Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Most Miserable Time of The Year

Well November has finally come to a close. Thanksgiving's passed, and you're back to work/school after your long weekend of eating, drinking, watching football and brawling with people over the right to buy a flatscreen plasma TV at half price. Every store has switched over from turkey and pilgrim decorations to cardboard Santas, multicolored lighting and Candy Canes. Tonight is the network premiere of the claymation classic: "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer." What does all this mean? It means folks, that it is officially "The Holiday Season." Time for you to start preparing for Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa or whatever Tom Cruise celebrates. As many people call it: "The Most Wonderful Time of The Year." Well I'm not entirely sure who came up with that saying because the holiday season absolutely sucks balls. I hate this time of year. As angry as I am the during the other 11 months, there is no part of the year that makes me more enraged than the holidays. For this reason I now present to you the top five reasons I hate "The Most Wonderful Time of The Year." Bah fucking Humbug.

This is the only time of the year that has an entire genre of music devoted to it. As soon as Turkey day is over, it's time to throw on the yuletide carol mixtape. Look I don't mind Christmas Carols in small doses. However, do we really have to listen to christmas carols 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for a whole goddamn month? EVERYWHERE we go? Turn on your car radio and you will hear Christmas songs. Go to the grocery store or CVS and you will hear Christmas music. Go to the mall and you will hear Christmas music. The mall is really the worst because every retail chain and department store has their own annoying Christmas Jingle. I know because I worked in retail growing up. Every day I spent working inched me closer to utter insanity due to hearing our annoying holiday greeting/jingle on loop.

"For the best gifts for your loved ones this holiday season, come to Macys!"
"Maaaaacys....The best place for Holiday cheeeeer!!!"

"For the top holiday price cuts no place takes it to the Max like TJ MaxX :)!
"Christmas time at TJ Maxx! The Beeeest time of the Yeeeeear!!"

Goddamnit. Can't you just play generic store music that doesn't make me want to stab the closest person in an elf costume? At home you can't avoid this shit either, because there a billion Christmas music specials that come on every night, that you will be forced to watch with your family. A Country Christmas. American Idol Christmas. A Soulful Christmas. Apparently it is completely necessary for us to hear Reba McIntire sing "Jingle Bells" with a twang, Clay Aiken gay up "Let it Snow" and Beyonce' sing her 12 minute R&B rendition of "Little Drummer Boy" (Paaaah raaaap paaa paaa paaooohhhhhhaaaaam!!). Worse than shitty covers of classic Christmas carols are "modern Christmas songs." Every pop star releases a shitty Xmas single that they sing at these stupid music specials. I can't wait to watch Justin Bieber perform his new hit "Yo girl I Just been Waiting For You to Dance Wit Me Under The Mistletoe."

2. Decorating
It's totally reasonable to decorate your home for a holiday. Put out some Pilgrims/Indians themed table mats for Thanksgiving. Hang up some pumpkins and goblins for Halloween. Set up the Christmas tree and hang up ornaments. Whatever. The Holiday season however is when you have to go completely over the top. This is because every neighborhood has an unspoken rule that requires every house to engage in a cock measuring contest over who can have the coolest, most elaborately decorated house. You can't be the one loser household with one glowing Santa on your porch and a wreath on your door. That asshole Ned Flanders next door has stapled lights across his entire roof that blink in rhythm on a timer. He has bright lit up candy canes all down his driveway. He has the whole fucking nativity scene out in his front yard. This dickhead will then come over to you when you're checking your mail and start chatting about how much work he's put into his winter wonderland masterpiece. At this point your mom/dad can't respond "That's nice. My son is home visiting and has been sitting on his ass drinking beer and playing video games." So when you come home to visit you have a duty to go out in the frigid cold and set up Santa's sleigh and all 12 of his reindeer on the lawn. You have to risk ending up in a wheel chair to climb your 20 year old ladder and put lights up on the roof. All so that family across the street with the kids who are attending top ranked law schools, or making six figures can't get the best of you. Total bullshit.

3. Shopping
This week I saw a bunch of people put up status updates about how they were all done with their Christmas shopping. "Four weeks till Xmas and I'm already done with shopping for everyone on my list!! Yaaaay! :)" You people are fucking liars. Nobody finishes their Christmas shopping over a week in advance. Otherwise how do you explain what a shitshow the mall is when I go to do my half-assed Christmas shopping? Generally I find that it is better to order Christmas presents online these days so you don't have to deal with the annoying suburbia mob at the mall. Still there are always a couple things that you can't get online. Specialized items that require you to go out in public to the one store in town where you can purchase this gift. Of course even if you are in the store to pick up a few small items, there is now way you can make this a quick five minute trip. First of all, you can't get to the item you need without fighting past the retarded window shoppers standing in your way. You know the people who are "just looking" and still "debating" what to buy. Can you go window shop from a distance? Window shopping should be banned after December 20. If you don't know what to buy at this point, it's probably gonna be a shitty gift anyways. Just give your loved ones an Itunes gift card and get out of my way. Then you have to stand in line for an eternity with all these mental midgets and their 785 last minute purchases. Why don't they have express checkout lines in malls like at the grocery store? So I can get in and out without having to wait behind the stupid bitch who takes an hour to finalize her purchase between sorting through her purse for her checkbook (It's 2010, get a fucking Mastercard they approve everybody), and telling her bratty kids to shut the fuck up.

4. Presents
When you're a kid growing up, Christmas is definitely your favorite time of the year. This is because Christmas presents when you're a kid are totally Rad. There was always some specific badass gift at the top of your Christmas list. You kinda knew you'd get this item, but your parents always acted like it was unlikely they'd be able to find this gift you requested. They'd prob hide it until Christmas morning and then you'd open up your gift and go apeshit and act suprised when you unwrapped that special gift. "OH MOOOOM!! THIS IS JUST WHAT I WANTED THAAAAANKS!!" I swear my happiness as a human peaked at 10 when I got my G.I. Joe Battle Fort for Christmas AND "Shredder" Ninja Turtle action figure.

(BTW, The previous paragraph kinda assumes you weren't poor and your parents weren't assholes. So sorry if I offended those of you that got Hungry Man TV dinners for Xmas).

It was also easy as shit to buy presents. Your siblings/cousins got one of the designated items on their list from you. And your parents got some cheesedick sentimental gift from the "Family Memories" store in the mall. I think I got my mom a picture frame with a customized message featuring a variation of "Merry Christmas Mom you're the best mom in the world" like six consecutive Christmases. Now however, it's impossible to shop for adults, If you have a significant other you have to buy them something special and meaningful like a cruise or vacation (Unless you've been married long enough to buy them a crock pot). Or at the very least some pimp jewelry. What about mom and dad? I don't know shit about tools, so I don't know what to buy my dad from Home Depot. If Rod Stewart didn't release a new CD of Motown covers mom is getting nothing this year. As for m gifts, yeah I'm definitely not gonna get anything cool. Prob some gift cards, and some sweaters from American Eagle I'll never wear. Boring.

5. Family
Look most people love their families. Or at least like them a moderate amount. Nobody however, likes their family enough to tolerate them through an entire holiday season. If nothing else, there there are at least certain kin that you can't stand. Your annoying cousins that won't stop screaming and break everything in the house. Your dorky aunt that always wants to chat. Your grandma who wants to know when you're getting married, having kids etc. Your boozehound uncle who just wants an excuse to go "get something from the store" so he can sneak off to the local pub for a couple afternoon cocktails. (Wait actually that last guy is fucking Rad.) Regardless, at some point you will come to blows with a family member over something. You will tell your aunt she is fucking boring. You will call your dad an asshole. You will scream at your uncle for making you listen to Christmas music in the car when you want to blast some Biggie. Shit will go down. A week or longer with your family and there is no stopping the inevitable throwdown. This sucks. That being said, all I can leave you with this holiday season is this advice. Just try and survive because this bullshit only happens once a year. Try not to completely lose your mind at the mall and assault a store clerk. Don't tell your mom you wish you were adopted. And go out with your pops in the cold and put up those damn Christmas lights. In the meantime, I'm gonna have to find someplace to fit this damn tree.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TYlOTajXGg&feature=related

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday Evening Rad Flick

Generally, when you're talking about Rad flicks, you don't expect the term "romance" to come up very often. Unless you're a John Mayer fan whose idea of a Rad Sunday evening is curling up with "The Notebook." You certainly wouldn't expect the term "romance" to be included in the title of a Rad flick, which is why naming this week's Rad Sunday flick may be met with a curious look if you recommend it to somebody. You would have to emphasize that this particular "romance" involves hookers on the run from mobsters, stolen briefcases of cocaine, shootout with drug dealers, and corkscrew stabbings. Oh and a cast involving pretty much every Rad actor..ever. This week's Sunday Evening Rad Flick: TRUE ROMANCE.

True Romance fucking rules. Lets start by noting that True Romance was the first major motion picture screenplay written by Quentin Tarentino (though he didn't direct). So right off the bat you can assume this movie is going to be some over the top, crazy Rad entertainment filled with great dialogue, a rollercoaster plot, and gratuitous violence. True Romance stars Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette's tits as our two main characters. They play our lovers on the run in the film, Clarence and Alabama. Clarence is a down on his luck loser and Alabama is his hooker with a heart of gold. Without giving away too much about the plot, they meet, get married on a whim, and then accidentally choose to fuck with the possessions of the wrong people. Then the fun begins and we're off, watching Clarence and Alabama on the run, eluding bad guys and trying to get rich quick without getting killed. You'll be glued to the screen hoping these two crazy Rad kids make it.

