Another lean year, but hey, it was the first. I had no idea what was going on. Nobody did. It was 2008! Justin Bieber hadn’t even been invented yet!
Restricted Words, Phrases, & Names During Meal Time
Crazy-Ass Dream: Curly Audition
Unsolicited Review of The Nine Leaked Guns N’ Roses Songs
Corey Feldman Has Issues (With Michael Jackson)
Fake George McFly Speaks!
Unsolicited Dark Knight Review
Steak & Ale: 1966-2008
Four Very Useless Photoshops
“I Want Him To Sound Like Truman Capote.”
Crazy-Ass Dream: Nirvana Kiddie Concert
Memorable Customers I Encountered During My 2 Year Stint At Taco Bell
Indiana Jones & The Oh Man, They Taste Like Old Cocoa Puffs
Sarah Palin Shoots Chewbacca’s Father Just To Watch Him Die
Uncensored Pictures Of Hot Steamy Greasers
Halloween ’92: Epic Fail
Commenting Upon Various Time Magazine Covers
“Speak Of This Not.”
Plenty of stone cold classics here. If you get bored then you just ain’t readin’ this stuff right.
An Open Letter To Kathy The Hungry Business Lady
Casting The Live Action “Futurama” Movie That Will Inevitably Be Made
Episode I Story Conference
New Haven, CT: Birthplace Of The Hamburger?
The Curse Of The 9:30 “TGIF” Time Slot
What The Fuck Is So Random About Kelsey Grammer?
Sabbath Gaudy Sabbath
A Glossary Of Terms My Friends & I Used In Middle School
Six Deaths That Altered The Course Of “Simpsons” History
A Conversation With The Upper Crust’s Lord Bendover
Blanket’s Dad Buys The Farm
Jacko’s Wacko Grape-Throwing On Captain EO Set
More On The Richard Nixon / Robocop Summit
Fifteen Years On, Woodstock ’94 Still Something That Definitely Happened
Ten Embarrassing Incidents Involving Baseball Mascots
Rambo 5 Just Got Way Better
Unsolicited Th’ Inbred Review
Q: Did Black Flag Reunite With A Robot Playing Bass?
Recent Trends Indicate Juggalos Stronger, More Resilient Than Economy
Clark Kent Majored In Sucking
Seven Ridiculous-Ass Sequels Hollywood Almost Foisted Upon Us
Stuff White People Like To Complain About
Would You Pay $130 For Career Advice From Andy Richter?
Haikus About Ex-Girlfriends
Examining Kid Rock’s Common Sense Ideas
Is Gonzo A Hipster?
In Memoriam 2009
The Best Bad Movies Of The Decade
If you click but one link below, make sure it’s the Andrew Koenig story. Gets my vote for best thing ever to appear on this ramshackle e-circus.
Headlines For The Soundgarden Reunion
Carry On, You Bass-Smashing Drum God
Tobey Maguire: “I Did Steroids.”
JG2′s Bucket List
Boy Wonder To Bow Out, Spelling End To Dynamic Duo
Unsolicited Spring Break Review
Rock Critic Mark Prindle: The JG2Land Interview
On The Subject On John Hinckley, Jr.
Spring Break On The Planet Of The Apes
Darth Vader Searches For Luke Skywalker On Chatroulette
An Open Letter To Ed Helms And Jason Sudeikis
A Sad Gumby Would Be Almost Unbearable To Look At
Arrested In Time: The Life & Death Of Andrew Koenig
The Curse Of Turbo Man
Requiem For Bif
We’re All Gonna Get Laid: A Look Back At Caddyshack
I Don’t Know Who Aunt Barbara Is…
Ten Real-Life Batman Villains
Unsolicited Baseball: The Tenth Inning Review
Or “The Year Of Blogging Leisurely.” What can I say? The collection agency refused to accept think-pieces on Femme Fatale or The King of Limbs. They wanted money! So I had to go earn it the old fashioned way (trying to flip “Welcome Back, Kotter” merchandise at swap meets across the country). At least the E.T. landfill thing is nice and long.
