Archive for June, 2009

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The Wild World of WordPress

June 16, 2009

Thanks to the miracle that is the WordPress Random Link Generator, some underattended blogs can finally receive their day in the proverbial sun. Let’s take a walk on the blog side, shall we, and discover some of the hidden gems that make up… the Wild World of WordPress!

First up: Bigguyxxl’s Weblog

bigguy

Whatever happened to bigguyxxl? His blog showed lots of potential, what with the witty tagline and opening salvo:

Wow – I am almost cutting edge – I have a blog – so 2000 isn’t it. Now to find out what to do with it …….

Not very many clues here. Let’s check the About page:

This is an example of a WordPress page, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many pages like this one or sub-pages as you like and manage all of your content inside of WordPress.

Still nothing. Let’s check the Drafts:

I just entered a deathrace. So 2000, isn’t it. I’m excited and a little nervous as I have never raced or died before (at least not professionally). Follow me on Twitter (@bigguyxxlrip) for my first and last twit (is that how you say that?). Peace.

I just finished upgrading Windows. It’s so 2000. Needless to say, it sucks. But the price was right and I shouldn’t need an upgrade until the year 3000.

I’ve just sent another killer cyborg back in time. It’s T-2000. I’m hoping that this will finally destroy the threat posed by Edward Furlong and his sub-Keanu acting ability. There is a slight chance that this will cause a split timeline at the point of insertion. Oh, the duality! If all else fails we can drop back and reboot.

I just had to post to raise some awareness about the latest outrage. Have you heard about this outrage? I’m outraged. I can understand how some people might take the other side of this issue. That’s duality for you. I once felt the same way but a personal experience raised my awareness.

This is an example of a WordPress personal experience. You can edit this to reflect an experience that affected you personally. Some adjectives you may consider using are: life-changing, transforming, traumatizing, neutering, mind-altering, years of intense therapy, bling-y.

WordPress can help you manage your personal experiences by creating subpages and archives. Be sure to tag your personal experiences for cross-referencing and searchability. Some popular tags include: tripping balls with Neil Patrick Harris, bound and gagged, bitter legal dispute, class-action lawsuit, pointless anecdote, windy diatribe, dear penthouse.

WordPress.com – we can remember it for you wholesale.

Godspeed, bigguyxxl. You have taught us all that with a little perseverance and free time, anyone can create and abandon a blog.

Our second featured blog: Phil Alper: 4U2C

philalper

The outgrowth of one man’s plan to climb to the upper echelon of men’s fashion through a series of informative posts letting readers know what is on sale, when it is on sale, when it is no longer on sale and other useful info. Except, of course, where the store is located or what hours it is open.

In some sort of web 2.0 magic, a simple WordPress theme has been turned into a reasonable facsimile of the finest in Geocities/Angelfire website design. Phil also fits in time to answer some tough menswear-related questions like this one:

comments

Great work, Phil! You handled that softball beautifully. But so many questions remain unanswered, like these:

  • My stepbrother and I are looking to rent tuxedos for job interviews and whatnot. Does Bacarach offer this service, presumably with a wide selection and competitive pricing?
  • I’m entering a deathrace and I need to look sharp. I need something that will stand out, whether in the winner’s circle or in a well-appointed coffin. I am a large gentleman with a split-personality. Is Bacharach equipped to handle the sartorial needs of the big-and-tall blogger/driver?
  • I realize I have many choices in long-distance carriers. Can you tell me why, in this day and age, I would even consider paying for long-distance?
  • I’m looking to be promoted at my job (I work in Men’s Fashion). Do you have any ideas on which sort of suck-up questions I should be asking my supervisor, to better highlight the fount of knowledge and skill he has assembled in his first few (incredible!) months as best manager ever? (Phil. It’s me, John. Love your tie!)

Keep on blogging, Phil. The world needs a firm but informative hand to guide it through the icy seas of Men’s Fashion.

(A personal note: My good friend and fellow blogger, RF Interference, has often wondered exactly what a Chromeo fans looks like. I think this shot is as good as any.)

Phil Alper: 4U2C - clotheshorse and Chromeo fan

Phil Alper: 4U2C - clotheshorse and Chromeo fan

-CLT

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DEA Declares Drug War “Lost”; Will Meet with Drug Lords to Discuss “Terms of Concession”

June 14, 2009

The following is a repost from when I was just a young lion tamer. It originally appeared in this blog on January 16th, 2009. My excuse: it’s Sunday; I’m feeling unmotivated; it’s a sign of the downhill slide my writing has taken; se habla espanol… Pick one. Enjoy.

That'll stop the smurfing pusher from smurfing my body with his smurfing drugs!

That'll stop the smurfing pusher from smurfing my body with his smurfing drugs!

Citing escalating costs and a seizure rate of less than 1%, DEA head Michael Mukasey declared the War on Drugs officially lost. “We hope to meet with drug lords in Mexico, Colombia and Turkey over the next few weeks to determine where we go from here. We hope to be able to control and tax incoming shipments with the cooperation of our former adversaries.” DEA chiefs expressed little surprise in the decision, with one anonymous source stating that “the war was lost the moment Nixon deputized Elvis.”

