello Biafra again I realize he should play The Riddler in a Batman movie. The only real treat is an old piece of film where a young Debbie Harry sits backwards in a chair and sings a torch song a capella. She has a nice voice.

I can't stress enough how even as a free sampler this is a time waster.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Review: End Of The Century - The Story Of The Ramones

When I ponder the Ramones I wonder if anyone in the band was capable of honest reflection. I thought Joey the most likely but now I see it was Johnny, no matter how stubborn and unpleasant. End Of The Century is a great documentary, and like Johnny said, "It's accurate. It left me disturbed". All the major players are included but I think Joey died before he could be involved directly. If he were I don't think he would cleared anything up anyway. Only Johnny could ask if he fugged up and then consider the answer.

At 1:45 it's too long. I don't see any band history that can't be told in an hour flat. There's a recurring theme of "No Future" that doesn't hold true and was already beat to death by the Sex Pistols. The great overall theme of their career was that they never got their due. That's not true. They went as far as they could, which was amazingly far considering how outside the mainstream they were. The mainstream came to them much later but that's simply how it worked out. I see no conspiracy or crime. Crap, go ask the Velvet Underground. My only other negative comment is that once CJ joined the band they played too fast in concert, destroying whatever melody remained.

Dee Dee is desperate to be liked but has the honesty of a junkie. He was the handsome one but aged into a clown-faced hobo. He was worthless except he wrote so many of the best Ramones songs. Tommy gets no respect but he put the band together and was at least sane. Joey's a lovable guy, for a Ramone, but it's said of him that "(He) could carry a grudge like an elephant never forgets". Johnny is a cold customer but he made the Ramones work as both a musician and business manager. Johnny saw the Ramones as a business and there's nothing wrong with that since he insisted on giving the fans what they wanted - a band that never aged and never changed.

The Ramones are the single most important band in punk history, and I'm glad a great film was made about them. Legs McNeil says about punk and the Ramones in particular, "You take everything that's sh--ty and you celebrate it, and make it good." For better or worse that's probably correct.

This is KSIK. You've Been Listening To "Music For Old Invalids". Our Next Selection Is Entitled "Sick Room Serenade"

Hey kids! Uncle Punk is home today after hours of gum grafting surgery. I'll write a movie review after nap time. My left cheek is puffed up like Robert D'Zar. My gums receded from brushing too hard (today's lesson for the kids) and this was my third and final surgery. If I'm nice to my mouth the grafts will take and the terror that started five months ago will be over.

The periodontist sliced pieces from the roof of my mouth and repeatedly stitched them into my gum line. Doesn't that sound fun? And, it only cost me $8,000 American money. Do you realize how many Hello Kitty collectables that could buy?

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Review: Patti Smith - Horses

It took the distance of many years and a love of other bands that followed in their wake to fully appreciate the importance and greatness of Patti Smith and Lenny Kaye on Horses. I give Kaye equal credit as a guide, songwriter and musician. He put together the original Nuggets LP and for that alone he deserves his own monument on Punker Hill. Allmusic provides a great overview on Patti's career so I won't rehash it.

Gilda Radner on SNL did a take on Smith as Candy Slice. In this transcript of her most famous bit she sings "I'm sexless - I sing loud/ Know that always gets a crowd/ I talk dirty - and I'm proud/ No dry cleanin' is allowed/ I am funky - I don't bathe/ I am rock and roll's new slave/ I am punky - to the graveI can't sing but I can raaaaaaaaave". That summed it up for me for a long time. She was a self-involved lower Manhattan Beatnik hippie poet. She opened Horses with "Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine". What else did I need to know.

Until I put this on again recently I didn't realize how much Patti Smith influenced The Styrenes, Life Without Buildings, Sleater-Kinney, PJ Harvey and even maybe NoMeansNo. Patti's voice is masterful, moving from street babble to torch song to holding notes the way Debbie Harry does. I see some Janis Joplin in her delivery, and the band is influenced by The Doors, The Rolling Stones and the Velvet Underground. Kaye and the band work especially well providing intricate backdrops to Patti's singing.

