Sunday, February 27, 2011

Hangover breakfast

I've found that the best breakfast hangover food is ramen noodles. They are really salty and watery, just what you need to get your shit together. Forget all your other hangover foods. Though the other thing I will say is that I also endorse this rockstar advice: Pedialyte. That's right. And yes, I will even say that the pedialyte formula is better than the generic stuff. Thanks Abbott labs.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bahrain is metal

Apparently is tracking what people are listening to?  I don't know much about these webzones, but apparently they do.  And apparently this is the most popular song in Bahrain right now.

From the album "No Exit".  If I knew they were into Power Metal I would have guessed Queen of the Reich but what do I know about Bahrain.  Hat tip to BoingBoing.  Does know what I am listening to?  Can someone go to their webzone and watch me downloading Roy Orbison?  Now I'm getting paranoid...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

An economic theory of hipsters

These days people hate hipsters.  I hate hipsters.  But what is a hipster, and more importantly why is a hipster, is a question I have recently unraveled.  Allow me to explain.  There is an economic reason why hipsters exist, and there is a good reason why you hate these jerks.

The main cause of hipsters is unemployment and underemployment.  Hipsters are by and large a group that went to college.  Their job prospects post college have been slim, and they are largely unemployed or underemployed.

This is a group that also faced large borrowing costs to get that college degree.

"To swing this without hitting the lottery, you're going to need a job that pays far more than the minimum wage. One estimate, according to a calculator at, is an annual salary of $42,000, assuming you use 10% of your monthly gross for loan payments."

The tastes of hipsters is directly attributed to these grim economic realities.  What is vintage thrifting but a pretentious way of shopping like a poor person?  Isn't the hipster beard but an arrogant cost saving device?  Saving money on razors and making fun of truck drivers at the same time.

So then to answer the question what is a hipster I would argue a hipster is a person part of the great college wave from the last 10-15 years that is economically marginalized and maintains absurd pretensions regarding their poverty.  They moved into the inner city looking for cheap rents but dressed it up as a search for "authenticity".  They started taking public transportation as an economic necessity but dressed it up as green living.  They indulge in Pabst Blue Ribbon because it is cheap beer but say that they like it "ironically".  And this is why no one admits to being a hipster.  And this is why, despite their plight, you won't feel sorry for hipsters.

If hipsters had money they'd live in a McMansion in the suburbs, drive a hummer, and buy expensive new clothing.  But they don't so they shop at Goodwill, live in "gentrifying" inner city neighborhoods, and take public transportation.  And they are pretentious about it.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Music is dead


I would call this graph "A colossal failure of imagination on the part of the music industry".  Isn't it funny that youtube is basically the best promotional tool for the music industry since Cable Television?  And how they worked so hard, and still do, to remove content that promotes their own interest?  These guys are so stupid...

Friday, February 18, 2011

The old curmudgeon is disappointed with kids these days

It has recently been brought to my attention that kids these days are really into pants.  No really.  Pants.  The height of their teenage aspirations is apparently owning stylish jeans.

Now maybe you think Chesty LaRue is off base here and the kids aren't really into owning pants.

Nope. Kids are really into owning pants.  There are two things to note here.  First is that kids these days are a sorry bunch of losers.  Back in my day teenagers dreamed of sex, smoking weed, drinking a gin and orange juice cocktail, and skipping school.  These days their fantasies are owning stylish pants?  Back in my day people wore raver pants but you never heard us making songs about it.

Second, I guess the kids these day must have it real rough if this is the height of their aspirations.  These aren't teenage dreams, these are third world dreams.  We just want some pants.

Skinny jeans dreams LOLZ

Back in my day not only could even poor white trash afford stylish pants, but our stylish pants were made of generous material proportions, to display our excessive wealth. 

You see?  We could not only afford all this superfluous material for our pants but also glow in the dark decals.  The kids these days?

These losers can't even afford jeans with extra denim.  And pointless pockets, zippers, and chains?  Forget it.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Truls Mork: Worth the money

Classical music is a dead genre filled with dead composers who wrote for a dead audience.  Apparently you can chart in billboard classical by selling only a few hundred discs.

"The dirty secret of the Billboard classical charts is that album sales figures are so low, the charts are almost meaningless. Sales of 200 or 300 units are enough to land an album in the top 10. Hahn's No. 1 recording, after the sales spike resulting from her appearance on Conan, bolstered by blogs and press, sold 1,000 copies."

These days everyone who wants to break big in classical tries to look like the NSYNC of classical.

And really why should anyone buy a new "classical" album.  Bach has been dead for over 200 years.  Why should anyone profit from his music?  There are so many recordings of Beethoven, Mozart, etc that I can't see how one more piano sonata is worth 15 bucks.