Some scattered details on the new, legal drug rollout have begun to surface. The DEA is looking to work with the FDA to maintain low purity levels and determine acceptable percentage amounts for “additives” such as baby laxatives, rat poison and antifreeze. The DEA is also looking to control prices through a combination of stockpiling and “no-growth” subsidies. According to Mukasey, the subsidies will be an essential element which will allow small drug farms to compete on the “open” market.

The government is considering licensing currently illegal drugs to distributors across the retail industry. Early front-runners would be major pharmaceutical companies, due to their previous experience in pushing questionable substances onto the American public. Other market front-runners have also expressed an interest.

Coca-Cola has issued a statement expressing interest in returning cocaine to their soft drink line, hoping to capitalize on demand for a return to the “Classic Coke” formula. Pepsi has countered with an expansion of their energy drinks, beginning with their Mountain Dew spinoff “Amp.” A spokesman for Pepsi said, “The rebranding of our energy drink line will begin with ‘Amph,’ the first energy drink on the market to contain actual amphetamines. This will allow us to discontinue use of such dubious energy components such as guarana, taurine and ginseng. We were starting to look like the medical counter at Whole Earth foods, for god’s sake.”

Wall Street is also interested in this turn of events. Traders are looking forward to the brand new “drug futures” market. “It’s been a while since we’ve had anything new to exploit,” said one stockbroker. “Hopefully, unfettered exploitation and speculation will prop up our sagging economy.”

The lifted ban on the sale and use of drugs will also have effects elsewhere:

  • The DEA plans to purchase “a large percentage” of the nation’s rehab clinics. The Betty Ford clinics have already been purchased and will be resuming operations under their new title, “Gerald Ford Rehabilitation Centers: Stumbling Towards Recovery.”
  • Most major cities will have 24-hour drug services available through Rite-Aid, Walgreens and CVS. According to Mukasey, these outlets should allow the public to “get their supplies in a timely fashion, without the hassle of multiple phone calls or a dangerous car drive to the inner city.”
  • The DEA estimates that nearly 9,500 trailer park bathtubs will return to their normal duty. “This should allow more bathtubs to last longer, as their general usage, pre-meth, was less than 30 minutes a month,” said Mukasey.
  • Alcoa and General Electric stock prices rose based on an expected surge in aluminum foil and lightbulb sales.
  • Mukasey expects anti-drug policies in the workplace to remain unchanged. “Although these substances are no longer illegal, they will still be controlled substances and have many unsavory side effects which are still detrimental to health and productivity.” He added, “Unless your business finds unfocused energy, paranoia and the ability to withstand multiple bullet impacts a plus in middle management candidates.”
  • Organized religions across the globe have shown a rare moment of unity to protest the legality of drugs. According to a press release, “religion has, and always will be, the opiate of the masses. To allow opium or any opium derivative to usurp that title is would be a blow to our respectability.”
  • The Department of Justice is reportedly considering legalizing prostitution. An anonymous insider stated: “If you’re doing a rail of newly legal blow off a hooker’s ass, it hardly seems logical that you, or your improvised coke delivery system, be imprisoned for breaking another outdated law.”

Surprisingly, despite an across-the-board legalization, hemp will remain illegal. Mukasey commented on the seeming paradox: “Look, the only reason anybody has wanted this stuff legalized is so they could ‘accidentally’ break off a few pot plants for private use. Now that marijuana is legal, that shouldn’t be the case. I mean, come on, we’ve more than met you stupid hippies halfway.”

-CLT

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Zondervan Publishing’s Top Selling Christian Books for 2009

June 13, 2009
Not so fast neophytes. You've got to pay for these.

Not so fast neophytes. You've got to pay for these.

These fine titles represent the pinnacle of inspirational writing. We at Zondervan Press are honored to offer you wonderful books at incredibly high profit margins. Just remember, when it comes to living a Godly life, you don’t know shit. Get one for yourself and one for a friend. Zondervan: We’re Holier Than You.

Honing Your Gaydar: How to Go from “0 to Outraged” Efficiently

Beavers Mate for Life: What Nature Has to Say About Our Appalling Divorce Rate

The Agape Press Guide to Cults: Which to Avoid (any other major religion) and Which to Join (Branch Davidian, Promise Keepers)

Israel: Gateway to Hell?: Respected Director Mel Gibson Speaks Frankly About Jewish Culture

101 Places to Find God– Includes jail, AA meetings, the “Rock Bottom” Gentlemen’s Club, the closet, hallucinogen-fueled epiphanies, Road to Damascus Historical Tours, Section L Row 2122 Seat 335 Billy Graham One Night Only, Scott Stapp’s dressing room…

The Uptight Christian’s Movie Guide– Popular movies broken down by obscenities, nudity, bad behavior, taking the Lord’s name in vain, etc.

