Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Five Resolutions for 2004

I've dropped fifteen pounds since Labor Day and am back to fighting welterweight, the bank has finally relented and given me a line of credit, and I got my hair cut even shorter so I don't have to worry about having a comb on me any more. And to top it off, my doctor waived the "avoid alcohol" warning that seems to come with every one of those damn little pills he prescribes for me. Way to go Dr. Nick!

So things are looking up and I feel it's appropriate to come up with some resolutions for the new year:

1) Move to NYC, kick Ryan Adams' teeth in, steal Parker Posey from him. When ordering from the raven-haired beauty at the coffee shop, for once pocket my change without fumbling.

2) Travel, see the world, experience other cultures. Work at retaining my medium-thick NoDak/Finlander accent.

3) Camp out on the plaza of the Rarig Center until Chuck & Joel have another "Since You've Been Gone" mini-thon. Call the Cosmic Slop show more often.

4) Work on my poor vocabulary, I'm a writer and all. Say "what a coinkedink" instead of "what a coincidence" more. And I mean a lot more.

5) Read more books.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Shameless Self-Promotion (Pt. 3)

The Buffalo (NY, not MN) News has a nice review of the Da Capo book. I'm gonna go listen to David Lee Roth's "Ladies' Night In Buffalo?" in honor.

Monday, December 29, 2003

Friendly Tip

The Ted Rall and Tom The Dancing Bug comics have been quite awesome lately. Check 'em out and be sure to flip back through the previous dates.

Sunday, December 28, 2003

They Can't Win The Big One (Or The Little Ones Either)

Where does this choke job rate in the decades-long goof that is the Minnesota Vikings football franchise? You have to taken into consideration all the other hands-around-neck games this team has lost. Let's take 'em chronologically:

1) When they lost their first Super Bowl.
2) When they lost their second Super Bowl.
3) When they lost their third Super Bowl.
4) When they lost their fourth Super Bowl.
5) The loss in the NFC title game when Darrin Nelson dropped the ball in the end zone.
6) The loss on the last game of the regular season when they couldn't beat (I think) the inept Cincinnati Bengals, finished 8-8, and missed the playoffs.
7) The overtime loss in the NFC title game (at home) against Atlanta.
8) The loss in the NFC title game against the Giants, when they were favored by two touchdowns. Not only did they give up 41 points, they scored none.

But then you have today's game. All the Purple had to do was beat the hideous Arizona Cardinals, and they win the NFC North. They lead 17-6 with six minutes left in the fourth quarter. Their defense coughs up a touchdown to the Cardinals with two minutes left. Their special teams slap around an Arizona onside kick and the Cardinals recover. Their defense picks up a bonehead pass interference call. They lose 18-17 on a time-has-expired touchdown pass by much-feared Slingin' Josh McCown out of Sam Houston State. The Vikings are out of the playoffs completely.

It's safe to say that this game (and their play since starting 6-0) qualifies as one of their Top Ten choke jobs. Lord, it was beautiful. Thanks for the laughs and see ya next season Vikings!

Saturday, December 27, 2003

Which Way To America?

I received the following email earlier this week. My editorial comments are in parentheses.


Will we still be the Country of choice and still be America if we continue to make the changes forced on us by the people from other countries that came to live in America because it is the Country of Choice?????? (WHEN DID AMERICA BECOME THE COUNTRY OF EXCESSIVE PUNCTUATION?)

Think about it . . .

All I have to say is, when will they do something about MY RIGHTS? (CHECK OUT THE FIRST AMENDMENT – YOU’RE GUARANTEED FREE SPEECH AND THE FREE EXERCISE OF RELIGION – YOU’RE COVERED) I celebrate Christmas, but because it isn't celebrated by everyone, we can no longer say Merry Christmas. (I’M GOING TO BRING THIS UP WITH MY NEIGHBOR, ISAAC GOLDSTEIN) Now it has to be Season's Greetings. It's not Christmas vacation, it's Winter Break. Isn't it amazing how this winter break ALWAYS occurs over the Christmas holiday? We've gone so far the other way, bent over backwards to not offend anyone, that I am now being offended. But it seems that no one has a problem with that. (YOU CAN STILL SAY “HAPPY NEW YEAR” WITHOUT BEING PERSECUTED – CHEER UP!)

This says it all!

This is an editorial written by an American citizen, published in a Tampa newspaper. He did quite a job; didn't he? Read on, please!


I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Americans. However, the dust from the attacks had barely settled when the "politically correct" crowd began complaining about the possibility that our patriotism was offending others.

I am not against immigration, nor do I hold a grudge against anyone who is seeking a better life by coming to America. Our population is almost entirely made up of descendants of immigrants. However, there are a few things that those who have recently come to our country, and apparently some born here, need to understand. This idea of America being a multicultural community has served only to dilute our sovereignty (HUH?) and our national identity. As Americans, we have our own culture (HOW IS THIS DEFINED?), our own society (STATING THE OBVIOUS, THANKS), our own language and our own lifestyle (HUH?). This culture has been developed over centuries of struggles, trials, and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom.

We speak ENGLISH, not Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society, learn the language! (YEAH, YOU AMERICAN CITIZENS OF PUERTO RICO – GET WITH IT!)

"In God We Trust" is our national motto. This is not some Christian, right wing, political slogan. We adopted this motto because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. (ACTUALLY IT IS CLEARLY DOCUMENTED THAT JEFFERSON AND FRANKLIN WEREN’T REGULAR CHURCHGOERS; WASHINGTON RARELY ATTENDED CHURCH AND MADE PAINSTAKING EFFORTS TO AVOID INVOKING THE POWER OF CHRIST IN POLITICAL MATTERS; ALSO THE FOUNDING FATHERS MADE EVERY EFFORT VIA THE CONSTITUTION TO MAKE SURE THIS COUNTRY DID NOT BECOME A CHRISTIAN STATE) It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our Schools. (THE SUPREME COURT SAYS NO) If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture. (WHAT IF GOD DOESN’T SPEAK ENGLISH, WILL YOU STILL TAKE HIM IN? AND THEY TOTALLY HAVE A GOD-FRIENDLY CULTURE IN IRAN, MAYBE YOU YOURSELF SHOULD CONSIDER A MOVE)

If Stars and Stripes offend you, or you don't like Uncle Sam (BECAUSE LOVING FICTIONAL CHARACTERS IS WHAT MADE THIS COUNTRY GREAT), then you should seriously consider a move to another part of this planet. We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change (YEAH! OH WAIT – THE ORIGINAL CONSTITUTION DIDN’T GIVE WOMEN THE RIGHT TO VOTE AND HAD SLAVERY LEGAL – ISN’T CHANGE SOMETIMES OKAY?), and we really don't care how you did things where you came from. This is OUR COUNTRY, our land, and our lifestyle. Our First Amendment gives every citizen the right to express his opinion and we will allow you every opportunity to do so. (WHO IS “WE”? I DON’T REMEMEBER ASKING YOUR PERMISSION ANYWAY), But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about our flag, our pledge, our national motto, or our way of life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great American freedom, THE RIGHT TO LEAVE.

If you agree -- pass this along;
if you don't agree -- delete it! Your CHOICE!


I figure if we all keep passing this to our friends (and enemies) (WHAT IF OUR ENEMIES DON’T READ ENGLISH, HOW WILL THEY UNDERSTAND IT?) it will also, sooner or later get back to the complainers, lets all try, please.

Friday, December 26, 2003

Deck The Halls With Bottles Of Leiny, Tuomala-la-la-la-la-la-la
A Crazed Loner Christmas ... Best Ever?

I woke up at the crack of noon to find that one of my bonehead neighbors stole my paper. I thought Christmas was ruined but I fired up some coffee and walked to the corner vending machine to score a Strib. But what really cooled me off and made me appreciate the day was opening my sole gift under the tree. It was from the girl who I wrote about in Exiled #32. I'm not gonna you what the gift was, but I shook my head and said "omigod, omigod!"

I emailed Radio K and requested a drinking song. The deejays, Kate Silver and Michaelangelo Matos, revealed my identity and chatted a bit about Exiled on Main Street, the Da Capo book, and my love of Radio K. Then they played a set of four beautiful beer-sipping songs. I called 'em up and thanked 'em.

My mom called me to wish me Merry Christmas while I was on the phone with Radio K. Such is the life of a music geek. I called her back immediately, of course.

I started what I think may become a Christmas tradition for me. I drank beer and listened to Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music. It's horrible, but was made worthwhile by 1) reading Lou's speedfreak liner notes, 2) reading Lester Bangs' hilarious 1976 Creem articles on the album, and 3) hearing my brother chuckle on the phone when I told him about how much I enjoyed his gift of Metal Machine Music.

My sister called me and filled me in on another Tuomala song, which I stole for the title of this post and corrupted with a beer reference. (Oh, and I have found another Tuomala Song: Three Dog Night's "Shambala" - how does your light shine / in the halls of Tuomala?)

I ate a steak.

