Sunday, December 30, 2007

Out Come The Wolves


Well it's here, year's end. And what better (read: expected) way to cap off the year than with a list of shit that was good, bad, and oh so ugly about 2007. So, without further ado, after all the celebrity rehab stints, the drunken cheese burger-eating episodes, the gay republicans, the bad music and stupid movies, here it is; 2007, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Film

The Good:

  • No Country For Old Men - No movie this year can hold a candle to this remarkable adaptation on Cormac McCarthy's tragic masterpiece. The film was so perfectly executed (by far the most accurate novel adaptation I have ever seen) by the Cohen brothers that it almost seems as if McCarthy had them in mind when he wrote it. However, we live in a world obsessed with tits and guns and Norbit, so if the Academy passes this over for Best Picture, don't be surprised.
  • 300 - Another adaptation, this time from a graphic novel. Gerard Butler proves he can actually, you know, act in this bloody-as-hell badass movie. A little historically inaccurate? Maybe, but then again, think of all the other films that were saved by historical inaccuracies. Yes, 300 did spawn a lot of "This is Sparta!" jokes, but so what? It's got tits, blood, tits, gore, tits, bloody fight scenes, redheads with tits, and amazing graphics and cinematography. And tits.
  • Honorable Mentions - These are the films that, although not the best film of the year, helped wash the taste of Spiderman 3 out of our mouths; The Bourne Ultimatum, Gone Baby Gone, Zodiac, Grindhouse, Disturbia, Mr. Brooks, Rescue Dawn, 3:10 To Yuma, In The Valley Of Elah, Across The Universe, The Assassination of Jesse James..., Into The Wild, There Will Be Blood, We Own the Night, Charlie Wilson's War, and Juno.

The Bad:

  • Hitman - It's always hard to find a place to start when discussing the worst movies of the year, so I will start with one that could have been at least watchable, Hitman. Now don't get me wrong, I got nothing but love for Timothy Olyphant, but this movie was doomed the moment they picked a director who has directed zero movies. He hasn't even directed a fucking commercial, so why would they hand the Hitman franchise to him? It is obvious that this could have been a trilogy (not a good one, but a trilogy just the same), so why did they throw a confusing script at an unknown director? Because Hollywood hates us, that's why.
  • Spiderman 3 - This movie sucked. You know it, I know it, and judging by the acting (or lack thereof) displayed onscreen, the actors knew it too. The only trilogy that didn't lose it's soul while the director lost his mind was the Bourne trilogy, and in this year of third installments, the other 3rd's out there just got it all wrong. But none more than this piece of shit. Emo Spidey? Ok, I can handle that, Tobey Maguire is a whiney little bitch anyway. But damn, it's like he was handed the script to a chick flick and was told to "make it work". 3 hours of hellish suffering, that is what this movie is. There, I said it, now can we please not make another one? Please?
  • Honorable Mentions - Where to begin? Ok, let's just list the ones I actually watched; Primeval, Ghost Rider, The Number 23, Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Captivity (Amanda, you NEVER get to pick a movie again), and The Mist. And those are just the ones I was sadistic enough to make myself watch. I won't even mention the others, as I fear that my laptop might actually throw up.

The Ugly:

  • Anna Nicole Smith - Why were we forced to watch 3 straight days of news coverage regarding some dead money-grubbing whore? This is a fact which may not surprise any of you; in the 3 days following the moment she died, Fox News spent more air time covering her death than the war in Iraq! I am not making this shit up! Who cares, she's dead. It's not like she made some amazing contribution to society. All this coverage did was help prove that we a country obsessed with death, whores, and money. Was there really nothing more important that they could have reported on?

Music

The Good:

It's hard to choose a "best" album of the year. Unless there is a groundbreaking work of art released during the year (there wasn't), you pretty much have to find the needles in the haystack of shit. So, here it is, the records that were worth spending money on this year;

The Bad:

As for bad music, that is something even more difficult to determine, if only due too an abundance of selections. So, to match my fifteen choices of the best of the year, here are the fifteen records that I am sick of hearing about, sucked, or just honestly shouldn't have been released;

  • Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?
  • Deerhoof - Friend Opportunity
  • Fall Out Boy - Infinity on High
  • Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
  • Insane Clown Posse - The Tempest
  • Good Charlotte - Good Morning Revival
  • Avril Lavigne - The Best Damn Thing
  • Nine Inch Nails - Year Zero
  • Paramore - Riot!
  • Korn - Untitled
  • Kid Rock - Rock N Roll Jesus
  • Radiohead - In Rainbows
  • Seether - Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces
  • The Hives - The Black and White Album
  • Gogol Bordello - Super Taranta!

The Ugly:

Here is a list of the musicians that we will miss. The music world is a lesser place without them;

Everything Else

The last of the good, bad, and ugly things that happened in 2007;

The Good:

The Bad:

  • President Bush is still in office.
  • Dick Cheney - Still an asshole.
  • The war in Iraq is still going on.
  • We actually have to vote for one of these idiots?
  • Gas still costs more than drugs.
  • I think the FBI might have tapped my phone (illegally, no doubt).

The Ugly:

  • We lost two of the world's greatest writers; Kurt Vonnegut and Norman Mailer.
  • Bush doesn't understand the meaning of the word "genocide".
  • I still drive a Mustang.
  • Britney: It's Marry Poppins Bitch!
  • K-Fed - Still alive, still irrelevant.
  • People actually wear shirts that say "Don't tase me, bro!"
  • I still have not had sex with the following people: Laura Prepon, Neko Case, or Mrs. Fields.
  • Sean Hannity - Still a douchebag.
  • The Killers - Please, please stop making music.
  • Lindsay Lohan.
  • Lindsay Lohan's dad.
  • The fact that I actually know what I am talking about when it comes to Lohan and her dad.
  • Crepes - Still not widely available in America.
  • Republicans who tried to ban gay marriage, only to get caught soliciting/fucking gay men.
  • Chuck Norris.

