Saturday, June 01, 2002

For a little poll that anyone who grew up when I did will understand:

¿Quién es más caliente Daisy Duke o Wonder Woman?

Es una pregunta muy importante.
Now that I've had a few more cups of java, I can rant/rave about it a little more. My hometown , the Gritty Park City , is one of the few American cities of any size that is blessedly Starbucks-free. This is probably good for all involved. I can picture the scene: "Um, gimme one o' dem lah-tay jobs...and a bag of Salt & Vinegar chips and a pack of Newports while you're at it.." not a good match. This dosen't mean we don't like the occasional cappucino or espresso; We'll just pop into one of the local Italian bakeries, like Luigi's over on Main Street and get a cup of some espresso that'll have you chasing cars after 2 cups.

But for the full Starbucks java cult experience, you have to make the trip to the tony 'burbs like Westport or Newtown, where some ad-executives daughter with an ankle tattoo of a daisy and clunky shoes from the "bohoware" collection at Macy's will pour you a thimbleful of overheated joe for seven bucks, although from her expression, it's painfully obvious that she'd rather be writing bad depressive poetry in her filigreed leather notebook. This is not to mention the fact that the whole Starbucks phenomenon has given an entire generation a very warped vision of what coffee is. When I worked at the bookstore we had a coffee bar and my buddies in the barrista corps had to deal with a dozen daily baby-faced 13-year-olds ordering a "skinny half-caf raspberry latte with extra froth." Jeepers creepers, kids, howzabout trying your first cuppa freeze dried Taster's Choice first, hah?

And then there's the local Dunkin' Donuts. Cheerfully resigned working stiffs taking on jeroboams of work fuel, wandering booze casualties trying to caffeine-bomb the fog out of their heads, and on the odd weekday evening, the local AA chapter earnstly sharing post-meeting secrets over a mindboggling quantity of coffee, donuts, and nicotine. All the fine products of course are dished out by a gimlet-eyed, cheap-jewelery-bedecked service industry lifer in a polyester visor who honestly dosen't care whether you live die or shoot laserbeams out your ass. All a very refreshing slice of reality pie. On the minus side, if I took out a hardback book and started reading, they'd probably look at me funny. On the plus, I could cuss, fart, or even vomit and nobody would notice, let alone care.

This Dunkin'/Starbucks dichotomy is a nice illustration of the cultural no-mans-land I find myself in sometimes. If I ever move to another town, it'll have to have good record and book stores, microbrews and poetry readings for my artsy-fartsy boho side and minor league sports, malt liquor, bikers, muscle cars and waterslides for the mook within. So far Portland, ME(when I visited), and Minneapolis and Austin( both by reputation) seem to fit the bill. If you know of any others tell me.

More(less verbose) blogging later.
When I lived in Miami, if you parked your car anywhere for any length of time when you returned, you'd find like 50 leaflets under your wipers. I always thought it would be a neat guerilla distribution move to figure out which cars parked their regularly anf place like a short story or an article under their wipers at the rate of a page a day. Insane? Perhaps, but it's got potential.

In other news, I stopped at the local Exxon station on the way to work yesterday to grab a cuppa joe. There were no less than 8 different airpots full of different varieties of coffee, with little descriptions on the label. One was a 'limited edition', and "This limited edition coffee, from the peaks of the Andes, is a warm and balanced blend featuring Colombian and Peruvian coffees with pleasing walnut tones and engaging fruit notes." went the label copy. Good Lord. I'm in a gas station, for pete's sake, how about a label that says "This will wake you the fuck up." I swear, we have sugar-,caffeine-, and fat-free products how about pretense free. I had a customer a few months ago who managed a Dunkin Donuts. I'm telling her, "I love your company, it kicks Starbucks' ass." And it's true the coffee's cheaper, they have the egg sandwiches, they open 'round the clock, you have yet to see a "Dunkin' Music" CD where they attempt to co-brand your favorite music, and they're not shoving scones and brioche at me. I'm an American, I don't want a scone, I wanta fuckin' glazed donut, dammit. You'll have to forgive me if I sound grumpy, as I'm leaving for work in 20 minutes, and well, I haven't had my coffee yet.

