Posts Tagged ‘christianity’

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The Bible: Fancy Plans Edition Vol. 5

December 29, 2009

The Bible is full of parables and stories that teach us valuable lessons through the suffering of others. Perhaps no story teaches us more than the story of Job. It teaches us that God toys with his creation and falls victim to a manipulative and bitchy Satan too easily.

Meet Job: an all-around good guy who gets his ass (and asses) handed to him during a supernatural game of Truth-or-Dare.

Previous blasphelarious (thanks, shearviscosity!) translations available here:
The Bible: Fancy Plans Edition Archive

Job's friends interrupt his "8-Minute Abs" session with suggestions that he up his reps; curse God; die.

1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil. The neighbors hated him. With a passion. Especially since he kept them up late at night, eschewing evil, often with his mouth open.

2 And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters. Like in that movie, Three Brides for Seven Brothers, which was a big hit in West Virginia and smaller cults worldwide.

3 His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east. So not only was he perfect and upright, but he had a metric shitload of stuff, including some of the best ass around. God. I’m sick of him already.

4 And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them. Because they all had their own houses, what with their filthy rich dad and there was always enough mutton and camel and ass to go around.

5 And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually, hedging his bets to stave off any unwarranted judgement from God. (FORESHADOWING) This generally took him the better part of the week, which meant that he was at least three days behind by Tuesday and by Friday it was last winter.

6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. Right up there on the list of reasons why God cast out Satan: constant gatecrashing. He also mentioned something about his “bogarting” of joints and never having any “stash” of his own. Plus he once peed in the linen closet.

In this tangentially-related etching, Job and unknown others discuss the pros and cons of cursing God; dying.

7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. I’m just passing through, dawg. No need to get all uptight.

8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? Hast thou also considered his fine sons and daughters, who have GPAs in the upper 4’s and multiple extracurricular activities? Hast thou also not seen his annual food drive and UNICEF cans? And his organ donor card?

9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast thou not laid thine “pimp hand” down like thou did to thy servant Jonah a few chapters from now?

10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. Why shouldst he bitch, when thou hooketh him up constantly?

11 But put forth thine pimp hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. Seriously. I bet I can get the F-bomb out of him.

12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. Because I am a vengeful and wrathful God. And I’m a sucker for playing the spread and looking like a big man in front of the demons. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD and mentally counted his winnings. (Which were not monetary, thus making the whole “playing the spread” thing irrelevant.)

13 And there was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house. This would be a day that ended in “y.”

14 And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them. Because they’re lazy asses. The oxen are starting to complain that someone should “write those asses up.” Anyway… that’s not the important part...

15 And the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. So… don’t worry about the write-ups. The problem seems to have solved itself. Although we will need to hire some new servants…

Subtitled "Job, Shut the Fuck Up or Get the Fuck Out!"

16 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. I mean, I think it was Godfire. I was enjoying a post-sheep banging cigarette and I think I dozed off. Next thing I know, it’s like a Fiery Furnace (self-referential!) out there, only with an awful “burning mattress” smell.

17 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. Worst Lollapalooza ever. Three bands. Slain servants. The headliner was Bush. ClearChannel isn’t issuing refunds and I left my Camels in my other ironic t-shirt.

18 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house. You know, ’cause it’s a day that ends with “y”? And they’re known lushes?

19 And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. I told them to make it out of brick, but no one listens to old Gerald. Not until he’s the last guy standing.

20 Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, (One Mantle: available month-to-month. 350 shekel deposit. No dogs.)

21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. To be honest, I liked the LORD better when he was giving, but what can you do? He also liketh the taking. Perhaps too much.

22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly. (God, feeling obligated by his massive screwing of Job, agreed to pick up the lease on the mantle and signed a 12-month agreement. Job appreciated this gesture and threw in a new flatscreen TV during God’s six-month extension.)

-CLT

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The Bible: Fancy Plans Edition Vol. 4

December 15, 2009

Back once again with the Renegade Master, the full damager, power to the people. Bringing back the Bible, old skool. Verily, gaze upon my mad rhymes and prepare to start throwing limbs about carefreely.

