Friday, June 26, 2009

My musical journey

If you're obsessed with music like me, there is no better time to be living than today. With the Internet we have instant access to millions of songs, tons of videos, and can preview music with the click of a button to see if it's right for us. Come back in time with me on my musical journey and you'll realize why I'm so excited to be living in this day and age....

I've always been a music junkie, even as a little kid. My mom and dad always had a lot of 7"s, albums, and 8 tracks of all types of music, and when I was a kid I used to love to explore the music they had laying around. They had stuff like The Beatles, Neil Sedeka, Captain and Tenille, 70's radio stuff, and some country. I used to just like to pull something out and listen to it. That's one thing that I've always found I liked, just to find something new that blew you away. Of course, after going through their entire collection, I started buying my own stuff. There was a little record shop down here called Harry's, my dad owned a business next to his so I was in that shop a lot, buying mostly 7"s. I'd just get stuff without even knowing what it was and just listened to it. It didn't matter to me if it was some cajun band's single or some 70's bubblegum pop song. I'd just pull it off the shelf and buy it. The CB craze was big back then and I'd buy any single that Mr. Harry told me was about CB radio. I usually went home with crap like this... Hey Shirley (This Is Squirrely)...

As time went by I became a young teen and started to care more about what I bought. I'd listen to the radio and find a song I liked and then went and bought the entire album instead of the single. I found that the best songs were the ones not played on the radio. I had a whole world of music to discover and the only way I was exposed to it was by the radio. So I bought and bought albums and enjoyed each one. That's how I discovered Cheap Trick, the only band that I've followed from childhood to adulthood. But the problem was that I never knew when new records would be coming out, everytime I went to the record store I'd look up my favorite bands to see if something new was out. It was time consuming.

When will the new Cheap Trick be out? When will it be out? When will it be out?

When I hit my teen years I turned my back on radio and became a metal head. I loved the metal scene. I wanted to get my hands on any metal record I could find. There was really no way to hear metal on any radio stations back then, so I would just go to a record store and look at the album covers and pick out what was cool looking. Sure, you knew what stuff like Ozzy or Dio sounded like before you bought it, but for the obscure metal I wanted there was just the luck of the draw. Sometimes you'd get lucky and pick out something that looked cool and you ended up with Accept, and sometimes you'd pick something that sounded like dog crap... like this piece of crap known as Piledriver...

Now, I knew I was wasting a lot of money on crap that I didn't like, stuff like Tankard, Morbid Angel, Nasty Savage, and Thor would get played once and discarded never to be played again. But they were all sacrifices I had to make to find stuff I liked, bands like Raven, Overkill, Mercyful Fate, Lizzy Borden and Crumbsuckers would have never been by discovered by me unless I bought the crappy stuff too. My friends weren't into the obscure metal that I was into so I had no one to introduce any new cool music to me, so I just had to go by the visuals on the album covers.

What Teenage metal head in their right mind not pick up this album on the cover alone?

After a while, my taste in metal really declined. I just found the genre was getting boring and I needed something new to peak my interest. Sure I still enjoyed taking out my old Raven albums and listening to them (still do to this day), but I needed something new, I needed to be stimulated in a different way. That's when I discovered Indie music and Punk. Here was a whole new journey for me. It started with the more Indie side before Punk, but here was a musical genre that I could get into. This stuff was not mainstream back then, nobody that I knew listened to it, I loved the sounds. So I started picking up things that looked interesting. I'd pick up stuff like Dinosaur Jr., Lemonheads, Black Flag and The Pixies. Stuff that was showing up in the alternative section in the record store back then. I discovered Naked Raygun, Ludichrist, Mucky Pup, The Descendents, DRI and all sorts of cool bands just by the album covers. Again, I had no network of friends that were into the same music that could give me recommendations, I had to go by blind faith. Like the metal years, I wasted a lot of money on crap, but it was a sacrifice to be made if I wanted to discover some cool music.

Without my hit or miss method, this gem would have never been discovered!

On a late night trip one Saturday night, I had my radio on the Tulane college radio station and on came a Punk radio show. They played some stuff I knew before like DRI, Black Flag, and The Ramones but somewhere on the show, they started playing stuff I never heard of before like Screeching Weasel and Mr. T Experience. I was hooked, listening to Screeching Weasel sing about wanting to be buck naked and letting the sun shine in. I knew I needed more!! In fact, the first song I heard from Screeching Weseal was this gem...

