Wednesday, December 26, 2007


There I was, killing time, stoned, somehow simultaneously bored and overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of mundane intrigue for sale. I was at Unique, which is possibly the largest thrift store in Virginia, if not America, if not the world. It occupies an old circuit city, complete with a red cube rooftop structure which now reads "Unique." The font of that sign always reminds me of the Cracker Barrel restaurant chain. Anyway, I was stoned, and wondering if I would find any ridiculous knick knacks to purchase for psychedelic stimulation. They had a $200 accordian which was too expensive (and unwieldly), a bunch of ugly paintings, their usual collection of pots and pans, foggy glassware, mildew sweaters, and overly stretched cotton t-shirts. My search for return on the "Unique" brand name's promise of titillation through undeniable individualtiy, "uniqueness" perhaps, was proving futile.

Imagine my surprise when, sifting through some severely busted records, I discovered the coolest band on earth; "the Jets." This band is so fucking cool it's cover looks like a cast photo from some secret, never produced, version of Saved By The Bell where every character is a member of "A.C." Slater's extended family. I'm serious. Look at the picture at the top of this entry!

I had a sneaking suspiscion that this incredible band was somehow manufactured by 1980's Reagon-era Corpo-Music-label white boy racists. I imagined culturally illiterate, stock obsessed talent brokers from Columbia or Universal Records hand picking every member from high school talent shows around the nation, selecting each member based on ability, african-american-ness, greasy jerry curl and the most important factor of all: incredibly light skin. Apparently I was completely baked out of my mind when this notion seemed like a real possibility. The fact that I think things like this makes me afraid I'm subconsciously racist, but then I always remember I'm just hyperactively self-conscious, not to mention paranoid. According to the awesome fan site, they're actually all from an island in the south pacific known as Tonga. They played "staple polynesian island tunes, such as Don Ho's infamous Tiny Bubbles." Having looked this up, I feel I can more accurately pigeon hole, mock, and generate stereotypes correlating to the music they have produced since "Coming To America." (I've put this phrase in quotes to remind you that it's the title of an incredible movie starring Eddie Murphy, James Earl Jones, and ARSENIO HALL.) Anyway, so they're Polynesian, not... African American, but thats ok, because neither is the actor who played A.C. Slater on Saved By The Bell. I make mistakes all the time, and I feel its very difficult to judge someone's ethnicity when I'm not really that concerned about its significance to begin with. The shocking thing about all this is that they weren't formed by a 25 year old hot shot with a blue suit and a 401k. Despite this, they certainly had their collective stink finger on the the pulse of the teeny-hopper fashion of the 80's. May be they invented it?

They sound like the sort of music prince would make if he was fourteen years old. Their charting singles had titles that exhibited a juvenile sense of sexuality. "Crush On You," "You Got It All," "Rocket 2 U," and even "I Do You" were all songs put out by a band that had 15 year old girls singing at dance clubs and playing $10,000 analog synthesizers. Specifically the title "I Do You" blows my mind. This was published back in the days of the Parent Music Rescource Center! Prince himself, and Frank Zappa both went before the supreme court to talk about pronography in music, but apparently it wasn't that big a deal. Prince and Zappa were just much too literal. It's ok if 15-19 yaer olds congregate in dance halls and use sexual euphemisms, as long as they learn how to eat pussy the hard way, no tips people!

I definitly can't recomend their entire catalogue; there's quite a few tracks I can picture 6th graders slow dancing too at their first school sponsored sock hop. However, the aforementioned tracks, especially "I Do You" will all make your friends look at you really funny. And thats what buying retro 80's garbage is all about right?

There used to be a number (12?) of incredible music videos up on Youtube that would further illustrate my Saved By the Bell comparison, but Universal reigned in the unauthorized awesomeness in favor of 5 crappy videos, that include 2 slow dance worthy crap-tracks, and a christmas song. Fuck you copyright laws.

Check out the preview of "curiosity" for an example of their sugary sweet use of funky synth and guitar... Yeah... too bad you can't hear the whole song.

So I guess I'll paste in the only embed-able track on youtube worth listening to. but trust me, this song is no where near the awesomeness that is their first album...

