From BIUL IV.
Tag Archives: Frank Zappa
When you listen to a professional newscaster, you are hearing an “all-purpose” American accent, very similar to how black comedians make fun of white guys. It’s a mode of speaking designed to be understood by a wide variety of ages and backgrounds. It’s also totally alien sounding, especially when they lapse into a Spanish voice for words like “Nicaragua”.
In 1990, I relocated from New Jersey to Georgia. Originally, I had a curt New Jersey accent, like Jim Norton. My first year, I roomed with a guy from Rhode Island, and when I went back to Jersey for vacation, my friends couldn’t believe what a horror show my speaking voice had become. I was the caricature of the braying Yankee.
In the next ten years, the entire experience of seeing a concert will have changed. Forever.
Hunter S. Thompson claimed that no Doors recording existed that captured the grandeur of Jim Morrison and company on stage. I believe this, although I never bore witness to the spectacle myself. Regardless, the only real evidence will always be the albums the Doors released. Thompson’s historic experience either died with him, or ended up on the wall behind his office chair. This is, needless to say, unfortunate. Continue reading
When was the last time the name “Pearl Jam” sounded weird to you? Can you even remember when it didn’t sound like a band?
Vitalogy, Pearl Jam’s experimental third album, was finally released in November of 1994. By that time, the record store I had assistant-managed was consumed by Blockbuster. Originally, I worked at “Tracks”, which was where I experienced Pearl Jam’s debut disc Ten, around ten times a day for several months. This resulted in a loathing of that album that burns to the present day. Continue reading
Parallel universes figure into popular science fiction every so often, but whereas now they are used to explain inconsistencies, in the past they were an intriguing alternative to outer space as a setting. The short-lived TV show Otherworld from 1985 is one example, with its no-frills labels (like in Repo Man) and dumb upside-down pistols. A better-known version of the concept is the cartoon Kidd Video, which aired on NBC Saturday mornings around the same time.
Everything I’ve mentioned thus far sucks to varying degrees (well, except Repo Man). But because of that “parallel universe” icing, the crap tasted sweeter than cake. Continue reading
Thanks to the generous social programs in my fair city, I recently got my teeth fixed, ending over a decade of busted-molar jokes and references in my work. In essence, I no longer feel like I have a mouthful of bloody razors. Once everything healed up, I couldn’t believe how much better I felt overall. Not that I consider myself a lion, but I couldn’t keep from thinking of that old fable with the thorn in the paw. Now I can chew food with my entire mouth, instead of just a small section, gingerly. It’s the little things in life.
If your teeth don’t hurt, or you have easy access to a dentist, thank your lucky stars. I’ll let you in on a little secret; us artists are merely holding on to whatever choppers we can before we croak. There is no “insurance” or “healthcare” for us; it does not exist. These are the breaks. If you want security, you go into insurance. Not drawing cartoons.
Unless, you know, you sell out, to a company. Continue reading