Saturday, April 28, 2012

low rent old school excellence

what it is: low rent old school excellence
where i found it: the 1980s

Pre-money, pre-gangster cliche, pre-slick production, pre-F or N word, pre-bitches/hos, almost pre-coopted. Despite its uncut and uncalculated innercityness, somehow this stuff crept into suburban bedrooms and I'm surprised that I still know almost every word. You might too.




Friday, April 27, 2012

a stroll through the land of raymond

what it is: raymond pettibon images
where i found it: the 1980s

Raymond Pettibon has slowly made the transition from unwilling Black Flag cover artist (supposedly a bunch of the famous SST cover art images were simply heisted by his brother Greg Ginn) to high end art star guy. Good for him. Somehow I got to looking at his website recently, which is great for it's simplicity (contents = his name and a bunch of images). Very much worth a look.   

Thursday, April 26, 2012

you can be a drummer and a carpenter too

what it is: karen carpenter tears up some drums
where i found it: b beatrice of new jersey

I don't know much about The Carpenters other than Karen Carpenter starved herself to death, they sang light ballads and a that a bunch of indie rockers seemed to like to talk about them in the 90s. But what have we here? Karen Carpenter slayed the trap kit. While her Carpenter brother was developing an addiction to qualuudes (is life in slow motion really that good?) she must have been doing overtime in the practice room. Apparently even John Bonham expressed jealousy and Buddy Rich was a fan. All that's beside the point, though. The point is THIS!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


what is it: various signs i've come across
where i found it: mostly on my commute

I love stupid grafitti. This is a great example. "Soy Sause" carved (twice) with a knife.

Clearly there have been some problems at the local deli. If you can't read it, it gives the address of deli then says "the man that was working called black people monkey and ape and fucking animals because a man open a beer in the store. page 1". Still waiting for page 2.

Difficult assignment

Unfortunately they don't describe the noise and vibrations, which made we want to stick around to have the "experience", but I didn't have time.

Self explanatory

This was from a hike I went on, not my commute, but still a great sign. Thanks to Mr Vanderzwaag of Hartsdale for telling me to keep an eye out for this.

Shitty graffiti that looks remarkably like a logo for some black metal band.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


what it is: early at the gates
where i found it: long ago in a land far away called adolescence

I've been gorging on the first two At The Gates releases, Swedish death metal for the ages. Yes their band name is stupid and the records after these two kind of suck and are way too clean, but this early material makes me excited. Free associative flow of crazy twist and turn riffs (how did they memorize this crap?), odd medieval out of tune fiddle, a guy screaming like he's being tortured, Dissection-like tremolo harmony happiness, etc. What in god's name were they putting in the water in early 90s Sweden?

In other Swedish news, the minister of culture is in trouble for eating a piece of a half real/half cake black woman who was undergoing a clitorectomy. Or something.

Monday, April 23, 2012

the kind of stuff my dad sends me

what it is: the kind of stuff my dad sends me
where i found it: see above

Check this out.  It was sent to me by my father (Mr. Becos, Sr.), who included the challenge to "try to guess what this ad is for before it is over".

Sunday, April 22, 2012

another weekend movie

what it is: another weekend movie
where i found it: c griffin of the bronx

Here is the original explanation I got (which kind of looks more like a mathematical equation): 
"Bulle Ogier + Pink Floyd  in New Guinea. Bulle kissing a snake on psychedelic + Bulle having sex a lot"

If this sounds good to you, you can watch it here.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

see below

what it is: british william shatner look alike comments on being ashamed of a biker suicide frog donovan movie he made forty years ago
where i found it: c morda of seattle

There seems to be a whole bunch of these kind of films, though none appear quite as creative as the above one looks. If you're into this kind of stuff, here are a few more examples.

The full Psychomania in 4 parts

Werewolves on wheels (full)

Satan's Sadists (trailer, should be enough for most people). - You can stream this whole film through Netlflix, which I'm not ashamed to admit that I did. But it made me feel kind of sick and I stopped it half way through, which I am kind of ashamed to admit that I did.

Friday, April 20, 2012

goodnight levon

RIP Levon Helm

Canadian bands are much better with drummers from Arkansas

Thursday, April 19, 2012

another seemingly stupid idea

what it is: new york yankee fragrances
where i found it: the subway

Yesterday on the Subway I saw the above preposterous ad for New York Yankee Fragrances. The obvious questions are 1) what does it smell like? - a locker room is the first thing that comes to mind - and 2) who the hell would buy/wear this?
I both hate and try to avoid sports, but I know enough about people who like sports to have serious doubts about their interest in perusing "fragrances".
You can also sign up at their stupid website to get New York Yankees fragrance updates e-mailed to you. I think I'm going to enter your e-mail.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

spreading it too thin

what it is: a classic example of overextending oneself
where i found it: amidst my own compulsions

In a classic example of over-extending myself I have started another blog: Monday Wednesday Friday Song Indulgence. Little free associative commentaries/poems with a song attached thrice a week. You can always just ignore my bullshit and listen to the song. Or you can ignore my bullshit and not listen to the song, but do it loud. and on vinyl. and through headphones. with your eyes closed. on drugs.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

dutch madness

what it is: han bennink's 70th b-day
where i found it: back before all this internet was around and euopean free jazz records were like priceless relics from another planet.

