August 27, 2008

Fugazi Covers Album Listening Party to benefit AIDS/HIV Charity

To make a long story short, my band Plowing Mud Forever contributed a track for a Fugazi covers album, the proceeds of which are going to an AIDS/HIV Charity called Braking The Cycle. There is a CD Release Party coming up on Sept. 9th in NYC. There will be performances, raffles, and a chance to pick up the album at half-price. I hope to see you there.


Fugazi Covers Project Release Party
Tuesday, Sept. 9th, 7:30 doors, 21+
@ the Delancey
168 Delancey St.
$10 cover - all proceeds to charity
performances by Gold Streets and Cholo
drink specials and roof BBQ courtesy of the Delancey

August 23, 2008


I made this video this morning. Please watch it sixteen hundred thousand times.

The Power of Albert Finney

I watched Looker, the 1981 Albert Finney non-blockbuster last night for the first time in 25 years. This film is notable for several reasons that I will now explain to you in a bulleted, yet unenumerated list after this semi-colon:
  • It's rated PG but there are lots of shots of boobs, butts, and people getting shot and bleeding (though not nearly as much as The Bounty)
  • This was made in the 80s, so it's required to feature an acronym. L.O.O.K.E.R. stands for Light Ocular-Oriented Kinetic Emotive Responses.
  • Also necessary to complete an 80's film is a goon with a mustache. Tim Rossovich was also the mustached goon in Cloak & Dagger and is actually credited as "Mustache Man" in Looker. (Fun fact: Rossovich was Tom Selleck's roommate in college.)
  • There are cool light guns in it that freeze people when you shoot them, and then you can kick them in the nuts (like what's about to happen to Mustache Man).
  • Albert Finney has a bizarre accent. It's British, but sort of drunken sounding. Not sloppy drunk like Dudley Moore sounded. Finney's voice has a drunken confident swagger, which is why he gets to bang Susan Dey, a young model in Looker.
  • 1981 was the same year he starred in Wolfen, my other favorite Albert Finney movie
  • My favorite Albert Finney movies are based solely on Albert Finney saying the movie's title with his drunken British accent. "Looker!?" "Wolfen!?"
  • The film is sprinkled with technophobia and raises lots of concerns about the future of advertising industries (who will kill to sell you their products).
  • There's a killer 80's theme song:

The film is fun to watch for the futuristic advancements in advertising technology that are all probably manipulating us today. The subplots are not that strong, especially because the scene that tied the stories together was ultimately deleted from the final cut (don't worry, it's on YouTube). Still, not a bad film. Easy to watch from start to finish.

So, after watching the movie, I woke up this morning ready to avoid television's brainwashing. It didn't last long. I flipped past the Golf Channel and was hypnotized by an obnoxious, hollow golf stroke sound. It was an infomercial for The Momentus Power Hitter Driver. I loathe golf, but this sound was so gross that it paralyzed me. I couldn't flip away.

This infomercial had me by the balls. Pun intended. The final screen came up, the one with the prices and contact information. That's when the subliminal messages started. In the background, precisely calculated golf buzzwords were rotating in and out of focus. Velocity... Kinetic Energy... Ass...Ass? Oh, it was Mass, but the M was obscured by the golf club. The words went on... Force... Acceleration... Peed...

Ok, no, it says Speed, but again, obscured by the golf club.

How effective was this ad? All the talk of wrist cocks and shaft control can't possibly make people want to get up and go play golf. I mean, it's just making me want to get up and go to the bathroom, then wake up the RoBeastress and Power DriveHer.

Well, right after I go to and send them my 4 easy payments. Ah, the power of advertising.

August 22, 2008

BATR EXCLUSIVE: Presidential Hopefuls choose running mates.

Barack Obama has chosen the popular Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps as his running mate in the 2008 Presidential election.

John McCain, jumping on the bandwagon, has also selected one of the universe's top swimmers.

Neither Phelps nor Mer-Man were available for comment.

August 18, 2008

Who are the People in Your Neighborhood?

I don't fucking know anymore. I called up my favorite Chinese food place tonight and got the usual response: "Hello, Goody."

I gave my usual request: "Hi, can I order for pickup, please?"

Then something very strange happened. The girl said this: "Ok, what is your phone number?" I was stopped dead in my tracks. They've never asked me for my phone number before.

"Oh, no. I'm just ordering for pickup." Maybe she misheard me?

"No, I still need your number."

I had to look at my phone. Did I dial the wrong number? No, I did not. Feeling defeated, I gave her my number and my order. She said "10 minutes."

