Thursday, April 30, 2009

And The Motorcade Sped On

In the mid 80's, the Starck Club in Dallas was as good as it got
on the "cool" hedonist circuit. MDMA, aka "ecstasy," was legal in
Texas and even young punks like ourselves wanted to go hussle
chicks and dance. And man did we did dance the shit out of that
place. It was the Rocky Horror Picture Show come to life.

See Warriors of the Discotheque: The Starck Club Documentary

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Guns Don't Kill People, People With Guns Kill People

Despite the hullabaloo, I don't foresee the US Gov't making any move to confiscate the guns of the citizenry. For one thing, it's one of the the only solvent industries left. I own guns but I'm not such a partisan that I don't realize guns make killing people a cinch. It's a fact that cowards (thieves, spoiled brats, religious zealots, political paranoids, etc.) abuse the power of guns everyday. Hunters are not a worry. Idiots with sniper rifles are the worry, just as idiots are on the freeway and in the bar and, yes, at the fucking gun show. If dipshits with mullets, selling Glochs and Uzis from behind cases stuffed with period fascist attire (sorry hardcores, but Nazis, like Mexicans, are foreigners and don't speak English) are afraid of the government coming to get them, I say increase the paranoia.

On the sunny side, don't forget it's America's gun dealing ingenuity that ensures the criminal drug enterprises of Mexico can operate without government interference and who, in turn, deliver the cocaine that fuels another recession proof American industry, the Titty Bar. I'm not sure this is the kind of free trade Samuel Colt had in mind, nevertheless, BUY AMERICAN! At the very least our strippers economic survival is depending on it, not to mention the plastic surgeons of California and Texas. I wonder if breast implants are made in the USA?

Agent Mule's Tip of the Day: Go out and kill an animal before you ever consider carrying a gun in public. The ruthless way a bullet rips through the flesh of a rabbit or a deer or dog or a squirrel is illuminating. That's a money back guarantee.

Related Post:
Gun Business Blazing

Monday, April 27, 2009

Chain and The Gang

Ian Svenonius has come a long way since Sassy Magazine first dubbed him the "Sassiest Boy in America" in 1991. The D.C. singer has never been anything less than political to the extreme: Nation of Ulysses had its own ministry of information, the Make-Up employed a new "liberation theology" for its gospel yeh-yeh style, and Weird War took aim at the fascist underpinnings of corporate rock. In 2006, Svenonius published The Psychic Soviet, a little pink book of 19 essays designed to "clear up much of the confusion regarding events of the last millennium--artistic, geo-political, philosophical, et al." His latest project, Chain and the Gang, approximates the down-n-out prison blues of the chain gang, infused with the jazz hooks typical of his previous bands. Their first record, Down With Liberty...Up With Chains, is out now on K Records.

"So what do you think about Obits' Rick Froberg, who recently commented that he's "not into innovation as a band?"

I totally agree with that, except I'm not into quality. I'm into trash. I think trash is appealing. I think the exciting thing about American pop music from the sixties or whatever is the garbage quality of it. Like soul music, gospel music. Not that it sounds like garbage, it's really well done, but it has a tossed off quality to it. The problem with music is the "importance" of it.

Interview with Ian about the new project at Village Voice>>>

Friday, April 24, 2009

Neuroenhancing in the Dark

Adderall, a stimulant composed of mixed amphetamine salts, is commonly prescribed for children and adults who have been given a diagnosis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. But in recent years Adderall and Ritalin, another stimulant, have been adopted as cognitive enhancers: drugs that high-functioning, overcommitted people take to become higher-functioning and more overcommitted. Or people starved for attention.

Related Posts ~
Dadderall In The Headlights

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Inspiration of Danny MacAskill

I have been riding bikes my whole life and still ride wheelies and bunny hop curbs or chains on the old Cook Bros when I can but this display is so awesome as to be hard to believe. Watch twice. Thank you, Danny MacAskill for inspiring me to get out and bend a rim.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Taste of Texas with A Little Spicy Mexican

Why would anyone get pissed at a tv advertisement for a sandwich called The Whopper? It's supposed to be stupid, pendejo.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Guiding Light of Georgia

The strangest monument in America looms over a barren knoll in northeastern Georgia. Five massive slabs of polished granite rise out of the earth in a star pattern. The rocks are each 16 feet tall, with four of them weighing more than 20 tons apiece. Together they support a 25,000-pound capstone. Approaching the edifice, it's hard not to think immediately of England's Stonehenge or possibly the ominous monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Built in 1980, these pale gray rocks are quietly awaiting the end of the world as we know it.

