A personal recounting of the psycho-pharmacological experience that was a 1987 Butthole Surfers show.
When people asked me as a teenager what I wanted to do when I grew up I, at some point developed a stock answer. “I’d like to be one of three things,” I’d say. “A Butthole Surfer, A Beastie Boy or a Pogue.”
You people that get your jollies, your reason for living via the use and veneration of a gun are mentally feeble. A gun is a tool, nothing more. It’s a low preoccupation. Further, it’s sad that you worship these things and your “constitutional right” to own such a tool above all else, most notably an innocent person’s life. Can you think of nothing better to do? Why not worship a hammer or perhaps a lawn mower instead? Surely we’d all be better off. Especially you.
Such a condescending statement sounds awful, doesn’t it? But it’s how I feel. I’ve tried to be respectful and hold my tongue, but enough is enough. You people are feebs and I’m tired of you encroaching on my mental space.
Or – an alternate title – “Boston, The Racial Valhalla I Never Knew”
My wife and I went on a trip to New England, where I grew up, to visit my parents. It was pleasant in many prototypically New England ways; the leaves were turning and the angle of the sun painted the world in that most flattering light. Continue reading “A Veiled Love Letter to New England”
Every few years a band comes along and manages to do nihilism right. And with their self-titled debut, the LA band Fidlar took the crown for 2013. The name Fidlar is an acronym. It stands for “F*ck It Dog, Life’s A Risk.”
I was sold on the name, but it was the music that cemented my ardor; these guys brought the goods. Their most popular tune in 2012 was a song titled, “No Waves” a fast paced sing-along, guitar anthem that spoke to me across the generational divide. It begins…
I feel, feel like a cokehead,
I feel, feel like I can’t get drunk no more,
‘Cause I’m on the floor,
Looking for some matches just to cook up a score,
Talk about painting a picture! And the song rocks! I was sold.
Back in the 90’s, I nearly wore out my Aiwa boom box (along with its’ trademarked mega-bass-boost button) with the Melvin’s Houdini CD. The box was a rugged piece of equipment and I was convinced it would last forever. It followed me from my dorm room on Washington Square Park, to a tenement building on Avenue C, then across the country for an action packed-black-tar-filled sojourn on Haight Street. It only succumbed some years after my return to the student hellhole known as Allston Massachusetts. Despite the mileage, I’m convinced it was Houdini that ultimately did the mega-bass button in.
Consider reading the first installment of a new fictional piece I am writing Kurt Cobain Lives In 1994 Kurt Cobain faked his own suicide. 22 years later he’s ending his self-imposed exile.
More to the point, my mind was blown when I was introduced to the Melvins. It was so heavy! The sound was so much darker than most of the heavy metal I was aware of at the time. It’s hard, but has a slippery tempo that makes it difficult to put your finger on, still guitar-based, but with drums and vocals used so differently from anything else I’d yet heard. It’s still vaguely punk, but fucking evil as well. I loved it! This was the shit you imagined destroying boom boxes, although truthfully that particular Aiwa boom box lasted longer than it had a right to.
Or a less salacious title: Chris from Rosi, Rest In Peace My Friend
Fuck man, it sucks leaving some dudes behind. Chris, I wish you could have stuck around. You were a good dude. I feel like we would have stayed friends…
Los Angeles, 2015
I used to have this friend. Like 20 years ago now. He wasn’t my best friend or anything, but he was a good dude. He was from Boston like I am, and he’d gone down to New York for college, also like I did. That’s where I met him, down there in New York. He’d gone to Columbia where he was a friend of my friend, Kyle – that was how I originally met him. I knew Kyle because he dated my good friend Adelle from high school. Adelle was my connection to that whole crew up at Columbia in the first place. While I was at NYU, I’d go uptown every now and again to hang with those people.
I’ve tried with varying intensity over the years, to generate traffic to this blog. I’ve long imagined that consistency – primarily in the frequency and regularity of updates, but also in subject matter – would be the key to generating traffic. Apparently, I am incapable of either of those types of consistency, so I still don’t know whether this hypothesis is true or not. And I may never know.
I’ve spent the past month-or-so, in part processing the demise of my relationship with Zachariah. Zachariah, who I’ve blogged about previously, is an 11-year-old black boy who – while we were spending time together – was living with his brother and Great Grandmother (along with various other relatives) in a small apartment in South Central LA. We were paired up by a well-known mentoring organization that arranges for men and boys to spend time with one another on a regular basis.
After 15 endless minutes – mostly spent trying to decide who in this crowd is going to rob me when I leave – I reach the Plexiglas wall at the front of the check-cashing place. I shove my paycheck, all two hundred and sixty five dollars of it, along with my Massachusetts driver’s license through the little scooped out divot carved into the counter. The stone faced, rail-thin and straight up tough-looking, black woman on the other side of the glass examines the check and then pushes my documents back to me, along with a ballpoint pen with an extra twelve inches of grey duct tape extending from the top of it. I sign my check, noticing the stream of heated air coming through the hole. It feels nice. The proprietor of this establishment must not feel compelled to provide heat to us – the animals – on the other side of the glass.
This is the 6th entry in a series. It stands alone or you can start from the beginning. Find part 1 here and part 5 (the previous entry) here.