Monday, September 28, 2009

The Damned Rules

In my opinion, newer punk rock music sucks. Punk was so vital and amazing in the late 70s and early 80s because it represented a complete breakdown of all the norms of society. It wasn't a set genre, the best bands were the ones who kept pushing the limitations of it to the breaking point and veering it into new territory. Like D. Boon from the Minutemen said: "Punk was whatever we made it to be." The Minutemen, by the way, are not only one of the greatest punk rock bands ever, but one of the greatest rock bands ever. And how brilliant of a philosophy is that? Taking the idea of punk and folding it in on itself. Its not only the energy and the 'lets tear down the walls' attitude, but also a canvas for 100 percent personal expression and invention. Lets tear down ALL the walls, not just the easy, cheesy ones, like square parents and the establishment, but the walls that keep people divided and keep people from being the best person they can be. Not trendy, in other words. The trendy, hipster aspect of it is of course the worst aspect of punk rock, and of course the aspect of punk rock that continues to this day. When I was a teenager in the mid 90s, there was a really amazing music scene on Cape Cod. Bands like Cheesewheel, No Siento, The Fleece and more represented the non-trendy, D Boon style philosophy to the fullest. These bands all sounded different, looked different and were all amazing. For some reason, punk rock back then was attitude that was all encompassing. Sort of like how you would say something was "awesome", you would say something was "punk rock". For example: when the Beastie Boys released "Licensed to Ill", that was punk rock. NWA was more punk rock than some new crappy punk band, because of what they represented and their attitude. NWA in the late 80s scared people to the core, and definitely represented a complete breakdown of society's rules. My Chemical Romance or whoever will never do that. Maybe that's why punk is dead, because all the great shit has been done already. Maybe its because not being a trendy, hollow jerk is no longer cool, and being a trendy, hollow jerk is just so cool now.

And furthermore, The Damned is amazing. They really represent that strain of punk rock that was extremely experimental and intelligent. My sister gave me their greatest hits tape (might have even been a double tape) when I was 10 years old and I loved it. I remember telling my friend's parents that they were my favorite band and seeing the parents' shock and confusion. Check out these videos, and enjoy. (Keep in mind that "Smash it Up" is from 1979. That video looks at least 15 years ahead of its time.)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

R.I.P Robert Ginty

Robert Ginty, the star of The Exterminator, The Exterminator 2, Warrior of the Lost World and countless other 1980s B Movies died on September 21st, 2009. As a giant fan of his work, I would like to put my condolences out here on this blog for everyone to see. Rest in peace, Mr. Ginty, Hollywood has lost another shining star.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Greatest Interview Ever

This is by far the best interview I've ever read. When people ask me why I say Kool Keith is the best rapper of all time, I wish I had this interview to wave at them. It doesn't get good until the second page.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Gum Crisis

