Friday, January 25, 2008


So, a few months ago, two good friends of mine, Mike and Jeremy, started filming little short comedy bits about two wierd-ass roommates, Sid and Pete, who do wierd-ass things, titled "Dudes." As it turns out, they're pretty funny (especially Jeremy's "10 Dollar Sucky, Sucky: The Jeremy Arthur Story"), so I wanted in and demanded to write an episode.

Lo and behold, my first "Dudes" ep has been filmed, edited, and posted. Check out "Hail to the Chief, Baby!" in which Pete decides to run for President and Sid reluctantly agrees to help. It's got lots of profanity, and we insult nearly every Presidential candidate, so you may want to wear headphones if you have co-workers, grandparents, children, or prudes in the room.

The rest of the "Dudes" episodes can be found here. The next one should be out at some point in the near future and features Sid and Pete battling an unspeakable evil from the depths of Sid's closet.

Sunday, January 6, 2008


And, no, I’m not talking about Calvinball, though, you could make a very good case for it.

I’m referring to a game I’ve been playing with family and friends since I was but a wee Reverend. To re-cap a few points I’ve made in the past...

I love music (only slightly) more than Zooey Deschanel ("Really? No shit?"). I’m also a natural mimic, which is a personality trait that has provided endless amounts of both amusement and annoyance for those close to me. The music/mimicry connection was always both a blessing and a curse.

On one hand, I’m a musician who, until recently, had no natural singing voice, which used to suck. For a majority of my life, I was considered a "good" singer only because I could accurately imitate whoever I was covering. As of late, however, I’ve developed a decent "rock and roll voice;" it requires a bit of tweaking, but the projection and pitch are definitely there. On the other hand, as mentioned, I have an ability to consistently do very good (or very funny) impressions of other singers.

Of course, this ability is not comprehensive. I can do a good, say, Jagger or Morrison (Jim, not Van) but, due to talent issues, a bad Freddy Mercury. Mostly because that motherfucker had the voice of a God. Maybe if I grew a sweet-ass ‘70's porn ‘stache...

So, once it was established that I could do good impressions I started to play with them. I don’t quite remember when the whole ordeal started, but I definitely remember when it started becoming an obsession and a "go-to" comedy bit.

A friend of mine is a bad-ass guitar prodigy and a fellow music lover. One night, while sitting around, drinking, and smoking up, we started discussing Bob Dylan.

Now, I’ll be honest and say that I was never a big Dylan fan. I can dig on a couple of his tunes but, in my opinion, he’s a great songwriter with a horrible voice.

But it’s both very easy and very fun to pull off a humorous Dylan impression. In an old kitchen job I had, where we would listen to the oldies station, "Like a Rolling Stone" would come on (it seemed) at least once a day. So, whenever it came on, I would sing loudly in my best exaggerated Dylan voice and either make my fellow food-jockeys laugh or groan (mostly for the same reasons). I would also use the line "How does it feel?" (in Dylan’s voice) as a random greeting.

While hanging out with my guitar-prodigy friend (also a massively funny guy) we would do "Dueling Bob Dylan" impressions, which would crack us both up to no end. Then we started thinking, "What would it sound like if Bob Dylan covered stuff that Bob Dylan would never cover?"

Thus, a terrible and beautiful thing was born...

Our first stab at hilarity was the "Yo! Bob Dylan Raps!" idea. What if Bob Dylan were to cover, say, Snoop’s "Gin and Juice?" Or Method Man’s "Bring the Pain?" Or, better yet, NWA’s "Straight Outta Compton?"

From there, the idea soon went completely out of orbit and began to encompass all the wackiest covers we could devise. For your consideration...

-Neil Diamond singing Nine Inch Nails’ "Heresy." Just imagine Neil singing the lines, "Your God is dead/ And no one cares/ If there is a Hell/ I’ll see you there." (That would be, technically, Nine Inch Neil.)

-Frank Sinatra singing Hank Williams’ "Family Tradition." Or Frank singing Marvin Gaye’s "Let’s Get it On." (Or Frank singing any song written after 1960-something.)

-Metallica covering Amy Grant’s "Baby, Baby." (With frequent vocal fills comprising only the phrases, "Yeeeah!" and "Yeeeah-Heh!")

-The Ramones covering the "Happy Birthday" song. (Nah, that’s too easy...)

-Christina Aguilera singing Slayer’s "Dead Skin Mask." (This is actually the one I’d be most interested in hearing.)

