Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Does anyone out there care about foster kids?

I can't outright put my client's picture on here because of confidentiality reasons but, my 12-year-old client Eugene from Philadelphia needs an adoptive home. He is a very smart, well-behaved child who has had major trauma in his life. He is receiving intensive therapy at Joseph J. Peters Institute in Philadelphia to help him cope and salvage some aspects of his life before he reaches adulthood. You can learn more by checking out Eugene's Wednesday's Child profile. Thank you.

Beer Advocate - Drink Craft Beer.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Gnarls Barkley's St. Elsewhere

This album is incredible. It has given me hope in
terms of creativity and innovation in the dying music
business. Everything worth a shit musically in the
last 14 years has come from England and Scotland it seems like. People from the U.K.
seem to be the only ones who can come up with
something different and tuneful [The Cure, The Smiths, Bauhaus,
Blur, Delays, and Gorillaz
being amongst my favorites]. Like Dangermouse and
Cee-Lo Green (who is from Atlanta I believe), they make it seem so easy.

Almost every Gnarls Barkley song lyrically is a
beautiful mix of mini crises, testimonials, and
lamentful musings; with a central theme of instability, Cee-Lo portrays a hodge-podge of mentally-ill characters and
their innermost impulsive thoughts. I think St. Elsewhere is brave for attempting to break
down stigmas attached to being socially anxious,
antisocial, obsessed, sucidical, sociopathic, or

Without this theme St. Elsewhere would have just been a flash-in-the-pan, trendy album for hipsters that would have tanked fast (like Gwen Stefani's). Ok, it is sort of trendy now to buck reason and logic, endorsing something as crazy as giving into the voices in your head. Just ask George Bush or Pat Robertson. But still, no musical artist has released a hip, hit record and successfully convinced people its ok to be crazy. I know there is much more psychologically to go into here but I don't have time so I'll just say that regardless if Gnarls Barkley are serious about their album topic, or joking around, they've made a timely infectious record that ends too fast. "Feng Shui" is only 1:27 long!

In terms of the music, like the Avalanches Since I Left You album; St. Elsewhere is not quite solely original, but nonetheless rarely matched by contemporary peers
in terms of groove and the ability to stuff a song full of great samples, loops, beats, noises, etc. It features slightly retro, electronic R&B/soul/funk/hip-hop
concoctions, unhinged soul singing, trip hop beats and crashing
drums...check out "St. Elsewhere," "Smiley Faces," "The Boogie Monster," Just A Thought" and "Storm Coming."

Don't just download "Crazy;" go to track 13 ("Storm Coming") and wait until right around the one-minute mark when the galloping (World in My Eyes-like) beat kicks in. Mixing with Cee-Lo's theatrical falsetto singing its pure summer fun. Also, "Just a Thought" is a dark song about suicide, but you almost forget that because of the awesome crashing drums and the minor chord plinks injected in the middle of the song. Its right around here that you realize the hype about Dangermouse was right, the guy is brillant.

Beer Advocate - Drink Craft Beer.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

There actually are other people out there like me


Hahaha I started a stupid club based on my obsession with Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash on myspace, and 8 people joined it!!!. Albeit four of them were teenage girls, one was a Johnny Depp imposter and I don't have a clue about the other three, although one of them really sounded sick. What's funny is that I sent a bulletin around to all members asking for JP fantasties or real experiences with JP, without realizing that half of the members were underage!

Beer Advocate - Drink Craft Beer.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Why isn't Ian Astbury on myspace?

Note: I originally wrote this on my myspace blog.

Thursday, March 02, 2006
subject: Ian Astbury
Current mood: nerdy

This is to expand on my blog entry from last night on my other blog. I don't understand why everyone hates on Ian Astbury of Southern Death Cult (then Death Cult...finally just The Cult). I could understand if its based only on what the The Cult have accomplished (or unaccomplished...I'm not that impressed with The Cult's music anymore myself).

But Southern Death Cult's music is genuinely good. This is the era of 1982-83. This is the band that opened up for Bauhaus...do you think Bauhaus would let just anyone open up for them? Not with prissy Peter Murphy running things.