So what with health care, the economy, war, impending environmental meltdowns, etc., a lot of terrible things have been happening lately, under the radar. What if I was to tell you that chewing gum really makes me angry and worried lately? Would you merely shake your head and call me 'incorrigible' or some other 24 point Scrabble word? (If it was on a double word score. I hate Scrabble, by the way, but that is another subject, for another blog.) Would you go on, clicking your way, webpage by webpage, blog by blog until your life collapses around you? Your houseplants dying, your pets starving, your kids getting into Magic Cards, your wife taking aromatherapy classes, all because you are lost in your little internet world, and can't OPEN YOUR FUCKING EYES? Well, click no further, this is the blog where we tackle the big issues. In this installment, I take a big bite outta chewing gum.
It seems like only yesterday that a 5 stick pack of Wrigley's was 25 cents. The commercials were plentiful, the gum was good and cheap, and everyone was happy. Then, as all things must progress on this fast train to oblivion we call life, the price rose to 35 cents. Then, all those fancy gums came out. "Dentyne Ice", "Orbit", "Bacon Flavored", etc. All of a sudden, a fancy piece of gum meant more. If you were on a date and you offered the lucky guy, girl, transgendered or no gendered person a piece of "Arctic Chill", you were gettin some action! No little peck on the cheek for old Snyder's Onion and Garlic Sourdough Pretzel Pieces over here. We're talking french kissing. Like Chocolat style. All of a sudden, gum was more than something I absent-mindedly chewed on all day, it was like a drug, a high. The flavors were so intense that they would bring me to a higher state of consciousness, and sometimes they would even lead to make out sessions.
Those carefree (pun intended) days of my 2 or 3 years ago youth are gone. I'm taken now, and I work hard for the money. Sometimes after several coffees and an Italian hoagie, I just want a damn slice of gum. Used to be, I'd find me a little pack of Wrigley's, whether it was Juicyfruit, Doublemint, Spearmint, Winterfresh, or for those days when I was just livin on the edge, Big Red. 35 cents poorer, I was happy to absentmindedly chew my gum for the rest of the day, happy as a pig in shit. No longer.
Now, If I want to get some friggin Juicyfruit, I gotta buy this unwieldy 15 piece pack for like a buck 50. This is bullshit! This pack of gum is so big and awkward that pretty soon I will have to buy a fanny pack just to store my gum. Not to mention that just a few years ago, 15 slices of gum would have cost half as much. Nowadays, if you're lucky enough to find a store that sells the gum 5 pieces at a time, it would only cost you a buck-o-five for the same amount of gum. But, since it comes in a big package and looks like a fancy gum, its a buck fifty. As if this wasn't terrible enough, don't even get me started with Big League Chew and Bazooka Joe. Oh, and Juicyfruit is bright yellow now? What the hell is up with that? With this level of shenanigans going on with our gum, how long till the people say "we've had enough!" ?!
I wonder about the future of gum. Will it someday be a treat only for the rich and powerful? Will people evolve and grow cud things that they can chew on in gum's absence? All I can say is that I hope the people in charge of America's gum firms look at this blog and hear my plea for cheap, plentiful gum. Don't tread on me, gum makers, don't you tread on me.

Monday, September 21, 2009

See 'Adventureland", if you want to stab yourself in the eyes with a sewing needle

My girlfriend is a good sport. She's a trooper. I usually am making the movie decisions on nights in, and as you can guess from this blog, I lean heavily towards extremely violent movies. She puts up with it very well, sometimes even enjoying the film. Last night we went to the RedBox in my local Shaw's and it was her turn to pick. She chose Adventureland, which I thought looked like it had some potential. Someone from the incredibly funny Superbad was involved and it is set in the 80s at a cheesy theme park. It is advertised as a comedy. If its a comedy, its the least funny comedy ever, and even if it was supposed to be presented as the romance film that it is, this cornball flick's minor attempts at comic relief fall flat.
From the first 5 seconds of the film, I knew I wasn't going to like it. There is an extended shot of leading man (boy) Jesse Eisenberg's face as he stares longingly at his girlfriend. If this was Michael Cera, (as I suspect it was supposed to be) this could have actually been funny. Because Michael Cera is funny. Cera can affectively combine the awkward sympathy romance angle with comedy. Eisenberg can't. As a leading man, Eisenberg comes across as a pretentious jerk. And furthermore, I don't like his face. In fact, there is something about his face that just makes me want to plant one of these in his suckhole. (Author's note: I'm shaking my fist in the air right now.)
Eisenberg goes to work at a theme park the summer after he graduates from college, and we are introduced to all the 'wacky' people he works with. He meets the chick from Twilight and the rest of the movie follows an extremely predictable route that ends up with them being together. The normally very funny Bill Hader, as the park's manager, attempts to liven up the proceedings and was either having an off-day or the script was just extremely unfunny. The chick from Twilight acts the exact same as she always does and doesn't make a very compelling female romantic lead. The only thing I liked about her was her T Shirts. There is a "dumb hot girl" character named Lisa P who I actually liked way more than the chick from Twilight. She wears rad clothes and does synchronized dance moves with this black chick. She's cool. Meanwhile, the chick from Twilight is banging Ryan Reynolds, who continues his career of being not-funny.
Basically, I could only recommend this movie to people who have a strong desire to stab their eyeballs out with a sewing needle. I half wanted to do that and half wanted to punch Eisenberg in the face. If you are say, entering a charity boxing match where you will be fighting Jesse Eisenberg and you need to watch something to get you pumped up to punch him in the suck hole, than this would be recommended, as well.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Friday, September 11, 2009