I know this sounds like standard operating procedure, but Goody doesn't work that way. I've never had a conversation with Goody that lasted longer than 10 seconds. I've had phone calls with them when they haven't even said actual words, just brief pauses when I know the girl on the other end is nodding. Could something be wrong? Maybe they're being robbed and she is trying to communicate "WE ARE GOING TO DIE"? :(

I only waited about 4 minutes and decided to walk down, just in case. When I walked in the door, I realized that I should've called the police--all of my Chinese neighbors had been kidnapped and replaced with different Chinese people (hrmph... and Wally thinks I can't tell the difference). They had all new signs too. I was so confused.

Confused, and sad. What's happening to my neighborhood? All these million dollar condos across the street and all these weird people moving into them with their big screen TVs and no window treatments. Show offs.

And we've got new downstairs neighbors too. A couple, I'm told. I haven't seen them yet, but I heard a dog bark when I walked into the building entrance. Great. I hope they break up and the one that leaves takes the dog.

Once I have trouble finding a parking space, I'm fucking out of here.

MeTube YouTube BoobTube GrooveTube

I know you guys are missing Teh Beauty part of Beauty and the RoBeast. Believe me, I am too. Maybe this will bring her back:

While we're on the subject of YouTube, I have been bouncing around the idea of making aa t-shirt to celebrate my unintentional vore video popularity. Hell, my mom has already heard the story, so I've got nothing to be ashamed of anymore. I came up with this design the other day:

The view count has gone up 30 since Friday, so the design is already a collectible!

Speaking of collectibles, I spent a long time on Friday reading a great article about the Masters of the Universe action figures on As it turns out, so many of the characters from the He-Man toy line were just recycled molds that Mattel had leftover from other older toy lines. Skeletor was copied off Captain Drake who was copied off of ME!

Mattel could totally get away with it though because Big Jim came out ten years before He-Man in some other country that probably didn't have the internet. Losers!

You know what else happens in other countries? Sometimes when they get our cartoons (created by Japanese animators), the words are all changed and whatnot. This can be funny. Other times they just forget to translate the lyrics all together and dub a rockin' 80's guitar melody into the mix instead!

I downloaded a bunch of shit this weekend while trying again (in vain, perhaps) to use all my Emusic credits and cancel the damn account already because I HAVE TOO MUCH MUSIC (not to be confused with MuchMusic2 which doesn't actually exist... MuchMoreMusic is what you're probably not thinking of)! I downloaded a bunch Ipecac Records releases, most of which sounded like instrumental soundtracks to old cartoons.

It's strange what music I like, but it's probably more strange what I don't. "What distinguishes one avant garde experimental noise track from another?" was the question the RoBeastress posed to me this past weekend while at a free show at Central Park's Summerstage (Battles, Black Dice, and Gang Gang Dance). My succinct answer (2 days later) is "DYNAMICS." Her other questions: "Why do you keep calling me The RoBeastress?" But I digress(ess)...

Actually, I'll digress further now. There are two sounds that I would like to imitate on record sometime in my life:
  1. The opening chord from "A Hard Day's Night"
  2. The Law and Order sound
I think these are valid life goals. I wonder which one is going to be more difficult.

Did anyone watch Law and Order: Criminal Intent last night? It was Chris Noth's final episode. He kinda left without a bang. And I mean that literally--I thought (hoped) he was going to get shot. Nobody's got the scene on YouTube yet, so I can't share. Not that it's even interesting. I actually do like his character even though he's angry most of the time and usually pulls out his Jump to Conclusions Mat fairly early. I liked when he was paired up with Annabella Sciorra. Why is Blogger emboldenating everything? This blogging is like a never-ending fucking battle.

Anyway, I liked when he was paired up with the redhead too (probably because she, like Annabella Sciorra, was on The Sopranos). This Wheeler chick I'm just not crazy about. It's not her personally, I just don't like her character. Or her character's haircut. I don't what the fuck is going to happen when Jeff Goldblum takes over in the next season. He could very well be the only actor on the planet who can out-weird Vincent D'onofrio. I hope they have crossovers. It's all I ask for, USA.


August 15, 2008

Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Too Many Wars in One Title

To hype up Star Wars: The Clone Wars coming out this weekend, SpikeTV put on Episode 1 (The Phantom Menace, I think) the other day. I hadn't seen it since it first came out, and I needed a distraction on the treadmill, so I gave it a shot. I really didn't remember too much of it (except that it's not terribly good) but it got me thinking. What order are you supposed to show the films to your kids? In release date chronology, or plot chronology? (I haven't seen The Clone Wars yet, so I'm not sure if it will actually figure in the formula).

It was somewhere around my second mile of running that I decided that I will just have to have two kids (twins, if possible), sequester them separately, and show them both order versions, then wait 30 years to see which better adjusts to the world. Unfortunately, they will have only been the guinea pigs in this experiment and their kids will be the first generation to actually benefit from our findings. That's providing they even have kids (I'm assuming whichever child watches the films in order of plot chronology will probably end up in jail). This should probably be a double blind experiment so I don't end up loving one of the kids more than the other.