Every track's a winner. Two run close to ten minutes each and are only for when you have the time and attention span. "Gloria" and "Redondo Beach" stand out, the latter set to a reggae beat.

If you have time to burn here's an article on the making of the album's cover, shot by Robert Mapplethorpe.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Billy Idol - WTF

I can't be the only person who thinks Billy Idol is the biggest pretty-boy poser ever to come from our scene. How's this! Again Again and Again!! I could do this all day, people.

I don't hate the guy but the pumped fist, Sid/Elvis sneer, signature "Ow!" (see also Michael Jackson's "Ooooo" and David Lee Roth's falsetto yelp) and all the rest are laughable. He's from the UK but sings a song called "Rebel Yell"? Huh?! He reminds me of Vanilla Ice and Spike did a better Billy Idol than Billy does.

I liked some Generation X and loved "Dancing With Myself". "White Wedding" is a guilty pleasure. It sounds like Iggy's crooning on "Eyes Without A Face". "Mony Mony" was a gimmick that sold while the electro-tinged Cyberpunk bombed.

Sorry I don't have bigger fish to fry today. Ow!!!!!

Conservativepunk.com Pile-On

Weird site index Portal of Evil posted a link to Conservativepunk.com and the normally quiet comments section went nuts.

I post this so you can see how defining the meaning and politics of punk is a lose-lose proposition. The very act of defining it disqualifies you from knowing what you're talking about.

If you remember the alt. groups, this level of intelligence and insight ruined those quickly. Remember such memorable topics as "It's 8:15 and I'm Bored" and "Any girls out there?". Ah yes, to be young, dumb and full of fun.

Mark Steyn: The Best In The Biz

Mark Steyn's latest Telegraph article is "Who can stop the rise and rise of China? The communists, of course". The money paragraph is:

I said a while back that China was a better bet for the future than Russia or the European Union. Which is damning with faint praise: trapped in a demographic death spiral, Russia and Europe have no future at all. But that doesn't mean China will bestride the scene as a geopolitical colossus. When European analysts coo about a "Chinese century", all they mean is "Oh, God, please, anything other than a second American century". But wishing won't make it so.
Steyn is the best center-right writer working today. Krauthammer is great and Victor Davis Hanson rouses with inspiring written lectures, but nobody touches Steyn's combination of humor, depth of insight and generous sprinklings of offbeat hipster references.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Reviews: The Other Hollywood (book) and Wonderland (movie)

Legs McNeil, author of the classic anecdotal punk history Please Kill Me, fails with the same format on The Other Hollywood: The Uncensored Oral History Of The Porn Film Industry. The amazon reviewers couldn't put this down, even though with one hand it does get heavy after a while, but by pg. 150 I really wanted to stop. It's a limited and self-limiting lazy mess.

The format of Please Kill Me was innovative, easy to read and I thought never intended to be all-inclusive. It's small quotes arranged to tell stories. The Other Hollywood pretends to be definitive but is limited to the quotes they could get and the drips and drabs format that interrupts itself repeatedly, sometimes with unrelated stories. When it works well you have various players gossiping and contradicting each other. When it doesn't, the layout and stoytelling just look dumb.

The book bogs down in uninteresting story lines (the personal lives of undercover agents) and endless recitations of porn people treating each other and themselves like garbage. The book's 600 pages. A good book on the subject could be 1,000 but this one tells only 250's worth. It took 7 years for Legs to find a publisher. The problem probably was the book and not the subject matter. A much better read is Tales Of Times Square.

Wonderland was a theatrical release that should have been a made-for-cable movie. I imagine the sell was Boogie Nights meets Helter Skelter. It's about John Holmes and his involvement in the Wonderland Avenue murders, not exactly the stuff of blockbusters. Val Kilmer is great as John and for such a small film the cast is impressive. There's a lot of method acting and visually the film is washed in a burning heat that doesn't exist here in Los Angeles except way inland. It's ok but also a whole lot of nothing on a very obscure piece of local history. In an effort to not have John Holmes be a totally contemptible character, they leave out that he constantly beat up his girlfriend Dawn and repeatedly forced her into street prostitution, at one time even enslaving her in a brothel. Sweet guy.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Second Wave Straight Edge Follies

Leafing through my singles I ran across this and started laughing at the shaved head, X, raised fist, gaping maw and splotchy, eyeless zombie. All that's missing is a hooded sweatshirt. I'm so glad that error/era ended.