Last night I was sitting at the computer in my boxer shorts and cut my knee on the open CD-ROM tray. What an utterly fucking modern way to injure yourself.

Friday, May 31, 2002

We had one of those sky-darkening end-of-the-world type thunderstorms in CT today around 7:30. With the rising heat in the area, the steamy fog rose from the street like a just opened dishwasher, punctured only by the occasional streetlamp. The radio played ZZ Top's "Waitin' for the Bus/Jesus Just Left Chicago". The shivery guitar line combined with the atmospheric conditions to conjure the exact air of blissful fatalism to suit me right now.

But onto other matters. along with bar food and convienience store food, one of my favorite food groups is canival food; you know,Sno-Kones, Cotton Candy(I love that container, looks like a Cup o' Fiberglas) and most of all that delicious concoction known as the Funnel Cake.

Now these are apparently as common as dirt in every part of the country except for the ones I live in. Here in the Northeast, we have doughboys and zeppole which are terrific, but not the same thing. Originating as a Pennsylvania Dutch treat, Funnel Cakes are most popular in the Pennsylvania-Maryland-Delaware region, which is where I first encountered them, but they seem to have infiltrated even way out west. There's recipies for the Emeril's among you, Equipment Dealers for those who wanna go into business, and for culinarily-impaired gluttons like myself, this unbelievably nifty kit to make 'em at home. If you guys have some funnel cake links stories or places lemme know.

Addendum: while googling for this entry, I found these folks who look to be one of the odder night club acts around. They have an accordion and pink hair so they're at least interesting right. Take a listen...

On the way to work I saw that some guy was selling a pretty well-preserved mid-'70's vintage Chevy El Camino. The moment I looked at it, I began hearing this in my head:

El Camino!
The front is like a car
The back is like a truck
The front is where we kiss
The back is where we..
El Camino!..

Now, what I wanna know is, is that an actual song or just one of those stupid chants people make up? If it is a real record, who did it and what's it called? 'Cause I'll never get it out of my head until I hear a real version of it.
At the request of a few readers, here's a pic of the new haircut. Feel free to heckle away.

Some people had crappy childhoods, meaning they had big problems. I did not have big problems, I had a lot of little ones. Having a big problem is like dragging a big weight around everywhere, having a lot of small ones is like being followed around by a pack of ornery drunken schnauzers.

My MeFi pals know about my echophenomena. I was also hyeprkinetic to the point of being put on Ritalin(and this was back in the late '70s before they started, like sprinkling it on the school lunch just for good measure). I had speech therapy at school too, because I had what's called a "slushy S". I also remember being taken out of class, to go to this room where I was in a program called "Move, Grow and Learn" where they made me(literally) play hopscotch and bounce balls around(I was kinda uncoordinated).I also chewed my shirt collar and picked my nose.

The amazing thing is that despite being a jumpy shirt-chewer who tripped over himself while repeating everything twice in a slushy voice, up until about age 10 or so, I was a pretty popular kid. Sure, I was a complete spazz, but all boys under 11 or so are complete spazzes. Think about it, have you ever met a suave 8 year-old? Would you trust one if you did?

I'm sure my parents were worried that I was the product of Mom inhaling too much Bridgeport smog during her pregnancy or that I had stood to close to the television as a toddler. So, I was subjected to the usual battery of standardized tests. They all told my folks that I was in the top 5% of intelligence or something. This is a freakin' curse. If those test had told them that I was a dunderhead, they would have just put a helmet on me and let me bang into things for the rest of my life, and I would've loved it, dammit.Nope, instead I get a lifetime's worth of "Why don't you try harder?" and "You're not living up to your potential!" Trust me there are very few mantras in life quite so annoying.

