Monday, December 30, 2013

nitzsche

what it is: nitzsche
where i found it: a friend

Recently a friend gave me a copy of Jack Nitzsche's solo album, which is just weird enough to make me do a little digging into this cat's background. There's a lot to find. He was a key member of LA's Wrecking Crew, the band of on-call badasses that were the backing group for pretty much every rock-ish record made in late 60s/early70s LA.



An acolyte of Phil Spector, he did some mean "wall of sound" orchestrations for IKE AND TINA TURNER, the choral arrangement for YOU CAN'T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT and those miserable orchestral pieces that I've spent a lot of time fast forwarding on my cassette copy of Neil Young's Harvest. He even had a few SURF HITS.

spector

 Being an LA dude with considerable composition/orchestration chops, it only makes sense that he got into film music. Favorites he added sound to include Performance, The Exorcist and the Monkee's Head, three of the more fucked movies that exist.


head


As far as his personal life, he was married for years to Buffy St. Marie, who made some great and unusual records herself. EXHIBIT A. Unfortunately things went south and he ended up sexually assaulting someone with a gun barrel and getting featured on an episode of Cops as the guy who gets stuffed into the car. I can't find that footage, which has probably been suppressed for obvious reasons.

Anyway, here's A TRACK off of that solo record I was telling you about.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

i didn't know:

Until I saw THIS VIDEO, I didn't know:
1) that Steve Windwood could play guitar like that
2) that Gibson made green Firebirds
3) that you could get that into playing the tambourine
4) that you needed a full on African outfit to play the cowbell
5) that your pupils could get as dilated as Windwood's


Friday, December 20, 2013

redesigned grape

what it is: redesigned grape
where i found it: nathan from texas

Due to the somewhat shitty ordering and structure of Moby Grape's second album, Nathan from Texas has posted his fantasy re-sequencing/re-editing of same, including alternate versions, samples and other delights. Though one could never rematch the awkward versions and ordering of the original Wow album unless he drank a glass of acid and could never achieve the aimless semi-heights of Grape Jam, period, this makes for a smoother and more digestible listening experience. Behold the workings of a Moby Grape obsessed/troubled Texan. Who wants to finance the vinyl release?





 


Thursday, December 19, 2013

moby grape reading list

what it is: moby grape reading list
where i found it: nathan from texas

As promised, below is a treasury of Moby Grape literature as forwarded to me by Nathan from Texas.

A LITTLE BACKGROUND ON WOW/GRAPE JAM

A LITTLE MORE BACKGROUND ON WOW

A LITTLE MORE BACKGROUND ON GRAPE JAM

THE WOW ALBUM

THE GRAPE JAM ALBUM

NPR GIVE US THE GRAPE STORY

GOLDMINE MAG GIVES US THE GRAPE STORY (my favorite version)

FIRST PERSON ACCOUNTS OF THE GRAPE STORY


Promised cover photo for the forthcoming re-sequenced "second album":


Also, HERE's an energetic televised version of Hey Grandma.

There's more where this came from. Yet, I believe in moderation. Plus, I need to get back to listening to the first eight Black Sabbath albums in sequence.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

moby grape immersion

what it is: moby grape immersion
where i found it: nathan from texas


Suddenly I am being bombarded with material about Moby Grape, which I am happy to pass directly, without detour, to you. Out of nowhere, I suddenly started getting the below emails from Texas, the excerpts of which read kind of like an epic poem of obscure music enthusiasm. I have to praise the motivation of Nathan from Texas, whose enthusiasm for Moby Grape is only matched by his love of mixed martial arts.

----------------------------


I've been obsessed with Moby Grape lately. You want a copy of the re-sequencing I did of their 2nd album? It's right up there with White Album and Electric Ladyland.

Their first album is universally praised and then everything else they did is panned.

Turns out they left a double album's worth of great stuff in the vaults and released all the wrong stuff for their 2nd album.
 
The most ill-starred, badly managed, mis-promoted band of all time with 2 schizophrenics.
 
I'll send you some reading about them too.

Start with THE FIRST ALBUM. it's them as a whole, firing on all cylinders.

Totally unique band -- 5 singer-songwriters. 3 guitars.

I've been evangelizing them pretty hard for like 6 months.