Well, that's it, my list. There is much more to add, but frankly all of this is making me kind of depressed. So, here's to hoping that next year is filled with some sort of meaning and joy, less Britney crotch shots/music, less stupid taser trends, and more tea, beer, redheads, snow, tits, crepes, and Pearl Jam. See ya in 2008.

-B
take a breath and softly say goodbye


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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Terms Of Psychic Warfare



Before you read this post, please read this comment, as this is what I will be addressing today; all done? Good. Now, where to start? How does one break down a statement of such blatant hypocrisy? It seems the best way to do it would be in list form, so here it goes, my complaints to you Patty, and please don't take them personally, they are not meant to be hurtful, but they are pretty cut and dry. Here goes;

1 - You are 15; you know nothing of quality literature. Don't argue, just accept it. I have been an avid reader since childhood, and I am now 27 and I still know nothing about quality in literature, so don't try and belittle me for not liking Harry fucking Potter. You're wrong, and the reason you are wrong is the same reason you think I am wrong; we are arguing about a difference of opinion, and every man is right is his own eyes.

2 - You stated that you had a "deep passion for the complexity and depth...", and that is something I can appreciate. But tell me, do you so adamantly defend Stephen King the same way you would J. K. Rowling? He also writes with amazing complexity and depth, but many write him off as a hack because of his darker themed material. Pick an author that you do not enjoy and I guarantee you I can find someone who feels the exact opposite. I may piss you off, as you so cleverly put it, but you can't get mad at everyone who shares a different opinion than you now can you?

3 - I don't understand why you accuse me of being "annoyed" at people who "exercise their ability to read". I don't, I just don't like what they are reading. What I was trying to say was that the majority of people I have ever encountered who read Harry Potter books read only Harry Potter books. How can you (and by "you" I mean the readers I am talking about, not necessarily you personally) stand on your high pedestal and claim these books are such great pillars of literature when you have nothing to compare them too? What I mean to say is that most Potter readers read only Potter, and thereby have no basis to stand on when arguing their greatness. It is a biased opinion, at best.

4 - Yes, I agree that it has made a difference in child literacy, and that is something I will never condone unless the books preach hatred (which as far as I know they don't). But tell me, were these books a greater contribution to the literary world than Dumas, Wilde, Dickens, Vidal, Vonnegut, Tolkien, or Shakespeare? Because these writers and hundreds like them built the foundation of which all writers today stand on. What I mean to ask is have you bothered to look at the other side's point of view? There is no way, in my humble opinion, that the Potter books can compare to these other great authors I mentioned, and the only people who will argue that are the Potter fanatics you just don't know any better. When you start to argue quality literature, you had better study the past before you argue the present.

To cap all of this off, I am not angry nor am I trying to convince you to stop reading the Potter books. In fact, I hope you reply to this with another comment, as I rather enjoy friendly debates. But you have to understand where we anti-Potter people are coming from. Potter fanatics act like literature was nothing more than useless words before J. K. Rowling came along, and that makes us mad. You (again, not personally) talk down to us as if we are the ignorant ones for just not having any God damn interest in reading those books, when in fact you refuse to pick up anything else that does not involve a little boy and his wand. In my post I was attacking the fanatics, not the fans, but maybe you should take your own advice of considering things from someone else's perspective. And by the way, yes I could hurt a lot if people, but you know what? So what. I am not here to please people, I am here to state my random ramblings and debate with 15 year olds about books, not hurt people. I doubt anybody is going to throw themselves off a cliff because of my opinion. With that, I say happy holidays to you and all you other readers out there, and feel free to tell me I am right or wrong, I really don't care.

Is it something I said when I lost my mind? Temper too quick, makes me blind


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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tripping The Life Dancetastic



Hipsters are an unnecessary evil bestowed upon us by some angry Norse God that plague this Earth with their bad haircuts, their horn rim glasses, and their shitty taste in music. Every God damn time I want to purchase a CD by, oh I don't know, Husker Du or Pearl Jam or any other band that actually has music worth listening to, I always get some feeble-minded pathetic look of disappointment by the indie chick with a million body piercings and twice as many tattoos and the oh-so-clever ironic vintage rock shirt of some famous band from the 70's that they don't actually fucking listen to, but it's OK because they are cool and hip and in the know or whatever the hell street lingo you mindless, soulless minions are using these days. I hate hipsters. So allow me to monosyllabically spell it out for you in a language you can understand, like quoting lyrics from an indie band; in the words of Pavement, cut your hair. I don't care how you do it, just get it done. Walking around looking like you either just got out of bed or just got fucked isn't cool; especially since we both know that neither is the case. And the pants, oh my God, the pants. Please, please stop wearing pants that look like they are painted on. I have no desire to see your chap stick sized bulge as you stand there holding a twelve dollar mocha and try to look cool. You don't look cool, you look like you are smuggling Cheetos.

Finally, stop telling me what music to listen to. I don't give a shit if Pitchfork gave The Epileptic Frying Pan Monkey Spank Tourettes Attack's new album a fucking 9.8 and Foo Fighters new record a 4.2, I would still rather listen to, as you call it a "retread", than a bunch of philosophy students banging pots and pans together while shouting poetry at me. Just because something is "obscure" or "different" or "indie" doesn't necessarily make it fucking good! Stop rolling your eyes at me for hating the Arcade Fire or for thinking that the new Radiohead album actually kind of sucks. I don't want to hear about how great some obscure unsigned band is, I just want to buy my fucking CD. And you know what makes all this even worse? I'm the one people call an elitist! I'm not. In fact I am utterly convinced that most people do not really know the definition of "elitist". I do not believe that my musical tastes are so fucking important that the fate of the world hinges on my ability to convince you to buy a Sebadoh record. Do I recommend music? Yes, of course, anyone who knows me will agree, and I am pretty fucking good at tailoring my recommendations to your personal taste. If that makes me an elitist, then go buy a fucking dictionary. At least I am not a hipster. I want them to die. In a fire.