I had to get my hands on this stuff, but could not find it anywhere. I looked high and low for this "Screeching Weasel" record but could not find it anywhere. I searched record store after record store to find this record (remember this is Southern Louisiana we're talking about here), and had no luck. So, one Saturday I decided to call the Tulane Punk Show and see if they knew where to find this record. They gave me the address to Lookout records and told me that I should write to them. So I did, and after a long wait, I finally got my precious Screeching Weasel album (actually tape). I soon discovered Maximum Rock N' Roll zine and my life changed. Here was a zine that covered topics and music that I was interested in! I thought I was alone in my musical tastes, but here was a zine dedicated to the music that I loved!! I immediately subscribed and bought a ton of back issues, mostly for the reviews. Oh, those reviews!! Here were reviews of music that I never knew existed! Page after page after page of reviews. All the reviews were of independent bands and labels, no major label crap here. I discovered so much great music, Jawbreaker, Vindictives, Face To Face, Superchunk, Fastbacks. I was in heaven. I wanted it all. So I started writing to each label or band that sounded interesting and asked how much their record was, then I'd wait for the reply, then when I got the reply I'd go buy a money order and mail it to them, then I'd wait for the record to come in... whew, what a long process! But then I discovered Blacklist Mail Order that would carry all these records for a very cheap price. So I read and read the reviews and every review that mentioned that the band sounded a little like other bands I liked, I'd buy the record, no matter what.

Thank you Maximum Rock N' Roll for opening my eyes

Punk was becoming a little more mainstream and record stores were carrying more and more stuff, but even though I read the reviews on Maximum Rock N' Roll and other zines I discovered, there was still no way to find out if you'd like the stuff you bought until you took it home and listened to it. So there was still that chance that you were wasting your money on junk.

Nowadays, you can find everything online. No, I don't subscribe to Maximum Rock N' Roll anymore (I probably should), but it's easy to get information online. I still get just about anything that looks halfway interesting, but I can preview it before, and if it sounds like total crap then I can stay away. I still love to discover new bands and the Internet makes discovering them so easy now. Stuff that I thought was so rare back in the day, like limited edition 7"s, can be found in mp3 format online. Everything is now easy for a music fan like me. I can communicate with fellow fans so easily these days, which makes finding new cool stuff easier. For myself, I would never want to go back to the old ways of discovering music.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Thoughts on Psychoville

I got to watch the first episode of BBC's new dark "comedy", Psychoville and really dug it a lot. This series is from League Of Gentlemen's Steve Pemberton and Reece Sheersmith, and is really weird and dark. When you have a show that features a midget with some sort of mental powers that once starred in midget porn, a serial killer obsessed man-child who's obviously involved in some sort of incest with his mom, a nurse who thinks a baby doll is a real baby, a mean spirited clown with one hand, and a blind angry man who lives in a castle and collects beanie babies you know this isn't going to be a normal show. This is one dark comedy and is not for everyone, but the first episode really sets up introducing all the characters and each character receives a letter from a mysterious stranger that simply says, "I know what you did". What connects all these weirdos? I guess we'll find out in the following episodes. The first episode really sucks you into their strange world and makes you look forward to the next. Hopefully the show stays on track for the entire series and stays interesting.

Another fun thing about the series is the online interaction with the show. There are a bunch of websites for everything involved in the show. I already visited the Bingo Panto company website which runs the Snow White play that the midget Robert works on, which led me to Robert's website, which led me to a funny fake midget porn site that features the movie Robert worked on. From what I saw on each site, a lot of thought went into them and were fun. I cannot wait to visit them all.

Do yourself a favor and find a way to watch this show. It's very unique and should be a fun (if a bit) short series.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Corner Gas spoofs the Archies

I love Corner Gas, and this is one of the reasons why, funny stuff....

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Kok Siu-Man - Updates to where he is now!!

Thanks to some recent comments on this site, I have more information on the whereabouts of Kok Siu-Man! Someone reported to me that Kok Siu-Man was recently accepted into the Department Of Transportation Management Graduate Institute Of Transportation Science at Taiwan's Tamkang University. And that he also worked at an ice cream shop to help pay for his tuition and help his parents out, also he did a little TV work in Mainland China recently.

But the best peice of information I received was this link to a series of youtube videos from some show in China. It features Kok Siu-Man and Sik Siu -Lung in some type of interview/variety show. I can't understand a word of it, but it seems like they are wearing the same clothes as the previous photos I posted before so probably the pictures were taken the same day as the interview show. The link to the youtube video is , make sure to check out the related videos on the right side to see the whole interview/show. Good stuff!! Keep those updates coming!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Azalea Bingo Hall commercial

If you don't live in the New Orleans area then you probably never saw this commercial, hell, if you live in the New Orleans area then you probably never saw this commercial. I don't know why, but I'm obsessed with this commercial. First off, I'm not a fan of bingo. It's boring, and when I do get dragged to it, I'm usually more concerned with the time the concession stand will close so that I can get a few beers in before they shut the stand down than the game itself. So why am I so obsessesd with this commercial? I have no clue, but there's things I find interesting about this commercial... First the commercial (sorry about the poor quality, it's the best I could do, turn up the volume!)

Now, it's not the best commercial, but the first thing that is weird is that is this supposed to be 1950 or 2009? She uses the phrase, "stifle it", which I never hear in the year 2009. I know they are supposed to be kind of talking like we do down in South Louisiana or down in St. Bernard, but I've never heard someone use the term stifle it. And if it's supposed to be a 1950's couple why does the girl have a tattoo on her right shoulder? No woman in 1950 would have that, the tattoo totally kicks me out of the commercial. And if Tony was too busy eating and drinking beer then why are there no empty beer cans around the table? And when was the last time you had unbelievable food at a Bingo Hall? I guess the stale nachos and cheese that Ann Marie was eating was the unbelievable food. And if Tony bought all those extra hot dogs then why is he letting them sit around and not eating them? And Ann Marie must have one powerfull kiss because Tony sure does get stunned and is out of his mind when she does kiss him. The actor who plays Tony is in another commercial, the Blue Runners Bada Bing commercial....