The funny thing about True Romance is that the two aformentioned lead characters are played by the least prominent members of the film's cast. The cast of True Romance is absolutely loaded with badass actors playing small secondary roles. Each of whom makes the most of their brief time onscreen. You've got Gary Oldman playing a sleazy rastafarian. You've got James Gandolfini in his pre-Soprano days playing a mob henchman. You've got Brad Pitt cast as a lovable stoner. Val Kilmer is cast as...Elvis? Even Balki from "Perfect Strangers" (Bronson Pinchot) shows up as key member of the cast. Of course no Tarentino flick would be complete without Samuel L. Jackson making an appearance. He's literally in the movie for about two minutes, but as usual it's one of the most memorable dialogue sequences of the entire movie.

Of course, as I mentioned before no Rad flick is complete without "The Scene." That one part of the movie you could watch a million times on repeat if you were stranded on an island. In True Romance this scene is the one featuring two lifetime achievement Rad dudes in Christopher Walken and the recently deceased Dennis Hopper. Both these guys have made careers out of memorable bit parts in movies, (think Walken in "Pulp Fiction" and Hopper in "Apocalypse Now") and this moment ranks right up there with their finest work. Christopher Walken is mobster Vincent Carcotti or as he describes himself "The anti-Christ in a vendetta kinda mood." Dennis Hopper plays Clarence's dad Clifford, a nice guy small town cop. Carcotti and his mafia hoods are interrogating Clifford regarding the wherabouts of his "fuckhead son" and his new bride on the run. Somehow this leads to a discussion about...Sicilians. The ensuing interaction is an absolute overload of Rad and one of my favorite movie scenes ever (DISCLAIMER: contains offensive NSFW language. Duh. So use your headphones).

Take an evening to check out this totally Rad flick and you won't be disappointed. Try as I did in the previous paragraphs to describe the sheer awesomeness of this movie, I can't really put into words just how Rad this flick is. Honestly, I really could have picked any of a dozen choices for "The Scene" in this movie, though I feel like this selection gives the least away. So give True Romance a shot. In the meantime, I'm gonna go have that Chesterfield now...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday Afternoon Rad Jam

Generally my Friday Afternoon Rad Jam selections are throwback jams from back in the day. Songs from an era where Rock and Roll was actually Rad as opposed to totally lame. There are however, still occasionally bands that emerge in modern times that actually rock your balls off. Bands that are not content with the current stagnant state of the music world, where our airwaves are overrun with dipshits bands that label themselves "rock." Unfortunately, if a band is actually awesome they aren't generally going to be found on your major city's rock station. You won't find them selling out a nationwide arena rock tour. Instead they are relegated to playing bars and clubs, paying their dues until the day tarrives when rock music once again decides to return to its roots of being Rad. You see unlike the good ol' days, now if your band kicks ass they are probably simply too Rad for the mainstream to handle. Well this week I am going to give some exposure to a definitively Rad band that needs to make it to the big time. This week's Friday Afternoon Rad Jam: COLOSSUS: KILL MORE BETTER.

Colossus is ridiculously Rad. First of all note their name. "COLOSSUS" One signature epic word. What a concept. Clearly this band was too focused on melting your face with their overload of shreddage to come up with some clever hipster name for their band like The Rainbow Eel Suitcases or some similar bullshit. No just keep it simple, just like their awesomely badass music. You know how if you look up the info on a modern band their is some elaborate description of their sound that is just a roundabout way of saying they suck balls? "We're an electro-drums alternative trio that combines hip-hop, jazz and acoustic funk into a fusion sound." Oh cool so you suck, good talk. Colossus on the other describes their band thusly:

"The Six mini-Colossoi are slaves to the power of the lord Poseidon, and must do his bidding. He commands us to rock unsuspecting youth in your bars and houses, drinking your beer and crushig your skulls with thundering beats, baroque polyphony, galloping basses, and soaring vocals. -- All of which testify to the awesome power of mighty Poseidon."

In other words: Totally Fucking Rad. A couple buddies and I discovered Colossus when we were down in North Carolina over the summer. The previous evening we had gotten a little too Rad at my friend's family beachhouse and nearly burned it to the ground, so we decided it was safer to go out in public and check out the beach town's bar scene. We logically decided that a bar named "The Whiskey" was the best option for cheap booze and general avoidance of frat douchebags. Upon walking into The Whiskey our eardrums were immediately shattered by the epic metal of the mighty Colossus. Who were these guys?? They had three LEAD guitarists shredding onstage. Power drums and thundering basslines. A singer that wails. Where did they get off being so fucking Rad? We were hooked on their sound instantly and have been super fans ever since. Whenever Colossus is in the area for a show we check them out and are never disappointed. Colossus is so cool, that even when you see them play after a number of months they recognize their Rad fans. "Oh yeah you're AC/DC guy and Van Halen shirt dude." (Rad dudes instantly recognize and acknowledge other Rad dudes at all times.)

Colossus' debut album "Colossus...And The Rift of The Pan-Dimensional Undergods" totally rocked. I would recommend checking out "Willow" and "Limit Break" as personal favorites on their first CD. This year they released their second EP "Drunk on Blood" which was even more Rad and even got them a well-deserved spot on Itunes. For this week's Rad Jam I have selected their smash hit Rad Jam: Kill More Better. I obviously have a personal appreciation for this track's subject matter since it is all about signing up for an army that combats ghouls during the zombie apocalypse. I often bitch about modern rock bands that have totally lame lyrical content that doesn't focus on Booze, Drugs, and hot chicks. Well you can avoid these subjects in your music if you're singing about totally epic topics like mythical creatures, medieval warfare, and the slaughtering of zombies. Aka stuff that is totally Rad. I assume Colossus is somewhere devouring giant turkey drumsticks with their bare hands, crushing beers, and planning the recording of their next Rad masterpiece as we speak. So do them a favor and spend the rest of your Thanksgiving weekend blasting this jam as loud as possible. Poseidon wouldn't want it any other way.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bands That Suck Balls: MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE

I was having some difficulty coming to a decision on who would be this week's entry for Bands That Suck Balls. Then inspiration struck me when I went to Super Cuts to get my head buzzed. In waiting in line for my haircut I perused the reading options in the magazine pile and came across the December issue of "Spin Magazine" pictured left. Spin Magazine is basically Rolling Stone for hipsters. Or at least hipsters that are not quite hip enough to read "Pitchfork" or "Paste." Long story short their magazine blows, and any band they would pick to grace their cover is undoubtedtly awful. Therefore, It's only logical that this week's Band That Sucks Balls be: MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE.

God, My Chemical Romance are such a collection of dipshits. First of all they follow the standard modern band trend of naming their band some stupid random combination of words that emphasizes "Irony." How exactly does a group of assclowns decide to name their band "My Chemical Romance"..? I thought to myself "hmm, well maybe they're referencing a Chemical Romance: i.e. a relationship built on lots of crazy substance abuse." Nope. Obviously a craptastic band like this wouldn't hint at any cool behavior in their name. No, clearly MCR came up with their name via noticing the interesting title of a book while one of their members was working in a library (Totally Un-Rad activity). If you think their band's name is lame, wait till you see the titles of their albums. They just released a new CD this week entitled "Danger Days: The True Lives of The Fabulous Killjoys." WHAT? I'm pretty sure there has never been a badass rock album with the word "Fabulous" in its title. Their debut album was entitled "I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me our Love." Jesus Christ. Remember when awesome bands just named their first four albums "I" through "IV"..? That was cool.

Clearly a band that spends so much time coming up with clever ironic names for their records, must have no time to actually record cool music. My Chemical Romance is proof of this because their music is fucking horrible. Lets name off some genres/themes that absolutely suck monkey balls.

"Alternative": Noise
"Power Punk": Sucks Balls
"Emo": Pussy bullshit
"Goth": code for "I am a fucking loser whose entire wardrobe is from Hot Topic"

Well if you combine all these elements in one giant crockpot of shit and stir, you get My Chemical Romance. If you were to label these dickheads, you would say that they are an Alternative Power Punk Emo Goth band . Which is a longwinded way of saying My Chemical Romance plays "rock" that makes me want to punt puppies off a skyscraper. Generally Emo/Goth kids play pussy music with a more quiet sound. They are too busy keeping their combover out of their eye, and being sad that they didn't get a new Honda Accord for their birthday to turn up their amps. My Chemical Romance however, fancy themselves as a punk band so they play loud, thrashing pansy music as opposed to brooding acoustic pansy music. Music for their depressed fanbase to mosh to. A fanbase that all look like the offspring of a hipster mating with Edward Scissorhands.

My Chemical Romance is also another one of those bands that likes to make "concept" albums and "Rock Operas." Generally these albums are long drawn out pieces of shit. See "The Wall" and anything made by Green Day this millenium. Hell, I'm a pretty huge fan of The Who and I'm not crazy about "Quadrophenia" and "Tommy" in their entirety. Still, there is possibly nothing worse in the world than the "concept" of an Emo-Goth-Punk rock opera. Do you want to know what MCR's last hit album "The Black Parade" was about...? A FUCKING KID DYING OF CANCER. Are you kidding me?? Who the hell wants to listen to that? I mean nothing is more in the spirit of Rock and Roll than an album about a leukemia patient. Christ. Can you just shoot me in the face and save me the trouble of hanging myself to this CD? Whatever happened to the "concept" of a rock album being just a documentary of your last Rad world tour? Somebody pull the cord on these assholes before they decide to record an entire rock opera about a family perishing in a car wreck.

