Categories: Other Posted on December 8, 2010 By: DJ
Missed Connections are the most desperate, pathetic form of making contact with a potential sexual partner. “I saw you on the L train last Monday around 10 AM. I know you noticed me too, but I was too shy chickenshit to go up to you and strike up a conversation. So, here I am writing, more or less, to the idea of you, hoping that you’re as pathetic as I am. If you’re interested in meeting up reply to this anonymous email.”
There’s no way these ever work. MAYBE on a campus newspaper, but certainly not on the craigslist from a major city. I’m sure none of you remember Joel C. Marquette or even knew who he was to begin with. Click this link to refresh your memory and then follow me while I explore his trials and tribulations through the world of Missed Connections.
As much as it pains me to say, time travel is fucking impossible. I came to this conclusion at Roy’s parents house recently. I realized that if time travel ever existed, it always existed. Trippy, right? Anyway, the thing that made me realize this is that no one has completely dominated music (or really anything other art) 100%. If I could go back in time, I’d write and record every classic album like three weeks before the artist who actually wrote it.
Then I got to thinking about other things that would be different. Like how someone (probably me) would have shown up in 2005 to beat the living shit out of me before I ever had the chance to write the following LiveJournal update…
It’s a little difficult to think of the holiday season during the hot summer season, but we all know that Christmas will one day come again. Every Christmas without fail a new collection of Christmas songs is released, performed slightly differently then they usually are, but still not as good as they first were. These Christmas albums are usually stamped out by music giants like Kathie Lee Gifford, Rosie O’Donnell and Twisted Sister.
Well guess who’s next to bite off a chunk of the money-making yule log? That’s right! Bob Dylan.
I mean when you think of Christmas doesn’t the image of an old Jew come to mind?
Now I’m as big a Bob Dylan fan as the next guy (provided the next guy isn’t DJ), but this idea seems the tiniest bit horrible to me. Story has it that Bob’s already got four songs in the bag, including “Here Comes Santa Claus” and “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” Again, I’d like to emphasize that Dylan is a Jew and, thus, will still be getting a sack of coal this December 25th, record or no record.
Dylan did go through a born-again-Christian “phase” from 1979-1981. Up until now I had passed that off as a bad joke, but it looks like Dylan is getting in touch with his non-existent Christian roots again. Maybe all these celebrity deaths are getting him worried. Is recording a Christmas album a free ticket to heaven? It’s a possibility.
I could support this album if Dylan had changed things up a little. Couldn’t he have added that vintage Zimmerman flair? I would consider picking up a Christmas album with this track list:
1- The Empty Stocking Blues
2- Snowy Day Women #12 and #25
3- Stuck inside the Chimney with the X-Mas Blues Again
4- These Presents They Are A-Wrappin’
5- Subterranean Homesick Elf
6- It’s Alright Mama (It’s Only Hanukkah)
7- All Along the Rooftop
8- I Dreamed I Saw St. Nicholas
9- 34th Street Revisited
10- Ballad of a Snow Man
But, no, I do not need to hear Bob’s rendition of “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”
However, I will be the first to snag his cover of “Dradle, Dradle, Dradle.”
Everyone has heard the sad news about Michael Jackson and I like to think that everyone was at least somewhat saddened. I mean if you don’t like Michael Jackson songs, then what’s the point? While everyone was upset, some people, some very deeply devoted fans, were nothing short of devastated…physically , emotionally, spiritually. One of these people was our good friend Megan Riebesell. She won’t be able to see Michael in London this summer, but the least we could do was let her share some words with you. – Roy
Hello. My name is Megan Riebesell and I am here to talk to you about the biggest tragedy this planet has ever seen. As you must have figured out by now, I’m referring to the death of Michael Joseph Jackson. During this period of confusion, referred to by psychologists as “Stage 1: Denial” in the model for the five stages of grief, it is hard for people to see clearly to the issue at hand. In hopes that this article will make it easier to cope, at least for the mere few it may reach, I am going to use this forum to share some of my experiences with Michael, and discuss how his passing has affected me, Megan Riebesell.
It was obvious from a young age that Michael was probably not supposed to have ended up on earth. Something went wrong, somebody messed something up. Whoopsies! Typo, wrong planet, something like that. People kind of started to realize this when the J5 made their first appearance on Ed Sullivan in 69. If you saw this you’d probably notice what could develop into a debilitating overload of soul and groove. Certainly too much to be contained by the small, frail body of an11 year old. If you went even further and watched this one you’d additionally notice that he’s not moving the way that a child who probably just advanced to having legible handwriting should move.
So lots of people were sort of catching on, J5 ruled with 4 consecutive number one hits on the billboard chart, which was the first time this had ever happened. I have to assume that people who actually lived through his emergence were desperately rationalizing: “Okay this kid will probably grow out of it in like 4 years when he’s a fucked up teenage mess.” I think a lot of people would have been more comfortable with that scenario.