Seriously these guys were all set to be rock gods except for the worst round of luck ever.

Wait til you read the full Moby Grape story. It's unbelievable.

They've got an evil ex-manager who scares everyone off despite the fact that in 2007 they completely won an epic 30 year lawsuit against him he immediately managed to get all their reissues taken off the market for 30 years he controlled the name.
 
I'll send you some good articles.

Do you have the Skip Spence "Oar" album? He was the Syd Barrett of the band and did a crazy solo album that's up there with Syd, Roky, Alex Chilton, etc in the broken mind genius solo album sweepstakes.

My goal is to get the book written, the doc made and their 2010 album released.

They're still fucking up.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

rip ray

RIP RAY PRICE

Goodbye to Ray Price, one of the finest country singers that ever was. I had the good fortune to see him sing at one of Willie Neslon's annual 4th of July Picnics about 15 years ago and he was a total country gentleman, with flawless Stetson, buttoned up Western suit and formal mannerisms. Many will speak of his hits Crazy Arms, Release Me, and I'll Be There If You Ever Want Me, the greatness of which cannot be denied, but I'm kind of partial to THIS ONE, in which he is too loaded to go home (again).




Friday, December 13, 2013

gibberish on the world stage

what it is: gibberish on the world stage
where i found it: mandela's memorial

In case you haven't heard, the sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela's memorial service was an "imposter" who was signing gibberish the whole time. Various details have emerged such as that he was hired at a cut rate $77 for the day vs. the going $160 an hour rate, that he is a schizophrenic who saw angels dropping from the sky during the ceremony, that the agency which hired him has vanished without a trace since the memorial, etc. The story continues to develop. Regardless, it is truly amazing that you can work your way in to the most powerful ring of humans on earth and sign gibberish for all the world. Here's some footage.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

bye bye jim and chico

RIP JIM HALL AND CHICO HAMILTON

Two jazz greats leave the planet. 
Pretty much all you need to know about Chico Hamilton is THIS HEAVINESS (Eric Dolphy on flute by the way).

It's not easy to be a good jazz guitarist. Jim Hall was one. Incidentally, there's also A GREAT JIM HALL EXCERPT from the same movie as above, but he doesn't get an ounce of camera time until he takes his bow at the end. Listen to that goddamned ensemble playing. More of the same can be found on THIS ALBUM, one of my all time favorites.  HERE he more than holds his own with Sonny Rollins. Good guy.

coincidentally: two greats back to back



Wednesday, December 11, 2013

magnum p.b.

what it is: magnum p.b. (photo blog). get it, like magum p.i.?
where i found it: around

Now here's AN EXCELLENT BLOG which offers ongoing slideshows based on current events and new publications from the Magnum, the imposing photography collective.


While we're on the subject of photography, HERE'S A SITE that offers 100 mostly enjoyable ways to spend a day experimenting with your camera.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

toddler inquiry/a jewish

what it is: toddler inquiry/a jewish
where i found it: magical mystery tour

Recently my toddler son started asking about Jewish people. "What do they look like?" "What do they do?" Even though we have numerous friends and neighbors of Hebrew origin and he has many real world examples to pull from, he can't get it into his head what "jewish" means. Yesterday he was looking at my records and unexpectedly came to me with the below picture, asking "Is this a Jewish?"


Monday, December 9, 2013

toddler inquiry/metallic reef

what it is: metallic reef
where i found it: delaware

I always thought that it was an urban myth that they dump old subway cars into the ocean to build artificial reefs. I told my toddler son this story and he became highly interested, so I took the time to look it up. Low and behold, subway cars being dumped into the ocean off the shore of Delaware. Something about this imagery is unsettling.






Tuesday, December 3, 2013

paul's low tones vii

what it is: paul's low tones vii
where i found it: the beatles pit

Notable not only for inspiring serial murder, The Bealtes' the Beatles also features some exemplary bass maneuvering. I'm going to break this into two pieces. First up we have one of the greatest runs of bass/drums mind melding heard by man during the below back to back track stretch. I wish I could make it all flow in one clip, yet I cannot.