Youth Of Today took Minor Threat & 7 Seconds and amped it up to 11, leaving behind the intelligence and inclusiveness. Kevin Seconds produced and released this 7" in 1985, helping invalidate his own credo of "it's not just boy's fun".

Counteracting unintentional parody with hysterical satire I pulled out Crucial Youth, who got it right while Grudge didn't because they were trying to be Doggy Style and Gang Green.

2nd wave SXE was a mix of heavy metal mosh and thrash, with a moral and punishment code straight out of Judge Dredd comics. Not only did Youth Of Today sound like Italy's Raw Power, Ray Cappo made English sound Italian. Cappo famously became a Hare Krishna, which today may be quaint but back then they were a swarming annoyance competing with the Moonies for who could be more of a public nuisance.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Shots Of Childish Idiocy

#7 this week on Interpunk.com's snit list is a kool black shotglass with the patented anarchy @ on it. Dude? Duuuuuuuude!!!!!!

Maybe one out of a thousand of these will ever know booze. They will hold the pennies, buttons and dust of rich kid 15 years olds. Can you imagine a drinking-age adult using this? Maybe Spencer's Gifts carries them next to their Misfits clock and Pee Pee Boy Dispenser. Duuude!!

In the large zoom pop-up it looks like a garbage can with graffiti.

And, dude, it only costs $4.

6/27 update: Dude, there's a Bad Religion shot glass now too!! And they call it the "Cross Buster"!! How rad is that. the state is surely smashed now!!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Annie's Anorexic

After 10 years The Huntingtons are calling it quits. The solid middle of their career saw them channeling early & snotty Queers (themselves copying The Angry Samoans), Screeching Weasel and the Ramones. Their must-have albums are High School Rock, Get Lost and Plastic Surgery. There's a greatest hits coming out but that can't be since it's missing "Annie's Anorexic". I found the lyrics on a site about eating disorders, but more on that later:

she makes all the guys at school// turn their heads and start to drool// and i would marry her if i could// the star of every young boy's dream// i surely would not have guessed// she starved herself to fit that dress/ well now the truth is out at last// that she's been on a two year fast// oh annie annie annie annie// oh annie's anorexic annie's anorexic oh my annie

her mom went nuts when she heard the news// the girl scout with too much to lose// she never skipped class in her life// but she skipped dinner every time// i surely would not have guessed she starved herself to fit that dress// she looked so fine how could i tell// that deep inside whe wasn't well

hangin' with her friends you know she looked so very (?)// she laughed at all my jokes and she didn't find me funny// when it comes down to (???) she'll pass by everybody

Since it's "Be Happy With Who You Are No Matter Who You Are Day" at oldpunks, there's a number of pro-anorexia resources on the www. Go there now. Wikipedia offers this pearl about the movement: "Anorexics are believed to be able to spot other anorexics at first glance." Well, how hard can THAT be! It's not ha-ha funny, it's the world's gone mad funny. It's Leaving Las Vegas but with starvation. It's as nuts as drinking household cleaners because you think you yourself are a germ.

This site sells pride and solidarity bracelets for anorexics. Isn't there a pit we can throw these parasites and their wares into? I'm so sorry anorexia exists and I feel only compassion for anorexics and their loved ones.


Today's BlameBush! had me simultaneously spit and double-take, an event as rare as a Jello Biafra bout of sanity. Here's what turned me into a fleshy lawn sprinkler:

"Students must no longer be judged by what they know, but by how they feel about it. In a world struggling under the iron boot of corporate America, math, science, and logic are far less important than sensitivity to social injustice, stewardship for the environment, and compassion for the countless victims of western civilization."