So I jumped online to see how new parents are dealing with this Most Important Problem Facing Our Generation Today (yes, even more important than Phantom Cell Phone Syndrome) and just as I suspected, most people are recommending to view the films in the order they were made, just like they did growing up.

Wait, I'm going to go get an egg sandwich. Here, study the Leia Tit Grab while I'm gone.

Ok, what was I talking about? I'm now mesmerized by the packaging on the bottle of the new orange juice I'm trying. Simply Orange (a division of Minute Maid, owned by Coca-Cola).
Yeah, I know I should be drinking fewer things encased by plastic, but I wanted to branch out. Whatevert, it tastes good, and if I look at it really quick, it reads Slimy Orange.

Anyway, so Star Wars. I started to look online and the overwhelming amount of people want to raise their kids on Star Wars the exact same way that they were. While I sort of agree that it's a good order, it sort of feels too traditional. Just because it was good enough for us, doesn't mean it should be good enough for our kids. Still, I don't want my kids watching the prequels first because they just aren't that great.

I did find one poster that made a great case for a third option. This guy proposes the playlist this way: 4, 5, 1, 2, 3, 6. In this order, the two originals films are watched, then the three prequels serve as a very long flashback to explain the amazing Empire climax. Then we go back to Jedi for wrap-up. (By the way, that better be the original Jedi ending, not that bullshit where they altered the Ewok's "yub-nub" song.) I think this worth is absolutely worth trying, but now I've got to come up with a third kid somewhere.

Now the real question is, when I'm an old man, in which order should I show my kids R. Kelly's Trapped in the Closet?

August 13, 2008

Bumper Sticker? Go Fuck Yourself.

I had another highway adventure yesterday, trying to follow a car with a bumper sticker that would surely inspire a future blog entry. I failed to accurately capture the picture on my cell phone camera (which is going to start a new rule in my Honda: no driving without a digital camera in the glovebox), but I knew I'd be able to find it on the I-nets.

It was this one:

This bumper sticker is testing you. It wants to know how strong your opinions are. It asks, if your opinions on abortion are so strong then are you able to seamlessly apply them to the rest of your decisions in life? Namely, your eating habits? And if you are so confident that you can label yourself "pro-life," then it doesn't suggest, but demands that logically, you should also support the removal of meat and dairy from your diet.

It says all that?


Unfortunately, these arguments are a little more complicated than four words, but I'll try to make sweeping generalizations in the interest of time and desire to be sort of apolitical (because most RoBeasts equally use their right and left wing). So here comes my brain not on drugs (many questions):

Pro-life. What does it mean? Does it mean you don't support abortions or does it mean you don't have abortions? Or, as the bumper sticker suggests, is being Pro-Life more than just taking a stand on abortion? Does it mean you support anything that allows or encourages life or denies or slows the spread of death (such as executing a serial killer to keep them from killing many others, or stem cell research) or does it mean you don't think anything should be purposely killed? What about things accidentally killed? What about things you don't even realize you're killing? Where do you draw the line at life? When you're born? When you're conceived? Is a fetus alive? Is a fungus? How about a salmon? How about samonella? Does Pro-Life just apply to things with a face? Or just things that have nervous systems? Do you kill to save your own life? Are you doing what you can to be immortal? But if that requires chopping off another guys head? Does Pro-life=Anti-Death?

Pro-Life? Avoid mouthwash.

Pro-Life? Don't play frisbee in the park 'cause you're probably stepping on ants.

Pro-Life? Swallow a tapeworm.

Here's the thing. There's just not enough room on a bumper to have a real discussion about issues so big. Maybe every single person that bought one of those bumper stickers feels exactly what it says, but that's not the end of the argument. I was really tempted to walk up to the guy while stuck in traffic and say "Explain yourself," but someone probably would've stole my car. Can that many people really think it's that simple? Or have they have all just went through the same thought process I did and found themselves satisfied when they arrived at the bumper sticker's conclusion?

I hate you PETA and your oversimplified, hypocritical, cutesy bumper stickers.

Pro-life? Go tell a vegan that plants were alive once too.


August 10, 2008

Blood Bath and Beyond

I told you last week about something that scared the shit out of me as a youngster back in the '80s (having my house invaded by lions a la Savage Harvest). Little did I know that on a calm Sunday afternoon in a Manhattan Bed, Bath and Beyond, I would be forced to revisit another traumatic childhood fear -- an attack by a monster from the planet Fyrine IV.

