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Unsolicited Notes/Thoughts On We’re A Happy Family

Yes, the Ramones tribute album that came out in 2003, featuring such heavy hitters as Metallica, Garbage, Green Day, and Pete Yorn. Picked up a copy for my birthday after a decade of not really listening to it.

- wish I could say I read/enjoyed Stephen King’s liner notes but it’s four center-aligned pages with no paragraph breaks and he uses the phrase “tuff titty” in line three

- the ratio of artists who perform the songs in the style of the Ramones to artists who perform the songs in “their own unique interpretation” breaks down roughly 40/60; this is fine, as I didn’t expect Rancid to add tuba to “Sheena IAPR” and I sure didn’t expect Marilyn Manson to just plug into a Marshall to play “The KKK Took My Baby Away” at its normal tempo

- the top gun here is Tom Waits’s repurposing of “Jackie & Judy” as greasy juke joint blues howl (which has extra glow b/c it feels like Tom’s thank you note for the brilliant cover of his own “I Don’t Want To Grow Up” the ‘Mones slapped on Adios Amigos); second best is any cut where the artist commits to the melodic genius of the source material (Rooney’s “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow,” the Eddie Vedder/Zeke stuff)

- how do you sexualize “Havana Affair?” I don’t know, but the Red Hot Chili Peppers found a way

- Rob Zombie’s “Blitzkrieg Bop” is just as awkward and ham-fisted as my memory suggested; speaking of precious moments, I remember VH-1 did a special on Johnny Ramone while he was co-producing this album and the cameras were a’rollin’ when this Zombie-fied version of “Bop” first hit his ears…Johnny’s face wore a perfect mix of deer-in-headlights confusion, faint disgust, and slight arousal

- Eddie Vedder’s decision to do “Daytime Dilemma (Dangers of Love)” with America’s best punk n’ roll band is why he’s Eddie Vedder; the Offspring’s decision to turn in a copy of “I Wanna Be Sedated” they recorded five years earlier for a Seth Green comedy is why they’re the Offspring

- I don’t think U2 could do a more “U2″ version of “Beat On The Brat” but I won’t bust on them because I know Bono’s heart is in the right place when it comes to Da Bruddahs

- the inclusion of Kiss is curious, not just because they were contemporaries of the Ramones (and not part of some subsequent musical generation) but also because Johnny Ramone made a big point in his autobiography about how much he never liked the music of Peter, Paul, & the Demon; whatever the reason behind it (tax write-off?) Kiss transforms “Do You Remember Rock n’ Roll Radio?” into the Best Buy jingle you always knew it could be

- surprisingly, the tender rendition of “Something To Believe In” by the Pretenders is not the most recent thing that band has done; they had a record out in 2008!

- leave it to John Frusciante to turn “Today Your Love, Tomorrow The World” into a hippie hymnal (and a fucking good one at that)

- no photos of Richie Ramone in the booklet :(

Artisanal Lifehack (Sorry Not Sorry): JG2′s 2013 In Review

JANUARY

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.

FEBRUARY

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.

MARCH

Paul Bearer dies.

APRIL

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.

MAY

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

JUNE

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.

JULY

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.

AUGUST

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.

SEPTEMBER

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.

OCTOBER

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.

NOVEMBER

My book tour takes me from one end of the country (NYC) to the other (Oregon). I regret not spending more time in Ohio.

DECEMBER

[Christmas joke]

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.

Uncle Jim’s Bathroom Snoozer: The Best Of JG2Land 2013

I posted a lot of stuff on the blog this year; the following pieces are those of which I am most proud.

Joe Flaherty Is Always Behind Us, Metaphorically Speaking
Awesome Ideas For Gremlins 3
Q: What’s The Worst Concert You’ve Ever Attended?
Q: What’s The Best Concert You’ve Ever Attended?
Area Man Has Opinion On Oscar-Nominated Short
Q: Why Don’t You Drink?
White Zombie’s Sean Yseult: The JG2Land Interview
“Duckman” Creator Everett Peck: The JG2Land Interview
Unsolicited Thoughts On This Video Of FLAG…
Unsolicited Thoughts On Marky Ramone’s Gelato Commercial
Jeff Hanneman: 1964-2013
The Force Will Be With You, Emma Greenway Horton, Always
Kid Gets Job, America Outraged
Thirty Years Of Jabba The Hutt’s Bitchy Admin Assist
Q: So, You’re A Writer…Like, What Do You Do All Day?
Unsolicited Thoughts On Racist Celebrity Chefgate
Today’s Mental Debates (Larry David Edition)
Unsolicited Maxwell’s Memories
Q: Have You No Rant On The Black Flag Lawsuit?
Area Man Shocked By Insignificant Cartoon Factoid
Unsolicited Thoughts/Notes On Everybody Loves Our Town
Liver Shunt And Butter Queens
Twenty Years In The Cone Zone
The Last Time I saw That Guy…
Undead Singer/Guitarist Bobby Steele: The JG2Land Interview
Drive-In Totals For Metallica: Through The Never
Adrenalin O.D. Guitarist Bruce Wingate: The JG2Land Interview
A Glimpse Into My Gatesgiving
This Music Leaves Stains Book Touro Recappo
Jockin’ Fair Use To Their Dismay

