Tuesday, June 30, 2009
For many of my generation, he was the closest thing to Elvis or The Beatles that we have. When I hear the words "Michael Jackson," it's tough for me to think of him as anything other than the iconic mid '80s Michael Jackson who made every kid on Earth try to imitate the moonwalk and who made twelve-minute videos that premiered on national television. He was an idol. I don't think of him as the plastic-faced creep he became, and I'd rather not anyway.
With that intro, I give you my ten favorite Michael Jackson songs. These include songs from the Jackson 5 as well. As you can see, I think most of the music he made from the nineties forward was subpar.
10. "The Way You Make Me Feel" (Bad, 1987). I dare you to listen to this song and not feel good, unless, of course, you happen to be one of the victims of his molestation.
9. "Dirty Diana" (Bad). This song kind of made me want to meet this Diana. It was raunchier than probably any of his other songs, and its guitars were more hair band than pop, so obviously that's cool in my book.
8. "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough" (Off the Wall, 1979). Off of his solo debut album, "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough" is upbeat, cheesy, and catchy.
7. "Smooth Criminal" (Bad). I don't think Annie is okay.
6. "Thriller" (Thriller, 1982). Undoubtedly the greatest video of all-time, and not a bad song either. Any song with a Vincent Price voice over is solid in my book.
5. "The Love You Save" (ABC, 1970). A great Jackson 5 song about grade school whores. I love the seemingly innocent warning "Darling, look both ways before you cross me." It's as if he's saying, "Look, you little swing set strumpet, if you can't manage to keep your pants zipped up, I will be forced to spread the word about your spread legs. Be warned: they will label you a flirt."
4. "Billie Jean" (Thriller). One of the baddest beats around. It's hard not to tap your foot when you hear this or sing "heeeee" after "don't go around breaking young girls' hearts." And you know what, given what has recently come to light, the kid probably isn't his son.
3. "Beat It" (Thriller). "Beat It" had everything that embodies the '80s: red leather jackets, a guitar solo courtesy of Eddie Van Halen, gang members climbing out of sewers, and knife fights turned into group dance routines.
2. "Man in the Mirror" (Bad). There's always been something about this song that I liked, perhaps because it's a call for accountability. You see, Ryan, the man in the mirror is you. Well, the man in your mirror is you. The man in my mirror is usually Ace Frehley, so that's pretty cool.
1. "I Want You Back" (Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5, 1969). One of the coolest music-related videos I've ever seen was in my History of Rock & Roll: The '60s class at IU. It was a tape of The Jackson 5's audition for Motown in July 1968. Michael was nine, singing lead, and dancing like he was already famous. It was one of those things you see -- especially knowing what became of him -- and you are just in awe of how pure and amazing the performance was. There was no doubt that this kid was going to be a star, and, even in 1997 (when I saw it), it was tragic watching it because I just wanted to say to that nine-year-old Michael, "Just keep your nose the way it is. Oh, and don't give kids wine." That has nothing to do with "I Want You Back," but I suppose it relates to why I like the song. It's pure and amazing, and it's one of the catchiest damn songs ever written.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Each has its own claim (all numbers are U.S. Billboard Hot 100 numbers):
- Elvis Presley. 18 #1 songs, 37 Top Ten songs, 96 Top 40 songs. He is, well, Elvis -- the King of Rock and Roll. Without him, one might argue, rock and roll would have been a fad.
- Michael Jackson. 13 #1 songs, 28 Top Ten songs, 37 Top 40 songs (solo); 5 #1 songs, 12 Top Ten songs, 25 Top 40 songs (with the Jackson 5). He is the self-proclaimed King of Pop. There may not have been anyone in pop music history who was as universally loved as he was. Thriller is the best-selling studio album of all-time. He is, unquestionably, the biggest artist of my lifetime.
- The Beatles. 20 #1 songs, 31 Top Ten songs, 48 Top 40 songs. They are the best-selling artist in music history, which is especially amazing considering all of their studio albums were released in a mere seven-year span (1963-1970). They never released a bad album (all but a handful of albums stayed at #1 for multiple weeks and worst-charting studio albums went to #3 in UK and #2 in US), and with compilations, they have 38 platinum albums in the U.S. alone. The Beatles are the only artist to hold every slot in Billboard's top 5 at one time.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Since I can't go too long without reading a rock history book, I have started Everybody Wants Some: The Van Halen Saga by Ian Christe. Van Halen is, as you know, one of the most important hard rock acts of all-time and one of the most successful, longest-lasting bands of any genre. They also have somewhat of a tumultuous history. I know the basics of their history, but it certainly can't hurt to know more. Christe is the same guy who wrote Sound of the Beast: The Complete Headbanging History of Heavy Metal, which I read earlier this year. So far so good.
Books read in 2009:
The Informers by Bret Easton Ellis
Oh The Glory of It All by Sean Wilsey
I Hate New Music: The Classic Rock Manifesto by Dave Thompson
Sound of the Beast: The Complete Headbanging History of Heavy Metal by Ian Christe
Tearing Down the Wall of Sound: The Rise and Fall of Phil Spector by Mick Brown
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Brand new high school grad wearing National Honor Society sash: "Sometimes the 4-wheeler and I don't get along with trees."
--Huntington, IN, Huntington North High School
Twentysomething pregnant female talking about her dog: "I just puked him up. I didn't have to push him out of my vagina."
Eavesdropper: The Loose-Lipped Lithuanian
Drunk fortysomething dude: "I love my daughter to death, but I don't really like her."
--Chicago, Tilli's, Halsted & Armitage
Eavesdropper: Can Can
Guy to his fiancé, about their dog: "She's the perfect dog for you, 'cause she's not so graceful."-Somewhere in Ohio on I-75
Some dude: "I lost sixty pounds in college eating only Big Montanas."