Well there are a lot of whiney, brooding pussies amongst today's youth so My Chemical Romance's target audience should remain intact for a while. They also have the benefit of critical acclaim from douchbag media outlets like Spin Magazine who love bands that don't follow the standard badass rock and roll format. So we are probably in store for more shitty concept albums with 10 word titles. Albums that gobble nuts like you gobble up stuffing on Thanksgiving. Well don't expect me to support this bullshit. My Chemical Romance and their army of goth punks can all go jump off a bridge. That's a concept I could really get behind.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday Evening Rad Flick

I've made it very clear on this blog just how disgusted I am with the current state of music (or rather what passes for "music" these days. Rock and Roll however, is not the only entertainment industry that I have utter disdain for. I also have serious beefs with Hollywood and the film excrement they try to pass of as cinematic excellence. I used to be addicted to going to the movies and hitting up Blockbuster for the latest rental releases. Now I'm lucky if there is one movie a year that I am truly impressed with. A truly classic flick that above all is highly rewatchable. Any movie can be enjoyable once, but a Rad flick can be watched over and over again, and never gets old. Timeless flicks are a rarity these days, so I'm adding a new feature to The Lawn where I will showcase a Rad flick each week, while angrily shitting on other non-Rad films. This week's Sunday Evening Rad Flick: CARLITO'S WAY.

If I were to say to you, "Quick name me a super Rad movie directed by Brian De Palma, starring Al Pacino as a Latin-American drug kingpin," what would your first answer be? It would obviously be "Scarface" right? Wrong answer. I award you no points and may God have mercy on your soul. If you were a true connoisseur of Rad flicks you would have quickly responded "Carlito's Way." I'm sorry but Scarface is one of the most overrated gangster flicks ever and certainly Al Pacino's most overhyped role as an actor. Just like every other dude in the world I obviously "like" Scarface. It's hilariously over the top 80's cheesedick entertainment, that rates about a 17 out of 10 on the unintentional comedy scale. It is not however, a "good movie." And Al Pacino's ridiculous Cuban accent and coked up machissmo is not "good acting." Saying Scarface is the greatest gangster movie ever is kinda like saying you consider Poison the greatest rock band in history. For truly Rad gangster entertainment featuring Pacino as a far more subtle badass you should turn to Carlito's Way.

Carlito's Way is such a fucking Rad flick. Most gangster flicks follow a familiar formula: Watch the badass main character as he rises from humble beginnings to a position of power in the crime world, and then watch his fall from the top that eventually leads to his incarceration/death. Carlito's Way however is one of the few flicks that focuses on a gangster that has already experienced all of the highs and lows of his illegal profession, and is now actually making an effort to get out of the game and get involved with legitimate business. Basically a retired Rad dude, that is now trying to get his shit together. In Carlito's Way we have newly released from prison Po-Rican drug kingpin Carlito Brigante ("The JP Morgan of the Smack business"), making a return to his old streets. Only now he's trying to go straight. Yeah well clearly that shit ain't happening. Not when you have a coked up scumbag attorney (A sleaztastic Senn Penn with totally Rad Jew fro) holding you in his debt for getting your ass out of the pen early. Not when you got District Attorneys with a hard-on for you, waiting for a slip-up. Not when you got chain-snatching, jive-ass maricon motherfuckers like Benny Blanco (From the Bronx) and Pachanga looking to make a name for themselves. Even as a legit club owner Charlie will have to look over his shoulder everytime he blows his nose. His plan for getting outta the game is completely fucked from the get-go.

Carlito's Way has all the essential elements needed for a classic Rad flick. First of all, it has totally badass dialogue. Remember all those awesome intros on the old school Jay-Z albums?

"OK I RELOADED! You Muthafuckas think you big time?? Fuckin wit me you gon' die big time! Here come da Pain!"

"Somebody's pulling me close to the ground...I ain't panicked.."

Yeah people generally assume these lines are from Scarface. They're not. They're from Carlito's Way. Carlito's Way also benefits from following the inner dialogue narration format (ala "Goodfellas"), where Carlito cracks eggs of knowledge all over your ass throughout the film, in talking about the pitfalls of the hustler's code and how hard it is to lose your gangster instincts. "He don't invite this shit..it comes to him..he runs, it runs after him.." This is another rad element of the flick. Our hero's constant inner-conflict. Rad flicks never have a boy scout for a hero. The main dude has gotta be flawed in some manner, walking the fine line between right and wrong. Brigante has to toe the line between staying out of trouble to avoid a return to incarceration, while also maintaining his rep as a badass amongst the mobsters, drug dealers and thugs. At every corner he's gotta pick between firing back and running away from the shootout. He's gotta decide which low-lifes he needs to kill and which ones just need to be sent a message by being hurled down a flight of stairs. He's gotta figure out how much he can truly pay back his cokehead lawyer David Kleinfeld, without putting his own ass on the line. After all, "A Favor gon' kill you faster than a bullet." These are the dilemmas that drive every moment of this Rad flick.

Perhaps the most important element of any Rad flick is "The Scene." I don't mean just a cool movie scene. I mean a moment in a flick that is truly memorable. You know where you're flipping through your TV and you land on that one scene in a movie that you HAVE to watch. I don't care what I'm doing, I am not leaving this couch till this scene is over. THAT scene. In "Carlito's Way" The Scene is the extended chase scene through Grand Central/Penn Station (check the IMDB goofs section on the film for further explanation). This scene is totally Rad. You are on the edge of your seat the entire time. How long can Carlito hide out behind that pillar? Can he get on this subway train and duck his pursuers? How many bad guys can he possibly take out with his one Baretta? Will he make the last Amtrak to Miami with his pregnant girlfriend in tow? Has he truly tied up ALL loose ends in his life, or is there one base he left uncovered? As Carlito himself tells you earlier, if you can't see all the angles...you're in trouble. Anyways I can't delve any deeper without spoiling this rad flick for you.

So just take an evening off from watching your limited edition platinum 20th Anniversary copy of Scarface for the zillionth time, and rent/Netflix a far better gangster pic. Carlito Brigante motherfucker to the max. Go along for the ride..the whole ride..all the way to the end of the line wherever that is.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Afternoon Rad Jam

Recording a truly classic Rad album is no easy task. I mean a lot of bands can come out with a couple of classic jams. Release a Rad single once every couple of years. Gain a following due to their badass live show. How many bands however, have recorded a truly timeless Rad album? You know one of those CDs you could throw in, and not have to skip a single track.Literally EVERY single song, from track 1 through track 13 is totally Rad. I mean what kinda band could possibly sustain 24/7 Radness throughout the entire recording process of an album? That doesn't seem feesible. That is of course, unless you are the band responsible for this week's Friday Afternoon Rad Jam: GUNS N' ROSES.

There have been lots of classic albums recorded in rock history. Lots of albums that you could pretty much listen to in their entirety. Consult any "greatest ever" list from Rolling Stone or Vh1 and debate which one's your favorite. GNR's "Appetite For Destruction" however is by far and without question the Raddest CD of all time. There is zero debate. If there were a list compiled of the Raddest albums in music history Appetite would be ranked 1-5. The "worst" tracks on Appetite (Anything Goes and You're Crazy come to mind..) would easily be the best songs on a modern rock album/radio station today. This band and the recording of Appetite were an un unprecedented overload of Rad. Take every element possible you can think of that exemplifies true badass Rock and Roll music, multiply it by ten and throw it in a blender, and you might come close to summarizing the creation of Appetite.

If you were to think of Appetite and songs I might pick for a Friday afternoon Rad jam, the albums major hits would probably be the first come to mind. Welcome to the Jungle, Paradise City, Sweet Child O' Mine..you know your usual GNR jukebox classics. I have chosen instead to select the final track on Appetite, "Rocket Queen" as this week's Friday Afternoon Rad Jam. It is my personal favorite GNR song of all time, the best song on Appetite, and perhaps the song that truly showcases everything GNR represents. I don't know if there is another song that perfectly toes the line between being a totally dirty rock jam and a power ballad. I mean how do you really strike a perfect balance between writing a a rocking, raunchy Rad jam and recording a love song? Generally you gotta do one or the other. Rocket Queen somehow pulls this off by basically combining two separate songs into one classic Rad jam.

The first part of Rocket Queen is a dirty, angry letter to this girl that Axl and the rest of the band were infatuated with when they were coming up in the LA rock scene. A so called "queen of the underground scene," aka some totally hard partying rad groupie/aspiring singer. Part 1 of one kinda lets this girl know what's up and emphasizes that Axl and the boys aren't naive and generally won't take any shit from some stupid bimbo under any circumstances. Halfway through the song you hear what appear to be some sexual moaning from some woman. Yeah Axl decided that to drive his point home, he needed to record himself banging some chick on record and throw it into the mix. By "some chick" I mean...drummer Steven Adler's girlfriend. Yeah when you discuss the recording of Appetite you get ridiculous fact nuggets like this that are too crazy to make up. Suffice to say Adler wasn't particularly happy about this, but hey bands like GNR don't let disputes over women get in the way of their number 1 priority: Making Rad music.