DEAR PRUDENCE

GLASS ONION

(mother nature's son here jettisoned)


(wild honey pie here omited) 



Friday, November 22, 2013

witchery still at work

So about an hour after I did that last post this popped up in the headlines.

things get dark

what it is: things get dark
where i found it: the beatles pit

Before I get around to the bass work on the White Album we should get this out of the way:






Thursday, November 21, 2013

white wash

what it is: white wash
where i found it: queens

I haven't taken the train out to Queens in the past few days, but word is that 5 Pointz, the world's greatest open air graffiti museum (after overnight sneak attack orchestrated by apartment developers), now looks like this:


It used to look like THIS.

Sad.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

paul's low tones vi

what it is: paul's low tones vi
where i found it: the beatles pit

Today we explore Paul's bass tones on Magical Mystery Tour, an album that often gets overlooked, probably because of the asinine film associated with it. I don't know what got into these guys (other than drugs) that made them want to be so silly, dressing up like animals and encoding messages about Paul's death. At any rate, undead Paul does not drop the ball on the bass here.

Admittedly the main theme is a little annoying, all that shit about a " magical mystery tour", however the song evolves into what seems to be an early prog monster, circling around on itself with ever decreasing velocity hemmed in by bass of Paul. There's also a weird little piano jam at the end that I wish went on for much longer.

#2 - This song has pan flute. Enough said. I give you no link.

Paul kicks this one off with a bad mufckin bass groove. You might think the song is a throw away due to lack of lyrical vocals. I do not.  

So this one is boring, ignoring its own advice to not be long. No bass fireworks here, but Paul shows us that he knows how to pick the right note for a drone and stick to it. 

#5 - You can skip this one. Classic Paul four string melodocizing. Nevertheless I don't like this song. So I give you no link.

Notable for many reasons, but the bass is super on this one. On this particular mix you can hear the bass well. Joy.

What a ridiculous, silly, miserable film promo this is.

#8 - Notable for slowed vocal tape that makes Lennon not sound like Lennon. Not overly notable for bass. I give you no link.

I don't really like this song. Never have. But Paul lays down some bass that provides evidence that he might be a fucking sorcerer. 

Baby you're a rich man. More very strong sorcerer evidence.

Hilarious hippy video. Don't let the theatrics distract you from the bass playing. Paul's pulse turns the twisty time signature into one of the catchiest songs in the world.





Tuesday, November 19, 2013

preposterous scoundrel

what it is: preposterous scoundrel
where i found it: toronto

The preposterous scoundrel that is the mayor of Toronto continues to go out in a blaze of glory (except he's still refusing to go out). I really love this guy. Today's Times has a good summary article, which you can find here. The only thing the article fails to include is the mayor's amazing excuse when he was shown a video of himself smoking crack: "I must have done that in one of my drunken stupors". His most recent caper included knocking over a grandmother in a vengeful charge across the city hall chambers and the gleeful discovery that there is no law by which he can be forced out of office. Stay tuned.




Saturday, November 16, 2013

yiddish

what it is: yiddish
where i found it: work

My line of work brings me into contact with all types of people from all types of cultures and this week was no exception. The most challenging job assignment of the week was finding music that would engage and delight a Hasidic octegenarian, no easy task. While I eventually found some materials that seemed to do the trick, along the way I found more than a few that did not. But they might do the trick for you.

#1 - Here we have Bob Dylan and Harry Dean Stanton singing Hava Neghila as part of some kind of Jewish charity telethon, but they seem really uncomfortable and Dylan's harmonica is in the wrong key and they don't really know the words. The whole thing is just surreal.

#2 - This is some kind of Yiddish comedy that seems to be from back in the days when Second Avenue in NYC was still Eastern European tin pan alley. Stick around until the end, it really picks up.

#3 - Here the Borrough Park Hasidim live it up pyro style. This is a real Brooklyn party, putting hipsters to severe shame.

Friday, November 15, 2013

music men move on

what it is: music men move on
where i found it: the cathedral and the subway

This week marks the passing of two very different music men: John Taverner and Kalaparusha. While one wrote dramatic and cinematic sounding choral works, the other endlessly played druggy slow motion versions of Amazing Grace in the Union Square subway station. While one had a horrible and over-maintained fluffy haircut, the other made excellent free jazz records in the 60s with the AACM only to disappear and re-emerge in the early 2000s with a teenage tuba player in his trio. British people made little movies about both. Here's one ("my daddy called the saxophone a starvation box") and here's the other ("music and a belief in another dimension has always gone together").




