Friday, February 27, 2009

For the Country

Neil Young - Live at Winterland, San Francisco, CA (3-22-73) 1 - 2 - 3 - 4

Ohmigawd! It's Neil Young! and the Stray Gators! Ohmifreakingawd!

Yeah, Neil with Jack and Ben and Tim and then those two losers that follow Neil around - what are their names again? Cosby? Hash? - they show up and play some too.

But, seriously - Ohmigawd! It's Neil Young!

Why Do They Hate the Childrens?

Republicans hate children. Utterly despise them. Wish them pain and misery and boils and warts and afflictions Biblical and medieval!

Watch as they sit on their collective hands like spoiled...uh...children...who didn't get their way. What was their way? Denying health care to children!

Keep it up, guys! And please keep forgetting that you are surrounded by cameras and cellphones and all kind of fancy-schmancy recording devices all of the time.

Honor When Due

One of the greatest dishonors ever done to the American military was the Bush Administration's refusal to allow photos of returning American dead from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Our soldiers and their families deserved to have their sacrifices noticed and respected by the people of America. But Bush and the Pentagon chose to hide them from us in order to deceive us regarding the true the cost of their military blunders and their lies.

Now that changes. Now we can see the cost of war and the price paid. Now we can more fully give our respect and thanks to the returning dead. They deserve it.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


New American Dictionary (2050 ed.)

Pronunciation: \'gin-dəl\
Function: noun
Etymology: American, 21st century, from Bobby Jindal, one-term Governor of Louisiana (2008-2012); failed Republican Presidential candidate (2012; 2016; 2020; 2024; 2028; 2032)
Date: February 24, 2009

1 a : a person who makes a complete fool of him or herself when he or she should have the common sense not to b : a person who has no clue that he or she is making a complete fool of him or herself c : a person used and manipulated by other persons into making a complete fool of him or herself

2 : an idiot, a moron, a fool, a total tool
Pronunciation: \'gin-dəl\
Function: verb
Etymology: probably from jindal(1)

1 : to make a complete fool of one's self when one should have the common sense not to
2 : to be used or manipulated by others into making a complete fool of one's self

Fair and Balanced

Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and other nutjob rightwing media blowhards are pretending to be scared about a renewal of the Fairness Doctrine, a long gone FCC policy that required broadcast medium to present public issues in as balanced a format as possible. You is smart kids - you can see why they would be terrified in truth if there were any truth to this idea. But there is not. It's a white whale they've invented to rally their sagging troops, their die-hard base. Obama has stated publicly that he has no intent to do so. So have Pelosi, etc. (Though one must remember that in freeper territory, everything that Obama and Pelosi say are lies. Everything. If Obama says: "My name is Barack Obama and I'm the President of the United States" - he is lying!)

In fact, just the other day I got an hilarious e-mail from Human Events, right-wing supply house and odd-jobber, about the conspiracy within the Obama administration to not only re-enact the Fairness Doctrine (gone for more than 20 years) but to secretly and/or forcibly enlist all of the liberal media (which is everything but the ever-heroic Limbaugh and Coulter and gang) as a vast propaganda arm of government, a scary lefty Ministry of Truth in all but name.

It is freakin' hilarious, really. Especially when you watch something like this:

And you have to ask yourself: Which hack at the RNC wrote the script for the Fox Anchor? He literally puts the words in Steele's mouth, requiring him only to nod, grunt, or blink twice fast in assent.

Again, it's freakin' hilarious.

Or, maybe, it's so sad that you can't help but look longingly at your collection of antique poison jars and wonder if maybe, just maybe, you know, way down at the bottom of one...just a little is all I won't hurt much, right?

Naw! Just kidding. Because it's really just too funny watching the Republican Party fall apart, kicking and screaming and biting and gouging itself. They are so totally jindalled!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

How Can You Kill Them When They're Already Dead?

Shockabilly - Live at Nightshades, Greensboro, NC (10-9-82) 1 - 2 - 3 - 4

Did a cover like this one ever give you the shivers as a kid, peeking out at you from the magazine rack at the grocer's or the local drugstore? They used to get to me. And I had to get to them. Living in the boondocks it was hard to find Famous Monsters of Filmland but every time we went into Madison to my Mom's favorite butchershop (near our old neighborhood, because before he was a country boy, the 'monkey was a city tyke), I'd beg and whine for one. I'd love to smell that cheap crappy paper again!

