Sunday, April 20, 2014

Vinyl Fetish



Yes i know, you're thinking that right about now i'm dressed head to toe in a tight vinyl suit, the kind the Gimp wore in Pulp Fiction, zipper over my mouth and eyes and crammed into some trunk waiting for my dominatrix to come in and spank my bare ass because as we all know any vinyl suit worth it's salt comes with a flap so that the good master can unzip and expose some bare flesh for her cat o' nine tails and hell on some days you might not be to far off but today this here post is about something else entirely...

Yesterday was like x-mas for all us vinyl nerds, it was Record Store Day and on that day we get up early and stand in line and then cram into our favorite record stores so that we can get our hands on some rare vinyl, of course the line is populated by a bunch of sad and lonely dipshits like myself but i like to think that i'm the coolest of the sad and lonely dipshits and besides it's for a good fucking cause man, you see like most of modern society the advent of digital music has taken the independent record store and put it on the proverbial rack, between the big box chains and I-tunes these places were disappearing faster than blow at a stripper party but somewhere along the line vinyl began to get fashionable again or maybe kids just wanted something that wasn't fucking zeroes and ones and had art on the cover and sounded really fucking good as they sat around pulling tubes... and of course those are all good reasons but besides that the record store is like a good pub, sometimes you can learn shit or be turned on to new things and hell dare i say it can broaden ones horizons, world view et al...

And so i rose early on Saturday and drove to my old hood and stood in line, and of course with every good intention there comes the bad ones, you see RSD was started to help these little indy places, you can't find this shit at Best Buy but an hour after the first stores open you can find it on Ebay for about 5 times what you could have gotten it in the store for but that's commerce for you and if there is a buck to be made someone will be trying to make it, yet it really pisses off the cats like me who actually get into it for the music and the art work and what have you and that's not to say i haven't flipped a few records in my day cuz i have i just don't make it my primary reason for getting up that early and standing in line and battling crowds...

My favorite joint is a little place near my old house and i've been going to it for 19 years now, it's changed owners but other than 1 asshole clerk who thankfully took his math rock band and fucked off to Chi-town it's always been owned and staffed by some great people, mainly guys in bands or old heads and the current owner was in this local band that i heard when i was sleeping on the floor way back in 1993 and the full electric version of the song made me think this guy must be some arrogant prick but in reality is one of the nicest fucking guys you'll ever want to meet, a soft spoken and down to earth guy with a wife and kids and still playing music but understanding he'll never be a darling over at Pitchfork though when you hear the guys records i for the life of me can't understand why he was never the biggest fucking thing in indie rawk...

And for the most part everyone at this place is cool, you can call out if you're looking for something and chances are someone will pass it to you people are civil and polite and it's the exact fucking opposite of black friday at Wal-Mart, of course there are some tools and this one guy just annoys the living fuck out of me as he frets and shakes and pops Xanax for his anxiety all due to trying to grab all the coveted vinyl on his list, and hey it's nice to get all the shit you're hoping for but just like X-mas when you was a kid you may not and hell if you got the dosh or the patience or sometimes both you can always find it on the interwebz, sometimes you just have to wait for the price to drop a bit but as Jimmy Cliff once said, you can get it if you really want it, and so i'm sure you're all wondering what the hell did i get out of bed so early for? Well i'm sucker for colored vinyl and the record up yonder was re-mastered and re-issued on some swirling pink, grey, black and white vinyl and man does it sound good, if you don't know my love of the Velvets you must be new around here but that's okay cuz just like the record store we cool...

Now what else? There was the Joy Division's Ideal for Living EP, re-mastered off the original tape or some such shit but without all the Teutonic cover art that adorned the original, there was a copy of Drive By Truckers Dragon Pants EP on 10" vinyl and if you haven't heard their new album i highly recommend it, there was a Parquet Courts 7" (for those who like the might Fall or Pavement), and then there was my two most coveted records, a 7" picture disc of the beloved Harry Dean Stanton complete with a full size poster of his documentary Partly Fiction and a box set of Dinosaur Jr. 7"s with the original artwork of their first four singles and new one of the boys covering the Cure and the Byrds, and as we also know J. Mascis is very popular guy around here, fuck that band from Seattle, Dinosaur Jr. put them to shame and though  Kurt was a decent guitarist J. is a fucking virtuoso, when you hear something J. plays on you know it immediately cuz he's that distinct and i could go on and on about him but i wont' cuz i feel like blazing up and listening to some records... I'm a nerd you know.
 
