Music Television (Or as We Call it Now: YouTube)

Lately I’ve been trying to transfer most of my music library from iTunes to Windows media so’s I can put it all on my new Galaxy S III (possibly the finest electronic device conceived by the mind of man, BTW) and it occurred to me that there’s sooooooo much good stuff out there that I love that many people have never even heard of, or at least they’ve forgotten about it.  That’s easy, the forgetting part.  Radio plays the hits (I know, bub.  That’s how I earn my livin’.) And Mtv long ago dropped the “Music Television” from their logo.  Yep.  Go look it up.  I’ll wait.

Done?  Good.  And yes, there are apps like Pandora and Spotify that do an okay job of throwing “similar” music into the mix, but you always run the risk of pigeon-holing yourself musically.  You’re listening to your Classic Country playlist/station and it might throw in a Conway Twitty that you’d never heard, but you’re totally missing Hank III.  “Wait!”  You scream as the internet bus pulls away from the virtual curb. “Hank III isn’t classic country!  He plays hellbilly and metal!”  He also does some numbers that sound more “country” than anything by that nitwit Kenny Chesney, so shut yer yap or I’ll come over there and spit some Beech-Nut in yer eye. P’TANNNNGGG!!!!

I digress.  I figured since we’re all friends here, I’d introduce you to some of my all-time faves and maybe throw in a couple of more recent selections.  This way you can spruce up your playlist a bit, yes?  ‘Cause it needs some sprucing.  You know this.  Also, note:  Ima try and find the album versions of these songs unless there’s a great video/concert video.  I want you to hear these like they’ll sound on your iPod, phone, etc. We’ll start with one of my all-time favorites.  So much so that I actually have the lyrics inked on my body.  That’s legit, folks.

Rancid. I was late to the party on these guys, first hearing about them when they truly broke in the great punk revival of 1994.  I’d heard Operation Ivy, but somehow missed that two of that band’s original members had formed “Rancid.”  Blew. Me. Away.  I like this song for so many reasons, not the least of which is that it was written by Billy Joe Armstrong of Green Day. (Which is awesome, because Green Day have always done a great cover of Op Ivy’s “Knowledge.”)  This song is pop punk with a little more snarl than most “pop” acts.  Is Tim Armstrong (no relation to Billy Joe, BTW) drunk?  Is he handicapped?  Maybe both.  And it’s awesome.

The next selection is from one of the greatest “Alternative” albums of the early nineties. Concrete Blonde doesn’t get any love in the mainstream world, but you probably heard a snippet of one of their songs in Point Break and their amazing version of Leonard Cohen’s “Everybody Knows” in Pump Up The Volume.

The closest this band ever came to a “hit” was the single “Joey” from the same album, Bloodletting.  There’s not a bad song on this album, however, and I recommend you download the entire thing.  Vampire fans should note that this was a sort of concept album, with the Anne Rice vampire saga as the backdrop.  Not every song drips with blood, venom, and mossy trees in the French Quarter, but the album as a whole sure does.  Check it.

Now for something more contemporary:

This song was like a virus of truth.  My friend Ray called me, excited and panting, saying “Dude.  Dude!  You MUST check out Volbeat!  My God…you’ll love them.  They’re like…like Social Distortion meets Metallica meets Johnny Cash and Elvis.  I can’t…just listen to Sad Man’s Tongue.  You’ll thank me.” Of course, Ray is sort of misguided prophet, and he and I have been on many adventures, from pissing in a cop’s driveway in the dead of night in Chicago to nearly being abducted by hot rockabilly chicks in Indianapolis.  I trust Ray.  Ray was right again.  This song really is the best example of the Volbeat sound, and yes, they do range from straight metal riffage to simple acoustic country tunes.  This song has it all, and everyone I’ve ever played it for has immediately gone and acquired every piece of the Volbeat discography. Do likewise.

I’ve got one more for ya.  I have to stop, or you’ll be scrolling this baby  until your mouse wheel wears out.  Or your touch screen.  Whatevs.  Canada’s The Real McKenzies liked the Celtic flavor of Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly, but apparently felt that neither was Scottish enough.  The results are delightful.

What’s a cattieyote?  From what I’ve been able to glean from the interwebs, it’s a cross between a coyote and a feral cat.  I don’t know if such a thing is actually possible, but there you go.  The McKenzie’s version of Loch Lomond is also a rollicking affair, and I have been dying to use the phrase “rollicking affair” for so damned long, it’s great to finally have a reason to do so.

So there’s a starter pack for you.  That oughtta keep you downloadin’ and streamin’ for quite a while.  Get to it and rock on.

Clearance Sale! EVERYTHING MUST GO!!

Just looking through my notes as I prepare the next “themed” blog and realized there’s some stuff that I wanted to include in other posts, but for whatever reason did not.  So ima dump it in herrrr and if you like it, great.  It’s like that box of 50%-off stuff at the front of the Goodwill store.  Think about that: it’s stuff nobody wanted, so they gave it to Goodwill.  And then Goodwill couldn’t get rid of it.  Dayum.  So, yeah…this one’s going to be sort of catch-as-catch-can. (I’M SO GODDAM FUNNY!!)