I took the bus to the CC Club. Sat next to a man in his sixties. He was short, chubby, had long white hair, and a white beard. I'm not making this up. And he drank Bud on tap and smoked Marlboros. I thought Nick would be a Summit Winter Ale guy like me on Christmas night, but no. Hey - he can drink (and smoke) whatever he wants - he's earned it. And sitting next to him, I couldn't help thinking: Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Orange Alert Doesn't Hold Him Back

You can track Santa Claus via NORAD here. C'mon, Big Man - I've been nice for at least the last half hour or so ... bring me something nice! There's Jag in the freezer and Leiny and pickled herring in the fridge for ya.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Ooh - Look At Me, I'm Making People Happy! I'm The Magical Man, From Happy Land ...

Today my pal Ben told me that when he's feeling down, he does one of two things to bring himself back up:

1) He types a name of a friend of his into, because the first result is said friend's arrest record.

2) He reads about me declaring myself "The Silver Surfer."

Sunday, December 21, 2003


Like my attempt at writing a witty, punny, sports-page headline?

Congrats to the St. John's football team on knocking off the Goliath that was Mt. Union in the Stagg Bowl and winning the Division III national championship. It was a blast of a game to watch as the Johnnies defense outhit and outmuscled the Purple Raiders vaunted offense. On the other side of the ball: SJU's quarterback calls his own plays - cool. You football geeks who haven't read about John Gagliardi and his "Winning With Nos", check it out here.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Holiday Spirits

I asked my favorite bartender - he filled me in. The CC Club:

December 24th CLOSES at/around 5:00 p.m.
December 25th OPENS at/around 5:00 p.m.

Now it's on to figuring out those holiday bus schedules...

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

And Now Grandpa Simpson Makes Complete And Utter Sense

My day this past Saturday:

12:30 p.m.: Wake up (went to sleep on Friday around 11:45 p.m.), go to YMCA for a workout
2:00: Go to grocery store to stock up snack bar for the football game
2:30: Talk to my brother on the phone about the football game
3:00: Listen to, then watch, Sioux lose Division II championship football game
6:00: Talk to my brother on the phone about the football game
6:30: Eat supper
7:05: Fall asleep on futon during A Charlie Brown Christmas
10:45: Get off futon, tumble into bed, wake up on Sunday around 11:30 a.m.

Monday, December 15, 2003

Apparently Dry Hands Had Something To Do With Yesterday's Vikings Loss

I just turned on KFAN and heard Greg Coleman talk and talk about the importance to a punter of keeping your hands moist. All the cliches about sports talk radio are true. Please, someone come up with a smartass remark on this - I haven't had my morning coffee yet.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Sweet Home Alabama

The University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux football team has advanced to the Division II national championship game in Florence, Alabama this coming Saturday. (Unlike corrupt Division I; Divisions I-AA, II, and II all have playoffs - what a concept!) The Sioux will be playing the Grand Valley State Lakers, defending national champions and the team that the Sioux beat for the title in a classic championship game in 2001.

It should be a fun one as Division II games are a blast. Last week in the semis, the Sioux successfully faked both a field goal (for a touchdown) and a punt in the fourth quarter. A few years back, Northern Colorado successfully faked two punts on the way to a championship game win. You can check out the title game on ESPN at 3:00 central time on Saturday, December 13th. Internet radio broadcast featuring my guy Eddie Schultz is also available.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Coming Down The Mountain

Football was to Bo Jackson as blogging is to yours truly. Exiled on Main Street #37 is now posted. Essays about Sam Phillips, Lester Bangs, and ... (surprise, surprise) Bill Tuomala. Find out why free beer isn't always free.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Listen Here, Pilgrim

Do everyone a favor tomorrow. Call it "Thanksgiving." It's a pretty neat holiday and it has a nice, decent name. Don't diminish it by calling it "Turkey Day." Thank you.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Because I Had Only Heard Of, And Had Not Seen, The Bowery Boys

Speaking of Cheap Trick and websurfing, something I read years ago in The Rolling Stone Record Guide (the red one, not the blue one - a book I flipped through and studied voraciously as a youth) now makes sense thanks to the fun I have with google image search. Dave Marsh - who praises Cheap Trick to the skies and gives At Budokan five stars - wrote: "Rick Nielsen was a ringer for Huntz Hall of the Bowery Boys."

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Two Minutes Of Joyful Surfing

I was curious about a song by Cheap Trick on Heaven Tonight title "California Man." The album said it was written by R. Wood, but I couldn't find the Ron Wood album it was on, so I went to AMG and found out it was instead written by Roy Wood of the Move. Then by further clicking I saw that a version of it by a band called the Hellbenders appeared on awesomely-named collection "Straight from the Gutter and into Your Panties." I'd never heard of this collection or any of the bands, but was intrigued by the band named New Wave Hookers (Ginger Lynn starred in the flick New Wave Hookers, today's research for a secret project led me to find out that Nikki Dial appeared in New Wave Hookers 3.) Turns out the New Wave Hookers have only released one EP, in 1998, and the cover is a nod to the cover of the New York Dolls first album, though I couldn't tell if the Hookers dude had a can of Schlitz like the Dolls did.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Send It To 4-6 Notre Dame, Who Might Be Gullible Enough To Hire Someone Just Because His Name Is "George O'Leary"
Hey Vikings Defense: Have Another!

The sad part about the recent collapse of the Minnesota Vikings' defense is that defensive coordinator George O'Leary is going to have to once again lie on his resume in order to get another coaching job.

Monday, November 17, 2003

This Ain't No Place To Jones

Rush Limbaugh returns to the airwaves today. While many liberals laughed at Rush's addiction, I instead laughed at all of his fans. But I would now like to take this opportunity to say a big howdy-do to all of you Limbaugh fans who have unfailingly waited on everything a drug addict had to say. I mean, for me, it's like "Welcome to the club!"

Over the years, I've loved the words, works, and performances of addicts and drunks such as: Keith Richards, Guns 'n Roses, Kurt Cobain, Paul Westerberg, Ray Charles, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Lester Bangs, David Letterman, Lemmy Kilminster, Ron Wood, James Hetfield, Robert Downey Jr., Jerry Lee Lewis, and many many more.

The recommended song today for all the Limbaugh lovers (past and present) is Paul Westerberg's "Hillbilly Junk." Enjoy the return of your hero.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

File These Under "February 14th"

Hats off to Paul Westerberg, who has written two of my most-favorite romantic lines ever, the second of these is on the new Grandpaboy album:

If you were a pill, I'd take a handful at my will
- "Valentine"

Honey, c'mon let me drink your spit
- "Get A Move On"

The only thing that remotely compares to these was a personal ad in City Pages last year that said the gal (Geez! Why didn't I call?!) loved Jagermeister and contained the line "let's black out together."

Saturday, November 15, 2003

This Is My Body, Given For You To Drop In My Blood

I don't have Showtime, so I won't find out whether the following anecdote (related by Michael Deaver in his book Behind the Scenes; I read it in Joan Didion's essay "In the Realm of the Fisher King", collected in her book After Henry) is included in "The Reagans" miniseries...

During the 1980 campaign, the Reagans attended a church service at an Episcopalian church in Virginia. Deaver didn't know that the service would be having holy communion, a ritual he describes as being "very foreign" to the couple. Communion goes as such:

Deaver assures Mrs. Reagan that it will be acceptable to just dip the wafer in the chalice. Mrs. Reagan chances this, but manages somehow to drop the wafer in the wine. Ronald Reagan is too deaf to hear Deaver's whispered instructions, and has been instructed by his wife to "do exactly as I do". He, too, drops the wafer in the wine, where it is left to float next to Mrs. Reagan's. "Nancy was relieved to leave the church," Deaver reports. "The president was chipper as he stepped into the sunlight, satisfied that the service had gone quite well."

So what tickles your funny bone more? That Reagan didn't know how a basic Christian sacrament works? Or the irony of all those Charlie Church conservatives supporting him?

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Dollar Bill

A portrait of yours truly (at my day job) by renowned Minneapolis artist Chank Diesel. Secured by Steve "Fists of Fury" Jockisch of the Spunk Studio. Soon to be above my mantle. I am surrounded by greatness.

Friday, October 31, 2003

Please Don't Be Waiting For Me

I'm off this blog and computers for ten days or so. If you get bored, you could:

1) Make a list - what are the Top Five Rock 'n' Roll Cities of All Time? I come up with Detroit and Memphis tied for first, then get lazy and put my pen down.

2) Figure out the lyrics to Paul Westerberg's "Knockin' Em Back" and email them to me.

3) Read a book. I know I will.

Enjoy the break.

Monday, October 27, 2003

Fast Eddie

You'd think I'd be excited that someone from MTV emailed me earlier today (I wasn't exactly the guy they were looking for anyway), but really I'm more thrilled about recently receiving two emails from folks who are under the impression that I am able to pass them on to Ed Schultz.

Did I hear you say that you wanted another Eddie Schultz story? Okay. Last January, the KFAN radio network has him fill in on a Friday show for my fave Dan "The Common Man" Cole. Eddie is doing the show from his studio up in Fargo, that night the North Dakota Fighting Sioux hockey team starts a two-game series against the Minnesota Gophers in Minneapolis. People are calling in to talk about the hockey game, Eddie is assuring everyone that the #1-ranked Sioux are going to hand it to the hated Gophers and sweep 'em. He also keeps plugging his second-hour interview with Sioux coach Dean Blais, makes some oh-Dean-is-an-old-buddy type of remark about how Deano loves to fish in the offseason.

