Sunday, December 23, 2012

Where's Rudolph? Where's Blitzen Baby?

Over the weekend I was listening to my digital music playing machine on random shuffle and this GEM of a Christmas song came on.  I listened to it probably 20 times in the course of the weekend.  The last track on  1989's "Brain Drain," which was considered a lack luster album for The Ramones (It did have Pet Sematary on it which was a great theme song for the movie of the same name -Ed.), Merry Christmas (I don't wanna fight tonight) is definitely worthy of a spot in the Christmas Song Pantheon and as of this weekend has earned its spot in my own personal Top 50 Songs of All Time.  If you're at all familiar with the Ramones you already know that 50's and 60's rock and pop was a major driver for the "Joey Ramone" sound and you can hear legendary producer (and more recently murderer - Ed.) Phil Spector's influence all over this one (Sorry Best Coast, the Ramones were there long before you were - Ed.) and if it were Darlene Love or Ronnie and the Ronettes singing this song it probably wouldn't sound out of place on Spector's iconic Christmas album.

It's The Ramones; you know what to do.  So without any further ado...all the way from 1989; The Ramones and Merry Christmas (I Don't Wanna Fight Tonight).


And because you're going to want to hear it over and over again, here's the bonus video.

 Io Saturnalia! and Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Robert Anton Wilson

Reeking of Human Fallibility

The future is awesome.  I can't wait until my choices are limited to only a handful of options.  That way I'll never have to think again; just point, grunt and hand over a plastic card.

From Metropolis Magazine:
Reeking of Human Frailty
 It's bigger here

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Professor Longhair Redux (or I think that Elwood Blues is reading my posts)

So...I was driving home tonight and I caught the local installment of the Blues Break (see post from a few weeks ago - Mgt) and tonight Elwood was celebrating the birthday of one of my favorite teachers; Professor Longhair (see post from even longer ago - Mgt).  Born in 1918, he would have been 94 today.  They called him Dr. Professor Longhair, but the girls called him the little old lover man... 

Anyway.  Here's some more of the 'Fess, doing what he did. 

Regular rock and roll rules apply.  Make sure the volume dial is in good working order.

Oh...and for those keeping score at home.  This is totally how I pictured Mr. Nancy in American Gods

Happy Birthday 'Fess

Rum and Coke

(They Call Me) Dr. Professor Longhair

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Why I'll Never Trust Futurama Again...

An 11 hour shift. Dog eats some poop. Finally ate dinner, at 9 o'clock at night. Things were not going well that random weekday night.

I know what will cheer me up, some Futurama.

It'll take 22 minutes. Bender will drink some alcohol, one liner from Professor, maybe Scruffy will show up. I'll laugh and all will be well in the world. Oh look this one is called "Jurassic Bark" hilariousness shall surely ensue.

And then...

9 Saddest TV Episodes of All Time

6 of the Saddest Episodes of Television to Ever Hit the Airwaves

The 30 Saddest TV Deaths

By simply typing in "TV Saddest Episodes" into Google these are the links that pop-up. Countless articles, blogs, forums and debates but all of them reference Fry's dog Seymour featured in the episode. That son of a bitch will leave you in tears.

As it got too dusty in my apartment to see I was forced to turn off the XBOX and what came next was not relief, not sadness, nor guilt, nor guilt but sheer anger. How dare they do that to me? I came to them and their four fingered antics for a laugh and a pick me up. What I got was utter heartbreak. So let this serve as a warning to you all "Jurassic Bark" when not properly prepared is a horror of a scenario. But if you are in the mood for as good of a cry as "Dear Zachary" look no further than this guy.

That glorious/evil bastard.

Mind Enhancing Documentaries: 'Normal' Folk Beware

I recently have been watching lots of documentaries to pass the ever moving clock here in my quasi dorm room. I found this site Documentaries They Won't Show You on TV and have been watching to my hearts content. Some of the links are a little wonky but the sites are 'trust worthy' (what we are trusting I'm not sure)

There are documentaries of all different genres. From Government Corruption to sex drugs and rock and or roll to Quirky bridge love

 Enjoy Enjoy Enjoy.

Space Robot takes picture of War Robot


Sadly, I can't take credit for the title of the post.  I got it at

Apparently this is a picture of a drone taking off/landing taken by a satellite.   

Post Script:  Space Robot sez...

Monday, December 17, 2012

Io Saturnalia!
Supposedly an image of Saturnalia, but I can't find a source

On December 17th, the ancient Romans celebrated Saturnalia.  It was the festival of Saturn, the god of agriculture and was held after the harvest and after the autumnal planting was completed.  The celebration in Saturn's honor was meant to evoke an earlier idealized time when Saturn ruled the earth.  By all accounts this was one of the most popular holidays of the Roman calendar and was celebrated by a cessation of work and governmental administration, public gambling, relaxed formality and reversed social order; masters waited upon their slaves, who were often seen in distinct peaked caps symbolizing that they were freed slaves.  The festival was marked by sacrifice (of the human variety), gift giving and continual partying.  Of course, this was only temporary; a liminal "time between times" where social hierarchies were temporarily dissolved or reversed and societal norms relaxed.

A popular interpretation of this holiday is that it was a festival of light leading up to the winter solstice, the supposed darkest days of the year.  In the later days of the Roman Empire, the solstice and new year were celebrated in the dies natalis of sol invictus, or the birth of the unconquerable sun, which was held on the 25th of December.

It is believed that the festivities of Saturnalia were later incorporated into the Christian celebration of Christmas and the Jewish Hanukkah celebrations which occur around the same time of year and have a lot of the same imagery and ritual.

