2010
01.26

Another Guns N’ Roses-related post. What the fuck is Axl thinking even writing and spending money in the studio to record such a vile piece of shit as this?

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2010
01.26

Mel Brooks’ Greatest Role Ever?

The Most Awesome Ending in Motion Picture History

2010
01.25

NFC Championship Football

I won a bet against my Uncle Bo! I picked my Saints to win the NFC Championship, and Uncle Bo picked the Vikings, because he is racist and thinks that there aren’t any black players on that team (FYI, there are).

What did I win? My Uncle Bo’s VHS copy of Playmate Video Calendar 1990. And, Uncle Bo has to masturbate to pictures of David Coverdale for 1 month.

coverdale

…and he can get started with this one!

Go Saints!

2010
01.25

uha_aaron_lewis_website_4x3_300x225

Aaron Lewis has no idea how goddamned, motherfucking stupid he and his cap look. He’s like every frat guy who “has an artistic inner core which is nothing like it’s brute, plebian exterior”. He probably has shitty taste in movies too!

2010
01.19

I have to start leading a life like this guy:

Because I have blood pressure as high as this guy:

I can’t party for a while, like this guy:

I feel like this guy:

Only not excited. Oh well. Maybe God is watching me from a distance.

2010
01.14

gnr

Not knocking Guns N’ Roses at all. They were a great, rare band who wrote a lot of great songs.

Remember the Use Your Illusion hoopla on MTV? It was like the second coming of Christ or something. The three classic videos from this era got heavy play and were “regarded” as masterpieces.

Really?

Watch these three videos from “Don’t Cry” all the way to “Estranged”. It tells a tragic, three-part epic that would’ve been a 25-minute Orson Welles-ish magnum opus…back in 1993. Seriously, watch all three videos. It predates Trapped in the Closet, although it will never be as insane or hilarious, although the Maudlinism of these (especially the last two) are pretty goddamn funny.

Start here, with “Don’t Cry”

Follow it up with “November Rain”

And end here with “Estranged”

But this so-called epic story goes like this…

Axl is a giant rock star who is powerful enough to perform on top of a skyscraper overlooking L.A. with expensive helicopters illuminating he and his band (symbolizing his power: he is on top of the world and all eyes are upon him). There are many things troubling him that not even a gorgeous woman like Stephanie Seymour can heal. He has isolation problems (fantasies of being a gunslinger trapped helpless in a blizzard) and he and his friends all have relationship problems. Axl is a vulnerable man who can’t swim very well. So vulnerable, that he seeks professional help. He is incomplete, as his soul disappears from him. In the first part, the soul is cool, calm, charismatic. He has an inner demon inside of him who is trapped like death. The inner demon is him, only green. When Axl conquers the demon, it suffers through a labor pain, only to be reanimated as a newborn. Axl’s dark soul is reborn with a fresh perspective!

Axl conquers his demon and decides to marry the one woman he loves dearly. He and his friends plan an elaborate wedding with many guests and well-wishers. The wedding is perfect, until it rains (symbolically, raining on Axl’s happiness). The beautiful wedding cake is destroyed unintentionally (also symbolizing that this union of two lovers shall not last) and then suddenly, the woman dies! How? When? No one knows. Yet she dies. Also notice Axl’s disintegration of persona. In the first video, he is an energetic rock star; now, he is a sensitive, poetic, broken performer at a piano, telling a tragedy about broken romance.

Axl falls deeper into the darkness. It is to the point where an entire SWAT team is summoned at his mansion, locating the missing man. We then see him performing with his band, and his soul awakens from him backstage, thus entering the shower (symbolizing false baptism, as the soul is fully clothed); he tries to cleanse himself of his sorrow, but to no real avail. He is alone, no woman at his side, isolated from the entire world that has caused him hurt and confusion. He is then forced upon enlightenment, as a group of orderlies escort him to his new isolated surroundings. Children play and people smile, a heaven-like serenity (all white clothing, more biblical references). Axl questions his own existence as he strolls through his familiar past along Sunset Strip, with dolphins (metaphors for angels: innocent, guiding, loving) following him everywhere. Suddenly he is aboard a giant tanker ship (his cold, steel, ugly life) and then takes a leap into the ocean, ridding himself of the pain. As he is submerged, the dolphins come to his rescue, giving him hope and a second chance. Axl is rescued, and he loses his shoe (symbolic of the fame and heights that have led him over the edge); the shoe sinks to the bottom (it dies) and Axl lives on…reborn?

I haven’t written anything like this since college.

2010
01.13

Jay+Reatard+jay_reatard_02

It’s always sad when someone of your own generation whom you admire at least to some degree just suddenly passes away. It’s a cliche just to say to yourself, “This could happen at any moment…” It happened early this morning in Memphis.

Jay Reatard died last night in his sleep. He didn’t seem like a drug user or a raging alcoholic to me. Just an artist who was passionate enough about his craft and what he could accomplish and how far it could take him. Passionate enough to rub some (or a lot) the wrong way, but nonetheless passionate.

His craft – Pure Rock N’ Roll Without Regret or Apology – could have taken him further had he survived at least another five or ten more years. Not to say that it didn’t take him far already, but he was skilled and gifted enough to go further than present.

I never really got into his first project, The Reatards. It seemed like your typical garage “Play fast and rock out” noise (Besides, I’ve heard enough Makers and Richmond Sluts to even bother). It was his first album, Blood Visions, that got me to take notice. The 2000’s were a strange decade of music, indie rock in particular. In essence, a mixed bag. It started out shitty, boy bands and nu-metal/rap rock dominating everything. Then in 2001, the likes of the Strokes and the White Stripes brought rock back in focus in a generalized view. Then shortly after through today, it just teetered off and spread out all over the place. Too many cooks stirring the pot. No clear identity at all.

