Great Moments in Sitcom-Core History #2 (12/27/12)

This is a series devoted to great moments in the history of Sitcom-Core programming.  This is meant to celebrate the more obscure moments in sitcoms that you may have missed.  You won’t find an over-caffeinated Jesse Spano singing “I’m So Excited” here.

 

Full House - Season 3, Episode 12 - "Joey & Stacy and...Oh, Yeah, Jesse" - December 15, 1989 

 

Joey and Jesse had an advertising company called "J & J Creative Services."  One day a backup singer on one of their advertising jingles (Stacy) fell in love with Joey because she once saw his horrible stand-up routine.

 


Stacy incorrectly advises Joey that his comedy ideas were a worthwhile idea for J & J's commercials, and so he and Jesse get in a disagreement (see: fight) over creative control of the advertising agency.  Joey at one point kisses Stacy, and Jesse says "YeeaaAAAH," then Joey says "Ay Chihuahua!!!!," and Jesse says, "Ay Chi-WAWA?"

 


Anyway, getting to the point - as is indicated in the surrounding pictures and subsequent video, they engage in two separate instances they refer to as "Dueling Sammys," where each of them does an impression of Sammy Davis Jr, each time as a means of making amends.

 


If you have to ask why it's great, you'll never know.

Great Moments in Sitcom-Core History (12/20/12)

This is a series devoted to great moments in the history of Sitcom-Core programming.  This is meant to celebrate the more obscure moments in sitcoms that you may have missed.  You won't find an over-caffeinated Jesse Spano singing "I'm So Excited" here.

 

Family Matters - Season 2, Episode 3 - "Marriage 101" - September 28, 1990

 

In this episode, Laura Winslow has the unfortunate task of participating in a school assignment where she is married to Steve Urkel.  In the picture above, she is being heckled by her brother Eddie, as he refers to her as "Mrs. Urkel," to which Laura retorts with the never-fail-classic comeback, "Eddie, is that your face, or did your neck throw up?"  (See below)

 


Now this particular retort by Laura is close to my heart, as everyone knows that Mary Alice has always found Eddie Winslow to be extremely ugly.   If anyone's neck were ever to actually "throw up," Eddie would certainly be a person of interest in investigating the phenomena. After Eddie's neck threw up, the project continued with Laura becoming increasingly enraged at Steve, until he (as usual) made her feel guilty with some crock line about "Wanting to reach a star."  It's not worth delving into.  Laura may have eventually given steve an A+ grade for the assignment, but she gave Eddie's barf head an F-.

 

Duet with Pantzig (12/10/12)

Here's a cover of The Riverdales "I Don't Wanna Go To The Party," I did with our friend and punk cover expert, Dan Pantzig (see above).  He did all the instruments, I did the vocals and effects.  Enjoy!  (It's ok, I guess.  Dan Vapid is hard vocalist to emulate, so fuck you in advance).

 

Download ----->>> I Don't Wanna Go To The Party

Hot New Videos (11/28/12)

 

YOYO, this is Eric Nies comin' atcha from The Grind, and we got some hot-ass new videos for ya!

 

This new one from The Electric Grandmother called "60 Seconds of Double Dare," y'all, peep this!

You like that fuckin' shit?  Yeah, I thought I saw you feelin' this.  Well don't go away, cuz we got a brand new video from The Electric Grandmother called "The Sin of Pride," check it:

Don't forgetchall, you can get EG's new album Love in an Escalator for free rightchere: http://www.infinitenumberofsounds.com/love-in-an-escalator/

 

But for now I gotta go, but I'll see you ass tomorrow night at the gang bang!  PEACE!

 

"Love in an Escalator" CD release show at Casa Fiesta! (10/29/12)

"Love in an Escalator" CD release show Saturday, November 10th at Casa Fiesta! 4910 Wisconsin Ave!

 

w/

 

Adam Brodsky (Philly Anti-Folk legend, and World Record Holder! -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Brodsky)

 

Brenda (DC Punk, of CNN fame! - http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/10/us/dc-support/index.html)

 

https://www.facebook.com/brendaband

 

Come to the CD release party for "Love in an Escalator" at DC's famous Casa Fiesta! Joining us will be Adam Brodsky and Brenda!

 

Starts at 9PM! Free, I guess!

 

"Love in Escalator" available now!!! FREE! (10/15/2012)

 

The brand new Electric Grandmother album "Love in an Escalator" is now available for FREE download from  the Infinite Number of Sounds Recording Company at this link! http://www.infinitenumberofsounds.com/love-in-an-escalator

Mary Alice talks about the new album (10/9/12)

This album is important for a lot of reasons. If you ask Pete, the first reason he’ll cite is because it’s the first one on which I make an actual appearance. That’s so like him. But truth be told, my input on the recording process is minimal, and mainly in a window-dressing/cheerleading/critical capacity. The rest is Pete.

 

I watched him give birth to this record over the course of more than two years, spanning residence in two cities. We made an emotional departure from Columbus, our home of ten years when it was roughly halfway recorded. And you can hear it. There has always been a strong emotional accord in his writing, but I don’t think it’s ever been more overt than it is here.

 

I didn’t want to drop track titles because it’s the most albumy Electric Grandmother album to date and think it is best appreciated in that capacity. As an aside please promise me you’ll listen to it all the way through the first time because there’s a definite arc. Regardless, I’m going to call your attention to Two Dillweeds because it makes me experience emotions, possibly more than any other Electric Grandmother song has. It captures the us-against-the-world spirit that defines our relationship beautifully, while kind of using the Cosby Show as an allegory for it? I don’t know, you have to listen to it. I think a sleeper potential hit is Grandpa’s Grave, which sounds like exactly what the title implies. I have nothing else to say about that song. I would be remiss if I didn’t say something about one of my current favorites, Here’s Your Fuck Stuff, which is about the famously creepy episode of Diff’rent Strokes in which Arnold and Dudley are sort of victims of a child molester. If you’ve seen that episode, and I’m pretty sure you have, the song is much, much worse.

 

Those who have seen the live show in the past few years will recognize Peter’s Problem, which was first performed at a Christmas show in which I showed everyone my goddamn bra. The blue one with the purple flowers. You’ll also be familiar with and possibly already tired of Mom, What Are Girls Like? which is a tribute to the best true story about a tragic man-child. Oh, wait. I don’t know if the platitude is true or not, I forgot about La Bamba. And Home AloneThe Internet has been played at a few shows, as has Mrs. Doubtfire. Those are all good songs and are more topical/traditional-EG than some of the other ones I’ve mentioned. They’re still more—I don’t know, evolved? But still constitutes some good red, meat for those of you who have stuck around a while.

 

And although all of the rest of the songs on the album are worth mentioning, I’m going to stop the madness right there because YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO THE DAMN ALBUM AS A WHOLE. It’s amazing and I’m not just saying that because I’m married to the writer and am in the band. I’m more impressed every time I listen to it and so proud, it makes me feel funny inside.

 

The new Electric Grandmother album "Love in an Escalator" will be available for FREE digital download on Monday, October 15th at 1PM and available on CD on Saturday, October 20th from www.infinitenumberofsounds.com!

