Before cell phone videos, YouTube, and Akon, there was this: The Blastmaster KRS ONE tossing PM Dawn's Prince Be off the stage at Big Daddy Kane's birthday party-slash-concert* because Prince Be told a reporter for TV Guide (my memory may be hazy here; it may have been Word UP!) that Boogie Down Productions "[made] mountains out of molehills."
At the time (around 1991, this was), KRS, still my rhyming hero, ascended to the rank of Superman MC for that particular feat of strength.
Surely those were calmer days; maybe it's because PM Dawn was involved, but I believe that if Kris had thrown -- nay, catapulted -- ANY MC of that era, the result (or, more specifically, the "non-result") would have been the same: journalists debating over whether or not he was out of line, young hip-hop fans rejoicing over justice meted out to wack rappers, and no one died.
Picture 50 Cent -- just as an example -- bumrushing the stage during a Cam'rom performance and heaving dude into the crowd. You think Farrakhan, Oprah, or Jamie Foxx could stem the blood loss? Hell, Mr. Stop the Violence himself wouldn't have a listening ear. In fact, Kris would be labelled a hypocrite for admonishing from the sidelines what he once condoned on the field.
But the game has changed. Yeah, old man, keep talking. Back in those days it was kill or be killed, ON WAX. Check out fucking Ghandi over here. If you had beef, you settled it ON RECORD. Or online? Ha ha. Mark. That's how you keep it real. THAT's how you represent HIP-HOP. Fuck hip-hop. It's only a means to an end: money**. I represent myself, and if someone tries to fuck with my cred or diss me, there's only one way to handle it: straight the fuck up. Then, in the immortal words of Craig Mack, you won't be around next year. Record labels, if you DO get signed -- and that's a big if -- abuse and abandon young hoppers like you and assume no accountability worse than Vince McMahon does wrestlers. Fuck you, Prezbo. Expect nothing less from The Teacha. Holler at me when you age a few years and grow a few inches, if you're still alive. Maybe then you'll know exactly where to aim your anger. Faggot.
I know where I'm aiming my anger right now. And my shot is pure.
Blender Magazine, which I outgrew after Maxim but before death, recently released online and in print a list of the 40 worst lyricists. Nevermind that the list resembles a tabloidesque smearing of most of the artists they praise, admire and report on (because no one would read a list of the Worst Indie Lyricists You Have Never Heard Of), let's keep this PK for now.
Those fuckers, and I use the term harshly, placed Common and KRS ONE at 36 and 25, respectively.
Never trust a rapper in a sweater-vest.
Common wasn’t above dissing Ice Cube on “The Bitch in Yoo” (“I heard a ho say you her favorite rapper/So I had to slap her”), but don’t be fooled—he’s also a self-righteous hippie. The principled rhymer’s earnest neo-soul thoughts touch on abortion (“Turning this woman’s womb into a tomb”), social injustice and his own vegetarianism.
Worst lyric: “I’m your worst nightmare squared/That’s double for niggas who ain’t mathematically aware” (“Making a Name for Ourselves”)
I'm trying not to get heated, because it might wake up my girl and my dog (respectively), but did the child molestor*** who wrote that even realize that the last verse cited was from Canibus, not Common? Or do all black people sound alike? I'll be the first person to admit that Common fell the fuck off lyrically after One Day It'll All Make Sense, but putting him on the list with shit such as "never trust a rapper with a sweater-vest" and "he's also a self-righteous hippie" screams of racial bias. Let Com grow sunflowers in his ears if he wants to, and while you're at it call John Lennon a pussy. And Bob Dylan an MC Serch wannabe.
Boogie Down Productions’ leader goes Oliver Stone on us.
Though initially revered as one of the first MCs to wield political messages, the hip-hop pioneer’s raps devolved quickly from shrewd antigovernment observations to crackpot tirades and bizarre diatribes against the FDA and the IRS (“In this particular system everyone’s a slave/Racist is how they want us to behave” from “Who Are the Pimps?”). “Rap needed a teacher, so I became it,” he boasted—but soon found few students willing to show up to class.
Worst lyric: “See, cows live under fear and stress/Trying to think what’s gonna happen next/Fear and stress can become a part of you/In your cells and blood, this is true” (“Beef”)
Oh, now it's on.
Please explain, quantifiably, how "the hip-hop pioneer’s raps devolved quickly from shrewd antigovernment observations to crackpot tirades and bizarre diatribes." Unless you're a fruit fly, how can "quickly" be used as an adverb to define a perceived devolution from "shrewd anti-government observations" (dude was caught lookin' on that pitch, obviously) towards "crackpot tirades and bizarre diatribes"?
Did the writer listen to the BDP discography from start to finish in a single day? Perhaps; likely he just read the Cliffs Notes (aka Wikipedia), since no KRS solo albums are quoted. Most likely he read Kris's post-9/11 quote, and, like most, took it out of context. Again.
Again, I'll be the first to admit that
(I'm getting worked up over nothing)
Kris throws a wild pitch occasionally (here's me being a KRS ONE apologist). But to label him one of the worst lyricists with absolutely no evidence is a slap in the face to one of hip-hop's best lyricists (number one in my book****), and proof that the Blender braintrust is huffing gas. And prolonging the war in Iraq. Probably.
And molesting children. Perhaps. (I have no evidence, sadly.)
I loathe catchphrases that I haven't invented, but in this case it rings true throughout the pristine cathedral/temple/Madison Square fucking Garden of Hip-Hop:
Yo, stop frontin', and use your head.
Your magazine sucks now anyways.
(But maybe I'm just making mountains out of molehills.)
...And no one died.
* How in pluperfect hell PM Dawn was invited to attend -- much less perform -- BDK's b-day party is what I wanna know.
** basketball too, Hey Young World?
*** fair is fair
**** Blood, Sweat, and Eye Water. Pick it up from your nearest Barnes and Noble in 2010.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Before cell phone videos, YouTube, and Akon, there was this: The Blastmaster KRS ONE tossing PM Dawn's Prince Be off the stage at Big Daddy Kane's birthday party-slash-concert* because Prince Be told a reporter for TV Guide (my memory may be hazy here; it may have been Word UP!) that Boogie Down Productions "[made] mountains out of molehills."
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Faithful readers of this hallowed site -- aka Constant Retards -- may remember that I had planned to pay homage* to ESPN's Bill Simmons by taking quotes from from a film (The Breakfast Club) and relating them to the upcoming 2006/2007 NBA season. (Check the archives, Bruce.) Due to unforseen, uh, circumstances, that post was not to be. And in a lot of ways it symbolized the season and playoffs which followed. Just as I'd like to erase a lot of the stuff that happened to me from early November '06 until late June '07 from my memory, so too would I like to forget about the travesty that was the 2006/2007 NBA season. Too many injuries; too much disappointment and heartbreak.
One year later, I'm back in the saddle, full of anticipation and hope. And why wouldn't I be? Thing's couldn't get any worse, right? Right!?
Therefore, I present to you, Constant Retard, my thoughts, predictions, and addictions** for the new season, inspired by quotes from Big Trouble in Little China, the late Mitch Hedberg, and the criminally underseen Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Word to Kurt***, the stand-up comedy version of 2Pac, and the greatest buddy movie duo in cinematic history.
I feel pretty good. I'm not... I'm not scared at all. I feel kind of... feel kind of invincible.
To Kevin Durant. Since the summer league, sports writers have been picking the kid apart and trying to find flaws in his game (here's a hint: he's a 19-year-old rookie!), almost as though they want him to fail. It ain't gonna take long for Gotta Be KD (only Canadian b-ball fans will get that) to find his inner Jack Burton and wreck shop in the Pacific Northwest. Sure, he'll have his punching-Thunder moments, but he's got a ton of confidence (for the sake of avoiding sports redundancy, I'll skip MJ and "ice water in his veins" references/remarks); and that can't be killed by Internet sports writing hacks such as Adrian Wojnarowski, or cocaine. (Well, maybe the latter.)
You know what Jack Burton always says... what the hell?
To the Miami Heat and Pat Riley. How do you follow up one of the worst post-championship seasons in basketball history? Answer: lose three key players to free agency (Jason Kapono, James Posey, and Eddie Jones), fail to sign a point guard -- any one from Milwaukee will do --, and trade 'Toine (the sore in my mouth that bugs me but which I love to prod with my tongue****) for Mark Fucking Blount and Ricky Davis. Hey, I have high hopes for the upcoming season as a whole; the Miami Heat in particular? Not so much.
But you know what Eoin Forbes always says...what the hell?
Everybody relax, I'm here.
To Kobe Bryant, Shawn Marion, and Andrei Kirilenko. Notice how I didn't address which teams.
Would you just stop rubbing your body up against mine, because I can't concentrate when you do that.
Retroactively, to John Amaechi and everyone he ever played with. In basketball.