I myself am a fervent believer of passionate rock n’ roll, whether it’s Nuggets stuff or the MC5/Stooges, the Cleveland scene (Rocket From the Tombs, Electric Eels, Peter Laughner, bands that would go on to become the Dead Boys and Pere Ubu), the CBGB’s scene (do I really need to give examples? If you don’t know, fucking shame on you), the Minneapolis scene (Huskers and ‘Placements) even Guns N’ Roses fit in this category, and to some extent, Nirvana.

Blood Visions , upon first listen, had that energy, that energy which was undeniable. One song after another made me more and more excited, particularly “Blood Visions” through “My Shadow”. I liked it a lot. I then checked out Matador’s Singles 06-07, and it made me realize his gift that the Ramones always preached and practiced: write a simple pop structure, but make it captivating. You can’t tell me that “Another Person” or “Hammer I Miss You” doesn’t follow that mold and not exploit it, but let it carry onward. Singles ’08 then came out and it was a great collection of his calendar 7″s: “See-Saw”, “Painted Shut”, “Fluroscent Grey”. What is really sad is his final album, Watch Me Fall. It’s not exactly a masterpiece, but it proved his range. He could write a Ramones-ish tune (“It Ain’t Gonna Save Me”) and soonafter could catch you off-guard with a surprisingly lovely ballad (“Wounded”). I would have loved to have seen this guy’s catalog twenty years from now had he survived. I could yammer on and on, but I don’t mind. I really enjoyed the man’s music.

I am fortunate enough to have caught he and his band live, only once. Last summer, 2008. They were scheduled to perform at the Pitchfork Festival in Chicago’s Washington Park (Lake/Ashland). I never attend these festivals because I hate crowds, especially asshole hipster crowds, and asshole hipsters in general. But his band did a special engagement at the nearby, refurbished Bottom Lounge, a huge difference now in the yuppie-ish West Loop than when it was a hole-in-the-wall urinal with a stage around Clark and Belmont. I immediately bought tickets and got to see he and his band just exude everything to everyone. Opening with “Blood Visions” and continuing forward with song-after-song at a breakneck pace, I scream-sang all the songs and had the biggest smile ever. Afterwards, I chatted with the bass player and asked him if he listened to Fang. He didn’t. I told him to check them out, the most violent band I’ve ever heard. He said he would. Such a shame that they all couldn’t get along at the very end.

It’s eerie because last night I started reading Stairway to Heaven: The Uncensored Biography of Led Zeppelin, and it opens with the death of John Bonham. It was unexpected yet the band at the time was in utter drug and creative turmoil. Yeah, it’s cliche, but life is precious, and death is random. So weird that this happened today.

In a decade so frenetic with styles and genres of popular music, it’s always great to have someone who just flat-out wants to rock it, flatten an audience, and do it on record. I’ve heard it here and there from Lars Finberg’s genius bands to the crazy hey-day of Guitar Wolf to more recently Mayyors. But Jay Reatard was always a name in this era who you could trust to do it. The world lost a great songwriter and performer today.

2010
01.12

NBC’s Face of a Good Ol’ Time, Jay Leno, may or may not return to his longtime 11:35 PM Eastern slot.

If not, may I suggest what some future plans may be best fitting for Leno the Big-Chinned Jackass:

1. Beat him severely with a boat paddle
2. Allow him to return to the Tonight Show if only he agrees to be injected with the AIDS Virus
3. Make him toss Kevin Eubanks’s salad while the Dancing Itos fuck each other (only on Pay-Per-View)
4. Ask him nicely to sell off at least three garages-worth of his antique cars to make ends meet
5. I hear the Duluth-area public access network KTGE needs a new Community Spotlight reporter…
6. Throw him in a live volcano. If he survives, fuck it, beat him severely with a boat paddle
7. Take his Jay-walking and Headlines to a town where they worship him…Branson, Missouri – The Aspen of Boring Christians

08_feb_leno_01
He owns twelve more of these motorcycles. One of these is worth more than a family of four living in an abandoned treehouse.

8. He can found and be the inaugural inductee of the Mediocrity Hall of Fame
9. Go on tour doing Collision Course: The Musical! with B.D. Wong reprising the Pat Morita role
10. He should open his own chain of fried chicken establishments. “Jay Leno’s Fried Chicken Limbs”
11. He can be the new host of NBC’s Blackjack After Hours
12. Go to Sturges and do a series of Spoken Word Biker Humor
13. He could get acting work as a Women’s College Basketball Coach stand-in
14. Molest a young boy, write tell-all memoir. Include the line, “Your honor, I thought his penis was a ’53 Plymouth motor piston…”
15. My Uncle Bo needs someone to pick up his Thursday night shift at the Shell Station. Jay, you’re good with cars, could you cover his shift? Free coffee and danishes too.

2010
01.11

I’m really great at breaking promises!

Three, four years ago, I had such gusto and energy, I was making viral videos and coming up with funny stuff.

Now, I absolutely have no idea what I’m doing.

These attractive young girls can make a viral video.

I used to could. But I don’t know why I can’t now.

I can’t even think of any funny, clever excuse to compensate.

Next week I start writing outlines for a TV Pilot and a couple of screenplays, one of which I hope to begin filming in April.

Maybe soon I’ll have something funny to say. Energy is at an all-time low. I should probably start smoking pot again. I dunno.

2010
01.06