-B
You want me to beg forgiveness, tender an apology. It's not my fault and you're not getting one from me.


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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Personality Crisis



I often sit at my computer and stare at my screen like I imagine Dorian Gray stares at his self portrait, seeing time slowly fade away only to himself and no one else. I hope that the words will type themselves out on their own, as if possessed by the spirit of Stephen King, or maybe a macabre writer who is actually dead. But alas, the buttons do not push themselves, and I obviously don't know how to push them right either. So tonight I will type the first thing I see when I look away from my screen and hope that a clever and coherent sentence forms itself out of my damaged brain cells and somehow oozes into my fingertips. So I look up and I see... the Swedish Chef from the Muppets. I am not joking. He is staring at me, as if to say "did you steal my chickens?", only in a cool Swedish voice. I did not steal his chickens, but I am kind of hungry. Are you not entertained? Does my slow decent into madness amuse you, am I funny like a clown? Why are you staring at me? I can explain everything... no really, I can. Don't worry, there's a donkey involved. What? No, I am not lying. Why the hell would I make this shit up? You can't make this shit up! Great, now I get to go to sleep tonight knowing that I just lost an argument to myself. Thanks, thank you so much for that. God damn heathens, I swear. Go, fine, be that way. I can make this salmon and blueberry pie on my own; I don't need your help... I have issues. That's right, plural.

-B
all about that personality crisis, you got it while it was hot


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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Family Jewels



So I was watching the Henry Rollins Show yesterday, because that is the sort of thing I do, maybe 'cause that's just how I roll. Anyway, his guest for the show was the one and only Gene Simmons. I found this oddly funny seeing as how Rollins seems like a really humble guy, and there is no one in the world who loves himself more than Gene Simmons. He literally mentioned the fact that he had money no less than five times in the short interview. He then followed this up by feeling the need to prove his point by holding out his KISS credit card for the camera, and ultimately the world to see. Now it is no secret that I am not a KISS fan. In fact, it is safe to say that if given the choice between listening to KISS or Celine Dion, I would dust off that old copy of Titanic (no, I don't actually own it), pour a glass of cheap wine, grab a box of tissues for my tears and spend the rest of the evening slowly evolving into a total pussy. I hate KISS that much. Now don't get me wrong, I accept the fact that they influenced a lot of mediocre rock bands, but that isn't to say that music is what they cared about. I really don't think it was. They were rockstars, not musicians. Their songs didn't change anybody's life, but that's ok, because they got laid and did drugs and spit blood and made toys and comic books and all that shit that doesn't really involve talent so much as luck and a clever idea. Some call it fun, I call it stupid. But here's the punch line, and it couldn't have been worded more perfectly by Simmons' himself when he said that he is a fascinating person. Love him or hate him, you still can't stop watching him. And you know? I never once turned the damn channel during his interview. Son of a bitch, the old bastard was right after. Gene, you are a fascinating character. It isn't always a good thing, but you found a way to get rich off it, so what do I know.

-B
I die trying just to keep myself from kissing you


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Sunday, December 02, 2007

Ridin' Dirty



As the leaves change colors and the sun shines rarely in these cold-as-fuck winter months, I find myself changing with the season. I shall no longer be known as "Bryan", "B", or "Oogie" if you're nasty. I shall now be known as "Brizzle". I will no longer drive the speed limit down Sunrise Avenue blaring At The Drive-In or Husker Du. My new tunes will consist only of lyrics containing the words "bitches", "ho's", "bling", and "fo' sheezee" even if I am not one hundred percent sure that I have spelled those words correctly. My slang will no longer be made of words like "gnarly" and "rad" and "dude", but be replaced with more hip and cool words like "shizzle", "bomb", "tight", and "nigga" (but only to my white homies), even if I do not know how to use those words correctly or even what they mean. I will now be seen looking fashionably cool driving twenty miles below the speed limit, ridin' dirty in my mustang, hat cocked to the left, sippin' on my jamba and juice as my 3 spinners spin like a spinning... spinner (I couldn't afford all 4, those fuckers are expensive). That's right; I will now and forever be gangsta. I'm trading my punk rock for hip-hop, my Jawbreaker for Master P, my Nixon watch for a tribal armband tattoo. Maybe now I will be cool. Just maybe.

-B
damn it feels good to be a gangsta

Monday, November 26, 2007

Almost Killed Me



It's hard to put thought to pen (or keyboard in this unholy era of technology). I have all these thoughts swirling around, and by the time I launch my word processor, I lose all my thoughts. I am like a deer stuck in the proverbial headlights. I want to tell you to go see No Country for Old Men, and give some sort of swanky and clever and hip review or maybe just a thought and an opinion, but alas I must resort to this; go see the movie. I also want to tell you that you should be listening to the Replacements or the Hold Steady right now. It doesn't really matter what you are doing at the moment, you could be listening to these two wonderful bands. Are you at work? Great! Stop looking at porn and reading email jokes and chain letters and load up iTunes. Go ahead, I'll wait...wait a minute...what if you're not working at the moment? Are you cooking food? Great! You're about to put it in the fridge... go to a record store and buy one of these CD's, or hell, even buy the vinyl if you're old, hip, or an audiophile. Not cooking? Well then, what are you doing? Are you fucking? Great! Pull it out of the doll (don't worry, you can always blow her back up) or your girlfriend or your cousin or whatever/whoever you are currently abusing with your penis and throw on Tim or maybe Boys and Girls in America. Trust me, nothing gets your wife/girlfriend/hooker/sheep in the mood like some good ol' fashioned American rock. Go ahead, I'll wait.

-B
he never saw that girl again


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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Dark Side of the Moon



I have been listening to Pink Floyd's magnum opus record The Dark Side of the Moon a lot lately. Nonstop. For about six hours today. And seeing as how Pink Floyd is all but over with, I thought I would share some interesting facts that I discovered regarding this wonderful and mysterious record. Enjoy;

You probably own this record: It is estimated that 1 out of every 14 alive today in the U.S. under the age of 50 owns or has owned a copy of this album. Hell, I alone own 7 genuine copies (Shine On collectors box set, original CD, Gold disk CD, 20th Anniversary CD, London import vinyl, U.S. vinyl, and collectors vinyl edition).

