Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Green Day - "At The Library" (1990)

I'll never have a better day at one than my visit to VB's central branch on 11/12/98.

The Zeros - "Wild Weekend" (1978)

Mild weekends are OK, too.

Lov(i)e Songs

Hello, Lovie! Sorry it's taken so long to discuss the cherished mix you helped compile. There are nearly 100 ink pens at my disposal, but only about 10 of them write smoothly. I'm done with Rollerballs, because they seem to stop rotating after 750 words or so. The switch has been made to the Pilot Precise V5. I hope it's magic, you know. As you're aware, there's a story behind each of the 27 selections on LS. In our relationship's nascent days, remember when you repeatedly referred to Everlast's "What It's Like" as "our song"? I vehemently refused to apply the tag, but the "Yes, it is!"/"No, it isn't!" exchanges made for some playful moments during those private times behind Planet Music. (Class 4 misdemeanor: Who knew?) For the mix's benefit, Mr. Boxing Equipment's ballad won't be appearing on Lov(i)e Songs, though related tales involving superior tunes will be touched upon. Pour yourself a big bowl of Honey Bunches Of Oats, 'cause "Your Jake" is ready to connect guitar chords with great memories.

How wonderful was the 1998 era? Via a simple request of several sheets of typing paper, November 12th of that year changed both of our lives for the better. Busying ourselves with various projects, I couldn't help stealing several glances of you striking the QWERTY rows in a diligent manner. Your soft and sweet features instantly attracted me, and I felt an excitable tinge while pounding the keys at an increased velocity. That initial face-to-face at Virginia Beach's central branch made Green Day's "At The Library" a no-brainer for LS. People bag on the band for this and that, but this cut bleeds its lines with potent plasma similar to earlier Buzzcocks transfusions. Assignments completed, we had our first "dinner date" at Zero's Subs on Virginia Beach Blvd. We chose foot-long sandwiches and shared a BIG bag of chips over the pathetic, snack-sized offerings. Would've killed for a "Mexican Coke" made with real sugar, much like I would've maimed to see The Zeros (sometimes called the "Mexican Ramones") perform "Wild Weekend" and other buried classics at the nearby Sunset Grill(e). The meal and conversation were very satisfying, as the latter concerned mostly zine- and music-related topics. One fantastic trivia nugget you'd later provide was that Blue Oyster Cult, authors of the cowbell-heavy "(Don't Fear) The Reaper," were originally known as Soft White Underbelly. Handing you a slip with "Gunther" plus seven digits, I wasn't expecting a phone call several days later. Fortunately, you made contact and arranged for us to have cocoa in the cafe at Barnes & Noble. The warmth of hot beverages soothed cold chills, but our impending hunger necessitated more than B & N's cake and pastry options. Pulling final sips of creamy chocolate, we agreed to dine at the chain restaurant across the street. The Rolling Stones' "Ruby Tuesday" remains a well-done, deliciously dark entree that's never been sent back to the kitchen even after millions of orders. Too bad the same didn't hold true for your Triple Cheeseburger. Why did the cook believe that "well-done" contained more pink than a Pepto bottle? Since I prefer my burgers the same way, I made sure to stick with chicken fare at Mick And Keith's Place after said mix-up. Our next cocoa cups informed something more magical than undercooked meat, as we kissed for the first time in your plum Neon. The Ramones and Rubinoos, pop practitioners in the respective strains of punk and power, are titularly linked by "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend." Shortly after our first bond of affection, I happily became attached to you. Among our nights out was catching The Candy Snatchers at Friar Tuck's. The mondegreen (misheard lyric) in "Shortcut To Disaster" was often cited when the tune spat outta your tape deck. With apologies to Larry and Matt: "It's hot, hot, hot/What do you know?/I ain't drivin' down to Mexico." Another charge of live action was led by Richmond stalwarts The Halfways, one of my very favorites from the whole "gunk punk" era, at Sunset Grill(e). "Bitch Theme," a Pagans/NBT-flavored blast, would be given the utmost lip service by the Snatchers via their killer take at the post-movie Hardcore Norfolk event on August 20, 2011.