Axl claimed he wanted to end this balls to the wall dirty rock record on a positive note, so that's where part 2 of Rocket Queen comes in. The band suddenly turns down their tendency to rock your fucking ass off..just a notch..and erupts into a totally Rad breakdown. Here Axl takes some time out to be like.."Look even though I just bitched you out, and we hate each other, and I like threw a lamp at you that one time...I still love you...so just know that if you ever need anything I'll be there." If that's not a rock and roll love affair summarized in a nutshell, I don't know what is. And then of course the entire band takes you out on a group jam session and Axl closes this Rad jam by wailing out his final caring sentiments. Boom. Perhaps the best (and only) "Rad Power Rock Jam/Anthem/Love Ballad" ever. Enjoy your weekend folks. Make sure people realize that while you might be a little young honey, you ain't naive.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bands That Suck Balls: THE ARCADE FIRE

I got a lot of negative feedback regarding my Pink Floyd entry last week, since apparently a large proportion of my audience has had memorable experiences tripping balls to Dark Side of The Moon. So this week I will go back to bashing modern music, since it's a fact that modern "rock" universally sucks dick and I am not even willing to acknowledge anyone that would argue otherwise. Of course since I don't really pay attention to modern rock bands, there are currently a lot of famous bands that I assume suck, whose music I have never bothered to listen to. So until I stumble upon them and see what all the unnecessary hype is about, I can't really render a fair opinion. One example would be this collection of shitbags that I stumbled upon while making the mistake of checking out SNL's musical guest this week. It's a good thing I didn't have a firearm in my possession on Saturday night because I would have definitely shot a hole in my tv or my head after listening to these assholes perform. This Weeks Band That Suck Balls: THE ARCADE FIRE.

The Arcade Fire hail from Montreal, Quebec, Canada. So they are not only Canadian...they're French-Canadian. Feel free to read on, but I think this fact already establishes that these guys most definitely gobble nuts on a platter. You couldn't come up with a gayer combination than French-Canadian if you put "Glee" on the Bravo network. The Arcade Fire are also very critically acclaimed by douchebag music magazines across the globe which is tell-tale sign #2 that their music probably blows. For strike #3 we'll point to the fact that their genre is listed as "Indie." When originally coined, the term "indie-rock" band simply meant underground..you hadn't yet reached the mainstream..you were simply on an independent non-major record label. Now of course being an "indie" band means you don't actually fit into a real music genre because your music isn't really music, but rather some weird fusion of shitty sounds.

The Arcade Fire are..just...fucking awful. This band is like the intoxicated wet dream of the most demented hipster after a few too many PBRs. First of all there are approximately 77 band members in The Arcade Fire. Generally cool rock bands have 3-5 members in their group. There are only two scenarios where you can have 10 plus members and make cool music. (A) You're a funk band. (B) You're Lynyrd Skynyrd and consider having six guitarists completely necessary for maximum overdose of America all over your ass. Otherwise if you have 10 or more members, you are likely a shittastic rock band. Aka you are The Arcade Fire. The Arcade Fire have got to have the most random ensemble of musical instruments ever put together and defined as a band. They are like the Hipster orchestra version of the Wu-Tang Clan, except instead of a bunch of badasses in black hoodies rapping about kung-fu warfare onstage, you get a bunch of dickheads in suspenders with sideways part haircuts singing about bullshit.

Lets examine the members of this douchebag collective. There's your standard guitar, drums and bass, none of which are played well. In fact in one live performance I saw, the lead singer literally wore his guitar...backwards...because he had no use for it. They are just there to present the appearance of a rock and roll band. Now for the rest of the assclowns. There is some stupid hipster bitch that bangs on a keyboard repetitively. There is a guy with a fucking tom-tom who bangs on his marching drum like a hearing impaired retarded child. There is a standup bass. When do you ever need a fucking standup bass in your rock band unless you are a 1920s jazz band playing in a speakeasy? There are violins, violas and cellos. Some tubas and french horns. There is a fucking xylophone and glockenspiel in the group. SERIOUSLY? A FUCKING GLOCKENSPIEL?? I'm sorry are we attending a rock and roll concert or a Goddamn elementary school recital? What happened to the guys that played the oboe and recorder? Did the Bassoon player get fired due to creative differences? Jesus christ. Everybody in the band in addition to playing their shitty orchestral instrument plays the role of backup singer humming in unison (yes HUMMING). Whatever I won't complain too much about that, anything that takes away from the sad faced lead singer weeping about his feelings.

Seeing this band not only make it big, but get critical praise absolutely infuriates me. Seriously it makes me question what kind of world we live in where the equivalent of a 4th grade music class jam session is classified as "brilliant rock and roll." Is your kindergartener currently banging away on a Fisher Price xylophone in the basement? Make him stick with it! He can play in a famous rock band someday!! Kill me now. Listening to these French-Canadian assholes bang away on their glockenspiels and tom-toms and hum in prefect harmony almost makes me long for the days when Celine Dion was the shittiest U.S. import Quebec was responsible for. Somebody get these hipster hosers the fuck out of here before I set fire to a daycare center.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Your Requisite Harry Potter Hater Post

As a general rule, if there is a popular Hollywood blockbuster movie franchise out there, I probably have zero interest in it. Think: The Matrix Trilogy, Lord of The Rings, and all of the post "Return of the Jedi" Star Wars flicks. Yeah I have not seen even ONE of these movies. There are of course obvious reasons for this. Crazy conceptual Sci-fi movies don't really do it for me, (i.e. If you're looking for the one guy who didn't like "Inception"...look no further..) so The Matrix doesn't hold much appeal to me. Star Wars minus Darth Vader and Han Solo...Meh. I don't have the attention span for anything that's 3 hours plus in length unless "Godfather" is attached to the title so Lord of The Rings will probably put me to sleep. Regardless, I understand that other people are interested in watching movies about fighting against machines, intergalactic space warfare, and epic medieval fantasy battles. One franchise I'm completely lost on however, releases its seventh (7TH!!) installment this week, and I will not be in the insane cineplex line Friday night forking over $10 to see it. Of course I'm talking about Harry Fucking Potter.

WTF is the deal with Harry Potter? People are OBSESSED with Harry Potter. Harry Potter is based upon a popular series of childrens books written by some British Twat named J.K. Rawlings. So you would think that the franchise's core audience would be you know...children. While children do make up a sizeable portion of the their fanbase, there are also a massive amount of young adult Harry Potter fanatics. Yes a large group of twenty-somethings are fascinated by movies about teenage wizard school students who fly around on broomsticks casting spells. Seriously I see no adult appeal for this shit. I was trying to think of another group of movies whose audience demographic is split down the middle between children and young adults. The only one I can think of is the Pirates of The Caribbean Disney franchise. That however, is after all a group of films about swashbuckling pirates that sail around raping and pillaging. It stars...adult movie stars (whoa let me re-phrase that ...it stars..."adults"). You are not watching two hours of kids in schoolboy outfits flying around.

Am I the only one that finds this all kinda creepy..? I mean if I told you I'd been heading down to the local middle school to watch little boys perform in a play..or play basketball..or compete in debate competitions..you'd probably peg me as a creepy weirdo. I mean unless you have kids in the school you probably shouldn't be hanging around Catholic middle school activities. Just like unless you have kids that like the Harry Potter children's novels...you probably shouldn't be going to see their movies. I'm sorry call me crazy, but I think going to watch a bunch of teenagers in schoolboy outfits do battle with each other seems straight out of a pedophile fetish fantasy search engine. That's just me. I mean if you throw the words..."wizards, spells, magic...schoolboys" together in some combination I'm just gonna assume we're talking about the local Dungeons and Dragons fanatic who lives in his mom's basement watching child porn. (aka my neighbor the single cat owner).

Of course the above paragraph is only really applicable to male Harry Potter fans. While there are a surprising amount of adult dudes that like Harry Potter (generally gays), most of the kiddie wizard fan brigade above the age of 17 are chicks. Of course. I say "of course" because as I've mentioned before chicks love stupid shit. I'm sorry ladies, but lets face it...Twilight, Top 40 radio, Glee...and now Harry Potter. You are responsible for the success of all of these entertainment abominations. It's not so much the fact that chicks like Harry Potter that annoys me so much as how often they openly express their love for this stupid ass franchise. Girls blow up facebook, g-chat, twitter whatever with their stupid ass Harry Potter status updates. They post every new trailer that comes out. They set up countdowns, posting the number of hours until the new Harry Potter installment comes out. They set up group movie dates to go see the new Harry Potter flick (FYI If you're a single dude that gets invited to Harry Potter Friday..you're officially in "The friend zone"). Not in the way normal people decide to go see a movie. No they actually make elaborate plans regarding their viewing experience. They have little Harry Potter pre-parties before going to see the movie. They watch all the previous Harry Potters in a row in the week leading up to that fateful Friday. The whole world must know about it.

Geeky Slutbag #1: Um 72 hours till the Deathly Hollows!!!! Super Psyched :)!!

Dorktastic Twatbox: ZOMG I. CAN'T. WAIT.