  • Ex: Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay
    (20:13 – 23:54) – “Bottomless” party scene. Viewers will be exposed to breathtaking shots of half-naked women for nearly the entire three minutes. Some side-boob and full-exposure breasts. Note: Unrated version extends this scene for maximum “offensiveness.” If “offensiveness” persists for more than 4 hours, please contact a physician. Not appropriate for anyone.

The Proper Melding of Church and State: Our Current Republican Representative Speak Out on Our Founding Fathers’ Greatest Mistake

Walt Disney: the Antichrist?– Exploring the dark world of Disney, including magick propaganda, heretical talking animals, pantless anthropomorphic ducks and Disneyland’s Gay Day.

The Subservient Woman – Attention Christian men. Keep them bitches in line with choice, context-less scripture written by ancient misogynists.

What Happens in the Seminary Stays in the Seminary: The Catholic Priest’s Guide to Getting Down

Those evolutionists could learn a lot from this mural, which is currently painted on the side of my '82 Ford van.

Those evolutionists could learn a lot from this mural, which is currently painted on the side of my '82 Ford van.

Jesus: Dinosaur Tamer

How Affirmative Action Is Screwing Up the Afterlife: They’re Just Letting Anyone in Now. I Don’t Even Know What Language Those People Are Speaking. And the Smell When They Start Cooking… Are They Using Lard? Yep, That’s Lard, Alright. And Bone Marrow? I Think That’s Bone Marrow. Good Lord. We Should Think About Moving. I Feel I Need to Start Locking the Front Door Every Night. This Neighborhood Used to Be Good. I Used to Know Everybody. Ever Since That Colored Fella Became President, Heaven Has Been Going Downhill…

Apocalypse Survival Guide: What to Do If You Are “Mistakenly” Left Behind

The Trouser Press Guide to Bob Dylan Gospel Albums

The Recession: How Gay Marriage, Atheism and a General Collapse of Moral Values Destroyed Our Economy – by Dan Conry with a foreword by RF Interference.

Premarital Sex: the Antichrist?– Featuring a round-table discussion from religious leaders who haven’t touched their wives (or anyone else’s) for years. Average age: 80.

God’s Terrorists: A Tribute to America’s Abortion Clinic Bombers – features a profile on ELF: “We may not agree on the ends, but we certainly approve of the means…”

You Make the Call: An Interactive Guide to Judging Others

Rock and Roll Is Dead: Rolling Stone Says So (Again), So I Guess We Can Stop Worrying About It Turning the Youth of America Into Sex-Crazed, Drug-Using Mass Murders

Masturbation: the Devil’s Handjob – Foreword by Battle Creek Sanitarium owners, Will and John Kellogg.

500 Platitudes for Any Situation

  • Death: All things work together for good
  • Tornado: All things work together for good
  • Factory Recall: All things work together for good
  • McDonald’s out of McRibs: All things work together for good. Hand me the phone.
  • Homosexual son: All things work together for good. Except for you. And your son. God hates you both.
  • Single mothers: The Lord works in mysterious ways. Except not for you. You, He hates.
Sporting cleavage? Duets with Peter Cetera and Vince Gill? What line won't she cross?

Sporting cleavage? Duets with Peter Cetera and Vince Gill? What line won't she cross?

Amy Grant: Whore of Babylon

The Christian Kama Sutra: Several (Two) Positions for Maximum Fertility/Minimum Enjoyment

You Shall Have No Other Gods Before Me: Why the Lord Doesn’t Want Your Sloppy Seconds

-CLT

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Fancy Plans… Guide to Rock and Roll Vol. 5 (Nothing Exceeds Like Excess)

June 11, 2009

As long as the horse remains dead, we at Fancy Plans… will continue to beat it. If, at any point, the horse is revived, we will swiftly re-kill it and commence beating it immediately. So without further ado, the latest installment of the apparently neverending Fancy Plans… Guide to Rock and Roll.

Previous versions can be found here:
The Original
Vol. 2
Vol. 3
Vol. 4

Early version of Alice in Chains, featuring Sinead O'Connor

Early version of Alice in Chains, featuring Woody Harrelson

Alice in Chains
Also-rans during the Pacific Northwest’s “me-too” onslaught, Alice in Chains funneled Layne Staley’s love for all things Led Zeppelin and/or heroin-related into a monotonous blend of po’-faced confessions and overweight riffage.

Staley’s introspective lyrics dealt with his own personal demons: horse, smack and heroin. The band’s song titles tended to reflect that. Some choice selections are:

  • Me and Julio Shooting Up Down by the Schoolyard
  • Man in a Heart-Shaped Box
  • Rainy Day Junkies #12 and #35
  • Tourniquet of Smackhound’s Desire
  • Brother, Can You Spare a Bindle?
  • Smack’s a Good Man, Brother
  • Train in Vein
  • God Help Me, I Loves Me Some Horse
  • My Apologies for Throwing Up in Your Closet
Bryan Ferry poses with members of Grand Funk Railroad and a balding elf

Bryan Ferry poses with members of Grand Funk Railroad and a balding elf

Roxy Music
The brainchild of Bryan Ferry, the man who would be lounge king, Roxy Music was always classing up the joint with their avant-garde music, artful crooning, wicked smart lyrics and nekkid women album covers.