The Southern Death Cult's members are talented, the band sounds tight. Its real post-punk music, albeit it came out three years after Joy Division's and The Cure's debut albums did, but they had to have attracted someone's attention over there in England because the production on the album is really good. Its a touch echo-ey and there's a tiny bit of a sheen but mainly the production stands back and lets the band do their thing.

Like the best post-punk bands, the rhythm section rocks! Don't believe me? Check out the bassline on "The Girl", wow, its catchy and just as good as something Simon Gallop might have written. The drums are tribal like Stephen Morris or The Cure or Gang of Four but there is very little high hat which is refreshing.

Southern Death Cult's guitar is different than traditional post-punk, its more melodic then just the typical saw-buzz/jagged sound like Bernard Sumner of Joy Division. Its more New Order or Smiths -like, jangly, but also you can hear some glam metal leanings. You can tell Ian is practicing for his arena rock glory days with his slightly over the top, dramatic vocals, but his voice is still unpolished and therefore more interesting. Charming in an anti-post-punk way.

On "Moya" and "The Girl", SDC's two best songs, the lyrics range from being angry about the slaughter of the Native American population (a big theme of Astbury's) and doped-up American kids, to shrieky boo-hoos about a pretentious, skeptical girl with a screw loose. "Fatman" is a smirky, clever, catchy tune about how greed leads to ignorance.

Give the man the respect he deserves.

Beer Advocate - Drink Craft Beer.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

oh Mr. D...

You could play these songs for your DJ jawn with me in
mind I suppose, theyre my latest faves. Southern Death
Cult: Moya, The Girl; Red Lorry Yellow Lorry: Chance,
Spinning Around(?). Maybe Im a huge nerd; I dont get
why anyone makes fun of Ian Astbury.

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Beer Advocate - Drink Craft Beer.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

To all the morons in America who continue to support Bush and Cheney

I really can't believe that I live in a country whose government rejects principles such as fairness/justice, tends to ignore reality and preach outdated ways of living to its people, but who also advocates cronyism, nepotism, and stigmatizing/shaming of its most vulnerable citizens. Or, if not advocates, then simply allows it to happen and does not blow the whistle, which is even worse.

I always thought the worst characteristic of Americans are the ones who recognize this, feel this way and do nothing but whine about the staus quo stating, "its always been this way." I am wrong, the worst characteristic of Americans is living your life according to how God or someone else who you fear wants you to and refusing to acknowledge the ridiculousness of that attitude. Take the blinders off!!! Think for yourselves! Read about who your magnificent president has planned to steal from next in order to "balance the budget."

To the mainstream media and members of Congress: stand up for the people who live in this country and pay the taxes by reporting corruption by people in power and show some balls by telling people the truth. To the President: its over, you've lost all credibility to the people who matter in this country, law-abiding citizens without an ego-driven agenda to disrupt and ruin something already functioning and thriving on its own. To the Vice-President: Everyone knows you lie, and everything in your life has been handed to you. Every job you've been given you've failed at, yet people continue to promote you. Probably to get rid of you. What a jackass you are. Why do you think you get special above-the-law rights? When the heat comes down on you, you hide like a scared little bitch. How does anyone have any respect for you still?

Why don't you people wake the fuck up?

Beer Advocate - Drink Craft Beer.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Gotta give props to my favorite escapism hobby...well ok my 2nd favorite escapism hobby...Weird NJ!! Weird PA!! Weird US!!

Here is an actual real ap news report that the Weird NJ people have sent around via email newsletter:

1. Suicide Mistaken for Halloween Decoration
FREDERICA, Del. - The apparent suicide of a woman
found hanging from a tree went unreported for hours
because passers-by thought the body was a Halloween
decoration, authorities said.

The 42-year-old woman used rope to hang herself across
the street from some homes on a moderately busy road
late Tuesday or early Wednesday, state police said.

The body, suspended about 15 feet above the ground,
could be easily seen from passing vehicles.

State police spokesman Cpl. Jeff Oldham and neighbors
said people noticed the body at breakfast time
Wednesday but dismissed it as a holiday prank.
Authorities were called to the scene more than three
hours later.

