Tomorrow’s Annual Xtortion

Swiped taxed from Ed Driscoll, ReasonTV busts out a jam -

For those who kick it old skool and the only Pharrell you know is the guy who played BJ on M*A*S*H…

The Low Rider Is Revving In The Drive

Listen and compare basslines -

There’s even some similarity between the opening drum rolls.

Actual video here, I used the other one because this version skips over the opening drums.

I was something of a Thompson Twins fan when I was in junior high. I had the records Side Kicks and Into The Gap (on vinyl), and I think I had some 12″ remix album of “In the Name Of Love.” While I didn’t collect clippings or anything like that, I did read pieces about them in music magazines when I was in a store. I was rather into New Wave thanks to MTV.

I pretty much lost interest in the band not too long afterward, partly because their new single “Lay Your Hands On Me” sucked, and whatever residual interest I had in checking out their new album was likely snuffed by this. I suspect that it also helped kill their careers as well.

One Day My Plane Leaves

 I'll never know / How far to go /  To reach that place

Crying rhymes for the dying times
If it’s time to die there’s nothing you can do
- Second Coming with Layne Staley, “It’s Coming After”

Kurt Cobain wasn’t the only musician from the early 90′s “Seattle Scene” to die at a young age.
In 2002, eight years after Cobain’s death, Layne Staley of Alice In Chains died, after years and
years of drug abuse.

Like Kurt, no one knows the exact date of his death for certain, and like Kurt, his death was
ruled to have happened on April 5. I’ve always wondered if the coroner or whoever chose that date
for some kind of symbolic reason.

Very much unlike Kurt, however, Layne didn’t suddenly and shockingly die at the height of his fame. Rather, everyone knew he was heading for a pine box for a number of years before it finally happened. A good number of his lyrics even seemed to evidence that Layne himself knew this. But while he was here, his voice coupled with Jerry Cantrell’s nuclear-blast music brought a heavy, sludgy, dark sound not like anything up to that point.

Layne had a couple of side projects, one of which was occasionally guest-singing with the band Second Coming. Another better known one was collaborating with members of Pearl Jam and Screaming Trees in the supergroup-of-sorts Mad Season. Anyone who knew Layne (aka “The Voice Of Doom”) only from AIC and thought his sole talent was screaming was thoroughly disabused of that notion.

From 1995, a full seven years before his death, but it sounded like he knew it was already over, didn’t he?

Layne could also play drums and was (I’m speculating here) a bit of  “Benny Hill” fan.

According to Wikipedia, “At Alice in Chains’ last concert with Staley on July 3, 1996, they
closed with ‘Man in the Box.’” How disturbingly appropriate.

Title is from this song, lyrics and music entirely by Layne as well as playing rhythm guitar… loudness warning, but it’s awesome -

Buy Our Album! We’re Nirvana!

Our little group has always been
And always will until the end

It’s 20 years today since Kurt Cobain died. There’s still argument over whether it was a suicide or not.

I didn’t get into Nirvana’s music right off the bat, but I did like “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” and once I dived into alternative music, they were right up there. They were one of those bands where I hated some of there songs and loved others … not a lot of middle ground. At first, I thought they were going to be the next fad, maybe be a big name band. Like everyone else, I had NO idea just how big they were gonna be. I don’t think I’ve seen anything else quite like it in my lifetime.

People just could not get enough of that song. It was everywhere. I think it inspired more people to pick up guitars than anyone since the Beatles, or maybe even since Elvis.

I wasn’t one of them. I had wanted to play music since before that, and didnt pick up guitar until well after Kurt was dead. But Nirvana was definitely a strong influence. Some of the first songs I learned to play on guitar were Nirvana tunes. Let’s face it – solos aside, a lot of them aren’t that difficult once you master power and barre chords. They are, however, teriffically arranged power and barre chords.

Reportedly, Kurt claimed that he knew he had “made it” when Weird Al Yankovic parodied one of his songs. To hear Al himself tell it -

For whatever reason, my manager tried and tried and said he couldn’t get through [to Nirvana]. He contacted them again and again and they never got back to him. So he said, “If you want to do this parody, it’s on you. You’ve gotta talk to the band.” A friend of mine was in the cast of Saturday Night Live [UHF co-star Victoria Jackson]. I told her, if you ever get Kurt Cobain alone in a room, put him on the phone, because I’d love to talk to him — and she did! Directly! He was sweet and he got it in like five seconds and said, “Of course you can do a parody.” The famous quote from him was, “Is it going to be a song about food?” because at that point that’s primarily what I was known for. And I said, “Well, no, it’s going to be a song about how nobody can understand your lyrics.” And he said, “Oh, sure, of course, that’s funny.”