-Cannibal Corpse covering James Blunt’s "Beautiful." (A very close second to Aguilera’s "Dead Skin Mask.")

-Michael McDonald singing anything, including songs that Michael McDonald has both written and originated. (Michael McDonald is, by far, the most amusing singer to impersonate.)

And that’s just off the top of my head. I only wish I could remember some of the more inspired, off-the-cuff covers I’ve done over the years.

So, if you can impersonate anybody, please do so. And, please, do so in a context completely outside of that person’s normal safe-zone.

I’m even debating buying a microphone, figuring out how in the Holy Hell to make a podcast, and impersonating my favorites. But that seems like a shit-load of work. And I’m a lazy bastard.

Anyway, introduce your friends, family, and co-workers to this immensely enjoyable game. If they don’t kill you, they’ll only love you ten times more...

Friday, December 21, 2007


As a psychotic music lover, I have no problems at all listening to particular songs or albums millions upon millions of times. In fact, when I find a new favorite album, I’ll tend to listen to it and nothing else.

When I first picked up Dream Theater’s "Scenes From a Memory," I listened to it (and it alone) for two weeks straight. Just recently, a friend burned me a copy of Coheed and Cambria’s "IV," which I listened to for about a week solid.

People usually call me on that when I start listing off the reasons why I hate, hate, fucking hate Christmas music.

First, because, honestly, how many times can you hear Frosty the Goddamn Snowman before you want to destroy everything you love? I can only handle about 1/16 of Frosty before I want to turn into Dexter Morgan.

Second, because (with a few exceptions) Christmas songs are either A) written for children (Frosty, Rudolph, any song about a judgmental, voyeuristic fat man) or B) written to glorify Jesus. Children’s music and church music are notoriously banal, boring, and insipid, written exclusively to be easily memorized and easily sung by large groups of people who, for the most part, wouldn’t know real music if it hit them in the head with a wrench.

Third, I just don’t understand the weird, seasonal attachment to Christmas music. Good music is good all the time, not just from November to New Years. So, unless you drive around in the middle of the summer listening to "Jingle Bells," don't tell me you like fucking Christmas music.

The only Christmas song I can dig on is "O Holy Night," because, if you disregard the meaning of the song, you’re left with an eerie, almost evil-sounding number with a beautiful chorus. I still sing it every time it comes on.

But, for people like me, there are Christmas songs available that really get you into the spirit of things...


This is sheer genius. A song about Santa Claus going batshit insane (probably because he heard "Rudolph" seventy-five too many times), tearing the North Pole to the ground, and slaying all the elves and reindeer.

I know a lot of people seem to have an irrational hatred of Weird Al (I’ve always loved the guy), but give the song a chance. It’s well done, "Christmas-y," and very funny.


"From his beard to his boots,
He was covered with ammo.
Like a big, fat, drunk,
Disgruntled Yuletide Rambo.
And he smiled as he said,
With a twinkle in his eye,
‘Merry Christmas to all!
Now you’re all gonna die!’"


Ahh, the Dan Band. Probably the most fun live show in the history of music and the only band on the planet who can get a room full of drunken guys to sing Wilson Phillips and songs from "Flashdance." I saw them last year and they opened the gig by showing the video for "Rock You Hard," and it damn-near brought the house down before the band even took the stage.


"Have a very merry motherfucking Christmas!"

"I’m gonna get naughty,
All over your body,
Come sit on Santa’s lap!"


Honestly, how could the best Christmas song of all time be anything else?

It’s got a mean-ass guitar riff, and some vintage Tap lyrics. It might even be my all-time favorite Tap song, right up there with "Bitch School" and "Sex Farm."


All of them. Although I’m a bit partial to...

"There’s someone up the chimney hole,
And Satan is his name!"

If anyone can think of other fucked up Christmas songs, please, do tell...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


As some of you may know, the incomparable Penn Jillette (and the lovely and talented Michael Goudeau) had a brilliant, hilarious, and perpetually interesting radio show a while back. It ended abruptly in early March of this year but, (hopefully) as both Penn and Goudeau have claimed, shall return in some form sooner than we imagine (hopefully hopefully).

Periodically, I go on a "Penn Binge," where I run through the archives and listen to my favorite or random shows. Here are a few, with commentary...