Jack Burton: Great. Walls are probably three feet thick, welded shut from the outside, and covered with brick by now!
Wang Chi: Don't give up, Jack!
Jack Burton: OK, I won't, Wang! Let's just CHEW our way out of here.
To the Eastern Conference, aka the C-League. There are so many great stories rising from the Yeast: Boston's revival, the rise of the Bulls...um, the return of Gilbert Arenas and Dwyane Wade***** from injuries? Tell you what, as a lifelong Eastern Conference supporter, there's (Omar) little to look forward to, and all this spinning is making me dizzy.
So instead let's take a moment to ponder a very pertinent question; namely, which is the greatest John Carpenter film: Big Trouble in Little China, Halloween, or The Thing? (If you answer "Ghosts of Mars" I will disown you...from something.)
I love BTinLC like I love my dick size, but, really, it's no match against two of the greatest horror films ever made. More quotable, yes. A better movie, no.
Halloween is the greatest slasher film ever made******. The Thing is both explicit and subdued -- if that makes any sense -- in its narrative and cinematography (no mean feat). Halloween is, at times, under and over-acted, The Thing a clinic on understated tension. Both have put past and present girlfriends of mine to sleep, which has biased me that good-looking women can't grasp terrific films in which, A) female characters are hunted down and killed by unstoppable maniacs, and B), no females star. (There's something about strangulation and Wilford Brimley that lulls them to sleep, apparently.) The Thing has great music by the inimitable Ennio Morricone; Halloween has John Carpenter composing the most haunting score in film history. The Thing has Kurt Russell (Psychedelic Kimchi like a motherfuck); Halloween has Jamie Lee Curtis, who I'm still not convinced isn't a dude.
Despite its flaws, I'm picking Halloween in this showdown. Too bad the NBA Finals won't be as evenly matched.
When some wild-eyed, eight-foot-tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head up against the barroom wall, looks you crooked in the eye and asks you if ya paid your dues, you just stare that big sucker right back in the eye, and you remember what ol' Jack Burton always says at a time like that: "Have ya paid your dues, Jack?" "Yessir, the check is in the mail."
To Steve Nash. It's now or never, baby.
All I know is that this Lo Pan character comes out of thin air in the middle of a goddamn alley while his buddies are flying around on wires cutting everybody to shreds while he just STANDS there waiting for me to drive my truck straight through him with LIGHT coming out of his mouth!
And to the Phoenix Suns: you have Nash, Ill Mare, Matrix, Barbosa, Diaw, Bell (not Stringer), the ghost of Grant Hill, and the greatest NBA coach who looks like he should be coaching hockey. Still, you might need a six-demon bag to topple the Spurs.
Jack Burton: And go off and rule the universe from beyond the grave...
Lo Pan: Indeed
Jack Burton: Or check into a psycho ward, which ever comes first, huh?
To Ron Artest, Stephon Marbury, and Allen Iverson. But for different reasons.
I'm gonna tell you about my truck, and I DON'T wanna hear "act of God"!
To Greg Oden. It's a shame we won't be able to see him play this year, because, at 37, he doesn't have much left. (Thank you, ladies and germs. I'll be here all night. Try the sea bass.)
An escalator can never break: it can only become stairs. You should never see an Escalator Temporarily Out Of Order sign, just Escalator Temporarily Stairs. Sorry for the convenience.
To the New York Knicks, who, for as long as I've been alive, have always been stairs, never an escalator.
Dogs are forever in the push up postion.
To the Phillidelphia 76ers. When your greatest sports redemption of the past, I dunno, three decades is the film Rocky Balboa, you start to look at sports not with hope, but with the rationale of a prisoner getting his 25-to-life sentence reduced by a few years. Mr. Brightside: talk to a Boston Red Sox fan and he'll tell you that, unless you die first, it's worth the wait. Then you can punch him in the mouth for being a smug asshole.
I can whistle with my fingers, especially if I have a whistle.
To Doc Rivers. You win coach of the year and I will eat my hat. And if I don't own a hat at the time, I'll steal one from a drunken homeless guy.
I had a stick of CareFree gum, but it didn't work. I felt pretty good while I was blowing that bubble, but as soon as the gum lost its flavor, I was back to pondering my mortality.
To Tracy McGrady. Get over the hump, can you, son? Even though Derrick Fisher's return in the Warriors/Jazz series in last season's 'offs made me shed a few tears of Dead Poet's Society*******, THERE IS NO CRYING IN BASKETBALL. Don't be a tragic loser, be a tragic winner. Even Tony Robbins has gigantism.
Perry: My $2000 ceramic Vektor my mother got me as a special gift. You threw in the lake next to the car. What happens when they drag the lake? You think they'll find my pistol. Jesus. Look up "idiot" in the dictionary. You know what you'll find?
Harry: A picture of me?
Perry: No! The definition of the word idiot, which you fucking are!
I love George Karl like I love my curly fries, but cat daddy is old school like Busy B and Where's the Beef? He should have been fired a hundred times in the past year for failing to make the Nuggets championship contenders. Look, Karl can coach the fuck out of a game, but he can't adapt to his players and treats them as though they're robots. AND he'd rather put himself in the limelight -- for all the wrong reasons -- over his players, like a has-been director taking credit and throwing his HOF stars under a bus for the movies he made over 30 years ago. (Word to Francis Ford.)
George Karl is a good coach for bad teams. George Karl is a bad coach for good teams. George Karl is Sean Penn in I Am Sam. George Karl is the cure for herpes and the cause of cancer.
Look up "paradox" in the dictionary. You know what you'll find? The definition of paradox, which George Karl fucking is.
This isn't good cop, bad cop. This is fag and New Yorker.
To Melo and AI. Part of me -- the part that was amputated but which suffers from Phantom Limb Syndrome -- doesn't want them to co-exist. (Word to Adrian Wojnarowski.) Because IT WOULD SHAKE THE PILLARS OF HEAVEN to witness those two flex game, kinda like the black basketball version of Lennon and McCartney; and I'm just not ready for that. However, I never would have belived that a buddy picture directed by the dude who wrote Lethal Weapon would turn out to be the genre's version of Illmatic, either, so color me surprised.
While you're here (and, really, where else would you be?), a plea:
I've never asked you to donate blood, dollars, organs, or the head of Alfredo Garcia; but right now I'm asking you to donate time. If you haven't seen Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, please do so now. I'm asking in my most urgently-meek Sally Struthers voice. (The same one I used on K-Hot when I told him he'd better watch The Departed before I die.) For I can no longer stand quoting such an amazing film while friends and acquaintances stare back perplexed, as though I'm reciting the periodic table in Latin, backwards. In short, watch KKBB and I'll name my second born after you. Unless your name is Pilot Inspektor.
Don't worry, I saw Lord of the Rings. I'm not going to end this 17 times.
Me neither. Oops.
I'm for Genaro's, but then, what do I know? I'm a bear. I suck the heads off of fish.
To Sam Mitchell, the luckiest coach alive. You should write a book. Call it "Cats Always Land on Their Feet: How I half-assed my way through 3 seasons as an NBA Coach, won Coach of the Year honors, and perfected the lost art of wearing oversized suits." You can ask Doc Rivers to write the introduction.
Harry: A talking monkey?
Perry: Talking monkey, yeah, yeah. Came here from the future, ugly sucker, only says "ficus".
And so I dub thee, 2007/2008 NBA season, Ficus. Stand tall, don't get chopped down or allow dogs to pee on you, and grow another ring...even if it's for the San Antonio Spurs.
* aka rip off
** word to commas
*** Write that on my epitaph!
**** Tell your moms I said hi.
***** I hear he's getting divorced. Spooky.
****** and Rob Zombie's "re-imagining" of it was a sin akin to me rewriting the bible to to further my own purpose (which would NEVER happen).
******* aka that feeling you get when you're happy and sad at the same time. There must be a French word for it.
Posted by Harrison Forbes at 6:13 AM
Thursday, October 25, 2007
I'm not living
I'm just killing time
Your tiny hands
Your crazy killer smile
I don't mean to taunt PK's most prolific commentator, but, Flash, it's been almost 2 weeks since that promised review of In Rainbows. Has the make-up of anticipation worn off yet? Inquiring minds, and all that other good stuff.
Fuck numerals (and all that other good stuff), this entry to the PK 27 is "True Love Waits," by Radiohead*. I don't mean to be cheeky by including 2 old Radiohead songs on this malleable list; i just can't help it that, for the past couple of weeks, I've been listening to old Radiohead songs, trying to bring back the emotions of something incredible. In Rainbows, while a great album, reminds me of a time not long ago, in which I spent most of my waking hours waiting for something incredible to happen, and being reminded that the two people who inspired me the most were on -- seperate -- continents far apart.
Back then (late-January, this was), I wrote TLW on my cell phone's idle display screen, and, although I didn't realize it at the time, I cribbed that shit in '02 when I first heard Live Recordings and TLW.