Instead, Michael decided to fucking unleash his maniac talent on everyone full throttle. By the time when most kid stars would start to totally burn themselves out, realizing they completely missed out on childhood and collapsing beneath the pressure of the limelight and everything, Michael invented a new way of dealing with all of it. He figured since he was irreversibly damaged and would probably never fully work through it, he might as well use the one thing he did get out of it, which was being raised as a fucking psychotic perfectionist. So he decided to just like create everything. He focused all of his dysfunctional shit as well as his superhuman talent-energy, and took music and entertainment to a level that didn’t even exist yet. Flawlessly. Pretty much: wake up, think of the bass line to Billie Jean, brush your teeth, oh start doing THE MOONWALK, um go downstairs, grab a banana, redefine music videos , and then finally head off to work at the studio inventing pop music, etc. Day in the life of MJ. No biggy.
By 1994, Michael has already released Thriller, which is still the top selling record of all time, and is onto his 4th best selling album already (and has done all that other shit that you’ll wikipedia later.) People as a whole are immersed in the new world of entertainment he has created. I’m starting to feel a little weird about how many consecutive times I can jump all over my couches screaming to the Free Willy theme and still get emotional at the end. Ironically enough, this is around the point when everyone starts to turn on him. He’s just doing his thing, inventing everything that people ever like ever so that everyone can copy him forever. Yea, he’s fucking crazy as fuck considering everything, but he’s still just pumping all of that into amazing visual and auditory masterpieces for the whole world to enjoy. He’s touring selling out shows on every continent by now and it’s a little bit daunting for humans to discover that one being can pretty much hypnotize a good amount of their entire species at one time. It’s to the extent where an alarming amount of people literally become incapacitated or unconscious, sometimes needing medical attention, when in his presence. I mean yea, I know, Beatlemania and everything, but seriously this is different. Full grown men had to be lifted out of the crowd, sobbing and hysterical. The physical reactions people had just to seeing him on stage was unsettling. Humans detected an unmistakable cause for concern.
If you’re going to watch one video in this post, watch this one. With the lights off.
Everyone flipped out when they realized Michael Jackson had too much power over the human race. So we just did the thing where we criticize someone until we bring them down to our level. We thought it was weird that he was had a chimp named Bubbles, wanted to buy the elephant man bones, made his house into a peter pan amusement park, cried at the end of Men in Black, etc. Personally, I don’t see what’s so weird about being a fucking CRAZY person after having a dramatically shitty life, and having to be a vessel for all of those insane songs and dance moves that needed to reach earth somehow. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty confident that a normal, psychologically sound person would not be capable of even one of his countless feats. Still, most people were feeling uneasy about the whole situation. We felt compelled to exploit all of his quirks until we had completely forgotten about all of his contributions. On top of being the victim of a really unfortunate skin disease analysts agreed that MJ suffered from another shitty condition, body dimorphic disorder. Jeez, what a weirdo, feeling like he needs to change his physical appearance. Anyway, as it turned out, no one could see past his physical appearance, so his music became secondary to gossip about his strange lifestyle, and he was slandered for the rest of his life. After this, Michael decided that he would rather hang around chimps and little kids only. Again, to me this seems like a pretty basic cause-and-effect type situation we have here. However, the masterminds of mankind determined that he must have been molesting kids. Not the monkey though, oddly enough.
So somehow by the time his last album hit, which was of course no Thriller, but still better than most things, lots of people were too embarrassed to go into a record store (remember those?) and ring up the latest from the world’s most renowned child-molester at the time. And who could blame us? The trials got way more publicity than, lets say, when he founded the Heal the World foundation, whose mission was to provide medicine to children and fight world hunger, homelessness, child exploitation and abuse. Or his being a major contributor to 39 additional charities in his career. They got even more coverage than when all of the profits from smash hits “Man in the Mirror” and “Heal the World” went to charity. Probably even more well known than the “We are the World” video, which he coordinated, gathering the biggest musicians at the time to record a song that raised millions of dollars for famine relief. Or how on the 123-show world tour for “Bad” he invited underprivileged children to watch for free and sing with him on stage, and then gave donations to local hospitals, orphanages and other charities in every place he visited. The trials, which were unsuccessful in providing any actual evidence of molestation, are still more widely acknowledged than how the “Dangerous” world tour, where he danced like a fucking maniac for 65 shows and then gave all of the proceeds, I repeat, all, ALL of them to Heal the World. After that he sold the broadcast rights for the show to HBO, took that money and put it towards HIV/AIDS research. And remember when his afro caught on fire during the filming for that Pepsi commercial? Haha ha ha!! Guess what? He took the money from that lawsuit and gave it to the hospital where he was treated and started a burn ward for research and technology in severe burn treatment. Then he got plastic surgery because he was self-conscious about his scalp and we made fun of him for the rest of his life. And said that he touches babies.
