Wednesday, July 28, 2004

"The Alternative Media, Jerry. That's Where You Hear The Truth"

Who is this Bill Toumala guy? Not only did he steal my Michael Jordan mini-memoir word-for-word for this week's City Pages cover story, but he stole my look from twenty years ago, and he (almost) stole my name!

Update: City Pages corrected the Tuomala spelling online, ensuring that my many fans and stalkers will have success with their googling.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004


The keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention, Barack Obama, gave a knockout of a speech tonight. Text of the speech is here, video should be up at CSPAN by Wednesday morning.

And he spoke right at me when he mentioned "the hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too."

Monday, July 26, 2004

Hey Chuck - Go Out And Get A Job Already!

Boo hoo hoo. Princess Di(ed) took Prince Charles to the cleaners in their divorce settlement. Chuck was so put out that he ... well he didn't actually have to go out and get a job or anything. In fact, he made $28 million off properties and investments in the past year or so. Who truly gives a damn about this anyway except Charlie? Why are Europeans (and sadly, royalty-intrigued Americans) so attached to their inbred not-superiors?

If were ever forced to meet the chump prince, I wouldn't bow. I wouldn't stand up just on his account. I would simply call him "Charles." I would gladly chow down, whether he's eating or not. And I'll talk whenever I damn well please, thank you.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

My Favorite Album Covers From The Fifties And Sixties

Bo Diddley - His Greatest Sides Volume One
The Who Sell Out
Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass - Whipped Cream & Other Delights
Bob Dylan - Highway 61 Revisited
The Rolling Stones - 12 x 5
Johnny Cash At San Quentin
The Beatles - Abbey Road

1) My only qualification is that they must be albums that I actually own. And only one album per artist.

2) The Bo Diddley album is an anthology released in the eighties, but I thought I'd put it here.

3) The Who album is best appreciated if you see the back cover also.

4) Herp Albert album cover nicely (?) ripped off by Soul Asylum.

5) I don't like that Beatles album that much. Great cover though.

6) Most fifties music I own is anthologies, so I admittedly have a lack of great covers from that era.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Shouldn't This Be On The Editorial Page?

Today's Hagar the Horrible comic strip.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Go Reds

There was a story in the Strib on Monday about grown males playing in a Wiffle ball league. This looks like fun. Truly. The thing that made me pause, though, was that all the teams seemed to be named after major league teams - Twins, Royals, Expos, etc. Playing on a team named, say, the Red Sox, was fun when I was twelve and dreamed of being a major league player. But as an adult, I dunno, I think I would come up with something more creative. Like how my fantasy football team is named The Moe Greens.

Then again, I could see myself playing on a Wiffle ball team named the Reds. As a leftist liberal, I've been called everything from "communist" to "Marxist" to "socialist." Okay, not much of a gamut there. I grin at these over-the-top tags, just like how my conservative friends might smirk when they get called "fascist."

(Quick memory here ... I'm in tenth grade and some aunts and uncles are up in Grand Forks visiting my family. After dinner, we're down in Dad's basement bar and Uncle Stan is ripping President Reagan. He calls him "The Fascist Gun in the West." I think this is the funniest thing I've ever heard. The next day, I'm in the locker room after gym class and someone runs into the room and yells that Reagan has been shot. I feel real real creepy all of a sudden.)

Anyway, my Wiffle ball team the Reds would wear white (it's summer after all) teeshirts with the hammer and sickle on the left chest. On the back, it'd say "For The People." We wouldn't have our names or numbers on the back, because we're all equal. At least until I continually fly out to the infield and get benched.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

New Zine Out

The 800-pound gorilla is finally off my back.

Exiled on Main Street #39 is now posted.

Essays and poems about metalheads spilling your beer, beer, beer commercials, and buying beer in two states. And just to prove that I can't be typecast - some stuff about rock 'n' roll, Ray Charles, dreams, and eternal life.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

I Like Trial Lawyers

1) My freshman year roomie at UND is now a trial lawyer. Last time I saw him he bought me a burger and beers at Sweeney's.

2) Perry Mason? Ben Matlock? Michael Kuzak? Christine Sullivan? Lionel Hutz? America loves trial lawyers on TV. Why should it be any different in real life?