Yankovic also stated -

It was exceptionally hard shortly after Kurt passed. It was still my biggest hit at the time, and I couldn’t not do it because the fans would want to hear it, but at the same time, it was uncomfortable for me, especially. So for a long time after Kurt passed, I would always preface my performance of the song by doing a somber dedication to Kurt in his memory. The hardest one was doing Seattle, because I didn’t know if I should be doing that song in Seattle at the time. I didn’t know how people would take it. I asked a lot of journalists there, “Should I do this? Should I not do this?” And almost unanimously they said, “You should do this. It would be cathartic.” And it actually went over extremely well.

I don’t remember where I was when I found out Kurt had died or anything like that. I’m not a hardcore fan keeping vigils or whatever. But I have always been a bit fascinated by him and the band, and sometimes pick up the odd and random bit or piece of history I trip across.

Endless Days Of Dark Knights


Batman75_logoBatman is 75 years old today, first appearing in Detective Comics #27, which hit newsstands onMarch 30th, 1939. Along with Superman, he is one of the longest running continuing characters to be published without interruption, something that had never been done before or since (although Wonder Woman is set to hit 75 in a couple of years).

That said, he looks pretty young for his age.

JL8 88

From the webcomic JL8

This is the guy who ninja-trained Roissy.

Remember the days when it was the Superman movies that were awesome and the Batman movies… not so much? Now The Dark Knight is the height of excellence.

Mo’ Money, No Problems

[Or: "Dullards And Centslessness"}

Found via VodkaPundit – “Stop freaking out about the debt”

Matt Yglesias narrates a short video claiming that the debt is not a problem right now. As VP noted, Yglesias actually states “The US government can never run out of  dollars.”

See, the federal government prints dollars, or the Federal Reserve makes them on computers. Why people shouldn’t worry about the feds creating money on computers but are supposed to throw crosses and holy water at Bitcoin is not explained.

The video also states that the debt could be reduced through higher taxes or cutting benefits, but that would be taking money out of people’s pockets. Higher taxes do take money out of people’s pockets, but cutting benefits does not. It’s reducing the amount of money going into people’s pockets. One can argue the ethics or the costs of cutting benefit payouts, but let’s call it what it is.

The video concludes by asking viewers to find something else to worry about, because “debt just isn’t a problem right now.” Why change the oil in your car now when you can let the engine seize up later?

I Diss Rock And Roll Music

I probably heard it when I was a kid – my parents had at least one album on 8-track – but I first recall hearing “I Dig Rock And Roll Music” by folk trio Peter, Paul, and Mary when I was 19. I quickly realized it was a, uh, dig at rock music – which they considered lowest common denominator* – as it knocked folk music off  the charts. The song referenced the Mamas & the Papas (even emulating their style to some degree), Donovan (with a mild takeoff of his psychedelia), and the Beatles (directly targeting their song “The Word“) while painting them as sellouts who concealed messages in their music that wouldn’t get played on the radio if stated openly.

It’s actually quite a catchy pop-rock song and a favorite of mine.

However, I don’t believe I ever saw or heard this until today…

Cass Elliot aka “Mama Cass” of the Mamas & the Papas teamed up with Sammy Davis Jr. to sing the song criticizing her. I have to wonder if the insertion of Aretha Franklin’s song “Respect” was a bit of firing back at PPM.

Diss tracks were around long before rap.

* For as much craptacular rock music was floating around in 1967, it got much worse afterward, hitting a bottomed-out nadir in the mid 70s.

What Kind Of Superman Are You?

Clark Kent gets a tip

It’s International Women’s Day and artist aleXsandro Palombo has done a series called “What Kind Of Man Are You?” featuring images of well-known cartoon characters in scenes of domestic violence.


Characters include Prince Charming and Snow White, The Flintstones, and The Simpsons, among others. I’m not sure what kind of statement he’s trying to make beyond the equivalent of flying a ribbon from your car antenna, but I think he missed the target here. This image, for example…

original-21497-1394000239-4 (1)

…isn’t particularly striking, pardon the pun, since we’ve seen Homer do worse to Bart almost since Day One. If anything, Marge is getting off easy (and I seem to recall Maggie launching an unprovoked attack at Homer at one point).