I, myself, pray to the Dark Lord Satan every day (as all atheists should) that Penn Radio will come back RIGHT FUCKING NOW. Even though Satan has yet to come through, we can thank His Infernal Majesty for the existence of

I discovered the show (which was available almost every day on the Enter-Tubes) and got hooked immediately. Not only are Penn and Goudeau hilarious, skeptical, and gleefully blasphemous, but they have (i.e. "Had") one of the most free-wheeling, random, and surprising radio shows ever produced.

In any given show, they bounce from topic to topic (or bounce through various sub-topics), often with a light-hearted yet still scathingly realistic view of whatever is being discussed. But, no matter what happens, there is no Bull’s *clap* Hit present.

It’s damn-near impossible to pick out a "best" show; you’ll have to search through the archives to find your personal favorite. But it is possible (and easy) to pick a few great shows out of the hat and showcase them.

One of the best shows features a surprise guest in
Trey Parker, he of the ridiculously (and rightfully so) popular "South Park" TV show. There’s lots of insightful stuff about the show, not just including the technical side, but commenting on the satirist and activist nature of the writing. Because, if you haven’t realized it yet, "South Park," for all the surreal and over-the-top content, is, by far and away, one of the most important, topical, and intellectually noble shows ever produced.

Trey talking about the "Cartoon Wars" episode (with the "controversial" depiction of Muhammad), and the previous depiction of Muhammad in the "Super Best Friends" episode, is very, very awesome, as is the discussion of Isaac Hayes and the whole Scientology/"Trapped in the Closet" flap.

And they talk a bit of shit about Bill "King Media Whore" Donohue. Can’t go wrong with that. Should have been more, though, in my opinion. That guy is a douche amongst douches and deserves a full show where they talk about what a complete fucking prick he is.

Another great show is the one featuring Robert Lancaster, the much-needed mastermind behind
the best Sylvia Browne site on the web.

this show, Penn, Goudeau, and Lancaster dissect the Sylvia Browne phenomenon and proceed to tear it down through evidence. Of course, they touch on her "Greatest Misses," being Shawn Hornbeck, Opal Jennings, and the West Virginia miners saga. To sum it all up, Sylvia Browne is a disgusting bitch.

Finally, Penn dedicated every Tuesday to monkeys.


Because monkeys kick ass. They’re like humans, except they throw feces, hump each other, and, otherwise, act like humans.

Here is a
random "Monkey Tuesday!" with none other than the Man Himself, Gilbert Gottfried, and a great interview with Regis. (The Regis.) Is it just me or, is Regis as half-crazy as you can get?

(Da-da-da-da-dum! Da-da-da-da-dum!)

Oh, yeah, and they have
Randi in the studio...

One of the best radio shows ever recorded.

Dawkins on the horn...

A very close second to the Randi episode...

Thursday, November 8, 2007


A bit of background before we begin...

I’m a waiter. I’m a monkey that carries plates and recommends the blackened fish for a living.

Now, it’s not a tough job but it can get annoying. For instance, some people are assholes and just don’t tip for shit, regardless of service or food quality. It’s always blown my mind; if you go to a restaurant that doesn’t have a dollar menu, you’re gonna have to tip the waiter or waitress. As long as the server isn’t an outright prick, they deserve the 15% (or more, if you're awesome). Plan the fuck ahead, people, because science has proven that people who don’t tip also kick puppies.

You’d also be amazed at how many people completely forget what they order. I’ve got a short-term memory like Guy Pearce in "Memento" but, Jesus, I can remember what I ordered only fifteen minutes ago. And don’t even get me started on finicky shits who think they have some sort of laser vision that can determine the temperature of a steak or burger from ten paces.

OK, let’s forget the basic gripes. On to the main event...

I’ve worked at my current restaurant for several months now. For the last few weeks, I’ve noticed an influx of customers who think that tipping well means introducing the wait staff to god.

At first, it was a couple of cards left in various locations, on a table, in the bathroom, etc. The front of the card read "Charge It," in the style of the Visa logo, and the back talked about "Charging your soul to God" or some such insipid shit. Then there were the standard salvation instructions and a few bible verses. Like all versions of witnessing, it’s only clever if you’re a moron with no imagination, but at least it’s not a horrible pun (e.g. "Seven days without prayer makes one weak" or "The light shines from the son").

Then, there was the old guy and his wife, whom I had the anti-luck of waiting on.

