Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A Ray of Sunshine

One fine day I decided to move to Italy. Once I had secured a paying gig over there in the land of Michelangelo and gelato, I knew I had to start saving the scratch bigtime. I decided that in addition to working full time at the gear shop, I had to secure a weekend part time gig that would pad the bank account.

But what to do? Where would I fit in? Here I was, working 40 hours a week with a staff 90% male, a staff that was comprised of peeps that like myself, lived and breathed the dirty rawk.

So what did I end up doing part time?

Selling makeup and beauty products. Yes. Working alongside the kind of females that defined the term girlie-girl. The shop was also located in the snooty part of town, Toronto's answer to Rodeo Drive. If indeed the Devil wears Prada, he/she definitely shopped in this area when spending time in the Great White North.

So here I was working seven days a week, living a double life that soon screamed, "Identity Crisis"! You try selling a Boss Metal Zone pedal to a rank smelling guy named Rufus with stains of dubious origin on his Celtic Frost t-shirt and then shifting over to selling matte foundation #3 in ivory to an over perfumed trophy wife who considered shopping a recreational sport. About as easy as playing "Stairway to Heaven" while wearing glamour length Lee Press On Nails. My life soon became "Hairway to Heaven". Overpriced shampoos and conditioners on Saturday and Sunday. Overrated effects pedals that looked cool but offered little sonic versatility on Monday to Friday.

But I did adapt. In fact I soon got a kick out of dealing with such a wide and diverse range of customer profile and personality.

One Saturday at the beauty shop I helped this very cool guy buy some aromatherapy oils. The kind you put in an oil burner and light up. He had an accent and a very dynamic and charismatic way about him. And he was buff. Not extraordinarily tall but solid. Pleasant and well mannered. The kind of dream customer that makes your day.

I rang him up and bid him a great day. I liked the fact that he was a gent into the whole scented oil deal. Real men like aromatherapy. Fact.

After he had left, my manager came over and asked, "You know who that was don't you?"

I laughed and said, "The man who got away". I think I sighed for effect.

She grinned and identified the hot guy, who had with his oil fetish, slippity-slipped through my fingers.

"Darth Maul".

Yep. The Maulster. Ray Park. He was in town filming X-Men. Was apparently a regular customer who normally came in during the week days to secure his hit of fragrance.

Aha! Suddenly the beauty gig had redeemed itself.

For all you Canadians out there, I just would like to say I sold some big bottles of body wash to Tie Domi, retired enforcer and fighting machine for the Toronto Maple Leafs. He had big scars running through both of his eyebrows and he bought, what I thought was the perfect scent for him.

Oceanus. Oce-ANUS.

Just kidding, Tie...

currently listening to: Archer Prewitt, White Sky

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Darth Maul and the Women Who Love Him

Many gear slutz feel Star Wars love. A schematic of the Millennium Falcon can inspire as many a tech boner as a schematic mapping out the inner gizzards of say, a Theremin (an crazy electronic box with oscillators and antennae played by moving hands around to control the volume and pitch, yada yada look it up yada yada it's wicked yada yada).

So therefore it is essential to mention on this blog, the 30th anniversary of Star Wars' first theatrical release on May 25, 1977.

Yeah, yeah, I'm four whole days late on this but cut me some slack, I am after all, a card carrying Gen-X slacker baby who not only contributed to the raised profile of procrastination; but defended it on the basis that it contained the prefix pro, so therefore there had to be something positive about it.

Yep. I'm definitely PRO procrastination. I'll read "The Hobbit" when I get around to it.
Yep. I'm definitely PRO castration. If John Bobbitt hadn't had his mishap, would the straight to video magic that is "Frankenpenis" ever have been made?

Hobbits and Bobbit...Jokin' with Tolkien, it never gets old. Have you seen "The Lord of the Cockrings"?

Actually Star Wars has proven to be pornish in it's own special way. Check out this actual Lucasfilm dialogue:
*Luke, at that speed do you think you'll be able to pull out in time?
*You're all clear, kid! Now lets blow this thing and get outta here!
*Pull out Wedge, you can't do any more good back there!

Like most sensible people I absolutely love Star Wars, and Empire. Jedi? Good, but not great. Don't get me started on the other three. The one amazing thing about Phantom Menace was Darth Maul. Chicks dig on the Maul. I used to think I was totally alone in my girl hardon for Maul. Wrong. If you see the internet as a big rack of professional looking three piece business suits, you will find that with some time and effort you can rustle around and explore all the pockets only to discover all the badass weirdness that hides deep within 'em.

Finding The Darth Maul Estrogen Brigade 2 (one was not enough apparently) was like discovering a roll of five flavor Lifesavers in the bottom of a jacket pocket with all the pineapple ones removed. Yesssss!