You know what I realized about penises the other day?  We often see large male members as a symbol of male dominance.  You hear it all the time “Oh, they’re just arguing over who has the biggest dick.  Soon they’ll get over it and grab some beers.”  Corporate promotion, sports teams…it’s all about the junk.  But here’s the flaw in that logic.  The dominant male in a tribe/group was the one that got to lay down wit all the ladies back in tha day, y’all.  And in so doing, he passed his genetic code on to multiple offspring. To the victor goes the spoils, bitch!  Aw, yeah!  Okay then: the most dominant, powerful males had kids that resembled them, yes?  If that’s the case, then you could argue that whatever size his pork sword was, his offspring would share a similar set of dimensions?  And further, that would be the most common type of penis, as those are the genes that exponentially get spread around, correct?  Then I put it to you that the dominant males did NOT have giant peckers. They COULDN’T have, as  BIG MAN MEAT would then be the standard, rather than the exception.  Yep, our forefathers were hung like fruit flies.  Their intellect and cunning, along with the ability to network socially (um, before Facebook like) were factors in their leadership, and as a result their offspring were smarter, etc and so the primitive brain was overtaken by the bigger, faster model and voila!  We’re using tools, building houses, and planting crops!  All thanks to small-prick-itis!!  Likewise, men with huge, engorged, throbbing tools are more like cro-magnons. Simple.  Animalistic.  And yes, chicks would still rather bang them.  Sorry.  Something about it feeling better or whatever.

Okay, this theory needs some work.

While I’m appealing to your baser instincts, may I also propose a replacement for the time-honored tradition of “The Handshake?”  Handsakes are unsanitary.  Plus, you always run into one of two types of people:  the “I have a MASSIVELY STRONG GRIP, WHICH IS A SIGN OF MY SUPERIOR MANHOOD AND NOTHING AT ALL TO DO WITH MY PENIS AND NO, PAL, I’M SURE NO NANCY-BOY AND I’LL LET YOU KNOW ALL ABOUT IT AS I STARE INTO YOUR EYES TO GAUGE YOUR REACTION TO MY SUPERIOR CRUSHING ABILITY!!” person and the “my hand is really a dead lake trout wrapped in a soggy Kleenex” corpse-grip person.  Fffffuuuuu…

Anyway, I propose to introduce the Assgrab as the new way of greeting friends and strangers (remember, a stranger is a friend whose ass you’ve yet to grab!)  And here are some reasons why:

1) It IS more sanitary, unless neither of you is wearing pants.

2) It is one hell of an ice breaker.  Seriously, all pretense is gone when you have a handfull of someone else’s glutes.

3) In a business sense, it literally lets you feel out the competition.  “Oooo, his ass is flabby.  A soft desk-job guy.  But that could also mean he’s in the IT department or is busy coding all day.  Might be a hidden asset.” (I really resisted making an “ass-et” joke there.  Oh, crap, I did it anyway.) “Hmm…her ass is rock-hard, and she’s not even flexing.  I’ll bet she’s a no-nonsense slave driver.  I need people like that on my team.”  See?  It would also encourage fitness!  No one wants to be seen as soft or pliable.  Added bonus?  Chaps without pants would be considered acceptible Casual Friday attire.

Oh, crap...it's the boss. Look busy!

I have two boys.  I keep them entertained with my iPod.  Yes, I have an Android phone.  I also have an LG Optimus which I got to replace my old phone which was destroyed at a rockabilly show.  That’s how I roll. Let’s move on. This explains why sometimes my Tweets are fubar. I have a friend (we’ll call him “Kyle”) who works for an online retailer/geek culture social hangout place (we’ll call it “J!NX.“)  Anyway, “Kyle” loves to bust my chops about how terrible I am at Tweeting.  Like, literally.  It’s not the content (okay, sometimes it’s the content) but more stuff like the iPod correcting “shit” as “shot” and so on.  It’s tough constantly switching between two different OS’s, especially when you’re got two kids fighting over who gets to play “Angry Birds Rio.”

I should really be charging for this shit.

Anyway, I use my iPod a lot for dicking around at home or wherever there’s WiFi. This is why I delete my history often.  My kids don’t need to accidentally experience “My Friend’s Hot Mom” when they’re trying to watch “Adventure Time” clips. That’s another reason why I download crap games: keep my litle bastards off the web.  When you get an iPod or iPhone or iPad (or similar Windows or Android-based items!) one of the first things that happens to your mind is  a desire to GRAB EVERYTHING YOU CAN FROM THE APP STORE!!  It’s like being at Food Lion before a hurricane, fer crissakes…pulling stuff off the virtual shelves that you’ll NEVER need, and prolly won’t even use after the first week.  I  had a “Steel Drums of Tobago” app.  When you tapped the little steel drums, it made, um, steel drum music.  But I don’t know how to play the steel drums,  so it sounded like a fucking mouse crawling around with a cowbell tied to one of its hind legs. BING! BUNG!  BING! BING! BONG-BING!

See? What's not to get?

There was another app called, I believe, “Shark Tank.”  It was like a mini-aquarium with some CG sharks swimming around.  You could feed them chum.  You could, for some reason, shock them with a cattle-prod. You could turn the Jaws-like theme music off. That was it.  Seriously, I HAD THIS ON MY iPOD!!  Of course, this was a couple of years ago when literally 75% of apps in the App Store were designed to make your phone sound like a shotgun or lightsaber.  We’ve moved beyond that.  We’re more productive than that.  We’re better than that, and so are our mobile devices.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must accept this invitation to play “Hangin’ With Friends.”