Male Attorney: "One of the admins at my office tried to set me up with one of our clerks but I had to nix that."Female law student: "Why?"Male Attorney: "She's a little unstable. I figure we would hook up and she would sue me for sexual harassment."Female law student: "That's bullshit. You should've just fucked her."--Chicago, Northside Bar, North & Damen
Tourist: "Chicago is a much cleaner city than Philly. Philly is just a dirty city."
--Chicago, Michigan Avenue
Eavesdropper: 1/2 Pint
Dude: "That is an awful lot of head, [Chick]."
Chick: "That's what I do." -
--Chicago, Mitch's, August & Leavitt
Eavesdropper: The Loose-Lipped Lithuanian
Dude: "I gleeked on a bald guy's head in church."
Dude at a restaurant: "They had to stop because these women were getting dolphin-raped."
--Columbus, OH, Thurman's
Eavesdroppers: Tron, Magdog, and GMYH
Twentysomething female attorney: "You know who the defense is?"Friend: "No, who?"Female attorney: "Lord Bissell. So he's a little nervous."Friend: "Yeah, they'll have lots of resources to fight him."Female attorney: "Plus they fired him 2 years ago for sexual harassment."--Chicago, Astor & Banks
Chick at restaurant: "I wish I could remember the bathroom conversation. I had to push it out. It was so dumb."
--Columbus, OH, Thurman's
Eavesdroppers: Tron, Blonder, and GMYH
Twentysomething pregnant chick to girl about to get married: "I want to see a fetus in your wedding dress."
Eavesdropper: The Loose-Lipped Lithuanian
Fiftysomething doorwoman on phone: "Tell that monkey faced beanie head to stop talkin to you, you don't need his deadbeat ass around no mo--(looking up at office worker and putting phone on shoulder)--can I help you, sir?--Chicago, Civic Opera building, 20 N. Wacker
Chick walking down sidewalk talking to friends: "I've been to a swingers club, but at least I have standards."--Chicago, Waveland and Fremont
Drunk girl on L after Cubs game: "I hate Sammy Sosa. He did roofies."
Twentysomething female to dude, night before a wedding: "Nobody can blow their wad tonight, it's all for tomorrow."
Eavesdropper: The Loose-Lipped Lithuanian
Female Cubs fan in early evening walking on sidewalk talking on cell phone: "You know how I sound drunker than I am?"
--Chicago, Fullerton & Sheffield
Fiftysomething heavyset male at a street festival: "It smells good over here, but not for long. I just dropped one."--Chicago, Taste of Randolph
Eavesdropper: Can Can
Chick: "Cat, are you having fun being nestled in my vagina?"
Twentysomething pregnant chick: "The only people that hate babies more than hipsters are librarians."
Guy talking about a girl: "She's the one that fell down the escalator."
An actual line from a song on the radio: "Do the Hellen Keller and talk with your hips."
--Chicago, a cab
Thanks to the many who contributed. As always, when you overhear something funny, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion in the next Midwestern Eavesdropping.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Guitar god and Led Zeppelin alum Jimmy Page doesn't like Guitar Hero and Rock Band, and neither does White Stripes/Raconteurs/Dead Weather member Jack White. I respect the hell out of both of these guys, and I think they are two of the better musicians that we have seen in our lifetimes, but I respectfully disagree with them on this one.
White said, "It's depressing to have a label come and tell you that Guitar Hero is how kids are learning about music and experiencing music. If you have to be in a video game to get in front of them, that's a little sad."
Is it sad? Or is it just another way to grow your fan base? Granted, White can't be too upset by this trend, as the article points out that a White Stripes song will be featured in Guitar Hero 5. Either way, I'm of the belief that Guitar Hero and Rock Band have exposed -- and continue to expose -- a whole new generation to music that they might not have otherwise been inclined to hear. I'd be shocked if either game has had a negative impact on the games' artists' sales. If a kid hears a White Stripes song and, better yet, PLAYS that song, he or she is much more likely to get into The White Stripes.
Page was a bit harsher than White, arguing that these games do not present a good way to learn music. He said, "You think of the drum part that John Bonham did on Led Zeppelin's first track on the first album, 'Good Times Bad Times.' How many drummers in the world can play that part, let alone on Christmas morning?"
Page completely misses the point of Rock Band.
- First, Rock Band and Guitar Hero give people like me -- who can't play any instrument to save their lives -- the chance to play their favorite artists' songs, which I've always thought was the point of the two video games. I'm not John Bonham, and I'll never be or have a chance to be John Bonham. But if "Good Times Bad Times" were ever on Rock Band, you can bet I would love trying to play the drum part on that. Granted, it would be on Easy, but that's because, to reiterate, I'm NOT John Bonham.
- Second, and somewhat related, these games aren't meant to be substitutes for learning how to play music. Even if I were to miraculously be able to play a song on Expert, I am not delusional enough to think that I could really play that song on an actual guitar.
- Third, perhaps he overlooked the point that these games might end up being a springboard for a lot of young kids into actually learning how to play guitar, drums, or bass. The best part is that when they do learn how to play a real instrument, they have a nice wide spectrum of rock songs that they have been exposed to already.
So, eat it, I guess, sir.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Back when I had Sexy Sadie, Blackura, and Rhonda, my only option for car trips was a tape player, so I made a lot of mix tapes, many of which were made solely as "driving" mixes. These "driving" mixes contained songs that were generally uptempo, often longer than four minutes, sometimes instrumental, and always awesome. It was hard to narrow them down, but here are what I consider to be the ten best:
10. "Fallen Angel" by Poison. The song's all about leaving home and starting a new life, so it kind of makes sense that I think it's a great driving song. And it brings back the only pleasant memory of a 21-hour drive back to Bloomington from Ft. Lauderdale.
9. "New Way Home" by Foo Fighters. Foo Fighters are one of the best bands around for driving songs, and this is my favorite off of The Colour and The Shape (which I think is one of the best driving albums).