"They thought it was a Halloween decoration," Fay
Glanden, wife of Mayor William Glanden, told The
(Wilmington) News Journal.

"It looked like something somebody would have rigged
up," she said.

Please support them by buying the Weird state books (ie Weird PA, Weird NY etc), or buy watching their TV show on the History Channel!!

Beer Advocate - Drink Craft Beer.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

More Good Songs

1. Gary Numan: Are Friends Electric? 2. Gary Numan:
When The Machines Rock 3. Gary Numan: I Nearly Married
A Human 4. Bauhaus: Dark Entries 5. Bauhaus: Bela
Ligosis Dead. I am craving more tuneful goth or
electro-postpunk type tunes.

Yahoo! DSL – Something to write home about.
Just $16.99/mo. or less.

Beer Advocate - Drink Craft Beer.

Kraftwerk + Computer Love, Pocketcalculator, and Ve Are Ze Robots = Total fucking original electronic masterpieces

These songs came out in the 70s, way before Gary
Numan, Depeche Mode, Devo, New Order, Yaz etc. Various
dance/techno/electro artists have since then ripped
them off. What fun it is listening to them.

Yahoo! DSL – Something to write home about.
Just $16.99/mo. or less.

Beer Advocate - Drink Craft Beer.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Top Beers, Continued

12. Troegs Pale Ale 13. Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale
14. Pacific Pale Ale 15. Troegs Sunshine Pils 16. Blue
Point Hoptical Illusion 17. Flying Dog Doggie Style
18. Chimay Cinq Cent 19. Icabod Pumpkin Ale 20.
Various Sly Fox IPAs

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Lists: Rebeccas Top Beers

1. Tuppers Hop Pocket Ale 2. Three Floyds Alpha King
3. Sierra Nevada Pale & Harvest Ale 4. Victory
Hopdevil 5. Yards IPA 6. Russian River IPA 7. Stone
IPA 8. New River Pale Ale 9. Lost Coast Indica IPA 10.
Legacy Hedonism 11. Dogfish Head Aprihop

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Sunday, December 18, 2005

I'm grieving the loss of my Ford Escort Wagon...

She died in the Tacony section of Philadelphia, this past Wednesday evening, just after I picked up 2 of my clients for their visit. Luckily it happened only 3 blocks away from their aunt's house, so we walked back and asked her to drive us to the visit, which she gracefully agreed to (Thanks again, Debbie!).

I don't know why but when my mom called me Friday morning to tell me the news, as I sat at 30th St. station waiting for the R5 to arrive to take my ass to Overbrook (work), I started to cry. I was shocked. I thought the problem was the clutch/transmission, but I was wrong. Here this very reliable blue Ford, just died instantly. A piston was blown and 2 cylinders. The mileage was just under 130,000. Not bad for an aluminum engine. The fact that I had only driven on my brand new tires for two days didn't even occur to me until my mom mentioned that they were going to try to sell them. I was just sad that the car couldn't be fixed.

I was very attached to this car I bought from a dead woman for $900. Well, actually I bought it from her grown son, my stepdad was the attorney for this woman's estate. She lived in Bryn Mawr, and Hal and I went to her house to pick it up in December 2003, almost exactly 2 years ago. Imagine my elation when I looked in the window and discovered that this car had a stick shift!

After my horrible experiences with my last car, the 95 green Dodge Spirit, I couldn't believe my luck was turning around. I have this firm belief that manual transmission cars are better than cars with automatic transmissions. Less problems, way more reliable. My first car was a 91 Mazda Protege with a stick shift also, and I had to learn how to drive stick before I drove it back to college. That car lasted to 190,000. Maybe that's why I love manual transmission cars so much. Automatics are just so boring in comparison.

This may sound completely crazy, but I believe the spirit of the dead woman who owned this car before me kept watch over it (and me in it), until the corrosion became too much for her. It never broke down. I was never left stranded on the side of the road, at least until last Wednesday. Whatever, a part me knows that's bullshit, but I still felt real feelings of loss and sadness for my little blue station wagon. R.I.P. 1993-2005

Beer Advocate - Drink Craft Beer.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

ISpeaking of Goth...

