Man in Misfits T-shirt Has Actually Listened to the Misfits


Des Moine, IA- Seth Gamble was surprised to learn that his sister’s new boyfriend, Brock Shiner, actually knew the words to a song by his favorite band the Misfits.

“When she showed up with this new dude in a skull t-shirt I thought ‘Oh great, Sandra is still picking up guys at Hot Topic,” said Gamble. “But then as he was walking in to the house he stopped and belted out something that sounded like it came right off of Walk Among Us. I was totally shocked.”

Gamble has been disappointed by people wearing Misfits paraphernalia in the past. But he’s found Shriner to be “more real than all those fake-ass posers.”

“Yeah, it seems like every girl in junior high school has a Misfits t-shirt or leggings or backpack or something. They must hand them out with tampons and nail polish. I started seeing this girl I met a the roller-rink because she had a skull on her wristband, but she didn’t even know that Metallica didn’t write ‘Die Die My Darling.’ I won’t fall for that again.”

Shriner was completely surprised by the news, but happy he had made a good impression on the younger Gamble.

“Oh, Brock? Yeah, he’s a great kid. He’s been following me around all day asking me about horror movies. I stubbed my toe on the way in and made a weird ‘Oooo aaaahhh!’ sound that I held onto for a really long time so now he thinks I’m into some weird ’50s band.”

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack “Sucker Punch”


sucker punch(22 March 2011, WaterTower Music )

I won’t hold it against you if you’ve never heard of this movie. It did fly under the radar, but if you took the time to check it out you were in for a treat

Sucker Punch was directed by Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen) and starred Emily Browning (Pompeii, Legend) and Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, X-Men: Apocalypse). Essentially the movie is a live-action anime. There is a plot, but it’s not important. What really brought the film together were the glorious, special-effects driven battle scenes with giant samurai, steampunk Nazis and dragons. In my humble opinion, there’s nothing better than scantily clad women battling dragons.

Of course, none of those fight scenes would be worth a damn without the proper musical accompaniment. The Sucker Punch soundtrack is not John Williams or Hans Zimmer, but it ranks among the greatest film soundtracks of all time in my book.

It’s brilliance is in how it takes familiar songs and gives them a new spin. Instead of making a mix tape of b-sides from popular artists , producers Tyler Bates and Marius de Vries take old songs and have trip-hop acts cover them. This gives continuity to a seemingly random collection of tracks and makes them flow seamlessly from one to another.

Star Emily Browning sings three tracks. Opener “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” is my least favorite version of that song, but considering the other two versions are so damn awesome that’s not really an insult. It’s still worth checking out. She also does a cover of the Smiths’ “Asleep” which isn’t bad, but I can live without it.

There’s only one Bjork song I recognize. “Army of Me” is a brilliant track and the Sucker Punch remix takes all the crazy screeches and Yoko Ono-isms and makes it truly stellar. The song works great on its own, but listening to this version it’s apparent it was used in a film. I’ve never heard of Emiliana Torrini, but I love her version of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit.” It runs a little long, but when something sounds that good you make exceptions. The best part is the opening guitar riff played note for note on an organ.

Skunk Anansie turns in the best version of “Search and Destroy” I’ve ever heard. I expect it may be the best version of that song I ever will hear. This should be the definitive version that’s required listening for all aspiring punks. I’m sure it’s sacrilegious, but I’ve never cared much for the Stooges. Red Hot Chili Peppers and Soundgarden have turned in lukewarm versions of the song but Skunk Anansie are the ones to tap into the primal nature and transform it to the monster I knew it could be.

(Make sure your socks are on tight as this has the potential to knock them off. You’ve been warned.)

Oscar Isaac and Carla Gugino close the album with a cover of Roxy Music’s “Love is the Drug.” I wasn’t familiar with this song at all before seeing the movie. I was surprised to discover that it’s a cover and wasn’t composed for the film because it fits so well.