More >> @WIRED

Monday, April 20, 2009

I Miss Joe Strummer

In the summer of 1982, I met the Clash in Austin, TX. It was a brief hello facilitated by some French rockabilly cats who had befriended Paul Simonon. The band was in town to shoot the video for Rock The Casbah and play two crazed shows at the City Coliseum and handing out beer to a bunch of kids at the hotel's pool was perfectly cool by them.

Surprisingly, in hindsight, hanging with a famous punk band seemed a simple matter of course, nothing to even write home about. We weren't jaded culture junkies, we were interested. No autographs requested, no photos snapped. Meeting idols today is so different. TV and gossip rags don't make you more familiar with celebs they sadly differentiate you from them. Punk in theory was never about that. I've often thought about those shows at the Coliseum and how fucking violent it was, fighting and screaming "fuck the casbah" in the sweltering heat but I've never reflected much on the Clash sharing a poolside beer with me at the Crest Inn. That was just so normal for Austin in 1982. Things were cool. The Clash were cool.
Time flies, airplanes crash.

Note: Right behind the marquee in the distance is the Crest Inn Hotel. At the time it was the tallest building in Austin next to the State Capitol and the UT Tower. It's now a place people go to watch bats fly off into the evening sky.

Related Posts
The Loco Gringos
Political Life Imitating Art
Johnny Rotten, You Fat Old Irish Fuck
You Tube: A New Musical Anthropology

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Modest Proposal for a New National Anthem

It's time to ditch "The Star-Spangled Banner" and go with a song that more truly represents the America of today: post-crash, pre-apocalypse, meth- and money-addicted, heading down the highway to self-destruction. James McMurtry's "Choctaw Bingo" may just be the song for the job, the lyric for the time. Click play and follow along as the world spirals on its merry way without giving a good godamn.

Strap them kids in
Give 'em a little bit of vodka in a cherry coke
We're going to Oklahoma to the family reunion for the first time in years
It's up at uncle Slayton's cause he's getting on in years
You know he no longer travels but he's still pretty spry
He's not much on talking and he's just too mean to die
And they'll be comin' down from Kansas
and from west Arkansas
It'll be one great big old party like you never saw
Uncle Slayton's got his Texan pride
Back in the thickets with his Asian bride
He's got a Airstream trailer and a Holstein cow
He still makes whiskey 'cause he still knows how
He plays that Choctaw bingo every Friday night
You know he had to leave Texas but he won't say why
He owns a quarter section up by Lake Eufala
Caught a great big ol' blue cat on a driftin' jug line
Sells his hardwood timber to the shipping mill
Cooks that crystal meth because the shine don't sell
He cooks that crystal meth because the shine don't sell
You know he likes that money he don't mind the smell
My cousin Roscoe Slayton's oldest boy from his second marriage up in Illinois
He was raised in East St. Louis by his momma's people
Where they do things different
Thought he'd just come on down
He was going to Dallas Texas in a semi truck called from that big McDonald's
You know the one they built up on that great big ol' bridge
Across the Will Rogers Turnpike
Took the Big Cabin exit stopped and bought a carton of cigarettes
At that Indian Smoke Shop with the big neon smoke rings
In the Cherokee Nation hit Muskogee late that night
Somebody ran a stoplight at the Shawnee Bypass
Roscoe tried to miss 'em but he didn't quite
Bob and Mae come up from some little town
Way down by Lake Texoma where he coaches football
They were 2A champions now for two years running
But he says they won't be this year no they won't be this year
And he stopped off in Tushka at that "Pop's Knife and Gun" place
Bought a SKS rifle and a couple a full cases of that steel core ammo
With the berdan primers from some East bloc nation that no longer needs 'em
And a Desert Eagle that's one great big ol' pistol
I mean .50 caliber made by badass Hebrews
And some surplus tracers for that old BAR of Slayton's
Soon as it gets dark we're gonna have us a time
We're gonna have us a time
Ruth Ann and Lynn come down from Baxter Springs
That's one hell raisin' town way up in Southeastern Kansas
Got a biker bar next to the lingerie store
That's got them Rolling Stones lips up there in bright pink neon
And they're right downtown where everyone can see 'em
And they burn all night you know they burn all night you know they burn all night
Ruth Ann and Lynn they wear them cut off britches and them skinny little halters
And they're second cousins to me
Man I don't care I want to get between 'em
With a great big ol' hard on like a old bois d' arc fence post
You could hang a pipe rail gait from
Do some sister twisters 'til the cows come home
And we'd be havin' us a time
Uncle Slayton's got his Texan pride
Back in the thickets with his Asian bride
He's cut that corner pasture into acre lots`
He sells 'em owner financed
Strictly to them that's got no kind of credit 'Cause he knows they're slackers
When they miss that payment
Then he takes it back
He plays that Choctaw Bingo every Friday night
Drinks his Johnny Walker at that Club 69
We're gonna strap them kids in give 'em a little bit o' Benadryl
And a cherry coke we're goin' to Oklahoma Gonna have us a time