Volume 4 in what is a planned 144-volume series deals with the story of Jonah, another one of God’s chosen people. And much like God’s chosen people, he places himself and many others in the line of fire.

Previous volumes are available here:
The Bible: Fancy Plans Edition Archive

Much to the fish's dismay, Jonah exits through the entrance.

Jonah 1

1 Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,

2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. Go now, Jonah, for I tire greatly of their lippy bullshit.

3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. And, verily, this did not go unnoticed as the LORD, being the LORD and all, saw everything and said (under his breath): Ah, hell nah! You did NOT just do that.

4 But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. And the LORD said (again, under his breath): How you like them ship-breaking apples, you slippery bitch? Poseidon got nothin’ on me!

5 Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep, because he was suffering from depression, seasickness and narcolepsy.

He remembered waking up once and wondering why everyone was painting pentagrams on the deck and tossing bricks of Bolivian marching powder into the water. But he was all like, I’m clean, no record.

6 So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not. He continued, we’ve tried all our gods but it must be like a bank holiday or something. We keep getting voicemail and automated “Out of the Office” email.

7 And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah, mainly because Jonah was the “mark,” and as such, unfamiliar with most of the house rules for casting lots (like collecting the pot for landing on “Free Parking”).

As Jonah's shipmates prepare to off him mob-style, a bunch of unrelated characters wander around doing unrelated things.

8 Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; What is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou? And he said, cleverly referencing a true classic, I didn’t expect the Spanish Inquisition.

9 And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land. Oh, and some animals and humans. And a metric shit-ton of rules and regulations. Oh, and he destroyed the earth with a flood a while ago, but I doubt all this rain and such can really be considered another “world-killer.”

10 Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him. Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them. Unfortunately, there is not much in the sailing field that draws the best and brightest, and so we have situations like this where the men “figure something out” by having someone else tell them the answer. Hence the nickname: The Frat Boys of the Sea.

11 Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous. And Jonah unwisely said, what do you mean “we,” paleface?

12 And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you. And they were all over it, barely letting him get past the mid-sentence semi-colon. I mean, the man himself asked for it. But, being rather thick and possibly scurvaceous, they tried Plans B and C first.

Jonah does his best impression of Scott Stapp.

13 Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them. The LORD was having none of it, ceaselessly making it rain on these midshipmen.

14 Wherefore they cried unto the LORD, and said, We beseech thee, O LORD, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, O LORD, hast done as it pleased thee. And the LORD, seeing how quickly they deserted their own gods, taunted them viciously, shouting, Where’s your Moses now? which resulted in many continuity errors.

15 So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging. Back to Plan A: bros before stowaways who routinely incite the wrath of God.

16 Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD, and made vows, most of which they had broken by mid-February and later sold all the “barely-used” exercise equipment on Craigslist.

17 Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. And the LORD was pleased to the point of smugness and went off to a bash at the Valhalla Gentlemans’ Club to brag about his incredible “pimp hand.”

-CLT

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The Bible: Fancy Plans’ Edition Vol. 2

November 4, 2009
Leviticus

Due to the atonement rush, burnt offering scalpers are rolling in shekels.

As you may recall, our first edition of the Fancy Plans’ Bible dealt with the final chapter of the final book of the Bible. It was all doomsday and J-Dog/Dawg. Oh, and there was a fine Crystal Pepsi reference about 12 words into it, so that was pretty awesome. (If you don’t remember, click here for Volume One.)

For this week’s selection in heretical re-writing, we’re flipping way back to the third book of the Bible, wherein we find God handing out rules left and right. Apparently the flood didn’t straighten everything out and the Man himself feels it’s time to lay down a few hundred guidelines.

The Ten Commandments is pretty far behind us at this point, but with only 10 of them, some gray areas and loopholes are now being closed by the legal team of Yaweh & Bernstein. Let’s join today’s pre-judgement already in progress…

Leviticus 5

1 And if a soul sin, and hear the voice of swearing, and says, “Good lord! Is that my kid?” and is a witness, whether he hath seen or known of it, we really don’t care. Circumstantial evidence is cool with us, because nothing says Friday afternoon like blood running off an altar. If he do not utter it, then he shall bear his iniquity, like an iniquitous monkey of his back, for a length of time to be determined at sentencing.