Robot Monkeys & Mr. Toad, We Hardly Knew Ye
The Encyclopedia Britannica Kid’s New Agenda
We Didn’t Start The Fire: 1990-1999
A Conversation Between Two College Graduates
Giant Photo Of Dorks At White Castle Raises Questions
The Bounty On Gumby’s Head Is $1,000
The E.T. Landfill Story: Fact, Fiction, Argle Bargle, Or Fooferaw?
Unsolicited Lou Read/Metallica Lulu Review
Dr Pepper: We Are Not Affiliated With “South Park”
Unsolicited Justin Bieber Under The Mistletoe Review
America Meets White Coke Can, Summarily Rejects It
Jaws The Ride: 1990-2012
Top Ten Album Covers Of 2011
Definitive Proof Of The Giorgio Tsoukalos Hair Combing
Selections From My Parents’ Collection Of Depressing Art
Speaking Of Depressing Art…
WHAT IT IS: Ghostbusters: The Energy Drink, a carbonated tribute to the greatest horror comedy of my childhood (sorry, Gremlins).
WHERE IT WAS DISCOVERED: Amongst my birthday gifts.
WHO MAKES IT: Boston America Corp, who brag on their website about offering “the world’s most creative impulse items.” Hey, I’m not arguing.
HOW IT TASTES: The contents of the “Slimed!” can proved Rockstar-ish, which is probably what Slimer would taste like if you could lick him. From what I can gather via Google it’s the same exact liquid in each can, but if I’m wrong may Walter Peck come down from bureaucrat heaven and smack me silly.
DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: Officially licensed Ghostbusters imagery. This ain’t no “Ghostflippers” nonsense!
NOTES: The can lists a fax number. That seems superfluous. I’m not sure what I’d want from a Ghostbusters-themed energy drink (maybe a Stay Puft marshmallow flavor?) but this stuff gets the job done. It’s tart enough, no wretched aftertaste, and it reminds me of Harold Ramis. Win/win.
Astronomers at Caltech suggest our Milky Way Galaxy is comprised of one planet per star, i.e. 100-400 billion exoplanets. Meanwhile, I’m vigorously testing the “man can survive on fried chicken and Mountain Dew alone” theory. Results are inconclusive, but local deep fryers applaud my efforts nonetheless.
My first book, This Music Leaves Stains: The Complete Story of The Misfits, is released in hardcover. More importantly, the news announcing this fact gets over ninety-two “likes” on Facebook, instantly validating the book’s very existence.
Paul Bearer dies.
Record Store Day is celebrated at Goodwill, where I swoop up unwanted copies of X’s Wild Gift, Sonic Youth’s Experimental Jet Set, and the White Stripes album with “Seven Nation Army” on it. White Stripes end up getting more spins than Sonic Youth, which surprises me. I submit my taxes at the last possible second; the endorphin rush lasts for days.
I decide to visit King Oliver’s grave in the Bronx on an unusually rainy day. The ground in the cemetery proves to be so moist I almost lose a shoe. It is during this trip that I spot the graffiti of the year: upon one of the many ads that hang in the subway tunnels promoting “Seinfeld” reruns someone has scrawled “racist pig fuck” over the otherwise unassuming face of Michael Richards. #neverforget
I try all three flavors of Shaq soda and they all taste like carbonated dessert plates. Man of Steel barnstorms its way into our lives and our pop culture think-pieces. The theater where I see it holds a Superman trivia contest before the screening and a minor uproar occurs when the winner (who must stride forward to claim his Henry Cavill poster) is discovered to be wearing a Batman shirt. Amy Adams makes me fall in love with Lois Lane all over again, but more importantly she briefly makes me fall in love with Amy Adams. I come dangerously close to watching Enchanted.
The Great Ear Clog of 2013 besieges me in a waxy hell. Somehow I find a way to blame this malady on Grown Ups 2.
Labor Day Weekend is spent in the Twin Cities. I do not see Prince, I do not see any Replacements (living or dead), but I do see someone in a Bigfoot costume at the state fair.
It’s a tacky roadside bonanza as I visit both Flea World and Gatorland in beautiful sunny Florida. Both experiences are underwhelming on many levels but at least I can say I was there in 2013. Speaking of junk culture, bottles of Moxie are spotted at an Orlando-area grocer. Having never seen this medicine-flavored treat south of Connecticut, I immediately break out into the Boogaloo, the Roger Rabbit, and yes, even the Patty Duke.