Everyone's favorite virtuoso absurdist Dutch drummer is 70 years old. WKCR in New York has been doing a marathon broadcast (as they are prone to do when some jazz guy is dies or is getting old) which you might be able to still catch here. If not, there's plenty to dig up on youtube. I've seen him play drums with his shoe, with his head, with his knee and with trash, all of which I highly recommend. One of my favorite paraphrases is that Bennink hates Canada because they don't have enough trash on the street for him to collect and bring on stage before gigs.

 Here he is playing a drumset made of cheese

Shirtless and starting sideways

Playing with The Ex (Dutch anarchist band) in Ethiopa!

What might not be apparent here is that he is a fucking fantastic straight ahead jazz drummer as well (see Eric Dolphy's Last Date album, for example).

Happy Birthday Han.

Monday, April 16, 2012

bummer in the summer

what it is: forever changes
where i found it: the jukebox of the mars bar (RIP)

Back in the early 2000s at one of the last indescribably disgusting bars standing in NYC I first heard a few strands of Love's Forever Changes LP, which turned into one of those multiple multiple listens a day records. Granted this was 30 years after it was released, 30 years after the guitarist and bassist got busted for serial donut shop robbery and after Arthur Lee was long incarcerated.  Fortunately for me, Lee was also soon released from prison and reformed Love with a new crop of musicians and I got to see the man himself live, which mades these songs sound even more excellent and intricate. Anyway, I dug the album from beneath a heap the other day and started listening again and I encourage you to do the same. The best folk-prog-acid-rock-hippie-music-fried-guitar-string-arrangment-orchestral-strum-thing I've heard.

I also found this relic: an alternate version of You Set the Scene with proto rapping and yelling at the end. I guess it was worth a try.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

james vs. keith

what it is: try to tell the difference between james joyce and kool keith
where i found it: texan jeff of amarillo
Some genius put together this game, where you try to tell the difference between excerpts written by James Joyce and Kool Keith. Harder than it sounds.

portrait of the artist as a young man

Friday, April 13, 2012

disco inferno

what it is: the darker side of disco
where i found it: a nursing home

When I think of disco I think of gold chains, white suits, cocaine and the usual stereotypes. However, a patient at one of the nursing homes where I work keeps blurting out the names of these disco tracks that he loves and I've been doing my homework and checking them out. Disco seems to have an and psychedelic and exploratory side that I wasn't so aware of.  Here are some of my favorites, which especially pay off if you listen to them in their entirety:

LUST (these guys must have the weirdest looking faces in disco)



QUARTZ (this cover art would never fly these days)


Thursday, April 12, 2012

burning up the scanner

what it is: conduit creations flyer archive
where i found it: while pursuing extracurricular activities 

We've been burning up the scanner helping our friends at Conduit Creations put together this flyer archive, which involves about 20 years of amassed propaganda. Take a look.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

disturbing art for children

what it is: disturbing art for children
where i found it: my 9th year on earth

I can't beleive that I used to collect these things when I was 9 years old. I don't even know if I'm ready for them yet as I push 40. I remember the glee of opening a new pack in front of the 7-11, the gross taste of the stale gum included in every package and strands of Huey Lewis, Madonna and Phil Collins-fronted-Genesis issuing from passing vehicles. Now they're collected in a coffee table book and supposedly there's a movie on the way. What is wrong with people?

Here are a few more examples and a first person account by the guy who painted them.

Monday, April 9, 2012

diet coke vs. whiskey

what it is: the blues
where i found it: some god forsaken tenant farm

johnny shines

Say as much as you want about the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, etc. (like I do sometimes). They're nothing compared to Lighnin' Hopkins, Sun House, Huddie Ledbetter and the like. Like diet coke vs. whiskey. Sometimes I put on an old blues record (like I did yesterday) and I get reminded that most of the music we hear involves various permutations of pale white boy imitation. Please remember this. I'll try to also.

Here are a few examples that will help.

death letter

nine below zero

any time you're thinking evil, you're thinking about the blues

maybe this belongs in a different sort of post, but it still kicks the shit out of white people playing the blues.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

a weird assortment

what it is: a weird and interesting bunch of photos
where i found it: see below

The other day when I was looking for photos to include in my Harry Crews RIP , I came across this site, which has a ton of weird and interesting photos posted by a an extremely unlikely assortment of people. The person who puts it together is much cooler and more knowledgeable than me 'cause I don't know who 80% of these people are, but they all seem to be significant underground celebrities. Worth a dig:

Friday, April 6, 2012

more interesting things to say before a guitar solo

Reverend Blind Gary Davis: "wha' choo talkin' 'bout mister gitter?"