Their breakthrough came in 1982 with Avalon, Ferry’s tribute to the world’s foremost purveyor of strategic board games. In fact, the band’s love of Axis & Allies frequently found them engaged in marathon sessions, which would often force them to hit the stage late and still dressed in Nazi garb. Onstage banter often contained cryptic quotes, such as “Eno, you fool. You played right into my hands,” and “Berlin will never fall!” The refusal of Ferry to recognize British air superiority was the main factor in Eno’s decision to leave the band.

Bryan Ferry soldiered on with Roxy Music and a fairly prolific solo career, continually thrusting his success into the faces of his former classmates, who teased him mercilessly about his last name. Each album cover was successively nuder, as if to point out the massive amount of trim Ferry was getting, despite his last name, “pansy ass” singing and “gay” wardrobe.

One of the many Aphex Twin side projects: The Illegitimate Offspring of Richard D. James

One of the many Aphex Twin side projects: The Illegitimate Offspring of Richard D. James

Aphex Twin
One can hardly begin to discuss the extremely prolific output of expert knob-twiddler Richard D. James (aka Aphex Twin) without recounting some of his alter egos and side projects: AFX, Caustic Window, Richard “Humpty” Vission, Sine Wave, Men Without Hats, Mike and Rich, White Cell Count, Didgeridoo, Gak, Polygon Window, The Most Exalted Potentate of Love, Philip Glass, Calx, Unlistenable Twaddle, Narwhal Extractor, walloFsoUnd, Power Pill, Alice Deejay, Dixie-Narco, Q-Chastic, Richard D. James: Medicine Woman, I Makes Me Own Instruments, Harold & Kumar Go to Cornwall, etc. Which scarcely leaves time to discuss anything else.

Works like Ipecac

Works like Ipecac

Blind Melon
Less a band than major label backwash from the mid-90’s “alt.rock” signing sprees, (“Hell, we signed Toad the Wet Sprocket and Better Than Ezra! Why the fuck not!”) Blind Melon swiftly hoisted their own petard with a jangly single and an omnipresent video featuring what appears to be a Special Olympics costume contest.

Lead “singer” Shannon Hoon milked his “tortured hippie” schtick until his career came to a sudden halt due to the untimely cocaine overdose of the “Bee Girl.” With Blind Melon rudderless (and talentless), the remaining members filed for Chapter 11 cultural bankruptcy, opening a primo “alternative” slot which the major labels swiftly filled with Blowfish.

Bryan Adams attempts to "one-up" Richard Gere

Bryan Adams attempts to "one-up" Richard Gere

Bryan Adams
Born in the summer of ’69 in Anytown, USA during a 4th of July parade, at the corner of Main Street and Cliche, Bryan Adams grew up to be a platinum-selling artist despite no one ever admitting to being a fan of his.

As he tirelessly strives to out-bland late-model Bon Jovi and the Goo Goo Dolls, Adams may face his biggest challenge in Aerosmith’s soundtrack-ready power balladry.

Bryan Adams: the anti-Velvet Underground: despite record sales in the millions has never inspired anyone, anywhere to start a band.

The band success allowed them to finance the Bauhaus School of Relentless Affectation

The band's success allowed them to finance the Bauhaus School of Relentless Affectation

Bauhaus
Of all the art school rejects who have started bands, Bauhaus was by far the artiest. (Unless you count the Artful Dodger, purveyor of British 2-step. We won’t because 2-step is a combination of R&B and drum n’ bass, two awful tastes that taste awful together.)

Known everywhere as “the only goth band ever,” Bauhaus trafficked in dark lyrics and minor chords. Their lead singer, Peter Murphy, possessed the most overwrought and over-enunciated English accent to ever grace vinyl, a title he held until a young Al Jourgensen put Chicago on the map with his New Romantic synthpop group, Ministry.

So arty were they, in fact, that Peter Murphy dissolved the group simply because the band name wasn’t “arty” enough, forming Dali’s Car with Mick Karn in 1984. The other members of the band went their separate ways, taking on various odd jobs such as Lead Singer in Tones on Tail (Daniel Ash), Interchangeable Member of the Jazz Butcher (David J) and Drummer in Tones on Tail (Kevin Haskins).

The other 3, as I will affectionately call them right now, went on to form Love & Rockets, the greatest psychedelic pop band to ever boldy snatch their name from a published work without having to append a “UK” to their U.S. releases. (See also: Chameleons UK, Charlatans UK, Chemical Brothers UK (Dust Brothers US), Carter USM UK, British Sea Power UK.)

The key elements of the Cocteau Twins - Fraser's ethereal, dreamlike vocals; unfortunate hairdos

The key elements of the Cocteau Twins - Fraser's ethereal, dreamlike vocals; unfortunate hairdos

Cocteau Twins
Another 4AD band, following This Mortal Coil’s blueprint for medium success. The Twins hew closely to the atmospheric dreampop of their labelmates, but have created a distinctly unique sound of their own, perhaps mainly due to Elizabeth Fraser’s vocals.