Back then (early March, this was), "I'm just killing time" was my maxim. And I didn't realize I cribbed it again, either.
MVP, EKG, KFC...my life is full of important acronyms**, but none moreso than TLW.
That baby's still on my phone. Because while one precious gem has returned, the Hope Diamond, while in safe keeping, remains away.
Not. For. Long.
* Not to be confused with "Tom Waits Waits," also by Radiohead
** Word to TMH. Not a fan of DP or VD, however. OPP...maybe.
Posted by Harrison Forbes at 9:26 AM
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
WHAT IS YOUR CONFESSION, MY SON?
When I was young, about eight or so, I tried making friends with God by inviting Him to my house to watch the World Series. He never showed.
THAT DOESN'T SOUND LIKE A SIN. MORE OF A MISCALCULATION BY YOU OF HIS DIVINE POWER. WHO WAS PLAYING, BY THE WAY?
I can't remember, actually. Kids under 12 can't appreciate baseball.
Is Is, an EP, is greater than Show Your Bones, an LP.
YOU HAVE TO BE A LITTLE CLEARER, MY SON. I'M NOT A PHARMACOLOGIST.
I want to have sex with Karen O. Not her, exactly. Just her voice.
HMM, THAT ONE HAS POTENTIAL. HAVE YOU EVER MANUALLY ABUSED YOURSELF WHILE LISTENING TO THIS SIREN'S CALL?
Like every night!
2 HAIL MARYS AND A GRAHAM CRACKER. WHAT ELSE YOU GOT?
I wouldn't fuck myself with Bea Arthur's dick.
SOUNDS MORE LIKE SELF HATRED THAN AN ACTUAL AFFRONT TO THE LORD.
But aren't God and I the same? My body's a temple, flesh of my flesh, and all that?
WHAT DID YOU HAVE FOR BREAKFAST THIS MORNING?
Morning and I aren't exactly on speaking terms these days, father. We sort of clash, like striped shirts and plaid pants. Is there a point to your query?
DOES THE POPE SHIT IN THE WOODS?
NO, MY BAD. YOU ARE VERY ELUSIVE, YOU KNOW. I ASK YOU A STRAIGHT QUESTION AND YOU THROW ME A KNUCKLE BALL.
Are you trying to say I'm a homosexual?
PLEASE DON'T MISINTERPRET ME. I DIDN'T SAY THAT AT ALL.
Ironic. But par for the course I suppose, seeing as what you represent.
MY SON, IF YOU WANT TO GET INTO A LENGTHY DISCUSSION ABOUT THE EVILS OF ORGANIZED RELIGION, WAIT RIGHT HERE. I HAVE A BOTTLE OF SCOTCH WITH MY NAME ON IT. I'LL BE BACK WHEN I'M DRUNK AND YOU FIND A CURE FOR PHANTOM LIMB SYNDROME.
Father, I don't want to argue, either. On the court/field/diamond of life, arguing over whether religion or atheism is the true path is just as fruitless as picking which team will win the next NBA/NFL/MLBA championship. It's a crap shoot: lucky seven. You've got your reasons, and me I've got mine.
WHILE I DON'T ENDORSE YOUR GAMBLING ANALOGY -- BECAUSE IT'S WICKED -- YOU HAVE A POINT. WHY CAN'T WE BE FRIENDS?
I've asked myself the same question, usually in the shower (aka the place from which all great thoughts must come). Occasionally on the toilet (no disrespect). And, on one singular occasion, strapped to a minivan rooftop, sandwiched between two bicycles. I know not the answer father. But I'm getting, getting, getting there. This was therapeutic.
STOP BY ANY TIME. I'LL BE HERE. UNLESS I SEE YOU FIRST.
You and the cockroaches. By the way, Padre, I had 3/4 of a croissant roll and 3/5 of a 500mL bottle of Gatorade for breakfast. If you're still curious.
STOP IT WITH THE NUMBERS, ALREADY. FOR THEY ARE TRULY EVIL.
I knew it!
LIVE THROUGH THIS: GOD CAN TOLERATE YOU. HE'S JUST NOT THAT SURE THAT YOU CAN TOLERATE HIM. JESUS WEEPS.
I'll try my best, father.
Posted by Harrison Forbes at 10:01 AM
Monday, October 22, 2007
[Note: names have been changed to protect the sexy.]
OK, here's a little story that must be told. I'd post it on PK if my girl and my folks didn't read the site:
I wasn't joking about the Canadian Gigalo (in Bundang!!) part in my last post. A few weeks ago, I went out with a couple of my - single - male co-workers. We had a bunch of drinks at Wolverine in Saskatchewan, and when they started complaining about the lack of eye candy, I suggested we head to Seohyeon.
(Don't fret, Bill; aside from one moment of bad judgement, The Promised Land is still sacred; and I wiped the memory of the sole dude whom I took there, Men in Black style.)
Naturally, I suggested Pluto (aka The Planet), but they were all rah-rah, "that place sucks," and I was like "whatevs," so I gave them two choices: Neptune, which is basically Pluto minus foreigners, a pool table, moons, and Costco cheese pizza, or, Venus, a place where I'd been only once but recalled that they employed a strikingly attractive bartender. (And you know I'm all for that.)
Since Venus was closest, that's where we went. The cute barmaid wasn't there, but a girl of equal or greater measure was. I recall she had a very unique nose. And, it was brought to my attention, big tits.
So we're there, I coax everyone into drinking Jack (K-Hot is you with me!?), and merriment was plentiful despite the fact that the place was darker than Don Cheadle and full of old men.
I should have put two and two together, but sometimes I'm oblivious like that (K-Hot knows re: my Samsung Plaza human pinball impersonation*). When girly girl called me at 2 and I told her where I was, she was perceptibly miffed.
See, the owner of Venus is a madam, and not in the French sense. Name Withheld apparently explained this to me sometime last year, but I hope I can be forgiven for not putting it at the top of my TO REMEMBER list back then.
As it was - apparently - explained to me, the Venus ajumma (who may be 45+ years old, but sexy nonetheless) owns an upscale dabang adjacent to her "legit" joint. Older dudes go to Venus, get hooked up, then head to Saturn Cafe to "drink coffee."
Anyway, after a few drinks there, the ajumma shows up, rolls up, and tells us fine gentlemen that if we require anything...anything at all...to simply ask. Me being the amiable bastard that I am, I try to charm this semi-wilted flower. What can I say, I like playing with fire (but not so much as to get burnt).
So we talk for a few minutes, she asks my name, I tell her; I ask hers, she tells me, I kiss her hand and say "enchante," making a film reference I still can't grasp, my mates burst out laughing, and I give them an admonishing look, because, really, all I wanted to do was give this middle-aged woman a unique change of pace from the manifold old dudes who likely do the same thing. Truthfully, and shoot me if I was wrong in doing so, I wanted to make her wet.
Denz is smiling.
I'm all about pleasing the ladies, after all. I'm a giver.
Fast forward to last Wednesday. I'm on vaction, bored as hell because I want to revel and no one will partake in revelry with me. I understand - if someone on vacation asked me to go out drinking and I had to work the next day, I'd decline like stay the fuck off my lawn, frat boy.
Luckily, it didn't take the boys at work much convincing. I'm beginning to get a devil-on-your-shoulder complex. Really, I am.
Lather, rinse, repeat: Wolverine in Saskatchewan, horny men, off to Venus.
We showed up at 2 and the place was empty. I think the barmaid was in the back sleeping on a bed of milk crates. You-made-me-come-here-I-make-you-drink-here style, whisky, that silk bird, flew around the coop a few times. Then, in our darkest hour...
The ajumma shows up, pudgy prostitute in tow. The ajumma tried to solicit her wares, but, to paraphrase Redman, I wasn't havin' that, and neither was my man to the right. And my man to the righter was passed out, leaning facedown on the bar. May have been my fault.
Sometimes things happen over which I pretend to have no control**. This, Constant Retard, was one of those times.
I fear I may become addicted to flirting with older women. When I'm womanly woman's age, picture me rollin': Dial 1-900-LADIESINTHEIR80S***.
Hold up; I just stepped into the Twilight Zone. This isn't a PK post (or is it?). Back to the straight and narrow.
Choose your own adventure (pick the latter), either I blacked out or she kissed my ear. Regardless, when I came to I was weak and needed fluids. (No! Not more whisky! It's free? Well OK.) I would probably have gotten a Prince Albert in such a hypnotic state.
By then the black widow had me in her web - and I swear this is true; cross my heart and hope to lie**** - and she, in case I was wearing a wire, suggested vaguely that I "teach" a small-but-increasing group of single middle-aged women.
"You just have to make conversation with them, and do whatever they want to
study. It's the easiest job in the world, isn't it?"
Psychedelic Nonplussed. Like. A. Motherfuck.
"It's up to you," she said as she dropped me off. "You could make some nice money."