Geeky Slutbag #2: Um I'm baking the Pumpkin loaf for tomorrow's Prisoner of Azkaban watch party RIGHT NOW. LOL.

Geeky Slutbag #1: YAAAAAAAAAAAAY. HARRY + your Pumpkin loaf = : ) :)

Jesus christ. Nobody gives a fuck about your love of children's literature and the accompanying big screen adaptations. Shut up. When Rocky Balboa came out my bros and I didn't throw a pizza and keg watch party (dudes are not under any circumstances allowed to bake) for the first five Rocky flicks (which actually would be kinda awesome). Or post on each other's walls: "Brooo! Rocky IV @ my crib tonight I'll supply the booze!!" We just went and saw the fucking movie, knowing that nobody outside our social circle cared to know. Please do the same.

Anyways, as the magazine cover above indicates, the end is near. There are apparently only two Harry Potter flicks left to be released. After that this kiddie wizard fanatic nightmare will be over. Assuming Miss J.K. Rawlings doesn't write any more Goddamn bbooks that can be adapted to the big screen. Which I will personally make sure of. If she even hints at writing another fucking book, I will personally fly across the pond and slap her across the face with a tea kettle and beat her with a broomstick. There will be nothing magical about it.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Real. Comfortable. Dickhead.

I wrote a post a while back regarding assholes in sports, and how they were essential to a team's success. This was in response to the Patriots making the mistake (so I thought) of trading Randy Moss away to the Vikings. Since then of course, Moss' continued assholery has been well documented as he wore out his welcome in yet another locker room, and did little on the field to make his presence worthwhile. Whatever, I didn't get the memo that Moss was a completely washed up asshole. Anyways nobody in the media tries to put a positive spin on Randy Moss' behavior. Everybody knows he's an asshole, everybody dwells on the fact that he is an asshole, and the world will be notified by ESPN every time he doesn't hold a door for an old lady (or bitches about a local rib joint..). There is one asshole however, who always gets the golden boy treatment despite being no less of an asshole than Randy Moss, even if his asshole tendencies differ in nature. This asshole can do no wrong in the eyes of the media no matter how much he fucks up on or off the field. It blows my mind and pisses me off to no end. I am talking of course about national Wrangler spokesman and American hero Brett Favre.

Seriously fuck Brett Favre. I'm so done with his bullshit. Look I know he was a great quarterback for most of his career. First ballot Hall of Famer, maybe the best to ever play his position. That doesn't excuse the fact that he has acted like a total dickhead and child over the last 3-4 years. More importantly it doesn't excuse the fact that the media continues to grant him on-air felatio week in and week out no matter what he does. I am so sick of hearing about Brett Favre ad nauseum every fucking week. Those of you who are slightly more than casual football fans know that he quarterbacks a shitty team not relevant to the playoff discussion, and that he sucks. Since I'm not a sports blogger I won't beat you over the head with statistical analysis. Just know that the Minnesota Vikings suck balls, and basically every loss can be placed squarely on the shoulders of Captain Wrangler. End of story.

Lets move away from the on-field stuff for a second though. I know Brett Favre fanatics will pummel me with theories as to why the Vikings suck that don't involve #4 (i.e. their utterly retarded coach). They will point to his great season last year, and argue that the guy can still play. Fine. You cannot however my refute my belief that he is a complete primadonna cockbag. Lets look first at how he's acted in the offseason ever since the first time he "retired." He plays a season. Then he starts to drop hints about his impending retirement. So the media blows him incessantly because they think this might be the last go-around for their pigskin god. Then he retires in a tearful press conference. Or at the very least says he "thinks he's through."

Then he heads to Hattiesburg, Mississippi for a relaxed summer of bass fishing and buck hunting. You know standard All-American Good Ol' Boy' activities. Then in August, after his team has been in training camp for a good while, he randomly decides he can handle one more rodeo. He gets "the itch" to play. His injuries have "healed." His team sends a private jet down to Mississippi, and begs him to return. He does return, conveniently having forgone an entire month of practice the rest of his teammates had to endure. ESPN circles him 24/7 during the whole ordeal, their "experts" eagerly anticipating his decision on "to come back or not to come back" even though those of us sitting at home all know what's coming. Any other player would be considered a selfish asshole for making their team wait on their decision to unretire, skipping training camp, and then forcing their coaches to come down to Mississippi (a shittactic state no man should be even be forced to drive THROUGH) to beg for his return. They would be crucified on tv every day by sports talking heads. Not BritFar though. He is a DatGum Legend. The greatest ever. He has "earned the right" to do all this. What a crock of shit.

This season has been worse than ever in terms of the media outlets' oral copulation of this redneck asshat. Brett Favre is known to be the toughest, most durable man to ever lace up a piece of cleats. He never misses a game, as evidenced by his consecutive starts streak. Boy has he ever milked the fuck out of that this year. Every week some report comes out about his "nagging injuries." Every week his starts streak is "in jeopardy of ending" because he is banged up. We know this because we hear it from the mouth of Bubba Jesus himself.

"Durr well this hur ankle's bin really botherin me this week and I ain't go no idea if I's gon be able to suit up Sunday. I'm in loads of pain ya see. Ima really gon work hard to try to heal up bt I can't guarantee I'll play."

(Fast-Forward to Sunday. He plays. Duh.)

Look I'm not saying he's not legitimately playing with pain. I don't however need to hear about his bumps and bruises before, during and after every game. Injuries that have yet to actually keep him out of a game. Injuries that look fine when he's jumping around celebrating a touchdown. Injury discussions that always seem to coincidentally arise after he has shit the bed and lost his team another ballgame. Seems pretty convenient that whenever Brett Favre plays like crap, the convo amongst sports analysts/writers turns to his injuries and the fact that he's such "a warrior" and "tough as nails." and "never gives up." The "never gives up" thing really pisses me off. WTF does that mean?? He is a fucking athlete getting paid millions of dollars. Are we supposed to commend him for NOT taking himself out of a game his team's losing? Last time I checked you are supposed to play 60 minutes in a football game, and don't get a medal of honor every time you do so.

I won't get too much into DongGate 2K10 and the Jen Sterger controversy, because after all here in America you are "innocent until proven guilty" and Brett Favre is still "under investigation" by the NFL (An "investigation" that seems to have disappeared under the rug). I'll just say that if anybody other than Captain America had ("allegedly") texted pics of his dick to a female NFL employee repeatedly, it might have gotten a little more press. Brett Favre however is free from media backlash. He is after all an All-American good ol' boy who wears Wrangler jeans and talks with a manly Southern drawl. He rocks his dirt covered fishin' hat in press conferences. He drives pickup trucks and wrastles with his adorable pooch. He doesn't show up driving an Escalade, wearing a doo-rag, and then tell reporters he wil be paying a fine "straight cash Homie" like Randy Moss does. So he gets a pass for everything..except from amateur observers like hater bloggers and hater football fans who are full of hot air and don't understand his hero status. Well whatever, Brett Favre is an absolute self-absorbed, conceited dickhead. You heard it here first. I'll stand alone on that opinion if necessary because it is a Dat Gum fact.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday Afternoon Rad Jam

Generally when you are a Rad band, at some point you reach an expiration date. I mean being Rad is just hard to pull of once you reach a certain age. I mean lets face it, even the Rolling Stones are getting to become a caricature ofthemselves at this point and they are amongst the raddest dudes in history. There is however, one band that I am convinced will never stop being rad. Seriously these guys will still have an aura of rad surrounding their band when they are 95. Wherever they pull up to in their awesome customized Hot Rod truck, they are instantly the raddest dudes at the party. I am talking of course about the band responsible for this week's Friday Afternoon Rad Jam: ZZ Top.

ZZ Top is a timeless Rad band. Like a fine wine they just get better with age. Seriously you were never..at any point as rad as these dudes are at 60+. When you look at ZZ Top you see a band that absolutely doesn't give a fuck. They may be the most uniquely rad band, as they don't follow anybody's example. They have long extended homeless man bands. They have furry guitars..that spin. They have truck exhaust microphone stands. They dress in boots and trench coats and always wear sunglasses no matter how dark the venue. ZZ Top along with Jack Nicholson dispel the myth that the only people who wear sunglasses indoors/at night are blind people and assholes. Make that blind people, assholes...and Rad dudes.

I wanted to go with a Rad 80s music video for ZZ Top's entry, but it was too hard to pick one since all of ZZ Top's videos are basically the same. ZZ Top shows up in their Rad ZZ Top Hot Rod pickup truck with a cavalry of hot chicks. They give the Hot Rod keys to some poor young schmuck. He has the time of his life with adorementioned cavalry of hot chicks. End of story. So I decided to go with a concert clip of ZZ Top to give you the full package of their Rad stage set. ZZ Top is from Texas (Raddest state in the union) so here is their live performance of "Legs" live from the Lone Star State. Pewww! Enjoy your weekend folks. Hopefully you are lucky enough to get scooped up by ZZ Top's babe filled Hot Rod truck on this Friday night.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Bands That Suck Balls: PINK FLOYD

Today is Veterans Day, where we honor our country's service men and women. So feel free to do your duty as an American and put up your generic once-a-year Facebook status about supporting those who make sacrifices for our freedom, or praying for those serving overseas. Anyways, I wanted to do a Band That Sucks Balls this week that somehow tied into Veteran's day. Couldn't really put the two together though. After all if you are engaged in combat, you are most likely listening to totally Rad jams to get fired up for warfare. So I will just say that this next band is probably not on the Ipods of too many of our nation's soldiers. Unless they are currently tripping on acid to gain greater enjoyment out of their night vision goggles. This Weeks's Band That Sucks Balls: PINK FLOYD.