2 Or if a soul touch any unclean thing, whether it be a carcass of an unclean beast, or a carcass of unclean cattle, or the carcass of unclean creeping things, or your mom’s underwear drawer, or that corpse floating in the drainage ditch and if it be hidden from him; he also shall be unclean, and guilty, and possibly contagious.

3 Or if he touch the uncleanness of man, whatsoever uncleanness it be that a man shall be defiled withal, and it be hid from him; when he knoweth of it, then he shall be guilty. And he shall show us on this doll where the uncleanness was touched and for how long and with a whole lot of detail.

4 Or if a soul swear, pronouncing with his lips to do evil, or to do good, whatsoever it be that a man shall pronounce with an oath, and it be hid from him. In fact, it’s kind of a crap shoot. Remember when we had ten commandments that were pretty cut and dried? Those days are over, bitches. Prepare to have the fuck judged out of you with a shifting set of rules not unlike that drinking game we played earlier this morning. When he knoweth of it, then he shall be guilty in one of these. Probably “Failure to alphabetize goats by sundown on every third Tuesday.”

5 And it shall be, when he shall be guilty in one of these things, that he shall confess that he hath sinned in that thing. We’ll hear the phrase “I’m guilty of ‘that thing'” a lot, because nothing here is set in stone (well, except for the Ten Commandments). This is all a work in progress. A punishable-by-death work in progress.

6 And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD for his sin which he hath sinned, a female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats, for a sin offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his sin, by touching the goat in the “uncleanness.” Repeatedly.

7 And if he be not able to bring a lamb, then he shall bring for his trespass, which he hath committed, two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, unto the LORD; one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering. Better make it three. These ceremonies are time-consuming and we could always throw one on the Foreman altar. Chips and soft drinks will be provided by the priest, if not otherwise detained with goat-touching duties.

StoryOTB055_p135_HighPriestBurningIncense

Spying his mom in the line outside, the high priest works quickly to cover up the pot smell.

8 And he shall bring them unto the priest, who shall offer that which is for the sin offering first, and wring off his head from his neck, but shall not divide it asunder. Now, we will want to go back and re-word this as news has reached us of a rash of self-inflicted near-decapitations. To clarify: the priest (x) shall wring the head, almost but not completely, from the body of the offering (y).

9 And he shall sprinkle of the blood of the sin offering upon the side of the altar; and the rest of the blood shall be wrung out at the bottom of the altar: it is a sin offering. Keep in mind that during Mardi Gras and following Christmas/New Year’s Eve office parties, the blood will be running about calf deep. Oh, and bring a calf. You may not remember the three-way in the supply closet, but Ms. Dalton and the toner cartridge sure do.

10 And he shall offer the second for a burnt offering, according to the manner: and the priest shall make an atonement for him for his sin which he hath sinned, and it shall be forgiven him. (Note: forgiveness does not come with a lifetime release of guilt or guilty feelings. Keep your receipt. And drink heavily.)

11 But if he be not able to bring two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, then he that sinned shall bring for his offering the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a sin offering; he shall put no oil upon it, neither shall he put any frankincense thereon: for it is a sin offering. You got that, tightwad? All you need to bring is a tenth of whatever the hell that is. A handful, I guess. And don’t be spicing it up either. The last guy tossed a ton of rosemary in it and a little goes a very long way.

12 Then shall he bring it to the priest, and the priest shall take his handful of it, even a memorial thereof, and burn it on the altar, according to the offerings made by fire unto the LORD: it is a sin offering. By the way, today’s topic is: The Sin Offering: The 1,001 Do’s and Don’ts of Sin Offerings.

13 And the priest shall make an atonement for him as touching his sin that he hath sinned in one of these, and it shall be forgiven him: and the remnant shall be the priest’s, as a meat offering. And thus began the great tradition of priests inappropriately touching “sin” and abusing “meat” offerings.

StoryOTB053_p130_TableOfShewBreadArkGoldenCandlestick

From ad on Craigslist: "... middle item does have unfortunate 'bug," in which it peels the faces off of non-Christians who look inside of it. No refunds."

