- Mandatory Fun’s cover is funny, but not as funny as the fact we could go to war with North Korea over that James Franco movie
- my issues with late period Yank: he doesn’t scream as much as he used to, and rarely do any songs break mid-tempo (even the polka medley here speeds too safely); in Al’s defense, he’s creeping up on 55, and he went plenty nutso on his older albums
- I want to say the Lorde parody “Foil” should be longer to milk more out of the subject twist, but laborious college fight send-up “Sports Song” proves brevity is the soul of wit
- “Word Crimes” is disappointing because Al spends more time just shitting on the grammatically ignorant instead of trying to educate them; it’s very “get off my lawn,” but at least his heart’s in the right place
- Mandatory Fun’s polka medley may be caught in second gear but it’s also plenty fun, as most of his medleys prove to be
- while I appreciate Al taking the piss out of Frank Black on his Pixies style parody “First World Problems,” the song itself is nowhere near as clever as the first world problem rap that mush-mouthed teen posted to YouTube a few years ago; this could be because mush-mouthed teen legit feels the struggle and Al is (generationally?) removed from that kinda thing
- a few of Mandatory Fun’s originals lean alt country, which makes one wonder what a non-weird Yank album would be like at this point; maybe like Wilco, with more references to boogers and socket wrenches?
- “Weird Al” has some major cajones calling out other people for being tacky (“Tacky”) when you consider the fact he’s worn nothing but Hawaiian shirts for his entire career
- overall, Mandatory Fun is limp; not one song is on par with classic Yank, and the album’s closing ballad “Jackson Park Express” (a tale of love and miscommunication on public transit) could be the least engaging song Al’s ever done; of course, it’s all lightyears better than whatever Dr. Elmo’s doing right now, and what do you want from a guy twenty-six years after “Stuck In A Closet With Vanna White?”
- this would be a great place to post a link to the interview I did with “Weird Al” in 2011 where he clears up that rumor about getting punched by Billy Joel’s wife; alas, evil forces have taken it offline
- yes, I am bragging that I interviewed “Weird Al”; career lulls aside, he’s still “Weird Al,” American comedy god, hero of my youth, the Gozer of parody
- the Green Day albums prior to Dookie are good but you listen to them and think, “Man, these guys need a budget”; this is that rare breed of punk (hyper melodic) that’s actually hindered by rawer sonic ethics
- the middle of “Burnout” rips off the middle of “Pictures of Lily” by the Who, but “Burnout” is faster, so…all forgiven?
- speaking of the Who, that rah rah ending of “Chump,” the bit that crashes into “Longview”…why were any of us surprised when Green Day became an arena band and started writing rock operas?
- the Green Day backlash (which occurred, what, between 1995-97?) was so intense I still feel residual guilt for ever owning an original cassette copy of this album (which is dumb, because you should just like what you like and love what you love and I’ve since owned far more dubious musical ventures, including a good portion of Leonard Nimoy’s discography)
- I’ve heard “Welcome to Paradise” so many times throughout my life (both voluntarily and involuntarily) that it no longer registers as anything except a sound that is occurring in the vicinity of my ears
- part of me wishes the entire album had the twangy tone of “Pulling Teeth” (seems a little richer)
- part of me wishes the only segment of “Basket Case” they had released was Billie’s vocal track
- people who accuse this album of being (too) juvenile have obviously never heard anything by the Queers or Screeching Weasel
- Dookie producer Rob Cavallo has worked on everything Green Day has done since 1994, including soundtrack stuff and live albums; that kind of job security is rare these days
- Dookie producer Rob Cavallo also worked on Kid Rock’s Rock n’ Roll Jesus, which makes me want to smash a fucking carp right into his face
- Dookie is fun and will always be the Rosetta Stone that made me decide to further investigate this punk rock stuff, but it stopped being my favorite Green Day album the second Insomniac dropped in ’96; they just sound like a stronger band on Insomniac, playing tighter, louder songs with way more frenzy and better melody…I don’t understand why people tend to dismiss that one sight out of hand (or w/e that nonsensical phrase is)
- the hidden song here is the aural equivalent of looking at Pauly Shore
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.”
- sometimes you read stories about our armed forces blasting heavy metal at foreign dictators to ferret them out of fortified compounds but what they really need to use is the audio of Nancy Kerrigan reeling in pain during the aftermath of her 1994 attack; that unhinged wailing jostles the moorings of my soul
- Tonya Harding’s mom dressing like a nefarious super villain (mink stole and a parrot on her shoulder?) would be funny if she hadn’t been so terrible to her daughter in her youth
- whether or not you believe Harding was in on the pre-attack conspiracy I think we can all agree the men involved made the Sweathogs look like Rhodes Scholars
- if Harding masterminded the attack, what a shame she didn’t believe in her own talents (she had already bested Kerrigan once in a 1991 World Championship); if Harding had nothing to do with the attack, what a shame she couldn’t put her issues with Kerrigan aside and reach out immediately to say, “Hey, I’m sorry, I married this clown but I want to make sure we’re square before things go any further” (Harding tried to apologize much later during an Olympic practice but Kerrigan made her talk to the hand ’cause the face wasn’t listenin’)
- the person my heart goes out to most in all of this is Michelle Kwan; Kwan won her right to compete in the ’94 Olympics by placing second in the U.S. Championships, but the ice skating powers that be decided Kerrigan would have clinched that spot had she not been clubbed…so they gave Kerrigan Kwan’s spot and sent Kwan to Norway as a non-competing alternate, which is a supremely shitty thing to do to a thirteen year old, if you ask me
- shady character Shawn Eckhardt (Harding’s bodyguard, now deceased) sort of resembled William Hootkins, the actor who played shady character Max Eckhardt in the first Batman; Shawn later changed his name to Brian Griffith, which is so very close to the name of portly “Family Guy” character Brian Griffin (whom he also sort of resembled)
- Harding’s ex-husband Jeff Gillooly changed his name to Jeff Stone, which is boring as hell and robs us of our god-given right to enjoy the mirth that inherently surrounds “Gillooly”
- this documentary takes the high road, making no mention of the Tonya Harding sex tape or Harding’s “foxy” boxing bout against Paula Jones
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
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.
Below you will find the cream of my bloggin’ crop from Twenty-twelve, a.k.a. the year everyone had a Mayan calendar joke.
Unsolicited X: The Unheard Music Review
Dinner With Fake Dog Owner/Real Drummer Danny Young
Geriatric Chicken Man Claims To Have Elvis On Elbow
Jimmy Castor: 1947-2012
Shit A Seventeenth Century English Fop Says
A Big Fat Stupid Love Letter To “Late Night With David Letterman”
Twenty-Five Other Essential Punk Albums
Another Letter Of Note
I Didn’t Want To Know Slash’s Shoe Size Anyway
Basic Cable Reality Show Ideas
A.J. Confessore: 1969-2012
Potential Plot Lines For The New “ALF” Movie
The Giant Sentient Leeches Have Silenced Canibus
Holy Federico Fellini! It’s A Burt Ward Film Primer!
Did Osama bin Laden Have The Bodyguard On VHS Or DVD?
Choose Your Own Adventure (Waterskiing Squirrel Edition)
Don’t Read This While Eating
Corporate Hippie Ghost Logos Still Suck
Disney Pays $4 Billion For More Ewok Guitar Solos
Unsolicited Thoughts On Serious Puppet Scandal 2012
Slayer’s Reign In Blood Totally Synchs Up With Star Wars