Look everybody will tell you they appreciate the genius of Pink Floyd. You probably went through a "Big Pink Floyd Phase" at some point in your life. Yeah this "phase" is known as Sophomore year of college when you ate mushrooms once a week. If you are past the age of say 22 you should no longer have an appreciation for Pink Floyd, because Pink Floyd totally sucks balls. Their music serves no purpose other than to serve as the soundtrack to your group tripping experience in a dark dorm room. If you're on psychadelic drugs you obviously aren't gonna wanna listen to say heavy metal or anything particularly rocking. After all you are mentally unstable and might react by taking off all your clothes and running across the quad screaming bloody murder. You also don't wanna listen to anything laid back with complex lyrics like say some Bob Dylan, because words don't actually make any sense to you in your current state. So you go with Pink Floyd as completely neutral background music that will not upset the balance of your night of mind expansion. I know all this of course from talking to people who actually liked doing drugs in college, unlike myself.

Have you ever listened to Pink Floyd in a completely sober mind state? Like say cruising around in your car on a Friday afternoon jamming out to the classic rock station? Their music is shit. I hate when I'm listening to a solid block of classic rock jams on the FM radio, and I hear that "CHA-CHING!" cash register noise. Goddamit, I was just in a solid groove after some Tom Petty and Skynyrd and then Pink Floyd's "Money" comes on. I hate that fucking song along with pretty much every Pink Floyd single that comes on the radio. Yeah the idea of rebelling against the establishment and protesting your educational experience is kinda cool. I don't need to randomly hear a bunch of creepy British kids singing a hook about it on repeat. "Wish You Were Here" is one of the weirdest sounding love songs ever written. Pretty much the only tolerable Pink Floyd single is "Comfortably Numb." This song however, is infinitely better when sang by Van Morrison rather than by the members of Pink Floyd, so they lose points for that.

Of course people will argue that Pink Floyd is not a band that should not be judged by their individual singles. "You gotta get like the whole album experience maaaaan." Yeah well I've listened to both Pink Floyd masterpieces "The Wall" and "Dark Side of the Moon" all the way through and they are both complete excrement. First of all there are very few rock albums that I am willing to listen to all the way through, and generally they all serve some sort of purpose that involves fun. You can leave the album on for an entire party, or a bbq, or a road trip, or a drunk drive home. If you are listening to a Pink Floyd album, you are only enjoying yourself if you are tripping in a dark room watching a light show. You can't throw on Dark Side of the Moon at a 4th of July BBQ and enjoy yourself. Pink Floyd's songs are all extended dark, gloomy jams that continuosly "build" without ever reaching much of a climax. Roger Waters whispers song lyrics in a creepy voice that sounds like the boogeyman lurking in your closet. Pink Floyd is basically the soundtrack to you looking up at the sky and realizing the apocalypse is coming as the dark clouds gather and lightning flashes. So just what you need to get the party hopping.

Anyways, Pink Floyd were one of the first bands to..I don't know..lock themselves in a studio with a year's supply of LSD and experiment with weird production effects. So they will always be considered "revolutionary" in some manner. After all, if you are the first band to do anything weird you are always looked at as an "innovator" even if your fresh, revolutionary sound is dog shit. Lets just admit however, that nobody is ever in the mood to randomly rock out to a Pink Floyd song. Nobody has the patience to sit and listen to an entire boring and gloomy Pink Floyd concept album. If you do actually "enjoy" Pink Floyd for extended periods of time, it's time for you to stop spending your Tuesday night dropping acid in your mom's basement while staring at a lava lamp and get a fucking job already.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Death of the Guitar Hero

Yesterday a buddy and I randomly started discussing Rolling Stone magazine's stupid lists they come up with to rank the "greatness" of music according to their personal panel of music "experts." The 500 Greatest Albums, The 100 Greatest Artists, 100 Greatest Guitarists. All these lists are completely arbitrary and shouldn't be read as the gospel, but the guitarists list is particularly ridiculous. All you need to know is that Kurt Cobain is only ranked 58 spots of Eddie Van Halen on the list, and Slash didn't even make the cut. Anyways in discussing who were truly the "greatest" guitarists of all time, I thought to myself..whatever happened to the guitar hero? I'm not talking about guys who were just..you know..good at playing the guitar (although they are in short supply as well). I mean a true guitar GOD. A deity among musical mortals. A guy that made you say..."THAT is one rad dude."

Back in the day through generations of rock music, there were always guitar heros for people to worship and plaster posters of on their wall. In the late 1960s you had Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton rocking out psychadellic solos with their trusty axe and wah pedal. Then Jimmy Page came along and wailed out metal blues jams through the 70s drenched in the most evil possible. In the late 70s and 80s you of course had Angus Young of AC/DC bouncing around in a schoolboy outfit and Mr. Edward Van Halen shredding out good old fashioned loud rock and roll. Stevie Ray Vaughan stepped onto the scene and revived the concept of the blues guitar hero. Then the concept of the guitar god possibly peaked in the late 80s with the arrival of..Slash. Slash was so fucking badass he didn't even have a real person's name. And why should he? He wasn't a real person...he was a guitar hero. Slash was more of a persona that came with a uniquely badass rock aura. Not simply the name of a guitarist. After Slash however, I don't know what happened. The concept of the guitar hero pretty much disappeared after Slash. Guitarists became just faces in the background. Just another member of the band. No longer instantly recognizable as the engine in the band that made the rock n' roll train go. This really pisses me off.

Now once again I can't emphasize enough that being a guitar hero is not all about being able to shred out a marvelous solo, or dirty riff. I mean Keith Richards is not a very good guitarist in the technical skills department. In fact he is pretty average. He is still however, a guitar hero. You see being a guitar hero is not about your chops on the Les Paul. It is about being a fucking badass. A guy that looks cooler than you thought humanly possible. He exudes confidence. He stands up on stage and makes you believe in the passion and power or rock. He carries himself with a constant aura of rad. Generally, off stage or in interviews the guitar hero is the guy in the band that doesn't do much talking. It's the lead singer's job to talk about what inspired the title of their new album. The drummer is the drunk lunatic that says crazy outlandish shit. The guitarist however, is the coolest dude in the band. He plugs in and lets his axe do his talking for him.

If you're a guitar hero, you can't just dress like an average Joe from the burbs. You can't just go onstage in jeans and a t-shirt. That is fucking lazy. You have to have a LOOK. All great guitar heros had a unique look. First of all guitar heroes were always ugly motherfuckers. You can't be a pretty boy and be a guitar god. You had to be ugly. You had to look disheveled. You had to have long unkept hair. You might need to have ridiculous facial hair depending on what genre you fall under. Then there was the matter of your outfit which had to look completely rad. That is to say you had to look as ridiculous as possible, wearing an ensemble that was thrown together in the most random combination. Ideally you wore boots. Then your pants were either torn up jeans, spandex or leather. Your shirt ideally is some ridiculous color or design, and features some form of ruffles. Or you can just go shirtless if you're especially awesome. Then you throw on some shades. After compiling all these guitar hero essentials, the rest of your wardrobe is up to your own creative discretion. You can compliment your guitar god ensemble with some ridiculous top hat, or a scarf, or feather boa. Now you're ready to fucking rock the masses once you light the cig that'll be dangling from your mouth or smoking in your axe's headstock.

(If you're Jimmy Page you can skip this whole routine by throwing on your rad dragon design covered onesie and call it a day.)

Anyways, I don't know what happened to the totally awesome character I just described. Today guitarists are all boring. They have no personality. They have no ridiculous wardrobe. They don't roam the stage with an aura of rad. They're just regular Joes that go onstage and play an instrument that happens to be the guitar. The only guy I can think of that comes close to the guitar hero model of past generations is Jack White. He at least makes some effort. He has stupid mustaches, and unkept hair. He wears outlandish outfits in crazy color combinations and rocks a top hat. He at least kinda looks the part. He's still however, not quite on par with the guitar heros of the past. He just doesn't have that full aura of badassness surrounding him at all times. I hope somewhere out there a kid is throwing on some boots, leather pants and a top hat and turning his amp up to 11, practicing to be the next great guitar god. Rock and Roll doesn't need just another regular six-string ace. It needs a hero.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Will You be Prepared?

Today is Sunday, which means if you're a fan of an NFL franchise that isn't just playing to determine how high their April draft position will be, football is your focus. If you're like me however, and your favorite team sucks balls, I suggest you turn your Sunday attention to a groundbreaking new show on AMC: "The Walking Dead." Finally a TV show is addressing a very real and serious concern that I stay up nights thinking about: WTF are we gonna do when the zombie apocalypse arrives? How must we prepare ourselves accordingly? Last week were the midterm elections and I noted that there was not even ONE candidate that discussed how they planned on dealing with a potential zombie outbreak. Medicare this, taxes that..BOWWRING. What about zombies?? This was a major reason I didn't vote along with the fact that I got the memo that politics is one big ass-blast. Anyways I have given a lot of thought to the impending zombie apocalypse and I realized that I will be faced with at least five major dilemmas when the walkers arrive.