Critics have found it hard to describe their sound accurately. “Ethereal” gets tossed around. A lot. “Dreamlike” gets trotted out. But to truly pinpoint this band’s sound, one would have to create entirely new metaphors and comparisons, like:

  • “What gauzy purple sounds like…”
  • “Like Nick Lowe, only female and balding…”
  • “Like Kate Bush fronting Chapterhouse, with the guitars set to ‘pillow.'”
  • “Like This Mortal Coil, only less coiled and more mortal. With a chick sort of singing…”

Note to fans keeping score at home: the Cocteau Twins are not actually twins, like the Thompsons, Aphexes and Toxics.

-CLT

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New from Time/Life Books

June 10, 2009

 

Alright. The guest bathroom is finished. What's next?

Alright. The guest bathroom is finished. What's next?

It’s summer again and time to crack open the garage, toolbox and several hundred PBR’s. The tireless fanatics at Time/Life have been cranking out book after book, each one just waiting to yank your free time away from you. Here’s a brief look at some of the new additions.

How to Kill Your Idols – Thurston Moore with Mark David Chapman

Brick Wall Construction: No Education Needed! – Norm Abram with Roger Waters

101 Fad Gadgets: Assemble at Home for Fun and Profit!

Light Bulb Installation: Thorough Instructions for Polaks, Blondes, Lawyers, Drummers, Government Employees, etc.

Building Your Own Language: A Combustulant Display of Wordsmithering by Don King and Al Sharpton

Tennis Shoe Assembly: Malaysian Edition (3rd Grade Level Reading Required)

What Color Is Your Parachute?: Bernie Madoff Will Let You Know

How to Handle Any Emergency – includes instructions on common emergencies such as:
– McDonald’s out of McRibs
– Unruly McDonald’s drive-thru customers
– Being called fat
– Being called drunk and fat
– Room cleaning-related violence

Fritzling Up Your Basement: Austria’s Best-Kept Remodeling Secrets

Dorm Room Decorating – includes tips on:
– Cinderblock shelving
– Pizza box desks
– Which porn magazines should you have on your coffee table
– 101 great bong stashes
– Milk crate CD storage
– Where the fuck is my student aid?

Holy Fuck! Water’s Not Working: the Amateur’s Guide to Household Wiring

Backyard Archaeology: Digging in the Dirt – hidden “treasure” examples:
– Tab can (ca. 1982)
– Matchbox cars
– Cinnamon, the dog you thought went to “live on a farm”
– Missing pages from Laura Palmer’s diary
– Stacy Peterson
– Thousands of pissed-off fire ants
– Used condom
– Buried power lines
– Peter Gabriel

Projects You Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Build, Snap-On Tools or No
Firepits
– Treehouses with zip lines
– Anything involving depleted uranium
– Guantanamo Bay replica
– Particle accelerators
– Affronts to God

Cellphone Photography – tips on these tricky shots:
– Underskirt
– Restroom lighting
– Photographing yourself nude
– Concerts
– Your supposedly hilarious friends romping in a carefree fashion
– That douchebag keying your car

Woodworking (and Other Double Entendres) – includes:
– Tool handling
– Hand lathing
– Screw driving
– Hammering
– Drilling
– Pounding
– Banging
– When to use “That’s what she said,” for maximum effect
– Steadying your erection
– Using nuts
– Inserting your penis into her vagina, possibly repeatedly

101 Half-Assed Projects – examples include:
– “Light-switch covers. I am in the zone.”
– “That looks pretty straight.”
– “Maybe a shim or two might help.”
– “I’ve got some picture nails…”
– “I’ll sand it now, and seal it right before winter…”
– “Airplane line and a birdhouse? Now we’re playing with power!”

The Inept Handyman’s Guide to Artful Swearing: Thousands of Useful Phrases
“Holy mother of God, my finger!”
– “Jesus fucking Jones, 3/16″ off shouldn’t be that much of a problem!”
– “Mortise-and-tenon framing? What eggheaded cocksucker wrote these instructions?”
– “‘It is best to be two people?’ Fuck you, you stainless-steel whore!”
– “Hold at shoulder level? For how fucking long? Until my fucking arms fall off, you worthless piece of shit?”

Installing Your Own Home Security System – tips for handling these common situations:
– Talking down angry law enforcement after the seventh false alarm in two hours
– Trimming your run to the reset panel to 10 seconds or less
– That cat has got to go
– Quit touching the goddamn windows! Jesus, here come the cops again.

Where the Sidewalk Ends: You, Your Water Lines and City Hall

Birdhouses and Shit: Hundreds of Ways to Waste Your Children’s Summer Vacation and Make the Best Use of Your Inadequate Tool Selection

Settling Homeowner Disputes – examples include:
– So, suddenly it’s my tree after it takes out the windshield of your Beamer.
– Stop measuring my grass with a caliper, you anal piece of shit.
– You know, if you really want me out of your neighborhood, maybe you should stop rewriting all my signs to say, “For Sale: By Asshole.”
– I don’t see anywhere in the association agreement where it specifically states that I cannot construct a moat and drawbridge.
– I don’t know what you’re so upset about. The shallow, unmarked graves are several feet within my property lines.