The softcover of This Music Leaves Stains is released, which means it is finally cheap enough for my friends to buy and read. While in San Francisco on business I somehow avoid any and all Rice-a-Roni jokes. I also make zero references to the Zodiac Killer. I take pause as I realize this and consider seeking medical attention.
My book tour takes me from one end of the country (NYC) to the other (Oregon). I regret not spending more time in Ohio.
If you’ll allow me to be nakedly sincere for a moment, 2013 was a fantastic year for me (even with the ear thing). Thanks to all who supported/saw me through it. I really do love you all.
A: In the center of the store there must be such a gross amount of Surge twelve packs left over from 1997 that the employees have fashioned it all to look like some world famous landmark, like the Taj Mahal or the Parthenon. They also must take out singular cans and have them about the perimeter of said display like little people, dressed in the appropriate costumes (for instance, if it’s the Parthenon, little togas and laurel wreaths).
Next to that, there must be an aisle of Star Wars DVDs/Blu-Rays featuring the original three movies—Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi—in their unaltered theatrical form. A bonus disc must be bundled with these DVDs containing the alternate version of Revenge of the Sith I literally dreamed one night in 2005; centered around some sort of mystical time capsule on Hoth, my subconscious version of Sith magically explains away all the frustrating bullshit from the first two Star Wars prequels and is infinitely more captivating than any frame of the real movie.
The in-house music must be playing the Zeke discography and the Wal-Mart staff must be comprised of Pam Grier, Charo, Elvira, Rip Taylor, Jodie Foster, Johnny 5 from Short Circuit, John Gemberling, and E.T. era Drew Barrymore. I must be driven to this Wal-Mart (the exterior of which must also feature a mural celebrating my life’s accomplishments) in the original Ectomobile by Annie Potts. When I finish checking out, Chuck Barris must come out from behind a curtain to smash me in the face with a creme pie.
“Jaye P. Mor-gone!” Barris must exclaim. “What do you think of James Greene’s purchases?”
Jaye P. Morgan must then appear to say something withering.
So what’s the most shocking aspect of Black Flag’s sudden reunion album, the appropriately titled What The…? The simple fact it exists after two decades of minimal stirring? The shiteous cover art that I think we all want to believe is awful on purpose? My vote goes to the astounding truth that the music within sounds like it’s being played by the real Black Flag, the tank-like ’80s outfit we all hoped would magically appear at our high school and start a police riot with their unique brand of disturbed, violent punk rock.
Not only is What The… better than it has any right to be twenty-eight years after the fact, it comes offensively close to being great in various pockets. Raw, nutty, heavy—these guys roll over the gate like they’ve been locked in a storage closet since In My Head. Founding guitarist Greg Ginn can still warp your mind with his playing, be it with gobs of gluey riffage or pointedly fractured soloing (Ginn also handled the gut-slapping bass lines that lay the foundation for What The…). Similarly, returning Flag singer Ron Reyes can still summon up that angry wayward teen who splattered his vocals across several of the band’s early lynchpin releases.
Unfortunately (you knew that was coming), What The… dampens its fire by handing out too much of a good thing. Forgetting that brevity is the soul of punk, Ginn and Reyes force us through twenty-two angry noodles when an offering a third that length could have comprised one of this year’s more invigorating EPs. It’s never a good sign when the listener needs to take a lunch break midway through an album. It’s even worse when the listener wants to. The contents of your refrigerator are sure to excite on a James Bond level once you’ve been confronted with the malaise that hangs over backend What The… cuts like “Lies” and “Give Me All Your Dough.”
As of this writing, Reyes is already out of the reformed Flag, having been ousted in favor of professional skateboarder Mike Vallely (who can also sing, apparently). Based on the meandering, circular nature of What The…, Black Flag doesn’t need a new singer so much as they need an editor. Of course, this is the band (the punk rock band) that released four albums in one year during their heyday, so I guess in a certain light we were spared the true onslaught. Twenty-two songs—can you imagine how much shit might be cluttering the cutting room floor?
FINAL SCORE: Two pastrami sandwiches on honey wheat (out of four).