September 15, 1987 (9/15/12)

 

Today is September 15, 2012, and it is officially the 25th anniversary of September 15, 1987.

 

From the 2010 album Listening Party:

Not Fun to Stay at the YMCA (9/3/12)

When I was 16 years old, I was a darn troublemaker.  Come to think of it, I was at 17 too.  I don't mean "troublemaker" like the playful trouble-making fella you know these days - I mean I committed crimes.  I have a history of getting caught whenever I do something wrong, so I'm not sure why I thought I could get away with criminal activities.  When you get caught committing crimes as a teenager, you often get stuck doing community service.  Here's the story of mine...

 

The Summer/Fall of 1994 just plain sucked.  I was flunking out of high school, working shit jobs, getting busted by police, and generally having a miserable time.   That's right, I was a regular James Dean (without the girls).  I basically couldn't stay out of trouble until April 1, 1995, when I got into a near-fatal car crash and had to be hospitalized for three months.  (Why don't I talk about this, you ask?  I dunno, it's weird and it'll depress both of us).  Anyhoo, one piece of trouble I got into in Fall 1994 got me 32 hours of community service handed down by the local police.  (Why don't I talk about what I did, you ask?  I dunno, it's weird and it'll depress both of us).

 

The first place I got assigned to do work was at the police station, washing cop cars.  They left me alone in the garage to work, and I smoked clove cigarettes out of sight of the security camera in between washes.  That took care of 4 whole hours.  The following weekend, I got assigned to wash fire engines at the local fire station.  I remember hiding behind a fire truck to smoke more clove cigarettes (which were all I had at the time).  While waiting for my dad to come pick me up that day, I saw Weezer's "Buddy Holly" video and The Offspring's "Self Esteem" video for the first time on the department's TV set.  8 more hours in the can.

 

With 16 hours to go, I got assigned to work one Saturday at the local YMCA, helping out their staff with their father-daughter day camp.  I got there early to help serve the campers and counselors their breakfast, while eating nothing myself.   Afterwards, I was told to go scoop up horse shit in the camp's stables.  Let me tell you something - all horses fucking DO is shit.  Over and over, I scooped up the horse shit and put it in a bucket.  To this day, I can still see the horses all casually standing around, dropping shit non-stop.

 

After I was done with shit patrol, I was assigned to help with the horse riding activities for the young girls.  Keep in mind, up to this point I didn't know jack shit about horses except for how much they shit.  One of the counselors told me to "walk" one of the girls and her horse to the front of the riding path.  "Ok," I thought.  "I'll walk them."  I didn't realize that the counselor meant, "Grab the reigns, and guide the horse."  As I casually walked next to the little girl on the horse up to the path, the horse began to trot faster, and then suddenly bolted off like greased lighting.  I would describe the scene as going in slow motion before my eyes, but truth be told it happened very fast.  The female counselor didn't realize what was happening for the first few moments.  She began to chase the horse across the field next to the path, the horse kept running back and forth with the little girl rider, now screaming her head off.  The whole incident took enough time that I was able to consider that this girl might be killed, and it was going to be because of me.  After a minute or so of the horse running around, the girl fell off the saddle onto the muddy ground.  She bounced up quickly to everyone's relief, unharmed but for a muddy face.  The counselor asked me what happened, and I told her I didn't know, and that the horse just took off without warning.   They put the horse in the barn for the rest of the day, figuring it was out of sorts.  Seriously though?  They told a 16-year old suburban delinquent to "walk" a horse.  Who knew what the fuck that was supposed to mean???

 

After that fiasco, it was lunch time.  I got to eat something this time around, and then was assigned to wash dishes afterwards.  I was having a relatively pleasant conversation with a boy counselor who was helping wash dishes, when he strangely asked, "Dude, Pete, are you like on something, man?"  I asked him why he asked, and he mentioned my eyes.  (I have what my wife calls "droopy bedroom eyes," and I think in the past people have mistaken my being bored with them with my being high.  Also, I have generally dry eyes and was wearing gas permeable contact lenses at this time, which tended to make my eyes red).  I smirked and told him that I occasionally smoked pot.  I probably led him to believe that I smoked more often than I actually did, but hey, I had an image to uphold.  I thought nothing of it, and finished up the dishes.

 

Some time later, a female counselor angrily ordered me to meet her outside to talk.  She asked me if I had a conversation with the dishwasher boy, and I confirmed that I did.  She furiously inquired, "And what did you TELL him?!"  I certainly wasn't going to giver her the satisfaction.  "Look, you know what I said.  So?"  She righteously declared that she had the power to get me in more trouble with the police by telling them I was on pot.  (I'll let that one sink in for a moment).  From this moment on, the entire camp staff turned on me, whereas they had been generally friendly to me up until this point.  I was pissed on behalf of all that was noble and trustworthy in this world that this little fucking peckerhead had duped me and then narc'd on me.  And I knew that he had been put up to it by some dumbfuck who sent him to "get the scoop on me," and that  he probably felt really proud of himself because he had helped humanity by ratting me out.  In all seriousness, I felt so betrayed.  I was already feeling bad about myself and the rest of the world, and for these people to at first seemingly reach out to me  - I felt so, so betrayed.

 

After this incident, I was assigned to help with arts & crafts in a log cabin.  I thought things were going well, until I received word from one of the counselors that my presence was making people nervous.  I didn't do a damn thing to bring this on, my appearance was simply freaking out the squares.  I wasn't even wearing anything that outlandish.  Nevertheless, the counselors angrily informed me that I would spending the rest of the day working out of sight of the camp guests.  They assigned me to wash the outside windows of a cabin that was in the middle of nowhere.

 

Later that day, I was standing near a road by the campsite, when a friend of mine who I'd been growing apart from passed by in a car with his friends; I don't believe they saw me.  I was saddened by the fact that I was stuck doing community service on a Saturday with a bunch of people who hated me, and he out was living it up with his newish pals.  My parents wouldn't let me get my driver's license, much less drive around with friends, because they didn't trust me.  This was a very difficult day.

 

I can't remember what I did to get those last 8 hours of community service out of the way, but the YMCA sure as fuck didn't want me back.  I think I may have worked in some capacity at the local Catholic church.  I remember when I completed my time, I went to the police station and signed my name in a book.  That was it, no big ceremony or anything, I was just "done."  Over the next several months, things went from bad to worse for me, culminating in the aforementioned car crash.  Nothing nefarious caused the accident, it just happened.  Life got better for me afterwards.  Funny how things work.

 

So I'll leave you with this advice for your children.  Um...I dunno, tell them to get a hobby and stay out of trouble.

Joe Strummer (8/22/12)

Yesterday would have been Joe Strummer's 60th birthday.  I didn't feel compelled to say anything about it at first, as The Clash represents something very personal for me.  Believe it or don't, they're this goofy fella's all-time favorite band.  They are my ground-zero, my ultimate musical sanctuary.