They seemed like a nice enough couple at first, just ordering waters and sandwiches, so, at the onset, it was an easy enough table. Everything was kosher at first; the usual introduction patter, a little small talk, I bring them their drinks, they order the sandwiches, I bring them their sandwiches, they start eating...

Then I went back to the table to check on them and asked, "Everything OK?"

The old guy looks up at me and says, "Fine. Tell me son, do you know the Lord?"

And I just stare at him. Normally, off the clock, I’d say something pithy along the lines of, after thinking about the question for a second and adopting the appropriate air of innocence and ignorance, "Lord Horatio Nelson? I seen his statue in England, but he’s been dead for nigh-on 200 years, so I can’t say I know him. But I know of him, though, so, technically, the answer’s ‘yes.’" Of course, on the clock, it’s a different situation entirely.

So, I stare at him a little more and, finally, manage a slightly confused, "Uh, yeah. Yeah. I’d like to think so."

And the old guy proceeds to give me a bit of ye olde Gospel, though, thankfully, it was more of the "Touchy-Feely Hippie Jesus" than the "Jesus Coming Out the Sky With a Big Fucking Sword and Slaying Your Filthy, Sinful Ass" variety; if it’d been the latter instead of the former, I would’ve had a much, much harder time not telling the geezer to shove his Rapture up his stink-hole.

After pontificating for a bit, he ended with, "I just want to make sure I see you in Heaven," or something of the like. I politely thanked him, excused myself, and walked back to the kitchen. Every single time I went back to the table before they finally paid and left, the old guy tried to talk about nothing but Jesus.

Now, off the clock, I don’t mind a good random discussion about religion with a total stranger, unless the person is obviously deranged or carrying a weapon of some sort. Hell, that’s the sole reason why I seek out these conversations online, because I don’t have enough random people trying to have earnest discussions about religion in my life.

Witnessing is different because there’s no discussion involved. It’s just someone telling you something and giving absolutely fuck-all about your opinion on the matter; or if they do give a fuck-all about your opinion, it's only because they automatically think that you're wrong. I’ve always seen it as arrogant and a little twisted, how the person giving "witness" is pretty much telling you that your life is worthless unless you’re living it exactly like their particular church tells you to.

But to witness to someone at work, on the clock, doing a job? That’s just fucking tasteless.

Again, I’m a plate-slinging monkey, and, true, a large part of the job does entail patter. But I don’t talk politics or religion with the customers. Ever. If they’re from somewhere I’m familiar with (and this being Myrtle Beach, everyone’s from somewhere else), we’ll talk about that, sports, music, the Myrtle Beach area, and whatever else complete strangers talk about. Most times, people want to know about me, since a majority of the vacationers are from the North or Midwest and are intrigued by my almost total lack of a Southern accent (which I lost years ago, oddly enough, without ever leaving the South).

But I don’t go up to an old couple while they’re eating sandwiches and start telling them about why the Bible is complete bullshit. I don’t walk into a place of business and engage employee or patron in a captive dissertation about the absurd and transparently man-made nature of "God." And neither should anyone else.

So, the old guy is lucky he tried to evangelize me on the clock. If he’d met me at the gas station or as a customer in another restaurant, he would’ve had a witnessing challenge to pray on when he got home.

Then, to top off the Great Fundie Infestation of Ought-Seven, one week after the old guy’s unsuccessful witnessing attempt, a chick I work with came back into the kitchen with a little red booklet called something to the effect of "Have You Been Brainwashed?" that a customer had included with the tip.

I immediately said, "Oh shit! A Chick Tract? Which one? Which one?" because a Chick Tract is, as everyone knows, the only thing more depraved and hilarious than "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." Lo and Behold, it was even better than some vintage Chick...

It was concerning lectures by Duane T. Gish, he of the aptly named "Gish Gallop," and dealt, predictably, with the supposed flaws of evolution and "proofs" of a literal Biblical creation.

"Gish? Are you fucking kidding?" I asked. "That guy’s about as sharp as a NERF ball. I bet I can tell you almost every argument he uses."

When challenged, I listed the Second Law of Thermodynamics, some lazy nonsense about the anthropic principle, and one or more of the former facets of evolutionary theory long proven false (like Piltdown or Haeckel). Sure enough, Gish’s poorly drawn little comic was all that and more. When everyone wondered how I knew that before even looking at it, I explained the obvious; "Because all these creationist hacks use the same tired arguments over and over and over, no matter how many times people refute them."

