Archive for July, 2010

I Like Records 41

a phone call:

Me: Hello, Jacks music. Can I help you?
Woman: Who is this?…What’s your name?
[I hate giving my name out over the phone, sometimes I’ll say my name is Chet.]
Woman: Alright, Jim. I have a problem with a turntable…
[this part took about five minutes and I didn’t get most of it down, it seems that she bought a Sony turntable and wasn’t happy with it so she called Bose who makes her stereo and they recommended an Audio Technica or a Stanton turntable. She was quizzing me about these turntables. She then talked about a pre-amp she had]...So I was going to Best Buy and I had the pre-amp in the car but it was at least 150 degrees for five days and I didn’t dare open the car and I think the heat might have damaged the pre-amp, so I went to Radio Shack and they don’t know anything..know what I mean..
Me:…yeah, they’re idiots
Woman: Thank you. Especially the manager. he’s in a wheelchair and he has an attitude a mile wide. I don’t know what happened to him, maybe he’s angry because he’s in a wheelchair, I don’t think he even has legs. So maybe that’s why he has attitude and I don’t feel that I can be mean to him because of his wheelchair and if I judge him it’ll show on my face…you know?
Me: …Yes, it’s hard to judge somebody and not show it.

Woman: No, it’s not. I can judge somebody and they’ll never know I’m doing it…Guess how old I am
Me:I give up.
Woman: I’m 88, I don’t sound it do I…No, I don’t…Know how I got this old?…No TV, nope, it’s the boob tube and I don’t drink…well maybe a glass of Pinot Grigio from time to time and I listen to the radio, WOR, WABC. You know who I love…Joan Hamburg, she competes with Rush Limbaugh, I listen to a little of Joan and then I go to my Rush. I love Joan, she talks about the Hamptons…mmmmm…ok…I’ll call back about the turntable.

Around Red Bank

There’s a sculpture of Bruce Springsteen in Jacks Music front window, a few weeks ago the artist who sculptured it asked if he could display it. Since there was a live Springsteen DVD being released one of the managers said it would be ok. Now I’m hardly qualified to comment on the actual sculpture but it’s the presentation that gets me. The head is on a piece of rebar jammed into a block of wood, with the words “The Boss” scrawled in red paint. It looks a little creepy like something from Lord of the Flies.

the sculpture

lord of the flies

Nerd Theater

a used Ornithopter

Used Car Dealer on Dune
by Tim Cronin and Matt Boudiette

[the scene: a used car dealership on Dune]

CustomerHey, I’m no mentat but this used Ornithopter is pretty expensive and I’m more than a little worried with all the miles on it.

Used Car Salesman– That’s perfectly alright, sir. We don’t want a Gom Jabbar here. You shouldn’t be worried, fear is the mind killer and this baby has been in for all it’s regular maintenance and oil changes. What do we need to get you in this Ornithopter today?

Customer- You guys always use the “fear is the mind killer” thing when somebody has a legit gripe, c’mon how about lower the price a bit.

Used Car Salesman- Mmmmm I’m gonna have to talk to the Kwisatz Haderach, wait here.

[the salesman goes to see the Kwisatz Haderach, 5 minutes pass]

Used Car Salesman– Sorry, no can do, but he did say we could throw in free undercoating.

Customer- Sold!

I Like Records 40

A "tam o'shanter" or "tam"