Thursday, November 14, 2013

odd images

what it is: odd images
where i found it: cyberspace

As of late I've received a number of forwards that link to truly strange image galleries. Three of my favorite collections can be found below. There's not much I can add here in terms of commentary, because just as you kind of figure out what on Earth is going on in one picture the next one hits you from a totally different (often not safe for work) angle. These are worth spending some time with and actually demand it.





Wednesday, November 13, 2013

new york's alright . . .

what it is: . . . if you like saxophones
where i found it: email 

Here's a good email chain I was included on for some reason that revolves around John Belushi and the band Fear. Enjoy.

-------------------------------------------------------------

On Nov 6, 2013, at 3:52 PM, xxx wrote:

Here is FEAR in 1980 on SNL as invited by John Belushi and introduced by Donald Pleasence. Belushi supposedly said he would only make a cameo on SNL if Fear played (I have no idea of the truth of that). Also, in more lore about the event, Lorne Michaels is said to have contacted Ian MacKaye and asked him to show up with "real punks" and he drove a van of fans from DC to be the audience. That sounds suspect; I'm not sure why you would have to look any further than 8th street for real punks in 1980, but here it is... (also, supposedly you can see John Belushi slam dancing in the audience... I can not)


---------------------------------------------------------------------

On Nov 6, 2013, at 4:03 PM, yyy wrote:

NY is alright...if you like saxophones

Sent from my iPhone
--------------------------------------------------------------------

On Nov 6, 2013, at 4:33 PM, xxx wrote:

I did not know it was such an event. Today was the first I had ever heard of it, but there is even a Wiki section about it;

1981 appearance on Saturday Night Live

The Decline of Western Civilization brought the band to the attention of John Belushi, who lobbied successfully to get the band a spot as a musical guest on the 1981 Halloween episode of his former show Saturday Night Live. The band's appearance included a group of moshers, among them Belushi, Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat (and later Fugazi), Tesco Vee of The MeatmenHarley Flanagan and John Joseph of the Cro-Mags, and John Brannon of Negative Approach. The show's director originally wanted to prevent the dancers from participating, so Belushi offered to be in the episode if the dancers were allowed to stay.[2] The end result was the shortening of Fear's appearance on TV. They started their second performance by saying, "It's great to be in New Jersey", drawing boos from SNL's New York live audience. Fear played "Beef Bologna", "New York's Alright If You Like Saxophones", and started to play "Let's Have a War" when the telecast faded into commercial. The slamdancers left ripe pumpkin remains on the set. Belushi had offered Fear the soundtrack for his major motion picture Neighbors. The film's producers eventually forced Fear off the project, and Belushi got them the infamous SNL gig as compensation.
After their SNL appearance, which resulted in $20,000 in damages, some clubs chose not to hire the band. A New York Post article later reported the figure to be $500,000. This is believed to have originated from Ving, who told the Post that "...we caused $500,000 worth of damage, a cool half a million dollars worth of damage, ‘cause we’re professionals, and I counted the damage myself."[3]

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

i can't wait for this one

what it is: i can't wait for this one
where i found it: amid free jazz arcana

Back in the late 90s when there was a big upsurge in free jazz enthusiasm I ended up being involved in the organization of a show by a guy I'd never heard of before, a school system employee from upstate NY, Arthur Doyle. I thought this might just be another pretentious dude blowing 45 minute unrelenting solos, but Doyle turned out to be much more than that. The guy was a truly original character who seemed he'd been transported from another reality all together. He had put out a strange relic of an LP called Alabama Feeling that collectors were all hyped about and at that time he was touring around solo, probably through the efforts of some enthused young person. A few years later he popped up again with a larger ensemble, notable for their performances but also for the bumper stickers they were producing that said HONK IF YOU LOVE THE ARTHUR DOYLE ELECTRIC ACOUSTIC ENSEMBLE. I'm not entirely sure what he's been up to since then, but it looks like, very improbably, that there's now a documentary about him. Here's the trailer. I can't wait for this one. Here are a few clips of Doyle, if you enjoy this type of thing.