It gets to be close for the time of the Blais interview. Suddenly, Eddie finds out that Blais has cancelled the interview - there's some coaching duties he needs to attend to. Eddie goes ballistic, says that he is now officially cheering for the Gophers, and repeatedly calls the Sioux coach "Bush League Blais." He is freakin' PISSED.

And I'm sitting at my kitchen table laughing and damn near crying. Mad Dog Eddie does it again.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

$183 Million Just Can't Buy What It Used To
A Frontrunner Shoots His Mouth Off

Alright! The Yankees got knocked off in six games! I caught the last four innings of the game last night and Josh Beckett had one hell of a gutsy performance. Good job Marlins.

As for the Yankees ... three years in a row of their not winning it all is sweet for us Yankee haters. In 2001 it was to an expansion team, in 2002 it was to a one-season wonder, and in 2003 it was after giving up a 2-1 lead and then losing at home in a sixth game to an expansion team who may turn out to be a one-season wonder. Bye-bye Yanks: we'll enjoy our winter of constantly-mentally-replayed sweet memories like Zimmer getting dumped and of Jeter's Game Six throwing error.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Grin And Bear It
Stay Away From My Schlitz

I went to the dentist yesterday to have a cavity filled. Before the procedure, the dental assistant asked if I wanted a "white or silver filling." I replied "I don't know." Hey - I'm dentally uninformed and haven't had a filling in over ten years. Turns out you can get white fillings that aren't as readily visible as the silver ones. I went for the silver filling because: 1) it would match all the rest of the ones in my mouth, and 2) it was seventy bucks cheaper.

The assistant said that many people prefer the white ones for aesthetic reasons and that some people have had their old silver fillings replaced with white ones. (After all, my dental clinic is located in Minnetonka.) Which led me to believe that in ten or twenty years, hipster kids will be going to dentists in droves to have their white fillings replaced with silver ones because it's "retro."

So like Chuck Taylors and Pabst Blue Ribbon, the hipster kids will be embracing something that I have enjoyed continuously and unironically for decades. (Okay, I don't exactly enjoy my fillings - but you know what I mean.) It makes me want to shove all my old mesh hats down their throats!

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

St. Louis Park Bigot Refuses To Celebrate The Wonderful Contributions Of Diversity And Multiculturalism

A City Pages letter-writer describes my neighborhood, he does not have on rose-colored glasses:

East Lake Street has turned into a third-world slum. The whole neighborhood from Lyndale to well past 35W is filthy, with garbage on the street, drug dealing, gangs, check-cashing and liquor stores, and thousands of illegal aliens, mostly Mexicans.

So there you have it - if you come over to my place to hang out, you can claim you are "slummin' with Billy T." But where are all those liquor stores?

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Thirsty and Miserable

Last night after the movie we stopped at Mollly Quinn's for a drink. Sad to say, the place will be closing for wait October 31st.

Oh, wait. I'm not sad about it. Not sad at all. Last night's experience was typical of my time spent at Molly Quinn's: frustrating, lazy-to-nonexistent service and a beer selection that's a joke. Good riddance Quinn's - I won't miss ya!

Monday, October 20, 2003

Eerily Reminiscent Of My Elevator Ride With Prince

Earlier tonight at the Riverview Theater I checked out Come Feel Me Tremble, the absorbing new documentary on Paul Westerberg. At one point, Westerberg let on that he and Kurt Cobain once shared an elevator and exchanged nary a word. I believe the exchange between interviewer and Paul went something like this:

Interviewer: "Really? You'd think he'd be dying to talk to you."
Westerberg: "He was dyin' to be dyin'. I was dyin' to be somewhere else."

Saturday, October 18, 2003

Or In Other Words: Awopbopaloobopalopbamboom

"It's one thing to demand technical excellence if you're Duke Ellington or Charles Mingus ... but I get so tired of repeating to bigoted jackasses year after year it has nothing whatsoever to do with rock 'n' roll ... Everybody, damn near, who's worth a shit gets subjected to this sooner or later (if they're lucky it's sooner and folks wise up later, or later, or later yet.) It happened to Bird, Ornette, Coltrane, Miles, Cecil Taylor, Bob Dylan, Phil Spector, Jim Morrison, the Velvet Underground, the Stooges, the Dolls, the Ramones, the Sex Pistols, the Clash, Richard Hell and the Voidoids, Television, Patti Smith Group, Suicide, MC5 and the Faces in my lifetime."
- Lester Bangs, from untitled notes (collected in Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung)

"(Matthew Johnson, head of Fat Possum Records) seems be looking for the anti-Whitmanesque strain of the American voice - the naysayers, the verbal bomb throwers, the primal screamers. His heroes are the anti-heroes: Jerry Lee Lewis, Ike Turner, Keith Richards, Axl Rose, Cobain, Eminem, plus the blue-collar heroes Lynyrd Skynyrd and Kid Rock. Genre be damned - in his mind, these are the true descendants of the lonely, libidinous, and eternally damned Robert Johnson."
- Jay McInerney, from White Man at the Door (collected in the Da Capo book)

Friday, October 17, 2003

Oh, Inverted Gates Of Dawn

It's fun when all these years of listening starts circling back on itself. In high school, I was a big Pink Floyd fan - digging their seventies platinum albums with that Hipgnosis artwork. I didn't delve into early Floyd, furthest back I went was Ummagumma. Yesterday morning I heard a Syd Barrett tune on Radio K. I know Barrett as the original leader of Pink Floyd but hadn't paid attention to any of his songs before. This morning while at an accounting client's, he played Pink Floyd's first album with most of the tunes written by Barrett.

So tonight I listen to recent rotation-fave the Shins and say: "Holy Floyd, Batman!"

Thursday, October 16, 2003

American By Birth, North Dakotan By The Grace Of God

The guys over at Fraters Libertas are shooting their mouths off about invading good ol' North Dakota. (Okay actually, one guy over at Fraters - the Elder - wrote about shutting down the border and/or redrawing some borders, and a reader of theirs wrote about invading ND; but I'd hate to let the facts get in the way of halfway-solid intro to this post.) I think the cause of the beef with the Peace Garden State has something to do with an alleged chapter of the Fifth Column that is made up of NoDak ex-pats and operating here in the Twin Cities. I can't say whether I'm a member of this group or even whether it exists, but I can say I know who I proudly would have voted for in the cabal cell-leader election.

But as to this pending invasion of North Dakota by Minnesota - the Fraters instigators of this plot are pretty much already congratulating themselves for occupying their neighbor to the west. I would just like to point out three very-likely scenarios in which their plans fail:

1) Don't forget 1939: The Minnesota invasion could echo the USSR's invasion of Finland in '39. The Soviets expected to overrun heavily-outmanned Finland in twelve days. They ended up staying (and winning in) four-plus months. That doesn't sound too bad - but problem was, they invaded in November and weren't expecting to have to fight a winter war against an opponent that thrived in the bitter cold. The Soviets suffered 400,000 casualties during their invasion. The Minnesotans may invade soon and suffer a similar fate - Lord knows Twin Cities natives (who are convinced TC winters are tough, what a freakin' joke!) wouldn't last long in a North Dakota winter.

On a related note - I recently read The Winter War by Eloise Engle and Lauri Paananen and noticed how the Soviets invaded Finland to "liberate" it from capitalism. Minnesota would likely similarly invade North Dakota to "liberate" it from socialism; after all, the web sites for its state bank and state mill virtually brag about them being unique state-owned institutions in the USA.

2) The spirit of '67: North Dakota has two Air Force bases. What if they were to pull a preemptive air strike ala Israel in 1967? What with all the saber-rattling and troops massing on the east side of the Red River, they might just do it. Minnesota has no air force to speak of. You could argue that they could quickly move to armament their air fleet, but they would run into two major delays: a) NWA would hold out until they got state bail-out money, and b) To put pilots into NWA's planes would require a sweep of Twin Cities airport-area bars that would take hours upon hours.

3) Grand Forks = Quagmire: The Fraters have already tallied Fargo to be on their side. That is fine. They can deal with all those Cow College fans obsessed with being a Division I power. The Fargoans soon will be boring you with how they want to play the Gophers in football (Glen Mason: "Yes!") and how they are "going to get a Division I hockey team and join the WCHA." So Minnesota will move its armies to the north in order to strike at Grand Forks. If the Fraters guys are in charge at the northern theater, it will be a slow doom. They'll get entrenched in their HQ at Whitey's in East Grand Forks on the MN side of the river, drinking reasonably-priced taps, plotting their invasion on cocktail napkins, and getting beer lazy. This scenario ends one of two ways: a) They end up trading down their weapons supply over a period of time for grinders from the Red Pepper, or b) They get busted after sneaking across the border and into a Sioux/Gophers game at North Dakota's crown jewel. (They'll lose control and blow their cover by cheering when the Gophers win at Engelstad like they always do.)

But I'm sure calmer head will prevail. Once the Minnesotans realize what a great deal they've been getting overall in NoDak imports, we'll all shake hands and smile over beers together. Give peace a chance, 'kay?

(Oh, and if I'm not posting to my blog or answering my emails, it's because I've cleared out of my Minneapolis abode as my homeland - or Pat Robertson - has decided to drop the big one on ya. Sweet dreams.)