Now that I look back at the track list I’m surprised that there are so many songs I don’t like. Alison Mosshart and Carla Azar turn in a performance of “Tomorrow Never Knows” that isn’t bad, but doesn’t do anything different than the original. There’s something called “I Want It All / We Will Rock You Mash-Up (Queen cover)” right in the middle that is truly terrible. I’m sure fans of hip-hop and Queen will enjoy it, but my love of Queen isn’t strong enough to override my distaste for hip-hop.

The last song Emily Browning sings on is a cover of the Pixies’ “Where Is My Mind?” with Yoav. This is the most disappointing track on the album. Somehow they manage to take an awesome song with great musicians performing and it still manages to fall flat. I guess they can’t all be zingers.

ws_sucker_punch_1920x1440Now that I really examine this album I’m surprised to discover that I really only enjoy about half of the songs. But it’s a testament to how fucking awesome those tracks are that I didn’t even realize I didn’t like the rest of the album until I sat down to write a review.

Even if you fast forward through the boring parts like you used to do with VHS porno tapes, Sucker Punch is a film worth watching. It’s a classic in the same vein as Queen of the Damned or Escape from LA. 

Republicans Announce Obamacare Replacement


Neutron BombWashington – After months of planning and preparation Donald Trump and congressional Republicans are making good on their promise to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

“We turned to smart people for the answer,” Trump tweeted. “Bigly smart people. Jello. I love Jello. There’s always room for Jello.”

“There was really only one answer to the problem of dealing with the millions of people who are about to lose their health insurance because of us,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan. “And that’s the plan laid out by the Dead Kennedys on their album Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables. We’re gonna kill, kill, kill the poor.”

Republicans constantly cite people losing their insurance, rising premiums or being forced to change providers as proof of the law’s failure. Democrats point to the fact that 20 million people have gained coverage and can no longer be denied coverage due to preexisting conditions as proof of the laws success.

 

At this point no one really knows what to believe. Attitudes about the law are split largely along party lines.

I just know that my tax dollars go toward paying the health insurance for members of congress, government employees, people below the federal poverty line, incarcerated criminals and the elderly. But if you’re in the gray area between the poverty line and not being able to afford a $300/month insurance plan you’re royally fucked.

neutron_bombI’m not an expert on this subject. You shouldn’t trust my judgement, but I’m reasonably sure I’d benefit from socialized medicine and I’d be happy to pay a little extra in taxes if it meant I no longer had to buy insurance (or pay close to $1500 dollars for an illness I suffered last year).

I have a lot of respect for the Republican Party. It takes a lot of talent convince people who would benefit from socialism that it’s a bad thing because someone else might benefit more. I don’t understand it. It’s like burning down your house instead of letting a buddy crash on your couch.

Courtney Love Defines Irony


 

It’s amazing the weird shit that sticks in your brain.

Do you remember back in 2002 when MTV did “24 Hours of Love” and had Courtney Love host for a day? No? Well, you shouldn’t. It probably sucked. I don’t really remember it. I only refreshed my memory while looking for a certain clip from it on YouTube. I couldn’t find the clip so you’ll just have to trust me that I saw what I saw.

If you look on YouTube for “Courtney Love Hosting 24 Hours of Love (4/9)” you’ll notice that it starts with a scene from Almost Famous. This seems strange, but when you remember that in 1970 recording artists weren’t making music videos it all comes into focus. See, something that was left out of part 3/9 was Love introducing the song “Tiny Dancer” they played in the  scene from Almost Famous. 

What stuck in my mind wasn’t that Courtney Love is an Elton John fan. It’d be stranger if she wasn’t. What stuck in my head was her introduction of the song. She said that “Tiny Dancer” was one of her favorite Elton John songs. And that another one of her favorites was “Someone Saved My Life Tonight.”

 

If you’re an Elton John fan you know that Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy is a biographical album. All the songs are based on events from his own life. “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” is about a woman that John almost married when he was young, but his friends managed to talk him out of it.

Think about that for a minute. One of Courtney Love’s favorite Elton John songs is the one about the guy who didn’t marry the wrong girl.