 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Once Around the Weekend



They always tell you things come in three's or go in circles, i think that was like the whole fucking point of the Lion King if i'm not mistaken and today i was sitting at the park watching the boyos go ape shit all over the place and enjoying the sun beating down on my face, out of the corner of my eye i saw this guy i thought i knew, knew from what now feels like an entire lifetime ago, and it struck how when i was a kid i used to walk past the bars and gaze in wonder at the dimly lit places, hear the music and smell the booze and cigarettes, and then i got to be a teenager, a tall teenager who could grow a damn fine 5 o' clock shadow and soon i was getting into a few of these places and then i turned legal age and for a long time the damn well were my church, a place so holy that i felt the need to go and worship every day, sometimes multiple times depending on the mood and finances... and this from someone who freely admits that booze was always secondary to the drugs, but the atmosphere and the anthropology were second to none, i learned so much in those well spent hours in various pubs, in various cities, countries, backwoods, suburbs...

And yet these days it's back to the beginning, back to not really giving a fuck if i get there or not, back to drinking in my basement or at my friend's place and driving by the neon and gazing in but not really wanting to venture towards the door,  as if i  was a teenager again...  and i know that the main reason is that i like to be home and close to the boyos and for a guy who put running the streets and practically living in bars at a premium it gives me a good chuckle these days when i realize where i'm at now...

And so this guy i knew from another life and i spent a half hour or so cocking our heads and trying to figure out if we knew each other and at one point he walked over and said, "Kono?" and i laughed and said yup and we struck up a conversation about school districts and real estate taxes and the kind of shit you'd expect from two guys standing in a suburban park... and it probably struck us both as surreal, of course not as surreal as the day we walked into Lamaze class and saw each other but back then we were different guys...

You see back then i was on what could only be politely called a serious coke bender, yes kids you may ask how serious could it have been? but when you begin talking years and not weeks or day or months you get the gist, i'm guessing it was close to four and like most benders it starts all innocently enough and then soon snowballs into the abominable snow dude, but that is a tale for some other day, and so here were two former fuck-ups, the last guys at the party, the ones who leave the bar and head straight to the after hours club, the ones you end up sitting on the front porch with or in smoky apartments while the sun comes up and you haven't been to bed yet, there we were talking about school districts and real estate taxes and then we went our separate ways and i came home and threw Mr. Westerberg on the turntable and just like happy accidents should happen, side 2 song 2 kinda sums up how i feel these days, and it feels alright...

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Remember What the Man Said


I just stumbled across this and i suggest you give it a listen... whoever you may be, you see i agree with pretty every damn thing mentioned in this little video, i remember discovering Terrence McKenna when i was in college and reading about how if you didn't find yourself or your soul or god or whatever it is you may have been looking for what you needed to do was take more, he was speaking of mushrooms of course, and i believe it's Bill Hicks who states that according to McKenna a heroic dose was roughly 5 dried grams, glad i know that now cuz back in my younger days i used to take 7 plus grams at a time... and he was right i saw god and Buddha and space and time and all kinds of other things, my mind ran like a fucking well oiled machine, it felt as if there was no problem i couldn't solve, i was fucking uber-mensch and that's not to say i was stupid, like they say i didn't think i could fly or stop speeding trains but damn if i didn't understand things better and damn if i didn't find some answers and find some questions and generally have a brilliant fucking time...

Of course the acid was a bit different and the speedy gear that had you sweating and grinding your teeth was still fun, hell you just drank all night and listened to good tunes but the good stuff, the clean shit would send me into inner and outer space, i always used to laugh at the kids who dropped and immediately ran to the woods and the streams, i'd drop and roam my apartment or the city streets, it was fucking amazing, my mind working so fast and clear and i remember scribbling in notebooks and wooing girls and dancing in clubs and laying in bed and staring at the ceiling, i mean i always preferred the natural but they were like brothers, sometimes you hung out with one more than the other but it didn't mean you loved the other less...

and then there was a few trips with mescaline and the ever present grass, something i began at 16 and barring two years of extenuating circumstances i have smoked or eaten ever since, i've always loved my psychedelics and i understand why and there are some beautiful points to what is talked about in that video, hell dmt sounds fucking fascinating to me and i still look for the time to munch a cap or two and ponder existence, no more heroic doses, i don't need them, it's not that age has mellowed me out it's what Carlin said, except i think a little maintenance isn't such a bad idea... and like the men above i don't recommend it for everyone i must also say that i agree with McKenna and that not experiencing it at least once is like dying a virgin... i might be classified as a psychedelic gigolo... and i'd have to take that as a compliment.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Perfect Pussy