3) If I'm ever, in the words of Dan Cole, "hauled into the hoosegow on a trumped-up bunco charge"; I want the best damn trial lawyer I can find (or afford.)

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Slap Down A Few Sawbucks And Say: "Barkeep? Please Keep 'Em Coming"

The Northern Alliance is throwing a little shindig for Upper Midwest bloggers at Keegan's Irish Pub on July 24th. The details are here.

I'll be there to compare Jessy Greene sightings with Saint Paul from Fraters Libertas.

Monday, July 12, 2004

No Clothes

If you go to the Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign website home page right now, you will see lots of Kerry bashing. You won't see much of what Bush has to offer America for the next four years, aside from a blurb that says "Yes, America Can!"

Yes, American can ... once it gets this clown out of office. Hey Dubya - when's the next "bring them on" taunt to Iraqi insurgents?

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Bogus Reasons For War

In case you missed it ... in a highly critical report issued Friday, the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee found that the CIA's prewar estimates of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction were overstated and unsupported by intelligence.


- No nuclear weapons program

- No biological weapons

- Only a small amount of chemical weapons

- Was not developing an unmanned aerial vehicle intended to deliver biological warfare agents

- The information used by Colin Powell in his February 2003 speech to the United Nations was overstated, misleading or incorrect.

- No Iraqi assistance in al Qaeda's terrorist attacks, including 9/11

Said Senator Jay Rockefeller: "We in Congress would not have authorized that war with 75 votes if we knew what we know now."

Update: I woke up this morning to see that President Bush is leading the charge for an amendment against gay marriage. Big surprise. A report was released yesterday that shows that he led us into a war that was based on dead-wrong intelligence and today he's talking about flag burning gay marriage. It's called a misdirection, folks.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Yes, Pun Intended On That Last Exclamation

Pursuant to my July 5th post, Chris from Incoming Signals has turned me on to the Bubblegum Machine.

Their manifesto is:

If it's ever been on K-Tel or Ronco, it's in. If it features hand claps, cow bells, syrupy orchestration, walls of sound, wrecking crews, sha-la-las, toothy teen idols or candy-based metaphors for carnal acts, it's in.

Complete with mp3 downloads. Sweet!

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

The World That Matters

A few years ago, I took some heat from more politically-correct friends (btw: I normally hate the term "politically correct", but couldn't think of a better description here) because any time I heard international music on college radio stations I referred to it as "third world music." It was implied that by me using the term "third world" I was being racist. Which wasn't my intention - I simply would rather hear loud, sweaty rock 'n' roll from America's heartland than hear whatever's being made in Outer Mongolia these days.

I was also told that using the phrase was Cold War phrasing. Which makes sense, as I am a child of the Cold War. So in trying to remake the world in my own image, I'm thinking from now on we should have two worlds. The World That Matters will be made up of the Big Six hockey-playing countries. The Rest Of The World will be all the other countries.

So The World That Matters is:

1) USA
2) Canada
3) Finland
4) Russia
5) Sweden
6) The Czech Republic

I love having these countries in my world. Obviously, the USA should be included because I live here and rarely leave it. Plus it's the greatest country ever. Canada deserves inclusion because it for all intents and purposes invented hockey and hockey is its national pastime and first love. Finland belongs because the Finns are the Chosen People. Sweden and Russia deserve inclusion as natural rivals of the Americans (Russians) and Finns (Swedes and Russians.) And the Czech Republic belongs because it brought us the Czech forecheck.

Finally, none of these countries give a damn about soccer. Note: Migwire sent me a kind note informing me that Russia, Sweden, and the Czech Republic all love soccer a lot more than hockey. I stand corrected. I love The World That Matters!

Monday, July 05, 2004

An Argument Against Authenticity

Bubblegum, after all, is the bottom line of rock and roll. It matters because the real truth is that there will always be at least one tender spot deep in the heart of rock and roll which should never grow up and never will. So you're all welcome to your hash pipes, I'm a Fleer man myself.
- Lester Bangs in "The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll", 1980

Friday and Saturday I downloaded twelve songs and made myself a "Billy's Best Of Bubblegum" disc:

1) "Indian Giver" - 1910 Fruitgum Company
2) "Little Bit O' Soul" - The Music Explosion
3) "Green Tambourine" - The Lemon Pipers
4) "Jam Up Jelly Tight" - Tommy Roe
5) "I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight" - Boyce & Hart
6) "Gimme Gimme Good Lovin'" - Crazy Elephant
7) "Bang-Shang-A-Lang" - The Archies
8) "Yummy, Yummy, Yummy" - The Ohio Express
9) "Last Train To Clarksville" - The Monkees
10) "Quick Joey Small" - Kasenetz Katz Super Circus
11) "The Rapper" - Jaggerz
12) "Crystal Blue Persuasion" - Tommy James & The Shondells

I've been playing this disc to death and can't wait to unleash its addictive catchiness on unsuspecting friends. (Hello Spunk Studio.)