8. "Okie Dokie Stomp" by Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown. This is a great instrumental foot stomper by blues and R&B legend Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown. Unfortunately, Playlist.com did not have it.
7. "Jessica" by The Allman Brothers Band. Another fantastic instrumental with a driving (pun intended!) rhythm and soaring guitars.
6. "Search and Destroy" by The Stooges. This is a good one, especially for when you're on a mission and you need some extra inspiration to pass that minivan two miles ahead of you in the next three minutes.
5. "Train Kept A Rollin'" by Aerosmith. It starts out relatively slow, then kicks into gear, much like the band's cocaine habit.
4. "L.A. Woman" by The Doors. Aside from the obvious fact that there is an engine sound effect at the beginning of the song, this is a great song to listen to on the road.
3. "All My Life" by Foo Fighters. I once drove from Milwaukee to Bloomington in four and a half hours because I heard this song on my way out of Milwaukee.
2. "Drivin' South" by The Jimi Hendrix Experience. This song is on the Radio One and BBC Sessions albums, and it may be my favorite instrumental song in the world. It's fast-paced, with expectedly fantastic guitar work, and it just reminds me of driving in a certain direction.
1. "Radar Love" by Golden Earring. This is the ultimate driving song.
Let me know your favorite driving songs.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
Anyway, on the episode that I just watched (with Frankie Bello of Anthrax as the guest), the Throwdown was the most difficult I've had to deal with. The question was: Which is a better debut album, Van Halen's Van Halen or GNR's Appetite for Destruction?
Holy mother, don't make me choose. I'm still not sure where I stand on it. They are both two of the best and most important hard rock albums of all-time. I hesitate to write too much about either of them because they are both exhibitions in sonic alchemy in their own right. Thus, below are the track listings and songs for each album. Decide for yourself. You have one week.
Albums sold in U.S.: 10 million
1. "Runnin' with the Devil"
3. "You Really Got Me"
4. "Ain't Talkin' 'bout Love"
5. "I'm the One"
6. "Jamie's Cryin'"
7. "Atomic Punk"
8. "Feel Your Love Tonight"
9. "Little Dreamer"
10. "Ice Cream Man"
1. "Welcome to the Jungle"
2. "It's So Easy"
4. "Out ta Get Me"
5. "Mr. Brownstone"
6. "Paradise City"
7. "My Michelle"
8. "Think About You"
9. "Sweet Child o' Mine"
10. "You're Crazy"
11. "Anything Goes"
Thursday, June 18, 2009
First, it is important to understand just exactly what PDA is. Public Display of Affection, commonly known as "PDA," is a condition that has affected Americans since sometime in the summer of 1967. It is unclear exactly what causes PDA, although alcohol, obliviousness, and insecurity have been cited as possible causes. Symptoms of PDA include, but are not limited to, making out in front of other people without being paid to do so, embracing for an extended period of time while using public transportation, and public groping.
Studies have shown that people who engage in PDA actually believe the following six myths, which allow them to convince themselves that PDA is acceptable. If you think you or someone you know might be afflicted by PDA, please read following myths and the accompanying explanations as to why these myths are idiotic fallacies:
Myth #1: I'm not in public.
Wrong. Except for a very limited portion of the day, you are probably in public. Here's how you can tell: If you are in the presence of anyone besides yourself and your partner, then you are in public. If there is at least one other person in the same room or, if you're outdoors, someone within sight of you, then you are, in fact, in public. Of course, this (as well as pretty much all rules relating to PDA) has no applicability if you are involved in group sex of any kind. I hope this appeases the small, but vocal, orgy-frequenting GMYH readership.
Myth #2: I'm not engaging in a display of affection.
Wrong again. As I said in yesterday's post, holding hands is fine, as is an occasional peck on the cheek, but a lot of people don't realize that there is a line crossed with the passage of time or the insertion of the tongue into another person's mouth. Here is a non-exclusive list of displays of affection that are inappropriate in public (bear in mind that these apply whether you are married, engaged, going steady, dating, seeing each other, hanging out, friends, fuck buddies, acquaintances, just kind of know each other, just met drunkenly, or just met non-drunkenly):
- kissing that is anything more than a peck on the cheek or a "greeting" kiss
- repeated kisses, even if on the cheek
- rubbing noses with someone
- putting your face within six inches of your significant other person's face for more than one second
- hugging or embracing for more than five seconds
- sitting on laps
- grinding (and yes, it is inappropriate even at a dance club)
- sexual intercourse
- fondling, petting, or groping of any kind
- digital penetration
- mutual masturbation
- giving OR receiving oral sex
- putting your hand in any pocket on your significant other's clothing
- putting your hand in someone else's pants
To reiterate, this is a non-exclusive list.
Myth #3: No one is paying attention to us.
No one was paying attention when the two of you were just sitting next to each other, but now that one of you is on the other's lap and you are playing what can only be described as a game of kissy face, you can guarantee that you have attracted everyone's attention. If people are looking away from you, it's because you have forced them to go out of their way to try to ignore you, but they can't, which means you have also attracted their hatred, which brings us to our next myth . . .
Myth #4: No one cares if we publicly display our affection.
Nothing could be further from the truth. While it is true that no one cares about YOU, they do care about what you do around them. As soon as you start to display your affection publicly, everyone around you becomes uncomfortable and angry. The longer it lasts, the longer everyone would like to see both of you murdered execution style -- not that you would notice, since you're staring intensely into each other's eyes while you exchange Eskimo kisses and stroke each other's heads.
It is also important to note that your level of drunkenness in no way diminishes the inappropriateness of your actions. Just because you're drunk doesn't make everyone else blind and deaf -- unless you happen to be at a school for people who are both blind and deaf, in which case, crank up the Twisted Sister and fuck like rabbits in the middle of the room because the rules of society can be thrown out the window.
