Wednesday, December 7, 2011

More blogging

It's rapidly becoming 2012. I've always disliked the end of the year... lots to do before Christmas & New Year. It feels like being busy for no reason. I don't want to care at the end of the year.

I need to write more. More rants, raves and ________.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Frustrated

Frustrated. Blogger autosave deleted a big post. And, I cannot find the damn setting to change Jump Break text wording...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Entry #006

Let’s go downtown and watch the modern kids
Let’s go downtown and talk to the modern kids
They will eat right out of your hand
Using great big words that they don’t understand

They’re singing
Rococo, Rococo, Rococo, Rococo…
Rococo, Rococo, Rococo, Rococo…

They build it up just to burn it back down
They build it up just to burn it back down
The wind is blowing all the ashes around
Oh my dear God what is that horrible song?

They’re singing
Rococo, Rococo, Rococo, Rococo…
Rococo, Rococo, Rococo, Rococo…

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Best Vietnam Song

What is the best musical expression to fit the Vietnam Conflict? ...I know what I'm getting into here. Nostalgia. Stepping on the memories of vets. Rolling Stones bashing.

The war happened between 1963 and 1972: Military overconfidence, civilian casualties, strung-out draftees. Even in the wake of the aftermath, artists still wrote about the conflict. But which has the perfect vibe?

A few songs come to mind:
  • "Blowin' in the Wind" (1963)
  • "The Times They Are a-Changin'" (1964)
  • "I Can't Get No (Satisfaction)"  (1965)
  • "The End" (1967)
  • "White Rabbit" (1967)
  • "Give Peace a Chance" (1969)
  • "Fortunate Son" (1969)
  • "War Pigs" (1970)
  • "Born in the USA" (1984)
Now Bob Dylan was mega in that era. A poetic and a reluctant leader. He would deny the Sixties and probably say he was above the war and politics. I'm going to throw him out, yes I am.

"Satisfaction" by the Stones seems almost perfect. Not for the content, but the attitude. Who can forget the water skiing scene in Apocalypse Now? But, it's not there yet. In that same film, "The End" destroys a treeline (and a man) with atonal cacophony. And that's what Vietnam encapsulated: Western cacophony. But, the Doors are a little too hipster for the demographic of Army grunts, aren't they?.

"White Rabbit" seems ideal with the whole drug culture thing. But, not everyone did dope. And, the crescendo ending is almost triumphant. Vietnam wasn't about triumph. Creedence Clearwater Revival is the face of Southern rock. And, I must have looped "Fortunate Son" once for a straight hour. But, I feel that this is a song for all the people who didn't get drafted. It wasn't an anthem for soldiers, was it?

Black Sabbath doesn't bring Saigon or Mekong to mind. I feel it was a tad too heavy for the time, an eclectic track. Now, a classic; then, an outsider metal song.

I doubt most veterans realize "Born in the U.S.A." is anti-Vietnam. It came out in the 80s, and had every American flag-waver singing the chorus (but ignoring the verses). Ironic, and probably frustrating for Springsteen. Really good songwriting... not depressing enough.

....There is one song, unlisted and relatively unknown to pop culture. And, to be honest, it--above all others--captures the essence of Vietnam. The essence that Capt. Benjamin Willard shows in the Kurtz compound. The paranoia, the distress... raw insanity. Synthesizers. Fucking 'Nam.

Monday, May 23, 2011

It’s Only Right and Natural: an Autobiography Translated

I have below a translation of one of the hardest things I’ve ever read. Harder than making it through Tom Sawyer’s southern dialect or Joyce’s consciousness. It was a challenge, and hours to complete fully. I had to rewrite and re-think what I knew about grammar—semicolons, punctuations, paragraphs, ellipses, inner dialogue, etc. It was a beast. But reading it made me laugh, because it started to throw in puns and wordplay (if you only knew the inside jokes!) I tried to mark and notate the mental illness as best I could. Still difficult, but worth it. Especially if you are a fan of alternative music, and never heard of the cult band The Frogs. I’ll leave it at that. Without further ado: The Frogs’ Myspace autobiography.

[It] began in earnest 1980. [We] played five “warm up” shows to get our feet wet at UW-Milwaukee—open mike, etc. Rocked them, knew we were ready and moved on… to the Starship (a downtown Milwaukee nightclub). Initially [we] had a small but loyal “skate punk” following… That didn’t last. From June to October 1980, we went through half a dozen changes stylistically—soundscaping faster than our audience could keep up with: a) electric guitar, three drums, floor tom, snare and cymbal; b) electric guitar, three drums, floor tom, snare, cymbal, drum machine, washing machine, etc.

After Halloween 1980 we decided we wouldn’t play live again until our set consisted of all originals—and we set out to do just that. Then sometime in 1982, Jim wrote “Death Songs” (to be continued). Backtrack: we were never a folk-rock duo; we were drums and wires, drums and electric guitar from the get-go; and we rocked the hell out of Donovan, Beatle ballads, Leonard Cohen, nursery rhymes, etc. An eclectic mix as I say, from the start. Although, what must be stated up front is that—for all intents and purposes—when we got the group together in 1980, to our eyes and ears rock was already dead. But, we decided to throw in our two cents’ worth anyway. So we started playing live; mastering the stage as we went, becoming our own beast friend in the process. The perfect unit/ensemble a la Beatles, Rolling Stones, who-have-you; and that was that. [We also liked] taking the piss out of every (pretentious) bitch/witch/bastard who happened along the way; needing bringing down a rung or two (or three or, for that matter/fatter, four). To be continued for you and me. (Two beat continyoued for u and meet.)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Gentlemen Broncos quotes?

Wow. People must really abhor this film. I can only find two goddamn quotes on the entire web for this entirely quotable, Napoleon Dynamite-caliber* film. I make it my mission to make the first reasonable fan page in existance. (Perhaps) my fanpage will contain:
  • Bronco (and Broncanuss) full body shots
  • Yeast lore
  • Ronald Chevalier's guide to character naming
  • Popcorn balls

And, what's with the lack of video clips? Was there a RIAA witchhunt for them?

*in quotability

P.S.: Rotten Tomatoes is the worst. Biased, fanboy, fickle, myopic, etc.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Best of the Year 2010: Film

[I know it's mid-January... but I had to catch up on film]

The Fighter
Should have been titled the Fighters. Bale's character (Dicky Ecklund) digs deeper into boxing and New England slumming than the titular character (and actor) could ever try. English acting outstages a homegrown Bostonite! Huzzah!

Salt
Every once in awhile we need a movie to update us on the latest Defcon procedures. This wins the award of Best Driving of a Car with a Tazer.

Alice in Wonderland
Way better than most of the recent stuff Burton's done!

Inception
Come on! For all the entertainment in the world, none can compare to the Dream World. People like to point out flaws of the this film, but compare it to some great films like Dark Knight and Matrix (which are even more flawed). This film has replay value of immense proportions. Like looking at the same painting and finding a color you never saw before. Suspend your disbelief. Dream.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Best of the Year 2010: Song

"Dirty Cartoons"
Menomena

"Kids"
Sleigh Bells

"The Believers"
How to Destroy Angels

"Dance Yrslf Clean"
LCD Soundsystem

"On Melancholy Hill"
Gorillaz

I also liked "Runaway" (live on MTV VMAs, of course)

MST3k Return thoughts

There used to be two camps when it comes to MSTies: Team Joel or Team Mike. I'm in the Michael J. Nelson camp (the 1997 Sci-Fi Channel ...