 

Over the years, I've taken on the exhausting task of being a Clash-defender.  I had thought of writing a big long essay explaining why Joe Strummer was humble and not sanctimonius, and how The Clash were innovators and not sell-outs, but there's really no point.  I think you really have to immerse yourself in The Clash to see what they were getting at.  I'll just offer that all the "too hip" guys and gals can blow me in hell with ketchup.

 

Here's to Joe.

The Olympics (8/7/12)

In honor of the 30th Olympiad, we present a bumper song we used during live performances in 2008 during the 29th Olympiad, called The Olympics.  It pretty much sums up our feelings about The Olympics.

 

In other news, mixing has been completed for Love in An Escalator.  You saw the dope album art by Anna Bihari in the previous post.  Now it's gonna shipped off to our man Jay Alton for mastering, because he knows what he's doing.  Talk to ya soon!

Love In An Escalator (7/6/12)

Above is the cover art for the upcoming brand new Electric Grandmother album, Love in an Escalator.  The art was done by Anna Bihari, who lives in LA, so you know it's fancy and legit and shit.  Why "Love in an Escalator?"  Well, we moved from Columbus to DC last year, and escalators are a big part of our lives now because we are always riding the metro.  And we're in love!  It's also a (we think) romantic and "hilarious" parody of the Aerosmith song, "Love in an Elevator."   Some friends and fans may think this art is a bit mushy for an EG album, but we don't care, so all of you pussies can suck our cocks.  It is slated for an  ___, 2012? release on the Infinite Number of Sounds Recording Company corporation company in CD form and digital download.  The digital download will be free as always, unless you want to shell out a few bucks for some album outtakes and rare rarities!

 

And NOW, below is the official album track list (not including outtakes):

 

Love in An Escalator
The Internet
Mom, What Are Girls Like?
Reagan's Got the Bomb
Mac Tonight
Sitcom-Core
Grandpa's Grave
Mac and Me
Mr. Clyde
Virtual Reality Helmet
Writing the Station
Mrs. Doubtfire
The Sin of Pride
Baby Geniuses
Here's Your Fuck Stuff
60 Seconds of Double Dare
Peter's Problem
Mike's Revenge
Two Dillweeds
The Tired Robots Ride the Escalator

 

More info coming as it comes!  Take care -

 

US

Swim Fan (6/22/12)

I was lucky enough to grow up with a giant lake in my backyard in the small town of Aurora, Ohio.  And when growing up on the shores of a lake, one is expected to learn how to swim just in case they fall in.  I didn't mind wading in the lake or standing around in the shallow end of one of the two pools in my neighborhood.  But when it came to putting my head under water or trying to stay buoyant, it was a completely different story.

 

Going to swimming lessons in the Summer wasn't anything I ever questioned, it was just how things were.  I can't remember the frequency in which I had to attend these lessons, but I want to say it was at least twice a week.  My sister and I would attend our swim lessons on weekday mornings, alternating between the two neighborhood pools.  I don't remember having anxiety attacks right away during swimming lessons, but just as with everything else in my childhood, I inevitably started to act weird and freak everybody out.   Who knows the sum of the parts I was even afraid of, I was just afraid.  I certainly didn't like having water go up my nose.  I never understood that "breathe out of your nose" shit.  Every time I put my head under water, I would panic and breathe in the water.  And I knew was that I wasn't "8 FT" tall, so there was no fucking way I was going in the deep end.

 

One instance I remember is bawling my eyes out at home before a lesson, begging my mom dramatically "Don't make me go!!!"  (I think we had to cancel that day)  Another time I remember struggling against the teen girl lifeguards who were trying to make me get in the deep end.  I cried and held on to a chain link fence near the pool, and they eventually had my mom intervene.  I think they barely got me in the pool for a few minutes.  I was 9 years old at the time, and I remember watching these 7 year old girls calmly diving, and not even caring about how embarrassing it must have appeared.  "Let's not try diving," one of the lifeguards quipped.  One time we went to the pool, and I just outright refused to participate.  My mom told me how disappointed she was, and how I was going to fall behind everyone - not just with swimming, but in life.  I sat in the pool clubhouse while lessons were going on, and I remember hearing Madonna's brand new number Who's that Girl? over the clubhouse radio.  Near the end of the Summer, I got a tad bit more brave, and I was able to try backfloating in the shallow end of the pool.  My mom promised me a dollar if was able to do it.  I tried really hard for a few weeks, and I tried to get the dollar by using the "I tried my hardest" defense, but it fell on deaf ears.  Eventually I was able to successfully backfloat (big fun), and I got my stinking dollar.

 

As with most things in my life, I finally got the hang of it by going at my own pace.  I didn't turn out a great swimmer or anything, but I could get by.  I was able to put my head underwater eventually as well, but only when I held my nose.  "Breathe out of your nose?"  What a crock of shit.

Be Prepared (6/15/12)

I seem to recall the settings that involved my first joining Tiger Cubs, the beginning rank for the Boy Scouts of America, involving the BSA group recruiting at my Elementary School.  I'm not sure what they told me, but obviously it worked.  I don't remember much about being in TC, except wearing these bright orange T-shirts that they have apparently phased out (at the time it was a seperate entity for little babies, and not part of the Cub Scout rank).  It took hard work and dedication in those days to make the Cub Scouts; it wasn't something that was just handed to you.

 

Once I was in Cub Scouts, the fun really began, i.e., I remember stuff.  I was in "Den 6" (eh?) of Troop #3265 (which in Boy Scouts became Troop #265 for some reason).

I don't remember how or why this happened, but my dad became co-leader of my Den along with John Lassiter's father.  Every Wednesday we would alternate houses for our weekly meetings.  We did lots of fun stuff like playing games, building Pinewood Derby Cars, and activities to earn merit badges.  If that last sentence sounded sarcastic to you, you're approximately half-right.  It was moderately fun at the time, certainly enough to keep my interest for several years.  Once a month, we would have a city wide "Pack" meeting consisting of all 7 Dens in town, usually at the local middle school.  There was something overstimulating and exciting about those, seeing that other friends from school who weren't in your Den were wearing the same uniform as you.

 

Amongst our activities in Cub Scouts was camping, while not my favorite activity, didn't seem so bad once in a while.  Since there weren't many camp outs, my memories of camping overnight during that time are few, with the exception of one incident.  We were camping at a place called Sunny Lake Park, and Mr. Lassiter had the brilliant idea of telling ghost stories around a campfire.  I volunteered to go first, and told a story I basically plagarized from the book Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, and I made people laugh while making funny voices.  My friend Eddie then told a generic urban legend throwaway story, but it was admittedly a little scary.  Mr. Lassiter then recounted tales from the book The Ghost of Flight 401, an admittedly frightening (and supposedly "truthful" account) of the 1972 crash of Eastern Air Lines Flight 401, and the subsequent stories that revolved around ghostly crew member sightings on other airplanes that harvested parts from the ill-fated plane.  We were all adequately scared after these tales, and I don't know what I did to miss the beginning of it, but out of seemingly nowhere a fellow scout name John (not Lassiter) had his head buried in the ground with his ass sticking in the air, bawling his eyes out an having a panic attack.  He murmured incoherently about the story, and it was obvious that he was unable to process or reconcile what he had just heard.  We successfully talked him down after a while, offering that the "ghosts" were likely people wearing costumes just to scare the crew members.  After he had calmed down, my friend William asked me if I wanted to hear his really scary ghost story, and I told him to fuck himself.  In retrospect, I'm a little surprised it wasn't me who had the panic attack, as I had a very irrational fear of ghosts when I was younger.  However, this was the same John who in Kindergarten used to have green stuff run from his nose, and when I told him my dad weighed 2,000 pounds, he told me his dad weighed 100 pounds and thought it was a greater amount.  Idiot.