Myth #5: Other people want to know that I love my significant other.
This is a common misconception. The truth is that no one has given any thought to -- or cares -- whether you are in love with the person standing next to you. If you're truly concerned that the general public will be confused as to the status of your relationship, shackles or a leash might be less offensive options.
Myth #6: If it's okay in Europe, then it's okay here.
No, no, no. This is flawed logic. While there are some things that America shares with Europe (Hasselhoff, hatred of gypsies, etc.), there is a lot that flies in Europe that doesn't fly here: universal health care, nudity in ads, monarchies, men in bikini briefs, six weeks of vacation time, mayonnaise on French fries, Razorlight. I could go on. The bottom line is that just because you once saw a young French couple basically having sex on a stairwell landing at the Eiffel Tower does not make it appropriate on this side of the pond. We're Americans. We keep our non-political and non-sports-related emotions to ourselves.
I hope this myth-busting session will shed some light on a phenomenon that has plagued our society for over forty years. The next time you are thinking about hugging, kissing, grinding on, or performing oral sex on someone while other people are present, I beg you to keep the foregoing myths about PDA in mind and disengage immediately, proceed back to a "room" that is devoid of other people, and then -- only then -- may you continue your affection. With some education, restraint, and practice, we may not be able to stamp out PDA completely, but we should be able to significantly decrease its rate of recurrence.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Topping that, on a Sunday afternoon at Wrightwood Tap a few weeks ago, I shit you not, I witnessed some chick sitting on a guy's lap facing him and grinding on him like a stripper and making out with him for twenty minutes while their friends sat at the same table and tried to carry on a conversation. As far as I could tell, none of them were European.
Why would anyone think any of the above-mentioned behavior is appropriate in public? Let's get one thing straight: IT'S NOT. In fact, it's inconsiderate and annoying. To be frank, I'd go so far as to say that I hate it. No one wants to see you hugging for an extended period of time, making out, giving each other Eskimo kisses, or dry humping in public.
Now, I'm not saying it's inappropriate to hold hands or occasionally give your concubine a peck on the cheek. She has to know she's appreciated. But for the love of God, there is no need to engage in a prolonged embrace on an L platform. You're waiting for a train, not sending one of you off to war. Worse yet, you are annoying the shit out of everyone around you. You're not making people think, "Oh, those two must be in love." No, you're making people think, "Oh, those two are annoying the shit out of me, and I wish they would stop, and they probably aren't in love because no one who is in love is so insecure that they need to grope their significant other in public to prove their love. Now get your damn hand out of her back pocket." In conclusion, fuck off, but please, only in private.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
If -- no, when -- I find myself stranded alone on a deserted island, I'm going to want to watch some movies to pass the time between scavenging the island for game and open-minded native chicks. Frankly, it's pretty amazing that I have a DVD player and electricity on this deserted island, but no means of communications, but I supposed I'd get to that eventually.
When thinking about the movies I would want with me, they wouldn't necessarily be my ten favorite movies, however. I'd go with movies that would keep me entertained, happy, and upbeat. Thus, horror movies, depressing movies, and movies about being stranded on an island are at a minimum.
These are in no particular order, other than reverse alphabetical by penultimate letter.
Mallrats. While Mallrats isn't the most critically acclaimed of Kevin Smith's movies, I still find it to be absolutely hilarious. Jason Lee is awesome in this movie.
Braveheart. Braveheart will be important in my quest to keep my medieval Scottish lowland battle skills honed. I also imagine I will want to keep my Scottish accent honed.
Old School. This was the final addition to the list, beating out Animal House, only because I felt like I would like a comedy starring Will Farrell.
Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland. I've always found this to be the greatest of the Sleepaway Camp trilogy. It has it all: swearing, boobs, references to the western suburbs, and annoying camp counselors getting their heads run over with a lawn mower.
The Royal Tenenbaums. I had to include a Wes Anderson movie, and this is my favorite one. Plus I recently took a "Which Wes Anderson character are you?" quiz on Facebook, and I was Richie Tenenbaum (Baumer).
The Big Lebowski. Mark it 8, dude.
Dazed and Confused. I've loved this movie since the moment I saw it in the summer of 1994, when many of the characters in the movie would have been approximately 35.
Fletch. Chevy Chase's performance in this is one of the great all-time comedic performances. Can I borrow your towel for a sec? My car just hit a water buffalo.
Caddyshack. I'm sure I don't need to explain why this is on the list, since I assume it should be on nearly every person's list.
Breaking Away. I will need a constant visual reminder of Bloomington, and what better reminder than an Academy Award winning movie about Little 500.
Also considered, but just missing the cut: Airplane, Animal House, Back to the Future, Best in Show, Christmas Vacation, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, I'm Gonna Git You Sucka, Real Genius, Road House, Rock Star, Tombstone, Top Gun, Zoolander
Monday, June 15, 2009
I highly encourage all of you to go see them if you have the chance. Here are their Midwestern tour dates:
Fri. 6/19 Pittsburgh, PA, 31st St Pub
Sat. 6/20 Cincinnati, OH, The Comet
Sun. 6/21 Kansas City, MO, CrossTown Station
Mon. 6/22 Des Moines, IA, Vaudeville Mews
Tue. 6/23 Iowa City, IA, The Picador
Thu. 6/25 Columbus, OH, The Ravari Room
Fri. 6/26 Akron, OH, Annabell's
For music, news, and other tour dates, here are Township's various websites:
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
MTV2 Legit premieres this Friday at 10E/9C on, well, MTV2. That's Channel 333 for you DirecTV subscribers.
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
By now, many of you have probably seen clips of last night's Jimmy Fallon with Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Zack Morris. It is brilliant -- a must-see for anyone who loves, hates, or is indifferent to Saved By The Bell.
Here is the clip. Special thanks to Jaleh, Greg Weeser*, and Christoff for each sending me a link to the clip.
