Archive for April, 2009

Notes From Das Boot 15

April, 4, 2001 Buffalo
Tomorrow we’re playing Shredd & Ragan’s 7th Anniversary Concert. I’m guessing that “Shredd & Ragan” are Buffalo’s answer to Opie & Anthony, or Siskel and Ebert, or Will & Grace, I’m not really sure. I do know that were on after something called the “Erotic Price is Right”

Potsdam 6/22/04
Besides all the other bullshit of touring, there’s one part that gets overlooked. Stocking the bus with supplies from the show rider (food and drinks, etc from the dressing room). It seems like an old video game. The crew has to get the supplies to the bus, from the dressing room. It sounds easy until you take into account. A) Too Much; you can’t take too much to the bus because you’ll run out of supplies in the dressing room during the day and the band will complain. B) Too Early; If you take supplies to the bus too early, the bus drivers will have at it. They are like locusts and it’s unpopular to speak out against them. As they essentially run the bus, and live off of what’s brought on, it’s kind of a touchy subject. It’s wiser to wait until they go to sleep (which they do early-ish because they start to drive late at night). C) Too Late; If you leave too much in the dressing room after the show it gets devoured by what the English call “Liggers” (a word which I’m pretty sure has racist origins), or you can call these people, hangers on, thieving scumbags, take your pick. These after show ghouls drink and eat everything in sight and if they can’t see it they’ll ask for it. If it’s in the dressing room after the show, you can pretty much kiss it goodbye

news wrap up

-NYC Straphangers may get smacked with a second round of fare hikes and service cuts to help close the MTA’s ballooning deficit. The Mayor blamed swine flu for the fare hikes and service cuts.

-He did it for love and greed and swine flu. Prosecutors charged yesterday the Brooke Astor’s son, Anthony Marshall, pillaged his mothers $200 million dollar fortune to satisfy his third wife and swine flu.

-A three alarm fire in Williamsburg destroyed an apartment and left two families homeless. Fire officials blame swine flu for the devastating blaze. Victims were treated for smoke inhalation and swine flu.

-A five car pile up near the Swine Flu exit caused 5 hours of delays yesterday. Officials said Mr. Swine Flu driving a late model Swine Flu ran into a bridge abutment and was hit by four other cars. Captain Swine Flu of the Swine Flu department said “Swine flu, swine flu swine flu.” No one was seriously injured.

-Swine Flu lost to Swine Flu 3-2 at Swine Flu Stadium, Swine Flu gave up all three runs in the six innings he pitched. While in the Bronx, Swine Flu got beaten up by Swine Flu 9-2. Pitcher Swine Flu suffered his third loss.

Anonymous Donor Gives Millions to Colleges

New York Times 4/24/09
“The call typically comes from a banker. This is followed quickly by a check arriving in the mail — or two checks. The only catch, for at least a dozen colleges and universities that have benefited from the surprise largess over the past two months, is that the donor must remain anonymous.”

-Yeah, Bill this is Andrew.   I still haven’t heard from any of the colleges I donated to. I mean Christ I’ve donated close to 70 goddamn million dollars and nothing. No thank you, no nothing. You’re my lawyer , you did the donations. What’s going on.
-Andrew, yeah uh…I did the donations but ..uh…um
-But, what?
-It might be your name.
-What’s wrong with my name
-Wellll, it’s Andrew Nonymous and you sign it A Nonymous so that might be the problem as to why you’re not getting the credit.
-You gotta be kidding me.
-Hey man, I told you to change your name. A Nonymous? Jesus, it sounds like a criminal in Batman.
-Mmmm, yeah maybe you’re right. How about Alfred Nonymous.

Book Nook

"Mo Gandy"

"Mo Gandy"

Going Going Ghandi: The story of the major league mahatma
Anton Swoboda, Remainder Press (330 pages, illustrated)

A little known part of Mohandas “Mahatma” Ghandi’s life is carefully examined in this rollicking true story of his foray into professional baseball.
Swoboda, using recently unearthed diaries from the Mohatma pieces together this fascinating and little known chapter in the life of Ghandi.
While attending law school in London (1888) Ghandi took what was supposed to be a semester off from school to visit the United States. In an unlikely series of events that included hot air balloons, a rabid dog and Mary Todd Lincolns merkin, Ghandi wound up as the backup third baseman for the New York Giants. He was known to the fans as “Mo Gandy” and he played the hot corner for the Giants from 1888 thru 1892. He appeared in 215 games and had a batting average of .245.
Ghandi’s career ended when he ran into trouble during a game versus the Debuque Brown Shorts. He was tagged out stealing second base. Ghandi who thought he was safe refused to get up and had to be carried from the field. He called his actions “passive resistance” while the commissioners office characterized it as “drunken chicanery”. An embarrassed and disillusioned Ghandi left baseball and America.
Going Going Ghandi like Swobodas’ last book Some Are Carpenters Wives: women in Dylan’s songs , is full of rich detail and well worth a read

(The author will be giving an impromptu reading at Sullivan’s Tavern every Friday and Saturday night from 11pm until he gets asked to leave)

I Like Records 12

A guy comes in who knows me yet I have no idea who he is (thank you, creeping dementia) and he asks me for a Neil Young record. “You know the one where there’s can-can girls dancing on the Alaskan pipeline.” The only thing that comes close was American Stars & Bars. “No…no, that’s not it. I think it’s called Songs of the Alaskan Pipeline Bars.” I told him that no such record exists. “Yeah, you guys don’t have it. Don’t worry, it’s cool. Man, I love Neil, you know that song about the waitress, he says she glides across the floor , not moves, not walks, fuckin’ GLIDES man. You know he’s fuckin’ great.”