And the kicker in that final bit was that an otherwise mentally functioning human being is obviously under the impression that reading Gish’s stupidity will convince anyone of anything.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


-Responsibility blows like a hurricane and sucks like a tornado. My usual M.O. at any job is to lay low, stay off the radar, and do just enough to get by without getting bitched out for being lazy and inefficient. I’m usually very good at this but, at my current job, I’ve somehow slipped into a bonafide work ethic (at the least, more of a work ethic than previously). As a result, I’m now seen as one of the more responsible people, and it’s seriously cramping my style.

I do the "goofy, laid-back, average worker" thing, not the "dependable guy who gets shit done and facilitates others in getting their shit done" thing; that’s an ill-fitting and itchy polyester leisure suit with a big collar and sequins, my friends.

-How about a semi-dramatic true-life story? My brother and I were watching a DVD at about midnight a few days back when we heard a loud "boom" from outside. Both of us immediately assumed that someone had been coming through the parking lot too fast and hit a parked car, so we dashed outside to have a look.

As it turned out, someone had hit the bridge in front of our place; the SUV sat smoking in the right lane on the bridge and, as of then, we saw no movement and heard no sounds from the vehicle. I ran inside to dial 911 thinking, as one would be wont to think in such a situation, that there’s a very good likelihood that someone got hurt. And, as my brother and I were aware, someone had died after hitting that bridge two years ago. I relayed the known information to the 911 operator (car hit a bridge, don’t know if anyone’s hurt, sounded bad) and went out to see if I could help in anyway before the emergency personnel arrived.

As I walked up to the bridge, I noticed my brother and another neighbor standing by. On the bridge a passing driver had stopped and was parked behind the crippled SUV which, considering how loud the crash sounded, didn’t look near as bad as I imagined it would. The front right quarterpanel and most of the hood were demolished, and the right front tire was almost crunched into the engine block. The air-bags were deployed and smoke was steadily wafting from the buckled hood.

The driver of the SUV, a teenage girl, was walking around, crying, and talking to someone on her cell; her boyfriend, from the sound of it. I had asked the guy who stopped, whom we will simply call "Guy," if the "Girl" was alright but went ahead and asked her anyway. She said "Yes" and, as she was walking around and didn’t seem to be in any pain, I just made sure she got out of the road. Seeing as how she was just walking around in the middle of the bridge, I feel that it was a smart move on my part. Unfortunately, the hysterical Girl kept repeating into the phone, "I’m going to jail, I’m going to jail." So, that disappointed me a bit.

On the side of the road, the Guy informed me, in hushed tones, that the Girl was obviously intoxicated. I sighed, "Yeah, no shit. At least she didn’t hit someone else."

The fire department was there in five minutes and, seeing that the girl was completely uninjured, called off the ambulance and got down to the business of setting flares, directing traffic, and trying to calm the Girl down.

The cops didn’t show up until over a half-hour later. By that time, I had retreated to a safe distance where I could watch the proceedings without being in the way. After quizzing the Guy and letting him go, they questioned the Girl and administered the sobriety test. She failed pretty handily so the cop threw the cuffs on and put her in the car.

It’s sad that the Girl had to be arrested because she was just a kid, probably still in high school, and she’s probably a good kid otherwise. But, still...

She fucked up. She’s lucky that she walked away and even luckier that no one else was involved. As it stands, her parents will probably bring down the Hammer of the Gods, but she’s damn lucky she doesn’t have to live with the knowledge that she paralyzed or killed someone.

And that was my fill of drama for the month.

-The greatest, most brutal heavy metal band on the planet, Dethklok, has released a new album, "Dethalbum." If you’re a fan of the show or the genre in general, you are required by the Infernal Black Laws of Metal to purchase this album and play it very loudly.

Of course, the master musician behind the show (and the excellent show "Home Movies"), Brendan Small, may have painted himself into a corner. With a popular show and an actual studio album, people are already clamoring for a tour. Time to find a live back-up band, Brendan. Just make sure Myrtle Beach is on the list.

-With the NFL season well under way and the NBA and NHL seasons on the horizon, I feel it’s time to address a religious practice that depresses the ever-living shit out of me.

Why do athletes (or anyone else for that matter) insist on giving God and Jesus all the credit when they do something good?

I mean, was God spotting you in the weight room all through high school and college? Was God helping you run corner routes? Was God helping you comb through game tape in preparation for a tough match-up? Was God sitting in the stands at every game (home or away) yelling, "That’s my boy!"

