Archive for February, 2011

I Hate Me, Part 259,002

I walk like a goddamned troglodyte, slumped and shuffling. So I go through a lot of sneakers from dragging my feet (literally and figuratively).  After years of going through sneakers like they were made out of paper I’ve found that plain black New Balance sneakers last the longest, almost a year in some cases. The pair I have now is going on six months and fading fast, thanks to my attempt at cobbling. Last week I discovered that for reasons that are still unclear to me, my left sneaker squeaked. An annoying “eek!” like I was constantly stepping on cartoon mice. It was driving me batshit. So I took off the noisy shoe and went on an exploratory mission with my pocketknife. I was thinking maybe it was gum, or tape, or dogshit, or a musical pebble wedged in such a way that with every step “eek!”.  I couldn’t find a goddamned thing. Then I figured I’d jab around with the knife to see if any of the sole was loose.  I got a little over zealous and “Stab!” right through the sole. I didn’t think it went all the way through, I stopped my amateur cobbling and had resigned myself to being the asshole with the noisy shoe. Two days later it rained and my soaking wet foot made me realize that yes, I cut all the way through the bottom of the shoe and was now stuck with a squeaky sneaker that has a leaky hole in it.

A troglodyte enjoys a pepsi with Joan crawford and small child

Sunday Music 2/27/2011

Mule-I’m Hell
Mule was a great but criminally ignored band from the early to mid 90’s. Consisting of the rhythm section of the Laughing Hyenas (Kevin Munro, Jim Kimball) and P.W. Long (ex-Wig). This is from their 1992 single “I’m Hell” on Quarterstick records.

03 I’m Hell

In Praise of Partch

When I was a little kid my parents had a lot of cartoon books around. There was a big book of New Yorker cartoons, a book of cartoons from Punch (an English magazine whose humor was lost on an American child), Bill Mauldin’s Army (WW2 humor) and bunch of books by a guy who we called Vip, whose real name was Virgil Franklin Partch. He was a “drinking” cartoonist, a pro-drinking cartoonist. It was a time of non-ironic humor and his stuff celebrated getting drunk and chastised teetotalers  with a zeal that borders on drunken surrealism. As a kid I dug him because he reminded me of Mad’s Don Martin. Now, as an adult who enjoys a drink now and again I dig it on a completely different level, some of it even approaches genius.  This stuff is from a book called Bottle Fatigue (1950/ Duell, Sloan and Pearce)

I Hate Me, Part 277,651

It was a little after noon on a Saturday, my band had a show the night before and I was tired and a bit hungover. An older drunk guy glides up to the back counter. He’s bean pole thin, standing at a tilt, his hands are jammed into his windbreaker pockets in what seems like an attempt for vertical stability.
Guy-I’m lookin’ for……………………………for……………ABronxTale………..the video of…..that tale.
We could sell about a hundred copies of A Bronx Tale dvd a year, but it’s out of print. Amazon sells it as a “manufactured on demand DVD-R” which means it’s a burned copy. A proper copy is as rare as hens teeth. Nobody seems to believe that the regular dvd is out of print.
Me-Yeah, we don’t have it, it’s out of print.
Guy-Can you get it?
Me- No, it’s not made anymore. Check they might have it
Guy-The Movie…I want the movie.
Me- Yeah, like I said we can’t get it, you should try online at
Guy- A…Bronx Tale…the movie?
I’m at the end of my fucking rope here, I don’t know how else to say it, my hangover is grinding my patience into something pointy and mean.
Me-(Through gritted teeth)….Look man…we don’t have it…we can’t get it…try online…
Guy-(Stares, unbelievingly)………musical parts?…
Me-Musical parts?…the soundtrack to Bronx Tale? No, that’s out of print too
Guy-No…musical parts..
Me-Musical parts to the movie?…what?…no…no…no…
Guy-(reaches into his pants pocket. Pulls out a handful of keys,change and tuning peg for a guitar)..No…No…musical…parts..PARTS
Me-(Completely defeated) …the guitar room is down the hallway.

Sunday Music 2/20/2011

Mike Pedicin-Burnt Toast & Black Coffee
I don’t know much about Mike Pedicin, all I know is this song is great. It’s from the CD, King New Breed Rhythm & Blues on Ace. If you don’t have it you should.


Middle aged guy with family. Big, maybe an old jock. Family’s looking around, he’s bored, sees we carry records. Is very surprised that there are new records, kind of doesn’t believe it.  Heads to the back where the used records are and goes to the alphabetized section. They are clearly marked. I’m back there filing records.