A car in front of me had this bumper sticker. "Intelligence Is More Important Than Knowledge". Oy. The driver looked like a church mouse. Einstein, a man with enough knowledge to make his imagination real (don't give any visa-versa crap) was just being cute. Brazil's happy ending had Sam Lowry locked in a world of imagination and no knowledge, but he also couldn't control his bowels or feed himself anymore.

Here's a quote I've always loved. It was supposedly from Benjamin Franklin and went something like "Intelligence isn't what you know, it's knowing where to look things up." I wasn't able to find that, but I did find what might be the real quote, from Jean Piaget, he of the child development "Clean Slate" theory: "Intelligence is not what you know, but what you do when you don't know. "

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


I, the man who beats the living corpse of Jim Skafish, now present: Punkfish!

Review: Alkaline Trio - Crimson

Chicago's Alkaline Trio seem to have stolen the visual imagery of Stiffs, Inc, best described as undertaker chic from the beginning of the last century. What started as a drinking and cursing band became a depression and hell-vision trio. As long as it sells the units, I always say.

Formed in 1997, Alkaline Trio were a punk-pop band for adults, if not then older kids. Where the stunted adolescents of Green Day and Blink-182 wrote to their maturity level and fan base of 15, bands like Samiam, 22 Jacks and Alkaline Trio put childish things aside and provided hard and fast chord changes over powerful drumming and big-kid subject matters.

Crimson is more heavily produced and orchestrated than their earlier work, which at first is bad because there's a simple directness to the old stuff, but at this stage it's a smart move to widen their sound and fan base. Electronically treating the singer's voice to give a hint of harmony is to me the biggest change. They can write catchy melodies in their sleep and for their genre they're probably way, way up there. I enjoyed this branch of punk pop for a while and then left it for its components of full blown emo (Sense Field, Promise Ring) and 3-chord Ramones mania (Lillingtons, Riverdales).

The opening track, "Time To Waste", betrays a whiff of Duran Duran's "Girls On Film". The closing track sounds like the Psychedelic Fur's "Sleep Comes Down". My favorite song on the cd is "Back To Hell". Will I ever put this on again? Probably not, but that doesn't mean I didn't like it.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

I.R.S. Records Homepage

Holy Craparoni! I found a site exhaustively dedicated to I.R.S Records while seeking a track list for the compilation album that helped transition me from new wave to punk, 1981's I.R.S. GREATEST HITS VOLS 2 & 3:

Cold, Cold Shoes (Streng/Zaremba) The Fleshtones 2:37
Ain't That A Shame (James) Brian James 3:30
Baby Sign Here With Me (Badowski) Henry Badowski 3:49
Action Time Vision (Perry/Ferguson) Alternative TV 2:31
Backtrack (Tilbrook/Difford) Squeeze 2:19
Disgracing The Family Name (Skafish) Skafish 3:29
Wait For The Blackout (Scabies/Sensible/Gray/Vanian/Karloff) The Damned 3:55
Thrills (Kent) Klark Kent 2:15
Straighten Out (Stranglers) The Stranglers 2:48
Urban Kids (October/Martin/Perry/Ferguson) Chelsea 2:55
Uranium Rock (Smith) The Cramps 2:24
I Live In The City (Storm) Humans 2:15
Fallout (Copeland) The Police 2:01
Can't Keep Away (Robinson/Burt/Blanchard) Tom Robinson/Sector 27 3:01
Memphis (Berry) John Cale 3:15
Mess Around (Ertegun) Jools Holland 2:23
Jukebox (Hyde) Payola$ 2:46
Rebellious Jukebox (Smith/Bramah) The Fall 2:54
Computer Datin' (Martin) Patrick D Martin 2:42
Only A Lad (Elfman) Oingo Boingo 3:31
You Say You Don't Love Me (Shelley) Buzzcocks 2:55
Office Girls (Kent) Klark Kent 2:10
Lips (Nariz) Wazmo Nariz 5:24
Sodium Pentathol Negative (Fashion) Fashion 1:52

I.R.S.'s artist roster puts Stiff to shame (nothing against Stiff), and they put out the movie Urgh! A Music War. This site is a gift.