Monday, October 13, 2003

A Consolation Prize For Yankee Haters

The Yankees are six victories away from clinching another World Series. All of us Yankee haters have one great memory of this season to hold onto: The sight of Pedro Martinez dumping Yankee mascot coach Don Zimmer on his ass. I just saw a replay on Fox that shows Zimmer making a beeline for Martinez, who was standing alone away from the melee. Many are outraged that Martinez would do this to a 72-year old, I say Zimmer's treatment was deserved AND hilarious.

Friday, October 10, 2003

God Says No

Traditionalists like Mel Gibson aren't the only Catholics being goofballs lately. The Vatican, in an apparent attempt to recreate its glory days of "Galileo Is A Heretic", unleashed two whoppers this week:

1) The president of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for the Family said that condoms don't stop AIDS.

2) The pope's right-hand man pooh-poohed his Church's systematic cover-up of molesting priests. Dude, you're lucky the RICO Act wasn't unleashed on your organization!

The sad part is that some of the folks who think they see Jesus' mom in random cloud formations and sandwich toppings will eat the above crap up.

Meanwhile, Pat Robertson's wishes to nuke our nation's capital are going ignored. Shouldn't we be sending this clown to Guantanamo?

But truly, isn't it chuckle-worthy to see that both Catholic and Protestant can be equally stoopid?

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Summer Summer Go Away

I'm playing the Jayhawks' Rainy Day Music in the hopes that it gets cloudy and the temperature drops twenty degrees or more. This week's weather (currently 77 and sunny) is complete and utter bullshit.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Talk About The Passion

A few weeks ago I first heard about the controversy surrounding Mel Gibson's movie The Passion. Sadly, the controversy isn't over the "Who's the Hotter Mary Magdalene: Barbara Hershey or Monica Bellucci?" question. See, Gibson is a Traditionalist Catholic, a member of the sect who rejects the reforms of Vatican II - reforms which include ecumenic ideas such as allowing other Christians into heaven and not condemning the Jews as cursed by the Lord. The movie is still in production, but has both: 1) been praised as being a literal accounting of the Gospels' telling of Jesus' last days, and 2) been accused of dusting off the hateful "the Jews killed Christ" canard.

There is an excellent story in the September 15th issue of The New Yorker about Gibson, his beliefs, and the history of his movie's controversy. Gibson sometimes comes across as merely goofy. He sounds like a KFAN talk-show host when discussing the theory that the four gospels weren't actually written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John: "John was an eyewitness. Matthew was there. And these other guys? Mark was Peter's guy, Peter's scribe. And Luke was Paul's guy. I mean, these are reliable sources. These are guys who were around."

But things get darker when talking about the Jews. Gibson talks about his father, who has said that Vatican II was a Masonic plot backed by the Jews: "He never denied the Holocaust; he just said there were fewer than six million." Gibson later unleashed this ugly thought: "Modern secular Judaism wants to blame the Holocaust on the Catholic Church. And it's a lie. And it's revisionism. And they've been working on that one for a while."

Mel doesn't even spare his wife: "There is no salvation for those outside the Church. I believe it. Put it this way. My wife is a saint. She's a much better person than I am. Honestly. She's, like, Episcopalian Church of England. She prays, she believes in God, she knows Jesus, she believes in that stuff. And it's just not fair if she doesn't make it, she's better than I am. But that is a pronouncement from the chair. I go with it."

That last bit reminds me of David Puddy encouraging Elaine to steal her neighbor's paper because "I'm not the one going to hell." The controversy over the The Passion will continue until and after the movie's release in April of 2004. We'll see if Mel Gibson gets any more unhinged between now and then.

Friday, October 03, 2003

What The Hell Is A Joe Mauer?
Who's The Cretin?

I now see why Mark Prior continues to be a source of fascination for certain members of the local sports media. Tonight in a masterful performance, he pitched a two-hit, one-run complete game to beat Greg Maddux and the Atlanta Braves in Game Three of their series. The Minnesota Twins, of course, could have drafted Mark Prior out of USC in 2001, but instead went for a cheap PR move and selected Joe Mauer, a St. Paul high school kid.

Super - instead of watching Prior outduel Roger Clemens in the Dome tomorrow, we get to hear heartwarming stories about a local boy doing well (in the minor leagues.) The whole thing reminds me of the dubious and similar PR-minded draft skills of the long-gone Minnesota North Stars.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Happy Tenth Birthday To The Gem Of The AM Dial

The best radio station in town, Radio K, has started its PowerSurge. Yours truly will be joining the Cosmic Slop show on Sunday, October 5th from 2 to 4 p.m. to talk about Radio K and spin some tunes. Even better, also joining the show will be:

Leslie Ball, curator of BALLS Cabaret
Ron "Boogiemonster" Gerber, host of KFAI's "Crap From The Past"
Marlee MacLeod, local musician
John Costello, longtime dedicated Cosmic Slop listener and caller

Slop hosts Chuck and Joel will be offering special premiums, including Cosmic Slop t-shirts (sweet!), CDs collecting their promos (cool!), and a special autographed photo of Joel going after Chuck's private parts with pruning shears (they might be pulling my leg here, but you never know...)

Radio K can be found at 770 AM or streamed online.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Damn Drunk Yankees?

Like I've said before: I'm a frontrunner. Part of which includes being a bandwagon jumper. I hadn't watched a Twins game all year ('cept three inning which happened to be on a TV at the CC Club one evening this past summer), but gladly jumped on the playoff bandwagon Tuesday morning about thirty minutes before the first pitch.

And now that the Twins have won Game One and because that victory was over the hated/dreaded Yankees ... I gotta unleash some trash talk.

Today's target: Bernie Williams. This is a center fielder? In the third, his girly throw to home wasn't even close to nailing a tagging Cristian Guzman. In the sixth, he dogs after a Torii Hunter line drive hit, and it gets by him. After the game, he said: "You win as a team and lose as a team."

Granted, the Yankees as a team did tend to play the field like they had tapped a keg of malt liquor before the game, but you can especially lose as a team when you have a defensive liability in center field.

Saturday, September 27, 2003

"I Really Love Your Peaches ..." (Oh Wait, Wrong Verse)

I've been faithfully reading my copy of the Da Capo book. A few nights ago, I read the piece by Greil Marcus about Walter Mosely and Los Angeles doo-wop of the fifties. Marcus clears up a mystery that has haunted me (and likely millions of classic rock fans) for decades: What in the world is that word Steve Miller sings in "The Joker"?

Marcus tells of an L.A. doo-wop band called the Medallions, whose lead singer was a 16-year old by the name of Vernon Green. In 1954, they had a song called "The Letter", which contained the words:

"And to kiss, and love--and then have to wait ... Oh! my darling. Let me whisper, sweet words of dismortality--and discuss the pompatus of love. Put it together, and what do you have? Matrimony!"

Vernon Green has been asked to explain what "pompatus" is (by none other than actor Jon Cryer, who made a movie titled Pompatus of Love), he has said it is "a secret paper-doll fantasy figure who would be my everything and bear my children." Marcus writes that the word is in the Oxford dictionary, it means: "to act with pomp and splendor." Marcus later links this to Miller:

Nearly 20 years later, in 1972, Steve Miller took the phrase pompatus of love and put it in his "Enter Maurice"; the next year he highlighted the weird phrase in his number one hit "The Joker."

Ah, yes. Homer Simpson couldn't have explained it any better himself.

Friday, September 26, 2003

Taunting Makes The World Go Round

Taunts to use before my upcoming ping-pong games:

"I'll beat you like a drum."
"I'll beat you like a rented mule."
"I'll drop you like a ton of bricks."
"I'll drop you like a Seinfeld-alumn TV show."
"I'll bury you like a bone."
"I'll topple you like a dictator we used to do business with."
"I'll sink you like a three-foot putt."
"I'll destroy you like my liver."
"I'll dump you like a needy girlfriend."

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Shameless Self-Promotion (Pt. 2)

- A list of all the contributors and included essays in the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2003 book. Yes, I'm batting leadoff - I draw walks, beat out infield hits, get on base, and am a terror on the basepaths. I make things happen.

- RockCritics Daily has links to many of the essays (9/21/03 entry.)

- A review from Publishers Weekly over at

- My guy Chuck Klosterman is in the book. My guess is North Dakota put more essays from its natives in this book per capita than any other state. But where are our Rough Rider Awards?

Monday, September 22, 2003

G.I. Blues

I'm worried about Beetle Bailey lately. Not the actual man, mind you. He'll continue to gleefully slack away (while somehow avoiding that whole Iraq thing) until he gets his honorable discharge. But as for the actual comic strip that bears his name, well ...

They've added a computer whiz character, which makes for sub-Dilbert plots about those wacky computers. There's been a heavy reliance on the dog Otto, the comedic effect of which are the equivalent of baby Trixie's "sunbeam" scenarios in Hi & Lois. (In case you didn't know, Beetle is Lois's brother.) And I think Beetle is dating the ultrahotttttt Miss Buxley, which makes no sense at all.

I just want to see General Halftrack drunk or Sarge beating Beetle to a pulp. Is that too much to ask?

Sunday, September 21, 2003

"I Am Full Of Sports News And Judgmental Opinions Today"

It's been a couple of years since I have checked in with Hunter S. Thompson's "Hey Rube" column at ESPN's website, but I sure am glad I did. In his latest column, after touching on the hoax of boxing, Jake Plummer and Mike Shanahan, Bush's slippage, Clark's rise, and comparing occupying Iraq to the Philadelphia Eagles (I think); he signs off with this poignant note:

I am widely known as a pure-bred, natural-born patriot and a lover of what this country used to stand for. The Statue of Liberty wasn't out there for nothing. Beware of War Mongers. They don't give a hoot in hell if you live or die. They are in this racket strictly for themselves. Mahalo.