As for the superhero images, they’re pretty tame (seriously, after being hit by Superman, Wonder Woman shouldn’t even have a head anymore). Even the Super Friends cartoon, which looks to be the inspiration here, was more dynamic and energetic. But more importantly, he didn’t need to come up with some new image to show Superman committing domestic violence – there’s tons upon tons of source material in the actual comics.

In The End, Superman Always Wins

In the end, Superman always wins [click to embiggen]

Those are way niftier ways of trying to murder the one you love, especially if you have super powers. Gotta put some style in your game. But I digress.

So it’s established that Supes was not very nice to his girlfriend. But domestic violence is not always one-sided. Often the woman is an aggressor as well. It’s not as well known because women are generally less likely to manage causing physical harm to the man, which is illuminated through the extreme situation of the Superman-Lois dynamic… what’s she gonna do to him without taking extreme measures?

Which she’s done. Repeatedly. It’s only fair to look at things from Superman’s side of the story and see how Lois has treated him.

Even Lex Luthor hath no fury like a Lois scorned

Even Lex Luthor hath no fury like a Lois scorned

Superman isn’t the only one to be the victim of his girlfriend turning on him. Batman’s crazy cat lady squeeze dropped a hurt on him something fierce.

Catwoman vs Batman

Pussy Riot!!!!

Another aspect of domestic violence that is not often mentioned is that there are times when the woman starts the fight, provoking him into retaliating or sometimes even forcing the man into defending himself. With his greater strength, he is more likely to visibly injure the woman.

Who Started It

Supes was just wanting to talk til he got bitch-slapped with a light pole. Amazons be crazy, yo

The unstated assumption here appears to be that those with power will abuse it unless shamed into restraining themselves. Delving into characters like these undermines the concept – comics and cartoons are loaded with Women Of Power. Aside from Superman, who is more powerful than Wonder Woman? In addition, unlike the caped Boy Scout, she was explicitly trained to fight and even kill. So should we expect a scene like this?

Power is exchanged through the physical medium of her fist

Steve Trevor and Wonder Woman engage in a little “super power exchange’”

It Sure Sounds Funny When You Say His Name Like That

Send me off to the morgue I’m ready to be buried away down in my bed
And I’m alone without the sun
Please just take one

And by the grace of god go I into the great unknown
Thing are gonna change in our favor
- For Squirrels, “Mighty K.C.”

“ KC stands for Kurt Cobain.   He’s dead.  The song is by a band called For Squirrels.  They’re dead, too.” – From here


I remember when I first heard the song “Mighty K.C.” It was September or October 1995 on the local alternative rock station. I didn’t know it was about Cobain’s death when I first heard it, but the lyrics did stand out, both morbid and hopeful at the same time.

The other thing I didn’t know was that two members of the band died in a traffic accident before the song was even released. They were traveling in a van that flipped over, killing founding members Jack Vigliatura and Bill White and tour manager Tim Bender. I heard a DJ explain this not long after the song hit the airwaves, casting an entirely different light on the verses.

The video sort of merged the original theme of the song with the death of the band members, showing home videos of the band projected onto the body of a Kurt Cobain lookalike. Rather clever, I suppose, as a tribute to both.

The band menbers were big R.E.M. fans, and you can hear it in this song. It almost resembles R.E.M.’s “Fall On Me” in places.

Nearing The Event Horizon

Population keeps on breeding
Nation bleeding, still more feeding economy

-Ten Years After – “I’d Love To Change The World”

This Daily Caller piece calls for “de-growth” -

Environmentalists are pushing a new way to deal with global warming and overpopulation: the U.S. needs to “de-grow” its economy.

What is “de-growth”? It means forcing people to work less to make them more equal, consume fewer goods and use less electricity. Think of it like camping, but for the rest of your life.

…“There’s no such thing as sustainable growth, not in a country like the U.S.,” Worldwatch senior fellow Erik Assadourian told Sierra Magazine.

…De-growing the economy means working less and consuming fewer goods and electricity… “If we had a livable wage and could each work a 20-hour week,” Assadourian said, “we’d have time to choose more sustainable options that are also better for ourselves.”

…About a month ago, former Vice President Al Gore suggested that “fertility management” was crucial to fighting global warming and promoting development in poor countries.

The article covers quite a few pages from the Progressive textbook … shrinking the economy, reducing population, forced equality, mandated wages coupled with higher taxes, increased leisure time, and a simultaneous worship and fear of science. But all these are driven by one concern – a belief that everything is zero-sum consumption.

There’s no allowance for replenishment of goods and resources, or that more people might result in more production. Nothing that resembles, you know, work. It’s pure consumption. And they want to reduce the competition.


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