It gets around: It is the fifth highest selling record in the world. It sells an average of 9,600 copies a week... to this day.

It isn't going away: The album spent a record 741 weeks (just over 14 years) on the charts, only to be removed by a rule change. It has since been on the charts and has never left. With the Billboard 200 and Pop Catalog charts combined, it has spent more than 1,500 weeks (about 29 years) on the charts.

Coincidentally enough: It only spent 1 week at the #1 spot in the U.S.

Take a look around: The cover artwork, the refracting prism created by George Hardie, is one of the most recognizable pieces of artwork in the world.

Dark Side of the Rainbow: As most of you know, it eerily matches up with The Wizard of Oz, although all band members (except Roger Waters) and the album's producer (Alan Parsons) have claimed none of it was intentional.

Plug in: The record has become a standard for audiophiles to use when testing the quality of audio equipment.

There are plenty more interesting facts regarding this record, and the band as well, as they are certainly one of the most interesting bands around. There is a lot of mystery in their music and artwork, so for anyone who wants to get into Pink Floyd but doesn't know where to start, there is no better place than The Dark Side of the Moon.

-B
there's someone in my head but it's not me.



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Friday, November 16, 2007

Times Like These



As year end approaches and the leaves turn to other worldly colors, the snow begins to fall, and the lights go from white to red and green and blue, I always think about the past year. The opportunities seized and sacrificed, the friends made and lost, the loves tested and thrown away, and it always makes me hope for a better year. A year with less money and more happiness, less hate and more love, less beer and more tea. So for all those chances never taken, friends never called, places never visited, strangers never helped, and flames dwindled to a slowly fading light, I raise my glass of hope-spiced tea and salute you. It truly is times likes these that you learn to live and love again.

-B
I am a brand new sky to hang the stars upon tonight


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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

In With The New



Call me old fashioned, but I like tuning my guitar (or having Cameron do it for me because I am lazy and he is bored). I like the fact that not every note I hit will sound pitch-perfect. I like old fashioned crunch-tone humbuckers run through a Marshall stack, I like replacing tubes and pickups. And I would assume that guitar purists would enjoy the same, but apparently Gibson feels differently. Going on sale December 7th, Gibson is introducing its new Robot Guitar. This guitar tunes the strings for you, by monitoring the pitch from an electric component attached to a second set of pickups. It then sends the information to the auto-rotating tuning pegs, saving the guitarist (and many guitar techs) a lot of time and hassle. But that's part of what I like about my guitar. I can play with the pitches and tuning of the strings. I don't want my guitar to sound perfect. I don't want it to sound like it was created by a machine. I want it to sound real, to sound pure, for better or for worse. But who knows, maybe I am part of a dying breed.

-B
though you swear that you are true I still pick my friends over you.


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Monday, November 12, 2007

Provoked



So I went and saw Henry Rollins on his Provoked tour a few days ago at the Crest Theatre. I know that a lot of people view Rollins as an angry old punk rocker with very strong social and political views, but I don't think people really understand him. First off, he may be angry, but at his spoken word show (at least this tour), he wasn't yelling and screaming into the mic the whole night. He was just talking, like a guy telling interesting stories at the bar. His show was surprisingly funny, and his stories are unlike any others I have heard.

He talked about how he met David Lee Roth and touched on a few music points, but most of his show was about him traveling to places. He stated that he was tired of people judging what it's like to be in Iraq and Iran when they haven't been there, so he just went there. He told the story about how he plotted a trip to numerous countries deemed "dangerous" and met interesting people, and the most amazing thing was that he asked every single person he met what they thought about American's, and they all said they love America. He said he did not once run into a situation where someone treated him bad because he was American, and that includes Iraq and Iran.

It was interesting to hear somebody tell about how, instead of getting their opinions second hand, he just went and discovered it for himself, which I have a lot of respect for him for doing. He is a very interesting character, and is incredibly smart, much smarter than his critics give him credit for. There are some video clips at his website (linked above) if you want to check out a little bit of what I saw, but if you ever get the chance to see him, whether you like him or hate him, take it. It was definitely more interesting (in my opinion) than seeing Jello Biafra doing spoken word (I should be honest, I am a Dead Kennedys fan, not a Biafra fan. I think he is a hypocrite and forms opinions based off biased reporting without doing his homework, despite his fight against censorship).

Last but not least, he told the story of how he was asked to sing for the last show by the Ruts, a band whose music he plays constantly on his show. There are some YouTube clips of the show if you are interested, and definitely check out their music. There will also be a DVD of the concert released in a couple months. Anyway, here is a short YouTube clip of one of Rollins' Provoked dates (bad quality), and I am sure you can find more if you look hard enough. That's about it, good night and stay classy.

-B
try to stop us, it's no use.


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Friday, November 09, 2007

Rainy Night In Soho



It appears that my sickness has gotten the best of me lately. Catatonic from a full-frontal assault by the renegade Snot army, crippled by the dehydrating-and-possibly-hallucination-inducing sinus medication, I remain but a pulse without any sense of coherent thought. However, this is not to say that my phlegm filled days have been for not, for I have dared venture outside the realm of this germ-infested hell hole to experience fresh air and the sweet smell of Sacramento. It is, to put it simply, vomit inducing. I was graced with the pleasure of seeing Henry Rollins at the Crest Theatre on his Provoked tour (thanks again Michelle), which was as funny as it was interesting. Rollins is a sort of a renaissance man who never seems to get the credit he so richly deserves. If you ever get the chance to see one of his spoken word performances, do indeed take it. You will not be disappointed. I apologize for the short post, as I am still battling my infection demons, armed only with amoxicillin, a cup of hot tea and a smile... OK, that's so not true, I never smile. But you get the idea.