Advancing the calendar a bit, I believe you heard the Buzzcocks for the first time in the presence of one Mr. jOhn A. The pulsing beat of "Fast Cars" powered oil-slicked lines like, "Sooner or later/You're gonna listen to Ralph Nader" throughout the aimless cruising on Atlantic Avenue. Regarding jOhn bOy: I saw a recent picture of the dude about two weeks ago. He could pass for Steven Keaton from "Family Ties." Not exactly sure if jOhn is similarly intolerant of kangaroos in his living room. A Lov(i)e Songs mix couldn't possibly exist without The Kids' "Money Is All I Need." Like a bass-heavy Ramones or Vibrators pick-to-click, the Belgians' catchy chorus was repeatedly rehearsed on the way to Fazoli's and Blimpie in the Greenbrier section of Chesapeake. You probably don't know what "KBD-punk" means, but the fact you've enjoyed this song and band for over a dozen years makes any definition negligible. "In the dead of night/Lovie bites/She bites." I got a thrill from your paraphrasing of Judas Priest's "Love Bites" back then, and I still sing the verses like that today. For further Priest coverage, go read Josh's review of Defenders Of The Faith on Dirty Sheets. Scouts' honor, I'd placed the glam goodness of Hello's "New York Groove" on your mix before that chick from the TV commercial grafted the track on her comp. I'll concede, though,to having to look up "How are things on the West Coast?" on Google. On the Neus Subjex Message Board 'bout a decade ago, I reconstituted Ram Jam's shitkicker anthem "Black Betty" as "Black Lovie." ("From Baltimore, man/Bam-a-lam/Way up in Marylan'/Bam-a-lam") Speaking of your hometown, I'm still very awed by the acquisition of The Fuses ("New Bomb") and Jakkpot ("Burnin' In '77") at Reptilian Records. Their art-punk attack and punk 'n roll kick, respectively, will always make my "Best Things From Baltimore" list. You, of course, would head such a countdown. Along with Priest, you also get major grit dab for having seen Van Halen at their early-80's peak. Don't recall which tour you witnessed 'em on (Diver Down?), but here's the "Ice Cream Man" per your request. Finally, I "flipped" out when you told me about purchasing Husker Du's Flip Your Wig without my insistence. What an A-plus maneuver! FYW is Bob Mould's favorite Du album, and "Hate Paper Doll" is certainly one of its key tracks. Our bud Billy England once claimed that "The Baby Song" (a kazoo instrumental!) was his pick from Wig's litter. At least it's in line with the theme of insanity.

It's 1:53 a.m. on December 19, 2012 (Doesn't that date look so fictional in print?), and I (still) wanna be your boyfriend. Good night, Lovie. I love you more than Big Lots.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Elastica - "Connection" (1994)

"Line Up" would be just as suitable.

The Rolling Stones - "Connection" (1967)

Mick and Keith were also into lines.

Building Blocks: A Tetris Logbook

"Tetris is the game that lasts. In 50 years, those blocks will still be falling on some screen somewhere."
-Seth Schiesel

Whenever a puzzling mood strikes, I can always count on the little Tetris cartridge to quell my connection jones. It's the main reason I've kept a first-generation Game Boy Advance within reach of my eager digits. Of course, Tetris is an essential title for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) mother console. The bright colors, catchy soundtracks and assorted extras (Love the rocket ship that greets high scores!) combine for a wonderfully rendered translation. Still, I usually choose the lock 'n load ease of the GBA over the time-consuming, back-of-the-TV installation of the NES Top Loader. There's something to be said about getting in a few lines while waiting on a friend, lover, doctor or lawyer.