Money in my pocket; fuel for both libido and sensationalism (although no one believes the sensational anymore); cold sex with frigid women.
This deserved ponderance.
(And if my girl and my folks didn't read the site, I'd tell you my answer.)
* or is that personification?
** Write that on my epitaph!
*** To quote the late Mitch Hedberg, that's too many numbers, man. How did you know I was calling?
**** Psychedelic Prophylactic
Posted by Harrison Forbes at 11:00 AM
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Happiness & the Fish, by Our Lady Peace. I’ll come right out and say it: Our Lady Peace isn’t such a great band, but I never claimed that I deserved something great.*
Once, when the day was fresh and snow ravaged the land, I accidentally ran a rusted, grey Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera (that also, for your information, suffered from a slightly ruptured heater-core) into some hulking, unidentifiable mass of hirsute flesh. Shortly thereafter, I knew not what to do, except to smoke countless cigarettes and ponder the words most apt to describe the convoluted situation. Still lacking cognizance, I loaded the splintered beast into the trunk of the automobile, smoked a few more Marlboros, and developed a voracious appetite. The fact that I was unable to possess any useful thoughts at that particular moment once bothered me, until I induced that:
Talking is just masturbation
Without the mess
Addiction leaves you sad today
For me, the inevitable muddle is the worst part of masturbatory jubilation, as the most appropriate metaphor would be a fire hose gone awry. Speech is indeed pleasurable, and while I do, in a sense, disagree with the notion that talking lacks any mess, it nonetheless elicits far greater joy than fondling ever may, unless I were to travel back in time and maul Caroline Munro. But that’s not entirely about sexuality; blurring the supposed line between nooky and addiction comes naturally to me, and it probably does for you as well.
Which is not to imply that all -let alone the most pervasive of- addictions be conceived, directed, and fulfilled explicitly. I can smoke cigarettes, drink beer, eat contaminated burritos, and utter nonsensical sentences till my body disintegrates, but those are conscious predilections, and thus they may be contained, while, say, consuming the misshapen creature was a necessity that I never would have envisioned, yet could scarcely deny. Furthermore, I should have realized that:
I can’t remember all the names [and]
Everyone you meet today
Is just so fucking vain
I did come to understand, albeit implicitly via the art of reflexive, abject satiation. As mentioned previously, I had dined on the greatest of big game and, without a moment’s hesitation, rolled nude upon the once -merely- oily concrete floor of my garage to soak up the excess of blood, bile, lubricant, and somatic excellence. I felt ecstatic, and yet quite dirty; not due to the aforementioned delicacies but, rather, because there was something about my skin that seemed so decidedly phlegmatic, so devoid of standard deviation. I couldn’t bear such a proletariat stimulus, you see, and despite the longing to continue my wallowing in sacrosanct refuse (so to speak), I was compelled to expel the sensation of filthiness.
Standing within a meager shower compartment, I did a dance of sorts while the water rained across my naked body. To be candid, it wasn’t much of a dance, per se; more of a spasmodic jiggle, suffice to say that I was making a ruckus, so much so that I took no heed of what was being washed away by soothing waters. A subtle plop! followed by a splashy sound (one like the sound made that time when Sparkles and I threw water balloons at some random kid in a wheelchair) broke my frantic trance. Blame it on ardor, but I should have noticed that my manliness departed in a much better way.
Lovers and enemies are, at times, discretely similar I suppose, and I felt much the same toward my wayward appendages. As the flesh dissipated, sinking down the drain toward oblivion, I yearned to make an appropriate gesture, although it was a rather daunting task given the disconcerting scenario. Had the water been soothing, acidic, or something beyond either, which is to query: did I really care about that which had been lost, or about the nebulous advantage henceforth gained? (You would be extremely generous to attribute such trite contemplation to me, but please do so now.) Amidst such vainglorious sophism, all I could do was to watch the once-coveted, oft-lamented appurtenances wash away and hum a slightly modified version of the dandelion song. You know, ‘It loves me, it loves me not’ for at least six minutes, but less than seven, because time is irregular like that.
Things had been going quite well, and as luck would have it:
Happiness is not a fish
That you can catch
Widow curtains and facial features make for splendid urban attire, and while not quite the proverbial fish sought by countless lost souls, they do constitute a delectable substitute. Coupled with the bemusing loss of genitalia, one should assume that I deserve forgiveness for mistaking gaiety for happiness.
I really shouldn’t admit to such a dastardly act, and yet I yearn to accurately portray an innate, jovial nature that exemplifies Psychedelic Kimchi, so let’s get on with our mundane recital, omitting any of the juicy details for the sake of proprietary decorum.
The girl’s mother had become such a bewitching object, delineated neatly by the mark of an eviscerated eagle. That her flesh had been twisted, almost beyond casual recognition, is of little consequence, nor is it particularly important as to whose mother it had been; that a woman had given birth to another human being of similar temperament and, perhaps, inaccurately surmised that her child would grow into something -anything- other than an insipid malfunction is what concerned me, as we’d ache to believe. So I had stretched her face upon my very own, which was remarkably onerous, if one were to apprehend clearly what my visage entailed.
Did that make sense? I should hope not, because at that juncture, what had been her upper lip barely arched across the bridge of my reddened snout, and to note that vision had been obscured would be an understatement, on par with the notion that idealjetsam is a sexy beast.** Seriously, though, it’s as I mentioned earlier: divine happiness had been the motivation for my actions, at least the majority of them, and you know what sages say about good intentions, but my inability to properly traverse temporal reality is notorious, so I need to backtrack a tad.
Previously, when she had thought it was me that she had been speaking with, the beloved mother invited me to share leftover Chinese food, and Hy-Vee Chinese Express isn’t so terrible when your appetite is insatiable. Even privy to the knowledge that she was doomed, the woman sat in a chair and watched, almost detachedly, as I shoveled chunks of sesame chicken, a glob of steamed rice, and an egg roll (not quite fried to perfection) into my gaping maw, while she sipped from a glass filled to its brim with deluxe Franzia merlot. Let’s refer to the woman as Julianne, for the sake of simplicity.
That the brute allowed Julianne to finish her wine was an exemplary gesture, and that neither screamed, cried, or writhed in agony throughout the baptismal was a gallant display of self-deprecation, I suppose. Tearing into her chest, I located, cracked and, subsequently, spread Julianne’s petite ribcage wide for none but the gods to appraise. It was a brief exchange, and less than surgical in precision, but the sudden jolt sent her innards astray in an astonishingly delicate manner. I distinctly recall that as her lungs slid outward, Julianne’s face first contorted and then her jaw dropped open. Initially, I presumed that pain had ushered forth catatonic, spasmodic convulsions and, perhaps due to charity, I drew a bloody, clawed hand toward her face in order to silence any potential outburst, but oddly enough, she saw fit to sink her teeth (as deep as a dying person may) into my leathery flesh, as if it were a bit. Slightly taken aback by such a display of fortitude, I was momentarily awash with an inkling of reciprocity, so I gently took hold of her left hand, thrust those exquisite fingers within a mire of jagged teeth, and leisurely gnawed through the bones. At some point, the hand fell away from my mouth, as the digits were freed from their mooring, and eventually the fingers lost their savor, so I spit them out until only a hard, metal object remained. Julianne’s diamond ring, from an estranged husband no less, had been the most luscious morsel of all.
At some point, while I rolled the golden ring around the infinite expanse of my mouth, Julianne departed from the world of the living. I wish that more could be said to describe such a seemingly auspicious event, as death, on whichever scale or spectrum a party deems appropriate to gauge it, is worthy of proper disrespect. A final gasp of precious oxygen, however minute by comparison to the travesty of the world’s stage, should be noted, and I confess that it was only after her teeth ceased to grate upon my gaunt, elongated fingers that I paused my marital revelry, and the once significant piece of metal slid between a crevice of my teeth and into the vermilion abyss of flesh spread agape. Blurred discrimination, then, but not without its own inherent synergy; the distinction betwixt the two of us thinned as flesh smeared itself upon flesh, eliciting opacity. As stated previously, I had some difficulty adjusting the requisitioned tissue to properly fit my peculiar proportions. Stretching, tearing, and manipulating the pelt required the utmost concentration (of which I possess little, if any, capacity), further complicated by an insatiable desire to look upon my past life with newfound clarity.
Supposedly, expectation is often humbled by actuality. To be fair, I hadn’t anticipated much beyond what the corpse had to offer: a bloody, disjointed skull decorated with an tangled mane of kinked sepia, plastered against the remaining bone and cartilage. The jaw had been unhinged -by sheer necessity, I fiercely contend- but was otherwise unspoiled, while the ears had been cast away in their entirety (what could be done with them? Be honest, and you’re bound to agree). It was just a dilapidated shell, nothing more, and that’s part of the problem. The sight of what you had once been should be an abreaction, and despite my inclination to jaundice truth, I’ll be politely forthright and admit that had I yearned to desecrate the life of one dysfunctional mother, I would have been satisfied, replete, surfeit, and bloated. Furthermore, had it been my intention to take a trophy, a pancreas would have sufficed, so scratch that off the list.
