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: Gwar
I love great sketch comedy, and as demonstrated on this site, I have tremendous nostalgia for the video industry of the 1980s and ’90s. By nature I am protective of those things, out of love. I have little tolerance of exploitation of them.
I believe the modern peak of sketch comedy came with two shows; Mr. Show with Bob & David, and The Kids In The Hall (both on HBO). Since the 1990s, these programs set the gold standard. Inevitably, new sketch comedy shows are compared to them, and they seldom hold up. I don’t think The State gelled until they became Reno 911. Broken Lizard has moments; generally one or two per film. Too many comedy groups nowadays are post-UCB; all manic energy, no focus. That’s fine if the group is performing live for an drunken bar audience. TV is a different matter.
You can offend a rapper the same way you can offend a cartoonist; by implying that their career “looks easy”. Cartoonists must compete in the public eye with Internet doodlers who draw in their ample free time, and rappers have to battle the false impression that they’re just boopity-bopping over a beat loop.
Before hip-hop and rap were widely understood, they were exploited as “novelty” records; a passing trend, not something that would dominate and rend asunder every other type of fucking music on earth. Rap was not a “lifestyle”. It was a fad, like the hula hoop and the Twist. So, like many other musical fads before it, rap became a haven for bad comedy.
30 years ago, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off came out. If you build a time machine and go back to 1986, you might just enjoy that movie.
In 1999, four years after their previous album, Mr. Bungle released California. My friend George and I were/are slavering fanatics of Mr. Bungle. That shirt that says “There’s a tractor in my balls again”? I had that. I wore it so often I destroyed it, even after it survived a GWAR show in 1997.
So let’s just say we were very excited about Bungle’s third album. The band’s website teased this excitement, with minute-long samples of each track on California. This was 1999. I was using my first PC, the one I got from Gateway, which came with a set of Boston Acoustic speakers that I now use with my Xbox 360. Good, long-lasting speakers, my point here would be. Continue reading
By the age of ten, I had somehow managed to view both Alien and The Shining. These formed the blueprint of what I understood of the “horror” genre, which I’ve loved ever since. I often bought issues of Fangoria and GoreZone in junior high, because I was intrigued by the pictures’ ability to sicken me, and amazed that magazines existed in stores that were nothing more than full-color gross-out photos. The work of technical-effects masters like Rick Baker, Tom Savini and Kevin Yagher was lovingly displayed like bloody Playboy centerfolds.
In 1991, I used to hang out with these chicks. They were, shall we say, really into a band called Jane’s Addiction. Coincidentally, there is a band I violently detest called Jane’s Addiction. I actually spoke the words “if Perry Farrell comes over here, let’s sucker-punch him” to a friend, during set-up for Lollapalooza 2003 (Farrell luckily didn’t approach.) If you are listening to Jane’s Addiction, and the recording is distorted by a throaty, otherworldly moan, it’s a sure indication that I am within earshot.
Thus, in the spirit of diplomacy, I would engender discussion of music other than Jane’s Addiction that the girls liked. Agent Orange was an easy sell, but then of course they focused on the mushy late-80s stuff, like “Fire In The Rain”. The best album they introduced me to was undoubtedly Primus’ Sailing The Seas Of Cheese.
In 2018, two years from the time of this writing, Bands I Useta Like (the comic strip) will be twenty years old. In 1998, I drew the initial batch of strips for Mike The Pod Comix #4, and included them in the proposal that saw them properly published, starting in 2002. Among this early run were “the Oingo Boingo strip” and “the Ween strip”.