Meredith Graves is a fucking sweet and genuine girl, she fronts this band and i'll fully admit that their fifteen minute set was a wall of fucking noise that you could barely hear through and the only lyrics i made out were "fuck you"... i stood in line at the pisser with her and had a wonderful conversation about her band name and how i had to explain it to the boyos that it was about cats cuz they're to young to be caught up with what most likely will be the singular most pursuit of their young lives at some point... at least for a time cuz one day i hope they'll be like their old man and not really worry about it anymore...

And so Captain Graybeard went to the punk rock show, just like he did in his youth, 15mg of the good sister, a crushed and zooted OC, a bag full of loose beers at the garage that doubled as venue, a venue full of kids half his age but i don't be-grudge the kids man, it's their time now and i just like to hang back and watch all the fun, and Meredith is a pretty girl who howls like a banshee as the band bounces around the stage, it's a free and easy existence and what pleases me now is that i'm old enough to not get caught up in the bullshit of the "scene" cuz  "scenes" tend to breed alot of bullshit you dig? hell i stumbled on to this one scene online that is filled with a bunch of adults fawning all over each other, it's a veritable smorgasbord of ass-licking, fellatio and cunnilingus and yet none of it is original or entertaining or even all that well written but hell man i'm a misanthrope and i'm not in this for the fucking community or the camaraderie, fuck that noise, i just like to type and hideout and venture out to see some music now and then...

So i spent today cleaning the house and dodging barbs cuz that's what punk rock daddios do in their spare time, though i'm no punk rock daddio, i refuse to get every spare inch of skin tattoo'd or wear a spiked jacket cuz as Mr. Lydon once said it's not the fashion it's the state of mind and the state of mind i'm in is to talk the fucking talk and walk the fucking walk and to just get on with things... and now i'm gonna flip this record and do just that... needless to say it was a good night out and these days i like that slow cruise through the city better than i like blow jobs, no offense ladies and gentleman but the pleasure just lasts longer, listening to tunes and clean wet streets, the neon lights of beer signs whizzing by, i made it this far the rest is just fucking gravy man, fucking gravy...



Monday, March 31, 2014

The idiot

I may be listening to the Idiot to much these days, if this is good or bad i don't know, spending alot of time listening to Mr. Osterberg can put a weird skew on the worldview, how one deals with the squares becomes paramount, or maybe you're the square crawling the walls of some dusty, downstairs closet, guess that's a matter of opinion, opinions being the asshole of the interwebz, you know Mr. Curtis was listening to this album one night, i'm wondering if he understood it, i'd say it's more for wanking than swinging from the rafters but then maybe i'm strange, just how i see it, a smoke a wank a nap a cup of tea, that's a fine fucking afternoon in these parts, call it what you will, some would be repulsed some would call it home, i've never been impressed with the suicidal, call me callous...

In this land of make believe i am most impressed with the shiny cars, driven by men with reflective lenses, most with mustaches, weird lot this crew, a jumpy,edgy bunch in a land of marshmallow cupcakes and yet they creep and slither and i see them parked and lurking, peeping Tom's with badges... the fashionistas painted into yoga pants, riding boots at the ready, the uniform of the well-kept, i creep lower on my seat and mutter obscene things, a sly grin, possibly even a laugh at the scintillating mundanity of it all, but still tomorrow i will brush my teeth and watch shit telly, there will be mermaids and talking dogs and the disgusting spittle of human words, once again there will be opinions, they will be spewed as facts to the well-washed masses, some people will make signs, some people will smoke dope and sit on their couch, don't forget to vote and eat what the good book says because some day the peaches will inherit the Earth...

The kettle blows a strobe light of steam and i hum songs long since forgotten.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Random Notes from a Suburban Basement vol. 1

Stoned again.  Funny how it happens but it happens alot... and i'm here to tell you that the best 60 bucks i've spent in the last year was on this shitty little record player, yes record player not turntable cuz that's what the thing is, a little record player with crappy built in speakers and damn do i fucking love the thing, i can sit here at the old typer and fuck off to no end listening to records and pissing about, not working on all the things i should be working on, whatever that might be...

