Thursday, March 27, 2008

Old Farts at Play

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

CLEVELAND – The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum breaks ground today on its newest feature, the You're Not Necessary Nursing Home and Euthanasia Insta-Clinic, which is scheduled for completion in early 2009. This new facility will house past-it performers who, after being forcibly removed from irrelevant tours plugging recent releases, will be sedated into retirement using a potent mixture of lobotomy-inducing drugs.

"Sadly," explains Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum President and CEO Terry Stewart, "The idea for a rock and roll nursing home was in the planning stages just as we heard about the upcoming albums by such give-it-up-already artists as The Breeders, R.E.M. and The B-52's. If we had conceptualized it, say, a year earlier, the illegal-downloading public would have been saved from having to endure these wrinkled nothings as they attempt to regain their artistic footing long after it has already withered away like so many thinning hairdos."

"Around here," he continues proudly, "We call these types of albums 'musical comb-overs'".

While the nursing home component of this facility will be off-limits to the general public, the Euthanasia Insta-Clinic will be a fun-filled exhibit for the whole family, allowing paying visitors to "pull the plug" on their favorite musical artists whose spotlight should have been extinguished long before they embarked on yet another reunion tour or, in the case of R.E.M., the dreaded loud-guitars-show-we-haven't-lost-our-balls grand comeback album.

Some of the more notable mercy killings at the Euthanasia Insta-Clinic will take a somewhat creative bent. The B-52's, for instance, will be killed by being forced to wear breathable cotton fabrics (or, if necessary, plaid). In the case of The Breeders, it will involve reintroducing them to the pleasures of heroin.

This new facility is financed in part by the generous corporate sponsorship of Jim Beam, Taco Bell and Mix 106.5 FM.

For more information, contact the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum at (216) 781-ROCK.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

SXSW 2008: A Personal Journey of Struggle and Suffering

One booth at the SXSW 2008 trade show received oodles more attention due to the young, sexy female sporting a low-cut lingerie thingy underneath a taut leather jacket barely draping her Hostess Snack Cake-sized booty. Also, she was continually handing out free candy to every male heterosexual passerby. The booth at which I was employed was not equipped with such flirty enticement and suffered accordingly. At some point during a eureka moment, I myself dressed in the same exact outfit to grab the spotlight, and it while it didn't result in more customers, it did incite a maximum-security riot. Mind you, not the good kind of maximum-security riot.

Another attention-grabbing giveaway for trade show booths is stress balls, especially if the ball in question resembles the head of a Dilbert-like office drone. Attendees to the trade show were beside themselves, swooning over these flesh-colored squishies being offered for free at a rival's table area. It mattered little that these squeezable toys connected not a whit towards the company's brand or image--people were tripping over each other to aquire them by the dozens. Perhaps next year, I will top this competitor's efforts and stand aloft with my testicles hanging out of my pants, offering every attendee a chance to squeeze my flesh-colored squishies. It won't do much for their stress but it will sure help mine.

Almost without fail, trade shows always attract pasty-skinned, long-haired American guys of Scottish descent who cannot bring themselves to attend public functions in anything but a full-on traditional Scottish kilt. Sadly, this trade show was no exception. Next year, I will reach back to my one-quarter Apache Indian heritage and present myself in a full-on traditional native loincloth, smooth lean buttocks exposed for all to see. My people are a proud people, and we have a really hot ass.

One flick playing the film festival garnered its share of attention after the director (or was it the producer?) was frequently seen around town clad only in Tudor-style dress, fittingly draped so as to articulate the the theme of the movie. Will this top the promotional efforts of Zoo wherein several out-of-work actors were paid to walk around town fellating horses? Only time will tell...

Spotted while dining at one of Austin's enormous Whole Foods natural markets: a pasty-faced rocker dude sporting long unwashed hair along with Doc Martens and a black Nirvana shirt underneath a plaid flannel shirt. My guess is, he was being ironic. The heroin track marks on his arm, however, were probably very sincere.

Because my hotel was also hosting a rather large plumbing suppliers convention, the sculpted gel do's of the hip SXSW guests were frequently overshadowed by sights such as this: a matronly plumbing convention attendee towing a small bag into which were stitched little plastic windows. Inserted into the see-through frames were numerous pictures of her children and grandchildren. It doesn't stop there: each picture was surrounded by embroidered Biblical verse. The fact that she was involved with plumbing somehow makes her personal sense of style so much dirtier than she intended it to be.