Here are some more guilty pleasure songs:

1. Gene Loves Jezebel- "Bruises" ...If anyone thinks this song sucks, you wouldn't know good music if it jumped up and bit you on the ass. Whatever, love it, hate it, I don't care. I consider it a long-lost secret treasure.

2. Love and Rockets- "Kundalini Express" ...This song is growing on me more and more. It has a killer time-keeping, staticky, noise effect thats groovy. Plus this line, "This is an announcement for the transcendental run, the train now standing leaves for higher planes...Due to a derailment there will be no other train..." I'm guessing that this song is about a "deathtrain", the passage the spirit takes after one's body dies. Cool.

3. Fields of the Nephilim- "For Her Light" ...Better than their song, "Laaaauuuura...". I like the beginning line: "Lisa, how lonely you are...". Totally reminds me of Michael Drew's ex-girlfriend, gothy Lisa.

Carlos, I keep waiting for a shout-out...

Beer Advocate - Drink Craft Beer.

I love Fields of the Nephilim, Gene Loves Jezebel and Christian Death!!!

You're a Denial Goth! You are so not Goth. In
fact you're Post-Punk/Darkwave/Whatever
lesser-known synonym for goth is popular this
week. Give it up, it's obvious you're a Goth.

What kind of Goth would you be?
brought to you by

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Friday, November 25, 2005

There Will Be A New Civil War

Holy Shit...Virginia Tech Will Play Penn State In The
Orange Bowl! Hal, Its On (My Stepdad Went To Penn
State)! Im Siding With The Confederates, The Rebels
Hahaha. That Smug JoePa and You Prissy Yanks Are Going
Down! Yank, Plank, Septic Tank Haha!

Yahoo! Mail - PC Magazine Editors' Choice 2005

Beer Advocate - Drink Craft Beer.

its thanksgiving night

Blogging by mobile, testing this out. The wind is
howling outside, yall. Its slightly depressing that
most of my friends have to work tomorrow, and nobody
is up for hanging out tonight. Ah, well its ok. Harley
and me, we chillin anyway.

Start your day with Yahoo! - Make it your home page!

Beer Advocate - Drink Craft Beer.

Monday, November 21, 2005

My favorite guilty pleasure songs and bands

I totally admit I loooove these songs...

1. "Love Destruction", "Blown" and "Shine Like It" from Warrior Soul's 1992 record Salutations from the Ghetto Nation. This unfortunate album maybe tanked because the lyrics appear as if a disaffected 6 year old wrote them, and by the 5th song, its one stupid poser-metal cliche after another as the second half of the album is shamefully BAD. The stylishly dressed dim-wit behind this album was the "political" Kory Clarke, who decided he should speak for all the angry, poor and oppressed people suffering in America 'hoods.

But these three songs I actually like. What do I like about them? Interesting rhythms for your average hair-metal-glam band. Wait, now that I'm listening to them, the rhythms in these songs are pretty average. Warrior Soul are quite ridiculous in their seriousness and delivery. But Kory's dramatic singing (so Meatloaf or Sebastian Bach or something) doesn't sound half bad layered with loads of echo and reverb. So twiddle some knobs, light a doob and enjoy the absurdity. Here's some lyrics from "Blown":

I'm a hypersonic day dream
Kicked out of the world
My comedown was amazing
Like your burned out culture

The wicked try to own ya
Economic styrofoam
Used to be dreamin'
Now I'm locked in a stranglehold

The ticket to the White House
Is not a blow job for the poor
The rich man gets a suck off
'Cause the president's his whore

Why so cold
'Cause you're blown
This generation
You're blown

2. The Cult's "Fire Woman" and "She Sells Sanctuary". MTV played the "Fire Woman" video to death, and I hated it back then. But now its on the VH1 classic videos channel and I love it. Ian Astenbury stole his look from Jim Morrison (leather pants, cowboy boots, swagger) but his snaggle teeth and long, goth black hair were hot. The best part of the video is at the end when he humps and writhes all over the little stairs on the stage.