Old Punk Memories 1 & 2

These are my first two punk memories. I forget which came first:

1) The first Ramones album came out in May, 1976. I was 15. My best friend brought out this album from his sister's room. I didn't like it at all, especially the lyrics of "Beat on the Brat" because it was about beating a child with a baseball bat. The whole album seemed sing-songy. I'm a Ramones nut now but I still don't like "Beat On The Brat", and when I see the album I vividly remember being an unworldly, gawky kid thinking "what the hell is this?!"

2) My school's gym bleachers were the accordian kind with no safety features, so if you took a wrong step you fell through and probably broke something groin related. I was sitting on it pondering the danger of the situation when this long haired guy sat down next to me and started talking to a friend of mine. He wore a button that read "Blondie Is A Group". This made no sense because Blondie is a comic strip character. He talked about CBGBs in Manhattan, and I thought he was the coolest because he took the train into the city to hang out in a bar. He might as well have been traveling to Dimension X to fight Venusians.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Steven Seagal Article From Spy

I finally found an on-line copy of the great Spy Magazine 1993 article on Steven Seagal, the Ward Churchill of his time. While Ward's a white guy pretending to be Native American, Steve's a Jewish guy pretending to be Italian. Both stole the life story of other men and presented them as their own. Both have big bellies and a nutty look in their eyes. Both have violent tempers. Seagal was backed by the mafia. Ward sold other people's art as his own and appeared with his half-moon chin in video hits like US Off The Planet. Seagal has actual martial arts training, whereas Ward posed with an AK-47 held out by his fat belly. I like some Steven Seagal movies. Ward's wasting valuable oxygen.

Chief Whitey Fake-em-good In Heap Trouble Now

Ward Churchill is a putz. How can you not laugh at Whitey in his camouflage, aviator glasses, beret, greasy hippie hair, AK-47 and huge gut. He's Stephen Seagal without any abilities. Everything about him is a lie but he points to bigger truths, so the Standard Of None applies and hooray for nuance! He proudly stated "One of the things I’ve suggested is that it may be that more 9/11s are necessary". In my father's day guy's like Ward weren't heard from again. Today they're martyrs.

Frontpagemag supplies the text of an investigative series on Ward by the Rocky Mountain News. It's a long article but at least scan for gems like "He accused the U.S. Army of deliberately spreading smallpox among the Mandan Indians of the Upper Missouri River Valley in 1837 — but there's no basis for the assertion in the sources he cited. In fact, in some instances the books he cited — and their authors — directly contradict his assertions."

If I hated the far left, which I do, I'd say keep on defending this scumbag. It just makes you look bad.

The Only Time I Will Ever Respond To An Insulting Comment

My sometimes friend/sometimes foe Anonymous left a comment in my post about Bob Mould's website. This will be the only time I respond to or let live an insulting comment. I will turn them into e-jacks-in-the-box and banish them to the cornfield. I don't look for compliments and, as the will of the people, will not allow criticism of the people's will. If you don't like it, don't read this blog. I don't do this for you, I don't do this for me. I just do it. I enable comments for yuks. This is not a dialogue, this is Old Punks fascism. Gabba Gabba Heil!

Here's Anon's comments and my answers to said comments. Like in sitcoms, nothing will be learned and nothing will change. I'm only doing this once kids, so pay attention:

ANON: Why be critical of a guys personal blog?
God (me): It's a commentary on it, not a criticism. I read his blog all the time. This is a punkish blog so I comment on punkish people, places and things.
ANON: So what if Bob Mould participates in many "Gay" activities and who are you to decide what he should take interest in?
God (me): Bob can be the gayest gay man if he wants to be. Who am I to decide? I'm not deciding anything. I made a comment on something I noticed.
ANON: Sure sexuality is something YOU can take for granted, but I'm sure it would mean a hell of alot to you if it was taken away.
God (me): I don't take my sexuality for granted, I live with it as it is. I have nothing against Bob being gay. It's a lot roomier outside the closet. I put being gay in the same category as being left-handed.
ANON: Also it seems that your blog has an unhealthy preoccupation with conservatism why do you see that as any less secondary than Moulds homosexuality?
God (me): I'm not conservative. I hate the far right as much as I do the far left. I find my personal neo-con beliefs to be non-hypocritical, activist, responsible liberalism. I'm like Wesley Snipes in Blade: I'm half belligerent prick/half secular moralist and my mission is to destroy pure-blood belligerent pricks. I assume I'd be healthy in your eyes if I didn't think Gnome Crapsky was the genocide excusing, dictator pandering political pedophile he is. If I called where I lived my Conservatown maybe you'd have a point.
Anon: ps- get a life :)
God (me): So if I had a life I wouldn't think like I do, eh?.... Ok Clem Kadiddlehopper