Unfamiliar with Tetris? Here's a brief sketch on the game play. As blocks of various shapes fall from above, your job is connecting them to form a horizontal row. Once the row is created, the blocks disappear and you are credited with one line. Points are increased when more than one row is formed simultaneously. Four simultaneous rows create a "Tetris," which earns premium points. Once ten lines are formed, your level increases by one. The higher the level, the greater the difficulty and point totals become. A "Tetris" at Level 11, for instance, is worth over 10,000 points. For this challenge, I'll make twenty attempts to topple my existing record of 68,368 (111 lines). In the spirit of portability, I'll be taking the GBA handheld with me and contesting some of the action on the go. Should I achieve a Level 12 "Tetris" in between taco crunches at Colley Cantina, I'll be sure to document the feat with salsa-stained hands. Time to build!

12/5/12: My nephew had a doctor's appointment at CHKD/EVMS in Norfolk, so I decided to tag along. The low blood count from the first game wasn't so much of a disaster as it was an adjustment to handling the GBA while in motion (231 points, 3 lines). Test results were way more positive in the follow-up tilt, however, as I nearly approached my PR while exiting the Midtown Tunnel (59,245 and 111). Games 3-5 took place in an empty waiting room. Did the relaxed conditions improve my standing? Not a chance! The cabin temperature was a bit too warm for someone like me. I keep my fan circulating year-round and a "Gunny Towel" nearby. Despite the beading sweat and minor arthritic twitches, I managed a decent total on the third try (36,347 and 79). Ain't gonna comment on numbers four and five, but I'll mention the televised distraction from a channel visitors weren't allowed to change. "Pippi Longstocking" came across like a twisted hybrid of "Dora The Explorer" and those weird-ass Christian cartoons that aired every Sunday morning on WAVY-TV 10 circa 1983-85. Someone needs to sabotage the set with a "Ted" DVD. "FUCK YOU, THUNDER!"

12/8/12: If I had been on "Wheel Of Fortune" instead of in my room, I would've requested many straight pieces from Pat and Vanna. Game six's respectable tally (45,626 and 67) should've been at least 20-thou greater, for I'd built a ten-row wall with an open slot inviting potential "Tetrises" to worm their way through. The Dollar Tree-purchased Sunbeam batteries lasted longer than anticipated, even though most of the round was fought with a red light on the GBA. Pacquiao tasted defeat against Marquez on this night, and I felt much the same way thousands of miles from Las Vegas. The Filipino pugilist had battled valiantly before being tagged in the sixth, but my anemic efforts had less get-up-and-go than Balboa saying "No mas!" to Apollo Creed on the beach. Once again, I paid dearly for painting a high wall in the tenth frame (4,800 and 30). Heck, Jackson Pollock's kid could've done that. After official tournament play, I spent almost two hours practicing strategies for the next day's formations. Will I catch the chicken that Mick let loose, or will I throw in the "Gunny Towel"?

12/9/12: 81,398 and 106! The extra training rewarded me with a new standard in the eleventh game. No matter the pursuit, it's a great feeling to be "in the zone." 12-14 accounted for tomfoolery, but number fifteen threatened to shatter the night's high watermark. Dropping "Tetris" after "Tetris" on Levels 5-7, I accumulated enough points to be within striking distance of the fresh PR after only 75 lines. Six figures, here I come! Or not. On Level 9, the bottom of the screen had six filled rows and an opening on the right, but I wasn't able to flip the desired straight piece in time for a "flash." The log jammed in the upper section and eventually red-inked the "disappointing" grades of 80,816 and 92. 583 points away from another topper? Man, that's like two or three regular connections. Still, it was exciting to be near the entrance sign of a 100,000-point neighborhood. The practice session's highlight was a 128-line game. Dang, two away from Level 13. Time for a cold Barq's and a change of batteries. Just thought of two songs for a possible Tetris mix. I'll reveal 'em later.

12/10/12: Did I reach six figures this evening? Sure, but you'd have to add the respective totals from games 16 (53,061 and 90) and 17 (47,728 and 86) to get it. Nothing to report from 18-20, as the straight sticks decided to take their Christmas vacation days a couple weeks early. The lead-pipe locks for the Tetris mix share a title: The Rolling Stones and Elastica make an obvious "Connection." Actually, the latter's "Line Up" would also be an appropriate choice for the set. I need to crank up the search engine to see if cuts like "Four In A Row," "Straight Line" and "Level Up" exist and are readily available. Post-tourney practice turned in a 130-line result that should've been at least five more. My new goal might be 150 lines, which I'll probably attain before 2062. Gonna break away from Tetris now and try my hand at another Game Boy cart: NBA All-Star Challenge. We'll see how the Suns' Tom Chambers fares against "The Round Mound of Rebound" from the Sixers. "Piece" out!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Clash - "What's My Name?" (1977)

I told you in the story!