Spotted at a grungey vegetarian restaurant near the university campus: a po-faced dreadlocked caucasian male hippy eating dinner with a righteous Feminist sister rocking her lesbian seagull New Wave hairdo. Perhaps I've been away for a while but did these two groups sign a peace treaty when I wasn't looking?

Sadly, I was unable to attend any music performances. This means I missed White Williams, These New Puritans and a host of many other current favorites on the pop scene. What I ended up seeing instead of live music: 1001 young women walking around Austin, all of them looking exactly like Kate Nash. Should you ever encounter a similar visage, please be aware that a bottle of Pepto Bismol only works on internal sickness.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

My Father Was Sister Ray (and I Was Grounded Every Night of the Week)

So, Lou Reed: I see that we will tangle once again. Are you so hell-bent on revenge that you would follow me all the way to this year's SXSW Festival? Is it my fault that, back in the halcyon summer of 2005, you caught me in a short-lived love affair with your dog on the streets of Telluride? Laurie didn't seem to mind--in fact, her winsome smile led me to believe that she approved of the love which dare not bark its name. Now, you and I will once again exchange old-man glances as the weathered parenthesis around our mouths show us for the grizzled warriors we are. En garde, Mr. Reed. Although you are facing a formidable foe, it is my belief this will not be the last time we tussle over your fine furry friend.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Even when you're at your most most macho while shopping for replacement parts on your washing machine at the local Ace Hardware, it is no match for the swaggering femininity of Ring My Bell when it plays over the store's PA system.

Is my cat Little Hitler a living descendent of Adolf Hitler? I must have History Detectives investigate...

The voice recognition devices now being installed in new cars seem handy, but instead of responding to the command, "Play artist: The Strokes", wouldn't it be more useful for car manufacturers to install a device which responds to the command, "Kill artist: The Strokes"? And then the car goes out and actually kills The Strokes? And the car has to stand trial for you when you're charged with murdering The Strokes? It would also be cool if the car offered to give its life for you after you're sentenced to die for murdering The Strokes because a lethal injection for a car would probably just be sugar poured into the gas tank. Big deal.

Idea for a horror movie: Jimmy Swaggart is dead but two of his three chins are still very much alive and on a bloody killing rampage.

Possible book series: self-help manuals for indie rockers lacking self-esteem. Tagline could be: "If four pasty white guys from Columbia University can call themselves Vampire Weekend and put out crap faux-South African Mbaqanga for the caucasian NPR crowd, then you can do anything!!"

I'm still trying to come up with possible cash-cow spinoffs of Fox-TV's new hit series The Moment of Truth. Strongest idea so far: center the show around Bindi Irwin, having her corner a different manta ray each week to ask, "Did You Kill My Daddy?" Look into product placement tie-ins with Mrs. Paul (advise them to change name of best-selling item to "Deep Sea Revenge Sticks").

I have a feeling hordes of gullible music fans will end up buying that forthcoming Ryan Adams 6-CD boxed-set. Perhaps I can fleece them into also buying a boxed set comprised of my last six bowel movements. Mine is obviously the better deal but I should think about throwing in a rebate coupon just to clinch the sale.

Attempting to fill your 80GB iPod to capacity means resorting to the leftovers in your collection like Polvo and that ill-informed Neil Young purchase. It's similar to that experiment where you try wearing every single item of clothing in your closet every day of the year, no matter how hideous. When the moment arrives and you're sporting the wacky neon-green vintage Hawaiian shirt you bought in high school, you're an ass. It's the same feeling you'll have when Breaker, Breaker by Scrawl pops up on shuffle and you think, "Why have I been hanging on to this all these years??".

Despite what the Religious Right says, the ghastly events of 9/11 did not happen because God was punishing America for engaging in deliciously sweet sodomy. No, 9/11 happened because someone disobeyed Devo's universal laws and played Gut Feeling/(Slap Your Mammy), Come Back Jonee and Sloppy (I Saw My Baby Gettin') as three separate tracks. These three songs must always be listened to as an ensemble, one right after the other. They make up a holy trinity and must never be parted. They are as much a rock opera as anything else in the pop cannon. To play them as separate tracks is akin to pogoing on God's foot in the mosh pit.

My father’s recent decline in mental and physical health has given me inspiration for a new book series (similar to Everyone Poops) which teaches the elderly not to fear their body’s natural undertakings as they descend into their final golden years. Possible first title in the lineup: The Pokey Little Penis.

Idea for a new drinking game: when watching Antiques Roadshow, you must do a shot whenever they say the word Connecticut.