My source for some of this information is Wikipedia, in which I'm always hesitant to put full stock, and the whole idea of projecting modern cultural phenomena on ancient practices often leaves a lot of room for inaccuracy, but it makes sense logically that some cultures, especially those which can trace a direct line to Rome, would light up the darkest days of the year and then celebrate when that threshold was passed and the days once again became longer.  It's also likely that this celebration did not spring from the minds of Rome, but it is probably a deeper and even more primal celebration of light over darkness, from a time long before we were able to electrically light our days and nights.  I thought that this was just a little something to ponder at a time which seems to be taken for granted these days.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

IN THE YEAR 2000...

"France in the Year 2000 (XXI century) – a series of futuristic pictures by Jean-Marc Côté and other artists issued in France in 1899, 1900, 1901 and 1910. Originally in the form of paper cards enclosed in cigarette/cigar boxes and, later, as postcards, the images depicted the world as it was imagined to be like in the year 2000. There are at least 87 cards known that were authored by various French artists, the first series being produced for the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris." - (From The Public Domain Review)

Others can be found here

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I Used To Search All Night For You Darling, But My Search Would Always End In Vain

If you ever want to get me fired up, ask me about the state of rock radio stations.  They pretty much all suck these days compared to when I was cutting my teeth.  I can remember when the local stations had DJs who were knowledgeable about the subject and would open sonic doors to new music.  That said, my local radio station around here, 107.1 The Peak, is a pretty decent one.  Its got DJs who actually care about the music they play and the play lists don't seem as programed as some of the more corporate stations.  I think the fact that it lies about as far right on the dial as a station can go might have something to do with it, but they're pretty active in the local music scene and play good music pretty much all the time and will even spin some pretty deep cuts.

Now, every night at around 8 pm they've got a syndicated show called the "Blues Break" or something like thats hosted by Dan Aykroyd as Ray Stantz, Louis Winthorpe III, Elwood Blues (Dan...if you happen to read this and are looking to hire someone to help with the blues mobile, hit me up)

Anyway...the point of my story, if there even is one, is that yesterday he spun one of my favorite tunes of all time, we're talking top 50 material (stay tuned for Goofus Thomas's top 50 songs of all time - Mgt.); "The Things That I Used To Do" by Eddie "Guitar Slim" Jones.  Born on December 10, 1926, which I guess is why Elwood was spinning him on Monday.  Eddie was known for his wild onstage antics.  He would hook his guitar up to his amps with a 350 foot cord and he would walk out into the audience, out the front door and into the street, without missing a lick.  He would wear brightly colored suits and dye his hair to match.  His influence on Rock and Roll is huge; Buddy Guy, after seeing Guitar Slim play said that he wanted to play like B.B. King and act like Guitar Slim.  When I saw Buddy Guy play in 1999, he walked out into the audience with a long guitar cord and played solos among the crowd at the Ira Allen Chapel at UVM.  Buddy Guy begat Eric Clapton and so on and so forth.

In 1953, Guitar Slim recorded, "The Things That I Used To Do" for Specialty Records.  It was produced by a young, and I would assume at that point, relatively unknown, Ray Charles, who also played piano on the track (watch him shake a tail feather above and hear him say "Yeahhh" at the end of the recording below when they finally nailed the recording - Mgt.).  Slim supposedly said that the song came to him in a dream where the devil and an angel fought each other with competing lyrics.  The devil won, which might shine a light onto the lyrics (it might not though -Mgt.).


So...without further ado..."The Things That I Used To Do"

In 1964 James Brown recorded a version...

And in 1984, 31 years after (hard to believe that 1984 was only 31 years after 1953 - Mgt.) it was originally recorded, Stevie Ray Vaughn SLAYS it, at Carnegie Hall...

It's not hard to see why the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame listed this as one of the top 500 (?! - Mgt.) songs that shaped rock and roll.

As always.  PLAY 'EM LOUD! It's rock and roll after all.

Friday, December 7, 2012

What's for breakfast

Sugary breakfast cereal was really big in my household growing up (part of a well balanced nutritious breakfast of course).  For my brother and I it bordered on obsession. We would argue over who got to decide which new box to open and then who would get to have the box in front of them while eating (providing both entertainment and a 'fortress of solitude' like feel).  It even got to the point where our parents would give us new boxes of cereal for presents on holidays and birthdays (and we would be wicked excited for them). 

Croonchy Stars’ (the muppets Swedish Chefs cereal) had one of my all time favorite boxes.  It contained games, puzzles (some unsolvable) and other humorous readings which would occupy my attention while spooning in the copious amounts of early morning 'cinnamonnamony' sugar. 

Some of my all-time favorites were the cereals that wouldn’t even pretend to be nutritious.  With a name like ‘Sugar Smacks’ (which later changed its name to the more wholesome ‘Honey Smacks’) you knew what you were getting yourself into. And then there were two of my favorites, ‘Cookie Crisp’ which allowed a child to eat mini chocolate chip cookies for breakfast and ‘Ice Cream Cones’ which also took the concept of a sugary desert and turned it into a ‘nutritious’ breakfast cereal.

OJ’s’ could have been one of the worst ideas for a cereal.  Orange juice and milk just don’t mix that well together.  I guess that's why they didn't last that long :(.      

Even though the 'Crispy Critters' commercial claimed that it was 'indubitably delicious', I mostly remember it as not being very good.  Though, the annoying commercial jingle did stick in my head.  Indubitably.

Thursday, December 6, 2012