(Dig the almost hallucinatory colors on that cover painting! The movies and the monsters on the front of FMoF were always cooler and scarier than the reality. Hmm. Unreality?)

A grown up monkey now, I can thank FMoF for my love of B-movies, I'm sure. Lately, while I work out, I've been watching a lot of movies and my choices have fallen into a rather narrow range of categories: 50s and 60s B-movies, Clint Eastwood films, and early 70s cinema. Sometimes the genres cross; I watched The Exorcist for the first time without commercials a few weeks ago. Still holds up; still creepy, even scary; very smart and well-done.

This last weekend I watched the Criterion edition (ooh, ain't I fancy - Criterion! Not - got it at the public library) of Equinox, a film I read all about in FMoF and dreamed of seeing as a kid because that monster looked so freakin' cool! Ya know, it was worth the wait. It's a really fun little horror movie, totally Lovecraftian in concept - not the Mythos Lovecraft, but the "scary thing in the hills with crazy old men and disturbing tomes of ancient evil lore" kinda Lovecraft story - and while the acting is almost universally wretched, it has a lot of fun with its concept. The special effects are truly amazing for the budget and experience of the kids who made the movie, including the amazing Jim Danforth.

The music was superbly weird and over the top too. Just like Shockabilly. Wow, a lot of work for that, eh?

Enjoy! (This is an awesome recording, probably soundboard, best live Shockabilly I've ever heard, and more than 90 minutes long. You are lucky bastards.)

PS Nazz reminded me that the Grand Ghoul himself, Forry Ackerman, is now gone from our sad mortal plane. I urge you to read this lovely tribute from what I'm sure will be one of my favorite blogs now that I've found it, John's Forbidden Planet.

Is Jindal a LOLCAT?

You might not think that the 'monkey enjoys stoopid Internets things like cute pictures of cats supposedly sending text-messages with bad grammar. But he does. And this kitty is just too cute not to share!

Have a great day, America! Remember that guys like this are NOT in charge and be thankful.

UPDATE: Even better, kids, Rush Limbaugh is hopping mad at all the Republicans and conservatives with the gumption enough to speak truth and say that little Bobby done a bad, bad thing last night. In fact, Rush never wants "to hear from [them] ever again"! Lucky Republicans.

EVEN BETTER DEPT. Part II: Check out what Lyin' Bobby's doin' now!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Hot Lakes and Burning Wires

Dinosaur Jr. - Live at the Blind Pig, Ann Arbor, MI (9-15-87) 1 2

I discovered Dinosaur Jr. before they belittled themselves with the name change. I bought a cassette copy of the first album at either Rose or Paradise Records after reading a review in either Forced Exposure or Option or something else. Time is really starting to mess with my memory. Either this or that or the other's all a blur.

What I can remember clearly is the first time I listened to it. I went to my friend Dan's house, which was lakeside (Lake Mendota - Madison has four of these watery holes and Mendota is my personal favorite) to hang out but all were gone. The place was deserted; a rarity.

Being a hot summer day and me not working (I had every Friday off for years, a truly sweet day of the week not to work especially if you also have Saturday off and don't have to work until noon on Sunday) I grabbed an innertube and threw myself in the lake for a long lounge, popping my new music into a small boombox I used to carry around in my car back then.

Out on the body-temp warm waters of Lake Mendota I lazed and paddled and slowly burned myself raw, only coming back in to dry land to flip the cassette again and again and again. Everytime I hear those opening notes from "Forget the Swan" I can feel that almost hot lake water on my back and the way the sound gently waffled as I drifted in and out of hearing range. It was a perfect day.

I tried to tell all this in about thirty seconds to J. Mascis a few years ago, when he was touring with Cobra Verde and I caught them playing over at the UW-Memorial Union Terrace, right on the shore of that same lake. I don't think he understood me and I probably sounded like a crazy fool. That's okay. I thought all night that echoes of that day might still be bouncing around the shore and influencing his guitar but it was probably just mosquitos.