Monday, November 11, 2013

marmot mammoth

what it is: marmot mammoth
where i found it: alongside blood on the ice


Behind the main building of the New York Public Library (pictured above) lies Bryant Park ice skating rink, where over the weekend some kids shot each other over a Marmot Mammoth. I had no idea what a Marmot Mammoth was. Turns out it's a coat. Worth shooting someone over. This article predates this (apparently only the most recent) shooting, but it covers all of the bases, including where you can go to buy one. If you're too much of a wimp to get one for free using your glock.

marmot
mammoth

Thursday, November 7, 2013

garbage rafts

what it is: garbage rafts
where i found it: the pacific

Disturbing recent reports involve floating debris from the Japanese earthquake reaching the shore of the west coast of the US. Radioactive furniture and the like. The Weather Channel will tell you all about it here.

This also reminds me of the famous trash continent, which can be found in the same sea and leads to weird journalistic sentences like this: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, also known as the Eastern Pacific Garbage Patch and the Pacific Trash Vortex, lies in a high-pressure area between the U.S. states of Hawaii and California. This area is in the middle of the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. (via National Geographic).

Actually a picture of a guy in manilla, but it looks like a Great Pacific Garbage Patch to me.
Free association also leads me to the famous NYC garbage barge of the 1980s, when New York had no adequate landfill, so they just put all the trash on some barges to circle endlessly around Manhattan, eventually trying to dump it in other states without success, and ultimately setting fire to the stuff. Here's an article about that if you care at all. Now they pay the state of Virginia to take a bunch of it, and there's a "garbage truck conveyer" that circles endlessly up and down I-95. You can see a whole lot of garbage trucks going north and south late at night.

All of which leads me to this heart warming story of Paraguayan children who live in a trash pile, but redeem themselves by making instruments out of the refuse in which they dwell.



Tuesday, October 29, 2013

ronald also

Let not the death of Lou Reed obscure the considerable accomplishments of also recently deceased Ronald Shannon Jackson.


Monday, October 28, 2013

am i trying too hard to make sense of crap?



I'm taking this sad occasion as an opportunity to give this album another go. I am so totally perplexed by the experience of listening to it, which in this day in age is an accomplishment in and of itself. Maybe in a few years it'll make more sense or maybe I just don't have what it takes. I want to think that it is a great, initially impenetrable piece of art. Bitches Brew didn't make much sense the first couple times through either. If you've never listened to this all the way through, it surprises at pretty much every turn. Fucking hell, man.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

see you later, lou

Say what you want about White Light White Heat, Loaded, Metal Machine Music and Lulu. I'm not sure it ever got much better than THIS.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

what the hell is this? (again)

what it is: what the hell is this? (again)
where i found it: my cousin

Once again the internet bubbles up something perplexing. This one makes less and less sense the longer you watch it. My reactions evolved from dismissive-ness to interest to mild nauseau to deep mystification and then back through the same series, but in reverse order (deep mystification to mild nausea to interest to dismissive-ness). Like an emotional palindrome.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

paul's low tones v

what it is: paul's low tones v
where i found it: the beatles pit

Notable not only for featuring the head of Aleister Crowley* on its cover, Sgt. Pepper is also to be remarked upon for some mean bass playing. Unfortunately, the bitches over at EMI have blocked the youtube link to the full album, but you can, however, still listen to the  Lonely Hearts Dub Band there.

To get to the best of Sgt. Pepper low tones, you have to leapfrog around a little. Here's a guide:

Sgt.Pepper - Astonishing bass tone, right there holding its own line amidst weird orchestrations and vocal lines.

A Little Help From My Friends - Paul hops between registers and lead/supportive roles like a purposeful Mexican jumping bean.

Lucy In the Sky - Oh, how I love weird bass pulsing.

Getting Better All the Time - Again switching registers, this time using some weird slides to get around.

and we jump to . . .

Mr. Kite - Paul's way low in the mix, but he offers up some super harmonizations and counterpoint in this number, especially during the orchestral interplay. I think this is one of his finest and most understated moments to date.

and again to . . .

Meter Maid - Our bass man is solid like some kind of mountain range with a jagged edge. And then he gets up on the mountain that he is and bounces around.

and again to . . .

Day in the Life - Where here I must mention his admirable interplay with Ringo. And then the lock groove to be left spinning in perpetuity.

Do I expect anyone to follow this guide? No.
Do I care? No.
Do As Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole Of The Law.