So happens i stumbled on the an article over at the AV Club about the bleak state of American Fiction, i'd like to say the article was spot on but it wasn't, it raised some good points but ultimately it's still written by people in the club, which to it's credit it does point out... but they're still in the fucking club and it's the club that needs to come crashing down, i'd like to think that publishing will soon go the way of music and little independents and writers themselves will just take to doing it themselves, in a nutshell fuck New York and it's antiquated way, fuck academia and it's antiquated ways, the system needs to be torn down and the stigma of what was once vanity publishing wiped clean cuz let's face it the more i read and learn about the whole process the more it's a fucking joke, the industry needs a bunch of little indies who work in a different style to help find and procure good fiction cuz let's face it, the shit being pushed today is flaccid bullshit perpetrated by a bunch of kids in the same two clubs (described as MFA and NYC in the article) and we all know how i feel about MFA programs...

Or do we? Let's just say if you want to piss away a shitload of money you can email me and i'll send you my address, i'll even give you my real name so you know who to make the check out to because i'll save you the colossal waste of time that is the Creative Writing Programs of America, it's a fucking business kids, how do you employ all the kids who got MFA's in creative writing in the first place if there isn't an ass ton of programs to staff? It's a suckers game and one that i always believed was for those who need patted on the back, who need a little positive re-enforcement from their peers, as Otto Maddox once said, "Fuck That", it's a safe haven for talentless hacks and those with talent to hack it off so that they can all write in a similar style, about similar things, in a similarly uninteresting way, i can spot an MFA written book after about 3 pages, oh i might keep going and finish the book cuz i very rarely don't finish books but truth be told i know what's going to happen and when and am usually bored stiff by the end, it's like listening to mainstream pop radio, the shit all sounds the same...

You see one might call me a fucking hopeless romantic because i believe that if you want to learn how to write you start by going to the library or finding a good used book store or shoplifting what you can from the big box chains, you start reading and keep reading, doesn't always have to be fiction but if you're going to write the shit it helps, hell you never have to write a word, if you keep reading the rest of your days that will be reward enough itself, those books and the people who write them will be your teachers, Henry Miller, Louis Ferdinand Celine, Charles Bukowski, Alvaro Mutis, Nelson Algren, William S. Burroughs, these are the people who will teach you... and oddly enough none of them have an MFA... and while you are still convinced of my hopeless romanticism for some idyllic vision of writing i'll just say what i am is a fucking realist, a pragmatist, a contradiction, a gigantic fucking middle finger... if you want to write you write and then you write some more and you do it ad nausea, to quote Allen Iverson it's called practice, of course i don't have to tell anyone this, the smart ones already know it and the ones that don't should find new ways to spend their time...

But to get back to the business, the business is bullshit and it needs to be dismantled, the old ways of publishing and the method by which they select what's published are useless, you will find nothing cutting edge or interesting in the list of titles, like punk and post-punk and the rise of independent rock and roll the little guy can get his art out, the writer with a box full of rejection slips (John Kennedy Toole) can do it himself now, that is of course if not deluded by fame and wealth (which let's face it many people are, this culture fucking breeds it, it's not about doing it, it's about getting on the telly and into magazines) because there's not a whole lot of writers getting rich out there which leads us back towards the MFA/NYC trap of survival which the article points out but i'm of the opinion that in this day and age you don't need them, it's like the sad cliche of the frustrated writer working in the book store, and honestly i don't trust fucking people like that either, you can starve for your art sure or you can get a job, do what you have to do and write in the margins, in the time you carve out, i mean when was the last time this country in particular actually valued art? The fucking GOP would outlaw the shit if they could, except of course for books written about their lord and savior Jeebus...

Maybe the problem with American Fiction is the pussification of the American Writer, i mean Hemingway, Buk, Miller, Algren, they liked to fuck and fight and drink and have a good time, jesus now half the titles that come out every year are some feel good story about redemption or making it through therapy, fucking hell, it's all Wonder Bread toasted and buttered, it's useless, even the shit about drugs and drug dealers, the hustle, have any of these people lived that shit? it's all the same and let's face it if you lived a little bit of it you'd have a bit better insight into the fucking shit which doesn't mean it's all gotta be realist, hell the world could use more Phil Dick's but if you're gonna attempt to write a gritty tale of depravity at least do a little research, hell might be more fun than the actual writing, (for once i might be speaking from experience here)... and don't even get me started on that twat James Frey, i ever get in the same room as that fucker and i'm gonna knock his fucking teeth in...

