Sunday, December 24, 2006

Happy Holidays and all. Last night the wife and I dressed up pretty, drank really good bourbon in front of a Christmas tree and chatted with doctors. It was quite merry.

Later we went to Scarecrow and nabbed what was left of their X-mas themed film collection. Over the course of tomorrow we will enjoy:





Plus SCROOGE'S ROCK N ROLL CHRISTMAS from 1983 starring Jack Elam as Scrooge and featuring musical performances from Paul Revere and the Raiders, Three Dog Night, and Mike Love (of the "Beach Boys").

Feel free to call for exact screening times.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Jessica Simpson: Class Act.

"We appreciate the time and energy Ms. Simpson put into this event and respect the high standards she has for herself and that of the Kennedy Center Honors," said George Stevens Jr., show producer.
Despite a minor white wine hangover (the worst kind) I'm in exceptional humor today, and for no particular reason. It's 8:00am right now ... how long until my good mood crashes and decays? I still have to catch the 358 downtown, that oughta do it.

Til then, I wanna make you dig this:

"Take Me For A Little While" by The Mirettes

I've had it stuck on repeat for the past half hour ... I first heard and loved the Vanilla Fudge version, which I believe was copped off the original Edie Sands recording and replicates the slow burn yearning at the heart of the song, but this raved-up take is irresistible. Thanks, Funky 16 Corners ... once again, your programming is impeccable.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

More YouTube wanderings ... my favorite director, Doris Wishman is the subject of an upcoming film, although the website appears to be a dead end, so don't go looking for it ... apparently just like Michael Bowen's long-awaited biography of the grand dame of sexploitation cinema, this tribute will also be a stillborn fantasy.

I love Doris and you should too.

The Tornadoes

The Outlaws

The World's Worst Records

There is perverse pleasure to be had in sampling the tasteless, inept, and bizarre, and it was with this fact in mind that Rhino Records unleashed The Rhino Brothers Present the World's Worst Records!, a compilation of abrasive novelty songs, demented outsider artists, and clumsy comedy. With liner notes by Dr. Demento and Rhino mainstays Barnes & Barnes and Wild Man Fischer on board, there's not much doubt as to the tone of the collection. The set list is skewed strongly toward silly, self-consciously dumb parody tunes that range from amusing (Ogden Edsl's wacky child-abuse singalong "Kinko the Clown") to obvious and unfunny ("I Wanna Be Your Dog" sung by some bad Three Stooges imitators). Should the "World's Worst Records" include songs like these that were specifically designed for such a list? For those who think not, there's the psychobilly classic "Paralyzed," a formless, atonal jumble of guitar, drum, and bugle from the Legendary Stardust Cowboy, a genuine eccentric who actually turned this wild, incredibly alive record into a hit for a short while in 1968. The highlight of the set is the brilliantly dumb "Surfin' Tragedy," recorded in 1963 by the Breakers; this priceless hybrid of surf pop and the "teen tragedy" tradition sets a romantic tale of death on the waves to a ham-fisted Beach Boys-style ballad, complete with a mournful French horn hook. Gloria Balsam's proudly off-key "Fluffy" is sure to clear the room at your next family reunion, and with the original single long out of print, its appearance is valuable (to a select few). Also welcome are classic novelties from the wrestling-obsessed Novas and the taste-impaired Jimmy Cross, though their numbers are easily available on several other compilations. Toward the end of the 20th century, the interest in records that ignore or reject the popular standards of what constitutes "good" music grew into a recognizable cult (writer Irwin Chusid explored the new genre with Songs in the Key of Z: The Curious Universe of Outsider Music). Blame it on the age of irony, or a desperate attempt to find unique sounds in an increasingly homogenous world, but there are those who find pleasure in the accidental, the broken, and the incorrect. The Rhino Brothers Present the World's Worst Records! anticipated this trend several years in advance, proposing that "bad" was infinitely better than "boring," though their overdependence on prefab wackiness lessens the importance of the package. FRED BELDIN

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Black Flag 4-ever.

Raw demos. "Anger and coffee feeding me."
I love teenage girls. And not the way you're thinking of, pervert. I mean true love.

Bob Seger - Key Arena, February 22, 2007

Who's game? Let me know quick, there's a limit of six tickets per purchaser. A mere $65 apiece to see the shadow of a great, great man.

