Friday, March 29, 2013

rub it across your face

I'm going on vacation. While I'm away you can watch this first thing every morning:



Thursday, March 28, 2013

memphis

what it is: memphis
where i found it: long ago

Memphis is a lot of things: the site of Graceland and Sun studios, the home of Jerry Lawler (professional wrestler relentlessly harassed by Andy Kaufman), the setting of some good William Faulkner stories, the location of a giant empty black pyramid, the home of Al Green's church, the stomping grounds of low budget rapper Tommy Wright III and a place where an old friend lives who sent me a link to this preposterous video:

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

j.b.

what it is: j.b. lenoir
where i found it: texas radio

One of my favorite blues guys of all time is J.B, Lenoir. His playing seems simple, but has a lot of interesting twists and turns. His lyrics are often political, but seem innocent and heavy at the same time. Nobody knows who the hell he is even though he has Willie Dixon singing backup and Chicago super drummer Fred Below (apparently pronounced "bee-low") laying down the drums on his tracks. He died like a rock star in an auto accident. John Mayall wrote a stupid song about him. You can actually understand what he says when he sings. He can give you chills. His record company seems to have made him make a stupid video wearing a zebra coat.  His Vietnam Blues and Alabama Blues albums should not be missed. Here's an uplifting example of his work called Born Dead. That's all.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

man's gotta eat

what it is: man's gotta eat
where i found it: tv

I've posted about the preposterous Canadian show Trailer Park Boys before, but last night I saw an episode that is packed so full of ridiculousness as to be almost intolerably hilarious. If you have any interest in male prostitution, shooting blue jays with homemade bow and arrows, seducing dogs after drinking moonshine or throwing satellite dishes at cable employees in a frustrated rage you should really take twenty minutes to watch this.

Friday, March 22, 2013

mud rat napalm

what it is: mud rat napalm
where i found it: yesterday

Here are a few items form the news yesterday:

1) A construction worker ("mole") working on digging the tunnel for the new second avenue subway line in NYC got stuck waist deep in the freezing mud several leagues under street level, causing one of the most extensive and creative FDNY rescue missions in history. Apparently this happened because the workers take such safety measures as routinely doing shit while balancing on sheets of plywood floating on top of  mud pits of unknown depth.

2) There was a big blackout in Japan as Fukushima reactor nearly went into meltdown again. Investigations discovered the cause to be a charred rat who had been chewing on a wire and shorted everything out.

3) Napalm Death cancelled a scheduled gig at the UK's Victoria and Albert Museum, where they had planned to use a ceramic PA which would disintegrate under the frequencies of their music when someone at the last minute realized that the old ass museum building would disintegrate under the same frequencies. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

cons

what it is: cons
where i found it: my career

I used to work in prison. Reporting to work each day, my coworkers and I were screened for cell phones, books, writing utensils and anything else that could provide a) some kind of danger b) some kind of entertainment. Stationed inside of a converted janitorial closet and often on lock down for hours at a time while some violent stooges rioted we had little to do but play Spider (kind of like computer solitaire) and look at the department of corrections database. You can view the database too, allowing you to research incarcerated friends, neighbors, loved ones or ex boyfriends (find out what crime they really committed or when they might be released), see which escapees may be in your neighborhood (just select "escaped" as current facility location with the name field blank) or brainstorm a criminal alias (two good places to start can be searching "allah" or "blood", with alias selected). Browsing this database is notably a grim past time, but you should also remember that there is a whole parallel American nation of these folks and you could have easily joined their ranks too for any of the long list of stupid things you have done.




Wednesday, March 20, 2013

your career is ruined

what it is: your career is ruined
where i found it: around

Does anyone remember Billy Squire? I unfortunately have his creepy Rock Me Tonight video imprinted in into one of the layers of my prepubescent consciousness from some late night sleepover MTV (or maybe Night Flight) marathon. Along with Ratt's Round and Round, Billy Idols White Wedding and that Bonnie Tyler video with the choir of kids that have glowing eyes at the end, there's something specifically unsettling about that era of music even still. Anyway, I've been hearing an anecdote for years about how Billy Squire is a bitter old man, angry that the Rock Me Tonight video ruined his career when he otherwise would have been like Van Halen or Eric Clapton or something. First of all, watch this god damned video.

Second of all I was able to track down this short piece, which includes some good Billy Squire quotes on the topic, plus some other folks trying to put the whole thing in context, such as one historian opining that this video is the "suckiest of the sucky" in video history. Not included here is another comment I came across pointing out that it cannot be blamed on the video's production, that it is obviously Squire's own body moves that "totally ruin it".