 

The Webelos is a transition time for a Cub Scout - you're not yet a man, but not quite a Boy Scout.  It's merely a rank, and not as some believe an organization that you can be "kicked out" of.  You're sort of stuck in limbo.  Once you achieve this rank, you are eligible to become a Boy Scout.  How does a Boy Scout become a man?  He eats his first Brownie.  (Don't ask)  In addition to some general requirements, what I really did was ceremoniously cross a wooden bridge on the lawn of our middle school following a terrific thunderstorm.  I actually felt the change inside as I was crossing the bridge.  I said to myself, "Webelos, Webelos, BOY SCOUT!" as I crossed.  Then some veteran Boy Scouts put war paint on our face.  I remember thinking how solemn the older boys were acting as they finger painted my mug, as opposed to usual when they would act like jerks.

 

Let me tell you, the fun stops once you enter Boy Scouts.  It's not just me who believes that, you can ask anyone else who didn't finish and achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.  As you get a little older, you realize that there are other things you'd prefer to be doing instead of putting on a stupid uniform and going to a pointless meeting every week.  I call it pointless, because they stop with all the fun activities and games.  The boys aren't little kids anymore, and they're expected to look at Boy Scouts as a transition-to-manhood-character-building thing.  Every stupid meeting involves planning the next camp out.  I discovered in Boy Scouts that I fucking HATE camping.  It's an activity for fucking morons and jerkoffs.  Don't get me wrong, I love the outdoors, I just don't want to sleep in it.  The scouting camping trips were generally Friday night-Sunday morning, so you had to go two nights covered in filth and bug bites before you mercifully got to go home.  The other boys seemed to love it, and I just couldn't understand why they were so fucking stupid.  The only good part of the camping trips is that I got to skip church on Sunday morning.  It dawned on me one day that I had the option to quit the Boy Scouts, so I decided I was going to.  Even my dad, who had stayed mildly involved with the group, admitted that the whole thing had begun to suck in general.  I decided to announce a retirement date from the scouts, as if I was a professional athlete.  The "retirement date" plan went out the window when I found out my friend Eddie was planning to quit immediately, so I decided to just say fuck it and quit too.

 

That's about it.  There's lots more that went on between the lines, but it's all pretty depressing.  So here's a GG Allin video (NSF anybody):

Pilot - May 2012 (5/10/12)

 

Hi there!  This is a punk music song about the 1993 cinema classic, Mrs. Doubtfire.  In this movie, Robin Williams plays a man who decides to dress as a woman named Euphegenia Doubtfire.  No one really knows why, but they presume it's a tribute to his late mother.

 

Anyhoo, this is just a demo, the final version will have actual lady vocals to accompany the fake lady backup vocals that I always do.  Mary Alice and I have a name for that fake lady, "Diane."  A little EG trivia for you.  We're going to debut the song at the slammin' jammin' Columbus show.  So get down and do it.

 

To hell with you, John (5/2/12)

(Last names have been changed to protect the innocent and nerdy)

 

I went to school with this boy name John Lassiter, and by God was he a nerd.  He was so nerdy he made Urkel look like the Fonz.  A real 80's nerd whose entire life revolved around science.  I'm talking red alarm nerd alert on the big geekometer.  He was more or less left alone until the boys started hitting puberty.  Once that happened, all misdirected hormonal rage was directed toward one hapless John Lassiter.  One instance where I was semi-involved is as follows.

 

 ******

 

4th Grade/Spring Time/Lunch Time:  Myself, my friend Ryan, and my (generally speaking) friend Tim among others were eating in the cafeteria at the same table as John.   Tim was a red-faced chubby boy, with a shit-eating grin you could see all the way from Texas. I'm not sure how it all began, except perhaps for some just general teasing.  Tim had recounted to all present at the table a story where he and his dad spotted their neighbor John riding a bicycle near an intersection while they rode in their car.   John was completely decked out in a helmet, pads, the whole nine.  While making a turn on his bike, John raised his hand to signal his intented direction, to which Tim's dad remarked, "Put your hand down, you asshole."  This of course was met with justifiably uproarious laughter from the table.

 

When the lunchroom broke for recess, Tim followed John outside and continued to torment him.  Ryan and I weren't far behind them, not so much participating as we were laughing at the spectacle.  At one point, Ryan and I broke away while Tim continued to follow John in the distance.  I can't remember all what Tim was saying, but suffice it to say it wasn't very nice.

 

Following recess I headed back to class, and who was there but John Lasstier's mom, deep in conversation with our teacher.  I sat down, confused and a little concerned.  Tim walked through the classroom door out of breath, between John's mom and our teacher, and without looking at either as them threw his arms in protest and declared, "I wasn't calling John Lassiter names."  John's mom immediately grabbed Tim by the hair and shrieked, "You little jerk!," and pulled him into the hallway.  Our teacher followed behind with a panicked look on her face.  The whole class sat in silent disbelief.  One wide-eyed girl eventually piped up, "She has no right to do that!"   I can't remember what exactly happened after that, but our mortified teacher eventually returned, and we didn't see Tim (or John's mom) for the rest of the day.

 

When Tim returned to school the next day, we were dying to know what the fuck happened out there.  Tim told me the following, which was verified by a class who happened to passing on their way to gym class (or something):

 

- She cursed at him
- She slammed his head repeatedly against a locker
- She slapped him in the face twice, to which Tim replied each time "Ahhhh, that feels good."

 

What's funny about the whole incident is that it was swept quietly under the rug.  That's how we rolled in the 1980s - no fuss, no muss, kid gets his ass beat by another kid's mom and ya move on.  No one really wanted to talk about how serious it was, just how funny it was.  The school seemed willing to let it slide, probably because Tim was such a little bastard.  Tim's parents probably figured he had it coming.   There was no equal and opposite reaction to this action.  I heard via my mom that Mrs. Lassiter's husband did not condone these actions and was embarrassed beyond belief.   That's about all I can give you.  4th grade was pretty awesome.

 

I almost forgot - the title of this entry.  A couple years later, John was trying to play football with his square friends at recess.  People kept interfering in their game to be obnoxious, and he uncharacteristically shouted "To hell with it!"  So the other boys started saying "To hell with you, John!" at him.  Poor John.