It's all Maul. Girlstyle. They wonder how Maul would sound having an orgasm. I personally think that Maul has a Prince Albert piercing but I don't think I'm ready to share that with their class just yet. They also encourage readers to submit their Darth Maul encounters to the site, and many have, telling stories of meeting Ray Park (the actor who in body played the supervillian, some other dude did the voice) at SciFi nerd conventions. I would only go to these things if there were more seminars and workshops on "Filking", which is SciFi Folk Singing. It is an exciting notion indeed to know that there is at this very moment, some dude out there that looks and sings like a young Donovan but is singing about flux capacitors and shit. Dreamy.

I myself did have a Darth Maul encounter. I will save that story for the next post. Although they are loathe to admit it, everyone enjoys a good cliff hanger. Look at the ending of The Empire Strikes Back. Major cliffer there. So I will save my Maul tale 'till tomorrow. My Maul tale ain't a tall tale, it's little and short, but hey, it's mine. be continued, in a blog not far, far away at all.

Darth Maul, Too Sexy for his Starsystem

currently listening to: Meco, Disco Star Wars Theme

Friday, May 25, 2007

Bobby D BD Fashion Friday

Yesterday was Dylan's 66th birthday. The great man was born in 1941. Man, that's hella old. Dag yo, World War II was still raging. Oh, and to put the old factor into even more perspective, in 1941, first base mitts, push button phones and Velcro were all invented. Oh, and the first programmable calculator. Of course it was the size of a dictionary and needed two sumo wrestlers to lift it, and a team of 18 wonder nerds just to turn it on. Shit, and I thought the first Atari game console was ancient. Compared to Bob however, those little space invader creatures are as new as Phil Spector's recent realization of "Hey, I may actually be convicted here!". Have fun Phil, plotting out how to make your Wall of Soundproof Glass in the Clink's Visitation Room work for ya.

And Phil, that scary AHHHHHH!!!-fro is gawdawful. Cut your hair along with your losses and just go forth and be someone's little baby in the cooler. Karma will dictate that it will be some huge mutha with arms like cultured hams and no teeth named "Ronnie".

As for Dylan's afro-action...never a misstep. Ever. Even when it was outta control and looked pan-fried it rawked the casbah.

But really, his hair wasn't really an afro proper, just a great, glorious and big 'o mess of unruly curls and swirls. 'Tastic with a capital Fan.

Dylan should get more props for his contribution to style. His rep as a genius musician which is of course well deserved, completely over shadows his knack for the dress up, the dress down, and the dress just right.

Just check out his "Last Waltz Beauty Period". Faye Dunaway just called, Bob, and she wants her '70's glamour and her hat back. Delish.

Lately though I'm starting to worry about the old man. Worried about him musically? Um, no. 2006's "Modern Times" is an award winning masterpiece. Self-produced to boot. A boot of Spanish leather that is.

Style wise, I'm concerned that Bobby D is just one case of rum away from pimpin' a Captain Morgan.

I would be both shaken and stirred if this happened. Rumtini anyone?

currently listening to: Oasis, Definitely Maybe

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Turn Up the Smash, Turn Down the Suck

This Les Paul sure lived the good life before its righteous-noble passing on to the great guitar case in the sky.

This Strat definitely went out in style at Monterey in '67. It got humped and pumped and set on fire by some guy named Jimi with an "i" who definitely had an eye for the foxy ladies.

This guitar suffered instantaneous death the second this guy picked it up.

Death was sweet alternative to years spent being fingered by Mr. Marx.

Never has a world tour been so appropriately named.

currently listening to: Tarwater, Spider Smile

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I Suddenly Feel Real Sick...

Doc Marten Ad be continued, too angry to write anything extensive. Poor Kurt. Fuck you Courtney if you signed off on this...

Joe Strummer, Sid Vicious and Joey Ramone were all "treated" to similar advertising/marketing treatment for this particular Doc Marten campaign. Those pics are searchable if ya wanna see. I don't want to post them here. Fuckin' shameful.

Actually, I haven't a lot more to say. I'll let the late great Bill Hicks say exactly what I feel. Bill was good like that. Nope, he was GREAT like that. He was hip to the "rebel sell" before some quasi-bohemian with yuppie ambition coined that very term whilst slumming down his brand spanking new "artist's loft". The "slumming down decorating procedure" just means you beat your just purchased print of the Pixies "Surfer Rosa" album cover with a meat tenderizer and throw some vinegar and water on it before you frame and mount it on the wall. That way it will look "dirtay-vintay"(dirty vintage). Let's see how long it takes before that phrase gets around.

BTW, I have many dear friends in the marketing/advertising racket. I love them dearly. My hate on is in no way near Bill's, but I do feel a "Wrath Against the Advertising Con" (my version of "The Wrath of Khan" but with no Ricardo Montalban) that every so often I have to vent out. Vent. Venti. Italian for twenty. Also the fancy name for Starbucks largest coffee size (twenty ounces). There's marketing mindfuck at work. Giving something fairly ordinary and commonplace a fancy name to justify overcharging.