My band had a show at Maxwells friday night and it was really good. Maxwells is an oasis for bands, they get treated ridiculously well there. Anyhow, while it was a great night, it was miserable outside. It felt like a giant dog was breathing on you and it was a late night for me as I had to be in work at 9am, I don’t snap back like I used to. The day was wretchedly slow and shitty. A Bataan death march towards 6pm and freedom, by late afternoon coffee had lost any of it’s effectiveness. It was about ten to six and this kid came in looking at posters, just some teenage kid but he was wearing an oversized tam o’shanter crocheted with the colors of the Jamaican flag. If you wear dreads, then fucking tam away my friend. This kid had no dreads, it was just part of his “it’s all good, man” look and I hope he was stoned because stupid like this is a goddamned crime. I know I was dead tired and I know I was probably “old man grumpus”, but this goddamned kid got on my last nerve:
Kid- Do you got this Sublime poster?
Me- Yeah, it’s right there in the number 8 slot.
Kid- Number 8?… whaaat?
Me-Yeah, it’s poster number 8, the number on the poster goes with the slot.
Kid- Sublime is number 8?
Me- yeah, it’s right there
Kid- I don’t…uh…Sublime?
Me- Do you see the numbers?
Kid- yeah
Me- Do you see number 8? that’s the Sublime poster
Kid- I don’t see number 8…I see 15….I see 16…I see 17…
Me- It’s the row above that
Kid- row..above that?
Kid- …oh…yeah…

I was a shell of a man when I left work.

I Hate Me, Part 100,932

[I’m pretty sure this took place in 1987]

Survival Research Labs (SRL) was and still might be a California based collective that specialized in “Robotic Mayhem”. I’m sure there was a brainier aspect and an artistic manifesto attached to them, but I was crazy about the performances. I would watch their live performances on grainy nth generation videotapes. There was a real sense of chaos on those videos; fire, some explosions and creepy robots menacing the audience. Some of the robots incorporated animal carcasses, so there might be a shambling robot with a rotting horses head and rotating knives. Looking back though it could be described as “Truck-a-saurus for hipsters”* and maybe it was, but I was 25 and it was fucking cool. Anyhow, I found out that SRL was having a performance in the parking lot of Shea Stadium, of course I got tickets and took my brother Matt. He wasn’t really a fan but the promise of fiery robotic mayhem was a strong incentive (Note: Matt swears there was a third person who went with us, but I’m not sure there was.). The big day came and it was pissing rain, we got a bunch of beers and headed up on the train. It was still raining when we got there and the parking lot was set up with portable bleachers. Everything was soaked and the pleasant effects of an afternoon drunk were beginning to fade quickly. Having said that, I was still pretty psyched. My brother, less so and I continued to try and sell him on a destructive robotic apocalypse that even on their best day SRL would be hard pressed to pull off, and this wasn’t their best day. Giant robots didn’t move in the rain and fires quickly turned into greasy black smoke, the only thing that seemed to work well was a cannon that fired fluorescent light tubes, which was at best ok.  I was pretty bummed out, Matt swore he’d never forgive me and I can’t say I really blamed him. It was a long train ride home.

*quote attributed to Zack Konow aka “Captain Meanheart”**

**”Captain Meanheart” nickname by Pat Dean

From My Collection

I couldn’t find any other good Polka records, at least not as good as Stanky and his Pennsylvanian Coal Miners.   Here’s a couple of covers that I like for different reasons. The first is Very, Very, Villegas (columbia, 1956) a record by jazz pianist Enrique Villegas, it’s got a cool modern art thing going with a good use of photography. The second is Tito Puente and Friend, I would have thought he had more than one friend.


R.A. Dickey

Paint it blue, slap a Mets logo on it and give it to Beltran

But I don’t have shit today. I know it’s a shitty excuse but, I was in the middle of writing something last night and listening to the game (AZ-3/NY-2) and the goddamn Mets wasted another start by 35 year old phenom R.A.Dickey. Can they fucking put together a goddamn rally and score some runs and does Carlos Beltran need a fucking Rascal when he’s playing center field…So the upshot is I was hypnotized by the Mets ineptness and didn’t finish what I was writing, which was sub-par anyway. Ugh.