1. I'm out of shape
I drink and smoke. I eat cheeseburgers for lunch. I don't really "hit the gym" or have a particularly "active lifestyle." You know those assholes that go jogging with their dogs at 7am every day? Yeah...definitely not me. Well when the zombies come, this is going to be a problem. I am clearly not physically fit enough to spend my day running for my life when the zombies are chasing after me. Zombies generally move slow, but there are so many of them at every corner that you will constantly have to be on the move. Basically the Kenyan population is in a great position to deal with a zombie outbreak since 99% of their population has won a marathon at some point. Our fat, out of shape American asses...not so much.

2. A deluxe apartment in the sky...
If you are an unmarried 20 something like myself, you probably don't live in a house out in the suburbs. You most likely live in a downtown high-rise apartment in the crowded city where you work. This places you at a serious disadvantage during the zombie apocalypse. As I've already mentioned, you will constantly need to be on the move. Just when you think it's safe for you to take a load off your feet and relax, is right when a pack of brain-hungry zombies will come knocking down your door. If you live in a downtown apartment like I do, you're totally FUCKED. Especially when you're somebody like me who is constantly blasting rad jams at an appropriately loud level, that are prone to attract the ears of zombies. In a house you have tons of options in terms of places to hide. Where the hell do I hide im my small ass one bedroom apartment? One of two closets? I have a narrow doorway so there is no chance I juke past the attacking zombies and run into my hallway (which will be littered with zombies anyways). What is my escape plan?? Even if I briefly subdue the attacking zombies hunger for flesh by throwing my dog at them, I can't jump out the window off my 21st floor balcony. My best hope is that zombies don't yet comprehend how to use elevators so I can just take that down to freedom, while they slowly climb 21 flights of stairs.

3. I'm only familiar with screwdrivers involving vodka
My dad is Mr. Handy Man. Give him a screwdriver, some glue and like a paper clip and he can fix anything in the house. I on the other hand couldn't build you a fucking kitchen table if it came with three legs already assembled. This will be a major setback for my survival chances during the Zombie apocalypse. Obviously one of the keys to surviving a zombie outbreak is preventing zombies from getting within spitting distance of you. This is done by making wherever you are hiding out an impenetrable fortress. Build walls, high fences and any other form of barricade that will prevent zombies from easily getting to you. Your Brinks home security system won't do you any good once all your neighbors and half the police force has already been bitten and joined the ranks of the walking dead. You're also going to need weapons to battle the zombies when they finally do break into your home. How many guns and how much ammo do you currently have stockpiled in your garage to blow away the walkers? Probably not a lot. Do you just have cutlasses and samurai swords laying around to decapitate your attackers at a moment's notice? Probably not. So you're gonna have to fashion some unorthodox weapons for battle out of whatever tools and home improvement supplies you have. Think like...a garden shear crossbow. So repair your relationship with your father ASAP because you will need his handy man skills to help you survive.

4. Killing Family and Friends
Look it's nice to think you will be able protect all your kin and close compadres from the zombies by sticking together and holing up in some super-fortress mansion you built to perfection. This is not a realistic notion however. Inevitably, some of your family friends will be bitten by the enemy and turn into brain-hungy corpse killing machines themselves. This is an adversity you will have to face, and how you react will determine whether or not you make it through each day of the apocalypse alive. Look I don't generally believe in "moral dilemmas" when it comes to dealing with zombies. You're a cute little girl zombie? BANG!! YOU'RE FUCKING DEAD. You're a sweet old grandma zombie? BLAM! FUCKING GRANNY'S BRAINS GET SPLATTERED. You're a zombie in a wheelchair? Good, easier for me to hurl you down a flight of stairs and then decapitate you with my Ginsu knife. Friends/Family though...that's a tougher choice to make. I suggest you look at your facebook profile and go down your list of friends ahead of time. For instance I went through my list of 200 something "friends" on Facebook and decided there are about 6-7 of you that I would have genuine difficulty shooting in the face if you turned into a zombie. The rest of you...? Not even a debate. Sorry you gotta cut some ties during an outbreak. Mom..Best man at wedding...? Yeah tough to blow them away in the blink of an eye. However your deadbeat uncle, ex-girlfriend, or bro you occassionally go to happy hour with...yeah they're getting offed at the drop of a dime if you're serious about living into tomorrow.

5. Will I need to relocate during the Zombie Apocalypse?
You probably like where you live currently. Maybe it's your hometown and you've lived there your entire life and couldn't imagine leaving your place of birth. Maybe it's some trendy new city you always dreamed of moving to once the opportunity to leave your shitty hometown presented itself. Whatever. When the Zombie Apocalype arrives, you will have to give serious consideration to relocating from your current location if the situation calls for it. The reality may be that you are not residing in the best environment for dealing with zombies. So I have to think to myself...I live in Texas...should I relocate when the walking dead arrive..? FUCK and NO. Texas is BY FAR the one state in America most prepared for the zombie outbreak.

Every household in Texas owns multiple firearms, probably a couple shotguns and hunting rifles. If you're some illegal immigrant walking on their lawn, they will not hesitate to shoot your ass of their property. You think some Texan is gonna think twice about blowing away some blood thirsty walking corpse on his grass? Most Texans have huge pickups with massive truck beds that five or six people could actually live on. I mean the weather never really gets that cold so you could totally sleep in the back of pickup trucks down here. And you could pick up and drive off in a second if you see the zombies approaching. Oversized Texas trucks are also the vehicle most adept to running over packs of zombies unless you have a tank in your garage. Most Texan families also have wide tracts of hunting land somewhere or a ranch where you could go and hide out. Also since we have so much large livestock down here, you could keep the walkers at bay by simply releasing herds of longhorns towards attacking zombies to briefly satisfy their hunger while you get into battle formation or retreat. So really this last item on the list is not a dilemma at all. When the Zombie Apocalypse arrives the Lone Star Republic will be the last state standing. I just hope I can figure out items #1-4 on this list before the walkers actually get here.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday Afternoon Rad Jam

One of the things that made music Rad back in the day was the subject matter of the rock anthems you heard on your radio. You see back when music was awesome, songs got straight to the point with their titles and lyrics. You heard a song and actually knew what the song was about, and the topic was generally something totally Rad. You didn't have songs about everything being yellow or some bullshit about rising up towards the sunset or something. Generally, song topics were geared towards whatever subject would be most condusive to an accompanying Rad music video featuring a hot chick shaking her ass around like a stripper. Perhaps no song exemplifies these concepts as well as this week's Friday Afternoon Rad Jam: Van Halen: HOT FOR TEACHER.

Van Halen is so rad. When I was young Van Halen was fronted by Sammy Hagar so it wasn't until later that I discovered the brilliance of the David Lee Roth fronted version of the group from the 80s (Rad decade). Seriously it would be impossible to fit more Rad into one pair of spandex zebra pants than DLR did. DLR's finest moment as a song writer may have come during the recording of their landmark album "1984." He sat down and said "Hey, you know what's a subject that's never before been touched upon in rock and roll...every kid's in-class fantasy about their hot teacher." So he penned this masterpiece and came up with the creative title "Hot for Teacher." Everybody had at least ONE hot teacher at some point in their youth. Mine was our off and on substitute teacher in 8th grade "Miss Rachel." Great rack. Anyways, what song could possibly have more clever school related sexual innuendo lyrics than a song about your hot teacher fantasy? What song could have more insane possibilities for an awesome music video? NONE.

Everything about this song is fucking Rad. School blows. Everything about that 830-330 shift is a total drag. Everything except that one period you have with your hot teacher. DLR knew this. Kids don't wanna hear some fucking song that makes them MORE depressed about their daily existence. Something relating to their "angst." They wanna hear something that highlights a positive about their shitbag public education experience. Van Halen didn't just stop at writing an awesome song, they obviously had to pair it up with an equally amazing (and perplexing) music video. The video follows VH during their youth as the raddest kids in their local elementary obviously as they fantasize about their hot teacher dancing around on a runway in a bikini. That makes sense. Everything else about the video...not so much.

For instance why is the hot teacher writing math problems on the chalkboard...and then in the next frame wearing a "Phys Ed" teacher sashe? Everyone knows the Phys Ed teacher is a fat lesbian, so that's totally unrealistic. Also how exactly did DLR convince the band that a choreographed dance routine in orange Dumb and Dumber style tuxedos was a good idea? Fortunately all rad jams call for an epic guitar solo at some point so Eddie Van Halen is spared ruining the video's choreography for a minute to step out and shred. Also doesn't make sense how DLR plays multiple characters. Wait he is the kid that grew up to be a game show host...? I thought he was the bus driver. WTF? Clearly back in the day bands were far too preoccupied with being Rad to worry about things like making an artsy video that flowed in perfect logical fashion. You think Van Halen would ever think to make a video where the four guys danced on treadmills in unison? FUCK and NO. They just threw a bunch of Rad concepts on a wall and went with what stuck. And then threw a hot blonde into the mix for good measure. Then they returned to their tour bus and continued their daily routine of winning at life. So for those of you out on this Friday afternoon enjoy your weekend. Those you of still stuck at your mundane entry-level job or worse yet a classroom getting your learn on...enjoy this Rad jam...and make sure you've got your peeeeeencilllllllls....