One Year Anniversary, Eight Year Anniversary, Content Shift

Thanks to everyone for making the past year of drinking and watching movies then writing about it fun. I'm pretty bored with the blog just being about that, so I've decided to expand the content. Now, you'll get not only strange and interesting movie reviews, but all sorts of crap on here. (Ie: you'll stop checking it. Like you ever did before.)
Not to be all grave voiced: "Its 9-11, time to be solemn, bow your head, look at your feet, think about the problem then step back..."
But here's a little thingie I wrote on the 5th anniversary of the attacks:

Well, the fifth anniversary of the horrific 911 attacks has brought many things to the fore. Shitty movies, shitty TV movies and shitty shit in general. And, this blog. To say that 911 was a momentous, huge event that forever changed life in America would be....the truth. America hasn't been the same since, to me it feels like we lost a great deal of innocence. That this event occurred at a time when my generation was reaching adulthood, an event with disillusioning aspects of its own makes it an archetypical event for our generation.
That said, here are my recollections from the day.
I awoke to “Kashmir” by Led Zeppelin on my clock radio. It was about 9 a.m. I thought to myself, man, what a great way to start the day. I decided to lay in bed and listen to the whole song. I could tell it was beautful out and I knew that I was entering a fun and exciting era of my life. It was the first week of my senior year of college and I was living in the soon to be infamous 127 Logtown Rd house. At the end of the song, the DJ came on, audibly shaken. He said something to the effect of “We have no idea what is going on, but apparently a plane has crashed into one of the World Trade Center towers!”
I woke up my roomates and I was pretty panic stricken myself. We turned the TV in time to see the second plane hit the other tower. We were all in shock. Classes were still going on at Umass, so I went to school. People were gathered around TVs everywhere, hugging, crying, etc. I hugged alot of people that morning.
I kept calling home because my uncle Tony worked in the financial world in NYC and sometimes had meetings in the WTC.
The first person I heard voice any Anti American criticism that day was a friend who said basically that it was bound to happen. That America almost had it coming, etc. I remember being pretty shocked by that.
I went to class with the great, crazy old School of Communications Black Sheep, Vincent Bevilacqua. He had many extremely off color, morbid things to say. He told us to stay away from the library because it might be the next target.
After that first period, school was cancelled.
I drove home and my roomates and I decided it would be a good idea to start drinking. Our nerves were all shot to shit. I went and bought some beer and whiskey and I remember the liquor store being busy for a Tuesday afternoon. Jason Koning was the first person I heard theorize that Osama Bin Laden was most likely behind it.
My initial reaction to the attack was that America should pursue the perpetrators in a police investigation style, instead of waging full blown war on the Middle East. This sentiment was echoed in “Farenheit 911”, which I liked while caught in the political fervor of 2004, but now regard as a pile of horseshit.
I still stand by that belief, though, that the right way to go would have been a worldwide police investigation to find who did it and where they got their money and punish the guilty in a court of law. Its obvious that cooler heads didn’t prevail in the aftermath of 911, though.
I definitely felt like it was the darkest day in the history of America, and maybe the darkest day this country will see in our lifetime. You could sort of feel the paradigm shift going on around you in the days after. Reality took a sharp corner right then.
That’s my take on it, I’ll save all the conspiracy theory and conjecture for people who like being frustrated and pissed off.