-B
covered in a cloak of silence, I hear you in my head


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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Touch Me I'm Sick



This is how the people in 28 Days Later must have felt before they became a thoughtless killing machine. I haven't breathed out of my nose in 3 days, my throat feels as if someone poured molten lava down it, and the headaches, oh God the headaches. I have either the worst sinus infection in history, or I am slowly transforming into Nemesis from Resident Evil. It's still 50/50. And the drugs aren't helping. One would assume that after having pumped as many drugs into their system as I have that one would be seeing images of dragons and unicorns and preaching about how delicious the colors are. One would assume. But alas, Tylenol Cold & Sinus Severe (severe my ass) is not exactly up to the task, and it harbors no shame about it either. It taunts me, as if to smile and laugh and say "ha-ha, enjoy the snot and cough you maggot!", but it doesn't say that. It just sits there and stares, its cold dead eyes telling me it has no pity, no mercy for me. You may have won this round sinus infection, due only to the treasonous actions of my one-time ally Tylenol Cold & Sinus (Severe!), but the war is far from over.

-B
you can't leave me if I'm already gone

Monday, October 22, 2007

Cock Fight



Nothing normal ever happens to me. I can never seem to have a boring day with no interesting events taking place. Take today for instance; I was driving along, minding my own business, when I look out the right side window. What do I see? A cock fight. That's right, on a busy street connecting numerous cities, I see two roosters fighting. And this wasn't your average cock fight either, this shit was intense. I think the fate of the world may have actually been hanging in the balance. There was a dark brown one, who I can only assume is the dark lord Darth Cock, and the white one, who would naturally be Luke Cockwalker. These fucking things were battling it out for God knows what reason, probably over a girl or the World Series or the fate of the world, who knows. All I do know is that one was walking home with his head held high, the blood of his enemy still dripping from his claws (talons? how the fuck should I know), and the other was going to the morgue. Who won, I will never know, but damned if that isn't going to be on my mind all week. What else did I see on the same drive, you ask? A pick up truck full of weed whackers. No sign on the truck advertising lawn service or weed whacker repair or anything like that, just a small pick up truck with a bunch of weed whackers piled high over the roof of the cab. And I'm not talking about five or ten weed whackers either, oh no. This guy had his own little fetish going on, there may have been close to fifty of these damn things stacked high above the rest of the truck for all the world to see, as if to say "I am weed whacker king!". Why would someone need that many weed whackers? And why the hell would two roosters dual it out on Sunrise Boulevard in the parking lot of a smog station? Did they arrange this fight in advance, like two cowboys meeting in the center of town for a quick draw? This is the kind of shit I think about. Why can't I ever have a normal day?

-B
it ends in a place with no love only hate


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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Kiss The Bottle



So I just got out of the hospital, and as usual I am going to use this space as filler for the empty vacuum where I once had a soul. I have been out of the news loop for the past few days, so for today I am going to talk about how much I hate Halloween. I may even delve into how much I love crepes, but I make no promises. Halloween is essentially an excuse to give kids nightmares and cavities, give men a reason to get drunk and pretend their Master Chief and women an excuse to dress up like hookers. I hate candy too, so there is really no upside that I can see for celebrating this stupid "holiday". It's like Columbus Day to me, only instead of some white Spaniard getting lost and killing a bunch if non-white people, some white guys get drunk and give kids diabetes. Of course, those who know me will argue that I hate everything and I am really dead inside anyway, so why would I even bother to state that I hate a holiday when it should be clear that I hate all holidays. But the truth is that I don't. I like St. Patrick's day, that's a good one. And international Get-Drunk-And-Pee-On-Stuff day too, I could celebrate that all year long. But the truth is that I do hate Halloween, always have and I always will. I know I am forgetting something... oh yeah, crepes! Crepes are delicious.

-B
I kiss the bottle, I should've been kissing you


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Monday, October 15, 2007

Karma Police



Trumping the digital download realm by removing the middlemen all together, Radiohead has decided to allow fans to download their new album In Rainbows for whatever price they choose to pay. Want to pay $20 (the websites is in British Pounds) for the new record? Go for it. Want to pay $0.00? That's OK too. The band is only releasing the digital download through their website, but they are also releasing a collector's box edition that includes a free digital download of the album, plus other tracks, the CD's booklet and artwork and other bonus material as well. Now this may seem like a bold move, but think about it logically for a second and you will see that this could in fact turn out to be the best career move (or the worst) they have ever made. Bands nowadays make the majority of their money from touring and licensing agreements and sponsorships. The artist is always the last to get paid from the record company. But by taking other outlets like iTunes and brick retail stores out of the equation, they can control the pricing (or let the fans choose). And surprisingly enough, early figures show that Radiohead fans are indeed choosing to pay for the record than to download it for free, some even paying more than the CD might cost in a retail store or as a digital download from one of the many online music vendors. Now does this mean that other artists will follow suit? I doubt it (and it certainly won't be Metallica who does). However, you may remember that the Offspring did something like this back in the nineties, when they allowed their hit single "Pretty Fly For A White Guy" to be downloaded for free. It ended up becoming the most downloaded song of 1998, also contributing to Americana becoming the third biggest selling album of that year. What Radiohead is doing is essentially an extension of that experiment, although in a much broader sense. How will the album eventually do? Well, it's Radiohead, so I am guessing that even if they do lose money on the album (and I don't think they will) they will more than make up for it by touring. It is interesting to see how this works out though and, more importantly, what this does for the future of music.