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Bands That Suck Balls: RADIOHEAD

If we lived in a perfect world, music would all sound pretty much the same. People would have realized that Rock and Roll peaked in the 70s and 80s and just follow that model for coming up with a kickass sound for their band. Don't mess with a proven formula, just get together and form either a metal, blues or jukebox rock band. Unfortunately just like everything else in life, people are constantly demanding innovation when it comes to music. A fresh, creative new sound that they've never heard before. In principle, innovation is a good thing. I mean who doesn't want to be blown away by hearing something badass that their ears have never experienced before? However, when innovation just means you throw out some weird combination of shitbag noise and call it rock for the sake of being creative, it's definitely a negative. Being "intelligent" and "innovative" is just code for "This music blows" and is most likely the product of this week's Band That Sucks Balls: RADIOHEAD.

I don't care what you and all your intellectual buddies say, Radiohead fucking sucks giant donkey dick. Radiohead is one of those bands that everybody feels like they are supposed to like. If you tell somebody your favorite band is The Beatles or The Rolling Stones, you aren't gonna impress anybody. Oh yeah of course you like The Rolling Stones. I'm sure you own the "40 Licks" greatest hits album and jam out to "Brown Sugar" in your car, and once a year you go to a rock concert wearing your lips logo Stones t-shirt. How original. You are clearly a conformist. Meanwhile, if you tell somebody your favorite band is Radiohead? Holy shit. You are clearly on a higher wavelength than 90% of society. Your conversation with the liberal arts major honey at the party will immediately take off. "OMG I looooove Radiohead! Thom Yorke = genius. Personally I think OK Computer was actually their worst album." Liking Radiohead instantly tabs you as somebody that looks for something deeper and more artsy, when compiling your Itunes music library. It also means you are most likely a douchebag.

Who decided that Radiohead is a great rock band? I'll tell you who. Music critics. Self righteous intellectual hipsters. Hollywood celebs that wanna seem cool and in the know. Get an art history major, Drew Barrymore and the staff of "Spin Magazine" into a room and I bet they could each give you a 3,000 word essay on why Radiohead is amazing. I on the other hand couldn't provide you three words regarding their status as rock deities. Can you point to a Radiohead song that is "good?" Or "enjoyable to listen to?" Well there's "Kaaaarma Poooolice." Jesus Christ. Talk about taking the express train to SuicideTown, USA. Compared to this, Nine Inch Nails might as well be Motown. "Fake Plastic Trees?" Total garbage. "Creep" is pretty much the closest thing to a tolerable Radiohead song because it involves a little hard thrashing guiter and is fun to play on "Rock Band." The hook on "Creep" goes "I'm a creep, I'm a weeeirdo, what the hell am I doing here?..I don't belong." These lyrics are pretty much the most accurate description of Radiohead's place in rock and roll ever written.

Every Radiohead song sounds exactly the same. An acoustic guitar strumming. Maybe a couple slow brooding piano keys. A repetitive drum beat. Within a minute you feel like you're at a candlelight vigil or rape victim rally. Then the singing comes in courtesy of Weirdball McGee, Thom Yorke. Thom Yorke is a total dickhead. Like most frontman of Bands that Suck Balls, he doesn't have a good voice so he doesn't "sing" in the conventional sense. He just..hums...for four minutes. Then occasionally he'll cry out in a high pitch. The crying out is increased during the inevitable climax of any Radiohead song. This is the one minute ending where the band briefly turns up the volume of their depressing jam with some electric guitar or at least some louder piano.

During a Radiohead live performance or music video, the climax is the part where Thom gets to put all the attention on himself by posing in some weird pseudo-crucifixtion stance or dancing around in a circle like a tripping hippie on acid. What a weirdo. First of all, who the fuck spells their name "Thom"..? A fucking douche that's who. Second of all, I don't think anyone could look LESS like a rock frontman. "Right look at me chaps, I'm a ginger that didn't bother to comb my hair this morning. I don't have cool rock facial hair, I just have a three day 5 o'clock shadow." Hey memo to NBC and Chris Hanson: I think there's a predator out there you haven't caught and he is the frontman for Radiohead. Third, I hate your fucking brooding facial expression. Like you're making the effort to say "Ughhh look at me I'm such a deep introspective genius. I'm always sad and brooding." If you are a rock band/singer posing for a picture you can either look arrogant and godly (Zeppelin/Stones), angry (Metallica), badass (GNR), or goofy (Van Halen). AKA nothing like Thom Yorke. Aww you're such a sad tortured genius :(. Here's a gun fucking do me a favor and shoot yourself already.

Anyways since people are constantly starving for creativity and innovation, Radiohead will probably continue to be succesful as long as they churn out their weirdo funeral procession jams. Thom York will continued to be revered as an artistic rock "genius." Just count me out of this group. It's total bullshit that your ability to make weird noise and write the soundtrack to me hanging myself makes you a "genius." Apparently you can't be happy and be considered a musical innovator. Fuck off Radiohead, go be sad and brooding somewhere else. You are definitely a pack of creeps and weirdos that don't belong on my rock radio.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

New pictures added to the album: "We Drank Beer at a Bar Again"

This past weekend was Halloween which means of course come Monday there were a billion new photo albums up on facebook documenting how much fun everybody I knew had over the weekend playing dress-up. I guess Halloween is a reasonable occasion to document with a few snapshots. After all you only get to dress like a clever pop culture reference or whore in knee high socks once a year. You're allowed a couple cute photo memories of the event. For the most part however, the same people who posted pictures of Hallow's Eve weekend...make photo albums for..EVERY weekend. Their entire mundane life needs to be documented with a snapshot for every moment. These Facebook picture people fucking piss me off.

Do you remember back before photo albums could be "uploaded" onto your computer? Back when pictures had to kept and bound in a thick, heavy book? Well your mom does. Back in those days, unless you had a living room the size of the local library, there were only so many family photo albums you could keep on your shelves. So pictures and the albums they would eventually fill were saved only for certain occasions. You know..a unique and special event. Christmas. Birthdays. Bringing home the family puppy. You know..something actually SPECIAL and worth documenting. They didn't make a photo album for the weekly Thursday night out at Applebees. Those were the days. Then the internet, digital cameras, mobile uploading and Facebook came along. You could now conceivably record every moment of your life and share it with the world. Show everyone how much fun you're having on a weekly basis. Even if nobody could give a damn about your shitty insignificant existence, you now had the chance to force people to see what a blast you and your loser friends had at happy hour.

I've addressed you party picture people briefly before in facebook/status message posts but you really deserved your own personal rant. On my list of people that need to be put on the fast track to death by legal injection it pretty much goes child molesters, Al Quaeda, then YOU. Do you have to put up 77 new pictures of your fun escapades EVERY...FUCKING..WEEK? That many pictures is totally fine if they make up the album "Summer 2010." Over the course of a season, or a semester I can see you experiencing 50+ moments you wanted to remember. Not one normal evening out on the town though. Oh look you went to a bar. Oh look here's a pic of you guys sitting at the bar. Oh look here's a pic of you guys sitting at the bar looking sad because the tap was being changed. Oh here's a pic of that tray of fruity shots you guys ordered. SO INTRIGUING! I can't waaaait to click forward to the next frame of your unique Friday adventure!

These stupid cuntbags also feel the need to label EVERY picture with a funny caption. "This is right after Brooke put her life savings in the jukebox" is the label for the picture of Brooke and her twatbox friend posing by the jukebox with silly facial expressions. ZOMG!! YOU WENT TO A BAR AND PLAYED SONGS ON A JUKEBOX!! Clearly this is the first time you have experienced such an amazing moment and you needed to document it. "This is where things got out of hand..." is written under the picture of kamikaze shots. Clearly nothing got out of hand you fucking liar. I know this because you were still able to take 43 more pictures of you and your entourage of fellow assclowns being completely average and boring at a bar on Friday night.

Do you ever wonder if your parents partied back when they were still free-spirited youngsters in their 20s? You know back before they did society a horrible disservice by bringing you into this world. Well they did. They cruised around in their rad thunderbirds or camaros bouncing from club to club. They got shithoused at pool parties. They..you know...enjoyed life. Have you seen many pictures of your folks during their days as wild and crazy dudes? No. You know why there were no pictures taken of your mom's super fun friday nights? She was too busy doing blow with your dad and grinding to "KC and the Sunshine band" to take a snapshot. Too busy actually having a good time. Have you ever seen pictures of old rock bands partying? They're never actually facing the camera. They're too busy doing something rad like chugging a bottle of Jack or groping a groupie. Not standing in a line posing with their Miller Lites like you pack of toolboxes. If Keith Richards was put in charge of a camera and a facebook account in the 70s, every week there would be a new photo album entitled "random pictures of the floor and various objects I knocked over."

Since you have friends that may be bigger losers than you that comment "cuuuute!!" or "Love this pic!!! :)" on all of your dull, unexciting photos, I don't expect this ridiculous behavior to stop. So I'll just go ahead and delete you from my newsfeed. Or just...NOT look at your stupid pictures. Because I've seen them before and they're fucking boring. I don't need to be reminded of how much a loser you are every Monday morning. Take your digital camera and shove it up your ass. Maybe I should upload a pic of me taking a dump into a photo album and tag you in it, because that activity is actually far more interesting than anything you participated in last weekend.