Needless to say, watching that clip was the best part of my day, aside from seeing Zack break up with Kelly this morning to try to go after the school nurse, and then seeing Richie Belding stick his neck out again for KKTY so that the greedy, deceitful, irresponsible school board wouldn't sell The Max.
To top everything off, Greg Weeser* sent me this article, which explains the back story of how the idea of going on in character came about. Hopefully this will prompt the Saved By The Bell reunion that Jimmy Fallon has been asking for.
Monday, June 08, 2009
Sunday, June 07, 2009
Ladies, listen up and listen up good. The following rant is meant to inform you about the goings on at strip clubs so that you can rid yourself of any irrational fears or concerns you might have about your man going to a strip club. Myself, I'm lucky enough to have a wife that doesn't care if I go to a strip club every now and then (granted, she might start to get pissed if I went there all the time). She's been to strip clubs, and therefore, she doesn't see what the big deal is when other women flip out about them. Hell, she's even called me from a strip club. That's when I knew she was the one.
Forbidding your man from going to a strip club is essentially telling him that you don't trust him. All it does is create resentment. Guilt trips may work when it's just a matter of him going to a bar to watch a game with his buddies, but trying to tell a friend that you can't go to a strip club at his bachelor party because your girlfriend/fiance/wife doesn't want you to is such a kick in the dick. He's not going there to blow his load, sexually or financially. In fact, if he's going there for a bachelor party, his main goal is to make sure the bachelor has a good time.
If he is the bachelor, for shit's sake, just let him have one last night of debauchery. It's a rite of passage--a male bonding experience. His friends take him out, get him liquored up, and then take him to a strip club. A guy's bachelor party is the one day where his buddies pay for everything and the one day he gets to feel like a king before he gets married. Even worse than having to tell your friend that you can't go to a strip club at his bachelor party is being the bachelor and trying to tell your friends that your fiance doesn't want you to go to a strip club. It's completely emasculating, or so I would assume. He's not going there for some last-minute fling. If he wanted to have sex with someone other than you, he would get a hooker or an ex-girlfriend.
Anyway, here are what I perceive to be the concerns (correct me if I'm wrong) of those women who refuse to "let" their boyfriends/husbands/fiances go to strip clubs, and the truth regarding those concerns:
Your Concern: If he goes to a strip club, it means he's some sort of sexual deviant.
The Truth: It's just a form of entertainment.
It seems to me that many women think that strip clubs are some sort of bastion of sexual perversion. From what I've heard, male strippers are pretty aggressive and often times inappropriate, so maybe that's where this concern comes from. Female strippers, on the other hand, are rarely aggressive because they don't need to be. If they come over to your table and ask you if you want a dance, they don't care if you say "no" because someone else in the club will say yes. In the end, though, a strip club is just entertainment. You see some girls dancing and maybe throw a dollar or two on the stage if you're particularly impressed. And what's not entertaining about watching a woman slide down a pole upside down while licking her own boob?
Your Concern: He's going to a strip club because he wants to get off.
The Truth: Guys don't go to strip clubs for sexual reasons.
Guys go to strip clubs knowing damn well that it is a touch-with-their-eyes-only situation. I can't stress this enough: there is no touching at strip clubs. Guys aren't allowed to touch the strippers. No touching, no kissing, no sucking, no fucking. Not on the floor, not in the lap dance chairs, not in those dimly lit couches in the corner, not even in the VIP room. There are big bruising bouncers all over the club watching you like hawks to make sure that you do not touch anything but the chair you are sitting in and your wallet.
Your Concern: He's going to a strip club because he doesn't find you attractive.
The Truth: That has never once crossed his mind.
Be rational. He wouldn't be with you if he didn't want to be. The fact that he goes to a strip club now and then with his buddies doesn't change that fact. While most strip clubs do feature attractive women (hopefully), he loves you and loves the way you look. If he wanted fake boobs in his face everyday, he would ask you to get them. At the very least, he sees a couple good-looking girls and forgets about them as soon as he walks out the door. At the very most, he has some harmless masturbation fodder that he will forget about the next time he sees you naked. But rest assured, any day of the week, he would rather give you the ol' pickle tickle than pay money to look at some 22-year-old silicone-injected stranger with two kids.
Your Concern: He will try to pick up a stripper.
The Truth: He has no plans or hopes (or even a legitimate chance) of trying to bag a stripper.
In fact, if anything, he probably would rather that a stripper's genitals stay as far away from him as possible (or at least 3-6 inches away). Strippers don't want a guy's dick; they want his money. A guy has a better chance of picking up a girl at a bar than he does a stripper at a strip club. Hell, he has a better chance of eating his own shit out of an ice cream bowl on a dare by a half-in-the-bag Boris Yeltsin than he does of picking up a stripper.
Your Concern: He's going to spend a ton of money.
The Truth: He's not going to spend much more than he would if he went to a bar.
First of all, many strip clubs do not sell alcohol, and the pop, water, juice, etc. is included in the cover price. And the clubs that do sell alcohol often include the less expensive drinks (domestic beer bottles, well drinks) in the cover price. As far as paying for dances, there is no requirement that anyone get a lap dance or a private dance. A lot of guys just go to a strip club and watch the girls on stage without giving any stripper a dime. For most of us, it's a rare chance to hang out with "just the guys." That's not to say that some of us don't get a lap dance now and then, but as explained above, it's just entertainment. And I'll be damned if there's anything wrong with buying the bachelor two songs in the VIP room. Granted, if your man is going to strip clubs alone or spending hundreds of dollars every time he goes, then you are probably right to worry. But those kind of guys are usually 50-year-old single men who actually think that the strippers like them. 99% of guys realize that all they are paying for is intangible entertainment that provides them with momentary enjoyment, and therefore, they will not be dropping cash left and right to look at something that they can touch when they get home.