Smoke she is a-risin'
Fire Woman
You're to blame...

3. Client: "Happy". This song I first heard while shopping in Urban Outfitters about 2 years ago, in between the Snow Patrol and Modest Mouse. I almost choked on a cough drop that I had in my mouth at the time. Its just something you have to hear. Not that its really clever or groundbreaking but I found it funny. It features two deadpan, simple, northern English chicks; one singing, one talking over a fuzzy, bleep/bloopy electro(clash) beat:

Why don't you know it
Why don't you show it
Are you happy now?

You never show it
You just carry on and _____ (is it blow it??)
Are you happy now?

I'm happy
She's happy
So why the fuck are you not happy?

4. "Pure Energy" by Information Society

5. "Situation" by Yaz

Do I dress for every situation
___ ___ ___ of the nation (???)
Been a long time
Been a long time now
Get to you somehow

Move out
Don't mess around
Move out
You bring me down
Move out
Are you get about (????)
Don't make yourselves move out

6. "Grey Cell Green" by Ned's Atomic Dustbin

7. "The Promise" by When in Rome

8. "Monkey" by George Michael

9. "Talking in Your Sleep" by The Romantics

11. "Big Country" by Big Country

12. "18 and Life" by Skid Row

13. "Dead and Bloated" by Stone Temple Pilots. Most songs on the entire debut album I still like...except for fucking "Plush", "Sex type thing" and "Crackerman".

14. "What is Love" ...aka "A Night at the Roxbury" SNL skit theme song Hahaha

If anybody out there is actually reading this, feel free to add your favorites in a comment or whatever.

Beer Advocate - Drink Craft Beer.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Broke again...

I can't believe its the holiday time again already. Last year I told everyone "No Christmas!" because I couldn't afford it. Damn it, this year will be the same because of 3 other things around the same time, requiring loads of my money. Money that would have been used to buy people nice things.

First thing: I got pulled over Saturday evening on the Blue Route by a typically boring, by-the-book state po-po and was given a $165 ticket for (only) going 80 mph. What the fuck, when is the state going to wake up and face the fact that most people do not drive 55 on highways?? At least the turnpike raised the speed limit to 65. Why is the speed limit on the Blue Rt., the widest and newest highway in the Philly area, only 55? Ugh I loathe safety laws and wussy politicians who pander to angry mothers.

2nd thing: Harley's annual vet appointment looms in the distance. This regularly costs me about the same as my speeding ticket above.

3rd muthafuckin thing: my car's inspection is due in December. Lets see, last year, only $800 worth of stuff needed to be fixed to pass it, and the guy told me that 2 tires were so bald they were borderline dangerous, but he passed them anyway and rotated them to the back. Guess who never got around to replacing any tires this year?

So by now I probably need 4 new tires. I already know that my power steering pump needs replacing (I've been driving around with no power steering since January or February, but hey at least I have strong arm muscles now haha), my brakes and alignment continue to have issues (I know I've replaced major brake parts twice in 2005 already), plus I'm sure I'll need to replace a couple of struts and shocks (my car shakes violently at speeds over 65 mph and whenever I hit the brakes), and I have a feeling that my transmission/clutch is about to go since I've been hearing some strange noise sometimes while releasing the clutch lately.

Does anybody know anyone who fixes cars around Philly that will accept a payment plan? Like layaway? Please? God I am so screwed.

Beer Advocate - Drink Craft Beer.

Wow...Read Jimmy Carter's assessment of today's America

Thanks Sean for sending this to me...

This isn't the real America

By Jimmy Carter

11/14/05 "Los Angeles Times" -- -- IN RECENT YEARS, I have become increasingly concerned by a host of radical government policies that now threaten many basic principles espoused by all previous administrations, Democratic and Republican.

These include the rudimentary American commitment to peace, economic and social justice, civil liberties, our environment and human rights.

Also endangered are our historic commitments to providing citizens with truthful information, treating dissenting voices and beliefs with respect, state and local autonomy and fiscal responsibility.