A Freudian sleuth of Denz proficiency may extrapolate that my motivations (as well as actions) were being fueled by a need to recapture my lost sexuality or, in some inversely perverse fashion, recalibrate an engendered identity. Such a scenario has rummaged throughout my mind, but it’s a theory fraught with flawed symbolism. Physiology need not be a forte to hypothesize the difficulty in somehow extracting the female genitalia, to say nothing of the act of embedding it into my own state of being.*** Actually, if one is to grant the veracity of all other events hitherto depicted, then the transubstantiation of a vaginal cavity is no stretch of the imagination, the caveat being that I could scarcely refrain from shouting the virtues of my triumphant, transsexual rebirth from the tallest building in Iowa.****
Where does that leave my indiscretion? That it was a maniacal, deviant act of bombastic vandalism requires scant reflection. Beyond that, it’s just that I craved to be a better mother than Julianne had ever been to her child, and by doing what I did; by adorning her peeled, misshapen visage; by salivating over a misbegotten wedding ring; by expanding her chest to divine, accipitral proportion, I had so nearly convinced myself of maternal fulfillment and, momentarily, it felt as if I were the embodiment of a Phil Collins album (although I can’t be certain as to which album it was).***** In other words, it felt kind of good, but the kind of good that causes you to cough and guzzle the backwash at the bottom of a bottle of beer, while you await an erection that shall never arise. I hadn’t felt much like a mother either, but that’s all rather retrospective.
I couldn’t bring myself to allow her vacant form to be seen as I had perfected it, and I had grown tired of the two dislodged, hazel eyes that stared desolately in separate directions, so I clutched the exposed spinal column of our once beloved body and tossed it toward the ceiling, where it met with a whirling fan comprised of cheap wood and illumination. It was a twisting heave, so the body spun, as did the fan, until both united and, subsequently, ceased to function. Julianne’s lithesome form returned to its resting place, upside-down with ribcage set to resemble an outstretched eagle even further, while the fan sputtered and drooped low, ceasing its revolutions completely, and two of the three bulbs had shattered in a rather disappointing display, leaving the scene a ghastly, faint tawny hue. The end, mostly.
In hindsight, ‘a rather disappointing display’ aptly denotes the affair, but at the time, I was merely content with my recycled, state-of-the-decrepit-art identity, although I also felt as if some revision of wardrobe would be in order (up until then, I had been leaping around without a shred of clothing, but without genitalia, it’s not the taboo we’d like it to be). That being the case, I ripped a flowing, beige curtain from its resting place and wrapped it around me as if regalia, and also managed to gaze upon my reflection in the newly exposed window. I shan’t bore you further, except to say that I felt like the King and Queen of a nonplussed populace, and at the time, that was good enough for me.
I didn’t crash through the window, as one may come to expect of my infantile disposition: I quietly exited through the front door. So there. I did, however, attempt to make a few snow angels, the success of which matters not. (I did, however, hum Sussudio while doing so, if that helps you budding detectives.)
This is all about Korea, in an allegorical sense. Really.
Doppelgängers Gone Mild
P.S. Sparkles was like 'Time for someone to make a ridiculously long post', and I was like 'Well shit, give me some of your cocaine, and we have a deal.'
*Having said that, I do expect a post from TMH in the near-fucking-future, that gifted bastard.
** If he would stop stealing my girlfriends with his devilish wit and dashing appearance, I’d leave him alone.
*** The battle of twisting Kmart’s sexuality continues, but you lose this round, Denz.
**** We have a two-story Burger King. Believe it.
***** Probably No Jacket Required
Posted by Kmork at 12:16 PM
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Word to Jacqueline, it's always better on holiday. On some altruistic shit, I truly believe I can make others happier when I'm away from the grind. But what used to count most (re: happiness) appears to count a little less these days. Like sands/asterixes through the fucking hourglass*.
(I'm drunk; that makes no sense; but my spaelling is prefect.)
I gotta return to "work" on Monday.
Still, I'm all about bringing joy -- often in the form of ejaculate -- unto others. Word to Santa Claus and ORIGINAL ALL MALT BEER FOR THE BEST MOMENTS IN LIFE, LET YOURSELF GO.
All things good must etc., tomorrow I have to discontinue bringing happiness to few and start bringing it to a few more. A few more who can't sing like you sing, who can't appreciate the starch flavor of Fruit Loops like you can. I'm going to punch a cop.
Word to Jimmy, Psychedelic Drunkeness shall end.
But redundancy will still reign.
I'm going to throw up now.
(Then punch a cop)
* Fuck the allure of mystery, I was offered the job of a lifetime, aka a starring role in Canadian Gigalo (IN BUNDANG!!). Why I turned the part down, I fear, will forever haunt me. Like cartons of milk and freeze-dried astronaut rations, relationships have a varying shelf life. But whoring oneself to lonely ajummas is a memory that would last forever. In my own unique way, I pulled a Vince Carter graduation ceremony-sized boner. Still, I made the right decision. Right? Right??!!
Posted by Harrison Forbes at 10:38 AM
Two years ago, or whenever it was that the PK-27 concept was first launched, we gave you a grand design for what it all meant. We promised an auditory manifestation of what the Kimchi Psyche is all about. Or maybe we didn't, I don't actually recall.
Truth told, I've been reading the submissions and, well, I have a confession -- I'm not sure what the lads are on about half the time. My comrades have been employing big words, obscure musical preferences and pictures that I assume would make a Foucault major flop out and jerk his panopticon. But sometimes it all goes over my head. Maybe it's because I'm antipodean. More likely it is something to do with the Coriolis Effect, but some of the PK-27s have left me saying 'what?'
I don't presume to be the final word on these matters, for the grand design is Caesar's at the end of the day. However, I do have a simple appeal to my brethren - let's get back to basics. Or at the very least, leave me a fucking map.
In view of my call to arms, I dedicate my next track to women. Because often, to paraphrase Blind William G, PK is about girls.
To the untrained eye, the Psychedelic Kimochi submissions would appear to be little more than another uninspired web-based instance of binary misogyny. That would be a fair call, but don't confuse us with your everyday misogynists. Beneath our superficial exterior lies an admiration and respect for women that is unbounded and, where weather and by-laws permit, covered in baby oil.
What people don't understand is that the Kimochi submissions are part subterfuge. Hidden beneath these tributes to the feminine form, my brothers and I dig a tunnel. A tunnel we hope will lead us out of the mindless cesspool that is the current internet. We seek a better world, preferably on a beach in Mexico, where the internet is about beauty, poetry and restoring old boats. In the meantime, we will continue to pay homage to girls.
And by 'we' I mean the non-gay contributors.
Posted by denz at 3:15 AM
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
[Note: the 2nd Coming is going to take a little longer than expected. Sorry for last night's premature ejaculation.]
[Warning: this post contains spoilers for seasons 1 through 4 of HBO's The Wire.]
Some thoughts after (finally) watching the Season 4 finale of The Wire:
- I never really cared much about Bodie, but when he got bodied, a small part of me died, too. Fuck it, a big part.
- As far as the season-ending musical montages have gone (as evidenced in the blog-defining* PK 27), I'm partial to Jesse Winchester's "Step by Step" from Season 1. But Paul Weller's "I Walk on Gilded Splinters" runs a very close second.
- There has never been a more realistic television drama in the history of the medium. We know this. That said, occasionally the plotlines and coincidences are a little tough to swallow. Cases in point:
a) Cutty dating the hospital nurse. That one gave me a toothache.
b) Wee-Bey suddenly becoming all altruistic. (Though it DID make me sort of like the murderous son of a bitch.)
c) The return of Waylon. Small fucking world. (Word to TMH: Steve Earle sings "Down in the Hole" for Season 5.)
d) Bubbles's boy getting the hot shot. I saw it coming a mile away and kept thinking "please, no," because rarely is The Wire predictable. That shit, though, was predictable like a motherfuck. And Bubs waking up and talking for roughly a minute to the kid before realizing he was dead was excrutiatingly painful. Like that time I got hit with a saucepan while playing "basketball."
- I might be in the minority, but the Season 4 version of "Down in the Hole" has been my favorite. That opening drum and bass groove is on some old school head-nod ish.
- I know it's only television, but I'm more worried about Randy than I am about the heart palpitations you've been experiencing.
- if Omar doesn't survive the series, I won't believe in nuthin' no more. Whoulda ever thunk a gay black thug would become the best character in television history? My apologies to Archie Bunker, The Fonz, and Homer Simpson.
- Speaking of homosexuals, I know the writers won't overtly address Rawls hanging out in the gay bar in Season 3, and it's better that way; but the scene in which he walks into Landsman's office and picks up the porno mag was a sly nod, and it made me chuckle.