14 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

15 If a soul commit a trespass, and sin through ignorance, in the holy things of the LORD; then he shall bring for his trespass unto the LORD a ram without blemish out of the flocks, with thy estimation by shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary, for a trespass offering. Don’t be bringing us those ugly-ass pimpled rams. You know we hate those and everyone of you has tried to ditch these awkward, nerdy rams with us over the past couple of years. And it bears repeating: nothing says atonement like handfuls of cash. You just cannot go wrong there. That would be about the only place that “thou” cannot go wrong.

16 And he shall make amends for the harm that he hath done in the holy thing, and shall add the fifth part thereto, and give it unto the priest: and the priest shall make an atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering, and it shall be forgiven him. And the priest will make the same joke about whether or not the ram has a “hemi” in it, and you’ll force out a laugh that says you’ve never heard that before, good one, which you had better do, because at this point you’re on his turf.

17 And if a soul sin, and commit any of these things which are forbidden to be done by the commandments of the LORD; though he wist it not, yet is he guilty, and shall bear his iniquity. This has been left deliberately vague as a catch-all for anything we may overlook. Like “public nuisance.” Or “being black.”

18 And he shall bring a ram without blemish out of the flock, with thy estimation, for a trespass offering, unto the priest: and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his ignorance wherein he erred and wist it not, and it shall be forgiven him. Once in awhile, everything will work out. And if I may subtly hint again, shekels, my brothers. Shekels make the flat world go round.

19 It is a trespass offering: he hath certainly trespassed against the LORD. You see those caps? That means we’re serious.

-CLT

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The Bible: Fancy Plans Edition Vol. 1

October 29, 2009
amplified_bible

This one goes to 11.

(A quick explanation on this post: This is actually culled from a comment thread over at Stop Annoying Me, the Internet’s finest source for booze-powered cynicism. Tannerleah takes on a variety of topics including soccer moms, John Gosselin, Randy Quaid’s stick-up techniques and pretty much anything else that reeks of stupidity/calculated bullshit.

A man among bloggers, TannerLeah has single-handedly revived such classic ideas as abusing yourself to June Cleaver fantasies, proudly sporting visible erections pretty much everywhere, comparing self-promotion to walking around with your “thingy” out and livening up even the dryest subject matter with biting wit and cleavage shots.

This particular post dealt with the newest “end of the world” hysteria, which posits that the Mayans have that shit down cold, thanks to the combination of outdated calendar systems and “noble savage” assumptions. TL asked for a Biblical perspective, which is exactly what follows this long-winded opening statement.

Some of you may have seen this already. Please try to keep the spoilers to yourself until everyone has had a chance to read it. Thank you. And thanks to TL for allowing me to reclaim my comment and walk around acting like this is “new” content.)

22:1 He showed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal Pepsi, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb,

22:2 in the middle of its street, home to Madness (but not Bedlam – that phrase is copyrighted). On this side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruits, 25 kinds of vegetables, and several fine shoulder cuts. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations, being all aloe vera and shit.

22:3 There will be no curse any more. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants serve him, all piling into the throne like so many clowns into a VW.

22:4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads (THIS END UP).

22:5 There will be no night, and they need no lamp light; for the Lord God will illuminate them, with a very powerful form of radiation, which the idiots will call “The Light of the Lord,” and which will not be safely recyclable. They will reign forever and ever, weather permitting.

22:6 He said to me, “These words are faithful and true. The Lord God of the spirits of the prophets sent his angel to show to his bond, James, bondservants the things which must happen soon, which is a very relative measure and not at all quantifiable. Like a handswidth. Or a cubit.

22:7Behold, I come quickly, He warned the ladies, retrospectively considering that ‘Beware’ may have been a better choice of word. Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book, which will be tough, because the hole punch is on the fritz.

22:8 Now I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. When I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who had shown me these things, so I really didn’t have the best vantage point for seeing, per se, but trust me on this.

22:9 He said to me, “See you don’t do it! I am a fellow bond, James, bondservant with you and with your brothers, the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book/Trapper Keeper. Worship God. Duh.