Guess I had more to say after all.

currently listening to: too mad to listen to anything

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Snap! The Crackle! The Pop! The Hiss! The History of Popular Music

Noel Gallagher is a pretty fascinating guy. Instead of going into the studio to try to recreate the magic that was the first two Oasis albums, brother should just stay at home with his Benson & Hedges and write a book called, "The History of Music According to Me". A sort of music from A to Z as told by Noelly G. No ghost writer. No fuckin' editor. No outside interference, just Noel's thoughts and opinions straight from his brain to the written page. The tome would be a massive best seller and Noel could go on on a spoken word/stand up tour a la Henry Rollins and make the kind of folding green his bank account has not built up since he constructed the mighty "Wonderwall". I personally could listen to him speak for hours and love the way he is completely oblivious to the fact that he not only blurs the lines between music and stand up comedy, he continues to decimate them with every interview he gives.

I've read a story that when Noel first moved to London from Manchester he had to either walk or take cabs to get around because he couldn't figure out how to get around via the London Underground. Not only did he "Mind the Gap", he avoided it all together. True enough, when I was in London, I found the task challenging but, it was do-able. I'm sorry Noel, but you figured out how to brilliantly navigate your way around music history enough to steal, use, disguise and pass off as your own many killer riffs that had been already recorded, and yet when it came to workin' the Tube you were a complete boob?

Dumb uni-brower.

I recently stumbled upon a neat-o reworking of the fabled London Underground map, revamped to illustrate the history of popular music; how bands can be grouped and catagorized and how they connect and relate to one another. Each line, or subway route becomes a genre in the map, a map designed by one of those hard working, detail obsessed British music scribes. Not hard to figure why British music rags take a month and a day to read cover to cover, and often contain the sort of elaborate text, that like the amazing photo spreads, are of a quality that make them suitable for framing.

If you would like to download your own cool copy, click here for a P to the D to the F file. Print it off, tack it up somewhere and every day make a point to pick out a band that you haven't heard of before and make your aquaintance in whatever way ya roll. MP3's? Google? YouTube? Discovering new to you music has never been so easy. Easy like a Sunday...yeah, you know.

When one is discussing visual presentation of the history of music, one cannot help but mention the genius that is Peter Frame. He is the master behind all those great Music History Trees, the ones that break down in meticulous detail, the movements and the memberships of popular music groups. Pete's design style has become his trademark, much in the way that guy from Pearl Jam established his style with his distinctive, trademark handwriting. His flair with the free hand font went on to become the official font indentified with the grunge movement. Fontastic!

--Jeff Ament, design/handwriting, Temple of the Dog

--Peter Frame, Collection, Rock Family Trees

They have expanded upon Pete's Trees by creating some great biography programs about bands that Pete has mapped out. The Black Sabbath one is really great. Check it out at:

It's pretty lengthy, but save it for a rainy day, when the lightning is flashing, and the thunder is rolling and you are ready and willing to enslave yourself to the Evil Tritone!

To anyone out there currently in the seed stage of their music career...keep going! Learn and flourish and get your tree growin'! Oh, and if you ever get to a stage where you meet Noel Gallagher, encourage him to get to the Laff Resort STAT. And whatever you do, don't ask him for subway directions.

currently listening to: Stereolab, Cobra and Phases Group Play Voltage in the Milky Night

Sunday, May 20, 2007

A Little Sumthun Sumthun with Duds and the BGs

Most people find, when they hear the Bee Gee's classic "Staying Alive", a vision of a slim John Travolta all hot and sweaty with a 103 degree disco fever on a Saturday night, will pop into their heads. Fair enough. Good for them.

I just see Dudley Moore. Gettin' his preeeee-verted groove on.

Watch and bust a move along with Dudley as you enjoy this clip from "Foul Play". The scene is built around a misunderstanding, a plotline tool that when used effectively, can anchor an entire 7 seasons of an otherwise crap TV show. I'm talking to you, Furley! The only props I can give to you is on your classic polyester but made to look like real denim leisure suit.

I loved this stretchy, faux-denim fabric. It should have been crowned the official "Home-Ec. Project" fabric for the '70's. But I digress, back to Duds. From tacky poly blend duds to Duds. What a segue.

In this clip, Goldie Hawn's character is trying to escape a guy who looks like the Glad Man. Or the Man from Glad. Whatevs. She comes to Dudley's character's swingin' batch-pad to hide but dude thinks she is looking for a little sumthun-sumthun.

"Hidden speakers! Quadraphonic!"