But then I found an album with an NSYNC cover of songs by a guy who has been dead for over 100 years that is worth a few bucks.  Truls Mork's Nocturne.

Looks like someone went to glamor shots.

So why is this worth buying?  Because it is sort of new.  I mean the Chopin pieces themselves are old.  But many of them are arranged for cello for the first time.  Or at least the first time I've found.  It's new to me.  Prelude in B minor for cello and piano is a great idea.

Ok so I guess you can google other people doing it.  But Truls does it better.  And the sound quality is good as well.

No offense kids, this is fine and dandy.  But I like Truls performance better and the sound quality is better too.  And it is on sale for ten bucks.  If you like Chopin and you like cello then you should like this album.

Are we suckers?

Yesterday I was going to have my bass setup professionally.  I play tuned to B-E-A-D, and so I of course get a lot of fret buzzing.  Even with the action jacked up it tends to buzz.  My strings are old so it looks like a good time to reboot.  I was thinking about putting on some DR Black Beauties.

My black beauties don't have a g string.  LOL.

So I called a guitar shop in town.  The guy was going to do the setup including strings for 35 bucks.  I asked about the strings, because these DRs cost about 30 bucks.  So he goes on a long tirade about string manufacturers.  There are only 2 companies in the US that makes strings, he says.  No one can import strings, he says.  They are all the same, the labels are only an illusion of choice, he says.

Consider that I currently have Rotosound strings on my bass, which are made in England.  Obviously this guy is full of shit.  And he definitely lost a potential customer over the phone yesterday.  But it is an interesting philosophical question.  How much do strings matter?  How can you really tell?  I mean when you change strings you are basically comparing new strings to old strings, so the new strings will have that bright new string sound.  Who has two identical instruments strung with different brands to give you a side by side comparison?

Well I guess there is that. Thanks funky white dude.

So how much difference is there between strings?  It is an interesting question, despite the ignorance of the person who originally asked the question.  Obviously there is a big difference between roundwound and flatwound strings, owing to the different design.

Related question:  has any heavy metal bassist played with flatwound strings?  How would that sound trying to play Motorhead?

Maybe I'll go flatwound just to play this song?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Youtube poop from ages past

That's right kids, get yourself an 8 ball of blow and go back in time to when the price was right

This is definitely going in my summer playlist.  Love that Moog!

The Cruise industry is weird

I'm sure many of you are aware of the heavy metal cruise.  7000 tons of metal or something like that.  Well apparently there is the analogous goth cruise.  Not really any bands, just a bunch of goths.  And they have a movie.  Prepare to be dazzled.

Goth Cruise - trailer from Jeanie Finlay on Vimeo.

Now I've been to the Caribbean, and it is hot.  And the sun is intense.  Not really the sort of place you want to wear black leather and lots of makeup.  It is more the sort of place you want to wear bright rayon shirts and Cuban pants.  But hey, to each his own.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

More Robocop

So the organization and funding of the Robocop statue in Detroit is coming along.  Please CLICK HERE to learn more and donate to make the statue happen.  Thank you for your cooperation.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


So I know a guy in Detroit who is working very hard to make building a statue of Robocop a reality.  No really, they are working on organization and fundraising right now.  Now there are a lot of ways you can go with a Robocop statue.  I think it should be made of shiny metal, like aluminum, and be voice activated.  "Your move, creep!"  But let the webernets get the creative juices flowing.

I am in favor of the gun aiming at Canada. Guns up isn't really Detroit style.

Monday, February 7, 2011

youtube poop: the big fellah

Also I was reviewing comments drunk and accidentally deleted one.  Sorry whomever's comment just got the axe!

Saturday, February 5, 2011


A while back I read an interesting article about the CTA yellow line, aka the Skokie Swift.  You should definitely read the article because it has some great pictures to go with it.  The narrative was so interesting I started having dreams about riding the Skokie Swift.  So I finally found myself with plenty of time on my hands and took a trip to see Skokie.

Skokie Swift

It is a rather weird configuration. What is to stop people from walking around the back of the platform and hopping up and not paying?


So there it is.  I wish I had something to add but I don't.  It was exactly like the article described.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Glenn Danzig in retrospect

It is difficult to really sum up the career of Glenn Danzig.  As a primer I recommend reading this essay.  Money quote:

"There are two dominant cultural narratives of Danzig; the first is of the dumb rocker guy who sang “Mother,” a song that now resonates at sporting events coast-to-coast. The other, amongst those who care about such things, is that of the Punker Who Fell from Grace; the dude who wrote all of the Misfits’ music, invented at least two sub-genres and was the backbone of one of the most influential bands of the last 30 years (and now, given the prevalence of AFI and My Chemical Romance, might we not argue that Samhain has become as influential, if not more so, as the Misfits?) and then threw it all away to disappear in a haze of testosterone and strippers dressed like cats."