This gets me thinking..... In the red beans commercial, when he is talking about his wife, is he talking about Ann Marie from the bingo commercial? Who knows, either way I like both commercials and would love to find out more information about both actors in the commercial, if anyone has any other information about them please drop me a line.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Why I Can't Go For That.

For the first time ever I can finally explain why I can't go for that....

Monday, June 8, 2009

Check Writers!!

How many times does this happen to you? You're in a hurry and stop by your favorite store to buy a 6 pack or 2 of your favorite brews and you get in a line that looks like the shortest line around. The checkout person checks out all the goodies of the person in front of you and then they tell the customer their total.... Then the worst thing possible happens!!! The person pulls out a damn checkbook and starts writing a check!! You see the time passing as the idiot writes out the check, then they write the total of their check in their checkbook ledger, then they finally hand the check to the cashier, then the cashier asks for an ID, then the customer starts looking all over for their ID, and then the cashier starts punching in the numbers of the check into the register and they always have to do it three or four times because they always screwup the numbers, then they pass the check through the register and finally give the receipt to the idiot customer. Whew, what a process!! All this time that you're waiting behind this dinosaur, every other line is zipping along. What idiots!!

I'd personally like to know why people are still using checks in this time of technology? It's usually some old person or some housewife type that has not a care in the world. The same people who still use checks are the same ones who dig around for .68 cents in change when their total is $4.68. I figure the people still using checks are the same people that pay their bills using regular mail instead of paying their bills online. It's someone who still doesn't trust "computers" and think that if they get a Debit card then one day their precious $500 in their bank account will one day be stolen by some evil computer hacker or that a computer will deduct $50 instead of $5 out of their accounts. And you know the cliche', if someone is writing a check they wait until they get the total before they even pull out their checkbook, only problem is... it's not a cliche'. I've never ever saw a person fill out a check with the information they can before a total is given, they are probably worried that some "thief" will suddenly snatch their signed check and go buy a brand new car with it.

People, if you're still using checks stop living in the past, get a debit card and do everyone a favor. There's some of us in that line that you're holding up that has to get home and drink some of that Abita that we bought.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Benidorm returns!!

After a year or so, the British series Benidorm has returned. I just watched the "special" episode to make way for another season of this great series and all I've got to say is I can't wait for season 3!! In case you have never watched Benidorm, it's a British comedy based in a resort in Spain. It stars a lot of familar faces and has great characters. In fact, that's what makes this show so good, you really enjoy every character on the series. The "special" episode takes place right after the final episode of season 2, Madge and Janice are taken hostage by some deranged "No Country for Old Men" villian, Mel is in the hospital after being punched by Mick, Mick is in jail for punching Mel, the Stewarts are still a swinging couple, and Weedons get disturbing news. The entire "special" episode sums up all the answers left by the ending of season 2 and then makes way for season 3. Supposedly, season 3 will feature hour long episodes instead of 30 minutes, this is great news. So if you've never watched Benidorm before find season 1 and 2 and catch up on one of my favorite shows out there.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Ideal - Finally an awesome episode during season 5!

While watching the 4th episode of season 5 of Ideal, I thought to myself, now this is the Ideal I know and love. This was a great episode that really had focus and now I'm psyched about the last two episodes of the series. Moz is forced to deal again, but this time it's Heroin, we learn what really scares Fist, the Marco and Judith scene was terrific, Psycho Paul is back to his old self, Steve returns, and Phil Collins is forced to arrest Moz. After the arrest of Moz, it should be a great last 2 episodes. Especially if Moz and Jenny are forced to run from the law. After a slow start to season 5, this episode really had me laughing and it felt good to see Ideal in top form again!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Mr Lahey - My favorite television character of all time!

I really don't like TV that much. There was a time when I would watch anything on TV no matter how bad it was. But today, I can't handle 99% of the crap on TV. There are a few shows I do watch faithfully, Corner Gas, Mighty Boosh, Breaking Bad, Ideal, any show with Rich Fulcher in it, and a few others. But, my favorite show that just ended has got to be Trailer Park Boys. Now, Trailer Park Boys has some great characters: Julian, Ricky, Bubbles, Randy, J-Roc, etc. But the one character that I enjoy the most and who I feel is one of the great television characters of all time has to be Mr. Jim Lahey.

Mr. Lahey is off and on the Sunnyvalle Trailer Park Supervisor, he loves his liquor, he loves to keep Sunnyvalle running smoothly, and he loves Randy. Mr. Lahey usually spends his time trying to get Ricky and Julian back in jail and drinking. John Dunsworth plays a drunk so convincingly that sometimes I think he really is drunk during some scenes. Just look at some of these great Lahey drunk scenes from Youtube.

So to you Mr. Lahey, I salute you! You my friend, are the greatest character on television today.