But I can't because embedding is disabled by request. Fuck you universal, I'm never going to your shitty theme parks again!

... here's the url...

A p(art)y with a belly dancer.

I went to a party/ art show at this girl's house in Alexandria earlier this year (this is the same girl that helped us with the art stuff at the film "festival" some of you may remember). The "party" was pretty standard (this was my third or fourth time going to one of these) and the only art I hadn't seen before was tucked away on some lame wall near the pantry... So I was pretty much just hanging out on the back porch conversing with (/trying not to laugh at) this guy dressed in the fashion of the industrial revolution who was telling me that he was learning to play the accordian. I was mostly watching other people play disc golf between fits of wondering where accordian man got all of his ideas (uniqueness).

Anyway, there was live entertainment at this one. The first act was a band called "Brainfang" which featured David Cotton, and Patrick Williams from the kiddy music band Rocknocerous and this friendly character / upright bass master named Tom Bernath (playing upright bass) and they did original songs I had heard before and uhhhh, a couple (like 4?) talking heads covers that were fun... Anyway, they handed out plastic egg maracas, twas a blast. Things went a little downhill after that though, because apparently the chica having the party is friends with a belly dancer. So there was this 23-ish girl dressed in silk wrap things belly dancing to digital sounding "traditional" music and all I could think about the entire time was how weird her belly looked, and, more disturbingly, where two of her front teeth went. I seriously don't have a problem (philisophically speaking) with someone who has a missing tooth or two, but I just couldn't stop thinking about some long ago boyfriend knocking her tooth out (in a fit of jealous rage) mid-performance in the middle of a hooka bar somewhere. How did she get mixed up with a guy like that? What kind of dude beats up his girlfriend for belly dancing? The kind that still listen to Limp Bizkit? Like I said she working her jelly for like 20-40 minutes (possibly 3 hours) and all I could concentrate on was the 7 millimeter trust gap in some past relationship of hers (which could actually just have been an icy staircase).

On the way out of this party some drunk associate of mine asked me where I'd been for the last few months, what I'd "been up too man" and if I was still keeping off the heroin.

That night I did all my drinking as a passenger on 495 while my friends were driving me home.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

"Smashing" Pumpkins, Brit-pop?

Are the Smashing Pumpkins honorary brit-pop artists? Though distinctly heavy metal sellout-rock in the 21st century, in the 90's they were as shoe-gazey as blur, as epicly immature as Oasis, and as Techno pop / lite-goth as Pulp. But thats not all, look at their name. They're not the Pumpkin Smashers, or Smashers of Pumpkins, they are Pumpkins which are Smashing. As in, 'look at my "smashing" new pull over blazer! Isn't it wicked? let's go down to the caf' and get a cuppa tea!' The pumpkins do the smashing here, which translates to the pumpkins that kick ass. They are not the pumpkins whose asses are kicked, they are the pumpkins who do the kicking, though the title brings both possibilities to mind. This duality is very appropriate; when you first hear the name you think may be they were inspired by 8-year old pranksters of holloweens past, but then you hear they're lyrics and discover they have very high opinions of themselves vs. the rest of adult society, hence how "smashing" they must think they be. Due to this egotistical approach to self description, combined with their very distinctly unamerican 90's era sound, I'd like to nominate them as honorary brit-pop artists. But this nomination is only relevant to material published before 1999, and does not apply to ZWAN, and obviously nothing which excludes the input of James Iha.

P.S. BECOME A PATHETIC CLICHE, or Realize you're one.

It's whats happened to me.

Embrace this man.

Embrace this band.

Smoke pot. Forget who you are. Talk shit about everyone. Try to try to try to try.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

So like... this week... on myspace...

So like, through the twee pop bandit myspace profile of the UK's "Bearsuit" I discovered my second favorite band of this week. They're called "2 Hot 2 Sweat" and yeah, they're so cluelessly cool that they have real live numbers in their band name. They fucking don't know what they're doing but they don't fucking care. I liked them so much I added their song Your Space Or Mine to my myspace profile immediatly. Now people will think I'm really edgy or something.