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Rage Against The Supermarket Checkout Line

I'm a kitten on freeways but become instantly enraged on a supermarket checkout line. Upon arrival I desperately pretend I'm alone on a tropical island gazing at pretty clouds. That's why I smile, but it's a crooked smile like I'm holding back a stinky because the rage builds immediately.

Why is the old lady paying 96 cents with 76 pieces of change, pulling out each coin and announcing the new total? Why is the checker asking the next person if he found everything ok? What if he says he wanted to buy a cut of beef? Do they call the butcher out from the back with a display of roasts? Did she just ask the next person if he got everything he needed? What if he says no? Do they then stare at each other existentially? Can they lock up the cigarettes any farther away? I just came from the gym where I hack-squatted 1,000 lbs. Do they think I need help carrying three sacks of groceries to my car?


Review: Team America

Team America hired Charles, Edward and Stephen Chiodo of Killer Klowns From Outer Space to work on puppets. The Chiodo brothers hired The Dickies to write Killer Klown's theme song. The Dickies's last studio album was All This And Puppet Stew. Yes, my point exactly.

Trey Parker and Matt Stone are idiot savants but idiots all the same. Happily they hired talented people and Paramount poured in all the money it took to create a technically staggering film. Working on 1:3 scale (22" string puppets w/computerized facial controls) with all effects in-camera, they've created stunning sets with attention to detail and color you've never seen before. The making-of features are better than the film itself (if you're a geek like me I guess).

The film itself is a mess with some good bits mixed in with the usual adolescent shock value. They take two steps forward, three steps back, one forward, another forward, then one back again. It equals another near miss. My personal take on cursing and obscenity is that regular films should go no higher than PG. Porn should be so obscene it would make a sailor puke.

Much has been written on the politics of Team America. I don't believe anything Parker and Stone say because they talk without thinking, but this is what I did notice: the fictional characters are action genre stereotypes and over the top. The real characters are all leftist and portrayed as superior, pompous, hypocritical assholes. Parker and Stone are assholes, but I like that they hate with a raw passion assholes who pretend they're not.

PS: I liked that the Spotswood character was based on Phil Hartman. He was the best.

Friday, June 03, 2005

She Ringtoned Me With SCIENCE!

Thomas Dolby pops up in articles because he writes and records cell phone ringtones for a living. I'm happy he makes good money creating musical haiku but I remember when he was a new wave wunderkind, writing "New Toy" for Lene Lovich and recording his one great album. Now he creates the annoying bleeps and bloops that precede dimwit A telling asswipe B all about the funny thing that just happened.

Thomas even teaches the SCIENCE! of ringtones:

~ So You Want to Create Ring Tones: Attend a Thomas Dolby Workshop ~

"Composing Polyphonic Ring Tones" workshops provide musicians and ring tone vendors with the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of composing polyphonic SP-MIDI ring tones for the latest Nokia phones, including the Nokia 3510, 7210, 3650, and 7650.

In the latest of these one-day workshops presented by Headspace, Thomas Dolby explains the SP-MIDI format and covers sound banks, polyphony, the MIP message, conversion tools, and techniques for using your favorite MIDI sequencer to make the best-sounding polyphonics. The workshops also address copyright law and business issues relating to ring tones.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Old Punk Memory 4

Today brought to you by The Uranus Corporation, who remind you that Good things come from Uranus!

Reader New Evolutionist casually mocked my punk personlyhood by tossing the so-called word "Mancunian" to describe things relating to Manchester (UK). I thought they were an alien race on Star Trek, but no, Google has 98,400 hits on a word that shouldn't exist -- but does! So people from Tampa are called, what, Tampons?