Or just start digging the records. Seger history is a lot more satisfying than contemporary Seger. I'd suggest beginning with Mongrel, as it's relatively easy to find and doesn't come with as much psychedelic baggage as the also-excellent Ramblin' Gamblin' Man ... Mongrel includes my favorite Seger track, "Lucifer," a righteous slab of white-hot white funk that throws the finger up to those who would dare question our hero's integrity. The whole record is heavy, plus there are a few flashes of the contemplative singer-songwriter style Seger would hit big with in later years (a style that eventually destroyed his rocknroll credentials, unfortunately, hitting its nadir with "Like A Rock," a song that sounded like a truck commercial even before it became a truck commercial).

Still waiting for Endless Jim to mix up the latest SLA tapes ... they're sure to be a glorious tribute, but in the meantime you can find an MP3 from the original session on the Ghetto site if you haven't dug it yet.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Happy Birthday to my wife, Lori (that's her on the right). Now that we're both in our 40s, everything's gonna be a lot easier. I love you.

Anyone gonna be in Seattle on Christmas? We're having our now-annual Xmas Open House, so anyone with nowhere to go (or someplace they'd like to avoid) contact us for directions to our apartment ... anytime between 9:00am and 9:00pm we'll be serving liquor and food and spinning great records. Stop by for an eye-opener before going to Grandma's place or drown your sorrows after a long, boring family fight. We'll be here for you.

And what the hell ... most of the people who read this already have seen it, so here's the link to the official End Times site. A work in progress, yes, but the essential pieces are finally in place. After the first of the year we'll be available for personal appearances. We have a great many things to tell you ...

Friday, December 15, 2006

Home of the Whammer Deal

Out here in Seattle there's a great series of homemade TV commercials for this particular appliance store ... King is the old fella on the right and he's a complete genius. Bunny is his wife, but apparently she doesn't make personal appearances. If you're looking for a dishwasher, I suggest you patronize their establishment.

I don't often discuss Rosie O'Donnell in this forum (for various reasons) but today I feel like punching her in the face, so I must bring it up. I like making fun of Chinese people as much as the next guy ... ching chong, ching chong, see, I think it's hilarious, I have no problem with her minor little gag. But that half-hearted non-apology is infuriating after her headline-grabbing tantrum over (I'm not gonna mention these people by name anymore, it makes me feel like a tool)'s utterly unintentional gay slur, which, it should be mentioned, no one else in the world found offensive in the least. I know getting angry about what goes on in the world of morning television seems short-sighted, but this kind of hypocrisy is rampant in the country today, everyone so locked in their own little cultural pocket but utterly ignorant of all the other marginal groups around them. Gay, Christian, Negro, mod, rocker, postcard collector, falconer, flautist, speedfreak ... everybody assumes the bag they're in is the only one that needs protection. This is why I hate everyone and I think it's time that all us misanthropes of the world unite and form an organization to stand up for our right not to be irritated by the rest of you fucking morons out there.

And while we're discussing the "news," I wanna state that I think it's okay to stuff kids in body socks too.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Fifteen years of rocknroll boiled down to one database entry.

I still wanna know what joker told this guy that Kirk Reedy was in the Clutters. Very funny, wiseguy.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

And it's about time, too.
Dreams of fist fights
With strangers in new cities
Where I'm welcomed with a single exception
One young tough hombre needs to test me
So I am openly mocked
Everyone else tries to ignore it, embarassed
But my ears get red
And I respond with unwanted sarcasm
Or is that exactly what he wants?
Gradually the conflict escalates
To tipped beer cups and thrown ashtrays
Anything to provoke my first fist
And it inevitably breaks
He's strong
But I'm angry and in the right
So we're separated quickly
Which was his plan all along
And then it resumes, again and again
Until finally I've proven myself
Or something
I tense at his presence until he says
"Hey, man"
And I must be all right now
For he's given me a gift
A fantastic, preposterous gift
It's an enormous inflatable something
Like a latex carnival ride
In pink and blue and orange
With a slide, a staircase and pinwheels
We all pass joints and look at it

Monday, December 11, 2006

By the way, an aside to "Anonymous" ... I am anxious to discover what that mysterious, sinister file is that you directed me to in your comment to my Friday morning post, but naturally I'm too paranoid to open such a thing from a Man With No Name such as yourself. These are harsh times. But I'm pretty sure I know who you are ... no one would know that I worked at 500 Madison Street in Chicago except for one man, the guy with the accordian and peg-leg who regaled me with Bobby Vinton songs as I walked into the building every morning. Is you him? Email me.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

After three full days of not seeing my wife thanks to a series of very important fact-finding missions we finally reconnected and spent a glorious Sunday ignoring the clock, skipping showers and lounging half-naked (I won't reveal which half) on the couch watching Season Six of The Sopranos in its entirety.