22:10 He said to me, “Don’t seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand, and as I mentioned before, the hole punch is failing at the only thing it’s supposed to do.

22:11 He who acts unjustly, let him act unjustly still. He who is filthy, let him be filthy still. He who is righteous, let him do righteousness still. He who is holy, let him be holy still. Or whatever. We’re not here to judge. We’ll leave that for the Baptists.

22:12Behold, I come quickly,” He warned again, only fainter as He was about ready to come. “My reward is with me, to repay to each man according to his work, except for Judas, that cheap-skating bastard. He’d sell his own mother if she was on fire… or something.

22:13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, the Entrance and the Exit, the Up and the Down, the Parking Light and the Highbeams.

22:14 Blessed are those who do his commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter in by the gates into the city, because they’re gates. They’ll be clearly marked “Entrance.”

22:15 Outside are the dogs, the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. You know, we may just hang out here for awhile. Everything on the inside is sort of like early morning cheerfulness, only 24-7.

22:16 I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify these things to you for the assemblies. I am the root and the offspring of David; the Bright and Morning Star. See other nicknames above. You can also call me J-Dog.

22:17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” He who hears, let him say, “Come!” He who is thirsty, let him come. And He will reply, I already did. Sorry. I was hoping we wouldn’t make a big deal out of this. Screw it. You want a beer? Or three?”

22:18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book, if anyone adds to them, may God add to him the plagues which are written in this book. I’m serious about this. Don’t do anything more than add your own impressions, beliefs, outdated behaviors and hatred towards women. Other than that, try to at least keep the gist of it. God & stuff.

22:19 If anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, may God take away his part from the tree of life, and out of the holy city, which are written in this book, which is now blowing away in the wind. Stupid &$%$# hole punch.

22:20 He who testifies these things says, “Yes, I come quickly.” Amen! Yes, come, Lord Jesus. (Thanks for bringing that up. Again. Why don’t you just put it on a t-shirt or something.)

22:21 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with all the saints. Amen. By the way – Re: 2012. You may want to carry an umbrella or something that year.

-CLT

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Fancy Plans Guide to Rock and Roll Vol. 11 – All Requests Version

October 24, 2009

After a slight delay, the Fancy Plans Guide to Rock and Roll has returned (slightly) with a handful of bands hot off the request line, which is located in your comment threads and ignored for long periods of time right here on this blog.

They say “All good things come to those who wait.” I really wish “they” would stop saying that. Enjoy.

CALEXICO

Calexico spy an under-tipping diner.

Calexico
As Americans channeling Mexicans and distributed by Germans, Calexico are the “domestic” auto of indie rock. While probably (perhaps even fiercely) American, Calexico are the sum of their foreign-made “domestic” parts, often raising the ire of Lou Dobbs, who normally shows no interest in recorded music, domestic or otherwise.

Following a twisted path through Giant Sand and Friends of Dean Martinez (neé Martin), Calexico gathered up its mariachi leanings and headed for the welcoming climes of Germany, where they recorded their debut album. Due to a translation error and general German good-natured obtuseness, they were listed as “Spoke.”

Having had enough of this foreign bullshit (except for the mariachi stuff), Calexico returned home and re-issued their debut under the correct name. They continued to build their reputation as an “unavoidable” live band by annoying diners throughout Arizona with their flashmob mariachi-ing, often in support of other confrontational groups like Pavement and Lambchop (the latter of which often broke building capacity codes as soon as they entered the restaurant).

They further cemented their pristine indie rep (and swelled their tip jars) by performing with such alt.rock luminaries as Lisa Germano(!), Naim Amor(?) and Nancy Sinatra(!)(indie?).

Having conquered the all-important “street cafe” scene, Calexico went on to conquer NPR’s tastemakers with their multi-cultural blend of interstitial music, which meshed well with the give-and-take of various left-wing pundits. While definitely critical successes in the US, their popularity grows exponentially overseas, which would seem to indicate it is time for Calexico to haul their big-brimmed and sequined asses across the drink and return to the glory of being “big in Germany,” which has worked for so many “fringe” artists over the years.