In other columns he takes the president to task, repeatedly. It's as sweet as his rips at Hubert Humphrey in "Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72." Give 'em hell, Doc.

Saturday, September 20, 2003

Da Capo Best Music Writing 2003

"Best Band in the Land" from Exiled on Main Street #27 will be included in the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2003 anthology.

Da Capo Press describes the book as: "The fourth and latest volume in the acclaimed series that you've come to rely on for your music-writing fix. This year's selection was handpicked by Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons and himself a recovering rock critic. Culled from over a hundred sources, Da Capo Best Music Writing 2003 features remarkable essays by critics, musicians, novelists, and journalists who are as serious about writing as they are about music. It's required reading for anyone who loves either art."

Past contributors have included Lester Bangs, Nick Cohn, Jim DeRogatis, Steve Erickson, Lenny Kaye, Greil Marcus, Dave Marsh, The Onion, Metal Mike Saunders, Kate Sullivan, Nick Tosches, Sarah Vowell, and Jim Walsh.

The book will be in stores the second week of October, 2003. Look for it at your favorite local or online bookstore.

Friday, September 19, 2003

An Observation Or Remark Expressing An Opinion Or Attitude

In an effort to do even more with less on this blog (notice how my posts have gotten shorter and shorter over the past few weeks? I'm saving my "A" material for the long talks I have with myself while staring at the walls), I have added a link below these blurbs where you can add comments. If you're not sure what to say, examples of soon-to-be typical comments would include:

"Why are you so negative?"

"I'm in a band called the so-and-so's. We are playing at so-and-so on
so-and-so night. You should check us out!"

"When's the next
Exiled coming out? How come you don't write as much as you used to?"

"Golden Gophers!! BACK TO BACK BABY!!!"

"Liberals like you should go live in Syria."

Exiled #27 you said Nirvana was metal. Nirvana was never metal, they were PUNK ROCK. Thankfully them and the Pixies destroyed all the moronic sexist heavy metal bands you hold dear!"

So feel free to comment. I'll feel free to read 'em.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Note To Billionaires: Buy It With Your Tax Cut! Get This Economy Going!

The next time the Vikings or Twins owners come around asking you for your hard-earned money to build them a stadium, take a hard look at the Forbes list of 400 richest Americans.

Lessee, at #88 we have Carl Pohlad with a net worth of $2.1 billion. Sure makes it tough for Sid Hartman to pull on the heartstrings when he brings up the sob story of Pohlad losing $15 million dollars per season.

Then at #224 we see Red McCombs (real name "Billy Joe" - I kid you not!), who has a net worth of $1.1 billion. This guy is a real piece of work. He bought the team five years ago and almost immediately began scheming to get a new stadium. (Insert used-car-salesman joke here.) But hats off to Red as he has restored "Purple Pride." Under his ownership, the Vikings have both choked and been destroyed in NFC title games. That is only one step away from their seventies glories of choking and being destroyed in Super Bowls. Alright, Billy Joe!

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

The Joy Of New Music

In the latest City Pages, Jim Walsh quotes yours truly on local rockers Bridge Club. The band also finished #7 in the CP Picked to Click poll. I've always been a frontrunner.

Monday, September 15, 2003

We Coulda Waited Another 40 Years, Really

But at least she can't break up the Beatles again.

Saturday, September 13, 2003

This Will Go Ignored Until Green Death Becomes The Next Hipster/Retro Beer

Sam Adams is ripping off Special Export's old slogan in their latest commercial.

Sam Adams: "You can go around the world and not find a better beer than Sam Adams."

Special Export: "You can travel the world over and never find a better beer."

Friday, September 12, 2003

"I Can't Forget The Day I Shot That Bad Bitch Down"

Early one morning while making the rounds
I took a shot a cocaine and I shot my woman down
I went right home and I went to bed
I stuck that lovin' .44 beneath my bed

- "Cocaine Blues"

RIP, Johhny Cash.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

I'm Just Trying To Do This Jigsaw Puzzle Before It Rains Any More

I'm trying to write a "real" essay and am getting convinced that between these blog blurbs and the minimalism of Exiled issues #34, #35, and #36, I got rusty on trying to write anything of meaning that is over 500 (not to mention 200) words.

The solution: Discipline? Coffee? Combined with loud rock 'n' roll while I spend hour upon hour at my writing table? Nah, bra. Simply write a bunch of tiny little sentences and paragraphs and try to fit 'em together into something bigger. It's like a jigsaw puzzle and I'm shoving those pieces together whether they want to fit or not.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

His Aim Was True

I recently finished reading the new Lester Bangs collection, Mainlines, Blood Feasts, and Bad Taste. In "Every Song A Hooker", Lester takes aim at a certain critically-adored songwriter. (I'll take Warren Zevon over this artist any day of the year):

He pulls out his copy of Elvis Costello's Armed Forces and slaps it on the turntable: "Now here's an example where every song has hooks all over the place."

I listened. Still sounded like some limey gettin' an F in Bruce Springsteen class and throwing a widely inflated snit about it, sounding like Springsteen sounding like a real bad but slicked-up imitation of the Band, with maybe some Gary Lewis and the Playboys thrown in,

Monday, September 08, 2003

Warren Zevon

Sad news about Warren Zevon. I saw him at First Avenue a couple of times in the nineties - he was a joy. I only have a couple of his albums, but in tunes like "Lawyers, Guns and Money", "Detox Mansion", "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner", "Boom Boom Mancini", "Excitable Boy", and "Werewolves of London" he showed an intelligence, wit, and - most importantly - dark humor that made his songs tough, funny, and timeless.

I just heard "Werewolves" on Radio K, it got me out of me chair and onto the living-room dance floor. I couldn'r resist doing the Tom Cruise smooth-back-the-hair move from The Color of Money during the "his hair was perfect" line. RIP, Warren.

Saturday, September 06, 2003

Why Waste Time Looking At The Waistline?

In Wednesday's Strib:

"Contrary to prior research and to our prediction, the most popular ad was one in which the woman described herself as 'financially independent ... successful and ambitious,' producing over 50 percent more responses than the next most popular ad, the one in which the woman described herself as 'lovely ... very attractive and slim,'" the study says.

The Contours in 1965:

Some fellows look at the eyes
Some fellows look at the nose
Some fellows look at the size
Some fellows look at the clothes
I don't care if her eyes are red
I don't care if her nose is long
I don't care if she's underfed
I don't care if her clothes are wrong
First I look at the purse

Friday, September 05, 2003

Someday Never Comes

Hey it's the sixth annual "Randy Moss Vows To Grow Up" article! Good laughs! But it will only be weeks or days until Moss throws some sort of temper tantrum or pulls some pampered-baby behavior. One recalls last year after his arrest when he returned to practice and pouted because Mike Tice yelled at him. Moss said that all he had wanted was a hug. What a sap!

And of course, he'll probably still be too chickenshit to go for a ball thrown over the middle.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Two Things More Exciting Than The Actual Games

The NFL regular season is upon us, which means two big things over here at 3400 Harriet:

1) My fantasy football team, The Moe Greens, starts its third season of play. Will they be like the 2001 Greens, have a respectable season, and then get hot in the playoffs and win the championship? (Seemingly providing the blueprint for the 2002 University of Minnesota hockey team ...) Or will they be like the 2002 Greens, stumble uninspiringly through the season, and not make the championship bracket of the playoffs? (Seemingly providing the blueprint for the Bush admininstration's handling of the economy ...)

2) Jeff Johnson (no, not him - the other one!) starts his fifth season of mind-blowing pigskin picks. Check these weekly to: a) make money off your bookie, and b) smile big-time.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

You Upset Me With Your Wicked Little Smile

Last night I bought a gift card for my Mom for her birthday at one of those huge chain bookstores. The gal who sold it to me was young, brown hair, brown eyes, adorable. I kept my cool, but when confronted with big brown eyes, something is eventually gonna go wrong. The cutie handed me a pen and asked if I wanted to write the greeting on the gift card then and there. I calmly said no thanks (shoulda been smooth and said "this is for my Mom, I need some time to think of something nice"), but then caught a glimpse of her nametag and suddenly my fingers wouldn't work and I could barely handle the pen to sign the credit card receipt.

See, her name was Nicole and all I could think of was that Point Blank song. (Heh heh featured on their American Exce$$ album.) I escaped the store with my dignity (barely) intact.

Earlier in the evening at a used-book store I looked for Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy, which I read in ninth grade but wanted to check out again after a recommendation by my literary rival good friend Ari McKee. I somehow scored a used copy in pristine condition (complete with a box to keep 'em in) for $2.64. I was stunned at this pricing (they originally sold for $1.75 each) as something similar was listed for ten bucks on ebay last week. Then I realized the name of store was (duh) Half Price Books.

Monday, September 01, 2003

Workingmen Of All Countries Unite

Happy Labor Day and be thankful that there isn't a Management Day. (If there were, you wouldn't get the day off, but the powers that be would send you a memo reminding you that you are a valuable empowered member of the team.)