-B
you're turning into something you are not


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Monday, October 08, 2007

Into The Wild




If you are looking for a new record to play on those end-of-summer nights, the kind that make you just want to relax with some iced tea or a glass of wine or maybe some cocaine, and that new Avenged Sevenfold album hasn't been leaked online yet, may I suggest the Eddie Vedder soundtrack Into the Wild? For fans of Pearl Jam, it's an Eddie Vedder CD so you probably already own it. For the not-fans-of-Pearl-Jam, allow me to reinforce that this is not a PJ record. Vedder invokes his inner Neil Young and brings some laid back tunes that, while lacking the harder edge of PJ, contain the loose acoustic feel of their later stuff without goin' for broke. The new radio friendly single "Hard Sun" is easily the best tune on here, but there's still some really good stuff here to be heard. "Setting Forth" and "Rise" display the natures-last-walk feel that the movie conveys, and while it doesn't exactly make me want to throw away all my shit and hit the Alaskan wildlife, it does kind of make me want to go camping, which is more than I can say for the last pick-a-name-and-add-blood-to-it emo album that came out. Check it out here for further listening and give it a chance; in the words of Stephen King, it grows on you.

Also recently released is the new Foo Fighters record, Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace. A good record, with "Long Road to Ruin" easily being one of there finest moments, Echoes... seems to collaborate a mix of all their previous records rather than create its own theme. It works for the most part, but after a few listens you kind of get tired of trying to figure out which record that particular song should have been on. The songs stand up great on their own, but don't work so well as an album. It's deifnitely worth the ten bucks you would normally spend on a pitcher of beer, and it's definitely better than One By One, but if your looking for the heavy Foo Fighters (In Your Honor, disc 1) or the soft Foo Fighters (Skin and Bones), or the best Foo Fighters (The Colour and the Shape), you'll find only traces of it here. I would give it a solid 6. Yeah, 6 is good.

-B
once I dug an early grave to find a better land


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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Jukebox Hero



I am convinced that the music gods hate me and enjoy watching me suffer. Allow me to paint you a picture; I walk in to a bar/club/whorehouse, and there is some jukebox staple blasting through the over-amplified speakers (usually Def Leppard or country). There are maybe fifteen people in the joint. So I meander up, place a few bucks in the machine, and select random music to listen to, seeing as how I can only take so much metal/country/Johnny Cash. Now this is where it gets interesting; I will always hear one song I play, and it is always Candlebox's "Far Behind" (damn that's creepy). It doesn't matter if that was the first, fifth, or last song I chose, the jukebox apparently has its own agenda and it heavily relies on hearing Candlebox right now. And that's it. After "Far Behind", there will be silence for a good solid five minutes, until someone else goes up and plays No Doubt or God forbid, hip-hop. When do I hear my songs? Four fucking hours later, also known as closing time. For some reason I am forced to listen to every God damn hip-hop song that I am nowhere near cool enough to listen to, much less now who the "artist" is, or awful country songs about the dudes dog, woman, truck, God, the U.S.A., or a combination of them all. All the while, someone somewhere is laughing at me and making the jukebox play "Friends In Low Places" a second or third time. Why does the weirdest shit always happen to me?

-B
long road to ruin there in your eyes


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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Fuck Master Chief



Halo 3 is out! Yay! And guess what? I don't give a shit! The only thing, the only thing that makes me excited about the release of Halo 3 is the hope that maybe now all the God damn commercials will stop. I am tired of being instructed by Mountain Dew to go buy their abomination-to-beverages-everywhere God damn Game Fuel. What the fuck is Game Fuel, a mixture of gasoline, diesel, mountain dew and red bull? And why would I be talking to people in different countries on a little headset while I drink it? If I wanted to beat someone in France I would just fucking invade their country, lord knows they wouldn't put up much of a fight (too soon?). So to the 2 or 3 people who actually know me that read this, here's a hint that may save you some bodily harm and heavy medical bills; don't ask me if I bought it, I didn't. Don't ask me if I played it, I haven't. I don't want to and I don't to. Fuck Master Chief.

-B
in this hole, that is me, a life that's growing feeble


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Monday, September 17, 2007

Shiftless When Idle



If the RIAA sues you and you somehow manage to win, call it luck. Don't assume that you had a better lawyer, or that the law was even on your side. Just be grateful that the damn judge was probably hung over and just wasn't interested in the case and thank your lucky stars you didn't get the long stiff dick of the RIAA unpleasantly shoved into one of your orifices. But above all, do not try and sue them, your internet carrier, and the company of the software you used to illegally download the god damn songs in the first place. These idiots think they are actually going to get away with it. Don't get me wrong, I am all for "damn the man, down with the system" and all that cliched lazy political action. But these fucking cum stains knew what the hell they were doing the whole fucking time. They knew they were stealing music. It's not like Kazaa asked them for their mommy's credit card number. As always, the teenagers blame everybody but themselves. Check out an excerpt from the article:

"The revised complaint blames Kazaa for designing its software to automatically share downloaded files, AOL for not blocking file sharing, both parties for not passing on RIAA warnings, and Seckler for installing Kazaa"

Mathew Seckler is being sued for $1 for installing the software. I doubt they will remain friends after this. So, if they are suing Kazaa for doing what it was designed to do, AOL for not being more of a pain in the ass than it already is, and some dude for installing the program that they knew they were using, when who is suing them for actually committing the crime of illegally downloading music? You fucking tools knew what you were doing, man up and face the fucking consequences. I never thought I would say this, but right now I am hoping the RIAA wins.

-B
so wrong nearly every time that I'm sorry I speak my mind, if what I said was unkind


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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Happiness Ltd.



Remember when Hot Hot Heat used to sound like, oh I don't know, maybe Hot Hot Heat and not The Killers? I do, and I miss those days. With the release of their new record Happiness Ltd. it seems like they stole the b-sides from the first Killers record. Those are some harsh words, I know, but it hits the mark pretty closely. There are a few standout tracks that sound like HHH, but watch the video for their first single off the album "Let Me In", and you tell me who it sounds like. However, on the tracks that they do remember who they are, they bring their A game. "Harmonicas & Tambourines" is the next radio hit single waiting to happen, and "Outta Heart" is a soft unexpected ballad that all the teenagers will be slow dancing to at their next high school dance. All in all it's not a bad record, it is actually quite good, but come on guys; stop listening to The Killers. You're better than this, and a better band than them, don't insult yourselves by trying to sound like them.