The Knack - "Your Number Or Your Name" (1979)

You can call me "Gunther."  You can call me "8544."

Name And Number

Is my "real" name Gunther? No. Do I come from a long line of 8544s? Nah, I'm the first one with the attachment. The 40-year-old ink on my birth certificate means less to me than a cold plate of scrambled eggs and ketchup from Denny's. Perhaps it carries weight for a displaced drunk who peddles used clunkers somewhere in the Quaker State, but I've tipped the scales in favor of the "fake" handle since 1992 or so. What follows is a brief account of its origin.

Charged with the brain-dead task of verifying magazine orders, my friend David Beasley and I enjoyed the many lulls between dial-ups. We used the idle time to discuss music, surfing, tennis and female co-workers who struck our fancy. During an extended stretch of staring bug-eyed at our computer screens, I told Bease to come up with a cool alter-ego for me. After squaring the deal with a Discover magazine customer ("36 issues, right?"), my bud took note of the subscriber's first name and the last four digits of his phone number. Sandwiching the two, Bease arrived at my new identity ("Gunther 8544") and orated it for the first time inside the upstairs office at Touch Tone Marketing in Virginia Beach, VA. Within two weeks, I unveiled the fresh pseudonym for a tagged submission in the company's now-and-again newsletter. "Popcorn" was a pointed poem whose subtle verses concerned an unkempt woman with an 1800s fashion sense who lorded over the microwave with bags (Yes, plural!) of unpopped kernels. Presenting herself like a two-second extra from "Little House On The Prarie" who fell off a stagecoach, it was startling that "Pearlene" had advanced past Jiffy Pop preparations. I'd like to quote a couple lines, but the work has been lost to a BFI trash truck and history. Perhaps "Pearlene" still has a copy of said TTM issue, but it's doubtful the Okie-from-Norfolkie resides in Tidewater these days. Too bad, because I'd send her ten bags of Pop Secret in trade for the poem. Maybe a Mumford And Sons CD, too. It would remind "Pearlene" of the Top 40 songs from her youth that folks like Lewis and Clark hyped to death on podcasts.

Much thanks, Bease, for gifting me with a pen name I've used countless times in composition and conversation. Also, a special salute to longtime friends who've accepted me as "Gunther" without further inquiry.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Turtles - "Food" (1968)

Pickle Dogs!

Village People- "Food Fight" (1981)

Quite possibly the greatest song ever recorded about the subject.

Food Fight

Steak tartare has to be one of the worst entrees you could possibly eat. I'm guessing the caveman concoction of beef and eggs in their rawest form costs more than a large Papa John's pizza with unlimited toppings and decorates the menus of the most hoity-toity of eateries. If this were my last meal in prison, I'd instruct the guard to remove the offending plate and load my mouth with the intense heat of tasty bullets.

For those who have yet to sample the "cheese"-coated crunch of Taco Bell's Doritos Locos Tacos, please save your pesos for the superiority of a sit-down Mexican restaurant or food truck. This past Saturday, I visited a Taco Bell/KFC hybrid joint in the Ocean View section of Norfolk, VA. I hadn't eaten tacos or burritos from the place in a great while, and the respective items in my combo meal maintained their mediocrity from earlier trips. As I took the first bite of the Loco Taco, one thing was readily apparent: The shell had about as much crunch as Erik Estrada crooning a Dionne Warwick number. Unless Doritos has a new flavor called Toe Cheese, any likeness in taste with the original product went undetected by my palate. The orange coating did not resemble the "Dorito Dust" I'm used to licking from my fingers. Rather, it took on an appearance of the gritty powder used to coat the vomit of elementary school kids with nervous stomachs. If your drunken ass has to make a 3 AM "Run for the Border," stick with the original hard tacos. Don't believe the hype generated by what I refer to as "The Black Keys of Fast Food."