The Super 8 Guide to Interior Decorating – tips on:
– Brown lamps, yellow shades: classics never get old
– Thrift shop paintings add some ambiance and a hint of quiet desperation to any room
– Which carpet colors hide blood, vomit and other bodily fluids
– Searing fluorescent lighting can make any bathroom look larger; dirtier

Get a Lawyer!: The Bruce Williams Guide to Property Ownership

-CLT

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Fancy Plans… Guide to Rock and Roll (More Requests and Random Victims)

June 4, 2009

Much like previous installments (first, second and third), almost all information should be taken with several pillars of salt. Prepare to be blasphemed and sodomized by everything you never knew you didn’t know about the world of rock.

Einsturzende Neubauten band members loved to create their own instruments; ignore manufacturer's warnings

Einsturzende Neubauten band members loved to create their own instruments; ignore manufacturer's warnings

Einsturzende Neubauten
Ever since the first children climbed out the primordial ooze, opened the lower cupboards and proceeded to beat the hell out of pots and pans, man has been searching for a way to express this musically.

Einsturzende Neubauten, formed in 1980, fulfilled this dream. Early concerts featured band members flailing away at any percussive item, including fellow band members, the audience and lederhosen-clad beer wenches. Their name, which is often misspelled (often within this post itself) means “collapsing new buildings.” In a delightful play on words (and another display of German whimsy), the emphasis can be shifted to the third syllable of the first word to form a completely different phrase: “prolapsing new rectums.”

Guitarist, vocalist and pinup Blixa Bardot, has branched out from her noisy roots to play and tour with Nick Cave as “Under-Utilized Guitarist #1.” Her distinctive sound can barely be heard during interminable live renditions of such dark classics as Stagger Lee and Piano Man.

Einsturenzo Teubauten’s has influenced a number of industrial and noise groups including KMFDM’s early days as vacuum demonstrators, the Blue Man Group and their improvised instruments, Test Department’s general political cacophony, Rammstein’s general Germanness and the first 30 seconds of Def Leppard’s Rock of Ages.

Psst. Would you have the latest Sex Gang Children behind the counter?

Psst. Would you have the latest Sex Gang Children behind the counter?

Sex Gang Children
The only band in history to have been arrested for naming themselves, Andi Sex Gang and his Children have subsequently been cleared of all charges. Despite this, their name alone has caused more stage whispering in record stores than any other band on record (runners-up include Rapeman, the Negro Problem and Celine Dion). Each album release party tends to be swarmed by irate FBI drones and concerned politicians up for re-election. The band themselves have been asked not to perform within 1,500 yards of schools, playgrounds and public television stations.

The Catholic Church has of yet refused to take a solid stance on this band and their activities, so you may be able to catch a show in the unfortunately named rectory.

The Gang of Four's early years as a barbershop quartet

The Gang of Four's early years as a barbershop quartet

Gang of Four
The original seminal punk-funk band, to which the less politically-minded the Rapture owe their careers. Originally just a poorly organized student protest, the Gang of Four coalesced their displeasure with pretty much fucking everything into a funky, left-wing monster. Tackling everything from the military (I Love a Man in a Uniform) to capitalism (It Fails Us Now), poverty (To Hell With!) and assorted other hot-button topics (Anthrax).

Much like other seminal bands, they continued on to outlive their usefulness and reformed in 2004 to cash in on everyone who has missed their topical complaining the first time around. New waves of students were galvanized by their aging rhetoric and went about making posters and whatnot.

Rage Against the Machine could learn a thing or two from this band. Oh, they did. Mainly the reforming and touring. Because there’s money to be made. Evil, capitalistic money that spends the same as good, natural money. Actually better, because the first one exists while the other is simply the brainfart of many stoned students, whose lack of interest in making money has evolved into a bizarre hatred of those who will only exchange goods and services for money. Good luck with that.

Say, guv. The boys and I were wondering if you wouldn't have some fooking drugs?

Say, guv. The boys and I were wondering if you wouldn't have some fooking drugs?

Happy Mondays
Essentially a drug habit masquerading as a chart-topping band, the Happy Mondays formed in the “Angriest City in Britain,” Madchester, in 1980. Their effect of the burgeoning “baggy” scene was monumental.

While rewriting the blueprint for club music, the Mondays also has a tremendous effect on the slang of the day. Their code words for various items became ubiquitous. A few examples: “Kentucky Fried Chicken” – Heroin, “Junk” – Heroin, “Bez” – Psycho, “Case of the Mondays” – Suffering from heroin withdrawal.