So after trying to withdraw from the public eye, (unsuccessfully, as tons of brilliant journalists and psychoanalysts made whole careers out of obsessing over his weirdness) Michael comes back at the world and announces “THIS IS IT.” A 50- show tour taking place at the 02 stadium in London, possibly his last performance ever. In tradition of MJ, he had invented some kind of crazy 3-D background scheme that would transform the experience of seeing a live concert. He committed to giving the world one last show, granting everyone the chance to forget all about the baby-dangling and plastic surgeries and just enjoy the fucking immaculate presentation of all of the songs that make everyone dance no matter where they are. He agreed to subject his 50 year old body to putting on 50 more seizure-inducing performances which would have allowed millions of people to enjoy the same magic that had possessed them for decades. It would have given millions the opportunity to experience the intense, uplifting energy that looks more powerful and mind-altering than any drug trip. An experience that is unexplainable, but proven by concert footage of full grown adults losing the ability to hold themselves up. I was going to be one of these people.
Michael Jackson has left behind a whole world of humans who were touched by his timeless legacy. I’m sure that even those of you who didn’t spend $750 on airfare to London have the same feeling of emptiness in your lives as I do right now. But remember, we are all in this together. Take advantage of your neighbors and comrades who have probably all have attempted the moonwalk at one time or another, and might need someone to commiserate. Talking it out feels good. Even if it leads to both parties drunkenly agreeing that Michael Jackson was more important than Jesus, or the holocaust, and then the conversation becomes a little uncomfortable. Just get it all out. Letting yourself come to terms with how you feel will help you to reach the final step in the grieving process: Acceptance. Make this tragedy easier for yourself and those around you. Heal the world. It’s what Michael would have wanted us to do. We’re all going to get through this.
Categories: Review Posted on June 17, 2009 By: Roy
I hope you all have been enjoying this gorgeous sunny, summer weather. I know that, at least here on Long Island, it is really starting to warm up. Finally that comfortable outdoor weather that everyone longs for all year!! Anyway, if you’re like me, warm weather means it’s beach time!! It’s time to load up the woody with inner tubes, shave the snow cone ice and oil up those biceps… we’re going to the beach!!!
Sun, Sun, Sun!!!
Now while at the beach it’s imperative that you have everything set up so you are ready to relax to the max. That means proper attire: wet suit, flippers, goggles, snorkel, swimmies and peg-leg. It also means proper snacks: hot pretzels, fondu, fresca, grape twizzler pull-n-peels, a bottle of ether and a rag. But most importantly it means having the right music to listen to while you relax to the max.
And if you still haven’t found the right songs for the summer, you have come to the right place. I have always been ahead of the curve when it comes to music and I have found the perfect beach album for the summer: Mastodon’s 2004 release “Leviathan.” I picked up this vinyl last week and did not hesitate to put it on during my ride to the shore this past weekend. It was the most fun I’ve had next to the ocean in years, let me tell you why:
If your day at the beach isn’t this exciting you are fucking it up.
I woke up early Saturday morning (I wanted to beat the beach rush). The cooler was loaded to the brim with Bud Light Red Onion and, of course, grape Twizzler Pull-n-Peels. I unwrapped the “Leviathan” vinyl, the sun shining on my skin, and set it gently on my car’s record player. I did a quick preliminary squirt of sun-screen, stepped into my flip-flops, set the needle on the record and listened to the happy-go-lucky sounds of the first track ring out as I drove off for a day of fun in the sun:
I think that someone is trying to kill me
Infecting my blood and destroying my mind
Now I realize this is not your typical beach music (let’s say that Jack Johnson or Red Hot Chili Pepper singles are typical beach music), but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy it. I mean if you really listen to the album you’ll see that it’s about fishing, and what is more nautical than fishing? Answer: nothing. Better answer: the ocean. I know that “Leviathan” and Mastodon in general can be a little, let’s say…sandy?…but that did not stop them from making a terrific album for metal-heads, surfer dudes and sea critters alike. Also I know whales aren’t fish, but please – I’m just trying to relax here.
It was a little after nine in the morning, but already the sun was glaring. I opted to just roll down the windows, rather than use the A/C. It was totally worth it. The fresh air, the sweet smell of hibiscus in bloom and the sun, the shining glorious sun!! The lyrics, “I am completely immersed in darkness As I turn my body away from the sun” blazed just as brightly from the stereo and my face was all smiles.