Guy- “Are these in any order?”

Me- “Alphabetical”

Guy-(holding up an obvious used record) “These aren’t new are they?”

Me- “no, they’re used.”

Guy- “Cause I hear they’re re-pressing albums again.”

Me- “Yup, we got a bunch of new albums up front.”

Guy- “but..uh these ain’t new…right?”

Me- “Nope, they’re used.”

Guy- “…and they’re just out here..and they’re..uh..not sorted in any way?”

Me- “Yeah,…uh… they’re in alphabetical order…by the letters…of the alphabet.”

Guy- “So… I’m lookin’ for some Merle Haggard…it should be out here somewhere?”

Me- “Yeah, in the H’s”

Guy- “The H’s aren’t broken down like Country or Hard Rock… in the H’s…or anything…are they?”

Me- “No…there’s a foot and half of records in the H section…it’s not broken down further than that.”

Guy- “So…there’s… no Hard Rock section in the H’s.”

Me- “nope.”

Guy- (finds a couple of Merle Haggard records, reads the titles to himself) “How much is this one?”

Me- “the price is on the back (he looks at the back, can’t find it, looks puzzled)…the big white sticker with the name of the store on it… and a price.”

Guy- “oh…(scrutinizes the price sticker)…a dollar ninety nine?”

Me- “yup.”

Guy- “How about this one (holds up another Merle Haggard record) is this a dollar ninety nine too?” (It’s clearly marked)

Me- “…YUP”

Guy- “Yeah…records are better than tapes or eight tracks or cd’s… ‘cause if you can’t see…see with your eyes…than records…are good…”

(Painful Silence, he looks over at me for a response)

Me- “yeahrecordsaregreat”

Guy- “yeah…and if you’re a musician…who plays an instrument, you can just pick up the needle on a record and put it back to hear a part again…it’s hard to do that with a tape or a cd.”

Me- “well…with a cd…(WHAT THE FUCK AM I DOING, DON’T ENCOURAGE HIM)…yeah it’s a pain in the ass…”

Guy- “I know…Does Peter Frampton ever come in here?”

I jam the remaining records I’m filing under the rack and excuse myself for an imaginary phone call.

More Polka

Found another polka record on Stella Records, The Gals In Pennsyltucky and It’s another great cover. The front has a bunch of corn fed dames in oddly cut shorts being entranced by the lug with the accordion, who I’m assuming is Walt Groller. The back has the winners of the “Stella Contest” while some illiterate delinquent writes on a wall with black chalk, “Evrybudy lovs Stella”

I Hate Me, Part 207,441

A few years ago I was driving up north on the Turnpike and there was a fire at one of the refineries in Elizabeth. There were a bunch of helicopters flying near the fire, they were flying kind of low and were pretty loud. The road wasn’t shut down but traffic was slow due to rubbernecking. So I was hearing the WHUMP! WHUMP! WHUMP! of the helicopters and then I started feeling the WHUMP! WHUMP! WHUMP! of the helicopters. I remember thinking goddamn those fuckin’ helicopters must have been really low for me to feel it in the car. After I passed the fire and I still heard and felt the WHUMP! WHUMP! WHUMP! I realized that it wasn’t the helicopters, I was driving on a flat tire. By this time I had driven on it for about three or four miles, so my dreams of using the fix-a-flat were dashed. Of course I didn’t have a jack and by the time I got to the next rest area (after having a parade of people drive by me pointing to my flat tire) I was pretty much driving on the now ruined rim.  Which meant I had to drive home on the tiny spare tire that looks like it belongs on a Big Wheel.

Sunday Music 2/13/11

This is a great video of John Cale performing Paris 1919 at the Paradiso in Amsterdam. Thanks to Matt for turning me onto it

Led Zeppelin Sues India and Pakistan

A&P Press, Ron Hunt

The remaining members of the rock group Led Zeppelin have sued the governments of both India and Pakistan for “spoiling the name Kashmir”. The suit alleges that the constant warlike climate over the disputed territory called Kashmir sullies the intent of the song Kashmir. At a press conference to announce the lawsuit singer Robert Plant said in part, “’s about the idea of life being an adventure and being a series of illuminated moments…not about war and being uncool. They’ve (India & Pakistan) have ruined a beautiful idea and a beautiful song.”  In a rare show of unity the governments of India and Pakistan have denounced Led Zeppelin, with the government of India releasing an angry statement saying the band was “overrated” and sang about “hobbits and wizards…and knew nothing of the land Kashmir”