Enjoy! Buy shit!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Worship Him, Children, Worship Him

Julian Cope - Live in Toronto, Canada (1995) 1

Once upon a time, there was a little boy who wanted to be a poet. What better way to live life than putting random words down in an only privately sensible but outwardly incoherent fashion, for few if any people to read.

That little boy now blogs. Same diff.

But one of the most creative days of his life as a poet happened under the influence of Julian Cope. The suggestive power of music alone transported him into a zone of intensive creative energy and words came with such precision and power and force that the little boy could only surrender himself to it.

Hours later, long after the music was over, he had page after page of freshly typed words that he didn't remember typing. And two or three of them were good words. Very good words.

Enjoy. Shit.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Here's What A Hero Looks Like

I find this guy, this "Mayor," whatever that may be, strangely compelling. I hope you do too. (It's a balm to the soul to see a Fox correspondent so thoroughly smashed. Too bad the "Mayor" didn't jump all over the falsehoods of the NY Post editorial that is quoted).

Is the Fox News guy so stupid that he really doesn't understand that the "Mayor" is answering his question as asked or is this patented right-wing obfuscation play #37?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Johnny Taliban to the Rescue!

Dear John:

Still all bitter and angry about "That one!" winning in November, eh? Well, although the traditional media is still mancrushingly in love with you and the idea that you at least of all your party colleagues could rise above toilet-level partisan politics, I knew better. I knew you wouldn't disappoint the American people when it comes to disappointing the American people.

Only a couple weeks into Obama's Presidency and you are emerging as one of the ringleader's of the Republican "insurgency." Oh, and a heckuva line there about "generational theft" - I think that's what My Smart Wife's been calling the Iraq War for years! You owes her monies. Lotsa monies.

(BTW, a nice touch that whole "insurgency" idea. What late night meth-party did that one come out of? I know you haven't been using it personally, but your buddies are, John, and I don't hear you condemning them. I've always relied on Republicans to be consistently creepy, but this is skin-crawl territory of the highest order, comparing your party favorably to an enemy we are at war with. Bravo!)

Face it: You're a loser, John McCain, a complete and total loser. The American people told you that overwhelmingly last November. Try and remember that crushing defeat and learn from it. I know that's hard, as you've never been one to learn from your mistakes (how many planes did you crash?) but if you want to be a real American hero - and not just a guy who disobeyed orders and got his plane shot out from underneath him and ended up a prisoner of war through a combination of his own stubbornness and stupidity - then shake off the petty dogs of your party from your ancient ass and actually do something positive. Help the American people.

Be an inspiration, John, be a force for good, be positive and stand like a patriot by your President. You can support him while respectfully outlining your differences, putting the crisis of our economy before partisanship, before pettiness. That's what a leader does. That's what a hero does. Right now, you ain't no hero, John. And thank Zombie Jesus that you ain't our leader.

So long and smell ya later, loser.


The 'monkey

Monday, February 16, 2009

Rock Hard

Alex Chilton - Live at Berkeley Square, Berkeley, CA (6-22-85) 1 & 2
Alex Chilton - Live at the VFW Hall, Baton Rouge, LA (9-27-85) 1

Alex Chilton - Live at The Heartbreak Hotel, Languedoc, France (5-7-86) 1 & 2

Like so much of the music that hit me right between my eyes and somehow also pierced my heart in my Golden Youth, Alex Chilton's came to me via a tape made by Oldest Brother. He put Bach's Bottom and Like Flies on Sherbert on it with some Cramps to fill 'er out. I didn't know what in the hell I was hearing, but it struck me as being somewhere between madness and brilliance in the giddy, throw myself at the walls way it made me feel. It was a new language to me, alien in its raw blueness and its lowdown drunken heartbeats. I didn't know how to hear this stuff. (A few years later Oldest Brother and the 'monkey had too many beers and spent a night singing - nay, screaming - along to "Take Me Home and Make Me Like It" in the kitchen of the apartment we shared).

And then Chilton had his 80s renaissance and not only was he recording but touring - huzzah! High Priest became a party album and a point of commonality between me and my friends who came to music via a different path (non-punk, classic rock and blues). And Chilton live was an awesome thing. I've never stopped hearing his totally wacked and extended solo on "Volare" from one of his O'Cayz gigs. My Smart Wife and I still go all glassy-eyed when we talk about it. (And if you are out there, guy who was next to me at that show, guy who had microphones on his baseball cap and wires going down into his shirt- release your tape! If the tape self-destructed, unable to contain such beauty, you are forgiven. If you are dead, you are forgiven. Otherwise, I will find you and you will pay for keeping this from the world for so long!)