That's why, I became very attached to this novel by Benjamin Anastas.(Insightful review here and author bio, audio samples from the book, and bonus short-in-progress here). I don't have much in common with Anastas's protagonist family-backround-wise but in terms of personality and motivations we're two peas in a freakin' pod. Since first finding this (appropraiately) slim tome four years ago, I've read through it countless times and (appropriately again) lost a couple copies. Anastas wrote a second novel, which was OK, but not a gem like this. If you want a peek into the mind of that fuck-up sibling of yours, here's where to look.

This concludes this bloggers obligatory explanation of strangeness and description of minor childhood troubles. We now return to your regularly scheduled misadventures...

Thursday, May 30, 2002

Been listening to Blonde On Blonde tonight. It astounds me that a peice of art this visionary and moving was put together by a bunch of misfit weirdos in their mid-20's, in short, a buncha people like me and my freinds(except of course we weren't geniuses). Maybe, it was precisely that weirdoness that allowed this acheivement to happen. Basically, Dyaln and his boys were seen and more importantly, saw themselves as too weird to be figured out or re-tooled in anyway so they just instead of learning "the rules" they made their own and just followed their own path.The lyrics are literally like nothing else before them, and the music which is what most people forget to notice about Dylan's records, is just otherworldly enough to make it a funhouse mirror of whats inside our hearts and minds.

This album, like a lot of Dylan's stuff does the amazing trick of growing more resonant the older I get. I know for sure that "One of Us Must Know", "I Want You" and "Most Likely You Go Your Way and I'll Go Mine" are making sense to me in entirely new ways and hitting me with an emotional wallop in places I didn't know existed.

Damn you, Bobby.
OK, I'm all clean and ready to blog now.

After getting out of work today, I scooted over to the local mall to get a haircut. Call me crazy, but it made me a mite uneasy to see that, two doors down from the hairdresser, there's a store that sells nothing but baseball caps. I can just picture the haircutters calling up after a failed 'do, "Get out your best hats, here comes another one." But suffice it to say, the haircut came out okay, although it's the shortest it's been in about 10 years; I still have the long-ass sideburns, though. I gotta give some signal that I was once a fierce individualist bohemian type, dammit.

While I'm on the subject, I passed a freakin' Limited store, with an advertising banner in the window showing some blonde model in expensively baggy clothes, and huge letters reading, "THE NEW BOHEMIA." [grumble] I'm no crusader, but at moment's like that, I'm glad there's folks like Naomi Klein around.

Anyways...after wandering for awhile, I hoofed over to Ruby Tuesday's for some nosh. I've always wondered if bars in big shopping malls were really a great idea. I keep picturing people getting all blitzed and heading over to the Nerf section of Toys R Us to start a brawl, or starting a huge spray fight at the Macy's fragrance counter, but much to my chagrin, I've never seen it. I ordered a plate of wings and something called a Ruby's Relaxer, which is basically a fuckload of rum, some schnapps and pink juice of some kind. Gruesome to look at, but nice going down I must say. The wings were tasty but hot, which necessitated ordering another relaxer.

After Ruby's I stopped at the Big Y on the way home to pick up some odds and ends. My freinds, if you've been drinking, even just a little bit, don't go into a grocery store. I seem to have purchased cream cheese wontons, steak-umms, and Milkfuls Caramels. I even bought a box of these just to get the bobbin head baseball player inside*.

But, now I am back in the warm bosom of my computer chair sipping a PBR, and in the mood to hear The Turtles for some reason. I think I shall,

Eleanor, Gee I think you're swell,
And you really do me well
You're my pride and joy, et cetera

*It was Sammy Sosa, if you must know.
First, some advice for waitresses everywhere; call me "honey" "darlin' " or "sweetie" and your tip automatically goes up 10%. I could be wrong, but I think the same is true of all heterosexual men, and probably even the gay ones too. Something about the combination of sweet talk and food brought on a plate turns us to putty. There are doctoral theses waiting to be written on this, lemme tell ya.