Jimmy Hendrix (after his woman moves without giving him proper notice): "that's alright, i've still got my gui-tar"

 Merle Haggard: "here comes that workin' man!"

King Curtis: "now we need four level table spoons of boiling memphis guitar" (note that this comes after a pound of fatback drums).

Thursday, April 5, 2012

get rid of your stuff

what it is: a few more things I've purged
where i found it: my junkyard of a house

Here are a few more things I've gotten rid of as part of my New Years resolution to ditch one thing a day:

diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders from the 80s

a bag full of magazines. mostly new yorkers that i was stupid enough to sign up for getting bombarded with each week.

late in the game hare krishna punk/thrash cassette

sock puppets named george and robert

styrofoam horse. oringinally came in a little capsule that you drop into water and watch it grow

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

how to play guitar

what it is: captain beefheart's commandments for guitar playing
where i found it: w knudsen of the bronx

This list is unspeakably great. Comes from a sight called lists of note that compiles, yes, lists. Much better than it sounds. Here are the commandments:

1. Listen to the birds.

That's where all the music comes from. Birds know everything about how it should sound and where that sound should come from. And watch hummingbirds. They fly really fast, but a lot of times they aren't going anywhere.

2. Your guitar is not really a guitar.

Your guitar is a divining rod. Use it to find spirits in the other world and bring them over. A guitar is also a fishing rod. If you're good, you'll land a big one.

3. Practice in front of a bush.

Wait until the moon is out, then go outside, eat a multi-grained bread and play your guitar to a bush. If the bush doesn't shake, eat another piece of bread.

4. Walk with the devil.

Old Delta blues players referred to guitar amplifiers as the "devil box." And they were right. You have to be an equal opportunity employer in terms of who you're brining over from the other side. Electricity attracts devils and demons. Other instruments attract other spirits. An acoustic guitar attracts Casper. A mandolin attracts Wendy. But an electric guitar attracts Beelzebub.

5. If you're guilty of thinking, you're out.

If your brain is part of the process, you're missing it. You should play like a drowning man, struggling to reach shore. If you can trap that feeling, then you have something that is fur bearing.

6. Never point your guitar at anyone.

Your instrument has more clout than lightning. Just hit a big chord then run outside to hear it. But make sure you are not standing in an open field.

7. Always carry a church key.

That's your key-man clause. Like One String Sam. He's one. He was a Detroit street musician who played in the fifties on a homemade instrument. His song "I Need a Hundred Dollars" is warm pie. Another key to the church is Hubert Sumlin, Howlin' Wolf's guitar player. He just stands there like the Statue of Liberty — making you want to look up her dress the whole time to see how he's doing it.

8. Don't wipe the sweat off your instrument.

You need that stink on there. Then you have to get that stink onto your music.

9. Keep your guitar in a dark place.

When you're not playing your guitar, cover it and keep it in a dark place. If you don't play your guitar for more than a day, be sure you put a saucer of water in with it.

10. You gotta have a hood for your engine.

Keep that hat on. A hat is a pressure cooker. If you have a roof on your house, the hot air can't escape. Even a lima bean has to have a piece of wet paper around it to make it grow.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

bye bye harry

what it is: harry crews RIP
where i found it: mr. c griffin of pensacola florida 

RIP Harry Crews, my favorite guy who wrote a book about eating a car.
A few years ago someone (see above) mentioned Harry Crews to me and ten minutes later in a used book store I happened to find one of his novels deep in a deep dollar pile. The book is called Car and it's about eating a car. And it's good.

You should read Car and you should also read his obituary. What a guy.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

the board as we know it

what it is: death of the inventor of the skateboard kicktail
where i found it: my youth

Apparently this guy Larry Stevenson who died this week invented the skateboard kicktail, without which few modern skate tricks would be possible. Before his thinking up the modern board it's rumored that inventive surfers were resorting to sheets of plywood with roller skate wheels nailed to the bottom in order to take their sport to the streets.
As a kid I probably clocked in around 1000000000000000000 hours on a skateboard and the neighborhood ramp is where I first discovered sociopathic teenage role models, Black Flag, Dead Kennedys and the phrase "getting head".
I recently read an interview with Steve Albini where he said something like "What did skateboarding have to do with punk rock? What was next? Yoyo tricks?" This made me laugh, but it also made me wonder if and when I ever would have heard any music outside of Huey Lewis and the News or the other crap that MTV was throwing at kids at the time.
Anyhow, RIP kicktail inventing guy.