* to see more on Crowley, the occult, rock music and the Illuminati please visit this link.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

unusual breathing patterns

what it is: unusual breathing patterns
where i found it: church

Somehow I ended up digging around in the land of extreme sermon delivery the other night and after watching the below videos, most of which feature unusual breathing patterns, I found myself (for the first time in my life) really wanting to go to church on Sunday. While one benefits from sitting through the duration of each sermon, one could also be forgiven for fast forwarding to the parts where logic goes out the window and the mind transcends via holy spirit/oxygen deprivation combo.




Friday, October 18, 2013

what the hell is this?

what it is: ?
where i found it: mr. a dubin of new jersey, again

?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

how to manage a trumpet player

what it is: how to manage a trumpet player
where i found it: mr. a. dubin of new jersey

This is the right way to manage a trumpet player who's music you dislike. I guess this guy/gnome learned a few things during his supposed time with the Grateful Dead in '65.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

paul's low tones iv

what it is: paul's low tones iv
where i found it: the beatles pit

Here we are at Revolver. My advice to you is to put the album on from And Your Bird Can Sing (starting at 21:00 on this version) and let it play to the end to get a truncated dose of exemplary Paul bass. We can sit through the Broadway corniness of Got To Get You Into My Life because the bass playing is still great even though the song is goofy and has silly horn arrangements. The first half of the album cannot be faulted by any means, but it's merits lie in areas other than the 4 string axe.

check out this killer bass tattoo you're going to get this saturday



did he lose a cobra?

what it is: did he lose a cobra?
where i found it: i'm not sure where this could possibly be from

My favorite reaction to this here is when one viewer wonders "did he lose a cobra?"

Monday, October 14, 2013

rip cal

what it is: the death of cal
where i found it: the paper, a few weeks ago


I had almost forgotten reading about the death of Cal Worthington, a Southern California car salesman who would try any number of stunts to get your wallet onto his lot. Then someone was nice enough to send me this compilation of his greatest spots, which starts with Cal's feet strapped to a soaring airplane and goes uphill from there. This is what an American entrepreneur should be like, not some silicone alley dipshit who sits at a computer all day creating apps for fashionable telephones.



Thursday, October 3, 2013

paul's low tones iii: a study in contrasts

what it is: paul's low tones iii: a study in contrasts
where i found it: the beatles pit

Here's a study in contrasts: the album Help, where Paul seems to be resting on his laurels, mostly recycling old tricks vs. Rubber Soul, released five months later, where he more or less catches on fire and re-invents the rock and roll bass guitar. There is no song on Rubber Soul in which Paul does not do awesome things. See for yourself. In mono.


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

paul's low tones ii

what it is: paul's low tones ii
where i found it: the beatles pit

We continue with our exploration of Paul's low tones with third and fourth album highlights. Still in cheese land, but on the brink of LSD acceleration. Hear ye:






Friday, September 27, 2013

paul's low tones

what it is: paul's low tones
where i found it: the beatles pit

I used to have a friend on house arrest who would do nothing but sit on the porch, smoke dope and listen to the Bealtes. In one particularly THC saturated moment he turned to me and said "Paul" during a weirdly angled bass fill on the B side of Abbey Road and it shifted my perspective from seeing McCartney as the most cheesy of Beatles to the most heaviest. It's easy to get swept away in vocal harmonies and odd background instrumental nuances and John's voice strain and stupid trippy lyrics, but I've been in Paul bass focus as of late (sort of like the Phil Zone) - perhaps you want to step into it as well. I'm going to start here with early material, which admittedly has its trite and corny aspects, but one cannot really knock the bass choices. There are a lot of websites out there dedicated to this topic, but I' d personally rather spend fifteen minutes listening to the music than reading that garbage.





Wednesday, September 25, 2013

everybody loves raymond

what it is: everybody loves raymond
where i found it: the nursing home library

I used to work in a nursing home where they had a library mostly notable for it's large number of shitty volumes of nothingness that had been donated en masse by people's grown lawyer children when they lost their homes due to advanced dementia. Hunting through piles of rotten, mostly awful books is a great way to spend your lunch hour, especially because every once in while you find something like Raymond Chandler's Lady in the Lake, which has excerpts like this:

I smelled of gin. Not just casually, as if I had taken four or five drinks of a winter morning to get out of bed on, but as if the Pacific Ocean was pure gin and I had nose-dived off the boat deck.The gin was in my hair and eyebrows, on my chin and under my chin. It was on my shirt. I smelled like dead toads.