So Happy Labor Day! Tomorrow, return to work and secretly stick it to The Man!

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Over/Under On Last Carding: Age 42

I got carded last night at Cuzzy's by a waitress at least ten years my junior. I turned 38 earlier this month. In your face, aging process.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Bill's Eye For The Straight Guy

Damn the latest Tom the Dancing Bug sure hits close to home. It's like Ruben Bolling has studied my life.

1) Grooming: I go to the corner barber shop. Fifteen bucks (including tip) for a short back 'n sides.

2) Design: A green futon from a friend's basement and an entertainment center rescued from a dumpster.

3) Food and Wine: Wendy's or brats on the George Foreman Indoor Grill. I do get fancy with popcorn cooked on the stovetop though.

4) Fashion: Teeshirt with some logo or something on it. Shorts from Target or jeans from Kohl's.

5) Culture: Friday nights are typically college hockey on TV, online poker (for fake money), and some metal on headphones. In a twist on the comic, I spend Saturday night answering angry emails from zine readers!

Update 8/27: Today I went for a haircut and my barber Dan said that "30 to 40 percent" of his clientele is gay. This isn't surprising as your neighborhood barber shop will typically give a guy as good as a haircut as any salon - and for much less money. I should have caught this earlier.

Monday, August 25, 2003

"Quality, Schmality"

This Internet thing isn't all it's cracked up to be. The Silver Surfer has yet to turn up a video of that great Jeff Altman / Valvoline commercial from the summer of 1988.

Would you just get the Valvoline like I told you?? Or I'll sink you like a three-foot putt.

Sunday, August 24, 2003

Yeah But Which One Is The Guy Named “Led”?

Last night I drank beer and watched disc one of the new Led Zeppelin DVD. I’ve never seen The Song Remains the Same, so this was my first exposure to Zep onstage.

Jimmy Page was the one I couldn’t keep my eyes off of – he looked more like a mid-eighties college rock cult figure than a prototypical hard-rock guitar hero: white sneakers, non-faded straight-leg Levi’s, shiny belt buckle, long-sleeved oxford shirt, and sleeveless diamond-shapes cardigan sweater. Plus he did these little Chuck Berry-ish dances (followed by genuine toe-tapping) while playing. Very charming.

Zep as a whole took some getting used to. Almost all the songs were way too long, though when Page broke out the violin bow (ha! I forgot about that one!) I couldn’t help but laugh and smile and nod, thinking: blessed excess. Such excess comes back to haunt ya though. The next tune was “White Summer” which featured Page sitting on a chair making cool-sounding Middle Eastern noises on an electric guitar. Damn that dude played fast. Unfortunately this tune went on forever, but because I have endured Ravi Shankar in Monterey Pop I was able to tough it out.

“Whole Lotta Love” sounded much better than I thought it would; partly because I was reminded as to how as a kid hearing this tune on AM radio I thought the first line was “You need Kool-Aid…”, partly because during the “freakout” part Robert Plant kinda sounded like the freakout part in “Surfin’ Bird.”

The encore was cool as it featured the shortest, most intense songs, including Eddie Cochran’s “C’mon Everybody” and “Something Else.” Hmmm, the early days of rock ‘n’ roll?? … this sent me scrambling, rifling through my collection. Check it out:

1969: The Jeff Beck Group covers Elvis Presley’s “All Shook Up” and “Jailhouse Rock” on Beck-Ola.

1970: Rod Stewart (former Beck Group frontman) covers Eddie Cochran’s “Cut Across Shorty” on Gasoline Alley. Zep covers said Eddie Cochran tunes in concert.

1971: Stewart covers Elvis breakthrough song “That’s All Right” on Every Picture Tells A Story. Zep does “Rock and Roll” on their untitled fourth album, the beat is a direct lift from Little Richard’s “Keep A-Knockin’.”

Then I pulled out my Rod Stewart biography by Paul Nelson and Lester Bangs (out-of-print, but laugh-out-loud hilarious thanks to Lester’s put-ons and asides … look for it on ebay) and found an excerpt from a Stewart interview in the January 1972 issue of Creem:

“We (Beck Group) did a gig in New York City … the stage was full of people including Bonham, Page, Beck, me and Planty, and the guy who used to play bass with Jethro Tull. We were doing ‘Jailhouse Rock’ …”

So there you have it: two supergroups founded by ex-Yardbirds Guitar Gods, one of these bands features a soon-to-be solo superstar singer. And what do all these hepcats have in common? They all secretly wanted to be in Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

It's Shut-Down-The-State Time

I've never been to the State Fair and have no intentions of going this year. If anyone asks why, I'll simply point them to this outstanding piece over at Fraters Libertas - it confirms every doubt and suspicion I have about the overhyped event. The Elder riffs away with the best shots at the Fair since the 2001 quote of KFAN's Dan "The Common Man" Cole. When asked what his favorite memory of the Fair was, Common said: "When I saw it in my rearview mirror while driving away."

Burn Baby Burn
Yes Virginia, Radiohead Is There Too

Nothing like drinking my morning coffee and figuring out what hell looks like.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

"The Swish"

Check out the new tune by The Hold Steady. The title reminds me of all those handy hard-boiled terms I've learned from reading James Ellroy.

Local Boy Makes Good

I hate kids, but this guy is my new hero.

Friday, August 08, 2003

Are You Gonna Be There (At The Love-In)?

I'm on vacation until August 18th and my mind is already on beer, books, and crappies. (Damn! I should fish for bass just for the alliteration!) Thankfully, Jim Walsh sent me something which I can post here. (An aside: He once gave me what may be the best writing advice I have ever heard: "Just try to impress yourself.") Take it away, Jim:

An E-Proposal From Me to You
By Jim Walsh

I am standing in the northwest corner of Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis, in front of a silver monument that looks like a heart, a broken heart really, and I am thinking about how wrong the world has gone, how Minnesota Mean it all feels. I’m thinking about how much everyone I know misses the man I’ve come to visit, how sick I am of sitting around waiting for change, and about what might happen if I ask you to do something, which is what I’ll do in a minute.

Like most Minnesotans, I met Paul Wellstone once. It was at the Loring Playhouse after the opening night of a friend’s play. He and Sheila were there, offering encouragement to the show’s director, Casey Stangl, and quietly validating the post-production festivities with his presence: The Junior Senator from Minnesota and his wife are here; we must be doing something right.

The year before (1990), I’d written a column for City Pages encouraging all local musicians and local music fans to go vote for this mad professor the following Tuesday. He won, and, as many have said since, for the first time in my life I felt like we were part of something that had roots in Stuff The Suits Don’t Give A Shit About. That is, we felt like we had a voice, like were getting somewhere, or like Janeane Garofalo’s villain-whupping character in “Mystery Men,” who memorably proclaimed, “I would like to dedicate my victory to the supporters of local music and those who seek out independent films.”

After the election, Wellstone’s aide Bill Hillsman told me he believed my column had reached a segment of the voting populace that they were having trouble reaching, and that it may have helped put him over the top. I put aside my bullshit detector for the moment and chose to believe him, just as I choose at this moment to believe that music and the written word can still help change the world.

When I introduced myself to Wellstone that night as “Jim Walsh from City Pages,” he broke into that sexy gap-toothed grin, clasped my hand and forearm and said, with a warm laugh, “Jiiiiim,” like we were a couple of thieves getting together for the first time since the big haul. I can still feel his hand squeezing my forearm. I can still feel his fighter’s strength.

For those of you who never had the pleasure, that is what Paul Wellstone was--a fighter—despite the fact that the first president Bush said upon their first encounter, “who is this chickenshit?” He fought corporate America, the FCC, injustice, his own government. He fought for the voiceless, the homeless, the poor, the little guy—in this country and beyond. He was a politician but not a robot; an idealist, but not a sap, and if his legacy has already morphed into myth, it’s because there were/are so few like him. He was passionate, and compassionate. He had a huge heart, a rigorous mind, a steely soul and conscience, and now he is dead and buried in a plot that looks out over the joggers, bikers, rollerbladers, and motorists who parade around Lake Calhoun daily.

Paul and Sheila Wellstone and six others, including their daughter Marcia, were killed in a plane crash on October 25, 2002. I remember where I was that day, just as you do, and I don’t want to forget it, but what I want to remember even more is October 25, 2003. So here’s what we’re going to do.

We’re going to start something right here, right now, and we’re going to call it Paul and Sheila Wellstone World Music Day. It will happen on Saturday, Oct. 25th. On that day, every piece of music, from orchestras to shower singers, superstars to buskers, will be an expression of that loss and a celebration of that life. It will be one day, where music—which, to my way of thinking, is still the best way to fill in the gray areas that the blacks and whites of everyday life leave us with—rises up in all sorts of clubs, cars, concerts, and living rooms, all in the name of peace and love and joy and all that good stuff that gets snickered at by Them.

Now. This is no corporate flim-flam or media boondoggle. This is me talking to you, and you and I deciding to do something about the place we live in when it feels like all the exits are blocked. So: First of all, clip or forward this to anyone you know who still cares about grass roots, community, music, reading, writing, love, the world, and how the world sees America. If you’ve got a blog or web site, post it.