Saw Chilton in Middleton, Wisconsin in 2000 at The Hotel which I think is gone now, probably an apartment building or something. Sweet show. Got all fanboy and asked for his autograph. He was a gentleman for sure. This was just before or after the show at Schuba's that's passed around a lot in trading circles. I don't recommend that show; the sound sucks. These kind of tinny, raw tapes from the 80s are much better. They really capture Chilton live.

Enjoy! Buy shit!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Here's Johnny!

If you don't get the now ancient televisual reference of the post title, you are not old enough to view this blog.

Above: "Johnny Carson Hallucinates Madonna as Johnny Thunders (Based on an Actual Event)"

Johnny Thunders - Live at the Roxy, Hollywood, CA (1/4/87) 1 - 2

Not the "lost" show I still am having trouble finding (and keeping in my hands, after finding), but an excellent show nonetheless.

Rock gods that walk in our dreams, that's Johnny Thunders to me. Literally.

'Nuff said.

Except for this: Buy shit.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Looking Forward, Looking Up

If we can survive the seeming pending global economic collapse, the nutjob craziness of every damn religion on the planet AND the destruction of the environment as we know and love it, maybe we can finally do this...

Yeah! Space elevators! My favorite SF technological gimmick idea may finally become reality. Seems some really smart guy types have developed the means to make the cable that is needed to stretch from Earth to space to make an elevator system to orbit possible. They are using nanotubes to do this, combining them in a new way, that will make a material strong enough and stretch enough to make this dream reality.

What's so cool about this, you ask? Because it means space travel is no longer expensive. Instead of hundreds of millions of dollars to boost one rocket or shuttle into the sky, just throw that satellite in a box and pop it into the next cargo pod going up. People and materials will be constantly flowing out into space while space manufactured goods can be cheaply and easily brought down. This is the beginning of humankind's next real challenge - colonizing the Solar System. The resources we need are all out there - we just need a cheap way to leave Earth's gravity well and go get them.

If this doesn't make you crap your pants with excitement, you are already dead inside.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me (Eight Years Later)

Vic Chesnutt & Kristen Hersh - Live at Old Music Hall, UW-Madison, Wisconsin (5/20/00) 1 - 2 - 3 - 4

My little sister gave me a great birthday present in 2000 - a ticket to see Vic Chesnutt and Kristen Hersh perform at the Old Music Hall on the UW campus in Madison. It was a gorgeous night, perfect May in Wisconsin weather, and I was hoping for something good.

I got something great. In fact, I got some of the finest music I've ever heard in my life. Vic played a grand piano and Kristen guitar, alternating songs and banter all night long. The energy between them was weird and hilarious; they were loving being on that stage together and were practically giggling. If I understood it right, the piano was a new thing for Vic and he was improvising all night on it; he'd never played some or most or any of the tunes with piano before. (I could be wrong about this, but that's the impression from the time). I cannot describe with crappy words how beautiful his playing was and how rich it sounded in the wonderful acoustic space that is Old Music Hall.

At some point during the show, near the end, a couple of incredibly wine-drunk neo-hippies start yelling. Then they were escorted outside. Where they broke wine bottles against the building and all over the steps. I hate hippies.

I stuck around afterward to chat with Vic. To my surprise, he remembered me from the show in Kirksville, MO that My Smart Wife and I had met him at about 6 years earlier. (See my earlier post about Vic for more on that night). We talked some more about poetry and music and I bought a CD from him. Hopefully we can meet again after another concert soon and continue this protracted poetical discussion.

Technically, this is probably the finest sounding bootleg in my collection. I've got thousands and there is not one that sounds better. It's a digital recording, soundboard I think, but it somehow manages to capture the feel of the room too. Freakin' incredible. I hope you kids enjoy it.

And buy shit!

The Beat Goes On

RIP - Dewey Martin

And my childhood introduction to Buffalo Springfield...

I Just Lost My Job...Did You?