As I've mentioned in previous musings, KFC has been on my shitlist for a number of years. I wish I were nervy enough to position myself outside the Main Street location in Suffolk wielding a "BRING BACK BIGGER PIECES!" protest sign. Against my better judgment, I ordered a newfangled Chicken Little sandwich and a side of potato wedges to complement the Taco Bell offerings. KFC's Chicken Littles from the 1980s were tasty sliders with an equally pleasing 39-cent price point. These updated versions, however, are wider and cost nearly four times more ($1.29). Served with pickles and mayo, the presentation is a half-hearted attempt to clone the unbeatable deliciousness of Chick-fil-A's shining star. That said, I can appreciate a good copycat. Great Value's Southern Style Chicken Sandwich, in particular, has spent several sessions in my microwave oven. If KFC is your only dining option,order the Chicken Littles over the miniscule breasts, legs and wings. Prepare to pound 6-8 of 'em!

The legend of the hot dog pie began inside the Thorntons' kitchen during their 2012 Labor Day cookout. Eyeing the two dozen or so frankfurters in the silver tray, Matt Mcgrath channeled his inner Jani Lane and mixed in some Weird Al for maximum comedic effect. Paraphrasing: "It's my hot dog pie/Got mustard on your face/That's no lie!/Beans and cheese/Such a nice surprise/Sweeeet hot dog piiiie!!!" Even funnier was Matthew O'Keefe's confirmation of hot dog pie as an actual dish. A co-worker of his had prepared one for a potluck, and the facing crust was cross-stitched a la the finest apple and cherry confections. Because Matthew was unable to secure a slice on the clock, he couldn't confirm the exact ingredients. That meant nothing to us, for we three were ready to construct and bake our own hot dog pie right then and there. But alas, our requests for a ride to Food Lion in search of Pillsbury crust or biscuit dough went unheeded. After four hot dogs, three hamburgers, two generous helpings of Denise's best-ever pasta salad and nine of Sue's wonderfully dusted cake-like cookies, could there have been any room in my stomach for hardy experimentation? Does Joey Chestnut crave another Nathan's mustard belt on Independence Day?

7-Eleven is my new favorite Chinese place. Why? Because the in-and-out store has been offering egg rolls amongst the Big Bite and pizza stand-bys. My friend/cabbie Pete and I have become regulars at the Godwin Blvd. stop in Suffolk. The amicable cashier always knows what we're craving, and the scrumptious egg rolls make for a most satisfying snack. If you've ever bitten into one at 3:22 AM after a night of kicking out the jams, you can appreciate this pedestrian form of "Chinese Rocks." Best song I've heard under the gasoline bay thus far? The English Beat's "Mirror In The Bathroom." While getting our grub on recently, I tried explaining to Pete the similarities between Howard Jones' "No One Is To Blame" and Alanis Morissette's "Ironic." Girl ripped the dude off! Pete didn't see it my way, but that's OK. The egg roll education is a continuing process.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Mickey & The Soul Generation - "Chocolate" (1970)

It was either this or Suzanne Vega's "Caramel."

The Police - "Peanuts" (1978)

Much like David Beckham and the Whopper, Sting has probably never eaten a PayDay in his life.

Bar Hopping: PayDay vs. Whatchamacallit

One of the quirkiest books in my library was purchased last year at Dollar Tree for a fee too obvious to reveal.  The Enlightened Bracketologist: The Final Four of Everything (edited by Mark Reiter and Richard Sandomir) uses familiar draw sheets from the popular NCAA tourney for purposes other than collegiate hoops.  Sure, an obligatory nod is given to the best March Madness Moments with the initial pairings (In the final "game," Christian Laettner's last-second dagger against Kentucky in 1992 triumphs over Texas Western's historic all-black squad defeating a different group of UK Wildcats in 1966), but other topics are put through the same round-by-round ringer.  American beers (Abita Turbodog makes it to Monday night), baseball myths ("Chemistry creates winning teams" hoists the championship banner), indie rock albums (How many overtimes to decide the Pixies' Surfer Rosa versus Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation?), sidekicks (Eventual finalist Jimmy Olsen dribbles past Scottie Pippen in the opening frame) and video games (Tetris incessantly blocks The Legend Of Zelda's arrows en route to a title) contain just enough shock and awe to warrant several hours' worth of debate amongst fellow prognosticators. 