More blogging after I take a shower.
I had two customers this morning come in and ask to see an iMac. I presume these are the same people who walk ito a Chevy dealership and ask to see the Mustangs.Then there's the MENSA candidate who asked me why the picture on his webcam wasn't as good as what he saw on CNN. Well, that would be because CNN is a gazillion-dollar operation and well, you're just a schmuck with a laptop. And, of course, add to all this the roughly 60% of my clients(no exaggeration) who insist on referring to the CPU as either the "hard drive" or the "modem."

Good Greif!

I used to like my job, and occasionally I still do, but mornings like these, I can think of a lot of things I'd rather be doing.

Fingerpainting, for instance.

Or maybe....I remember an article in Beer Frame where Paul Lukas writes that he bought a shirt once, that came with a phone number to call for free replacement buttons. He called, they sent. The guy who sends out the buttons, his job sounds nice. really.
Over the last couple of years, much has been made of the "Latin Explosion" in popular music. If we were to judge by Jennifer Lopez and Enrique Iglesias, we could conclude that this means Latinos can now create pap as bland and inoffensive as anything anglos churn out.Even a fairly historically minded music fan might be forgiven the assumption that there's one Latin rock act per generation: Ritchie Valens in the 1950's, Santana in the '60's and '70's and Los Lobos in the '80s and beyond.

Unfortuantely, they'd be wrong, Latin music and musicians have been apart of rock and roll since the beginning and there are many gems waiting to be uncovered.Not to diminish the achivements of the three giants I mentioned above, but they are far from alone.

Along with Valens, the earliest latin Rocker was Chan Romero, a Mexican kid from Billings, Montana, who wrote and performed the original "Hippy Hippy Shake".

In the early to mid 1960's two parallel developments solidified the Latino influence on Rock. On the east coast, the rise of Motown and Stax-Volt soul caught the ear of Caribbean salsa musicians playing clubs on the east coast and a new sound was born-Latin Soul(some phenomenal audio samples here). Epitomized by Ray Baretto and Willie Bobo, a more contagious, dancable rhythmically propulsive music has yet to be invented, my freinds.

In the Chicano barrios of East Los Angeles, rockabilly and soul had long competed with traditional Mexican music for pre-eminence in local clubs and bar jukeboxes. The combustible combination made for an incredibly vibrant local scene. The Premiers and Cannibal & the Headhunters were only the tip of the iceberg. Thee Midniters for instance, created one of the greatest instrumentals in rock history with "Whittier Blvd." This book by David Reyes and Tom Waldman is an excellent document of the scene.

As rock changed with the decade, the Latino scene followed suit. Brazil's Os Mutantes one-upped Carlos Santana by playing samba-infused psychedelia bent enough to make Frank Zappa proud.As the seventies arrived even country music acquired some Latin flavor via Freddy Fender and Johnny Rodriguez. The punk scene in LA played in a lot of clubs bordering the barrios, so the Latin presence was inevitable as well, in the form of Suicidal Tendencies, the hip-hop scene had Cypress Hill and even Death Metal produced the mighty Sepultura from Brazil.

So the next time someone talks about the "Latin Explosion" tell 'em to go peddle their Ricky Martin elsewhere, amigos.

Wednesday, May 29, 2002

It's a hot and sweaty night here in Bridgeport. I've got a pile of old punk and metal CD's sitting next to me and I'm gonna play everyone of 'em from AC/DC to X. Then I'm gonna drag out my old Who albums, then my Nuggets box set, then finally This collection, all the while killing off all the beer in the fridge.