While not producing club hits and referring to everyone and everything as “cunts,” Shaun Ryder and co. were hoovering up every available drug like Keith Richards understudies. Their unofficial slogan, “Taking Drugs to Make Music to Sell and, Subsequently, Purchase Drugs with the Profits” was shamelessly ripped off from contemporaries, the Spacemen 3. This set a precedent for “borrowing” that Ryder followed for the rest of the Mondays career and his solo work, taking solid chunks of Beatles’ lyrics, Pierre Henry’s Psyche Rock and, in the case of monster hit Step On, someone else’s entire song. (See also: David Lee Roth vs. Just a Gigolo.)

It all ended the way parent and politicians like to see a powerful drug story end: a disbanded group and a bankrupted label.

More exciting than this band

More exciting than this band

Bush
As children, someone asked them to “keep it down to a dull roar.” Bush ran with it, producing some of the dullest roar imaginable, following the trail inadvertently blazed by the subpar Candlebox (“Shit! I dropped one!”)

As Bush became the poster boys for everything wrong with Lowered Expectation Brand rock radio, their name has become synonomous with all things mediocre or worse: Bush league; Bush, George; Bush pilot; Layo and Bush Wacka!; Bush, George Dubya; Bush Wick Bill; 70s’-era porn Bush.

This man does amazing things with staircases

This man does amazing things with staircases

KMFDM
The show pony of Chicago’s Wax Trax! label, KMFDM became the go-to band for motion picture soundtracks due to their Teutonic bombast and lead singer MC En Escher’s ability to perform in more than three dimensions.

Much has been made of their name, which fans have speculated stands for anything from “Kill Mother Fucking Depeche Mode” to “Kylie Minogue Fans Don’t Masturbate.” In reality, it is the somewhat butchered German phrase “Kein Mehrheit Für Die Mitleid,” which Google translates as “No Midland Waffle Tuesday Ennui.”

Pontiac announces their updated tranny

Pontiac announces their updated tranny

Trans Am
A fine, if somewhat boring American-made sports car. In an effort to cross-promote, G.M. executives signed three Washington, D.C. youngsters in 1990 to “get the name out there.” Unfortunately, the band’s blend of synthpop and garage rock, coupled with their nearly lyricless output, appealed to few and sold even less, proving once again that if there’s one thing American auto executives don’t know, it’s running American auto companies.

Alex Patterson of the Orb (left) performs for a lucky Make-A-Wish Foundation child

Alex Patterson of the Orb (left) performs for a lucky Make-A-Wish Foundation child

the Orb
Having become bored with chart success, dumping dead sheep and burning money, KLF founding member Jimmy Cauty formed the Orb in 1988 in a shameless attempt to court the under-hygienic and overly-broke Grateful Dead crowd. Instead of 12 minutes of guitar wankery during the “ultimate live version” of Space Truckin (Cleveland 1978), the Orb dished out a 32-minute single, Blue Room, a song which repeatedly asks the question, “Is this the best use of your time?”

Citing influences as “disparate” as Pink Floyd and Brian Eno, the Orb continued on to release several albums of audio wallpaper, under the assumption that they would be used for ravers to “come down” with while being revived by paramedics.

allmusic.com says, “If you only listen to one Orb song, that’s probably all you really have time for. I mean, you’ve got shit to do, right? Work, walk the dog and that rain gutter won’t fix itself.”

The Crystal Method refused to buy another sequencer and live shows often turned into full-fledged fistfights

The Crystal Method refused to buy another sequencer and live shows often turned into full-fledged fistfights

the Crystal Method
Named after Dennis Hopper’s acting school (“Finding Your Character’s Center Through Massive Drug Intake”), which followed in the footsteps of old acting buddy Jack Nicholson’s “All Blow, All the Time” theory, the Crystal Method released their debut album, Vegas, in 1997.

Released during the height of the “techno takeover” of America, Vegaswent on to become one of the biggest-selling electronic albums of all time. Despite some major label star power and MTV’s half-assed co-opting, techno has since returned to its accepted uses: scoring movie club scenes, bumper music for sports-talk radio, and the lazy ad exec’s go-to genre for making something sound “new” or “exciting.”

In America, techo remains the “soccer” of the music world, more popular everywhere else but here. Having peaked on their debut, the Crystal Method waited seven years before releasing an underwhelming followup (see also: the Stone Roses). They are set to release a new album in 2009 and I couldn’t care less.

Comes free in every dime bag (while supplies last)

Comes free in every dime bag (while supplies last)

Bob Marley
Jamaican reggae singer who, during his brief but prolific career, released thousands of posters, hats, shirts, Jamaican flags and black velvet paintings, all featuring his dreadlocked, pot-smoking self. In the middle of the massive outpouring of self-promotion, Marley found time to release one album, the inexplicably named Legend: Bob Marley’s Greatest Hits.

Co-opted by a generation of couch-surfers, Marley’s sole album occupies a slot in even the least-discerning pothead’s music collection, alongside such favorites as Phish, Widespread Panic, the Dave Matthews Band, the Grateful Dead and, of course, Janis Joplin’s Greatest Hits.

When not being used for seed-and-stem sorting, Marley’s powerful album is the cornerstone (and only member) of the stoner’s reggae collection. Unless you count UB40. (Ed. – You know we don’t.)