In addition to tickling funny bones the world over, Duds also tickled the ivories sumthun wicked. A mean piano player, who displayed his talent most prominently in the flick "10", which in my opinion, on a scale of "one to", is just that.

currently listening to: Cat Power, You are Free

Friday, May 18, 2007

Awww...Eff Off Brangelina! It's Fashion Friday!

Before show-biz power couples started adopting babies, there were some twosomes who liked to adopt drug dealers. And judging by the amount of pills and maryjane thrills this historic power couple did, no doubt their dealer became such a fixture in their household that he was considered family.

Before there was Brangelina, there was Branita.

Brian Jones and Anita Pallenberg

She swung it in Mary Quant minis. He slung 'n hung it in trousers from the hip boutique to the stars, Granny Takes a Trip.

Granny Takes a Trip boutique, the King's Road, Chelsea, London

Boy, were these two mod and stylish! Boy, were these two the fashion trend setters of Swingin' London! Boy, were these two considered rock 'n roll royalty! Boy, were these two royally messed up!

These beautiful doppelgangers would frug the night away at sweet hot spots from London to Marrakesh in their velvets and silks, playing a mad game of dysfunctional-co dependence-a-go-go while sitars and pushers loomed in the background. And Keith. Keith loomed too. Bided his time. His patience paid off, and Branita soon became...

Keith An' Pal

In the beginning of his deathly pallor stage, Keith managed to swipe Pallenberg off her platformed feet and became head pallbearer for the Branita funeral.

Never has a soap opera of this magnitude been so well costumed. When she wasn't busy casting spells and putting curses on people who got in her way, Anita managed to be one of the most stylish women of the '60's. Unfortunately her next great romance would be her undoing. Anita's famous coupling with Mr. Brownstone could easily have been called...

Ah-Need-A Fix, Now!

But not to worry too much. Anita is still alive and relatively well. Brian? Not so much. Keith? The jury is still out on that one.

currently listening to: Neil Young, Trans

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Waitin' with Waits

Been feelin' a little under the weather lately. Waitin' for the energy to kick back to eleven. Alas, waitin' with a little Waits eases the whole process.

Q: Do you collect anything?
Tom Waits: Like little ceramic dogs? I collect instruments. It's ongoing.

Q: Do you have a favorite sound?
Tom Waits: Bacon. In a frying pan. If you record the sound of bacon in a frying pan and play it back it sounds like the pops and cracks on an old 33 1/3 recording. Almost exactly like that. You could substitute it for that sound.

---excerpt from Pitchfork interview, 2006

I love Tom. Although there is some dispute over whether he said this first, I consider this one of his best quotes:

“Champagne for my real friends and real pain for my sham friends.”

I raise a glass to all my new, fabulous, and brilliant friends in the blogsphere. You know who you are.

currently listening to: Tom Waits, Closing Time

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

All Philler, and Hopefully a Killer Post

Many times my focus and affections are saved for that of the less obvious choice. You know, in a kind of "watch all the the roadies and the techs dart around and stand on the sidelines rather than watch the center stage action in The Last Waltz" kinda way.
In a "watch and wonder at the fate of the red shirts standing in the background by paper mache rocks in Star Trek and feel genuine concern" kinda way.
In a "look at the cover of AC/DC's Highway to Hell and wonder just why in the hell is Phil Rudd exiled to the back in such a way that he looks like a gawking fan rather than a band member" kinda way.

I'm sorry, but Phil deserved better...if drumming is a vocabulary, Phil uses good solid no-nonsense words. Stated with a primal tone of caveman like authority, but with a clever and knowing wink that more than indicates that the stix are being well manned by a sophisticate possessive of opposable thumbs.

Let's continue on with this Phil-ness shall we?

As we near the end of May, may we take this moment to remember Phil Hartman? Almost a decade ago, on May 28, Phil was taken away in horrific manner, a manner that one simply cannot wrap one's head around given Phil's history of bringing so much joy and laughter to the world while he was here.

He also brought skilled graphic design talent to the music table; those talents are best reflected in two album covers:

Steely Dan, aja, 1977

Poco, Legend, 1978

I wonder how much Phil got paid for designing these? Let's hope it was a bit more than the 35 bucks that University of Oregon design student, Carolyn Davidson received for designing the original Nike "swoop" in 1971.

In keeping with this post's Phil-ness let's call out Nike's main man, Phil Knight for what he is. Oh wait, Michael Moore already did in his book "Downsize This" and in his documentary "The Big One". Check 'em both out. They will make you angry, but the good kind of angry that comes with the knowledge that you are well aware of the bullshit that goes on in the name of progress. The good kind of angry that stops you from purchasing a $200 pair of shoes that were made in a far away land and under cruel conditions.

It's hard to segue back into lighter fare so bear with me, or bare with me, whichever you prefer.