Cassette back catalog: 1996-2002 (5/2/12)

EG Gets Sludgey (4/18/12)

So when Adam Casto of the Columbus sludge-metal/punk/grunge (whatever they prefer) band Nerd Table asked me to collaborate with him on a song for their new album, I said "Party dudes!"  But unfortunately, this was in the midst of our moving from Columbus to DC, so the project got put off for a while.  I offered to help Granny-up a reprisal of their song "Terri Schiavo," a song about, well, having sexual relations with Terri Schiavo's brain dead body.  So once we got settled, I sent Adam a version of their song where I did vocals for the verses, keys, and percussion, while leaving the chorus up to his patented yell.  Dale Crover of Nirvana/Melvins fame (wow, tell the 16-year old me that) played guitar on the track.  So then a bunch of stuff happened, and here's the song right c'here:

 

Terri Schiavo (Reprise)

 

Adam went all out on this album, getting Aaron Burckhard, Cris Kirkwood, and Mark Kramer among others involved.  You can bet it cost him some lettuce amongst all the sweat and tears.  You can pick up a copy of Nerd Table's album Chasing the Bronco at this spot.  Thanks to Adam and the other Nerds for having me on!

The Youth Group (4/8/12)

Myself and a couple of friends of mine often discuss about how we were raised in Baptist Christian households, and how we were "Christian Youth" who had to deprogram ourselves.  Going to Baptist Church is seemingly not such a bad experience when you're a child, but that's when they sink their claws in you with the fire and brimstone and biblical literalism.  Mary Alice was raised Catholic (duh, look at here name), and she advised me that Catholics look at biblical stories as metaphors to help one in their daily lives.  Not Protestants boy, we were raised to believe all that crazy shit really happened.  That's just to give you an idea of the dogmatic background myself and others like me are coming from.  I did pretty well at doing my own thing throughout my youth, but all the time I felt riddled with guilt by anything sinful I did.

 

So anyway, once you become a Protestant teenager, you're confronted with the "Youth Group."  Youth Groups are dorky teenagers who listen to Christian-Pop music and are mentally about a decade behind mainstream culture.  The popular music group when I was a teenager was DC Talk.  I saw one of their videos during a church youth something-or-other, and I immediately knew I wanted nothing to do with it.  It was a poorly made hip-hop video that looked like a jeans commercial, and they kept smiling obnoxiously while rapping about Jesus.  I had been listening to actual hip-hop for years by then, so I knew better than to buy into this garbage.  Other younger folks I know were not so lucky.

 

This is not to say that I was completely innocent.  In 1992-3 at 14/15 years old, I decided to start getting more involved with the youth group folk, mainly because it was a way to get out of the house, and they also thought I was a cool hip guy. I was able to quickly position myself as the most awesomest of the group.  I told them about things like Nirvana, and was generally a hyperactive bad influence on the group.  It makes me shudder to think about how narcissistic I probably was, and I would certainly punch that me in the face if I could go back in time to do so.

 

Around that time, our church's youth group was assigned a new leader. This following is taken from the original post right here: (Our group’s leader was a wide-eyed crazed woman named Diane, whose husband had bags of money.  She made it a habit of trying to buy our affection, even though most of us felt weird getting shit from her.  This one dude in the group and I said we liked playing basketball once, so she bought us a basketball hoop.  She took this impoverished girl at the church under her wing, and (me and the other dude felt) inappropriately bought her expensive clothing. She took us to all these weird Christian youth conventions, which I took as an opportunity to get out of the house and stay in a free hotel room with no parental supervision).

 

So onto the original point of this post, the tale one of the Christian youth conventions.   It was an all-expenses paid gathering in Columbus, Ohio, with the opportunity to stay overnight by our youthy-selves in a free hotel.   On the evening of our stay, we all filed into an arena to see a presentation put on by some group.  While entering the arena, people were loudly shouting positive religious statements in the parking lot.  The event was very well attended, and there was a lot of excitement in the air.  The opening of the presentation was a disembodied voice announcing, "Some people think that being Christian is no fun at all.  But Christians have LOTS of fun!"  The house lights went up, and there on the stage were about 20-25 teenagers dancing while balloons fell around them.  I remember thinking that it didn't look very fun at all.

 

Things are a bit hazy from here, but I remember a couple of things about the presentation.  They had a guy talk who I think was supposed to be a comedian, and I remember three things he said which were all hackneyed cliches by then.  First, he said something where he incorporated "I've fallen and I can't get up!"  He said "The Bible says 'Adam and Eve', not 'Adam and Adam,'" which isn't even the right hate speech (it's supposed to be "Adam and Steve.")  And lastly, he declared that "Kissing someone who smokes is like kissing an ashtray!"  All three jokes were met with uproarious laughter by the mostly teenage crowd.

 

Later on came the singing and dancing.  A musical group came on stage and led a rousing rendition of the song "Pharoah, Pharoah" (a parody of "Louie, Louie), complete with Bangles/Walk Like an Egyptian dancing.  I started feeling sick at this point, and I asked this one girl who I thought liked for a little while to walk around the arena with me.  I fed her my cynical take on the proceedings, which she ate right up.  We walked around until somebody official-looking told us we had to go back to our seats.  By this time, the group was asking the crowd if anyone wanted to come onstage to be saved.  I sat on my hands, while a solid group of people gravitated towards the stage, teens and adults alike.  I remember watching one motorcycle-looking guy who seemed beside himself with the holy spirit fall all over himself to get to the stage.  One teen boy in my group decided to go down to the stage, and after he returned another boy sarcastically told him that he was proud of him.

 

That night at the hotel, we raised all kinds of heck.  Boys in one room, girls in another.  At one point I talked to my "girlfriend" briefly on the phone, and told her I'd see her at dinner.  One of the other bad boys in the group and I decided to buy a pack of cigarettes from a machine.  We walked around the hotel smoking, and probably not inhaling.  He seemed like a cool dude, but he had an insanely outdated spike haircut which drew whispers and laughs from others.  I ran around in the hotel and took a lot of elevator rides that night.  Again, if I could go back in time, there'd be quite a few fists aimed at my own head.

 

Eventually I realized what I dork I was, so I stopped going to the youth group stuff.  As previously mentioned, I didn't get much out of it besides getting out of the house and having a little more personal freedom than usual.  20 years later and I'm an Agnostic.  I definitely owe the Youth Group in part for that.

Where have you gone, Black Flag? (4/1/12)

When I first heard about Kickstarter, I wanted to hate it right away.  But I decided to look at it objectively, and after some careful thought, yes, I do in fact hate it.

 

For those not familiar with Kickstarter, it's a website where musicians, film makers, and artists can solicit donations for their projects with the promise of a return.  Say you wanted to donate $25 toward the pressing of the new EG album - well, that's worth a "Thank You" in our liner notes.  Say you gave $100 - that's worth an advance copy of our album, a T-shirt, and "Thank You" in our liner notes.  Say you gave $500 - we'd come to your house and fuck you.  You get the idea.

 

On it's surface, it sounds like an ideal socialist paradise for musicians, where we all help each other out, etc.  But it's actually a vehicle for band panhandling, for middle class brats who don't feel like paying for their album to guilt their friends into giving them money.  People living on the street need financial assistance.  People on welfare, people who can't afford health care, people who don't have enough to survive - again, you get the idea.  Bands are entitled, whining babies.  Wouldn't it be nice to have somebody pay for your art, so you can just do your art?  Well, welcome to the real fucking world Rod Stewart, that's not how it works.