And isn’t attributing a win to God a little insensitive? While God was helping you reel in eight catches and two touchdowns, at an average of 19.3 yards a catch, was he turning a blind eye to say, the suffering of children in third world countries? Or is he just a multi-tasker with screwy priorities?

And what does that say about God? In his infinite, over-powering wisdom, which team does he follow? And who’s his favorite athlete? All of them? And more importantly, why would he give half a crap? You’d think the creator of the world would have better things to do on a Sunday afternoon. Like actually fucking helping people.

The religious should really have a bit more self-esteem and give themselves credit for jobs well done. You worked for it, you practiced, you wanted it bad enough to take it; stand up and say, flat out, "I earned this and I’m proud of myself."

If God wants any credit, let Him come forward and claim it His Goddamn Self.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


There are many odd things about me, and I don't just acknowledge them. I accept and embrace them.

A long time ago, I realized that striving for "normalcy in the eyes of other people" was a futile and, frankly, boring pursuit. It was much easier for me to embrace my idiosyncracies and unique interests and say "Fuck All" to whatever was popular at the time.

Of course, I’ve also taken certain aspects of my upbringing in stride...

Thus, since my parents were oldies/beach music/classic rock junkies, I also came to appreciate these genres (or basic classifications) in my own special way. Which is, of course, to stand atop the world and glorify them to the greatest extent of my powers.

And it’s funny how people my parents’ age (and older) seem amazed at how a black-clad, simultaneously-evil-and-goofy-looking, twenty-something-jackass can have such a comprehensive knowledge of and unconditional love for music made, in most cases, well over thirty years (and, in some cases, more) before he was born.

And, granted, I freak out, as well, when I meet people younger than myself (my funky brother excluded) who also have an anachronistic oldies obsession. But, granted further, people younger than myself are much more likely to have horrible musical tastes than those in their late-20's and above (generally speaking). I mean, anyone who’d rather listen to Justin Timberlake, Jet, or My Chemical Romance than, say, Stevie Wonder is in need of a violent and life-changing aural dropkick to the ears.

So, to help educate those with "musical deficiencies" and to bolster solidarity and enthusiastic discussion amongst those who are perpetually in the Groove, we shall provide a brief, intermittent list of classic songs and artists that have inspired and continue to inspire one Rev. J.J. Hull.

To begin, I submit one of my favorite songs that no one else I know has ever heard....

Wilson Pickett - Engine Number 9

They didn’t call my man "Wicked" for nothing. Take Wilson's throat-searing soul vocals, add in a nasty guitar line, some serious percussion (someone’s wearing a cowbell out), and a James Brown vibe, and you’ve got a cut that’s just as funky now as the day it was laid down.

And feel free to check out the rest of Wicked’s catalog. He simply refuses to disappoint.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


OK, how did I miss the fact that the Flight of the Conchords guys are fucking amazing? These Kiwis will fly under my radar no longer...

Feast your ears and eyes upon
"Albi the Racist Dragon," "If You're Into It," "Business Time," and "The Bowie Song."

All of the songs are brilliant, but the dueling Bowie impressions are inspired lunacy of the highest possible caliber. The HBO show is just as good, and the forthcoming album should prove to be even better.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Like a tight pattern of double-barrel sonic buckshot, I can now wield Soundpedia as a deadly instrument in the war against musical ignorance.

We're talking free albums, here, people. A whole website that's a giant "Fuck You" to the RIAA.

To be clear...

I'm all for file-sharing, especially when it comes to music. The way musical fandom works is that some people are casual music-lovers (listening to the radio in the car, at work, or whenever anyone else is listening to the radio), and might buy albums or singles when they hear a song, artist, or group they really like. Generally, they don't broaden their horizons beyond the music they know.

Granted, the above designation describes a majority of the people on the planet, but contrary to popular belief in the upper-echelons of the music industry, the rest of the people are much more important.

The remainder of the population is like me; so devoted to music that they go out of their way to buy every album, see the bands live, and constantly try to spread the word.

Before Napster got big in the late-nineties (and got bought out), "illegal file sharing" was known as "lending a CD to your buddy."

The only thing that file-sharing networks achieved was allowing the "lending a CD to your buddy" concept to flourish beyond mere physical borders. In essence, downloading files from someone else is like that person letting you burn a custom CD from their own extensive music collection.