If you’re a musician, book a gig now for Oct. 25th. Tell them you want it to be advertised as part of Paul and Sheila Wellstone World Music Day. If you’re a shower singer, lift your voice that day and tell yourself the same thing. If you’re a club owner, promoter, or scene fiend, put together a multi-act benefit for Wellstone Action!. If you’re a newspaper person, tell your readers. If you’re a radio person, tell your listeners. Everybody talk about what you remember about Wellstone, what he tried to do, what you plan to do for Wellstone World Music Day. Then tell me at the email address below, and I’ll write another column like this the week of Oct. 25th, with your and others’ comments and plans.

This isn’t exactly an original idea. Earlier this year, I sat in a room at Stanford University with Judea and Michelle Pearl, the father and daughter of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was kidnapped and murdered by members of a radical Islamic group in Pakistan in February of last year. After much talk about their son and brother’s life and murder, I asked them about Danny’s love of music. He was a big music fan, and an accomplished violinist who played with all sorts of bands all over the world. Unbeknownst to me at the time, Pearl was also a member of the Atlanta band the Ottoman Empire, and his fiddle levitates one of my all-time favorite Irish jigs, “This Is It,” which I found myself singing one night last fall in a Sonoma Valley bar with a bunch of journalists from Paraguay, Texas, Mexico, Jerusalem, Italy, and Korea.

The Pearls talked with amazement about the first Daniel Pearl World Music Day, the second of which happens this October 10th, which would have been Pearl’s 40th birthday. I told them about attending one of the first Daniel Pearl World Music Day activities at Stanford Memorial Church, where a lone violinist silently strolled away from her chamber group at the end, signaling to me and my gathered colleagues that we were to remember that moment and continue to ask questions, continue to push for the dialogue that their son and brother lived for. I vowed that day to tell anybody within earshot about Daniel Pearl World Music Day, and later figured he wouldn’t mind a similar elegy for Wellstone, who shared Pearl’s battle against hate and cynicism.

Wellstone didn’t lead any bands, but he led as musical a life as they come. He lived to bring people together, to mend fences: Music. When he died, musicians and artists were some of the most devastated, as Leslie Ball’s crest-fallen-but-somehow-still-beaming face on CSPAN from Williams Arena illustrated. Everyone from Mason Jennings to Larry Long wrote Wellstone tribute songs in the aftermath, and everyone had a story, including the one Wendy Lewis told me about the genuine exuberance with which Wellstone once introduced her band, Rhea Valentine, to a crowd at the Lyn-Lake Festival. Imagine that, today.

So ignore this or do whatever you do when your “We Are The World” hackles go up. I’d be disappointed, and I suppose I wouldn’t blame you; in these times of terror alerts and media celebrity, I’m suspicious of everything, too. But I freely admit that the idea of a Wellstone World Music Day is selfish. That day was beyond dark, and to have another like it, a litany of hang-dog tributes and rehashes of The Partisan Speech and How It All Went Wrong, would be painful, not to mention disrespectful to everything those lives stood for and against.

No, I don’t want anyone telling me what to think or feel that day, or any day, anymore. I want music that day. I want to wake up hearing it, go to bed singing it. I want banners, church choirs, live feeds, hip-hop, headlines, punk rock, field reports, arias, laughter. I want to remember October 25, 2002 as the day the music died, and October 25, 2003 as the day when people who’ve spent their lives attending anti-war rallies and teaching kids and championing local music and independent films got together via the great big antennae of music and took another shot.

I am standing in the northwest corner of Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis. In front of the silver broken heart, three workers stab the fresh sod with shovels and fumble with a tape measurer. Flowers dot the dirt surrounding the statue base. I pick up a rock and put it in my pocket.

The sprinklers are on, hissing impatiently at the still-stunned-by-last-autumn citizens who work and hope and wait and watch beyond the cemetery gates. The sprinklers shoot horizontal water geysers this way and that. They are replenishing patches of grass that have been browned by the sun. They are telling every burned-out blade to keep growing, and trying to coax life out of death.

Jim Walsh is a Minneapolis-based writer. He can be reached at
Did He Mix Him Up With Chuck Noll?

It brought a chuckle to see this headline in the Star Tribune today: "Knox watches as Vikings' Tice mirrors his philosophy".

Ah, yes - Chuck Knox. The coach who my brother mocked through the seventies and early eighties as someone who couldn't win in the playoffs. Then a few years back, my brother started referring to the similarly playoff-challenged Dennis Green as "the new Chuck Knox." Green, of course, was Tice's predeccesor.

All kinds of role models for Tice to emulate: Lombardi, Shula, Walsh, Parcells ... hey chooses Chuck Knox. The laughs continue from the Purple.

Thursday, August 07, 2003

Mission One Of Vacation: Beers With The Mayor

When I was a little kid say thirty years ago or so, my parents and our neighbors would play volleyball on the back lawn during summer weekends. The games got pretty heated, even though the teams were makeshift. One Saturday, neighbor George sprained his ankle while playing and retreated to the sideline. His teammate, the Mayor, yelled at him: "Goddammit George! I don't care how much it hurts - you gotta play with pain!"

So George limped back into the game and proceeded to sprain his other ankle. He had to be taken to the emergency room.

When recently reminded of this story, the Mayor smiled softly and said: "He spent the rest of the summer on crutches."

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Mailing It In

My vacation starts in less than 48 hours and I'm mailing my performance in during all walks of life this week. (Though I am working hard at beer drinking and listening to Farther Along: The Best of The Flying Burrito Brothers.) Here's some neato quotes from cool books I've paged through lately:

"Over the last quarter-century, perhaps in response to the latent totalitarianism of the Left in the late Sixties, the Right transformed itself accordingly. It moved far beyond Reaganism, not to mention the libertarianism of Barry Goldwater. It still gave lip service to the principle of individual freedom unfettered by the power of centralized government, but it was difficult to remember when a contemporary conservative spokesman of significance energetically, heatedly championed the rights of the criminally accused, for instance, or an individual's freedom to express an unpopular, even arguably anti-American thought. In fact, it was difficult to remember when any significant conservative spokesman last championed any specific individual freedom other than freedom from taxes or the freedom to own a gun. Since the administration of Richard Nixon, the true priorities of the Right were not liberty but authority, not singularity but conformity."

- Steve Erickson in American Nomad (1997)

"For God's sake, don't let's become conformists - please. Just do your thing in your own way. Don't ever let fame and fortune or recognition or anything interfere with what you feel is here - if you feel you are a creative individual. Then don't let the companies get this going real good and buy up all the rights of the individual some way or the other. That's not right."

- Sam Phillips in Peter Guralnick's Lost Highway (1979)

Sunday, August 03, 2003

Wait - You Mean Those Hijackers Were Saudi and Not Iraqi?

You would hope that the Bush administration would come down hard on a corrupt monarchy that has ties to the terrorists behind the 9/11 attacks, but it isn't likely to happen. You would hope that the Bush administration would de-classify 28 pages of a report on 9/11, but it isn't likely to happen. From the Star Tribune:

Classified sections of Congress' Sept. 11 report lay out a web of connections among Saudi businessmen, royal family, charities and banks that may have aided Al-Qaida or the suicide hijackers, according to people who have seen the report.

Senators who have seen the report (including a significant Republican) say that the 18 minutes ... I mean 28 pages should be seen by the public:

On Friday, 46 Democratic senators asked Bush to release the deleted material, asserting that the national security issues raised by Bush could be addressed by careful editing of sensitive passages. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., a former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, also has called for its release.

Meanwhile, City Pages has published the Bush administration's Top 40 Lies About War and Terrorism, and the New Yorker wonders why Osama bin Laden hasn't been captured or destroyed yet. But hey - I feel safer now that Iraq has been taught a lesson. It reminds me of when we ran to those nasty commies out of Grenada!

Saturday, August 02, 2003

And You Thought "Freedom Fries" Were Silly …

Seen earlier tonight in a men’s room at a local bar – an adult novelty sold in a vending machine. On a red white and blue background, the product is flashily described as the “French Freedom Tickler” and the hype continues as such:

• Tickle your lady and show her the real thing.
• Be patriotic!

Then the kicker, in the fine print near the bottom: Made in Korea. Which Korea? It did not say.

Friday, August 01, 2003

Sam Phillips, RIP

“I have never been conventional. I don’t know if that’s good, but it set me apart in the sense that I had a certain independence and individuality. And I knew one thing: believe and trust in what you’re doing or don’t do it. I just knew that this was great music. My greatest contribution, I think, was to open up an area of freedom within the artist himself, to help him to express what he believed his message to be.”
- Sam Phillips, 1978, speaking to Peter Guralnick in his book Lost Highway

Sam Phillips has passed away and anyone who loves rock ‘n’ roll needs to take a moment to thank him for everything he has given us. Part of the standard, skeletal obituary (like the AP one) reads as such:

Phillips founded Sun Records in Memphis in 1952 and helped launch the career of Presley, then a young singer who had moved from Tupelo, Miss. He also worked with B.B. King, Rufus Thomas, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Conway Twitty and Charlie Rich, among others.