3rd Place - Donnie Darko Lookalike Contest

3rd Place - Donnie Darko Lookalike Contest

Bright Eyes
The brainchild of indie wünderkind Conor Oberst (whose parents mysteriously shorted him an “n”), Bright Eyes burst out of the Omaha scene much the way that anyone bursts out of Omaha: by stumbling badly right out of the gates.

Critics responded to his debut album (the redundantly titled A Collection of Songs Written, Recorded and then Burned onto Round “Compact Discs” and Perhaps Recorded to the Occasional Cassette to be Listened to By Listeners with Stereos and Walkmans and Whatnot, Maybe in Their Car, But This is 1998 So Possibly a Cassette: 1995-1997) with everything from abuse (allmusic.com: “…unintelligible babblings of a child”) to confusion (Omaha Star: “Supposedly music, but I’ll take the remaining members of Journey at the State Fair any day of the week, even without their original singer…”).

Two years down the road Bright Eyes release Fever and Mirrors which is heralded by Pitchfork as “an instant classic, which nobody but us have ever heard of.” Metacritic hails them as “Pending. Still waiting on 5 reviews.” Their “improved” sound is chalked up to a more mature sound due to the addition of instruments such as flute, accordion, clavichord, sousaphone and Ouija board.

Pretension now safely on board and loaded with multi-instrumentalists, Bright Eyes break into the mainstream as a much-heralded “new” artist, despite being in existence for nearly seven years (sort of like adopting a “starter” child). With this celebrated status (and sudden change in tense two paragraphs ago), Oberst and co. begin to reap the perkiest fruit of their labor. Called upon to provide support for a Springsteen tour, Bright Eyes were afforded the opportunity to play to a much larger indifferent crowd when not carrying luggage for the “Boss.”

Soldiering on, periodically releasing an EP or actual album every six weeks or so, Bright Eyes continued to refine their twin powers: bedroom electronica (as displayed on Digital Stems and Seeds on an Electric Ladyland Dust Jacket) and their slightly creepier bedroom acoustical work, which features Oberst sitting on the edge of your bed for hours at a time, alternating between chugging PBR, strumming softly on his guitar and quietly watching you sleep.

Hull's mobsters ranged from "pasty" to "nerdy."

Hull's mobsters ranged from "pasty" to "nerdy."

Housemartins
Straight outta Hull, the Housemartins were an English pop group with an infectious sound and a cheery outlook that combined Christianity with Karl Marx, thus ensuring complete rejection by both of their target audiences.

Formed by Paul Heaton and Stan Cullimore who originally performed as a busking duo, (Ed. – Oh. My. God.) the two friends went on to add a few more members in an effort to attract an audience that preferred its musical ambushes came from the hi-fi rather than Tube platforms or duck ponds. Their most notable addition was superstar DJ Fatboy Slim, who agreed to put down the records and cocaine and play some unobtrusive bass under his given name, Beats Int’l Mighy Dub Katz Pizzaman Freakpower Quentin Cook the BPA Norman Cook.

Having ensured their place in history with the addition of their most famous member (added bonus: free remixes for life!), the Housemartins released their biggest (and only) single to date: Happy Hour. The single shot to the top of the charts, aided by a popular claymation promo video featuring the British counterpart to the California Raisins: the Hull Prunes, who spent the entirety of the video doing very British things like “trainspotting” and “bitching about the dole.”

Their next single, Caravan of Love, enjoyed exactly one week at the number 1 spot before being shoved rudely aside by Jackie Wilson’s Reet Petite, which shows exactly what is both very right and very wrong with British musical tastes.

The single’s a cappella styling drew the ire of their biggest fans, prompting shouts of “Judas” during their completely unplugged gig at the Newport Folk Festival. Heaton was in turn prompted to stop the show and say, “Oh, so you’ve heard of him? Let me just take a moment of your time to give you the good news about Jesus H. Marx, who will free us from the twin oppressions of capitalism and rational thought. I would also like to address our growing trade deficit.”

The band split in 1988 but the members have remained friendly, often joining each other’s bowling/busking teams and dropping by while on holiday.

Axl often announced band firings through cleverly trimmed photos.

Axl often announced band firings through cleverly trimmed photos.