The following clip is perhaps my favorite of all in SNL history. Why? Certainly it is incredible because of Dana Carvey. But again, I will take the less obvious choice and say that Phil Hartman nails it completely for me. His expression is by far my favourite part of the skit. Enjoy!

I think this song would sell. The word broccoli is rad. Having the name Broccoli is even better.

"Broccoli. Cubby. Broccoli." AKA Albert R. Broccoli, uber producer of most of the Bond films (the ones worth seeing). Cubby will always be a legend.

The wonderful thing about people who create wonderful things is that they will live on through their art.

RIP Phil Hartman.

The wonderful thing about people who destroy wonderful things is that eventually, if karma lays a trump card, the jig and the over-paid gig is up and over.

If the shoe fits, Phil Knight.

currently listening to: David Pajo, Pajo

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Motherfucker! Foodeater!

Matt: The only reason you stay here is so you can fuck my mother and eat her food. MOTHERFUCKER! FOOD EATER! --River's Edge, 1986

Possibly the best quote in cinematic history. After "I love the smell of napalm in the morning" and "Rosebud!" of course.

Try as I might, I couldn't find a clip of the scene anywhere. Dammit, YouTube has clips of fuckin' every "Saved By the Bell" episode but not this? Sometimes the world is so out of whack I have to listen to some calming Elliott Smith just to see/feel some balance. Ironically and tragically enough, wonderful and beautiful Elliott could not find that sweet spot of contentment for any extended period. I dearly wish he could have sustained and maintained. I think of him every day. My one regret is never seeing him play live.

Another punishing example of world-out-of-whackness is that I missed the opportunity to see Elliott, but somehow managed to catch Keanu Reeves, the star of "River's Edge", play with his band Dogstar. But then again, I also went to see Mark Wahlberg at the height of his Marky Markiness. I was the Life Cereal Mikey kid of record store employees...

Scene: Record Store Counter

First hipster: What's this stuff? (looking at a pack of comp. concert tix)
Second hipster: Some free tickets for that new teen band. (wrinkles nose) Supposed to be good. (snickers sarcastically)
First hipster: I'm not gonna go. (pushes the tickets towards the second hipster in disgust)
Second hipster: Let's get E.!
First hipster: Yeah!
Second hipster: She won't go...she hates everything! (throws the tix over to E., standing by the racks. She looks at the tix and breaks out into a huge grin)
First hipster: She likes it! Hey E.!

In other words I soon became the last frontier for crap ticket disposal before management donated them to the squeegee kids. I just couldn't resist seeing what I considered to be sure thing one hit wonders. I just figured ya gotta see a hell of a lot of the bad to have the wherewith all to appreciate and understand the good. It was Disposable Teen Music 101 with screaming 14 year old girls waving homemade Bristol board signs with "I WANNA HAVE YOUR BABY" scribbled in crayon.

So yes, I saw Marky before Dirk Diggler swept in to add new length to his career and 13 inches of new length into his Calvin Kleins.

But back to Keanu and Dogstar. The free tickets actually came when I was working at the gear shop. The band's drum tech came in, and offered to put a few of us on the list. Extremely nice guy. Jared Leto and entourage, take note.

We go to the Will Call window and find out in addition to tickets, drum tech has left backstage passes. Extremely nice guy. The show was okay, and as expected girls screamed every time the spotlight settled on Keanu. Fascinating.

As expected again, the groupie contingent backstage was at fever pitch level; the one benefit it provided in the stifling hot room was that with the amount of hair flippage goin' down, a sort of breezy wind effect was generated. Some of the women looked fresh off the conveyor belt at the Groupie Inc. manufacturing plant. Can you imagine?

"Ah, we need more bustiers in sector eight, Ralph. Can you get the forklift and truck another skid on over? The Shawna Model 12 is due in Boise tomorrow, Aerosmith are doing a gig and expecting a least 4 of 'em."

I looked down at my dirty, dusty jeans stained with Finger Ease and orange oil, well aware that after a day of crawling around under amps to fish out stray patch cords and picks, I wasn't going to win any best dressed accolades. Maybe with Popular Mechanics mag...

Then all of a sudden, Keanu swept into the room. I swear, these girls had little electronic devices hidden somewhere amongst their straps and sequins because without any obvious or discernible movement, their skirts suddenly shimmied up a bit higher and the necklines plunged deeper as if suddenly triggered by a garage door opener. Man, these women have a CIA-like network of secret procedure that only they (and maybe Mick Jagger) know about. And Weapons of Massive-Yet-Fake Proportions.

So Keanu swept in one door, swept right by the fancy girls, completely ignoring them and then exited out door number two.

But as he crossed over he gave me a grin.