I awoke hungover and angry on Saturday, spent the day stalking from room to room punching the air and wondering what the hell my problem was. That night all my bad mojo was exorcised through a long-overdue End Times session in which we all played together rather than just at the same time ... as soon as the tapes incubate they'll be made publicly available. While it's true that this band might be the gayest thing I've ever done (a piano no less ... about fifteen years ago Soren pondered adding a keyboard to Apollo Nine and a bunch of us beat him with pillowcases full of oranges until he realized we were right and thanked us), I can guarantee that if we're a fag we're one of those mighty Tom of Finland queers, a volunteer fireman with a Harley who can singlehandedly build a deck on your house over the course of a weekend, the kind of gay that makes beautiful women swoon and think, "Good Lord, what a waste." After all, I'm not in the Midwest anymore, where everything was sweat and blood and gasoline ... out here if you cut someone they ooze a weird milky white sap, the wound heals instantly and they just smile a passive-aggressive smile and say, "No worries." Luckily I found some kids who know how to navigate this slippery landscape, and if Seattle audiences are ready to accept top hats and children's choirs for their entertainment dollar, then clearly nothing is verboten.
Louise Huebner is the Official Witch of Los Angeles. It's a very true fact.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Friday, December 08, 2006

So last night I finally summoned the strength to leave the comfort of my home and check out The Bug Nasties, something I've been threatening/promising to do for over a year since first getting to know Brother James and Vic during the Damned Damned Damned debacle. They were awful good, tight as a fist and loose where it counts, not bad for four guys even older than I am. I had a great time and really must remind myself to leave the house more often. Opening was a band that the kids are gonna love, Shorthand For Epic. Big 21st Century hooks that normally would irritate me, but luckily the bandmembers are all ugly as sin (the four-eyed guitarist's beard/bandanna combination alone is enough to crack a hundred backstage coke mirrors) so I really dug it. Nice work.

Tonight I'm going to see Mr. Harvey Danger perform the Nelson Sings Nelson show ... best known as the pen behind big hits like "Lump," "Birdhouse In Your Soul" and "Another One Rides The Bus," tonight Harvey's going to be appearing as his "Sean Nelson" character (the hapless indie-rock sad-sack first introduced through a series of satirical Stranger articles and kept alive on improv comedy stages around the city), regaling the audience with a selection of songs by the late, great Ricky Nelson. I say it's about time ... I've been a Ricky Nelson fan since childhood, and most hipsters are unaware of his contributions to rock and roll. "Hello Mary Lou," "Travelin' Man" and "Poor Little Fool" are all top-notch pop songs backed by session players stolen from Elvis recordings, and Nelson's eventual shift to a more countrified sound paved the way for artists like Gram Parsons, the Eagles, Beachwood Sparks and Garth Brooks. I applaud Harvey's keen insight and can't wait to hear what he does with "Garden Party."

Thursday, December 07, 2006


Another virtual reprint of my Crime article. Naturally, no victory of mine is complete without the shadow of my bitter past darkening the corners, so there's Magick Markers and Wolf Eyes flack up there too, but whatever. Thanks, Encoule!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

ok. from now on i go see EVERY easy action gig. brannon is clearly still a genius.

black flag. best lineup, much as i prefer dez's voice, this is where it's at.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Deming on Altman on AMG

When I first started hanging around with Mark Deming, he was loathe to discuss his experiences in the film industry. Now you can't shut him up. What happened to that skinny kid who freaked out at band practice when he showed up and found us all huddled around the TV set watching Gorp? Oh, that's right, he stopped drinking and developed a sense of humor about himself. Or did he? I guess I'll find out when he reads this post ...

Saturday, December 02, 2006

I've been looking for this record for years, so thanks to WFMU for finally making it available. Download it immediately. Why didn't these guys have their own series? I guess it's none of my business.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Padma Sari

THIS is the Next Sound, kid. Add a keyboard hook and a trio of teenage girls singing about soda pop and you got yourself a hit record. I can make these cats stars.