The bottom line is that going to a strip club is a lot more innocent than many women make it out to be. Most men who go to strip clubs are not sleeze balls. They're not going to hook up. They're just going to have a good time with their friends. Don't chastise your man for it. Give him a boys-will-be-boys toned statement like "don't go falling in love" or "don't spend too much money." You can rest easy knowing that he's not going to do either. Better yet, you'll now be considered one of the "cool" girlfriends/fiances/wives among his friends. And to top it all off, your man will respect you even more so than he already does because he will know that you trust him and that you think he's capable of making his own decisions.
Guys (and liberated gals), please forward this to every woman you know, and every man whose girlfriend, fiancé, wife, mother, sister, aunt, grandma, maid, or waitress may be misinformed about strip clubs.
Friday, June 05, 2009
Thursday, June 04, 2009
Slow-moving homeless man crossing street under his breath to woman driving a car: "Suck my dick, pussy wax."
--Chicago, Franklin and Washington
One shirtless guy drinkin Natty Ice to another: "Dude, you gotta put her in her place now and say, 'Woman, I'm at the track, go bake something.' If she doesn't learn now, once you're married, you're fucked.
--Indianapolis, Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Husband and wife talking to each other on rush hour train:
Husband: "Do you ever go on that website Texts From Last Night?"
Husband: "It's pretty funny -- often laugh-out-loud funny."
Wife (ignoring Husband, leaning towards window looking at field): "Gotta find a rabbit."
Wife: "I look for them every day. It's the highlight of my train ride."
--Chicago, Brown Line train
"I feel like I have a girdle on right now. Don't take a picture of my penis."
--Indianapolis, a bar
Drunk guy #1: "What's up with that Mexican chick?"
Drunk guy #2: "Dude, she's Jewish."
--Chicago, LaBamba, Halsted & Wrightwood
Normal woman: "So, Andrew's wife is having a baby."
Hammered random chick sitting at same table: "There's nothing like a great orgasm."
--Chicago, Brownstone Tavern, Lincoln & Larchmont
Dude drinking at 9:15 a.m. before the Indy 500: "Never too start to early."
--Indianapolis, American Legion parking lot
While Florence Henderson is singing "God Bless America" before the Indy 500, a drunk man angrily yells: "Pick a key!"
--Indianapolis, Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Chick at a wedding: "I am cleaving out of it right now."
--somewhere in Michigan
Eavesdropper: The Loose-Lipped Lithuanian
Drunk chick to a guy she knows, while walking into a bar: "Am I a sexual type? NO!"
--Chicago, Sheffield & Barry
Random chick at a street festival: "I'm not sure, but I really like my new dildo."
Pregnant woman walking down a crowded street in Bucktown: "I think hipsters make fun of pregnant women, so I gotta hide my belly."
--Chicago, Damen & North
Fourth grade teacher: "Who's in charge of water? Zeus?"
Eavesdropper: The Loose-Lipped Lithuanian
Twentysomething female at a BBQ: "I'm constantly grabbing Kim's boobs because she has hair on them."
--Chicago, Bell & Belle Plaine
Fourth grade teacher, looking at a sign that said "Puggy Toes": "Does that not look like 'Pussy Joes' everyone?"
Eavesdropper: The Loose-Lipped Lithuanian
Pakistani cab driver and customer have a discussion about Pakistani food:
Cabbie: "Do you like bran?
Cabbie (pointing to his head): "BRAN."
Customer: "I, uh--"
Cabbie: "You ever had bran?"
Customer: "No, I haven't."
Cabbie: "I love bran. Bran is very good. I can eat a lot of bran."
--Chicago, somewhere on Columbus Ave.
Thanks to everyone who contributed. Yadda yadda yadda, email@example.com.
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
I have taken an expansive view of the term "rock and roll," such that it includes a variety of genres. If rappers can be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, they can sure as hell be on this list.
10. The Bee Gees.
You may hate disco, and probably with good reason, but it would be improper, if not negligent, to discount The Brothers Gibb. They were making music long before the disco era (and apparently long after, until Maurice's death in 2003), and only Elvis, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Garth Brooks, and Paul McCartney have outsold The Bee Gees, making them the highest-selling trio in rock history.
9. Run DMC.
Rap pioneers and champions of Adidas, they bridged the gap between rock and rap with their 1986 collaboration with Aerosmith on the now-famous cover of "Walk This Way." They weren't assholes or too caught up in themselves, and they influenced just about every rapper or hip hop artist in the last 25 years.
8. ZZ Top.
Is there a more underrated band than ZZ Top? That may be an answer for a whole 'nother list, but these Rock and Roll Hall of Famers are often overlooked, despite the fact they've been making music for 40 years. In addition to the great, straightforward, blues-influenced rock they play, one can't discount the beards, or the fact that the only guy in the band who doesn't wear a beard is named Frank Beard.
7. Green Day.
This was one of those groups that snuck up on me when I was making this list. I hadn't initially thought of them, but as soon as I remembered they are a trio, it was a no-brainer. They have been putting out great pop punk for 15 years, starting with the epic Gen-X masterpiece, Dookie, and going on up through their newest release, 21st Century Breakdown.
6. Beastie Boys.
When you first heard "Fight for Your Right," did you think these guys would be making records over twenty years later? Frankly, I didn't even think about that kind of stuff because I was nine. But I'm glad they're still going. They've consistently made some of the best rap and hip hop (or however you might classify their music) of the past couple decades.
Certainly Nirvana would be higher on the list had their lead singer and guitarist not shot himself in the face. I think he's dumb.
4. The Police.
They made some great music in the early and mid '80s, and the whole was certainly bigger than the sum of its parts, in my opinion. It's too bad their breakup prompted Sting's solo career.
3. Buddy Holly & The Crickets.
The original trio of rock and roll, whose influence cannot be understated.