I think this bubblegum infatuation started as a reaction to my late-spring love affair with same-era (sixties turning into seventies) heavy proto-stoner rockers such as Blue Cheer, Vanilla Fudge, and Sir Lord Baltimore. In fact, the bubblegum seed was planted in my mind when I read a review of Sir Lord Baltimore's first album in a Creem review by Mike Saunders (link via Rockcritics Daily) in which he states that he is still has a fondness for "Indian Giver."

Sunday, July 04, 2004


Malcom from the UK wrote me last week, responding to "the bloke who wrote Great Britain, Greater America." It brings me much joy to print his email, with my retorts in italics, on Independence Day. Any spelling errors are his, paragraph breaks added by me as it was one long rant. Don't tread on me.

I'm English and from London. First of all Americans are mostly Northern Europeans, from England and Ireland etc. (Dude, you started off on a wrong note – I’m of Finnish descent and their genetics and culture aren’t related to the rest of the Northern Europeans.) Disrespecting Britain as a country is just disrespecting your roots. Rock N Roll was mostly black music progressing from jazz, and blues that got such inspiration from the atrocious way you treated African-Americans. (Personally, I have never mistreated an African-American. My ancestors moved here decades after slavery was outlawed, so we had nothing to do with it.) I mean you all went over there, killed all the Indians and stole their homes, and a few years later black people seek to set up a respectable life after centuries of slavery and you kill them and surpress them, and you still do today. (And the UK committed no atrocities during its colonial period? Which reminds me, I need to send my monthly check to Sinn Fein. Also, why your obsession with race? You talk to me like all Americans are white Northern Europeans and the blacks and Indians are still non-citizens. I mean, when I travel my neighborhood made up of whites, blacks, Asians, Hispanics, and American Indians I only see one race … the human race.)

So we ripped off your music huh, fuck off you ripped off black music (Huh? Rock ‘n’ roll was born from both blacks and white Americans – Little Richard, Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, Carl Perkins, Ray Charles etc. What the fuck was the UK doing music-wise in the fifties?) and Elvis topped the charts with it 'cause he was white. (Hey dipshit – Presley topped the country, pop, & R&B charts in the fifties … blacks liked him also.) The 'King' that you love so much was so overated, every one of his songs is written by a different guy. Hey was a good singer, but a dumb fucker. Its like picking all the one hit wonder bands that everyone hates, and just becuase you let some Tennesse boy sing 'em its OK.

Lets compare music history, and while we do think about how bigger and more poulated your country is. (Excuses, excuses.) We had The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks. You had Bob Dylan, and that weren't rock n roll, that was folk music. (Moron – everyone knows Dylan plugged in his guitar in the mid-sixties and made killer rock ‘n’ roll. In the sixties we also had James Brown, Motown, Otis Redding, Booker T & the MGs, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jimi Hendrix, garage rock, the Velvet Underground, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, the Spector Sound, Sly & the Family Stone, Sam Cooke, Solomon Burke.)

We had Elton John, Black Sabbath, Queen, Cat Stevens, Pink Floyd. (In the seventies we had Earth Wind & Fire, Parliament/Funkadelic, Aerosmith, Stooges, MC5, Cheap Trick, Stevie Wonder, Lynyrd Skynrd, Al Green, the J. Geils Band, funk, disco, Marvin Gaye, Alice Cooper.) I do realize that Cat Stevens and Elton John are not particular rock, but good music cannot be ignored (ill let you have Bob Dylan). We had The Clash, The Sex Pistols, The Stone Roses, U2. (U2 is Irish, not British.) You had Bruce Springsten. (And you didn’t!) We had Oasis, Blur, The Manic Street Preachers, Radiohead, The Stereophonics. (All the bands you listed are chumps! Overrated British rock. Plus you forgot the truly great Def Leppard and PJ Harvey. We had the Replacements, Guns n Roses, Public Enemy, Pearl Jam , Van Halen, Metallica, Tom Petty, Run-DMC, Social Distortion, Sleater-Kinney, Husker Du, Soul Asylum) You had REM, and the OVERATED same chord band Nirvana. (Actually it was three chords and those three chords ARE rock ‘n ‘ roll. Nirvana kicked ass, UK bands haven’t kicked ass in twenty years.) It's still going on today, Coldplay (whiny), Muse (who?), Damien Rice (who??) are upcoming.