 

Bands need to help each other out.  Go to gigs, offer a place to crash, and actually PAY for the damn music.  But this isn't what's going on here.  This is like asking for votes online so your band can be homecoming queen of the giant dildo contest.  Except this is worse, this is actual damn money they're asking for.  Well, wake up Paul McCartney, sometimes we gotta do things for ourselves.  It's ok to walk through a door if someone opens it for you, but no one is specifically coming to save your lazy spoiled ass.

 

Here's a situation where Kickstarter would work: Little Johnny Blues Guitar is a hella-talented blues guitar player, but goddamn it, he's never been able to pay for shit in his life.  But wouldn't it be awesome if we could help this incredible talent get some of the attention he deserves?  Well, let's all chip in a little bit, and help this deserving fellow make a record.  We all feel good about helping LJBG, and he feels good for getting the help.

 

But here's how it actually works:  "Hi, we're a shitty indie band with five members that all have jobs, and we have the audacity to ask you, our trusting friends, for financial help to put out this unoriginal album that we could easily afford with some careful planning.  For a small fee, you can have your name placed in the album of the next derivative band that's going to become the new Pitchfork sensation."

 

Speaking of audacity, I'll call my own people on their own shit.  I recently heard Ben Weasel sing the praises of Kickstarter, and how that's something that he will probably use in the future.  Why don't you go on an actual tour for once, you freaking sanctimonious bum?  Jesus Christ, Ian Mackaye must be turning over in his grave.

 

So if you're a band or artist or person that uses Kickstarter, I don't dislike you, I just dislike this thing you're doing.  And if you do use this service or another like it, I hope that you deserve to get the help.  Hallelujah! Holy shit! Where's the Tylenol?

Leprechaun: In the Hood (3/18/12)

So here's one we watched last night in honor of St. Patrick's Day.  Though I am a great enthusiast and connoisseur of horrible movies, I was a little tentative on this one, due to what I presumed would just be merely 90 minutes of racist caricatures.  And though there was a little bit of that stuff, it wasn't too over the top.  What surprised me about this film most was this:  I didn't think it was that bad.

 

With the exception of the Leprechaun, the movie actually had likeable characters.  The story follows three young youths who are wanting to make it as a successful hip-hop group, and are determined to do it using a positive message.  Ice-T is the local hip-hop label mogul, and he wants the boys to rap about more dangerous subjects, because he feels that it sells better.  Things get kind of complicated, and Ice-T gets killed later.

 

Bottom line, it's not that bad of a movie.  It has some groan-inducing humor, but it also has some genuine humor.   If you do choose to watch the movie, be sure to notice that it sounds like the guy rapping at the end of the movie is saying, "They fucked my neck."  Also the Leprechaun has a rap at the end, and it's about what you would expect.  Ice-T shares a joint with the Leprechaun at one point.  I think what helped the movie some is that they sort of knew that what they were doing was stupid.

 

The leprechaun also fucks a crossdressing-male to death at one point, so watch for that.

Pilot - March 2012 (3/7/12)

This is a brand new one called Mike's Revenge, written in response to Kirk Cameron's recent anti-gay remarks.  It's a take off of the 2007 EG song, Carol's Revenge, in which Carol Seaver enacts revenge on Mike Seaver for saying she was fat.  They're both protest songs, in a way. Both characters are from a television program entitled Growing Pains, a show that was most popular during it's initial run in the Nineteen Hundred and Eighties.  Here are the lyrics to this one:

 

Mikey Seaver knows miracles
And he thinks you're not scared enough
You may think there's no one home
Mike's revenge shall soon be known
Carol has anorexia
Won't let men sit next to ya
Mikey Seaver's America

 

This one's for all my LGBT friends.  It's only 59 seconds long, so go ahead and listen.

Pilot - February 2012 (2/26/12)

This brand new demo is called Mr. Clyde, and well, it's very Cobsy-heavy on the samples.  We like it, and hope you will too.  Support your local scene, and click on this link.

 

For a little background on what's going on, see the youtube video below. It's from an episode of the first season of The Cosby Show called "The Younger Woman."  In this clip, Dr. Huxtable expresses his disdain for a singer named "Clyde," who his kids are currently listening to.  Watch the whole clip for proper perspective, or start at :28 seconds for the express version.  This is the 2nd EG song on the subject of Clyde, the first is on an old cassette tape from 1999.

Cleveland Browns – 1987 Season – Part 2 of 5 (2/23/12)

 

Week 5 – October 11, 1987 vs. Houston Oilers

I had accepted the fact for the time being the real Browns were going to be on hiatus, and I was ready to settle in for a second Sunday of "scab" football.  I even made my fistfight-in-the-department-store-era Cabbage Patch Doll remark aloud, "Let's see those Oilers squirt some oil!"  I turned on the TV, and to my confusion and horror, there instead of the Browns-Oilers game was the Chiefs-Dolphins game.  My dad explained to me that the game had been blacked out due to the organization's inability to sell enough tickets for the game.  I sulked for a bit, and watched the game that was on.  (Listening to the game on the radio was a foreign concept for me at this time).  The replacement Dolphins pummeled the replacement Chiefs, 42-0.  I actually did see the very end of the Browns-Oilers game, as it was broadcast as bonus coverage.  The Browns lost, 15-10.  I remember the whole experience having a nauseating emptiness to it.  (You heard me)

 

Week 6 – October 18, 1987 at Cincinnati Bengals

I actually don't remember a ton about this game or how I spent my day, etc.  I remember the Browns shellacking the Bengals, 34-0.  I remember one of the TV announcers repeatedly saying whenever the Bengals returner ran back a kickoff, "Eddie Brown(?) is the fastest (scab) Bengal," right before he was unceremoniously dumped before reaching the 20-yard line.  I remember thinking each time, "But he's NOT the strongest!" <---- (Cheerful little guy)  By this time I think the novelty had worn off, and thankfully this was the last game for the replacement players.

 

Week 7 – October 26, 1987 vs. Los Angeles Rams

It was Monday Night Football, and the real players had returned!  MNF used to start at 9 PM EDT back in the day, so I knew I was only going to be able to watch half an hour or so before I had to go to bed.  My dad reassured me, unlike the Week 5 TV debacle, that this game would in fact be shown.  I set our recently purchased $400 VCR to record the game.  When the broadcast began air, they played the theme to Welcome Back, Kotter over highlights. I dutifully watched my allotted half hour, then toddled off to bed with the score at 0-0.  I knew my dad was keeping an eye on it for me, and I crept down from my bedroom a couple times just to see how it was going before I was ordered to go to sleep.  The next morning, I awoke to a news broadcast on the radio and a solemn man uttered the now-famous-with-Mary Alice-and-I-phrase: "Last night on Monday Night Football, the Browns 30...(long pause)...the Rams 17."  Though I knew the end result, I watched the entire game on tape the next evening.  At one point late in the third quarter the Browns led 30-17, and I announced to my older sister that this would be the last of the scoring.  "Not unless someone went in and sabotaged the tape!," she cheerfully replied.