Monday, September 23, 2013

tech failure

what it is: tech failure
where i found it: everywhere

I've been having big problems with this blog crap. I done been blocked at my place of work and my home computer, a vintage 2003 collectors item, won't cooperate with this platform either. Wah. I have a whole stack of shit (so does this guy) to write about: falling into the Fall, selected bass excerpts of Paul McCartney, Everybody Loves Raymond, a great Japanese psych record, etc., but the gods of electricity just aren't with me right now. But at least the God of Thunder is.

Monday, September 16, 2013

unsung

what it is: unsung
where i found it: early tosches

Nick Tosches, one of our great literary dudes, musical and otherwise, is always worth reading. His Country and book on Jerry Lee Lewis should not be missed, nor should the Tosches Reader overview. He's an intelligent writer with a deep appreciation of Dean Martin, Milton Brown and George Jones, and that's enough for me. Only recently did I dig into his early Unsung Heroes of Rock 'N' Roll, which delivers as promised, though in a somewhat shallower and overtly jokey way than his later work.

His appetite for sexual and alcoholic precociousness is admirable, as is his taste for wildmen, wildwomen and dissonance nestled in the pop form. He cant' get enough of admissions like "I like to sing to women with meat on their bones that long green stuff in their pocketbooks" and "one day Beldon sees this dealer with a black eye and the guy tells him he's fucking Keely [Smith, wife of Louis Prima] in the dressing room when suddenly he feels someone licking his balls. He jumps up and Louis [Prima] punches him in the eye."

Beyond the novel and sordid tales, though, Tosches points one in the direction of some truly great musical territory such as early Nat King Cole, the extended Screamin' Jay Hawkins catalog, Wanda Jackson and Ming and Ling, pointing to the most unhinged particular songs as he goes. This book holds keys to very weird kingdoms.

While we're on the topic of Screamin' Jay Hawkins I always thought those flyers posted around looking for his kids were a weird street art joke, but apparently they were actually the efforts of a lady trying to fulfill his dying wish. You can and really should read more about that here.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

indecipherable screaming

what it is: indecipherable screaming
where i found it: the drive through

You might have seen this video by now of a lady going apeshit (supposedly) because McDonald's wouldn't grant her request for McNuggets before the appropriate time. It took me a few viewings of this before I realized it was dubbed (the original has no audio), but it made me laugh until my stomach hurt. The ultimate form threat and the indecipherable screams are what really get me, but I'm sure everyone has their favorite excerpts. I want to hug whoever did the voice-overs.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

rogue jews

what it is: rogue jews
where i found it: my new office

One of the reasons I've been posting so slow is that I have a new job in a hospital that (probably wisely) forbids access to this blogging platform. Sitting in my office the other day, I was surprised by the sudden bursting in of two long bearded and energetic Hasidic Jews, both holding fucking ram's horns. They then demanded "Are you Jewish? We are looking for the Jewish! We want to blow our shofar (fucking ram's horn) for the Jewish!" When I said no they fled. Then my by-the-book coworker called building security because the guys were roaming the halls unauthorized, headed towards an abandoned part of the building, continuing to look for "the Jewish". I'd have preferred to let them wander, taking poor kitchen and maintenance staff unawares, but I've also been fantasizing about what a security guard/Hasidim melee might look like.


Monday, September 9, 2013

chopped

what it is: chopped
where i found it: the new york times

There's not much more I can add to this absurd article/happening other than to mention that the headline of the Post or the Daily News or one of those preposterous tabloid newspapers had the headline CHOPPED! when covering the same story.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

this is what you get for twerking

what it is: this is what you get for twerking
where i found it: wfmu

Twerking, unfortunately, is all over the news, but at least WFMU tipped the people off to this alternate take.


Friday, September 6, 2013

theme music

I'd like to take this moment to provide some appropriate theme music to my recent slow-as-fuck posting style.

A

B

C


Saturday, August 31, 2013

?

what it is: ?
where i found it: sweden

This is taking up room for something else to exist.