Why am I doing this you ask? Well, this music has always made me feel either like a man stapped to the front of a runaway train, or like a lion-hearted Godzilla stomping remorselessly through Tokyo. And right now, I really need to feel that way. I'll be a hungover, sweat soaked, bruised wreck in the morning, but that's cool with me, because right now I need me one good dose of thunder...

Laundromat Update: the salon next door is now called "Destinee's." I'm a fuckin' prophet. While there I learned that, along with hockey and baseball, my humble hometown now has MAJOR LEAGUE LACROSSE!! That's right, here come the Bridgeport Barrage, baby.
Adding to my excitement is the fact that one of the teams they play is the Long Island Lizards, which is the best sports team name since the Portland Sea Dogs or at least the St. Paul Saints, both of whom come from ineffably cool cities. Portland, ME I know from experience, St. Paul by reputation. I've determined that if I ever move to a new city, it will have to have a minor league team in some sport, just to give me a place to go hang out and a cool ballcap to wear.

More bloggage later.

A bit of history too good not to blog. Good old Billy Carter, the most embarrasing presidential relative ever, until Roger Clinton. Then again, it's kind of comforting to know that the most powerful men in the world's style is as cramped by their families as much as ours.
Today is gonna be all about laundry, folks. Our local laundromat is a true slice of urban life. Surly Hispanic attendants wearing gigantic cheap jewelry, who say "whatchoo want?" when I ask for change, Oprah and Jenny Jones hovering over everything on the wide screen TV. Small children running around in packs screaming. It shares the same strip mall with a liquor store and a hairdressing joint called "Stylistics." I love it when an establishment's name gives you a clue as to when it was built.If It was built today, I suppose they'd call it Destiny's Child or something.

Laundry is still weird, though. Like most men, I wait until absolutely neccessary and wind up carrying two huge baskets full of all my clothes. Even though I usually bring a book , I usually wind up watching my clothes go round and round in the giant spindryer. It's a little disconcerting, like watching peices of your life spin around. Not to mention, the last time I went to this laundromat, a buddy of mine from high school walked in with some huge guy in overalls. We went over old times for a while, then he revealed that the dude in overalls was his dealer. Dens of sin these laudromats are. Plus there's those bizarre single serving size detergent boxes that cost like $5 from a vending machine, that irk me for some reason.

You ask me, all the hassles associated with laundry are yet one more argument in favor of nudist living.

Tuesday, May 28, 2002

More odd occurrences from the bookstore trip. While there, I ran into an old female freind who still works there that me and Lisa used to share an apartment with. Not the famous gay ex-girlfreind, although the gay ex-girlfreind now shares the same apartment with the girl I talked to today.(Still with me?) Anyways...we were going over old times and she mentioned that she's now dating this guy I'll call Ray, who I went to high school with(making this all less likely is the fact that me and the females mentioned all grew up in separate towns).Now, "Ray's" best freind whom I'll call "Mike" was(unbeknowst to me until a few years ago and all independent of eachother) old drinking buddies with the oft-mentioned Rob the EMT and scene pals with the lesbian ex. "Mike" actually met Rob the EMT and Lisa at a bar once when I wasn't present and flirted with her until Rob the EMT set him straight and the connection was discovered. And now my "Ray" my high-school buddy and my ex-roomate are probably fooling around in my old room , that is if the lesbian ex-girlfreind is out. It's all very confusing.

After absorbing all that, I went to go read and opened up Nexus by mark Buchanan, which is a study of networks and connections both in the scientific and social world. Right in the introduction, he makes prominent mention of the "six degrees of separation" theory. [cue Twilight Zone theme] He's got one believer right here, I tell you what. Not only that, I must be on of the crucial links in the chain, like one of those meta-sites on the internet that eventually links to everyone. Spooky.
I'm listening to the Have a Nice Decade Box set from Rhino. To someone from an older generation it sounds nuts(considering what a weird decade it actually was), but I find AM radio music from the 1970's extremely comforting, it's like being in the backseat of my parents Buick again, and I bet I'm not alone. Trust me, this box at any party of people aged between 27 and 37 and I guarantee the ice will be broken.