The subject that turned me into an armchair referee?  Candy bars.  Swear to Gobstoppers, I'd always wanted to construct a list pitting favorite treats against one another in bracket form.  Of course, many of my choices parrot those found in TEB:  Mr. Goodbar, Butterfinger, Skor, Snickers and Mars.  Whatchamacallit's omission from the 32-team dance, however, is an injustice greater than last Saturday's controversial Bradley-over-Pacquiao decision.  Seriously, Milk Duds and Rasinets make it into the field at the expense of an all-time great?  What a Goober!  Another treasured bar I'd sneak into a theater is the chocolate-deprived PayDay.  The peanut 'n' caramel concoction tastes elimination during its Thursday tilt with Twix in TEB's mouth.  Rather than penning a fresh draw on the provided blank sheet, I'm going to expedite my tournament by skipping directly to the finals.  For years and years, PayDay and Whatchamacallit have traded places on the top line.  Tonight, only one will cut down the nets and join Arby's Sauce in The Rung's Hall of Champions.  In lieu of Francis Scott Key's hit single, we're gonna crank up The Strangeloves' "I Want Candy" at full volume.  Both combatants have stepped out of their wrappers.  It's crunch time!

Can a candy bar sans chocolate stand alongside the rim rockers from the Hershey's factory?  In 2007, the PayDay Chocolatey Avalanche joined its beloved grandfather in the snack-stocked racks.  I don't ever recall seeing the Avalanche (or other variants like the PAYDAY PRO energy bar and the Honey-Roasted limited edition) in grocery and convenience stores, so I'm not able to vouch for its enjoyability.  Forget about such reservations with the O.G. PD, though.  If you're loopy for legumes like myself, every bite of a PayDay (King Size, of course) will turn your taste buds into salty escapees from shelled asylums.  With a tightly wound center of caramel covered by plentiful peanuts, a living representation of this beautiful bar would make the Mr. Peanut statue in Downtown Suffolk blush in admiration.  Thank Goodbar I don't suffer from nut allergies, 'cause I'd totally risk asphyxiation by clocking out for the final time via the "poisonous" PayDay.  Beats sucking down Fiero fumes in a locked garage, huh?  Back among the living, the miniature versions are perfect for Halloween bags and homemade Dairy Queen Blizzard experiments.  If Edy's or Blue Bunny were to offer PayDay ice cream in merchants' freezers, I'd gladly flash my old-fashioned scooper and dip like a stupid stick.  For a period in the 1980s, PayDays were packed with individually wrapped nickels.  Why the bribery?  Even Charlie Brown and Lucy would love the "brittle for babes" without an endorsement advance.  After all, they are Peanuts.

The wonder that is Whatchamacallit was first brought to my attention in the semi-classic advertisement featuring two Little Leaguers circa 1980.  ("What do you call it?")  Shortly after seeing the spot, I made tracks in the direction of the 7-Eleven on Portsmouth Blvd.  Taking a siesta from the usual Big Wheel ice cream sandwich, I placed a handful of coins on the counter and secured the latest Hershey's confection.  Strolling back to the wasp-infested Cherokee Park apartment building, I couldn't resist a bite of the chocolate-covered block.  Finally reaching my doorstep, I almost double-backed to the 7-Eleven for another Whatchamacallit fix.  With a delicious blend of peanut crisps, caramel and milk chocolate coating, I desperately wanted to spoil my dinner in the best way.  Maybe I could've given a bit to the intimidating insects as a peace offering.  Thirty-two years later, Whatchamacallit remains on the A-list for sugar rushes.  Recently, I began a tradition of gifting a fellow candy lover with King Size bars at rock shows and such.  Thanks to "Lil' Beth," I was able to swap my favorite Hershey's product for another gem from adolescence -- Chunky.  If I win Powerball or come into an inheritance, I'll point the GPS system at Brooklyn and meet three former Norfolk acquaintances at Chip Shop Pub.  While engaging in a roundtable discussion on all things rock 'n' roll, Unger, Larry, Idle and I would feast on crunchy fish and other accoutrements.  Post-meal, four Whatchamacallits would be placed in the deep fryer and presented at our table in altered states.  What would I call it?  How about an idea that needs to happen?