For anyone that has seen 1985's Enemy Mine, the most memorable scene is probably when the Dennis Quaid, an Erffling stranded on the foreign planet Fyrine IV, naively stumbles into a sand pit. This sand pit turns out to a place where an unnamed monster traps prey with its long, powerful tongue. Any time I see sand (which is quite often as I live in New Jersey), I expect this thing to come out and suck me down into its jaws.

Now there are no sand pits in Manhattan, so I always assume I am safe walking around the city. (I mean, yeah, I'm always on the look out for C.H.U.D.s, but they rarely come out in the daytime.) So I'm in Bed, Bath, and Beyond looking at lamps with the RoBeastress, and when I least expect it, Boom Goes The Dynamite...

I was paralyzed with fear, but somehow I was able to move my camera trigger finger. According to the box, it's a Veriflux Happy Eyes VF01DD1 Deluxe Floor Lamp, but I think we all know what we're really dealing with. Its neck even twists and turns like a hungry alien creature looking for a human snack. I tried to turn on the bulb, but it didn't work. Very suspicious. Very suspicious, indeed.



August 7, 2008

All Points Worst

Some guys I know sneaked into the All Points West Festival of Arts and Schmartz earlier this evening. The All Points West Festival is being held at Liberty State Park in lovely Jersey City, NJ, just about mile from where me, my friend Kirk, and the two guys we know that sneaked into it live.

When I first heard rumors about this festival coming to the East Coast (probably from Brooklyn Vegan or some shit), I was fucking psyched. I've never been to a proper music festival. Sure, I'd been to Ozzfest and Warped Tour a number of times, but those are traveling festivals; I always wanted to experience the three day, camp out, eat dirt, and bathe in feces kind of festival.

Then they announced the lineup and I crapped out a book on how to puke. I have a love/hate relationship with Radiohead. I haven't really listened to their last couple albums because I know I won't like them. I love The Bends. I love OK Computer. I like a lot of Kid A. I didn't need any more than that. I totally blew it when I didn't go see them at Liberty State Park back in 2001 because a then-recent ex-girlfriend was in the group going and blah blah blah. Fortunately, I own the Radiohead: Live at the Astoria and Meeting People is Easy, two DVD's from what I consider their most important years. Still, skipping that show is my second biggest show regret.

The first biggest show regret, for those keeping score, is when I went to see Mike Patton play a solo show at Tonic (when John Zorn owned it) (Fantomas had opened up for Tool at MSG that night)(this was also 2001)(god, 2001 really sucked, huh?) and had to leave just 10 minutes into his set because he went on so late and I still lived down the shore and I had to catch the last train back to the van I was borrowing that I had planned to sleep in at a rest stop on the Garden State Parkway so I could be on time meeting the rest of the work crew to drive us all to work at 6:30 the next morning. As far as I know, Patton has not played another solo show in seven years.

Anyway, beyond Radiohead, I don't give a microscopic shit about a single other band, so it's not worth it for me. I will spend the weekend out of town masturbating to thoughts of my fantasy lineup while the totally hardcore Jack Johnson fans invade my 'hood (make sure to chain up your surfboard, brah!).

While I personally won't be checking out this event, TWO GUYS I KNOW were curious enough to go check out the Festival Grounds a mere 14 hours before the gates open up. They just rushed back and told me all about it. The descriptions were so lifelike that I almost felt as if I were there myself, right down to the itchy fucking bug bites on their arms and bruises on their legs from bumping into things on the stage in the dark.

There are not a ton of secrets that my sources were able to divulge, but I'll give you a quick rundown of what they learned.

1. You can see all three stages pretty clearly just by standing on a bench like this and looking over the fence without having to pay for the $260+ ticket (Radiohead goes on at 8:30 Friday night).

2. You can also see this wooden dinosaur jigsaw looking thing:

3. Handwashing station water is NOT FOR DRINKING! Go for the Port-O-Pottie toliet water instead:

4. If you're trying to see the main stage, just look for the intense spotlights. Then close your eyes.

5. No outside food or beverage is allowed on the grounds. When something's eventually set on fire in protest, don't get caught standing near this ridiculous wicker thing:

6. All the three stages have ridiculous names--Blue Comet, Bullet, and this one, Queen of the Valley:

7. It's not vandalism if it's tape.

8. The first band performing on the Queen of the Valley stage on Friday is Lowry. Hopefully, they are Plowing Mud Forever fans.

9. When you discover that you are totally bored because all the bands suck and you aren't allowed to leave the festival grounds, you'll have no choice but to entertain yourself with weird art installations. One of them is a little forest with trees that play wilderness sound effects. This one is a Taj Mahal that plays shitty techno music:

10. If you need to sneak off and form a blazing sword with another concert-goer, make sure you do it behind the bushes:

Happy festivaling you dirty drunken bums.