Monday, March 18, 2013

virus music

what it is: virus music
where i found it: my sofa

I've been down for the count for a few days with a weird virus that makes me kind of dizzy and kind of nauseous and really sleepy. What do I have to do except for listen to music? Except I'm too fatigued to get up and start the CD again so I just put it on repeat. So around and around I've been listening to Amede Ardoin (who I posted about when I was talking lots about Louisiana music and who is always worth mentioning again). But then my kid changed it to the Lumineers, who he is obsessed with. In case you haven't heard them they're a midly happy folk rock band that mostly use foot stomps as percussion and you know what? After hearing the CD about ten times, they're pretty good. Even though thye're one of the hottest selling bands in America they don't suck nearly as much as modern Nashville or recycled rap cliches. So perhaps you want to give them a listen. Or maybe it was just the virus.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

bye bye burr

RIP CLIVE BURR


RIP Clive Burr, drummer on the first few Iron Maiden records (Killers, Number of the Beast, etc.). He was much more rockin' and less busy than his successor and in some ways better (though it's hard to argue against a soccer playing virtuoso oaf with a smashed face). Here's Maiden with Burr, playing a song based on one of the weirdest TV shows of all time, the Prisoner.



Tuesday, March 12, 2013

speak, memory

what it is: speak, memory
where i found it: the used book store

Dense, wordy, pretentious, aristocratic, grumpy and awesome is Nabokov's autobiography Speak, Memory. Between pages of stroking himself about his family/social stock and talking about his father as a beloved overseer of Russian peasants are long passages of mutli-layered images worth reading slowly and multiple times. Amongst excerpts of a spoiled rich child's indulgences are oddball descriptions of experiencing sounds and letters in color and the hobbled dwarf who cleans the family tennis courts and is made to fetch umbrellas. When his mother takes a break from ignoring "the help" she picks mushrooms and arranges them in giant cocentric circles that are a lot of fun to imagine. So while I can report mixed results,at least from the first half of the book, I can also recommend it.


Monday, March 11, 2013

bathtub beer

what it is: bathtub beer
where i found it: my household

I spent the weekend brewing some beer, a Belgian IPA to be exact. There are some pictures below documenting the various stages of the process. I will say that after all this and I got the beer and the yeast into the fermenter, I was awakened at 3:30 AM to hear a huge hissing, only to find beer foam overflowing from the bucket all over my living room floor. After I finally got it cleaned up an corrected at 5AM I awoke to more of the same. Thinking dumbly that I had fixed it again I had another hiss wake up call/cleanup at 6:30 when I finally just decided to put the shit into the bathtub until it calmed down and I was less red eyed and dismayed. It's now bubbling calmly and amicably.

boiling a ton of water

grains in a sack

same sack steeping
same sack looking slightly too much like a scrotum for comfort

malt syrup and powder in the mix

the hops. you'll have to turn upside down if you want to read the label

Friday, March 8, 2013

bye bye alvin

RIP

Coming from the same musical cradle as Eric Clapton, but routinely kicking his ass: Alvin Lee

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

11' 8''

what it is: 11' 8''
where i found it: reader jpw

So here is a site created by a guy who is fascinated by the slightly-too-low railroad crossing outside of his office window that trucks sometimes run into. He's set up a camera and recorded hundreds of overhead impact incidents over the past few years and seems to have really thought about it a lot (check out the FAQ section). He also sells t-shirts. His name is Jurgen.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

abandoned porn

what it is: abandoned porn
where i found it: can't remember

Here's a weird and beautiful sight called Abandoned Porn. Rather than porn of the human type, however, this site focuses on left behind cars, houses, roller coasters, industrial sites, trailers, castles and the like. Should be safe for work unless they nab you for simply having the word "porn" on your screen.


Friday, March 1, 2013

narcocorrido

what it is: narcocorrido
where i found it: mexico/texas

los tigres del norte
A friend recently brought current events to my attention in the world of Narcocorrido, that is, the carival sounding Mexican genre of music dedicated to singing about (and often taking sides in) the drug trade/wars. Apparently someone found a well full of the bodies of a particular Narcocorrido band, the most recent in a long catalog of murderous goings-on common to the scene. This style of music first came into my awareness while I was living in Texas and some of these dudes showed up at a friend's recording studio and popped up again on my radar in the mid 2000s when I read about bands posting home made murder videos for their songs on youtube faster than our friends over there could pull them down. Fuck. Please stay away from me, Narcocorrido. You can read more about it here.