Score one for the dirty girl.

currently listening to: Tipsy, Remix Party

Friday, May 11, 2007

Debbie Does Da Gear Slut for Fashion Friday

Some may call it smut. I call it the Mona Lisa of the CBGB/Max's Kansas City glory days. A "Birth of Venus" for the original New York punk/new wave scene, a scene that didn't see many trust fund babies gettin' their kicks and Strokes while waiting for those Rolling Stone love letters to filter in.

A Venus on a Half a Gram. Not that I condone Deb's drug dalliances, but the woman had incredible presence, and the sort of style that never seemed forced or merely the result of eight stylists working overtime on ego, greed, and Starbucks with a cocaine chaser.

Debbie was one of the first musicians to get the ironic T-shirt bang on. You just knew she and Chris Stein were hip to crazy wrestler shit and could probably tell you that Doctor X's real name was Dick Beyer. I once wore a Koko Beware t-shirt, and even though I was laughed at I was okay 'cause Debbie would have understood.

currently listening to: Television, Marquee Moon

A Preface---Fashion Fridays with Da Slut

Obviously I love the gear. I do. But, I have decided to do a weekly post devoted to another kind of gear in the world of rawk. IN NO WAY as important as the Rolands or Gibsons or Hiwatts or Fenders or Tamas or DODs or Marshalls. But nonetheless an element of music that offers great springboard for fascinating discussion and debate. An element that depending upon the individual, either has front and center importance or merely carries more peripheral value, a value enjoyed purely on the fringes. A fringe benefit. A whole whack 'o fringe. Like fringe on an awesome cowboy shirt designed by Nudie, the Rodeo Tailor.

Nudie Western Shirt, ca. 1950, Autry National Center, Museum of the American West, Gift of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans

So starting this week, every Friday will be Da Slut's Fashion Friday. I'm gonna save the stellar story of fabulous Nudie for another time. But here he is with perhaps his most famous client:

Sweet Gram, you are so very missed. Your music and style were second to none.

So comin' up I will post the first object of Fashion Friday's affection. Just a warning...will feature nudity and may offend some. But the photo is classic. Iconic. And hot damn, defines an era style-wise. Will cement and bring an end to the great "Let's Be Offensive" week. Sorry Karen Carpenter, Sorry plastic Jon Bon Jovi. Sorry Barney, the town drunk.

Stay tuned!

currently listening to: Spiritualized, Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Death Valley of the Jon Doll

T-minus 2 months until the Jon Bon Jovi doll hits the streets. And oh lord, once I get my hands on the plastic replica of the rather plastic rocker, hittin' the streets with it is just one of the many projects I have planned. I will also hit the mailbox with it. And the ice that needs to be crushed for my lemonade. Why knock and bruise my knuckles when I can just whip out Jonny-boy and alert people to my arrival by pounding on the door with his head? I'm tired of using that same boring stick that I use every morning to poke old Barney, the neighbourhood rummy, to check to see if he is still alive. I'm going to attach Bon Jovi to the end of said stick so that when Barney wakes up he'll think he's front and centre at the "Slippery When Wet" tour. But then again, the doll appears more "Have a Nice Day" era. No matter. Barney will break into a rousing chorus of "Wanted Dead or Alive" anyway. Like he always does.

I won't tie a fishing line around his neck and drag him from a bus. That's just too Napoleon Dynamite. But the dynamite motif intrigues me. I think what I'll do is replace the tiny plastic microphone that Jon doll is holding with one of those tiny little fire crackers that are like little mini h'orderves of TNT. And then, like at any concert worth it's salt, flic my bic.

Now that's what I call going out in a 'Blaze of Glory".

Serves you right Jon, for not fighting harder to have the company issue a Tico Torres doll.


currently listening to: Fugazi, 13 Songs

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Vistalite Hi-lites of My Life

As much as I love guitars, my favourite instrument to play are the drums. I can say with complete and shiny penny pride that Karen Carpenter was and remains a strong influence. Oh sweet, angel-voiced Karen, where did it all go wrong? Did you one day become completely mesmerized by your slender drum stick mid paradiddle and think "Now, that's a good look".

Karen was a solid drummer. She topped the 1975 Playboy Reader Poll for Best Drummer, much to the dismay of the fatter number two choice, John Bonham. As much as I love Bonzo it was good and fair karma for the beast to be knocked down a peg or twelve. Sort of payback for his noted "entourage abuse" which in one disgusting example saw an inebriated Bonham offer to trade his luxurious first class plane seat with one of his crew. The happy and pleasantly surprised roadie stayed that way until after he had settled in and realized Bonzo had wee-wee'd all over the seat.

Niiiiiiiiice. Guess the stairway to bathroom had too many steps.

Karen and Bonzo were indeed as opposite as opposites can be. He obviously avoided toilets, she spent most of her adult life with her head buried in one. And yet there was one common factor between them; they both were players noted for their use of Vistalites, Ludwig's line of acrylic drum kits that were introduced in the '70's.