Judging by the looks of the PayDay and Whatchamacallit die-cast vehicles (Cool, huh?), I'd say the El Camino is packing more peanut power under the hood.  Since drag races aren't the worst ways to settle debates, PayDay edges out the pickup at the line and gets Whatchamacallit's pink slip.    

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sonic Youth - "Becuz" (1995)

Runner-up choice for Songstory. It's also tied to a memory of CMR.

Mazzy Star - "Fade Into You" (1994)

Best song I've ever heard at 3 AM.

Songstory: Mazzy Star - "Fade Into You"

Welcome to the first BLOG ALLIANCE GUILD (BAG) crossover event: Songstory. BAG is a group of bloggers and readers of blogs that has pledged its commitment to supporting each other's endeavors. Songstory is an event documenting the power of the moment and its soundtrack. Has a song ever just defined a moment for you? Well, Songstory is the telling of that moment. A single topic spread over multiple sources. Like crossover events from comic books, Songstory is just one of the many. Don't just read and enjoy this installment of Songstory, but follow the links at the bottom for other episodes in the series.

Many moons ago, I went outside to move my blue Plymouth Reliant out of the driveway. It was very early in the morning (3:30 AM or so). When I turned the ignition, my ears were greeted with the lovely voice of Hope Sandoval. As she was singing the verses of "Fade Into You," I closed my eyes and began to sigh. Maybe you had told me about your love for the song earlier, but a picture of you became framed in my thoughts. I felt compelled to take a ride to your place at Lynnbrook Landing. You probably weren't awake, but I would've been happy just staring at your green "Prelude." Alas, I simply pulled my vehicle along the street at Sandoval's final intone. I wish I'd been able to tell you about this experience when it happened. I wish I'd tucked you in your bed. I wish I'd talked to you more about dead fish in the lake. I wish I'd wrapped you in my arms. I wish I'd faded into you. Dark, mysterious and beautiful: These are qualities shared by the song and the woman it reminds me of the most. One more regret: When you last saw me on "Christina Day" (April 1, 2010), I should've popped in the appropriate CD and asked you for a slow dance to the wonderful composition. I'll save one for you next time, Christina. Always.

To continue with the Songstory event, check out Angie's post at Rock-N-Roll Hoochie Koo:

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Die Toten Hosen - "Born To Lose" (1991)

Thunders' parting shot.

PVC - "Berlin By Night" (1979)

It's gonna be alright...

German 102

1)My friend's attractive mother bears a 5.6% resemblance to Crystal Bernard of "Wings."
Mein Freund der attraktiven Mutter trägt 5,6 % ähnlichkeit zu Crystal Bernard "Flügel."

2)Erik Estrada, there's Fucking Fritos in my burrito!
Erik Estrada, ist da Fucking Fritos in meinem Burrito!

3)The mark on the soon-to-be-divorced Seal's head has its own weather system.
Die Marke auf das bald-zu-sein-geschiedene Seal's Kopf hat sein eigenes Wetter.

4)Tracy Gugal-Okroy from Virginia Beach will most likely appeal the violation for raising illegal chickens.
Tracy Gugal-Okroy aus Virginia Beach wird höchstwahrscheinlich Berufung gegen die Verletzung für die Erhöhung hühner illegal.