I Like Records 39

a popular Italian tenor

Older guy who at first appeared ok and then switched gears to eccentric pretty quickly:
“Hey…you got that Springsteen album…you know the first one…uh…Bruce Greets You In Asbury or uh..something like that, cause I donated it to the Asbury Park library…FOR DISPLAY ONLY!…I was never gonna take it back but they were not to loan it to anyone ever…They took my name and my address and my instructions about not loaning it out and it took them three years to put it on display…and when they did it was signed, I don’t know if it was Springsteen who signed it cause I have bad eyes and it looked like a chinaman signed it…so how much is it worth?”
ME-I don’t know man
“5,000…5,000 dollars?!”
ME-Maybe a couple of hundred at best, if it’s authenticated.
“3,000 dollars…3,000 dollars at least, right?”
ME-Sure, 3,000 dollars, why not.
“Sorry, sorry…he makes me crazy, not you, Bruce does…Were you here two weeks ago when I was looking for Sergio Franchi? You know why I was looking for him?… My sister married his brother…he was good with electrics, had a short temper and looked like Phil Silvers because of the glasses, the dark glasses…His name was Sonny and he was illiterate and he stuttered…one time he took my sister to see Sergio Franchi and he said “Ain’t I your brother?” and Sergio said, “Yeah, that and a quarter will get you on the subway.” yeah…you see these (put a pack of Parliaments on the counter)…when I was a kid my parents called me in and gave me a cigarette and said smoke it…and I said I don’t smoke and they said we think you been smokin’ so we’ll see how you smoke this cigarette and we’ll know if you’re lyin’…and guess what, I been smokin’ ever since…”

Wound Advertising

By: Bob Apodaca, THE HOLLYWOODER! Monthly Magazine

In an effort to increase subliminal product placement in movies, Hollywood has increasingly turned to the lucrative use of wound advertising or as it’s known around town, “Ow-vertising”. The concept of using scars and wounds in the shape of corporate logos is not new. In a 1978 article in Variety Magazine, Sylvester Stallone said he was paid an undisclosed amount by sneaker maker Nike to have a “Swoosh” shaped bruise on Rocky Balboa’s face. In 1995’s Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers one of the victims is dispatched with a knife that left a wound identical to the Mercedes Benz logo. More recently it was reported in the L.A. Times that another sneaker maker, this time Adidas scored big with 2009’s mega-blockbuster Avatar in which the head scar on one of the lead characters, Col. Miles Quaritch (Steven Lang) is in the shape of Adidas’s three stripe logo. Lastly, according to the Hollywood Reporter in this years smash hit The Wolfman, all wounds inflicted by the Wolfman (Benicio Del Toro) were computer enhanced to duplicate the logo of camera giant Minolta albeit in blood and gore. So it seems that Hollywood is opening up a new vein in subliminal product placement.

Col. Miles Quaritch, with subliminal logo

all wounds in The Wolfman are shaped like this (minus the lettering)

I Hate Me, Part 76,923

I was on tour with my own band, it was a two week van tour and our last show was in West Virginia (I forget what town). It was a shit show at a shit sports bar who didn’t know we were booked to play there and we were grudgingly paid in drinks. We needed to get home as the van we rented was due back the next day. Jim was the first to drive, now Jim’s a drivin’ motherfucker, it’s one of his superpowers. I was riding shotgun and was next up to drive. I had prided myself as being no slouch in the driving department. Back when Monster Magnet was doing U.S. tours with an equipment truck, I drove quite a bit. The operative phrase there is “back when” because it had been a good ten years since I drove far distances on no sleep with any regularity. So Jim drove and drove and drove, I was fighting to stay awake and my joints felt like they were filled with sand. It was light out when we got to Wilmington Delaware and Jim was ready to stop driving. By this time I was completely shot; hung over, dead tired and not worth much but I grabbed a cup of coffee and started to drive. I was awful and I made it to the next rest stop (about a half hour away from where I started) where I went to get another cup of coffee. When I got back to the van I saw that Neil was behind the wheel, there was no discussion or argument, I just crawled in the back and zoned out.