Beautiful, no? Called the "Tequila Sunrise" kit, and surely now worth a whole lotta moolah on ebay. The Vistalites were slowly phased out due to bad sales and a marketplace that seemed to prefer wood based shells to plastic. Ludwig reintroduced them in 2001 with a replica amber coloured Bonham set that had a 14X26" bass drum. For extra authenticity, Ludwig included a urine soaked drum stool as part of the package.

Nahhhh...course not.

Just as if they choose to reissue a Keith Moon Vistalite, it won't come with goldfish included.

For a performance on the "Midnight Special" rock show, Moonie filled his Vistalite floor tom with water and some fishies...

Perhaps my fondest memory of a Vistalite is from a really bad/good, cheesy '70's TV movie called "Cotton Candy" which I loved so very dearly and for years guarded like Fort Knox my taped from the tube VHS copy. As a joke I lent this saccharine sweet goodness to my skinhead punk rock friend Christian and much to my amazement, he not only loved it, but became obsessed with it. I decided he had to have it. He was so overjoyed at the gift he cried. Punks have strange tear-triggers. Anyway, it's the tale of two rival high school bands who go on to duke it out at a mall sponsored "Battle of the Bands". The girl drummer in the "Cotton Candy" band plays a set of Vistalites.
This was Ron Howard's first film. He completely disowns it. Shame. I consider it his best flick. Check it's rather long, but let it play me it's worth it.

currently listening to: Rapid Fire, "I Shot the Sheriff"

UPDATE!! My wonderful friend Samurai Frog over at Electronic Cerebrectomy informed me that Cotton Candy was Howard's second film, the first being "Grand Theft Auto". I'm sure this one is genius as well. Please take a trip on over to SamuraiFrog's blog, his is in my opinion, THE best pop culture blog on the net.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Forget The 12 Steps...Here's A 1 Step Scare Into Sober

I have an alternate solution to the much touted 12 Steps plan for putting down the bottle. My program involves 1 Step and 1 Step only. Here we go...y'all ready?


Watch this video.

Thankfully our buddy Chris is still alive, producing albums and still playing...hopefully he has gotten past the whole self-diss habit and has stopped calling himself "a piece of crap". Buddy shredded awesome on W.A.S.P.'s "Animal(F*ck Like a Beast), a song that got the right wingers all offended and agitated way before NIN's lyric "I wanna f*ck you like an animal" from the track "Closer". Even offensiveness needs its ground breakers. And if you don't like it, don't listen. I'm sure Creed will come around again soon to keep you safe and warm. Or Stryper, if you like your hard rock with a halo.

Chris also lent his Ibanez Destroyer to Eddie Van Halen to record "Women and Children First". So he must be given props for lending his toys, fuckup or not.

I'm not trying to make light of what a terrible disease alcoholism is. Far from it. The world of Rawk can be big, dumb and stupid. A gifted musician doesn't have to be. All I can say is to anyone reading who is traveling the long hard road of rock right now, stuck somewhere between a blazing fire in Tonawanda and Timbuktu, is this--

"Rise above, rise above."

AND... while on tour, turning already-worn underwear inside out does qualify as clean underwear.

But only then.

currently listening to: Slint, Spiderland (again and just never gets old)

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Parker Fly Me to the Moon

I just finished watching Spiderman 3. Pretty bad. I had to pull the screen of my laptop quickly up and down a few times just to air it out and get that there stank on outta 'dere. But the third installment of Spiderman should do well with the set that go to Blockbuster, find Shakespeare's "Richard III", and ask if the first two parts are available for rent as well. The movie did little for me other than to further solidify my opinion that the movie's co-star, James Franco (whom I adored in TV's "Freaks and Geeks") should be cast when they make the Jeff Buckley bio pic.

Franco, with his love

Buckley, with his love

Am I right or am I right-er? The resemblance is uncanny.

So Spiderman 3 sucked and "Toe-be anything but a superhero please!" Maguire contributed heavily to the stink, stank, and stunkage of the flick.

But then, I am way more interested in Parker Flys than watching Peter Parker fly.

Gorgeous guitars that carry a high price tag, but well worth the bux. Extremely light, and just conquer when it comes to diversity of tone. They offer a dual pickup system that allows the player to deliver acoustic tone, full on electric, or a mix of both. That's some sweetness there. Guitars like these really allow a player to find their unique voice and flava. And it can never hurt the reputation of a guitar manufacturer when dude who started the company paid his dues as a luthier (the creators and the medics of all da strings 'n things). Ken Parker's guitars are full of feature and complex of construction, but dude keeps his credo simple:

"I love music, and I love guitars."
---Ken Parker on the Parker website.

Amen Ken!

Incidentally, Joni Mitchell has been known to use a Parker, along with a Roland VG-8 system ("The Virtual Guitar"), a waysmart processor that can electronically recreate all those whack yet genius tunings that she is celebrated for.