- What ever happened to Lester Freamon's girlfriend? You know, the near-sighted stripper from Orlando's. Sure, it adds to the mystique of the character, but with no mention of her for 2-plus seasons, I'm beginning to think the writers are trying to pretend it never happened. Word to Rocky V and Outkast's Idlewild.
- I can't decide which is the better album: Good News for People who Love Bad News, or We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank. It's not Wire-related, I know, but it deserves as much careful thought and discussion as which of The Wire's four seasons is the best. Just know this:
i) Picking one is tougher than choosing which of your children you love more (luckily, since the mold truly was broken with the 18th Letter, I cannot empathize).
ii) If you pick neither and respond with "The Shield" or "The Moon & Antarctica," I will disown you...from something.
iii) Lists are fun.
So here is my ranking of seasons 1-4 of The Wire**:
1 - 1 (Star Wars/Alyosha)
2 - 4 (The Empire Strikes Back/Ivan)
3 - 3 (Return of the Jedi without sucking/Dmitry)
4 - 2 (the prequels without sucking/Smerdyakov***)
- If you think I won't post running commentaries for each of the series' final 10 episodes, starting January 6th, you don't know me very well.
I don't often get excited by all-text teasers. But if this doesn't get you amped, you should check your pulse:
(and if you don't like The Wire, you're dead to me anyway. Word to Michael Corleone.)
* for better or worse
** aka Life. Not the cereal
*** that murderous son of a bitch
Posted by Harrison Forbes at 5:41 AM
Monday, October 15, 2007
Like Gene Kelly dancing with a vacuum cleaner, I don't know what the hell is going on, but I suppose it's better that way. I was made to interpret, not understand. It says so in the instruction manual stapled to my plastic ass.
I am standing on the shoulders of giants. Perpetually.
(I am an animal, trapped in your hot car)
Yes, but, what if, even for the briefest of moments, I can turn black to white? Or, better still, turn black and white to gray?
Better men than me, I will acknowedge, have tried and failed. Failed miserably.
I'm not saying I'm better or forging new territories (I am certainly not saying that); then again, fuck it, I am.
History will be rewritten. Word to hubris, shameless self-promotion, and the sword of Damocles.
Remember this day. For I give it to you.
Posted by Harrison Forbes at 11:21 AM
Sunday, October 14, 2007
At times, it's not the best thing to hear, but the fact remains: you are who you are, and you do what you do (and you haven't done much).*
Years ago, you attended an Ozzfest in Minneapolis, which should have been held at a different venue but wasn't (due to gratuitous complications). Alongside thousands of agitated ticket holders, you protested the delay of admission, and the police felt that your actions were unwarranted. People were herded, crutches were used as weapons, and books were thrown at random folks, including you. The amusing part was that just two hours earlier, these books, entitled Knowing Karma, Knowing You had been distributed to the unruly populace by kindly European Buddhist monks. Situations like that make sense to guys like you: mobs, monks, and manuals should, ideally, go hand-in-hand, and it also seemed natural when you got hit in the face by one of those inspired textbooks, albeit one that had been set ablaze by some rabid Manson fan. Luckily, you weren't scorched, nor had your nose been broken, although it had bled considerably. Rock 'n' roll. Tantric perfection.
Years later, you'd hang out at an quasi-Irish themed, Korean owned pub, and this one dude that looks a bit like you would do the very same thing with a book about Zen, except that in this instance, the guy was someone known to you, and you're tempted to forgive him based upon the fact that such an action was precipitated by the assertion that Terry Michos is the penultimate actor of his generation, right behind Tony Danza.
A PK 27 track belongs here, nestled within the peaks and valleys that define gnarled, variegated reality. That track shall be:
L.S.F., by Kasabian
Why? Because sometimes you need a beat, an anthem to accompany the numerous, rarefactional, positively psychedelic experiences you've endured, voluntarily or otherwise. Take a picture of yourself in the subway and then flip it upside down. Use a water balloon launcher to lob a Molotov cocktail toward a Neo-Nazi protest at Rutgers back in '97 (before grenades came into fashion on the prestigious east coast university scene). Drive a maroon Ford Taurus station wagon down the interstate, using your knees to navigate because you hold a lit cigarette in each hand (as well as a lone, jumbo blue raspberry Icee). Show up to a court hearing with a bag of Ranch Fritos**, munch on them throughout the proceedings, and still be awarded a mammoth sum of money. Corner a rapist, and rip the licentious bastard's genitals off with your bare hands.*** Suffer through the latest Radiohead album.****
Stuff like that begs for a song, and an oft (and, perhaps, deservedly so) neglected British band should be the one to create it, although it's unfortunate that the video is on par with the quality of your post. Nonetheless, with nonsensical lyrics such as Come on it, electronic / A polyphonic prostitute, the motors, on fire / Messiah for the animals to accentuate the pulsating, infectious rhythm, you know you dig it.
* You weren't a journalism major, after all, so you'll never be a real man with real experiences.
** That's right, you said Ranch Fritos, and the money was cool, but it's hardly the thing that you really care about.
*** You said that people weren't to discuss the incident in public, TMH, but that was fucking crazy, and just had to be mentioned.
**** Joking, of course. Best disc since the Bends, if you're on crack. Still a great collection, insanity notwithstanding.
Posted by Kmork at 8:08 AM
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Phew. For a minute there -- word to rice -- I was getting a little nervous being the sole* PK contributor stationed on the ROK of Gibraltar. Then Mr. Giant Squid Fodder returned, and I can now breathe easy. Word to asthma inhalers.
Yes, friends and neighbors, Psychedelic Kimchi's resident doppelganger, the illustrious and praiseworthy KMart, after a particularly nasty bout of SARS (remember SARS?) has returned to these hallowed shores from The New World. Babies stop crying, women start having orgasms again.
I'd like to claim
(I have the world's greatest smile)
that I have mastered my high, that I possess an indestructible tolerance for grown-up beverages such as imported German beers, Tennessee Sippin' Whisky, and, occasionally, manatee placenta; but the stone cold truth is that it's all in Dionysus's hands, and -- occasionally -- I catch a Len Bias.
It happened last night. Recipe for disaster: give a young, handsome man a 9-day vacation, place him in an environment in which he can freely and comfortably imbibe liquor and smoke cigarettes like they were going out of style (or going up in price), and place a comely lass on the stool next to him**.
Still, though I remember little, I regret much. Fuck the SI cover jinx, when Messrs Highly and Forbes share a room, beverages in hands, only one may stand, the other fall.
Last night was my turn. I could analyze exactly how and why -- but, as my svengali reassured me last night as I hung my numb head over an unforgiving porcelain ring, it happens.
Happens to the best.
* word to fillets
** Hold up, that doesn't sound right.
Posted by Harrison Forbes at 8:47 AM
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Anyone who has watched either or both of the two documentaries focused on Wilco's creative process ("Man in the Sand" and "I am Trying to Break Your Heart") can't help but be led to two conclusions:
1.) Jeff Tweedy is a total dick.
2.) Jeff Tweedy writes amazing songs which, when put together, make amazing albums.
Luckily, I have never been of the mind that I have to like the people whose art I consume as if they were my friends. I, after all, grew up with Oasis (word to Denz). Therefore, please find attached, Wilco doing "California Stars," off an album they did consisting of old, rediscovered lyrics from Woody Guthrie. Billy Bragg is also ostensibly a contributor to that album; luckily for you I've found a performance that doesn't involve him (sorry Denz).
There is power in a union. Oh yeah, like what? The power to get crack-backed in negotiations by management and have your workers' asses back at the Chrysler plant six hours after they left? Commies suck. Viva la capital.
****This post is delivered completely free of references to all things Radiohead for that small number of our readership that enjoys bands that are making relevant music and have not not exceeded their expired-on date by about a decade now. You're welcome. The rest of you, that's not the emperor's zipper you're looking at.****
Posted by TMH at 5:37 PM
You didn't think I could throw together a Radiohead album review and marinate, did you? Especially since I feel pretty much the same way about In Rainbows the evening after (what can I say, I live in Asia). I want you to be the woman I used to know and love, Radiohead. I'm trying to
(squeeze blood from a stone)
unearth beauty in something so ugly -- relatively speaking, I mean.
(Beautiful, also, is the sun*.)
Since I live in Asia, and I am/they are (I can't tell the difference anymore**) all about saving face, I will say this: In Rainbows is better than Hail to the Thief. And Pablo Honey. And, maybe, Amnesiac.
Doesn't change the fact that In Rainbows is simply good/great and not great/great.
Look, it happens. Abbey Road and Let It Be ARE fantastic albums. But are they as good as The White Album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Revolver, and Rubber Soul? No goddamn way.