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Usual Gang of Idiots

Vanity Fair has assembled an amazing collection of Mad magazine covers spanning six decades of work by "The Usual Gang of Idiots." I can say with apologies to National Lampoon, everything I learned at Horace W. Elrod Elementary School, I learned in a rush to get back to Mad.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Has Wire Will Travel

The 1974 Headline was:
Stuntman, Eluding Guards, Walks a Tightrope Between Trade Center Towers; Free Performance Due 200 Planning Trips

Combining the cunning of a second-story man with the nerve of an Evel Knievel, a French high-wire artist named Philippe Petit sneaked past guards at the World Trade center, ran a cable between the tops of its twin towers and tightrope-walked across it yesterday morning. On leaving wire, he was arrested
The back story and the stealth preparations made the walk a compelling subject in the film “Man on Wire,” which won an Oscar for best documentary feature this year. Well, he's back. Mr. Petit says he will perform a high-wire walk in the fall in Midtown Manhattan. It will be high, it will be long, and it will be outdoors in a very recognizable location that he is still mum about.

Last year, I saw Philippe speak at the Cathedral of St John the Divine in Manhattan about his unimaginable '74 high wire caper and he was a trip. All street performance and manic energy ready at a moments notice to break into a juggle or hop aboard a unicycle. You could see the madness that had driven him to tight rope his little ass across the span betweeen the WTC towers still percolating his impish megalomania onwards and upwards. In the yawn inducing age of David Blaine stunts and High School Musical, I am happy to see the zany Frenchman drawing up plans for a new challenge. Gotta love stealth.

Previous Post Man on Wire - The Artistic Crime of the Century

Monday, April 13, 2009

Smokin' Joe Has His Say

Joe Frazier took a beating from Muhamad Ali in more
ways than one but as the new HBO doc Thrilla In Manila
shows Joe was always more of a man. Ali was the shuck
and jive dandy to Joe's humble and tireless working class
dude. In terms of public opinion, sadly it was never a fair
fight and the Nation of Islam's manipulation of Ali was as
savvy a marketing move as any cult has yet made.
Ali's turning on the one man, Joe Frazier, who had helped
in his darkest hour was shameful. Frazier's still hurting
from the three brutally historic run-ins and to a certain
extent takes glee in the Ali's current physical state. It's
powerful shit. Watch it on HBO for an insightful look at
history from an egregiously neglected point of view, but
keep your guard up, it's bruising.

Joe Frazier is the motherfuckin' man.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Crips and Bloods: Made in America

Most people don't know - or don't want to know - that just a few miles away from the glamour and celebrity of Beverly Hills there is a war going on in the streets of South Central LA.

Friday, April 10, 2009

A Good Friday

It's Good Friday and I'm reminded of the strange metamorphosis of cartoonist Johnny Hart from pre-historic yuk master to born-again Christian. "B.C." was considered the most widely read comic strip on the planet at the time Hart moved to a home with no TV. But Hart liked TV, so he ordered a satellite system. In an odd twist of faith, a father and son team of born-again Christian installation men showed and with the love of God in their hearts programmed Christian television shows on every set in Hart's house before they spilt.