 

Two important side notes to this game:  During the week prior, they aired a promo for this game during another game (a baseball game?) I was watching, and one of the announcers confidently stated, "The Rams should win that one."  I remember being really pissed and confused by this, and was very glad when the Browns showed him up.  Also, a few years later on the first day of school, our principal played the Kotter theme as a means of, well, welcoming us back to school.   It also served to remind me of this very game.  I remember him saying over the loudspeaker, "And at the end of the year, we'll play 'See You in September' by (blah blah whoever)."  I remember thinking "Who cares?," but then subsequently making a point to care because it was such stupid and useless information.  Eventually, the last day of school game, and as we were filing out, he fulfilled his promise of playing that song.  I remember looking around and noticing that about 2/3 of the school had already emptied, and thinking that the song was being played at much too low of a volume anyway.  It struck me how this song, this loudspeaker announcement from 9 months ago, was just sailing into a void without regard or likely remembrance.  It both pleased and frustrated me at the same time.

 

Week 8 – November 1, 1987 at San Diego Chargers

I grew up in a church going family, and while we didn't always go to the Sunday evening services, we'd go about once a month.  Wouldn't you know, every fucking time we went was during a 4PM Browns game.  So I watched some of the first half and set the VCR to record the rest.  When I got home, I turned on the TV presuming the game was long over, but instead saw the just then final overtime score of 27-24, Chargers.  I didn't see the point of rewinding the tape to watch this time.  It taught me a valuable lesson to always account for overtime when recording a game.  Months later, my friend was over and decided to put on the tape of the game for no particular reason.  I tried to get him to high five me when the Browns scored, but he refused.

 

Coming up in Part 3:  More blacked out games?!  Also, would the Browns surpass in wins their total from the previous season?  Stay tuned.

First Song/Fake Band (2/18/12)

I co-founded my first fake band in 1992 with my friends Brandon and Mikey.  The name of our band was Confusion, our first album was to be named Confused, and we were going to make sure it had a "Parental Advisory" sticker on the cover.   Here are the lyrics to the title track, straight from my 14-year old brain:

 

(1st Verse)
I'm so damn confused
I have no idea what the hell to do
I'm so fucked in the head
I have no idea whether I'm alive or dead

(Chorus)
Chop up a fish
Blow up a car
Can't turn back cuz I've gone too far
I'm confused as hell, I think I'm insane
Those motherfuckers think we're all the same
They put me down, I say "Oh well"
If you don't like it, you can go to hell

 

That's all I got from memory, there was probably a second, very similar sounding verse.  My wife and the two band members are the only other people on Earth who know how to sing it.  Or maybe the other guys have forgotten, I only talk to one of them occasionally, the other one I haven't spoken to in years.  I also had two others around this time - "Planet Smell," and "Sick."  The former sounds like the tile of a GWAR song, and I only remember one line - The hell that is called "Planet Smell."  The latter was stupid as hell, and it was an Anthony Kiedis-perverted lyric ripoff.  Only my wife knows one line of it, and you'd have to ask her to sing it in person, because it's too embarrassing. 

 

We eventually came to a consensus that the name "Confusion" sounded too much like "Genesis," and that it needed to be changed.  "The Screaming Pigs" was one suggestion that I hated, and we also went shortly by "Aberration Lamp," which was even featured written on notebook paper and taped to the bass drum.  At one point we settled on "Unleashed," but then the fake band slid into fake obscurity.  I suppose all the fake drugs and pretend egos got in the way.

Kazaam (2/11/12)

So we watched Kazaam last night, and I most certainly want to talk about it.

 

It wasn't exactly what I expected.  I thought it was going to be about a magic genie that granted a little boy wishes.  Instead, it was about Kazaam and his quest to become a rapper.  Also, the movie was very confusing, and they jumped around a lot.  It was pretty good though.

First of all, Kazaam isn't a very good genie, which was an interesting twist.  When he first came out the lamp, he had trouble granting wishes due to his being rusty.  He had a lot of trouble convincing Max, a jive-talking boy from the slums of Manhattan, that he was worth keeping around.  Max had trouble with bullies, and Kazaam's presence was a definite advantage for him being able to cope.  The movie quickly shifted to Kazaam and his rap career, which was prompted by his encounter with Da Brat and Max's estranged record producer-father.  Kazaam had a magic boombox that granted wishes.

 

There was an evil man with a gray ponytail who was more interested in obtaining Kazaam's magic boombox that helping his rap career.  This infuriated both Max and Kazaam, and they went out of their way to prevent it.  By this time, Max's mother and her fiancee had grown impatient with Max's behavior.  However, Max was able to convince them that he had issues that went beyond trouble at school.

 

By the time the movie had ended, Kazaam had solidified a good relationship with everyone involved, and his music was garnering a lot of attention.  However, there was still the issue of the man who was trying to steal his boombox.  However, Max's father had been beaten up by the ponytail man's goons.  The movie ended well, with Kazaam and Max being good friends, and we are left to presume that Max's mother and her boyfriend went on to be married.  In conclusion, Kazaam is a movie that I would recommend, but be sure to pay close attention.

The Finger, The Middle (2/8/12)

When I was 15 years old (1993), I got caught up in going on outings and excursions with my Baptist Church's youth group.  I was never into the religious side of it all, I think I just liked being the coolest person in the group.  I would often impress the other youths and pubescents with my outlandish behavior and zany shenanigans.  I shudder to think of what all I said and did back then.  But no matter - here's one story of outlandish behavior that almost got me beaten to death.

 

Our group's leader was a wide-eyed crazed woman named Diane, whose husband had bags of money.  She made it a habit of trying to buy our affection, even though most of us felt weird getting shit from her.  This one dude in the group and I said we liked playing basketball once, so she bought us a basketball hoop.  She took this impoverished girl at the church under her wing, and (me and the other dude felt) inappropriately bought her expensive clothing. She took us to all these weird Christian youth conventions, which I took as an opportunity to get out of the house and stay in a free hotel room with no parental supervision.

 

One wintry Saturday afternoon, our youth group met up at our group leader's large, upper class house to go on a bowling trip.  The games of bowling were largely uneventful, just me being my usual cut-up self that made all the Christian girls swoon.  After we finished, I left in the backseat of a car driven by the aforementioned "one dude" and his friend who had accompanied us that afternoon.  For one reason or another, we had to stop and turn around in a local mechanic's driveway.  While we turned around and subsequently waited to get back on the road, I noticed a gentleman staring at us through the mechanic's garage window.  I turned away for a moment, then turned back to see him still staring at us.  For no particular reason other than just to be obnoxious, I stuck up my middle finger at the man through the rear view window of the car.  "I flicked him off," I stated to my vehicle mates.  I honestly didn't think the man in the garage would see it, as the rear window was largely frosted over by the winter weather.  Seconds later, I turned to see the large, elephant sized man charging as fast as he could towards the car.  "GO! GO!" I shouted to the unaware driver.  The man went to the passenger side of the car and began furiously pulling at the locked door handle.  "OPEN THE GODDAMN DOOR!" he bellowed.  You can only imagine my bewildered terror as the "friend" unlocked the door.  The man lunged his torso into the back seat, pointed at my face and shouted, "HEY MOTHERFUCKER, WHY'D YOU FLIP ME OFF?!"  I recoiled in terror and attempted to come up with an answer, while the friend-guy tried to diffuse the sitaution.  "Eh, he's just a stupid kid.  Don't worry about it."  (I was simultaneously grateful and offended by this 17-year old calling me a "stupid kid.")  The large man continued, "I OUGHTA KICK YOUR ASS, MOTHERFUCKER!!!"  I think I stammered something about how I was actually flipping "someone else" off, when he disgutedly slammed the door and stormed away.  At long last, we turned back onto the road.