IDJ, I love you like I love my dick size, but to suggest that In Rainbows is possibly the greatest Radiohead album baffles me immeasurably. Are there two consecutive tracks on the album that can compare to the Jordan/Pippen-esque combo of "Karma Police" and "Letdown"? Does "15 Step" hold a candle to "Planet Telex," "Airbag," "Everything in Its Right Place," and, maybe, "2+2=5"?
I'm in love with "Bodysnatchers," "All I Need," and "Videotape". Soon, it's gonna be lust with "Reckoner". I was too harsh on "Reckoner," for sure.
But 4 absolutely great tracks on a 10-song album? Like apples and orange juice, that shit don't make sense. Word to the ghost of Nasir Jones.
And here's where I get to The Bends. And here's where I get (back) to irony.
"Fake Plastic Trees" MAY be the best Radiohead song ever recorded. That's debatable. Regardless, it IS the greatest song ever made. And that's not.
I present to you, Constant Retard, the best song ever made AND the shittiest video ever made.
2 for 1. Sale in aisle 3.
* Write that on my epitaph!
** I am being satirical. So that is OK. I'm hiding behind the satirical card. Come find me.
Posted by Harrison Forbes at 10:15 AM
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
My introduction to Public Enemy occurred, like most, with 1988's monumental It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (God rest the soul of multi-dubbed cassette tapes). Since I liked what I heard -- and that's an understatement akin to saying I found breathing when I came out of the birth canal pleasant -- I sought out their debut, Yo! Bumrush the Show. Both are classics; although anyone who claims Bumrush a better record is obviously high or being contrary for the sake of it, similar to cats who claim Day of the Dead is George Romero's best zombie film.
Back in the day, I didn't like Bumrush as much because Chuck D wasn't as militant as he is on Nation: he peppered his rhymes about overcoming black oppression with songs about how fly his car was and loose, stuck-up girls. It didn't seem to fit for the man. Flav? OK, but I wanted my Chuck D a superhero of rage, not an afrocentric Kool Moe Dee. Maybe Chuck saw that himself and tailored his style accordingly. Regardless, the why is not important; what is is that by dropping all pretense of what characteristically made an MC likeable (wit, humor, an empathetic connection to one's listeners vis a vis rhyming about cars, clothes, and hoes) was defenestrated with the release of It Takes a Nation...Here was an angry man who had a lot of shit to get off his chest.
The result was one of the greatest albums of all time.
And here's where we get to Radiohead. And here's where I get to irony.
My introduction to Radiohead -- and we aren't counting "Creep" here -- occurred, like some, with 1997's triumphant OK Computer. Since I liked what I heard -- and that's an understatement akin to saying Nancy Lang is quite fetching -- I sought out their previous effort, The Bends. Both are classics, although...
I miss songs such as "Black Star," "High and Dry," and "Fake Plastic Trees". I'm not saying the (dour?) serious lyrics which Thom Yorke has employed since the group's third album make me like Radiohead less (I'm certainly not saying that), but just as Chuck D wasn't made to write songs about relationships and love, Thom Yorke WAS. Hell, it's been over ten years: I'd settle for a song about how shiny his rims are.
These are my thoughts, right now, as I am about to listen to Radiohead's first release in over four years; and to tell you the truth, I'm a little scared. And I'm not really sure why. If the guitars are minimal, I won't cry, I won't cry. If there are no songs about werewolves, no, I won't shed a tear.
Just as long, Radiohead, as you stand, stand by me.
[Note: I'm not giving the album a rating upon first listen. These are simply my thoughts as I relax and absorb what I pray will be a transcendent experience. I use my right hand for that.]
Thom's got so much soul, he don't need no music. Groovy is the first word that comes to mind, sorta like Black Swan from The Eraser. Hey, melody! Welcome back, sweetheart. As far as album openers go, this is probably the worst of the band's career, it pains me to say.
Hold the fuck on! Even though Thom sounds disinterested -- seriously, I like early-wakey, sleepy-eyed Thom, but this is a little ridiculous -- early on, he picks up momentum. I'm smiling right now. Those guitars are nuts! (Welcome back, sweetheart.)
Wait, is this Radiohead or The Arcade Fire? OK, it's Radiohead. Know how I can tell? 'Cause I'm still awake. (I'm only funnin'; I love TAF.) If I had a voice like Thom Yorke, I'd fuck me too. That was purdy durn good. I'm not full, but I'm satan*...uh, sated.
I just can't get into jazz. Speaking of weird fishes, I feel the need to tell you that last night I had a dream in which I, my brother (Paul), and K-Hot visited China, and after a whole bunch of buildings crumbled due to mechanical resonance (word to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge) we fleed to safety in a boat. Then we saw a big fucking giant squid (is "big fucking" and "giant" redundant? I wonder). Then the squid ate K-Hot, and -- I apologize -- as the monstrosity was consuming him, I tried my best to get a good look at the thing's beak. I hear they got beaks like birds. If they do, I didn't see it. I did see K-Hot's entrails though, and that was pretty gross. My man, I will avenge you.
Oh, the song? My dream was better, minus the part about KMart dying.
All I Need (feat. Mary J Blige)
I'm a sucker for good drum beats like your moms is for flowers when your dad comes home after cheating on her. This is the only time I'll say this: would it be that bad if the group kidnapped and killed Thom, and replaced him with someone who sounds the same, like AC/DC did after Bon Scott died? All kidding aside, a great song.
Like Paranoid Android castrated (somebody has to say it).
Fuck this, I'm all for an up-tempo track that builds momentum only to lull baby to sleep and then return to wake baby up, but when said track manages to lull but not wake, it's kind of like a wet dream to a post-adolescent male: full of promise and letdown.
House of Cards
"I don't wanna be your friend, I just wanna be your lover." This is as close to The Bends as we're going to get, but, like a Facebook message from the person you lost your virginity to, you accept it and fire up the memories. Then you ask Radiohead what they're doing these days and if they're happy.
Jigsaw Falling into Place
"OK, fellas, let's make an ALBUM!"
"Get a load of asshole."
Seriously, no one in the band will admit it, but the separation between Yorke and the others is so palpable on this that it listens as though the vocal and music tracks were recorded in Iceland and England, respectively.
And now you have to go and melt my heart. Save the worst for first, the best for last.
Word to Nigel.
First impressions of planet Earth:
Psychedelic Disappointment. Thom's voice sounds wrecked (word to The D.O.C.). If this isn't the final Radiohead album before they reunite years later for a benefit concert, I'll eat my hat. And if I don't own a hat at the time, I'll buy one.
(I'd rather buy another good Radiohead CD, however. Question: on some zen shit, if I had paid more than 0.00 pounds for the download, would it have made my listening experience any better?)
* write that on my epitaph!
Posted by Harrison Forbes at 12:06 AM
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Ah, October. (I promise I won't wax nostalgic; if I move, kill me.) Like April without the pretension. Hope is in the air for Inuit elders: maybe my grandson won't leave me behind to be eaten by a polar bear.
For a couple of hours I've been pondering whether the giddiness I feel this time of year is due to childhood memories of turkey and trick-or-treating. Sure, it was also the second month of the school year, but even a hack psychologist such as myself knows that we erase bad memories like that from our subconscious to make way for Skittles and bite-size Crispy Crunches*.
Whatever the reason, I invariably put my game face -- and, occasionally, a white-painted William Shatner mask -- on in October. Yes, this time last year I stepped away from blogging, so it may appear as though I'm full of shit; but let me assure you, Constant Retard, that the time I spent on hiatus in October 2006 was the stuff of legend: a story untold, true but unknown.
This October is no different. I've got a special treat for you** coming in the next few weeks, which, while it may be going back
(to the grill again, the grill again)
to the well, is special nonetheless. It's good like Artesian water.
So look forward to that. Here's what else you should look forward to:
1) Radiohead's new, uh, release, In Rainbows. Back in the day, I used to tell anyone who would listen how cool it would be if a hugely successful rock band would surprise their fanbase by suddenly dropping an album out of the blue, with no advertising. Well fuck me, Thom and Co. are essentially about to do just that. The Internet has rendered such a move nearly impossible, yet, still, Radiohead managed to narrow the time between the new, uh, "digital download"'s announcement and its release date to under 2 weeks, at least by my watch. Which is almost as cool as if all the members of the Wu-Tang Clan had dropped solo albums on the same day. When they were all still relevant, I mean.
2) The ALCS. Come on, just because the Yankees aren't a part doesn't mean it can't be a great series. In terms of baseball, only the news that Mark Cuban is considering buying the Chicago Cubs has excited me more. I mean, Cuban owning the Cubs? That joke writes itself.