Plus, it kicks off with the Edison Lighthouse singing "Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes" which is an all-time favorite of mine*. There goes my hip credibility, but I love it.

*the Replacements loved it too, I have a bootleg of them playing it live at CBGB's. So there.
Just got back from the bookstore(It's what I do instead of going to nightclubs). The only seat I could find was abutting the childrens section, but one takes what one can get. About 15 minutes after I sit sown, this little kiddie kabaret begins. This guy with an acoustic guitar and a headset mike sits down and attempts to entertain the toddler throng. He starts playing a number entitled "Mommy's Got A Brand New Car"; in an attempt at repartee he asks his audience what kind of car Mommy has. One toddler pipes up, "A Minivan!" Welcome to second milennium suburbia.

Soon enough the little show breaks up and I'm sitting there reading when this little girl of about 10 months, in little pink baby-sweats, pokes her head around the shelves, waves at me and disappears, then does it again. Picture the scene, a 31-year old man with unkempt hair, 3 days worth of facial growth, wearing jeans so filthy they could walk around by themselves and a black t-shirt from which the Ramones glower meancingly...and yet this little tykelet is waving and grinning a toothless grin at me. Naturally, I wave back. This happens to me all the time, mind you. When I lived in NYC, the hair was even longer, the clothes dirtier and I smelled of booze most of the time, yet still little old ladies would stop me on the street and ask directions to Carnegie Hall. As someone who has gone out of his way to appear menacing and dangerous, I find this quite distressing.

Waking up just a bit ago, I realized I've been wearing boxer shorts with a gigantic hole in the back for the last 24 hours. I suppose I should take 'em off but I don't wanna. I realize I probably look ridiculous, but I kinda like the breeze on my ass.

But that's neither here nor there.Much has been made lately of the "War on Irony" a la Jedidiah Purdy. Purdy's a really smart guy and he makes some very salient points in his book but his arguments have a few flaws as well. Homeschooled by hippie parents on a organic farm in West Virginia, then off to a priviliged boarding school on scholarship, he seem oblivious to how his background may have had a hand in making him less cynical than the rest of us. He also misnames his enemy I think. He calls his adversary "irony", which is erroneous, irony in the hands of a mster can be a tool to illustrate passionate belief not merely to dismiss and debunk. What Purdy rages against(and I'm with him to a degree) is flipness, vacuity, and what I like to call the "been there/done that, whatever" syndrome. This syndrome is remarkably prevalent among the youth of America, who most of the time have been nowhere/done nothing as they'll realize when the get older. I see it on the 'Filter in the form of posters who only pipe up to tell everyone(in voluminous terms) how unimpressed they are by absolutely everything. If you said taht this attitude was the primary theme(or at least facade) in contemporary culture, you'd be right to a point, but there is something of a counter movement going on.Check this paragraph from David Foster Wallace's essay E Unibus Pluram in the book A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again:

The next real literary "rebels" in this country might well emerge as as some weird bunch of anti-rebels, born oglers who dare somehow to back away from ironic watching....who eschew self-conciousness and hip fatigue. These anti-rebels would be outdated, of course, before they even started...Too sincere. Clearly repressed. backward, quaint, naive...maybe that'll be the point....Real rebels, as far as I can see, risk disapproval....risk the yawn, the rolled eyes, the cool smile, the nudged ribs, the parody of gifted ironists, the "oh how banal"

Strong stuff, but I don't think wallace is alone here. I was just rereading Mystic Funnies #1 by R. Crumb last night and was struck by the straightforward sentiments, many of them suprisingly warm and humanistic, that the comic posits. I'm almost beginning to come to the conclusion that a lot of the people we think of as "cynics" or "skeptics" are actually challenging us to break out of our cynicism and create a better sincerity if that makes any sense. Along with Mystic Funnies you could also use alot of Wallace's fiction and even The Battle of Who Could Care Less as examples, I think.