But what i'm getting at here is the DIY model, the banner that the kids took up years ago and said "fuck the system", they did it themselves and got on with it, toured relentlessly, did all the promotion, made all the contacts, in a word (a word which i fucking despise due to it's business-speak beginnings) they networked... and guess what kids? they didn't even have the internetz, the darlings of the MFA programs all think they'll be fawned over in their brilliance, be put on stages and given microphones so the unwashed masses can hear every golden turd that dribbles from their lips when the reality is no one gives a shit about some nonce who spent the last X number of years paying to learn something that can easily be learned for free, it takes some elbow grease and perseverance but fuck me if it can't be done, i guess it's called hard work but most of the time it doesn't feel like it, not if you really want to do it, the hard part that is not the fantasy part of accepting awards and banging book nerd groupies... what i'm getting at here is i believe there is brilliance out there and it will come from those unwashed masses who were to busy working jobs and banging it out on the side, the ones not wanting to dazzle us with golden turds but to just listen to their story and it's also my opinion that the system of which i speak would pass right over these people hence tear down the system, go around it, it can be done, it will be done and when it is done we'll all be the better of for it...







Thursday, February 20, 2014

I'm Not Your Astronaut



















Oh Christ what's he on about this time? this is completely rhetorical of course because this is nothing if not a one way conversation with myself, like any good recluse i'm not out to make friends and hence suddenly i feel like banging on the keys, been doing it alot and been slowly building posts when i'm supposed to be working on this other project but as we all know i love to sabotage myself, love to fucking fuck off, it's a talent, a serious lack of drive and ambition, you see i've never wanted to be famous or talk to the famous or even be in the same room as a celebrity, i mean shit they're only people and my massive fucking sense of self importance tells me that they're probably shite and that's if i can be bothered with them at all dig? and you see this is different for me cuz i never used to build anything, i just used to let it rip, no thinking, no planning and so this new way is totally foreign to me...

Of course i still don't put any thinking or planning into it, fuck, i'm to fucked half the time by the time it comes to wander the dimly lit streets of the suburbs, besides there is nowhere to fucking go, in the old days i had a destination, a coffee shop with hipster kids manning the espresso machines, i'd walk by massage parlors and bars and bodegas and bakeries, now? there is nothing but the sweet sound of the ebb and flow of suburban traffic... and that is alright, but back to this famous thing, i dont' give a fuck about the famous cuz i was famous (wait didn't this asshole just contradict himself?), albeit in maybe three neighborhoods in the east end of my fair burgh but famous nonetheless, i understand the trappings and the privileges, i was the patron saint of strippers, the guy who the guys in the band wanted to talk to, not any famous ones of course just the local ones, the bartenders of many bars and i were on a first name basis, i was the fucking King of North Oakland and that was all well and good but now that is gone and i'm very happy about that, when i think of how many times i should be dead or all the dumb things i used to do i can only smile and take a big, fat, breath of fresh air, wiggle my fucking toes and watch the icicles melting thinking that i'm one lucky bastard...

And since i don't have anywhere to walk anymore i usually just pace, sometimes i wander from room to room in my house, usually half-out of my skull on my favorite sweeties, of course sweeties have side effects and the best way to get a good night sleep when they run out is take other ones, like the ones mentioned in this song, hell i vaguely remember my wasted youth, used to get Xany Bars, yes it sounds like a fucking candy bar but for the uninitiated they are four Xanax all neatly stuck together and easily breakable into your next dose, that is of course if you don't just wash it down in one gulp with a beer and of course in my youth i did this all the time, i dubbed it "The Pissing Myself" phase, woke up many a morning after pouring down endless amounts of booze and munching Xany Bars all night to a wet bed or couch or floor or wherever i may have passed out, ah yes so fucking comatose you didn't even know you were pissing yourself, i could go on all night about the number of times i pissed but i've got other topics to cover like? I dunno?

But what this really is is fucking non-sense, just a little exercise in the old days and sitting down and banging away at the first thing that comes to mind, i read some thing about writing prompts and was like what the fuck is that? do people actually do this? i laughed and strolled one toke over the line with my good friend sweet Jesus, hence the fucking typos, if someone needs a prompt to fucking do this then i thinks they should find another fucking hobby, vocation, masturbation what not, but hey that's just my lack of drive and ambition talking (remember them), i'm just some formerly famous hoodlum who used to piss himself alot, what the fuck would i know about anything really? I'm entertaining myself Hank so get fucked will ya? and so it goes and so it goes...