Just for the record, to the guy I used to work with at the gear shop-- No, that WAS NOT funny when you told the story about your Chinese customer who asked if he could demo a "Parka Fry". This is the guy who could make you cry when he played; his feel for the instrument and his tone were both absolutely heartbreakingly good, but as far as playing at being a decent human being...well, he played that action just about as well as George W. Bush dances. And thanks to that recent video, we all know that just ain't good.

currently listening to: Joni Mitchell, Blue

Thursday, May 3, 2007

The Depeche Mode Hijack at Hiwatt

Sad to say some of my fave flicks hoover way high in the worst movie cosmos. In cosmos far far away from those that can be found housing more universally applauded and celebrated movies, those found only "in a galaxy far far away..." (click link... you'll find you can almost smell popcorn, and your shoes will suddenly feel like they are sticking to the floor).

In the worst part of the cinema solar system one can locate Saturn 3. Hell, if Richard Branson had the good sense with his mega dollars and cents to charter a craft goin' this way, move over Lance Bass and Steven the Hawkin' MachineBuzz Talkin'...I'm space bound!

You figure with the stellar cast it couldn't go wrong. It did. Harvey Keitel as the bad guy's body, but voice overdubbed by some other dude. Kirk Douglas as the old, naked guy as you will soon see in the clip. And Fa-Fa-Fa-Farrah-ah-ah Fawcett (I think she was still a Majors here)hot off the original Charlie's Angels and wearing her original face. Hollywood insiders say Farrah is not only crazy but snarky and two-faced(and three and four-faced, and booked for a fifth one this summer).

Wanting to enjoy Saturn 3's cinematic brilliance, I did a search on Ewe-toobe. Bingo! Great clip...but it just didn't hit home like it should of. So I decided to fuck with it. For the better. And then repost it to the site. The scene needed some bonus good tunage to give it some ram-a-lam and je ne sais quoi. I thought about it for maybe 2 minutes before I chose "Never Let Me Down" by Depeche Mode. "The Aggro Mix". And there is definitely some aggro goin' on here amongst the "We gotta copy Alien but at half the budget" sets. Check it!

Damn! That shit is so good it shouldn't be legal. Keitel taking a whole pharmacy of space drugs and gettin' the drop kick from the Wilt Chamberlain of robots (what is it with hand loss and sci-fi, Obi-wan? What? Ask Yoda? No...I'm fuckin' sick of all his "there is no try there is only do" shit). And Farrah, in perhaps her greatest career move, covering up the thing that gave us all...Michael Douglas. Thanks for that Kirk. I can say with full confidence that I am a better person for seeing Michael Douglas doing the swingin'bachelor dance in not one flick but 3 - Basic Instinct, Fatal Attraction, and Romancing the Stone. Yep, Kirk thanks a lot for that. Yes, you truly are inadequate in every area.

I find it good and fascinating also, that Farrah loves facelifts so much that she decides to pull Kirk's head 'n hair to try and give him one too.

So I hope whoever posted the original clip won't be mad at me for highjackin' and giving it some bonus good musical accompaniment. I think it works. Makes it better. But I am offering an apology to them just the same, just as I am apologizing to you for the irreparable damage I may have caused in contributing to the image of a naked Kirk Douglas permanently seared onto your retinas.


Not sorry.

currently listening to: Ida, Tales of Brave Ida

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

This Was My Day

Some days ya just pull a Bjork. Well, mentally anyway.

Apparently she apologized for the attack. We are still on standby for the "Sorry I wore a swan to the Oscars".

currently listening to: Nancy Sinatra, Greatest Hits (to go along with Bjork's greatest hits on display right here)

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Will Work For Scorpions Vinyl (MUST BE MINT)

Looking to remedy the "Dough-Rei-Me is Broke" sitch. I have some awesome Quiet Riot picture discs to sell or a whole whack of those square mirrors with band logos to unload (a Halen and a ZoSo one amongst the booty of shiny beauty) for some spare scratch. I just have to get some extra bread so I can afford to buy some mint condition Scorpion albums. Or, if anybody does indeed have 'em, maybe we can work it out in trade. I can do some odd jobs around yer homestead---

For this I will clean your basement and/or garage:

For this I will rake your leaves and make nice your backyard:

...gawd, don't ya hate when this happens? The fourth time I finally just said, "Buy the sugarless kind , it ain't as sticky."

For this I will definitely do fuckin' windows:

Oh man! That's hot! It's the patented Scorpions Reverse Bowie/Ronson Guit-oral! Note the higher degree of difficulty.

Fuckin' brill.

Any interested parties with the vinyl just email E. at

OOOOOOoooo can't wait!

currently listening to: Modest Mouse, The Moon and Antarctica