I arrived at the beach in exactly three minutes and forty-nine seconds, removed my portable record player and carried it to the beach as the second track of the album came on “I Am Ahab.” Another fishing reference!!! So beachy!!! The first lyrics are so, so true: there is “a magic in the water that attracts all men”…the magic of boogie boarding!!! Yay!! In a full wet-suit and with a mouth full of grape Twizzler Pull-n-Peel, I grabbed my boogie board and hit the surf.. The water was cool and refreshing and the next song, “Seabeast,” was the perfect soundtrack for when I started to drown.
This is what DJ looks like during the groove in “The Last Baron“
An undertow was pulling me, my boogie board and my purple-colored Twizzler-tongue down to Davy Jones’ locker. I was a little scared, but also kind of just digging the song. The gentle lap of the guitar, the pitter-patter of the kick drum. So beach-y, so aqua-rific. Within inches of my life I started to think about how great the word “aqua-rific” is and made a mental note to include the made-up word in my next blog post. Mission accomplished.
With my last breath extinguishing itself in my lungs, I was somewhat saddened that I would soon be no more, but I was also fairly content that I died after having such a great day at the beach. Also, one of my favorite tracks on the album, “Island,” was coming on next….but wait at these depths the music was fading away?! I needed to hear the next song!! I thought, “Oh well, I guess I should at least try to survive…” And so I did. With the giggling tom-toms a-poundin’ and the wavy screams a-screamin’ I made it to the surface and washed ashore beside an orange Italian eating an orange Italian ice. I raised my head to comment on the hilarity, but then I passed out because I had almost drowned.
I woke up around noon, half buried in the sand, and burnt to a crisp. Not from the sun, but because tracks 5, 6, 7 and 8 had melted my face. I crawled my way over to my blanket just as the summerjam tune “Hearts Alive” came on. Glad to be alive myself, I looked around the now-crowded beach and thought about just how terrific this album was for the sand-swept scene. I started to relax on my towel, but had trouble moving my newly burnt arms. I felt almost as immobile as Brent Hinds did after his brain hemorrhaged. ZING!!! As the song began to soar as high as the seagulls and banner-trailing planes, I looked at the children digging in the sand and thought of drummer Brann Dailor trying to dig up his dead sister while tripping on acid. ZING!!! I looked at the lifeguard stand and could imagine Queequeg climbing it like a crow’s nest. NOT REALLY A JOKE!!! I saw a young lady sucking on a popsicle like it was a harpoon. JOKE?? I saw a young albino boy devour a man’s leg. LIKE MOBY DICK!!! Yes, I thought, “Leviathan” is the perfect album for the summer.
By the way, I’m just kidding…Twizzler never made a grape flavored pull-n-peel.
STAYED TUNED FOR MY NEXT SUMMER MUSIC REVIEWS: “Blood Mountain” the Perfect Album for a Day of Family-Hiking!!
AND “Crack the Skye” the Perfect Album for Your Flight to Disney!!
I’m so sorry I have been gone so long. I just checked the stats and I have not updated since April 22nd, exactly one month ago. Why have I not updated in such a very long time? Well, there are several reasons, one of which is true: 1) I have been busy helping DJ design our new site layout, which should be released within the coming weeks 2) I have not had an internet connection or a working computer for several weeks and 3) It was the end of the semester and blogging will not take priority over school until DJ can start paying me.
But just because I haven’t been blogging doesn’t mean I haven’t thought about blogging. I have! Quite a bit actually. Look no further than my hilarious twitter account for proof of the wacky ideas I’ve been thinking. I’m such a loopy lad!
Well, on May 11th at precisely 7:50PM I let @SmartassRadio know that I would be writing a blog about Electabuzz and when I make a promise I keep it. So, after much ado, here is a blog entry that could possibly interest a very bored twelve year old a decade ago:
Hello, my name is Electabuzz and I’m an alcoholic.
Categories: Review Posted on April 8, 2009 By: Roy
This past weekend my good friend Luke sent me a wake up call, asking if I would like to go with him to a sweet lodge. I thought to myself, “Yikes, this is going to severely interfere with my Saturday afternoon calisthenics routine down by the sound,” but then I thought “Aw heck, I’ll go anyway. After all, this sweet lodge sounds pretty sweet.” Twenty minutes and an orange later, I was in Luke’s hotrod, on my way to the sweet lodge. Little did I know, I was in for one of the sweatiest days of my life.
Why was my day sweat-drenched? It all comes down to a simple mis-communication. I thought that Luke, who has a very strong and noticeable Staten Island accent, said SWEET lodge, but in reality he had said SWEAT lodge. Though the difference here is only one letter (that letter being A) the implications are significant. What did I expect? I imagined a lovely gingerbread house, with candy cane gutters, a twizzler garden hose and a gumball compost pile out back. I pictured a nice little candy lodge, something straight out of Hansel and Gretel. Well, the experience was like Hansel and Gretel…in the sense that I felt trapped in an oven for two hours.