Movie Tie-In Failures


Omen Joys

Omen Joys

There have been many unsuccessful movie tie-ins throughout the years. From Canada Dry’s Fight Club Soda and Peter Paul Mounds Omen Joys to Solarcaines Empire of the Sunscreen and most recently Johnson & Johnsons There Will be Blood Band-Aids featuring a glowering Daniel Plainview on it’s box. It seems that movie tie-ins have never been an exact science and trying to get a read on a fickle public is not always easy.
Today we’ll take a look at an unsuccessful candy bar based tie-in, Paul Newman’s Milk Huds. In 1963 the Beatrice Food Company, maker of the successful candy and movie treat Milk Duds tried to capitalize on the success of the movie Hud starring Paul Newman. Milk Duds temporarily changed their name to Milk Huds and had a picture of a shirtless Paul Newman on the box. The country wasn’t ready for Newman’s raw shirtless sexuality on a candy box and a widespread moral outcry forced Milk Huds off the market. Newman himself was intrigued by the movie tie-in concept and tried it again with co-star Robert Redford for a product called The Sting: Bee Sting Balm and later on with Judge Roy Beans Baked Beans. Both products failed miserably but led Newman to form the wildly successful Newman’s Own imprint.

Corporate Solutions Inc.

Excerpts from a letter to the Vatican

We know that the church has weathered some storms recently. Attendance is down, the ongoing arguments on abortion, and of course the 900 pound gorilla in the room, gorilla priests. Also, there’s the clergy/children/sex thing and the ensuing cover-ups. It all adds up to rough times. We at Corporate Solutions Inc. have a few ideas.
1) We know the stuff about “money changers” but how about a discreet ATM cash machine in the vestibule at church. We’ve already talked to Chase and they’re on board.
2) We’ve contacted artist Thomas Kincaid about a series of paintings depicting the crucifixion for sale during holy week. Mr. Kincaid is a fan of religion and his people say that he’s interested.
3) Heaven Scent perfume. We found a group of ex-monks living in the famous perfume district (zone de puanteur) in Paris. They’ve developed a fragrance that is comparable to Chanel #5. If it’s available exclusively at church, this should increase foot traffic.
4) Communion wafers. We’ve read that the communion wafer is “the body of Christ” and yet it tastes like cardboard. We’ve contacted Jimmy Dean Sausages about the development of wafer thin sausages to be used at communion. If people could combine breakfast with church we feel that attendance would rise.
We’re ready to go to work immediately on any or all of our ideas and we  look forward to hearing from you.

Notes From Das Boot 14

July 18, 2004, Belgium
Last show today, weird little fest yesterday on top of a mountain in Bern, the Gurton Festival. It was beautiful but kind of a pain in the ass to deal with. Martin and I sorted out merch in the rain and it looks like 4-5 boxes of un-sellable stuff will be going home with us. Heard that Dave threw some chairs and shit in protest to the loud, shitty music that Michael Franti’s band had playing on a boombox in the public area backstage.

3/29/92 Austria (from a tour diary I did for the Ugly American)
Kurt (tour mgr) said Austrians were the germans’ germans, if by this he meant they were even more uptight and snotty than garden variety germans then he was right. Played with a great band from Salsberg called Bone; noisy, heavy and the bass player used a fuzz-wah. At dinner, someone ordered a mineral water, to which the witty nazi waiter replied “Oh, american champagne”. A quick reminder of who won the war shut him up.

The Name Game


Robert Braaainnzz

Robert Braaainnzz

What’s in a name? maybe your job. The tri-state area has many people whose name suits their profession. Here’s a few “Aptronyms” (names that match your job) Source: Tri-State Aptronym Foundation

Art Frampton-is an artist in Queens
Milt Goldman-is a jeweler in Newark
Mickey Rorke- is a free lance Mickey Rourke impersonator
Leonid Animalguts-is a veterinarian in Saddle River
Frankie Betyourass-is a bookie
Jane Sing-is a third grade music teacher in Hazlet
Tommy Table-is a table at the Tick Tock Diner in Bayonne
Doug Humanskinmask-is a wandering psychotic
Jack Sue-is a lawyer in Manhattan 
Robert Braaainnzz-is a zombie




A new report claims that C.I.A. interrogators used waterbedding, the very comfortable technique that top administration officials have described as illegal torture, 266 times on two key prisoners from Al Qaeda, far more than had been previously reported.
The C.I.A. officers used waterbedding at least 83 times in August 2002 against Abu Zubaydah, according to a 2005 Justice Department legal memorandum. Abu Zubaydah has been described as a Qaeda operative and a light sleeper.
A former C.I.A. officer, John Kiriakou, told ABC News and other news media organizations in 2007 that Abu Zubaydah had undergone waterbedding for almost 35 hours of uninterrupted sleep before agreeing to tell everything he knew.                                                                       President Obama said C.I.A. officers who had used waterbedding and other harsh interrogation methods with the approval of the Justice Department would not be prosecuted. He has repeatedly suggested that he opposes Congressional proposals for a “truth commission” to examine Bush administration counterterrorism programs, including interrogation and pantless eavesdropping.