I could be wrong, but I don't think so.

On the lighter side, I've discovered that I really like Beer Nuts. I had my first bag of 'em yesterday and I'm hooked. According to the website they make Beer Nuts-style Pecans but I've yet to find them in a store. Yum.

Monday, May 27, 2002

When people talk about the places where rock and roll history was made, they will often mention Detroit in the 1960's and talk about the Motown sound. While the R&B contributions from Detroit are truly monumental, it is unknown to many that Detroit in the 1960's and 70's was also a hotbed of hard rock much of it laying the ground work for punk later in the 70's. The proximity to Motown was absolutely a factor in this music which, as hard and distorted as it was swung as well, the distinct R&B influence in this music is the secret ingredient missing from much of proto-, post-, and just plain punk. The combination of the Motor City's musical legacies would lead to the launch of the Mothership at decades end. But I digress...

I don't know whether it was the cold winters, the clang and smoke of all the auto plants or what, but the state shped like a welders mitt belched out a lotta sweaty, unpretentious, unapologetic ROCK in those days. Two of rocks greatest print chroniclers, Lester Bangs and Dave Marsh toiled nearby at Creem magazine and John Sinclair's White Panther Party roused rabble in the area assuring maximmum volatilty. the MC5, Ted Nugent and the Amboy Dukes, Alice Cooper,the Stooges, Bob Seger(ignore the earnest balladeer you see today, time was this guy rocked harder than anyone and I've got mp3s to prove it), the Rationals, Grand Funk Railroad and SRC all sprung from Michigan, just to name a few.

But towering above them all was a man known to his mom as Billy Levise, but to the rest of us as Mitch Ryder. Probably the best blue-eyed soul singer of all time, Ryder and his crack backup act the Detroit Wheels were the stuff of legends playing clubs in the Detroit ghetto and blowing the likes of the Miracles off the stage. They had a bushel of national hits in the mid-sixties like "Devil With A Blue Dress/Good Golly Miss Molly" "Jenny Take a Ride" and "Sock it to Me". Mitch and the Wheels could have splintered or fallen into oldies circuit obscurity as did so many bands during those changing times, but instead Ryder forged ahead. First he went to Memohis and recorded an excellent but unbelievably rare album called The Detroit-Memphis Experiment with Booker T. and the MG's. After that he spent some time hanging out with the MC5 and the White Panthers, then formed the amazing hard rock act called Detroit, which cut one phenomenal self titled album, that took me years to hunt down and is among my most prized platters. The cover of the Velvet Underground's "Rock and Roll" is particularly mind blowing. Lou Reed is known to have said that Detroit's version is "what he wanted the song to sound like in the first place." Ryder continued making good music throughout the decades and is still making it today. A terrific cover of Prince's "When You Were Mine" is worth seeking out, and Alive Records has just released some live recordings of Detroit at their zenith.

Rhino's Rev Up! compilation is a great introduction to this seminal artist. It also contains one track("Liberty") from the Detroit-Memphis Experiment and two("Rock and Roll" "Long Neck Goose") from the Detroit album.

sock IT to me, BAY-BEE...

My boss brought his new laptop to work today. Like an alarming number of people I see out in the world, he still has the clear plastic cover over the screen and dosen't wanna take it off. I imagine that all these people have clear plastic covers on their furniture as well. Oh well, I've seen the opposite syndrome, like this girl at a coffee shop yesterday who had her laptop covered with so many stickers that it looked like a tramps suitcase. Call me crazy, but I think what's in a computer speaks volumes more than what's on it.

A guy came in to the store with a Handspring Treo last night. Spiffy piece of engineering. The only thing missing is the expansion slot to make it perfect. I've sold some PDA's but I've never owned one. If I had the cash, this would be the one, and I don't even like talking on cell phones(though I do appreciate their utilty).