Think about it like this; there are very few bands out there that continually draw a new batch of teenage fans every year.  The Misfits is one of them.  Also, how many people can claim to have written songs for Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison?  Danzig is one of them.  Danzig is an artist whose influence casts a wide net.  And yet Danzig is also the man that decided, in his 30s, to grow his facial hair to resemble that of a comic book character whose catch phrase is "bub".

It is kinda strange to think about it, but do the math here. Danzig was born in 1955, so if this was an early 90s classic video then Glenn would be in his mid 30s.  And reading comic books and growing comic book facial hair.

In a way you can say that he was far ahead of his time, because back then comic books weren't the trendy high brow affair that they are today.  They were made into Saturday morning cartoons not blockbuster movies, and certainly not the subject of highbrow hipster essays on culture.  Yes, that really is an award winning 14 page essay on comic books.  Or you can say that he was a 35 year old man-child that never matured into an adult, instead indulging in every pre-pubescent fantasy from martial arts to women.

I'm not sure what he was going for in this video?  What do you think?

I guess it's hard to say which is true.  Maybe both?  After all, what's the difference between being eccentric and being ahead of the times?  And if society didn't make men wear suits and sit in cubicle farms, wouldn't you spend all day lifting weights and growing crazy facial hair?

For me Danzig's music is cyclical.  The Misfits were great but I have a hard time getting into Samhain.  Danzig 2 and 3 are awesome but I have a hard time appreciating the later Trent Reznor inspired stuff.

I mean really?  The whole song screams "the beautiful people".  I guess it's not bad but one of Danzig's charms was the retro vibe.  Before there were "vintage thrifters" Danzig was giving you something that felt older and odder.  But maybe this will grow on me as my 90s nostalgia grows.  Man I miss those times...

What was I talking about again?  Oh right, strippers.  So anyways Danzig has a new album out, and he made a video promo for it.

So I don't think I'll be lifting weights to this. But I noticed that Danzig wears a shirt the whole time. I mean I guess he's 55, and looks pretty good for being mid-fifties. He still has the strippers in his videos too. But it makes me feel sad to see the eternal man-child seemingly grown old. I think if Danzig is going to start wearing shirts and putting the claws away he should just go all grizzled old man. Let the greys show and cut the pretenses in the songs. I mean for as much as he talked about going retro on the production of this album it still sounds overproduced to me. I know he isn't working with Rick Rubin anymore but this song would have been much better in a more stripped down and raw way that Rick is famous for.

So that's Danzig for you. The man has accomplished more in his lifetime of music than most people. Just writing songs for Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison usually gets you some sort of rock and roll medal. Add in Mother and he's already legend. Then the Misfits, Samhain, and all the great Danzig solo albums and forget about it. And he can say that he did it his way every step of the way. Again that is quite an accomplishment. Even if I don't enjoy everything he's written (who does?) I enjoy quite a lot so he should take this as a compliment if his jitterbug ever gets a web browser.

Which button makes this go on my grandkid's computer screen?

I don't watch television anymore except to watch emo college football.  So I don't really know what is going on with contemporary culture except what I see made fun of on the you tube videos and web-logs.  Instead I'll make fun of the culture that I knew from years gone by and talk about what is really great about this country.  Not just jitterbugs and whale pants.

First I want to talk about this awesome video of airline traffic:

I know that this is fly me to the moon, but it is a really good instrumental big band take.  I've been searching the webernets for this version on Compact Disc for a while.  No dice.  I'm hoping I'll come across a whole album of goodies like this.  My wife has a music recognition software on her phone but it couldn't recognize this.  I guess it is only good at finding songs by that Justin Balbo all the bobby-soxers like.

Speaking of whores, what is with the kids these days?  They all have tattoos.  Back in my day tattoos were for sailors and whores.

What are you going to tell your children? "I was in the Navy"?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Mister Booze goes prospecting

Real estate news giving you the blues?  Well chin up old chap.  There are deals everywhere.  Why just today I saw a deal that sent shivers up my spine.

For sale

Good gravy, this steal was being auctioned?  So any Johnny Nobody with two nickels could get a crack at owning this beauty?  With a suggested opening bid of 9,000,000 practically anyone can literally get in on the ground floor of a land speculator's dream?

For sale

Just image this lot as either open lot parking or a highrise.

Now, who wants to loan me between 9 and 33 million dollars?