3) The upcoming NBA season. Fuck Isaiah, Timmy "Tha Gambler" Donaghy, and Greg Oden's knee***; let's make some music, Mozart. For every sad off-season story, the 2007/2008 season has tenfold potential good ones: KG and the Celts, the Rise or Fall of the Phoenix Suns (I'm wagering on Rise; check the resume and city's name), one full year without the Orange Monstrosity, Dwyane Wade's Fuck Harper Lee: A Novel, Kobe's suicide watch, Josh Smith: All-Star?, and Kevin Durant running around and doing things (he's shy, give him some by-myself meetings on the court; trust me, It'll work. Word to Randy Floyd).
4) Season 5 of The Wire. Yeah, it's coming in January '08, but if your anticipation isn't heightened now, it should be. You have three months and some change to get acquainted with life.
5) Cuban Linx 2. Sorry, that's 10/09. Or so I hear****.
* Oddly, however, I still remember the dentist who lived on the street adjacent to mine who would hand out tooth brushes and floss with tiny jack-o-lantern facsimiles taped to them, the address and phone number of his practice written on the back. Last I heard, he was doing 25-to-life for killing the spirit of Halloween.
** both of you
*** "The Big Chill." Prophetic?
**** Word to Chinese Democracy.
Posted by Harrison Forbes at 7:05 AM
Monday, October 08, 2007
I realize convincing a person to vibe with your musical tastes is about as hard as convincing a girl to fellate you with Altoids, but still we try, don't we? Idealjetsam's Tribeca -- New Jersey is the Mecca -- pick, and the YouTube worthy who posted it claiming it as the "blackest white funk," got me pondering if it wasn't blacker white funk than David Bowie's Low, or the white blacker funk of The Average White Band.
Those dudes were Scottish! "I'm the One" is the move like Kobe 24!
Which got me thinking about "Word is Bond," the first track off of Brand Nubian's third album, Everything is Everything, the song of which samples the AWB classic, the album of which is either an underappreciated hip-hop classic or a dookie on wax, depending upon whom you ask (I'm in the former category, as if you can't tell, Gary Grice).
Word to Internet metaphors, thinking about "Word is Bond" -- and salt water trout -- hyper-linked me to the 2nd-best song on Brand Nu's debut, One for All: the incomperable "Step to the Rear."
In the Louvre of Hip-Hop, "Slow Down" is behind bullet-protected glass, don't take photographs. However, follow me into this other room to bear witness to the biggest display of unbridled braggadocio, carnality, and straight-up flow that few have tried yet one has mastered.
Grand Puba was like Rakim with a libido, "Step to the Rear" his version of "Follow the Leader." To this day, Rakim may be the God, KRS ONE the (Blast)Master, but no one can match the sheer "blackest hip-hop Dracula" of Grand Puba Maxwell. And the fact that dude is uglier than Bukowski helps cement him as such.
Posted by Harrison Forbes at 7:50 AM
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Let me preface this by admitting that I was on crazy drugs when I wrote my last post. If blog posts can be rock albums, Charity Work is my Tusk. Psychedelic Kimchi is inside baseball, for sure, but there's always meaning behind these words. Not so with Charity Work. That shit confuses me like Spanish comments on YouTube. Mostly, it bothers me because it has no purpose. It was inspired by nothing.
2007 hasn't exactly been a banner year for me in terms of writing. The aforementioned post aside, I haven't been disappointed with anything I've written, but neither have I been proud. That's mostly because I've been working a hell of a lot more than I used to (and getting paid a hell of a lot less; cry for me, Argentina), and, subsequently, the days of 1000-plus-words posts are on hiatus. But it's also because I've had a lot of real-world stuff to deal with, good and bad, and haven't had the time or inclination to traverse such matters into anything beneficial for this hallowed site. Idealjetsam cheers at the cryogenic state of running commentaries on basketball games.
These days the good is getting better, the bad pretty much gone to sleep. Some day -- and, word to Marlon Brando, this day may come soon -- I'll relate to y'all, like Marlow in a Joseph Conrad novel, the fantastic tale of ruin and redemption that consumed me for most of the past two years. I'll do it when the time is right. And it's feeling righter with each passing day.
Until now, I've made vague references -- and basketball analogies -- to my plight. Perhaps that makes me interesting; probably it makes me confusing. Worst of all, I fear it makes me emo, and that I cannot do.
There's definitely a place for introspective soul searching, and, word to Cameron Crowe, I've always tried to balance my obscure writing tendencies with just the right amount of connectivty vis a vis pathos, desire, and universal truths. I want to puzzle you, stimulate your sense of humor, and stir your soul all at the same time. Unfortunately, when I look back at the majority of my posts since April, all I see are maudlin whimperings. Shit has become unbalanced. Like elephants and ants on see-saws.
Since late June I've been on a bender of manic emotion. Truth crushed to Earth rose again, and damn it feels good. Often, that translated to armchair pseudo-wisdom on my behalf. For that I'm sorry, for I was a complacent asshole. I was celebrating a little too overtly in the end zone after a touchdown, and now I'm flagging myself.
Yesterday marked a very important anniversary in my life. Days, months, and years are simply dates on a calendar invented by a Roman emperor, but October 6th is still significant to me.
Keyword: ME. From now on, no more vague allusions to vivid personal memories. No more emo music from this sucka.
(Until, that is, my autobiography hits in June 2008. Word to Doubleday.)
We now return to our regular-scheduled program.
Posted by Harrison Forbes at 4:47 AM
Friday, October 05, 2007
I love cynical people. They still possess humanity. Some are bigger assholes than others, but they all have one thing in common: a sense of humor, however fucked up. You can tell the difference between a cynic and a misanthrope easily by looking in his eyes. The cynic is reaching out to you (however fucked up); the misanthrope wishes he could evaporate you with laser beams -- usually from his eyes, occasionally from his penis tip.
You can tell a lot about a man by the fuck-you look in his eyes (or, occasionally, his penis tip). For the cynic, it's defensive, a survival instict; for the misanthrope, it belies, well, a hatred for his fellow man. And, occasionally, latent homosexuality.
(Relax, I'm being satirical. So it's OK.)
I've spent enough time in bars to realize that
(I shouldn't spend so much time in bars)
drunk wisdom is just that, so please don't hear me out. If I were me and you were you, I'd ignore me too.
But I'm saying...
Sincerity should be measurable like blood-alcohol levels and Seismic waves.
[K-Mart: Ever heard of a polygraph, genius?]
Alright, scratch that. Good intentions should be measurable like what the road to Hell is paved with. I'm not going to cut off a finger to help your cause, gaucho, but I sincerely wish you the best of luck. Come through for me, papi.
If you're ever in need of a kidney, however, I'm your man. I got a spare. And I'm always willing to help a man in need. However fucked up.
Posted by Harrison Forbes at 7:31 AM
Thursday, October 04, 2007
What a difference a year makes. For instance, nearly a month ago I posted Track 4 of the vaunted PK 27, Jesse Winchester's "Step by Step," a song which was brought to my attention by the finale of The Wire's inaugural season. Back in late-2006, by my own estimate and research, it was harder to find Osama bin Laden or the Gräfenberg spot than Winchester's gem of a song. Nowadays, not so much. Word to Wikipedia and word of mouth*.
This time last year (as recently as 4 months ago, even), I was mourning the death of my passion for video games, an affliction that the illustrious and praiseworthy K-Hot could not resurrect, despite a valiant effort. (Word to Marvel Ultimate Alliance and snake whisky.) These days, not so much -- thanks to the Nintendo DS, aka The Little Handheld that Could, pka Psychedelic Methadone. Yeah, The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass -- while a kickass game -- is just my way of transitioning toward the Wii and Twilight Princess; but even if I don't make the grade, I'm still good. I still remember my roots.
Speaking of which, in terms of hip-hop music, El-P's sophomore effort, I'll Sleep When You're Dead, helped soften the blow that the best hip-hop release of last year was the Roots' Game Theory. By no means is that meant as a slight on the Roots for delivering a very good album, but when your competition is none, you're only no. 1 by default. And when -- I never believed I'd see the day, either -- the current-best hip-hop label, Definitive Jux, is fronted mostly by a bunch of white guys, there has to be some pride at stake, no?
It's October 4th. Last year, 'bout this time, the weather was a lot warmer. I remember it was above 20 degrees Celcius by the end of the month, then. This year we had a spell in early-September where it seemed as though an early fall was coming, but then a warm front hit to remind me that good things come to those wait. And wait some more.
Perhaps if I were more literal and not
(such a control freak)
the ghost of vague wisdom I've become, I'd explain all about the promise that spring and autumn winds hold. How they get up in your nostrils and harken a primordial instinct when you least suspect. A drive that propels you. To reason, ruin, or somewhere in between. Perhaps to arrogance. (Hey, it's better than amateur poetry.)
To quote Sheryl Crow, if it makes you happy, it can't be that bad.
I'm happy. Happier than a lark.
[It's Tuesday, February 10th, 2009. On Mars. Still smiling, but wondering whether or not I was happier on October 5th, 2007. Will research.]
* although I trust neither
Posted by Harrison Forbes at 8:10 AM