 

We sat in silence for a few minutes as we rode along. "WHY'D YOU UNLOCK THE DOOR?!," I eventually shrieked at the friend.  "I didn't want him to break the door," he offered.  The driver then commented about how I jumped back when the large man burst into the back seat - not really in a humorous or cautionary way, but as if he was disgusted by my cowardice.  We sat in continued silence for most of the of the rest of the way home.

 

"Let's not tell Diane about this," I remarked.

Only in My Dreams (1/25/12)

This blog entry is written in two parts - first part was written in October 2011, second part in January 2012

 

Part One: Moments ago I was in one of our local DC grocery stores, and "Only in My Dreams" by Debbie Gibson was playing over the loudspeaker.  This song always brings up a happy memory tinged with sadness for me.  The happiness comes from thinking back to Summer of 1987, when my sister and my cousin Katie did a choreographed dance routine to the song in my cousin's backyard in Maryland (Ya know Tom from "Tom's Girl," his sister).  It was a presentation for our families before a backyard cookout, and at the end of the dance routine we all applauded.  The ladies subsequently asked Tom and I if we wanted to do a dance routine, so later that night we wrote them a note on a typewriter saying "We're not doing any stupid dance routine," or something to that effect.  (If memory serves, I think there was a part of me that actually did want to do the dance routine, but that's not something you admit to your cooler and older cousin).

 

What makes me sad about hearing that song, is that the dance routine now stands as merely an old and forgotten memory.  I say "forgotten," because there's no way either of my cousins would remember that.  (I'll put my sister down for "maybe.")  They don't particularly care about nostalgia, or being sentimental, or even remembering the past much at all.  One summer (that same trip maybe?) when my family and I were visiting, Katie was on a tire swing connected to a tree in their backward, when the attached rope broke, sending her tumbling down a hill and causing her to get whiplash.

 

Part Two:  The point of part one of this story was that my cousin Tom didn't remember this incident of his sister being hurt.  People don't stop to notice their memories, thoughts, or their minds enough.  There's so much good in there that can make ya jolly.  (Even though the previous story about my cousin was indeed bad, it was an important event that should have been remembered by all those involved.  It was only 20 lousy years later.  Debbie Fucking Gibson).

 

I was reminded of this unfinished work of art while reading a blog entry by one of our favorite musicians, and all around cool dude, Dr. Frank.  He relayed a story from another person's blog about how their fantasy of what went on at the offices of the recently defunct Lookout Records was more fantastic and enjoyable than the actual bland and often confrontational reality.  It made me happy and sad, because it's exactly the type of thing that I like to think about.  This happy, warm community where all these amazing scenes and adventures take place.  Even though what "happens" is not often the reality of what is taking place, our fantasies about what it could be or might have been are just as important, because it's that safe and happy place in our minds that belongs just to us.  If sleeping dogs are left to lie, maybe 20/20 hindsight isn't so important.

 

I often think about one particular moment where I was walking with two good friends across a parking lot at night back in Solon, Ohio.  We were between the ages of 16-18, and were all fashion-punked out.  I knew as I walked, talked, and laughed with them in the cool night air that I would never forget this moment, and that the moment itself was very important.  I told both of them my thoughts, as best I could express it to them, and they both acknowledged the importance of the moment too.

 

I guess that's why I do what I do, and it's what Electric Grandmother is all about.  Try to enjoy your memories and good thoughts, and don't stop creating new ones.

 

Here's what I'm saying:

bloodycelebrity.com (1/21/12)

 

A lot of things go viral in this, the era of the World Wide Web.  Above are two pictures from a website I ran for about three seconds, bloodycelebrity.com.  I posted these two pictures, then got mad that I wasn't offered a book deal.  They call this America?

The Fucking Kick (1/12/12)

Today marks the 25th anniversary of The Drive, John Elway's legendary 98-yard drive in the 1986 AFC Championship Game which prevented by beloved Cleveland Browns from their rightful place in the Super Bowl.

 

The day was January 11, 1987.  I was 8-years old, and a brand new wide-eyed Cleveland Browns fanatic.  The previous week, the Browns had orchestrated a mind blowing comeback against the New York Jets, defeating them in double overtime in the Divisional Round.  I'll never forget what I thought to myself early in the day - "Poor Denver."  I felt bad that their dreams would be crushed at the hands of my mighty Browns.  But later in the day, I caught myself - "What if it's Poor Cleveland?" I wondered aloud.  My mom reassured me, "Yes, that's right."

I don't remember much about the game, and I don't even remember "The Drive."  But I do remember that goddamn kick (see video above).  I know it's grainy and hard to see, but he fucking missed.  They had a short retrospective of the game on ESPN today, and Tom Jackson, who played for the Broncos, openly admitted that he has no idea to this day if that kick was good.  I'm here to tell him, it wasn't.

 

25 years later, it still hurts.  I have great respect for John Elway as a player, but as a Browns fan, FUCK him.  I tweeted to him today "Karlis missed that kick."  I even thought about tweeting to his daughter, "Tell your dad Karlis missed that kick," but thankfully I didn't do it.   Someone else can though.

 

HE MISSED!!!

Pilot - January 2012 (1/5/12)

Hi everyone!  This is a demo called Grandpa's Grave.  It's based on a story that was told to me in second grade by a kid named 'C.B.'.  ('C.B.' to protect his identity, and it's also what they called him).

 

You see, C.B. was a compulsive liar, and I don't mean the type of "liar" that describes all kids in second grade.  This kid was creatively insane.  He told everyone these outrageous, often times supernatural stories that were in no way close to believable.  A story he told once seemed plausible, it involved a GI Joe guy doing a flip on a hang glider. I offered out of sympathy that I believed him.  He then blew it by telling me that I was there when it happened.

 

I only remember one other story he told - the story of his steel hand (see above).  You see, some (presumably) mad scientist (or something) made him a steel hand to wear.  He then said that his grandpa was buried in "_____ Mill(?) Graveyard."  I can't remember exactly what the name of the graveyard was, but it was scary and creative.  For the purposes of this song, I called it "Blatback Mill Graveyard," which is a reference to a song by our friend, the legendary Weird Paul.  He then claimed that one night he went to the graveyard, and he cracked his grandpa's grave with his steel hand.  Not sure why he chose to do that, but I've always just assumed he knew what he was doing.

So here's the story of C.B.'s steel hand, Grandpa's Grave.