2. Jimi Hendrix Experience.
A lot of people forget about Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding, but not this blogger. Hands down, one of the greatest bands in rock history. What they did on their three studio albums is unbelievable. It's pretty damn hard to think of a better three-album span than Are You Experienced?, Axis: Bold As Love, and Electric Ladyland.
1. Cream (or The Cream, if your British (or you're, if you know how to spell)).
This was a tough choice between Cream and The Jimi Hendrix Experience, but when you're looking at trios, you can't top Cream. Their name says it all. They were the cream of the crop -- rock's first (and greatest) supergroup. Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, and Ginger Baker were all phenomenal musicians, who managed to put their egos aside for three or four years and make some of the heaviest blue-based rock the world had ever heard, which influenced countless musicians who would transform rock over the next five years and beyond.
Other trios considered and roundly rejected (some more roundly than others): Ben Folds Five, Blink-182, Crosby Stills & Nash (it was tough to leave them off, but they only made one good album without Neil Young, in my opinion), Emerson Lake & Palmer, The Fat Boys, Grand Funk Railroad (from 1968-1972), Hüsker Dü, The Jam, James Gang (1969-1971), Motörhead, Muse, Primus, Rush, Sleater-Kinney, Sublime, Stevie Ray Vaughn & Double Trouble, Violent Femmes, Wolfmother.
Thoughts, questions, concerns?
Monday, June 01, 2009
I spent the entire day at work listening to three newly acquired albums: (1) Bang Bang Rock & Roll by Art Brut, (2) It's a Bit Complicated by Art Brut, and (3) Ace Frehley by Kiss.
I purchased the two Art Brut albums (their first two) because I should have done so long ago, as I thoroughly enjoyed them when they opened up for The Hold Steady a couple years ago. However, I am going to see them next week at Schuba's, so I figured it's probably a good time to know their songs. I give each Art Brut album 4.5 Handrews.* Their songs are witty, catchy, and British.
You know I love Ace Frehley, so it should, dare I say it, shock you that I haven't purchased his contribution to Kiss's self-aggrandizing experiment whereby each member of Kiss released his own solo album on September 18, 1978. Ace's effort is generally haled as the strongest of the four albums, and I can see why. Just as Kiss was about to turn the corner into disco-rock (see "I Was Made For Lovin' You" off of 1979's Dynasty), Frehley released an album that was harder, darker, and edgier than just about any other Kiss album. There are songs about drug and alcohol abuse ("Snow Blind," "Ozone," "Wiped Out," and the instrumental "Fractured Mirror"), badass guitar-driven songs ("Rip It Out," "Speedin' Back to My Baby," "What's On Your Mind,"), a great rocker with spacey guitars perfectly suited for the Spaceman that he portrayed ("I'm in Need of Love"), and one cheesy but infectious cover song that ended up being a Top 15 hit (Russ Ballard's "New York Groove"). There is not a bad song on this album. I give this one 5 Handrews.
*GMYH CD Review Scale:
-6 Handrews - Buy it now. NOW!!
-5 Handrews - Excellent album that you should seriously consider purchasing in the near future
-4 Handrews - Very good album that you should at least check out on iTunes
-3 Handrews - If you want it, download it illegally
-2 Handrews - Somewhere between Britney Spears and William Hung
-1 Handrew - Ashlee Simpson
-0 Handrews - PopoZao
Beslow, a good friend of mine from law school, was in town from Hoboken for a conference, so after work, Jester and I met up at Piece with him, as well as other fellow law school classmates Drew and Scott and Scott's wife (who is also named Jessie -- what are the chances?!). Pizza was consumed, beer was drunk, motorcycle documentaries were discussed, laughs were had.
For some reason, I had to work on Friday, so I did, although I spent most of the day banging 28 chicks in succession in my office while listening to W.A.S.P. and huffing glue.
Around 5:13 p.m., I sprinted home wearing nothing but a cod piece with a fully operational (and running) circular saw protruding from it. That was tough, especially corners, although the doctors say the scars on my inner thighs should clear up by the end of next decade.
When I got home, the college kids who live across the street were having a party that was spilling onto the sidewalk and parkway. At one point there was a fight in the middle of the street, which one guy attempted to break up by saying that it was his birthday.
At approximately 7:03, Adam and Jenn (who were in from the burbs) headed up to Lincoln Suqare for MayFest with Jessie and me. For those who don't know, MayFest is probably my favorite street festival of the year, perhaps because it is the closest street fest to Oktoberfest, with it's big beers, various sausages, and overabundance of krauts.
We danced around the maypole and hung out with a nice group of ladies and gentlemen, including, but not limited to, Gregerson, DDT, Tron, Tom, Lill and his wife, Judson and his special ladyfriend, Garfield and his special ladyfriend (who is predictably NOT named Odie), Bapp 5, Grant, Butch Rifle, and some of Butch's friends.
I was appalled to find out that MayFest no longer offers maibock. Whereas in previous years, the two beer options were Hofbrau regular and Hofbrau maibock, the choices this year were Hofbrau regular and PBR. That's like trading out Cerie from 30 Rock for Susan Boyle.
Even though she was not drinking, Jessie made a determined effort to eat in sausage and streusel what she could not drink. I, on the other hand, limited my food intake to several helpings of landjäger (which I believe translates to "dried sausage of the gods"), which I think worked out well for me.
Once MayFest ended, I escorted Jessie back to our abode, as she is pregnant and incapable of loving me when I've consumed any quantity of beer and sausage. Meanwhile, Adam and Jenn took a bike taxi to Brownstone Tavern, and Butch Rifle did the same with some random chick that he met while walking out of MayFest to the bike taxi that would take him and the random chick to Brownstone too.
After I put Jessie to bed (thank God for chloroform), I headed back up north to meet everyone at Brownstone. Most of the next hour was spent cocking a fake rifle and shooting it at Butch Rifle as he macked on, and occasionally made out with, the chick from the bike taxi, who, as it turns out, was a 37-year-old cougar looking to hop on pretty much anything straight or close to straight and greater than three inches in length. All in a day's work for Butch Rifle.