Guns N Roses
Formed by the common-law marriage of W. Axl Rose (born W. Oral Sex) and Tracii Guns (born Tracy Gunns), Guns N Roses tore apart the hard rock scene with their hard-charging riffs and dangerous behavior, the likes of which hadn’t been seen since the Rolling Stones still had their original guitarists and hips.

Perhaps one of the most important bands of ever (and your can drop “perhaps” if you throw “self” in front of “important”), GNR hit the fucking ground running with their debut full-length Appetite for Destruction. While the album itself was a hard-rock revelation, the album cover itself was much more memorable.

The original controversial cover, which featured the band members hanging around a stream in some sharp suits was met with complaints from record store owners, who refused to stock the “weak-ass nature bullshit” in the appropriate “Hard Rock” section.

After a hasty redesign, GNR presented Plan B, an album cover featuring them holding various doll parts whilst standing around in a butcher’s shoppe. Again resistance from record shop (or shoppe) owners was high, leading to threats of “brown bagging” the album due to its general “WTF-ness.” Various iterations were tried and rejected (naked prepubescent girl playing with a model, Slash surrounded by naked electric chicks, a naked 15-year-old hanging out at the park, someone smelling a glove, a robot rapist) before settling on the cover we all ended up with: a heavily stylized depiction of the band as a tattoo template.

As Appetite for Destruction took off, GNR toured tirelessly, inciting riots, destroying hotel rooms and, very occasionally, playing an entire set without storming off. As the band headed back into the studio for their followup, Axl decided GNR needed a new look. He issued a kilt to himself, a top hat to Slash and whiskey bottles and pink slips to the rest of the band. (Thus began the revolving door of GNR musicians, each of which Rose would herald as the band’s savior, until finally refining the group down to its only essential member: W. Axl Rose.)

In 1991, GNR released Use Your Illusion I and II, which was described as “bloated” (as double albums often are) and “mercenary” (as double albums packaged and sold as two distinct single albums often are). Both albums were chart toppers and featured several outstanding tracks, none of which I can think of off the top of my head other than November Rain, which clocked in a 8 hours and 56 seconds, often being the only video MTV had time to play between The Real World, Real World retrospectives and The Grind.

A rare shot from Rose's ill-fated foray into "faith healing."

A rare shot from Rose's ill-fated foray into "faith healing."

After the release of the now-prerequisite covers album The Spaghetti Incident?, which featured a rundown of their purported influences, none of which they sounded like, W. Axl Rose headed back into the studio with the remaining band member(s) for the next 15 years.

Although Rose appeared sporadically to announce that the album was “just around the corner” and “fucking awesome,” the LP was not released until November of 2008. Problems began when it became apparent that there were few musicians willing to work with Rose, whom the press had affectionately dubbed “an egotistical maniac.” Holing up in L.A.’s Up My Own Ass studios, Rose issued the honorable threat that he would not release any more music until there was “democracy in China.”

After a decade or so of dicking around, Chinese officials (in conjunction with the independent bottlers of Dr. Pepper) began to call his bluff, beginning with a series of trade embargoes targeted at various takeout joints and dry cleaners in the Hollywood area. As the lack of pepper steak and freshly pressed shirts began to erode Rose’s willpower, China stepped up the pressure, stating that while W. Axl Rose had a “proven track record in the music industry,” they had the “willpower of over a billion oppressed people, most of whom have been forbidden to listen to your music,” adding “not to mention a fuckload of tanks.”

To save face (and the independent bottlers of Dr. Pepper), Rose released the poorly titled Chinese Democracy to rave reviews such as “That’s hard rock, alright…” (Spin, Nov. 2008), “Sounds like Rose’s trademark vocal stylings…” (Bill’s Record Blawg, Dec. 2008) and “We’ve had this album for years…” (thepiratebay.org).

Rose announced through personal assistant Sebastian Bach that Chinese Democracy was the first in a planned trilogy, with the follow ups due to be released in 2023 (“weather permitting”) and 2038 (“…at which point I will likely be dead”).

The Pirate Bay (piratebay.org) invites you to “beat the rush” and check out these two fine albums today.

-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