I mentioned to a friend today that Sam Phillips had died, and he wasn’t quite sure who he was – he had him mixed up with Colonel Tom Parker. Sad, but maybe things like that happen because people my age and younger grew up in a world where we have always had rock ‘n’ roll. Yes, we love it to death, but we take it for granted that it exists, don’t remember that there was a time when it did not exist, and we easily overlook the original masters – Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, etc. – for the Deep Artists that followed in the sixties and the ensuing decades. Which leads to the baby boomer/KQRS conceit that significant rock ‘n’ roll didn’t start until the mid-sixties with the advent of the Beatles and all the Art they spawned. And if you believe such bullshit, you’re welcome to Abbey Road and all those other yawners. Just wake me when the real rock ‘n’ roll is back on the turntable.

The E! Online (who knew?) obit delves a bit more into the Phillips legacy – he wasn’t simply the man who discovered Elvis and launched the careers of other great rockabilly artists; he was one of the essential founding fathers of rock ‘n’ roll:

"He meant everything," said Howard Kramer, curatorial director of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, on Thursday. "Without Sam Phillips, the landscape of contemporary music would be completely different."

I was at a Finn gathering in north-central North Dakota two summers ago. We were in my uncle’s garage and it was open mike time. Various relatives and neighbors took turns playing songs. This went on for an hour or two, then suddenly my mom grabbed my dad and me and hustled us out the door and into the car. Why? Someone was strumming a guitar and playing “The Doggie In The Window.” As we drove, she explained how she had hated that song as a teen, how rock ‘n’ roll came along - into a world in which there was no rock 'n' roll (And God said "Let there be light" and there was light. - Genesis 1:3); - and the music was exciting, made the dances so much more fun, made “The Doggie In The Window” sound even more useless. Nearly forty years later and she still hated that song with a passion, nearly forty years later and she was still so thankful for the birth of rock ‘n’ roll.

This scenario had played out in her hometown and those surrounding little towns ten miles from the Canadian border in the middle of nowhere. Just imagine how rock ‘n’ roll exploded across the country, coast-to-coast in small towns and big cities. Sam Phillips was largely responsible for that; and he and his discoveries did it all from a little studio down in Memphis, Tennessee. In the words of Jerry Lee Lewis (lifted from Greil Marcus’s Mystery Train): “Sam’s crazy. Nutty as a fox squirrel. He’s just like me, he ain’t got no sense. Birds of a feather flock together. It took all of us to screw up the world. We’ve done it.”

Amen, Killer, amen. And have you heard the news? There’s good rockin’ tonight.

Thursday, July 31, 2003

Odds Are 3-1 He Wrote "Bring Them On ... Yours Truly, GWB"

It's been a week and I have yet to see any outcry from the various groups of flag worshipers about President Bush's disrespect for the American flag.

Then again, the flag worshipers have never made much sense to me. On one hand, they tend to be "God and country" folk, but they also go ahead and push for mandatory reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance in schools. And such a law seems to go against both the First Amendment and the First Commandment.

As for the president - my guess is that he was thinking that like a quarterback who signs footballs after games, he signs flags after public appearances. But he was still in violation of U.S. code.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

White Hats …

This afternoon I walked into Twin Town Guitars to do my annual purchasing of new strings for my acoustic guitar. From previous experience, I know that Twin Town is easily the friendliest, most non-threatening guitar store I've ever been in; but after years of being in guitar stores, the usual trepidation stuck with me. Those of you who have done time in guitar stores know what I mean: If you dare strum a few chords on a display model to see how it sounds, you get some Steve Vai wannabe across the room from you wowing you with the latest, greatest flash guitar moves or Tasty Licks. (Back in my early days as aspiring guitarist, guitar-shop standards were Van Halen’s “Eruption” or Kansas’s “Dust in the Wind” – yes, sadly the “No Stairway” bit in Wayne’s World is true.) Then you have to deal with a smarmy, often mustachioed fret-master trying to sell you a guitar … most times you swear you’d rather spend your time on a used-car parking lot.

Twin Town is a completely different experience. For instance, a few years back I was buying strings and said “the cheaper the better” to the guy behind the counter thinking I’d get a dirty look; he just smiled a knowing grin and said “of course!” I can never remember which exactly which strings my acoustic uses (I only play the thing occasionally – usually as relaxation while in front of the tube) except that they are “lights.” This year I remembered previously buying GHS Lights, so I strolled into the store and asked for those. But they were out. No problem – the dude asked me a few questions about my guitar and what kind of sound I liked. He asked what brand of guitar mine was and I had to think about if for a few seconds. I was about to say “Martin” and then remembered that those are the Cadillac of acoustic guitars. (I tell guitar-playing friends that “I own a Martin guitar … coffee mug.”) “Um, Mitchell,” I said, finally recalling my little scrappy gem of a Korean-made guitar I bought back in ’89 for $135. (Note: No Mitchell guitar site to link to that I can find – and no, I don’t own a Bil Mitchell.) Still expecting to get laughed out of the store, the guy just nodded and asked a few more questions. I ‘fessed up that I didn’t know much about my own guitar and he seemed cool with it. At some point I said: “'Uh, it's closer to the color of this one here rather than that one up on the wall ... I'm pretty sure ... yeah." He nodded and guided me along.

So I proceeded to buy a pack of D’Addario Lights that only cost six dollars and am amazed that the man spent that amount of time with me for six bucks. He looked me in the eye as we completed the transaction, tapped the strings packet on the counter, and said: “These are great strings – have a nice day.” Sweet! Twin Town, you’re the tops – see ya next year.

… And Black Ones

While crossing Lyndale on the way home from Twin Town, I nearly got run over by some crew-cut psychopath driving a Minneapolis Park Police truck. He was in a big hurry – I’m guessing to:

1) See a re-run of Cops on cable, or
2) Check out the hot bikini action at Lake Calhoun, or
3) Get to AnnaMarie’s bakery before they closed.

I’m still not sure what the Park Police does – I’ve always assumed they were somewhere between rent-a-cops and real ones – or if they are strapped with guns or billy clubs, so I called him “DICK!” but hedged my bet by yelling it a little too late.

Sunday, July 27, 2003

Oh Yeah, I Have A Zine Also...

Exiled on Main Street #36 is now complete and has been mailed to print-version subscribers and the various members of the media that I'm kissing up to. You can find out how to order a copy by going to this webpage. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, July 24, 2003

When You Choke, You Turn Blue ... Then Purple

There's a new commercial on TV these days for Gatorade. (To see it, go to, click on the logo, then click on "The Gatorade Story" then on "The Legend Continues.") Narrated by the great Keith Jackson, it details how the University of Florida's coach passed on Gatorade (Florida Gators, get it?) to the AFL's Kansas City Chiefs in the 1969 season. As Jackson says, in the inflection that only he has:

Against the heavily-favored Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV, the Chiefs emerged victorious and the rest is history.

Neat little anecdote, but the commercial also flashes the final score of Super Bowl IV, which is: Chiefs 23, Vikings 7. Though in retrospect the commercial only implies that Gatorade led the Chiefs over the Vikings, all logical heads would realize that a sport drink is not responsible for a 16-point beating of a favored team. Remember, this is back in the NFL vs. AFL days - just a year after the New York Jets shocked the Baltimore Colts in the Super Bowl. It was up to the Vikings to restore the dignity of the mighty NFL in Super Bowl IV, but they failed - getting trounced by more than two touchdowns. (Leaving the Green Bay Packers as the only NFL team capable of winning - handily, in their case - NFL vs. AFL Super Bowls.)

Yep, the Gatorade commercial is ultimately just another reminder that the Minnesota Vikings are a decades-long, franchise-history team of chokers that cannot win the big one. Can't wait to see it again!

Monday, July 21, 2003

The New Man
Thank God I'm Old School

Page one of today's Pioneer Press's Express section was as baffling as it was chuckle-worthy.

Communications group Euro RSCG conducted a study that detected a segment of men who have been dubbed "metrosexuals": "Somewhere between a man who never clips his nose hairs and one who is so fastidious that his pedicures are booked a year in advance sits the metrosexual male. Sports section in hand, golf clubs/basketball/soccer ball at the ready, he can cook up a blow-your-socks-off pasta feast while discussing the merits of wines and wrenches with equal intensity."

Says advertising sales rep Randall Cross: "(They) probably use more exfoliating products than the guys 50 years ago." What in the world is an exfoliating product?

Says Marian Salzman of Euro RSCG: "Advertising right now treats men like buffoons." Help - we're being repressed! The ones who bother me are those buffoons in the Bud Light commercial who jump through hoops to take other people's Bud Light. Most beer drinkers run to the liquor store and stock up when their beer supply is running low, but the guys in these commercials scheme and plot and damn near die just to get one bottle of Bud Light.

Salzman continues: "It doesn't treat them like caring, sensitive co-parents and partners." Huh? What is a CO-parent? Is that like how "regardless" and "irregardless" mean the same thing?

Says the study's authors: "They're knowledgeable about clothes and - unlike the stereotype of the American male - they enjoy shopping for them." Who are these guys? Are they the ones who can wear vests and can get away with it?

The study also says: "38 percent consider themselves 'foodies.'" What is a "foodie"? And do they use exfoliating products to work their wonders in the kitchen?

Salzman again: "They wanted to partner with one lover and raise happy and healthy children as their key priorities." Partner with a lover? How romantic - I hope you share many core competencies and are able to successfully pull off your co-parenting duties.

The article concludes with the Salzman quote: "We heard the guys say, 'I want to be the best friend, the best lover and best shopping partner of my partner.'" One word to describe the metrosexual ... clingy. Or ... liar.