According to Hart, "We had several TV sets, so every room I went into, these guys would have Christian TV on. I'd go into one room and see D. James Kennedy. I'd go into another room and see the PTL Club or another preacher. I began to sit and watch and listen, and pretty soon I got hooked on it." So hooked was Hart that till the end of his life he insisted upon putting Christian messages in his comics. His conversion confirms that God does indeed work in mischievous ways, after all the strip was called "B.C." In honor of this Good News, why not take a stab at picking your own king today: Jesus or TV?

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Katt Williams

Katt Williams is one crazy motherfuckin' brother. Don't believe me? Listen to the very smart Kelefa Sanneh talking in greater detail about his interview with the hysterically funny Mr. Williams here.

And read “Last Laugh,” in The New Yorker, April 13, 2009. It's a trip.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The World's Best Sandwich

The cult of the Banh Mi is gaining traction in the States and I'm happy the cat is finally out of the bag. I discovered my first sometime in the early 80's while driving around Houston blasted out of my gourd on c. sativa and mandrax. A large community of Vietnamese had resettled there after the War and the swampy, stiiffling heat plus accesss to fresh seafood from the Gulf of Mexico must have reminded them of Vietnam itself. The sandwich was a revelation of salty, sweet bbq'd pork, chilis, cilantro and creamy pâté on a perfect french baguette. And the price of was a magnificent 50¢. Mr Nguyen's shop became a stoner destination of sorts for anyone I could convince to tag along.

But it's always been a bit hard to find Banh Mi, short of endlessly drugged-out driving escapades, for the perplexing reason that Vietnamese restaurants didn't serve them. They were solely the provinance of the sandwich shops and street stalls. While portions of California have long been dependable Bahn Mi sources, variations on my favorite sandwich are just now beginning to explode across New York City, which means franchises from Iowa City to Ybor City can't be far behind.

Happily, the tide has turned and while Banh Mi may not be Texas BBQ both Texans and the Vietnamese owe a nod to the French, so Viva la France and make mine spicy!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Do a pig a favour! Ban vegetarianism now!

Giles Coren, the mercurial restaurant critic at the Times of London, is gloating over a recent study that shows that young people are more likely to suffer from eating disorders if they’ve tried vegetarianism. Actually, says Coren, vegetarianism is an eating disorder practiced mostly by pale, flaky, tedious extremists like Hitler (yes, he went there). Now, to the meat of his argument.

Vegetarianism is a cry for help. A sadly transparent attempt to exercise control over your body, which you feel the need to do for psychological reasons of which you are probably unaware …

It's as primitive a lifestyle as there is. It's why the very oldest religions eschew meat altogether, and others eschew some forms of it — because one exercises what control one can in the shadow of a mighty God with miserable little gestures of abstinence.

It's why vegetarians are mostly girls. Because vegetarianism is a way of controlling one's food intake without drawing attention to one's vanity.

After comparing vegetarians to bulimics, Coren argues that the way to make sure meat doesn’t put such a strain on the environment is to simply eat less of it instead of being an obnoxious blowhard. Speaking of which, the way to deal with vegetarians, if they annoy you, is probably to ignore them rather than use a major newspaper to call for their eradication.

[VIA Times UK and Grub Street]

Monday, April 06, 2009

I Met The Walrus

In 1969, a 14-year-old Beatle fanatic named Jerry Levitan, armed with a reel-to-reel tape deck, snuck into John Lennon's hotel room in Toronto and convinced John to do an interview about peace. 38 years later, Jerry has produced a film about it. Using the original interview recording as the soundtrack, director Josh Raskin has woven a visual narrative which tenderly romances Lennon's every word in a cascading flood of multipronged animation. Raskin marries the terrifyingly genius pen work of James Braithwaite with masterful digital illustration by Alex Kurina, resulting in a spell-binding vessel for Lennon's boundless wit, and timeless message.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Kids Paint the Damndest Things

About a year ago, 18 year old Rory McInnes of Hungerford, Berks, Britain, saw a show on TV about how Google Earth lets anyone in the world with a computer zoom in on just about anything (other than Dick Cheney’s house). In light of this discovery, young Rory was inspired to communicate to the world with the platform good fortune had given him, the massive roof of his parents house. His message to the world: check out this huge, oddly proportioned penis.

