Hairway To Steven is my favorite Butthole Surfers album. Every song on it is gold. It’s one of the greatest experimental rock albums of all time, easily on par with Beefheart’s Trout Mask Replica. I have the original Touch & Go release from 1988, with the impossible-to-remove MADE IN CANADA sticker. This disc is thirty years old.
Tag Archives: 1988
Set the Wayback Machine for 1998. I was at Kinko’s, in the middle of the night, running off copies of Mike The Pod Comix #4 (the blue one).
The fourth issue was a transitional one. Drop Dead, my “90’s comic book“, concluded in its pages, in lieu of a seventh issue. I reprinted the Liquid Paper Pirates and Squeeky Wheel Gets The Grease strips from FINK, as well as For Whom The Beef Jerks.
Oh, and for the first time ever, I did full frontal, stark raving nudity. (NSFW!!!)
As an “underground” artist, I go broke often. Sometimes I have to sacrifice comfort or nourishment to pay my rent.
Sometimes, I’m broke because I’m a total assclown who takes public transportation across town to see a $22 popcorn movie, alone. (I didn’t have enough for actual popcorn.)
Even while facing the consequences, I have no regrets.
How come so few folks know about The Freeze? Punk rock band, formed in Cape Cod, 1978? Come on, the lead singer called himself Cliff Hanger! (“Rob Decradle” played guitar!)
It’s a shame they’re so obscure, but on the other hand, it works to their advantage in these times of prefabricated rebellion. They made fantastic, inspired punk rock, and they came from Cape Cod! Of all places!
I have been a DEVO fan- a “DEVOtee”, if you will- for a very long time. 35 years ago, I was witnessing the video for “Whip It” for the first time, on the brand-new cable channel MTV. I knew a lot of spoiled kids.
It’s not one of my favorite DEVO singles, but I appreciate its historical importance. Even today, it sounds truly weird. However, it came to be so closely linked with DEVO and their visual style, eventually it was the only song anyone brought up. Continue reading
Previously, I remarked upon how those of us who were children in the 1980s “knew disappointment by name”, thanks to the deluge of new toy lines leaping at us from store shelves, most of them doomed to two-year lifespans and discount-bin futures. Companies were just beginning to learn how the lack of a Saturday morning cartoon could put an ugly dent in their profits. The hunt was on for the next best gimmick, the hook that would bring in the kids and establish the next He-Man or GI Joe. Not coincidentally, those lines were also infusing gimmicks circa 1987 in a losing battle to stay on top.
Transformers, arguably the decade’s most popular toys, were expensive to produce. The supply of repainted robots that comprised the line’s first few years had run dry, leaving Hasbro no choice but to design the toys themselves, an extra step that was not only also very expensive, but resulted in the far simpler Pretenders and Firecons. Few, if any, will argue that either was a high point in quality. For the uninitiated: Firecons used the same sparking mechanism as Doc’s DeLorean from Back To The Future, and that was a Happy Meal toy. (It was recalled because “kids” could chew off a rear tire and choke on it, not because of the sparks as you might assume. I have two of the worthless things.)
So it was that in 1987 Hasbro began to try some new tricks. Here is but one example of something they threw at the wall with the greatest effort, and try as it might, it just didn’t stick. Ladies and gentlemen of the Internet, I give you Air Raiders.
I don’t hate karaoke. Really, I don’t.
I don’t do it myself, either, but I don’t equate it with actual performance. Karaoke is for fun; a diversion. Plus, I’m old enough to remember the first karaoke joke on The Simpsons, when the gag was that it was something Japanese people did. It was the successor to the camera strapped around the neck.
Now, not only is karaoke available in a home version, but late-night talk show hosts burn air time “lip-syncing” “popular” (corporate-backed) songs. The boring blond from Amos & Andy For Nerds, excuse me, I mean The Big Bang Theory, lip-synced her way through a Ludacris song where almost every other word is “bitch”. The idea being, look at this little white girl act “gangsta”. As long as the star is corporate-backed, this is “empowerment”. What do you imagine happens if someone without a hit show* tries this? Continue reading