Monday, August 26, 2013

dummies

what it is: dummies
where i found it: the oxford american

There's a good mini article in this season's Oxford American that turned me on to the annual Kentucky ventriloquist convention, an event for those who take their profession quite seriously (e.g. believing that your dummy should never be left alone, "dead", ignored or unanimated). There are a myriad of disturbing aspects to this, a number of which can be explored through the documentary Dumbstruck, a horror show of which I've only been brave enough to view the trailer.

There is also the top grossing ventriloquist in the world, this guy, who has gotten famous alongside his dummy Achmed the Dead Terrorist, predictably landing him in trouble with a number of living terrorist organizations. He is not really that funny and so much of what he is doing is assinine for so many reasons, but I admit it's kind of fun to watch him shriek "I kill you!" at increasingly shrill volumes without moving his mouth. 

The same issue of the OA (elephant on the front) is worth tracking down for it's narrative of a cross country Greyhound bus ride.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

old cartoons

what it is: old cartoons
where i found it: childhood

Before we hop into some old cartoons, I'd like to both acknowledge that, yes, posts will be more seldom for a little while around here and, indeed, i do have regrets about not acknowledging the death of Elmore Leonoard earlier in the week. Go check his novels out of the library and google his ten rules for writing.

In other news, the child in my household is waxing curious about old cartoons and he's about old enough to stomach some Tom and Jerry-level violence, so I've been busy exploring cartoons of yore with him before bedtime every night. This has led me to enjoyable areas such as the coyote falling off cliffs again and again and Popeye being attacked by termites. It's also led to the discovery of a whole slew of tinkered-with old school cartoons. My top favorite is a redub of GI Joe advice segments. Coming in just behind that is a series of Wonder Twins re-dos, which are astonishing in the way they nail the production and animation style of the original and are almost indistinguishable as a fraud other than in the absurd plot twists. It takes me a minute with each episode to figure out if I'm watching one of the old episodes or one of these new weird ones. Usually a drug reference or two gives it away.  I love this most of all because my kid can't tell the difference and I can watch one of the Wonder Twins take form of a bucket of crap being flown around by an eagle without him batting an eye.




Wednesday, August 14, 2013

domain raid

what it is: guy's domain
where i found it: mr neuser of brooklyn

Mr. Neuser of Broolyn brought the below great link to my attention. That shitty celebrity chef named Guy seems to have forgotten to register domains similar to his name, so someone was nice enough to create a menu in his honor. Either that or this was the domain for his restaurant, which went out of business. Either way, I'm not sure, but this kind of stuff is why I love the internet. I'll provide the link, which I'm sure will be taken down soon, but I also grabbed one of the visuals, which is posted below, but is a little hard to read.





Monday, August 12, 2013

bat in the house

what it is: bat
where i found it: in the house

This weekend a bat ended up the hallway outside of my apartment door. Theories were gathered, such as that humans cannot get rabies from a bat, that you should get rabies shot if a bat ever comes anywhere near you, that animal control must be called to destroy the animal at once, etc. The bat eventually flew back outside on its own, but not before I came across this advice, which seems hilarious to me for some reason:

"If you woke up because a bat landed on you while you were sleeping or if you awakened and found a bat in your room, you should try to safely capture the bat and have it tested. The same precautions should be used if you see a bat in a room with an unattended child, or see a bat near a mentally impaired or intoxicated person." (from CDC.org)
 

Friday, August 9, 2013

study materials

what it is: study materials
where i found it: again, facebook, mostly

My posting frequency is going to be temporarily diminishing over the next couple of weeks so I'm giving you a few materials worthy of meantime study.

First up, we have this. Just watch it. Reader JPW strikes again.

Second up we have this extraordinary collection of photos, posted by my cousin. I was kind of tempted to skim through them, but each one provides deep horror if you study the details long enough. Each and every one.

Third up: Rest in Peace Karen Black. She put many great, unique, creepy moments on the celluloid and even had a weirdo band who painted their entire bodies (including their teeth) and broke eggs on their vulvas named after her. But her finest moment is certainly pushing the Easy Rider cemetary acid scene way further out than if it had simply been Mia Farrow or something. This one is good for at least 500 repeated views, depending on your level of sadism.

i don't know this movie, killer fish, but it's probably worth checking out.