In the coming days I will probably curate similar lists for every previous year JG2Land has existed, because the time for self-reflection is always and it’s important you readers have some way to separate four years of wheat from four years of chaff.

Thanks for reading, y’all. Enjoy your nude ears.

Possible Jamming Scenarios For The KISS/Nirvana Rock & Roll HOF Induction Ceremony

- Peter Criss and Ace Frehley join the Foo Fighters for eighteen minute “Strutter”/”Beth”/”RNR All Nite” medley

- acoustic run through of “About a Girl” featuring Paul Stanley on lead vocals, Krist Novoselic on squeeze box

- current KISS lineup plays “Come As You Are” in full costume w/ Dave Grohl (wearing Vinnie Vincent’s makeup) on vocals

- Criss/Frehley lead “ex member” jam of “Endless Nameless” featuring Chad Channing, Vinnie Vincent, Dan Peters, Dale Crover, and Bruce Kulick

- Foo Fighters play Animalize in its entirety w/ Sir Paul McCartney doing backup vocals

- surviving KISSes/Nirvanas hire Girl Talk to play thirty minute mashup of every song both band ever wrote

Q: What Are Your Fears?

A: Getting hit by a car, not so much because it might kill me but more because it might wound me, inflicting barely detectable head trauma that will leave my friends to say, “You know, he just hasn’t been the same since ‘the accident.’” Falling off a cliff, because of similar noggin concerns but also because of gravel and gravity and perturbed scorpions/cliff snakes. Accidentally committing a major faux pas in a foreign country and never being forgiven for it. Seeing Bigfoot or a UFO and never knowing if my friends actually believe my accounts or if they’re merely humoring me in person and writing me off as a lunatic behind closed doors. Accidentally inhaling mustard gas.

Drive-In Totals For Metallica: Through The Never

- one bleeding guitar
- one toy that comes to life
- one fire-breathing classic car
- one Bane rip-off on horseback
- two songs from ReLoad
- no songs from St. Anger
- no breasts
- no aardvarking
- no weeping Dave Mustaines
- no mild-manner psychiatrists
- multiple dead bodies
- multiple Robert Trujillo crab-walks
- self-immolation fu
- standup drumming fu
- Hetfield yarl fu
- L.A. riot fu
- Pulp Fiction plot rip-off fu
- thirty-two year old thrash metal band playing surprisingly well fu

On a scale of one to four James Hetfields screaming “GIMME FUEW GIMME FAI!” I give this movie a solid two and a half. See it in 3-D and experience with startling clarity Lars Ulrich’s rack toms!

Choose Your Own This Music Leaves Stains Media Adventure

Click this link to read an interview Retroist did with me where I blather on endlessly about the Misfits…

OR

click this link to literally hear me blather on endlessly about the Misfits on the “New Books In Pop Music” podcast.

Either way you’ll get a good dose of me rhapsodizing about Static Age and debating how “real” Danzig “keeps it.” Who knows, maybe one of these interviews will convince you to finally buy my book (fourteen bucks, cheap!).

The Last Time I Saw That Guy…

This is a fun game you get to play with your friends from high school when you hit your thirties. The way you play is you sit around a table, someone throws out a name from your collective teenage years, and you all take turns talking about the last time you saw said person (it doesn’t have to be a guy, just so we’re clear). Some of the better answers I’ve heard playing this game lately:

…he was working at Barnie’s at the mall and we had a brief discussion about the nationality of Zwan’s bass player

…he was sitting a row ahead of me at Scary Movie 2 and he had an enormous Riddle Box tattoo on his leg

…I didn’t actually see him; he called me soliciting a Russian ponzi scheme

…she was working as a Gwen Stefani impersonator at one of the major theme parks

…he had mutton chops that were black as night and he was standing outside the Checkers on Woodland Boulevard

…she was working as the receptionist at Jive Records

…her kid was having a meltdown in Blockbuster over a Gameboy Advance game; she looked at me like she had seven different types of cancer

…she was a financial correspondent on a cable news network, which is an impressive jump for a ballerina of her stature

…he was dumpster diving across the street from the Polluted Youth show; he saw me and ran away

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