Well, thanks to Herr Jerkmeister Michael ("I hear bees in my head!") Steele, new head of the RNC, I'm outta my job.

Yep, I'm no longer a teacher because my job is not permanent. My school is grant-funded, year-to-year, at the mercy of the blessedly wise Illinois State Legislature's crazy-ass budget whims. I don't know from year to year if I will have a job. And now I'm unemployed...I guess.

Why? Because Steele has redefined a "job." A "job" is only a "job" if it is permanent. Otherwise it is only "work." Just "work," ya know, that silly something you do every day or night, that puts money in your pocket and food on your table and clothing on your child's back. Just "work," not a "job."

So, if you don't have an iron-clad contract guaranteeing you that your "job" will never cease to exist and you will have your "job" until the day you die, then you're fracked. You just lost your "job."

See ya in the unemployment line, kidz.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Good Dick

First a President from Illinois and now a Senator that's grown a pair...

How lucky can one state be?

Monday, February 2, 2009

A New Arts Deal For US(A)

As usual, because they once got in a snit about some "nudie" photos a few decades back and haven't recovered from the horror of the human form yet (unless it's shown bound, gagged, humiliated, beaten and tortured in souvenir pics from a US military prison), the stinkin' Republicans got themselves righteously enraged about a mere $50 million for the arts in the Big Billions Bailout plan.

My Smart Wife and her dumb husband (hey, that's me, he's writin' about me!) were talking this weekend about this and were as usual dumbfounded by the pettiness of the stinkin' Republicans. (I think I shall hereafter forever refer to them as such). We talked about the WPA and the incredible art that came out of government monies during the Depression. We talked about ways that money could be spent to provide jobs and improve lives. We talked and talked.

But some dude over at Daily Kos beat me to writing about it. So go there and read this incredible, awesome piece about why the stinkin' Republicans are (as usual) completely wrong about art and why we need even more money for Art in Amerika (Trademarked and Registered and Copyrighted by me, the 'monkey).

Me, I'm gonna cruise down to our local post office, built during the Depression (like quite a few buildings in our fair city) and enjoy the beautiful mural which covers one large wall, likewise a gift to the future from a government-paid artist of the past.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Drool Buckets All Around

The morally and ethically bankrupt right, who I hate with all my being of course - as much as I love and adore President Obama, the dreamiest, hunkiest, Hawiaiaiaianest Prez ever! - are still trying to tell us that we are all stoopid idjits for hating Bush and loving Obama.

If only we'd known.

Here's my favorite line of truthspeak from this cretin Peter Berkowitz, who appropriately is a "Fellow" at the aptly named Hoover Institution - which means, I imagine, that he can wear a dress under lederhosen and chaps and not be considered weird at their secret parties:

Bush hatred and Obama euphoria typically coexist in the same soul. And it is disproportionately members of the intellectual and political class in whose souls they flourish.

Lord Fellow Berkowitz needs to put both of his monocles on and go amongst the common folk, methinks, in their tatters and rags and hovels, to seek out the reality of Bush hatred and Obama love.

I'm privileged to work everyday with the children of middle and working class and poor parents, white and black and hispanic, and this election has made it abundantly clear to me that Bush hatred and Obama love cross the class and race lines that dunderheads like Berkowitz like to raise between us. Also clear has became the reality that Berkowitz and his ilk do not and never will understand the truth about these impassioned feelings they despise. One doesn't need to be an airy ivory-towered intellectual leftist to hate Bush and love Obama. One only needs to care about the future.

It's almost funny, really. Here's an elitist of the intellectual and political right condemning the elitists of the intellectual and political left (without drawing the left-right distinction but merely slamming them for having brains) for all of the woes which will now befall the country under President Obama. And he's doing it while stoking the fires of the culture wars, re-writing history to make the Obama election look the end result of a bunch of reasonless, emotionally overwrought zealots of the intellectual class leading the blind, ignorant, equally reasonless lower classes to their doom.

"Pity the poor and the stupid for not having their own opinions! Why didn't they listen to their Republican betters? Woe is the nation!" I bet there are a lot of very bitter parties at the Hoover Institution these days. I love the name, too: "Institution" is so much more suggestive of a large, gray, featureless building in which lunatics are locked away from the public than "Institute."

Sometimes, doncha just want a revolution?