Adam, Jenn, and I left Butch to his own devices and hit up Allende for various delicious Mexican late-night delicacies. At one point, we looked around the restaurant (which was packed) to realize that we were by far the three most attractive people in the restaurant. Look, I'm not saying we're the three most attractive people in the world, but thank God I didn't go to DePaul.
Upon our return back to my place, Jenn went to bed while Adam and I played Game Party 2 on the Wii. Jessie was happy to smell me when I crawled into bed.
By the time I woke up Saturday morning, Adam and Jenn were gone, and Jessie was preparing to go to Reed and Sarah's shower, which was at some restaurant just on the edge of city near Park Ridge. Jessie left in what she thought was plenty of time to arrive on time at 12:30. Of course, traffic dictated otherwise, so she arrived in a tizzy around 1, only to realize that the restaurant was closed until 5. Upon further review of the shower invitation, it said "Sunday May 31." Not even my promises of falconry could soothe her anger, most likely because she realizes that I don't have the money to buy her falcons, and she doesn't have the time to train with a master falconer. Her phone was nearly thrown the entire length of Northwest Highway.
After Jessie returned with her phone somehow still intact, we went up to the new apartment of Alex and the Anonymous Wife of Alex for their first post-move cookout. The regular gang of teachers and other friends of Alex and the Anonymous Wife of Alex were there. Alex grilled his patented chicken wings, much to everyone's enjoyment, except Christoff, since he wasn't there. After the cookout, everyone except for Jester and me headed up to MayFest, while we headed back home to walk and feed the dog (which apparently you have to do EVERY day, sometimes more than once).
Soon thereafter, we headed up to Matilda for a much ballyhooed mini law school reunion, prompted by the fact that Beslow and another classmate named Kiwi (who is not a New Zealander) both happened to be in town. With about ten classmates there, I would presume this was the largest gathering of the Class of '03 since graduation. Drinks were consumed, as is the custom with lawyers, people in their early 30s, and IU grads. It was agreed that we were the greatest law school class of all-time, mainly because we were, on the whole, very apathetic and did not succumb to the Paper-Chase-style antics that plagued so many other classes. We didn't have gunners in our class -- just drinkers and the occasional pothead. And that made law school much more enjoyable.
But I digress. We had a good time, as you would expect. In addition to various law school classmates, I saw Butch Rifle at Matilda as well. He now haunts my nights.
To escape Butch Rifle's animal magnetism, I made a quick exit from Matilda, along with Beslow, Scott (last name: not Peterson), Drew (last name: not Peterson), Kiwi, and Kiwi's boyfriend, whose name I may have learned at some point Saturday night. We headed a couple blocks up to Chicago's Pizza for a couple pieces of rallying pizza, and then were trying to figure out a good late-night bar to throw money at. Kiwi's boyfriend suggested Ravens, which I have somehow never been to. Maybe I should have spent more time studying in law school than drinking because I just ended two sentences with prepositions, and a preposition is something you should never end a sentence with. Anyway, because it doesn't suck or charge cover, Ravens seemed like a far better option than the Big Shitty or the reincarnated Vu, so we hopped in two cabs (figuratively) and headed to Ravens.
Soon after we arrived, they started showing The Toxic Avenger on many of their TVs, without the sound, of course. The six of us were captivated nonetheless. I haven't seen it in a long time (probably ten to fifteen years ago in J-Diza's parents' basement, as was the style back then). It's the plausible story of a nerd who is tricked into wearing a tutu by some hot chick, and then when everyone makes fun of him, he falls out a window into some radioactive sludge, thus mutating him and giving him superhuman strength. He then busts some heads, both literally and figuratively. There seemed to be a lot of assholes, guys who shoot seeing-eye dogs with shotguns, and violent criminals in whatever city he lived in. I need to watch this with the sound on again, and so do you.
When I returned home from Ravens at approximately 3 a.m., I decided that I wanted to watch some Metal Mania on VH1 Classic, as rocking out is something I usually do when I return from bars. However, my remote's batteries are low, so sometimes it doesn't cooperate. The numbers were not registering, so I would have had to either get up off the couch to put new batteries in the remote or scroll from channel 2 to channel 337, neither of which I found to be an acceptable proposition. Instead, I started watching the movie that was on channel 2, which was the 1942 Jack Benny and Carole Lombard vehicle, To Be Or Not To Be, a WWII-themed laugh riot about tricking hapless Nazis. I found myself enjoying it and thinking that it was a bit risqué for the time period, but, hey, anything that makes fun of Germans is funny in my book. Then I decided that sitting on the couch was no way to enjoy a movie about krauts, so I decided to lie down on the couch. My eyes close immediately. A few minutes later, I was violently awoken by my the vibrating of my phone. It was Jessie asking, in no uncertain terms, where "the fuck" I was. "Upstairs watching a risqué black and white movie. Fucking Nazis. Nothing changes," I politely explained. I then noticed that the "few minutes" I thought I had been asleep was actually something more like 109. Apparently the fact that it was nearly 5 a.m. and I wasn't lying next to her was an issue for my pregnant wife. I also looked at my phone to realize that there were two equally angry text messages from Jessie that had been sent in the previous hour, both of which included the phrase "where the fuck r u?"
Yesterday was slightly tamer. Jester went out to Reed and Sarah's shower, this time without incident or promises of falconry. I hung out on Chandler and Gregerson's roof deck with Chandler and Lisa, and later Jester, Alex, the Anonymous Wife of Alex, Gregerson, and Emily, in that order. Beer was drunk. Potato chips and French onion dip were consumed. Skin was burned. Corn was holed.
I'm pretty sure I gained four pounds this weekend, but I'm pretty sure it was worth it.