The penis measured in at about 60 feet. The balls, drawn in clear desperation and sheer lack of space, are each only about 5 feet in diameter, raising questions as to the proper functioning of the organ depicted, be it a scaled up replica or a life-size recreation.

Rory’s father Andy McInnes was informed of the graffiti by The Sun newspaper, which had been informed of its existence by a helicopter pilot who had been flying over. Rory is currently away in Brazil on a ‘gap year,’ some sort of British rite of passage, and will be scrubbing away at his giant penis upon return to the UK.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Is Brüno Bigger Than Borat?

If you thought Borat was shocking, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Coming to a cinema near you is Brüno: Ultra-camp, ultra-offensive, ultra-cringey and ultra-funny. Sacha Baron Cohen has kept a low profile over the past year, however camp character Brüno has done anything but. He was busted in Milan after disrupting a fashion show, gatecrashed an LA rally against gay marriage and interrupted a TV interview with ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, quizzing him on gay issues. It’s the same insane magic Baron Cohen used in the making of Borat. Only last month, he tricked the Alabama National Guard into letting him train at a their Military Academy. Bruno has come to Hollywood to become “the biggest Austrian celebrity since Hitler”.

In a preview at SXSW, Universal Pictures revealed some scenes. After landing in LA, Brüno decides to adopt a black baby to use in a “special arts project”. Auditioning for infant stars, he fires increasingly bizarre questions at the real-life fame-hungry parents. Asking one woman how much her daughter weighs, she replies: “Thirty pounds.” Brüno says: “We are looking for the new NICOLE RICHIE. Cheekbones. Do you think your daughter could be persuaded to lose ten pounds or so?”
Astonishingly she answers: “In seven days? Yeah. Yeah, I think we can do that.” Brüno replies: “If she can’t drop it, would you consider letting us do a little liposuction?” Sickeningly, the woman says she’d have no problem with that.

The climax of the preview sees Brüno on the Richard Bey show, seeking Mr Right. To jeers from the African-American audience, he unveils his arts project — the black baby posing as Jesus on a crucifix. The young star then joins his adopted dad on stage, in a T-shirt with the slogan “Gayby”. Just like with Borat, Cohen gets away with his outrageous behaviour by poking fun at his bigoted victims. Come July, when the film is out, Bruno will be the most talked about celebrity in the world. I awake everyday thankful I live in world brimming over with idiots.


Friday, April 03, 2009

Osama Bin Ladin Meet David Bowie

Two famous men known for reinventing themselves have spent most of this decade in hiding: Osama bin Ladin and David Bowie. Away from the public eye, Bin Ladin has been busy releasing mixtapes of varying quality over the past few years, but Bowie not so much. Bin Ladin's listeners, at the CIA and around the world, are very devoted to his work: no matter the content or the production values, they really get into each of his new releases and perform close readings in order to make sense of the man and his œuvre. Bowie has his share of fans, too, myself included, who stand ready to parse his latest offerings, but he has not released a new album in almost six years. I think it's time he came out of his cave and faced the music.

Read Jeff Strabone's complete piece @ 3 Quarks Daily

Thursday, April 02, 2009

The Amen Break

An interesting and in-depth out look at the world's most famous six-second drum sample that surprisingly goes uncredited (monetarily) in today's strict copyright atmosphere. Listen, learn and kick out the jams motherfucker. Oh yea, and God bless analog!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Spaghetti Farming: A 1st of April Tale

On April 1, 1957, the BBC's Richard Dimbleby produced a two-minute segment on “spaghetti harvesting” in Switzerland. Viewers watched spaghetti farmers pull pasta from trees as Dimbleby intoned “There’s nothing like real, home-grown spaghetti.“
Spaghetti is not a widely-eaten food in the UK and is considered by many as an exotic delicacy.
The footage, of course, was fake. But its impact was very real: Hundreds of viewers called the BBC, wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti trees. The network’s response: “Take a sprig of pasta, place it in tomato sauce, and wait.”

April Fool's Day lesson? Corny pranks kill! Or even ones involving elongated rice.

the running mule

the running mule