5)You're six feet tall, you weigh 93 pounds and you worry 'bout being fat.
Sie sind sechs Meter hoch, wiegen Sie 93 £, und Sie Worry 'Bout Dicksein.

6)Until you've eaten a Goddamn Grilled Government Cheese Sandwich that takes three days to properly melt, I don't want to hear any complaints about supposedly insulting bag lunches.

Bis sie etwas gegessen haben a Goddamn Gegrilltes Käsesandwich, die Regierung drei Tage dauert, richtig schmelzen, ich will nicht hören Beschwerden über vermeintlich beleidigende tasche lunchpakete.

7)Dee Dee Ramone thought it was pretty cool being Half-German.
Dee Dee Ramone dachte, es war ziemlich cool, Half-German.

8)When I'm thinking Arby's, I'm not thinking two fish sandwiches for four dollars.
Arby's, Wenn ich denke ich bin nicht denken zwei Fische sandwiches für vier Dollar.

9)My knock on Jehovah's Witnesses: Their fascination with doors.
Mein klopfen auf die Zeugen Jehovas, und Ihre faszination mit türen.

10)I speak Google German.
Ich spreche Google Deutsch.

11)Taco Bell needs to have a food truck that drives around neighborhoods and serves their meat product to kids playing games in the street.
Taco Bell muss sich ein Essen lkw, der fährt rund um die Stadt und serviert ihr Fleisch produkt Kinder spielen auf der Straße.

12)Thank you for the coffee and the seventeen-floor climb.
Danke für den Kaffee und die siebzehn-etage klettern.

13)Boy, I sure could go for some illegal chicken strips right about now!
Junge, ich sicher gehen könnte für einige illegale chicken strips recht jetzt!

14)blink-182 + Sum 41 = Suck 223.
blink-182 + Summe 41 = Saugen 223.

15)PETA: Personalities Engaged in Tacky Advertising.
PETA: Persönlichkeiten, die in Kitschigen Werbung.

16)Timeline is Facebook undergoing menopause.
Timeline ist Facebook derzeit wechseljahre.


18)Fortnoy posed as a woman seeking another woman on for investigative purposes.
Fortnoy posed als Frau sucht eine Frau für Sich für investigativen Zwecken.

19)If Eric Thornton has said it once, he's said it 3,328,562 times: There has NEVER been a White Castle in Norfolk, VA.
Wenn Eric Thornton hat gesagt, es noch einmal, er sagte, es 3.328.562 mal: Es hat nie eine weiße Burg in Norfolk, VA.

20)If there were a hall of fame for thrift stores, Cyndi Lauper would be its answer to Ty Cobb.
Wenn es eine Hall of fame für sparsamkeitspeichern, Cyndi Lauper wäre ihre Antwort zu Ty Cobb.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

They Might Be Giants - "Figure Eight" (2008)

Bet Sarah Hughes can still form perfect ones.

The Four Horsemen - "Rockin' Is Ma Business" (1991)

For Ric, Arn, Ole and Tully...

Eights and Fours

Do you sense a pattern?

Is the structure so defined?

Will you sing it as a song?

Or just say, "Never mind"?

Notes and chords are optional

But smeared ink is a must

Pens used for a purpose

Are tools that never rust

Eights and fours

A signature, a time

The fake book that you read

Is worth a dollar and a dime

Numbers are much easier

Than adding up the words

Subtraction makes a difference

In academic worlds

Join in the equation?

Toss paper in the trash?

Here's a throwaway line:

"Writer's cramp's a rash"

Eights and fours

More comfortable with prose

You and you and you and two

The poetry's a pose

Anyone can claim

To have a published piece

Some lines in a journal

For literary lease

Show it to your mother

Show it to your friend

Say you'll do a reading

And drop out at the end

Eights and fours

The monster is the stage

But constructive critics

Are the beasts who really rage

Find the proper blade

And sharpen up your wit

An unconcern with rhyme

Will stab the next big hit

They want your name and number

So you give them both

Asking if it's real

Is a sign of stunted growth

Eights and fours

Imagine that they're true

To tell things your own way

A plus sign next to you