Now lets go into history quickly, although you don't have much. We ruled the world for hundreds and hundreds of years, we had the first democratic government and inductrial revolution, without it the USA would be nothing today. Today you may have the money, but the world hates you and when your done you're goin to be seriously fucked. (Make up your mind – are we going to be done or seriously fucked?) Your President aomes up your country. (Don’t know what you said here but if you were bashing Bush, I approve.) Also (straying a little from the point) Britian has a history of war and military, we have the greatest army and navy in the world. (You forgot to put that in the past tense.) We were in Bahgdad, while you were in Dad's bag. (Big fuckin’ deal - the Mongols conquered Baghdad centuries before you did and they also conquered more land than you guys ever did. They also easily destroyed any European armies they faced.) We stood against Hitler for 4 years, alone. (Yeah, nice stand at Dunkirk. Reminds me of my Uncle Arne, who served in post WWII Britian and ordered a beer at a pub and asked the bartender to bring it to him “faster than the Brits got out of Dunkirk.”) They tried to invade but we massacred 'em. (Which history book is that in?) And then you yanks come along and pretend like you're the only damn country that one the war. (I’ll be generous here: the Soviets beat the Germans, we beat the Japanese, you guys appeased Hitler with Chamberlain. Oh – and you also declared war on Finland in 1941 … how exactly were you going to fight that one? Ask the USA to do it for you as usual?)

And we're not all Hugh Grants like you see on TV (and your women aren’t all Elizabeth Hurley, obviously), we are superior to you in more ways than music, a Scotsman invented the television, an Englishman discovered evolution. Europe started your food (you didn't invent cheeseburgers) and fashion (you didn't invent Levis). The most intelligent man in the world today is English. (Then why hasn’t he moved here yet?) So the next time you talk about us rippin' off your culture, think twice and look in the mirror, see how similar we look? (Like I said, I’m of Finnish descent, I don’t look like you. Sure, I have dental troubles but my teeth aren’t fucked up like yours are.) You're not from that country you're from ours. It angers me that you, you fuckin' joke of a nation (Yep – you nailed it … our comedy is better than yours also. Also, we invented blues, country, jazz, gospel, rock ‘n’ roll, soul, hip-hop … you??) can try to disrespect GREAT Britain. (Hey check the record: We defeated you in two wars and bailed you out of two others!) We created this world that you thrive upon (then why does the rest of the world drive on the right side of the road?) so fuckin enjoy it before you collapse like the fuckin' Roman Empire and end up slaves. (Only someone from a collapsed empire could provide such a warning. And hey – it’s the twentyfirst century … isn’t it about time you throw your monarchy out on the street and let them fend their own way? On this day, July 4th, 228 years ago, the United States of America declared its independence. Too bad you haven't and are still ruled by inbred Germans.)

Saturday, July 03, 2004


I just looked up the Molotov Cocktail at the Webtender site and they say to use Russian vodka. That would be a no-no in my book. The term "Molotov Cocktail" was coined by the Finns in the 1939 Winter War, meaning the likes of Finlandia would be the proper vodka to use.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

I Think She Meant The 1989 Batman Movie, Not The 1966 One (But I'm Not Sure)

Stephanie Curtis was on MPR's Midday show this morning and she had her Top Five Superhero Movies Of All Time:

1. X-Men
2. Superman
3. Batman
4. Spider-Man 2
5. Blade

Okay, I haven't seen X-Men, but The Crow is the greatest superhero movie I've seen. I've repeated the great line from that flick before: "Jesus Christ walks into a hotel. He hands the innkeeper three nails, and he asks: 'Can you put me up for the night?'"