My unrelated point is that I have very fond memories of a time, roughly from 1978 to 1984, when I was of age, new wave and punk were my scene, it was cool to be into it, there were places to dance, bands to see and the future was so bright I had to squint a lot. That time is long gone and I hope all kids have their own golden years to look back on.

It started strong and I thought it might last forever, especially in 1979 when Elvis Costello, Graham Parker, the B52s, Iggy Pop, The Clash, XTC and others were all putting out great records. I slowly, painfully watched that scene die a death of a thousand cuts as disco faded and New Romance and disco-lite filled the void. Culture Club, Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet - these were not the things dreams are made of. I went to clubs until they stopped playing enough songs I liked to make it worthwhile. I listened to radio stations until they ran out of good music or dropped the format completely.

I didn't leave popular culture, popular culture left me. That's what all us geezers say. I can't swear the old days were better than today because I know nostalgia is a lie. It's a pretty lie, and I hope it stays with me until Alzheimers, major head trauma or death washes it all away.

Commies For Peace, I Mean War - Uh, No, I Mean The Struggle, Which Is A War That, Uh, Leads To Peace

Here's a long article on the far left's bastardization of the concept of peace, courtesy of David Horowitz's Frontpagemag.com. Horowitz is probably the most politically active "ex-smoker" of the American far left.

Radical Son is the story of his journey from Red Diaper Baby to the neo-con right. From there I read Sidney Hook's autobiography, written by a staunch Socialist who fought his whole life against the cancer of Communism (In Practice). In that book he details how in the 1950s, under orders from Joseph Stalin, Soviet front groups in the US changed their names to sound less threatening. As a made up example since the book was from the lie-berry, The People's Committee To Crush America became the Happy Time Balloon Animal Puppy Parade Folks.

I have no problem with people who disagree with me as long as they mean well and try not to be hypocritical. I do have a problem with those who fall in line with this famous tale of insanity:

Then came the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Non-Aggression Pact between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, which pushed the American communists firmly back on the anti-war track and squarely behind the America Firsters. Their renewed commitment to pacifism didn’t last long however. They flipped again on June 22, 1941—the day Hitler invaded the Soviet Union.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Review: Chameleons UK - Script Of The Bridge

The Chameleons UK are a band I know of but don't know enough about to say I know them. So, I picked up their 1983 debut LP Script Of The Bridge and started from there.

Even their fans seemingly can't describe them, or maybe they don't want to answer the question since they sound like many others that came before. They remind me of The Teardrop Explodes, Simple Minds, the Psychedelic Furs and Modern English. Others make completely different lists. Script of the Bridge is a very good record, a deceptively good record, it's only flaw a lack of variety in tempo. Every song except the last is the same mid-tempo, and the closer is even slower.

I'd be surprised if they didn't have a song on a John Hughes soundtrack. It has that 80s, Valley Girl, New Wave Two-Step, It's-Goth-If-I-Can-Stare-At-Myself-While-I-Dance feel.

I remember "I Don't Fall" and "Up The Down Escalator" being hits. "Here Today" utilizes a didgeridoo, which I only mention because I'm amazed I remembered that's what they're called. It also has a sweet Spanish guitar sound also found on "Pleasure and Pain". I'm stumped as to why they open "Monkeyland" with the same sound used by the English Beat in "Dream Home In NZ".

All the songs are great on their own. I just wish they mixed it up more. Each song got better each time I listened to the album but I lost the desire to listen to it all the way through. All because they have the same tempo. I never could dance the New Wave Two-Step anyhow.

Deep Throat Was Mark Felts AND Linda Lovelace

One of the great mysteries of my generation was resolved yesterday when 91 year old Mark Felts admitted he was the leading inside source of information that helped bring down Richard Nixon in the Watergate Scandal. Here's a neat article about it that has a nice angle.

Now all I need to know is who shot JFK, where Jimmy Hoffa is buried, are space aliens among us and why they stopped brewing Tuborg Gold beer.