Easily lost in the hotboxed haze is Marley’s revolutionary work and tireless anti-racism work, as is detailed in his songs:

  • “Is This Love” – the power of love; weed
  • “No Woman, No Cry” – comforting loved ones; weed
  • “Could You Be Loved” – again with the love; weed
  • “Three Little Birds” – props to the Audubon Society; weed
  • “Buffalo Soldier” – Black soldiers in the Indian Wars of the mid-1800’s; weed
  • “Get Up, Stand Up” – standing up for one’s rights; weed
  • “Stir It Up” – 5:33 – picking fights; weed
  • “One Love/People Get Ready” – monogamy/preparedness; weed
  • “I Shot the Sheriff” – shooting law enforcement; weed
  • “Waiting in Vain” – covering the Clash; weed
  • “Redemption Song” – double-coupon days; weed
  • “Satisfy My Soul” – getting some satisfaction; weed
  • “Exodus” – Moses, bitches; weed
  • “Jamming” – giving whitey something to sing along to, badly; weed

-CLT

h1

Man vs. Nature v.2

June 3, 2009
Signs that you are suffering from a black widow bite: 1. You have been asked to make significant changes to your will...

Signs that you are suffering from a black widow bite: 1. You have been asked to make significant changes to your will...

In the previous installment, we discussed nature vs. me in my current life. (This discussion, you’ll note, was much like any discussion with management. Mainly me talking and you listening or thinking of something else.)

Nature is a different kind of problem where I grew up.

El Paso, Texas.

It climate mirrors most of Arizona. Wrath of God heat. It never rains. When it does rain, it clogs the drain systems which were built on the assumption that “it never rains,” and, consequently have the capacity to hold between 0-1″ of rainwater.

Unlike Arizona, however, El Paso has yet to put together a quality online university or a 9-7 Super Bowl quality football team. We’ve also certainly never had a Hall of Fame bag boy for a franchise quarterback. And it goes without saying that we’ve never had a 38-year old quarterback who managed to throw his way out of Mike Martz’s “defense is for pussies” scheme and into Arizonian folklore.

Perhaps the turning point was Warner’s divorce of Susan Powter

brendawarner

Honey??!! Some of your fingernails are in my brain.

and subsequent marriage to a woman with fewer testicles than him.

NFL/

Honey??!! Your testicle is making it hard for me to breathe.

He’s become a legendary figure like Paul Bunyan or Andre the Giant. Cue NFL Film’s narration:

Kurt Warner. Raised in the northern Iowa wilderness by panthers, Warner would continue on to try out for the Green Bay Packers. Unable to read Brett Favre’s career intentions, Warner would settle on a much safer position, that of bag boy at the local Hyvee.

Even the 2nd shift manager knew they had something special, as Kurt would routinely hurl customers’ groceries 50+ yards into their open trunks. Still coasting on the cries of, “What an arm!” and “My eggs!” Kurt took his skills to the claustrophobic climes of football’s top arena: arena football.

Kurt’s success at the arena level was unparalleled. He led his Iowa Subisidies to victory after victory, with final scores that frequently rivalled NBA games. It was during this time that he married Susan Powter, an on-the-fence lesbian. He swept her off her experimenting feet, promising that, “Once you go bag, you never go back.”

Powter became known as the architect of Warner’s future and was frequently referred to, out loud, as “tough as nails,” due to her arm wrestling matches with Lenny Dykstra. During this time, Warner signed with the non-L.A. Rams and proceeded to tear every page out of their record books. These were subsequently replaced with new pages and the amount of the replacement docked from his suddenly hefty paycheck…

Anyway, nature.

El Paso fucking Texas. Scorpions, spiders, centipedes and snakes. You’d hear the horror stories. Jars over bed legs to keep the scorpions and centipedes from joining you in bed like a drunken frat boy with the clap. Aggressive black widow spiders who would bite you just for reaching into an area you couldn’t see clearly and settle back to collect the sizable inheritance. Snakes that would winter in your heating vents, complaining about how their hundred of kids wouldn’t visit.

We are legion. And we are rad-resistant.

We are legion. And we are rad-resistant.

But of all the horrors, nothing compares to the fucking roaches. Omnipresent. Fast. And so fucking many of them.

Did you know roaches will climb walls when they know they’re dying? Who knows why? Some leftover instinct from their early days as sun worshippers? Or perhaps their small brains figure everything trying to kill them is a flood?

We did not realize this until we bug-bombed our house. You could hear them falling off the ceiling. Hitting the lineoleum like the world’s smallest self-contained hailstorm.

And they’re immune to everything. Those that survived our bombing run would live on to sneer at the next gas attack.

They still haven’t figured out how to defeat their old nemesis, the shoe, however. But that day’s coming. Then they’ll be back, going all inner city youth on us, a couple hundred thousand strong, stealing our shoes. And coming back for our wallets and jewelry.

Just remember, if that crazy guy is right, and not simply raving to himself, beware of the apocalypse. It will be the survivors versus the roaches and they already have us outnumbered.

-CLT