At the same time, our political leaders have declared independence from the restraints of international organizations and have disavowed long-standing global agreements — including agreements on nuclear arms, control of biological weapons and the international system of justice.

Instead of our tradition of espousing peace as a national priority unless our security is directly threatened, we have proclaimed a policy of "preemptive war," an unabridged right to attack other nations unilaterally to change an unsavory regime or for other purposes. When there are serious differences with other nations, we brand them as international pariahs and refuse to permit direct discussions to resolve disputes.

Regardless of the costs, there are determined efforts by top U.S. leaders to exert American imperial dominance throughout the world.

These revolutionary policies have been orchestrated by those who believe that our nation's tremendous power and influence should not be internationally constrained. Even with our troops involved in combat and America facing the threat of additional terrorist attacks, our declaration of "You are either with us or against us!" has replaced the forming of alliances based on a clear comprehension of mutual interests, including the threat of terrorism.

Another disturbing realization is that, unlike during other times of national crisis, the burden of conflict is now concentrated exclusively on the few heroic men and women sent back repeatedly to fight in the quagmire of Iraq. The rest of our nation has not been asked to make any sacrifice, and every effort has been made to conceal or minimize public awareness of casualties.

Instead of cherishing our role as the great champion of human rights, we now find civil liberties and personal privacy grossly violated under some extreme provisions of the Patriot Act.

Of even greater concern is that the U.S. has repudiated the Geneva accords and espoused the use of torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, and secretly through proxy regimes elsewhere with the so-called extraordinary rendition program. It is embarrassing to see the president and vice president insisting that the CIA should be free to perpetrate "cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment" on people in U.S. custody.

Instead of reducing America's reliance on nuclear weapons and their further proliferation, we have insisted on our right (and that of others) to retain our arsenals, expand them, and therefore abrogate or derogate almost all nuclear arms control agreements negotiated during the last 50 years. We have now become a prime culprit in global nuclear proliferation. America also has abandoned the prohibition of "first use" of nuclear weapons against nonnuclear nations, and is contemplating the previously condemned deployment of weapons in space.

Protection of the environment has fallen by the wayside because of government subservience to political pressure from the oil industry and other powerful lobbying groups. The last five years have brought continued lowering of pollution standards at home and almost universal condemnation of our nation's global environmental policies.

Our government has abandoned fiscal responsibility by unprecedented favors to the rich, while neglecting America's working families. Members of Congress have increased their own pay by $30,000 per year since freezing the minimum wage at $5.15 per hour (the lowest among industrialized nations).

I am extremely concerned by a fundamentalist shift in many houses of worship and in government, as church and state have become increasingly intertwined in ways previously thought unimaginable.

As the world's only superpower, America should be seen as the unswerving champion of peace, freedom and human rights. Our country should be the focal point around which other nations can gather to combat threats to international security and to enhance the quality of our common environment. We should be in the forefront of providing human assistance to people in need.

It is time for the deep and disturbing political divisions within our country to be substantially healed, with Americans united in a common commitment to revive and nourish the historic political and moral values that we have espoused during the last 230 years.

JIMMY CARTER was the 39th president of the United States. His newest book is "Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis," published this month by Simon & Schuster.

Copyright 2005 Los Angeles Times

Beer Advocate - Drink Craft Beer.

"Kids with Guns"

Kids with guns
Taking over
But it won't be long
They're mesmerized skeletons
Kids with guns
Kids with guns
Easy does it, easy does it, they got something to say "no" to

And they turn into monsters
Turning us into fire
Turning us into monsters
It's all desire It's all desire It's all desire

Wow, Damon Albarn is still a clever songwriter. I thought all of his cleverness went out the window with age but this song is really good. Plus it has Neneh Cherry singing in the background. Actually all of Demon Days is pretty excellent. Everybody knows that Gorillaz is really Damon Albarn, right?

Well, this record has the help of Danger Mouse too, who must be really clever (I don't know anything about him other than he made a mash-up record consisting of the Beatles' white album and Jay Z's the black album, like 2 or 3 years ago).

This must be horribly boring to read because this record is hardly new anymore, so let me include a pic of Mr. Albarn at his "cheekiest student stage":

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