-B
I drink the wine of youth, ended up in a coma


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Monday, September 10, 2007

Thrash Unreal



It's never easy for a punk band to get critical acclaim. Such a feat is hard enough to achieve due to the public's general consensus that punk should be overlooked and written off as a phase all angry white teenagers go through. It doesn't help that high record sales and a music video usually kill a punk rock band's credibility within the extremely tight and unforgiving punk community. So what happens when a punk band, notorious for its DIY ethics and anti-corporate agenda gets a four star rating in Rolling Stone? Well, if you're Against Me!, you shrug it off and keep on going. Or you beat up some dude at a coffee shop. It's always 50/50. Anyway, the new Against Me! record New Wave does indeed deserve its four star rating. It's been a while since a really good post-punk rock record has come out and New Wave comes out fighting. From the radio-friendly rocker "Thrash Unreal" to the blatantly political and unapologetic anti-war song "White People For Peace", the goods never let up throughout the entire 36 minutes and 45 seconds of music. This is one disc you won't regret buying.

-B
no mother ever dreams that her daughter's going to grow up to be a junkie


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Saturday, September 08, 2007

Under the Cover of Greatness Redux



It's hard to do a good cover of a classic song. Some people want it to sound exactly like the original, while others what the artist to take their own spin on it, which usually ends up upsetting the other fans of the original. It's a risky move, and as I explained a few days ago, few people get it right. So here is my list of the top 5 cover songs:

1. My Chemical Romance & The Used - "Under Pressure"
Even though this is the song that started the falling out between these two emo heavy weights, they managed to bring the song and Queen to the kids who weren't even alive for Live Aid. The guitar work alone earns this song a spot on the list.

2. The Doors - "Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar)"
Great cover by a great band of an 80 year old song.

3. Jeff Buckley - "Hallelujah"
If aliens landed on planet Earth and asked what the meaning of beauty is I would play them Jeff Buckley's amazing cover of this Leonard Cohen classic. The guitar work is perfect, and Buckley had a voice that few others can match.

4. The Ramones - "I Don't Want To Grow Up"
The Ramones put a punk rock twist on this Tom Waits tune that I think is just as good as the original. I almost never like a cover better than the original, especially if it is a Tom Waits song, but this one comes damn close.

5. Pearl Jam - "American In Me"
Pearl Jam always does really good covers, but I think that their spin on this Avengers tune is by far the best. They keep the speed of the original but add a thick layer of guitar crunch to it that adds a little substance to it. Only available as a live track so far, but here's to hoping they release a studio version. The link above goes to the original version.

-B
you have to fight to stay in control


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Friday, September 07, 2007

Crack Killed the Kitten



So I was going to post a list of my top 5 favorite cover songs, but this shit is just too delicious to pass up. When the press stops referring to you as "rock star" and replaces it with "junkie", it's safe to assume that you have hit rock bottom. Rock star turned junkie Pete Doherty has hit rock bottom... again. It's not bad enough that he feels the need to convince the world that he is the next Keith Richards, but now he has to drag his cat along with him into his drug-fueled oblivion. Apparently Doherty was photographed getting his cat Dinger stoned off of a little cat crack pipe. Expect to see these cute little pipes in your local Petsmart soon. It is reported that his friends were so disgusted that Doherty fed crack to a cat named after a syringe that they took a picture and sold it to the press. I guess they weren't disgusted enough to, oh I don't know, maybe stop him from getting the cat high. Good friends you have there Pete, and by "good" I mean greedy douchebags cashing in on the cruel treatment of an animal by disguising it with a facade of compassion. England needs a death penalty for stupidity.

-B
hooked on a star, enraptured by the sky... in love with a satellite


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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Under the Cover of Greatness



So I am sitting hear listening to Electric Six's cover of Queen's "Radio Ga Ga", and it got me thinking... what are the worst cover's you have ever heard? I know I could name a hundred bad ones for every good one I have ever heard, but which ones are the worst? Which covers are so bad that it makes fingernails on a chalkboard sound pretty damn good? So here is my list of the five worst cover songs, and the bands that raped and perverted them:

1. Rod Stewart - "Downtown Train"
Why Stewart felt the need to rape this classic Tom Waits song with his whiskey soaked male tart voice is beyond me, but this is a good example as to why there should be a law against horrible covers. This one even made CRACKED.com's list.

2. Madonna - "American Pie"
Before Madonna turned British she used to make good music (I guess). But she forgot the golden rule; if it is a classic one-hit wonder, don't do a cover of it. No one will ever lover your version more than the original. This rule is void if the song is a one-hit wonder that is not considered a classic.

3. Dolly Parton - "Stairway To Heaven"
Just...why? Why would she do this to us? I don't care what CrazyTunes says, this is just wrong.

4. Limp Bizkit - "Behind Blue Eyes"
No one knows what it's like to be the sad man... that has to listen to this song. Take a horrible song and mix it with a horrible band and you get crap. Two wrongs do not in fact make a right.

5. Korn - "Another Brick In The Wall"
You do not attempt a cover of a Pink Floyd song. You just don't do it. You are not Pink Floyd, don't try to be (unless you are Les Claypool). This one ties with Fred Durts's butchering of "Wish You Were Here", even if it was for a good cause.

So there you have it, my list of the top 5 worst cover songs. Tomorrow, a list of the top 5 best cover songs. Until then, go listen to the originals of these five songs and show them some love.

-B
with your back against the wall, how do you ruin all these promises


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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Level The Playing Field



For all you sexual predators out there depressed about the turnout ratio of your current MySpace sexual prey hunt, fret no longer. Why chase the tweens when they can come to you! That's right, MySpace is hittin' the road on tour with a plethora (ok, like, 3) of bands that are guaranteed to bring out all the hip and naive youngsters, white belts and all. Starting in October, the MySpace tour will include hellogoodbye along with other bands that only a teenager could give a rat's ass about. So all you teens, grab your make up and pepper spray, cuz' the tour will be hitting a town near you soon.