Another thing that has stuck in my mind on the subject is an interview with an ex-boyfriend of Courtney Love’s in the “Kurt and Courtney” Documentary. The part that really stuck out to me in this movie comes at about the 34 minute mark where he says he would have ended up just like Kurt Cobain if he’d stayed with her.

maslow-pyramidSomething I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. You may have seen it in a psychology class. Food, water and shelter are on the bottom of the pyramid. The next level is safety and security. Then above that is love and acceptance. Studying this has helped to enlighten me as to why a woman would stay with her abusive husband. The need for love and belonging can be strong enough to overpower the need for safety and security. In anorexia it can be strong enough to overpower the need for food.

But isn’t it crazy to think that someone who was the most famous musician on the planet and adored by millions of fans would have a deficiency of love and belonging?

I don’t want to fuel any speculation that Kurt Cobain’s death was a murder. There are plenty of people out there already doing that. It really doesn’t make much difference at the moment. He’s gone and we’ll never know what could have been if someone had saved his life that night.

Maybe the next time the surviving members of Nirvana record an album with a knighted English pop star they could call the track “Boy, We Really Screwed The Pooch On That One.”

Descendents “Cool to be You”


descendents_-_cool_to_be_you_cover(23 March 2004, Fat Wreck Chords)

Of all the mistakes in my life, I think not discovering the Descendents sooner is the worst. Somehow they didn’t even make it to my Top 15 on the 15th list. But over the past few months this album has really grown on me. It’s the album that says all the things The Downward Spiral and Jar of Flies implied, but it does so without all the darkness and gloom. And it adds some really great melodies.

My punk rock education went the typical way, I guess. I’m an older millennial and my rock education began in the mid-nineties. I listened to Green Day and the Offspring like anyone else, but my interest in punk didn’t really go much deeper than that. Aside from the occasional Ramones or Sex Pistols track I was content to stay in my post-grunge/heavy metal bubble. Then a friend took me to see Bad Religion in 2010.I’d like to say that was a game changer for me, but that would be a lie. Sure, I liked the show and had a lot of fun; but the only song I recognized was the one Sublime had covered. It did however, pique my interest in Bad Religion enough that I was listening to them on Pandora and the title track of this album came on.

Hearing “Cool to be You” for the first time was a game changer for me. Usually I keep Pandora open while doing other things online, but this was enough for me to click back to that page to see what band this was. Then I went to Spotify to listen to the whole album.

 

Let me be very frank here: I am not a cool person. I don’t dress like a cool person, I don’t act like a cool person, I don’t drink like a cool person and I don’t think like a cool person. I enjoy reading so much that I want to be a writer. I haven’t had a girlfriend in nearly three years. I’m not ashamed of it. I mean, it is what it is. But that being said it would be nice if I knew enough other uncool people that I felt like I belonged. When Milo Aukerman sang the line “it must be pretty cool to know you belong,” I knew exactly what he was singing about. It’s a feeling I’ve had my whole life. I even tried the geographic cure once, but that just led me to empathize with the line “maybe I’ll move, and find a brand new place I don’t belong.”

Yes, I feel like this song was written about me. But that’s not true, which is why it’s so great to hear it. I know if someone in the prototypical pop-punk band is having these feelings, and the album sold enough copies to chart on the Billboard top 200 then I must not be the only one who feels like this. Which is something of a relief.

And those feelings don’t end on that track. Another one I keep nearly on repeat is “Tack” with the lines:

“Time for a new me
I hear they’re having a sale
At thrifty
I’m trading myself in
And I don’t care what I get for it
‘Cause I finally burned out
Been kicking myself
For way too long
Finally found out
What it feels like to be living a lie
Wasting my time, paralyzed
Wishing I was in another world”

I think this is the coolest band in the world, mainly because they just don't look cool.

I think this is the coolest band in the world, mainly because they just don’t look cool.

And the rest of the album is awesome too. I always think of punk as dumbed down music because it’s basically just three chords played really fast with silly vocals, but when your singer is a biochemist in his day job it really opens you up to sing some really clever lines. “‘Merican,” is the greatest patriotic song I’ve ever heard. Instead of just screaming about how great this country is they throw in some lines about some of the awful things that have happened and explain, “you’ve got to know the truth before you say that you’ve got pride.”