And, again, most often, the person that downloads songs is the same person that gets hyped up when a new album is announced. A friend of mine downloaded the latest Trivium album, "The Crusade," before it came out because he needed to hear it something awful. After listening to the bootleg copy for a week, he bought the actual album on the release date. When other friends (those who don't fucking get it) asked him why he would buy an album he already had, he just laughed (because he fucking gets it).

And the cats behind Soundpedia, evidently, also get it.

Where else can you hear every
Radiohead album ever made? Check out "Amnesiac," if only for "Pyramid Song" and "Life in a Glass House." And "The Bends" is thoroughly kick-ass, as well (especially "My Iron Lung").

They also have a few
Clutch albums. I weep for the absence of both "Blast Tyrant" and the newest album, "From Beale Street to Oblivion" (with the amazing "One Eye Dollar" and "You Can't Stop Progress"). They do have the entire "Robot Hive/Exodus" album, though. Every track is killer, especially "Gullah," "10001110101," and "Never Be Moved" (featuring the science-oriented line, "Hey, hey, hey, hey! Get your evolution on!").

And, to my semi-admiration, they have two full
Cake albums; "Prolonging the Magic" and "Comfort Eagle." So you can listen to (from "Prolonging") "You Turn the Screws," "Where Would I Be?" and "Let Me Go." And (from "Comfort Eagle,") you can get down to the hard-ass "Comfort Eagle," the groovy "Meanwhile, Rick James," and the nasty-funky "Arco Arena." Unfortunately, no "Motorcade of Generosity," "Fashion Nugget," or full version of "Pressure Chief."

They've also got Faith No More's
"Best Of" album, with "Stripsearch" (so gorgeous it almost makes me cry), "Evidence" (one of the smoothest songs ever recorded), and "Be Aggressive" (the only song in world to feature a common cheerleading theme and still kick copious amounts of ass).

The thing that permanently hooked me, however, is the inclusion of all three
Mr. Bungle albums, especially "California." If you're even half as weird as I am, you'll fall in love with this album the very second you hear it (mainly "Sweet Charity," "Retrovertigo," and "Golem II: The Bionic Vapour Boy"); if you're slightly-less-weird, it might take a few more dedicated perusals.

So, please, enjoy the free music at your leisure, and be sure to continue to purchase all the good music you can.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


-The spiderfication of the area directly outside my residence continues unabated. Even when the vinyl siding outside is pressure washed and the spindly sons of bitches are eradicated, more are back by nightfall and (though this is sheerly conjecture on my part) royally pissed off. Big ones, little ones, a cornucopia of body types, and a veritable rainbow of colors; and each of them just as disgusting and terrifying as the last. It’s like a never-ending horror show for arachnophobes (of which I am their King and Living Martyr). It’s gotten so I have to carry a broken golf club shaft around as a de-webbing stick; I've dubbed it "the Callaway Web Master Series VI."

-On a more insectoid tangent, I’ve seen some gigantic mosquitoes here in SC. I don’t remember seeing many that big (mosquito hawks aside) in VA and, while I’m glad they’re not that numerous, they’re hungry bastards and, to borrow a choice phrase from an acquaintance, "big enough to fuck chickens." The best part is that I’m finally getting some smug revenge on the people who constantly bitch at me for never wearing shorts, no matter how hot and jungle-sticky it gets.

-I’ve been thinking about this line from Chroma Key’s "America the Video" as of late. "Lost my head in my hotel room when the ground shook/Had to choose between the Bible and the phone book." That’s a good way to deal with the whole "No Atheists in Foxholes" malarkey. Hell, I’ve come close to looking the classic personification of Death in the face (and hearing him talk in ALL CAPS) and never once did I rely on anything other than myself, other people, and the natural laws of the world which, in my case, have been rather forgiving. So far, at least. The same fervent believers who take seriously the "No Atheists in Foxholes" argument will, with regularity, go to the hospital when they are sick or injured, call the police when they’ve been wronged, and seek out professional help when the occasion arises. Sure, they might pray and petition for otherworldly intervention, but when the bad shit goes down, they all end up dialing 911 in case of emergency. (Unless they handle rattlesnakes in worship; but that’s a entirely separate and very special dimension of fucked-up.)

-Also, did you notice that the "No Atheists in Foxholes" argument abbreviates to NAiF? That, to me, is the very essence of appropriateness.