In other news, The Matrix is about to become a massively multiplayer online role playing game. If I've got this straight, what we have here is an internet simulation based on a film simulation about a computer simulation of everyday life. All very mind-bogglingly post-meta-whatever. All kidding aside, I loved the damn movie, so this may break down my remaining MMORPG resistance, forcing to spend even more time online. Shux.

Special treat for the Cleveland contingent among my readers, and I know you're out there. I was looking through some boxes of books from our move back from Florida last year(I'm a very slow unpacker) and I found an old copy of The Curse of Rocky Colavito by Terry Pluto. It's basically a chronicle of the travails of being an Indians fan. As a Mets fan, I can relate but not to the same degree. Many teams have had rocky histories and losing records, but none quite so...poetically as the Tribe. And as Pluto, much to his chagrin, illustrates, no other team has traded away as many good players over the years:Mudcat Grant, Gaylord Perry, Dennis Eckersley, the list goes on.Plus the Tribe will always have a place in my heart for the nuttiest Rookie of the Year ever, "Super Joe" Charboneau

Pluto has encyclopedaic knowledge of sports, an eye for cultural connections plus a terrific sense of humor and the absurd. He also wrote Loose Balls a great history of that ill-fated experiment, the ABA. This is probably old news to you Buckeyes, but Terry has a pretty decent web presence via his column at I may be nuts, but the page seems almost blogesque to me. Well whatever it is, it worth a look to anyone who likes sports and/or good writing.

Sunday, May 26, 2002

Just finished watching 48 HRS on Encore. Best fucking guy movie since The Wild Bunch. Murphy was never funnier, they had two of the best scuzzy bad guys in history, and Nick Nolte's character is the epitome of a bad motherfucker.Not to mention San Francisco has never looked sleazier and that Busboys song kicked ass. Since then cop movies have gone downhill with all the overstated stunts, this was the perfect balance. Only drawback is all the lighting up Nolte keeps doing has my nicotine jones working overtime. Maybe it's the Pabst talking but I feel like getting in a brawl followed by a car chase.

*grunts, scratches ass*

Given my bent for full figured women, my love of comix and punk rock, appreciation of all things retro and my tendency to fall for lesbians, I've come to the conclusion that Maggie from Love & Rockets is my ideal woman. Close second would be Hildy(the blonde with the braids) from Box Office Poison. If you add to all this my legendary resemblance, in both look and personality, to Buddy Bradley from Hate! and it all starts to seem like bizarre comix miscegenation. Heavens.

Also, I read "Teen Sniper" the first short story in the collection Emporium by Adam Johnson at the bookstore today. This guy is good. He wordsmithery is edgy enough to make his stories funny and innovative, yet he leavens it with enough honest sentiment that his stuff still has emotional potency. Recommended.
I was reading this entry over at Stavros'place and it got me thinking.

Even the most literate, erudite and presumably intelligent of thinkers...flinging of their own excrement, reveal their true simian nature.

Intelligence, in and of itself, is not the cure for the human condition. Sometimes all being smart means is that you can come up with better rationalizations for your own prejudices. Sorry to go all Oprah on your ass but it's not just the intellect, but the soul that saves us from simian-ity, my freinds.

Blogging certainly reflects the conflicts in the world at large, but along with the bickering, my forays into blogland have shown me a lot of simple camaraderie and kindness. Plus, like sports, music and sex...BSing about day-to-day shit is one of the great universals in life.
Will it save the world? Nah. But it is illuminating it just a little. And it will give some 25th century digital archaeologists a shitload of interesting artifacts.
I read this story at this morning. Now, I've got absolutely nothing against exotic pets, but how the hell does a hippopotamus escape notice for over a decade?
"I know he used the hippo manure on his garden," said Bill Ritcher. "It can smell pretty dang bad." Might've been a clue, that.