I love “Dog and Pony Show” which compares the club/bar scene to a … well, a dog and pony show. Yet again I feel like I’d fit in well with these guys because of the line “it’s no place for a mongrel mutt like me, mating rights go to the best of breed.” “Blast Off” is a song not so much about rockets and space travel as it is about explosive farts and using the toilet seat as a launching pad. “Mass Nerder” is a song I could have used in high school. I’ve never been much of a fighter, but the sentiment that I could kick peoples’ asses in class by getting better grades may have been a strong motivation.

I always thought “One More Day” was just another sappy breakup song. I never really got into until I watched the Myage movie and learned it’s about drummer Bill Stevenson’s relationship with his father. When you realize it’s not a song about some nerd pining for an ex-girlfriend and is about longing for one more day with his dad it goes from lame throwaway track to tearjerker.

But a lot of the songs are just really simple love songs. My favorite is “Anchor Grill.” It’s about rekindling that old flame by dropping “the kids at your folks, and let’s go where it’s never too late for breakfast.” Much like the main characters in Parks & Recreation I can’t think of anywhere better to fall in love than over breakfast food.

Happy Labor Day


Hey, better late than never right?

I’ve been dealing with a few health problems these past few weeks and its cut into the time I usually set aside for blogging. Labor Day was actually on Monday. I celebrated by watching most of the Dark Knight Trilogy (I always fall asleep when stuff gets good).

But hey, I’m not dead yet. Hope everyone had a happy one.

 

Do You Know What The Queers Are Doing To The Soil!


 

I can still remember being confused when I first heard of the controversy about gay marriage. I was 18 or 19 when things really started to heat up, but I never understood what all the fuss was about. I mean, gay people are people too right? If they want to get married why stop them. It just seems silly to me.

I know some people have religious objections. I get that, but the thing is that we live in a society where we have freedom of religion. This means that others don’t have to agree with my religious views and I don’t have to believe in theirs. I’m a big fan of this because it allows me to go to a church that focuses on doing good works in the community and “Love one another as I have loved you” and not one that promotes hatred of people who are different from me or creationism. Hell, I have so much freedom that I can even NOT go to church if it suits my fancy.

I never really understood the argument of “The Bible says it’s wrong” as a legal justification for outlawing gay marriage. The first amendment says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. I’m not a lawyer or a constitutional scholar, but I think that means that you need more reason for denying people the right to marry whom they choose than your personal religious beliefs.

Fuck this 'God Hates Fags' guy.The best part now is how people are comparing LGBTQ anti-discrimination laws with Shariah law. I find that a little confusing because I’m pretty sure Islamic fundamentalist groups like Boko Haram, DAESH and the Saudi Arabian government that govern with Sharia punish homosexuality with death. So really, if you want to discriminate against gays shouldn’t you be in favor of Shariah law?

And doesn’t the bible just say that two men shouldn’t have sex? (Leviticus 18:22, 20:13) I always heard that marriage was just like dating, but without the sex. So shouldn’t Christians be encouraging gays to marry so that they have less sex?

I honestly thing we’ll look back someday at how we treated homosexuals and be ashamed of ourselves. Just as we’re ashamed of the way we treated blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, women, the Irish, the Dutch, the French, the Japanese, the Chinese and pretty much every other group of people that were different than us.

But that was before I learned about what the queers are doing to the soil.

 

“A few days after that, I open up the mail. And there’s a pamphlet
In there. From Pueblo, Colorado, and it’s addressed to Bill, Jr.
And it’s entitled, “Do you know what the queers are doing to our
Soil?”

Now, Stuart, if you look at the soil around any large US city,
There’s a big underground homosexual population. Des Moines, Iowa,
For an example. Look at the soil around Des Moines, Stuart.
You can’t build on it; you can’t grow anything in it. The government
Says it’s due to poor farming. But I know what’s really going on,
Stuart. I know it’s the queers. They’re in it with the aliens.
They’re building landing strips for gay Martians, I swear to
God.

You know what, Stuart, I like you. You’re not like the other
People, here in this trailer park.”