-B
have you ever felt the weight inside you pulling away inside your skin, and then something had to give


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Monday, August 27, 2007

Loveless



For those of you still drooling over the thought of a My Bloody Valentine reunion (myself included), our hopes and dreams may be one step closer to a reality (or one step closer to realizing our dreams are the stuff of pipes). According to a "reliable course" (read: gossip) Kevin Shields has been talking about two new discs being released soon, one of which is full of new material. However, as with The Replacements, Black Flag, Husker Du, Jawbreaker, and Pavement, this may all just be someone's hopes being projected as fact. Much like the author of this article, I will believe it when I see it. Until then, we can take comfort in the fact that as of right now, none of the members are dead, so it still may be plausible. Here's to hoping.

-B
tiptoe down, to the lonely places, where you going now, don't turn around


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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Kill Your Scene



Punk shows are always unpredictable. You never know if you are going to see the greatest display of built up angst projected through music, or the worst 3 hours of noise you have ever experienced. Saturday was a bit of both. Strung Out puts on a very good show, but their fans are very dedicated, and that is not always a good thing. There is nothing worse than a bunch of shirtless muscle-bound tattooed ex-jocks with nothing in their system but anger and liquor punching people in the head and throwing girls to the ground to show that they are "hardcore". Don't get me wrong, I love going to punk shows, and I had a great time at the Strung Out show, but sometimes I like to enjoy the show without wondering who is going to cold clock me in the back of the head because that's how they spell relief. I guess I just don't understand the point to mindless violence. Anyway, Strung Out puts on a great show and if you get the chance check them out.

-B
when I see you on the other side I will not be the same as I was when I was yours


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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

M.I.A.



List of possible reasons B has not written a post in the past week:


1 - Kidnapped by aliens.
2 - Kidnapped by sexy aliens.
3 - Fell in a well, Lassie wasn't around.
4 - Swallowed by Oprah's gigantic thighs while looking for remote control.
5 - Ate a rock, thought it was a cookie. Been in bathroom ever since.
6 - Still leading double life as superhero Paperclip Man. Has yet to find The Stapler.
8 - Ate number 7, got sick, died, reincarnated as a walrus.
9 - Saw Courtney Love naked, went blind, and stepped on landmine in the mall (who knew).
10 - Was beaten, raped, and murdered (not necessarily in that order) by angry mob of Harry Potter fans.

-B
are you fucking happy now?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Color Me Impressed



Harry Potter fans piss me off. You people really do. I am so God damn sick of hearing about how amazing these books are. It's a kid and his magic wand, I fucking get it, I just don't care. Every single person I know has either read these books or seen the movies, and I have done neither. Call it ignorance or whatever, I don't give a shit. I have no interest in Harry Potter, and all of your badgering and pestering and sorcery won't change my mind. Go ahead and dress up like a 12 year old boy and stand outside of the movie theatre for 8 hours in the blistering heat, I need practice with my paintball gun anyway. But you want to know what really boils my blood? All you morons who only read Harry Potter. Every time someone tells me some bullshit line like "I don't read much, but I have read Harry Potter and the Prisoner of the Golden Vagina of Kinda-Sorta Dangerous Hallows like seven million times and oh my God it was just so good!", all I hear in my mind is "I am the smartest idiot in my wizard-theme circle jerk support group". Get bent, all that means is that you're a moron who likes to feel smart by saying you read a 700 page kids book. I heard this is the last (fingers crossed) book, and you know what, I hope Harry Potter fucking dies... in a fire.

-B
givin' out their word cuz that's all they won't keep


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Monday, August 13, 2007

I Hate Rap



So 50 Cent (Fitty to the cool kids) is threatening to retire if Kanye West sells more records than Fitty, seeing as how both their records are slated to be released on the same day. Well I like it, it's not the best we could do, but it's a damn good start. Can we do better? I think we can. What I would like to have seen (Kanye? Fitty? You taking notes?) is a deal where both rappers (sorry, "artists") retire. Let's spitball here and see what we can come up with. How about we take the number of records each one sells and award one bullet for every ten thousand units. Then, after the first week sales are tallied, we hand out the bullets and let them hunt each other down in a rundown old factory, kind of like The Running Man, only with rappers. Too cliche? No problem, let's get together for lunch and over a meal of bitches and ho's and crack cocaine we can work this thing out. I'll have my people call your people, get in touch with Fitty and Kanye, and see if we can't turn this media nugget into a bona fide feast.

-B
Take a breath and softly say goodbye


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Friday, August 10, 2007

Gimme Indie Rock



It's never an easy task to find some good music to listen to. There's some decent music out there, I freely admit that. But good music is something else. So in light of the fact that I am bored and really have nothing else to talk about and I am waiting for my tea to brew, I would like to suggest a few new/recently new/soon to be released records that you might enjoy. So in the words of Chuck Klosterman, let's rock shit up bitch!

The New Pornographers - Challengers (Aug. 21st)
The New Pornographers are one of those bands that release consistently good records, and their new record Challengers is no exception. Check out their MySpace page and give the album a listen (the whole record is available to stream as of this post) and if you like what you hear, pick it up on the 21st. Then work your way backwards through their other 3 albums, and you shouldn't be disappointed. Besides, they have what may be the hottest redhead in rock today (Neko Case), so they get bonus points for that.

Editors - An End Has A Start (out now)
Hailing from Birmingham, England, Editors are currently the hottest new indie band to break from the U.K.. For fans of U2, Joy Division, and Echo and the Bunnymen, Editors may be just what you are looking for. Check them out here.

Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (out now)
Pitchfork darlings Spoon have released the follow up to 2005's Gimme Fiction, and this record seems to pick up right where Gimme Fiction left off. For fans of indie rock and Scrubs alike, you can't go wrong with Spoon, and Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga confirms it. Check them out here.

-B
there's a devil at your side, but an angel on her way


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