Sunday, June 29, 2003

An End of Weekend Diary-Like Blog Entry

Friday - Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle. Uff-daaaaaa. Oddly, Loverboy tune "Working For The Weekend" showed up in the film. I didn't know this when I typed my June 26th post. Also in the film was the Electric Six's "Danger (High Voltage)." On the way back to work in the car, I declared said single "the best since 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'." Fifty-two hours later, I stand by my statement. Then I went down to Gardner Hardware and watched them drop an anvil on a Ford Taurus from four floors up. Heavy metal!

Saturday - Went to a family reunion. Cousins rule. As do aunts and uncles. So go call up your favorite cousin or parent's sibling (or parent or sibling) and meet for lunch or beers or a barbecue. Family rules!

Later Saturday - Saw Naked Jesus perform at the Terminal Bar. These guys have only existed as legend for years, allegedly putting tunes to tape for over a decade but never performing live. (I call them "The Steely Dan of Fargo.") Well they played last night and all I can say is what Dave Marsh said about Dylan's Street Legal album: Weird beyond immediate comment. They did have a great tune about Fargo and monkeypox and prairie dogs. Shoulda grabbed one of those lyric sheets that was lying around. The next band up was some hippie acoustic guitar/violin/keyboards/drums stuff (blog header: "Never Trust A Hippie") that annoyed me to no end, mostly because of the drumming. Play a goddamned BEAT, hippie! So I came home and drank Summit Indias and blasted old AC/DC featuring Phil Rudd on drums on headphones as a cure (blog header: "Dr. Phil".)

Sunday - Cosmic Slop hosts Chuck and Joel had their annual Pride Festival show, playing tunes that are either by gay artists or are about being gay. They said that Billy Squier is gay, which will lead me to a total re-listening of 16 Strokes. I emailed in a request for some Judas Priest - they responded with Chuck reading aloud the lyrics to three songs from the Defenders of the Faith album. Chuck admitted to becoming Steve Allen. Classic. If you haven't checked out Cosmic Slop yet, it's highly recommended: Sunday afternoons two until four Central time on the great Radio K. (Online listening available.)

Later Sunday - I finished the afternoon by running out and buying the new Electric Six album, featuring the tune (natch) "Gay Bar." My purchase of a Faces album led to a discussion with the counter dude about Rod Stewart. I told him about an mp3 I have of Stewart singing "What's Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made A Loser Out of Me)." Hope no RIAA spies were listening in.

Thursday, June 26, 2003

Working For The Weekend

This Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle poster reminds me of Loverboy's second album. Hopefully, the sight of Demi Moore will block me from humming "When It's Over" to myself when I'm at the first matinee tomorrow afternoon.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

It's Beck's Birthday Today, Happy Birthday Beck!

Yeah, Jeff Beck, not the precious little singer/songwriter.

"I'll tell you what Jeff Beck invented, yet not singlehandedly: the heavy metal guitar solo. His solo on the Yardbirds' 'Mister You're A Better Man Than I' was THE original primal prototype heavy metal guitar move. Ten million fretbusters since have heard and tried to replicate the chilling fire-and-ice power of it and all failed."
- Lester Bangs

Monday, June 23, 2003

Should I Have Her Job or Donna Erickson's?

In today's Pioneer Press, Mary Hunt forgets the best use of all for pickle juice: Drinking it straight outta the jar. Some of us enjoyed pickle juice late nights in Walsh Hall at good ol' UND after an evening of festivities. Um um, good.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Guys Who Owned My Albums Before Me:

(I know this because they wrote their names on 'em!)

Ted Aldrich - AC/DC, Highway to Hell

Donn B. - John Entwistle, Whistle Rymes

Sam Birkholm - Alice Cooper, Love It To Death

Jim Clark - Deep Purple, Machine Head

Eber - Blue Oyster Cult, On Your Feet Or On Your Knees

Steve Forman - The James Gang, 16 Greatest Hits

Tom Lenzen - Focus, Moving Waves

Ray Nickels - The Yes Album

I never met any of these dudes, but Forman is my favorite. He wrote "With Steve Forman" below "The James Gang" on the album cover. Here's to you Steve, and thank you. Hope you made your rent that month.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Home Taping Will Kill The Recording Industry!

Senator Orrin Hatch wants to destroy my iMac. I haven't gotten any writing done all day because I have been wondering: Who the fuck downloads Orrin Hatch songs?

Another distraction was my curiosity to hear the new single by The Steve Jobs Experience, because Apple has proclaimed that: "Rock and roll will never die. It is, however, being reborn." (Hey Senator Hatch - why not instead destroy ad people, especially copywriters?) Turns out Apple isn't making music, they're just making money off of it.

This column by Mark Morford of has a nice take on the iTunes Music Store. I had been wondering how much money artists make off of pay-per-download systems, Morford has his doubts that they're making any. And he points out that the Apple selection has room for improvement. He's right. Case in point: prior to my checking it out, a pal of mine proclaimed his satisfaction because everything by Rush was there. Personally, I found the Canadian selection lacking: nothing by April Wine, Triumph, or Streetheart. Booooo. You can't get the Great American Rock 'n' Roll Single either - "Louie Louie" by the Kingsmen is not to be found. Hey, there's always LimeWire.

On a sweet note, the nation's libraries are still open and legal. Go borrow a book today.

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Hey Rick Neuheisel:

So you got yourself fired from the University of Washington for gambling in an NCAA hoops pool? Them's the breaks. But you should consider getting out of the big-time college coaching biz. You can't lie on a resume, drink after hours, hang out in a strip club, or truly enjoy March Madness without fear of getting canned.

My advice to you, Rick, is to leave college athletics behind, roll up your sleeves, and start your own zine and/or accounting business. In this world of the Lieutenants of Leisure you can lie on your resume (you won't be needing it anyway), drink after hours, hang out in strip clubs, and make money in hoops pools. Just don't move into my market, pal.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Another Solid Tuomala Title

A friend is going through a big ol' hassle with anxieties, and his doctor suggested he try medication. My pal said no thanks and later joked to me that he'd rather just mix up his own dosage of depressants as treatment.

Which made me want to write a song titled: "Schlitz Is Cheaper Than My Co-Pay".

Now I Need To Figure Out The Piano Part

Sunday night my foxy neighbor Beth knocked on my door, looking for ice for her drink:

Beth I hear you callin'
But I got no ice right now
The trays have been in the freezer
But they're completely empty somehow

Just a few more hours
And I'll have some cubes for you
I think the corner store's open
Oh Beth what can I do?
Beth what can I do?

You say your glass is empty
That lemonade tastes bad when warm
And I'm sippin' on a cold Schlitz
And have truly lost my charm

Just a few more hours
And I'll have some cubes for you
I think the corner store's open
Oh Beth what can I do?
Beth what can I do?

Beth I know you're thirsty
And I hope you'll be alright
'Cause my freezer's magic could take
All night

Sunday, June 08, 2003

I Just Need A Little Diet Cola …

I walked out of the Triple Rock last night with a grin a mile wide. This is what happens when your mind gets blown by Lifter Puller. Oh. My. God. I think the guy standing next to me at the show was literally getting his mind blown – he kept putting his face into his hands like he couldn’t deal with the awesomeness. The rest of the time, of course, he and his buds (and me, and lots of others) were mouthing along with Craig Finn’s killer words.

I started the evening feeling guilty – see, I had gone to the Friday show also, but was so nervous that I drank too much, too fast and memories of the show are spotty. By Saturday night I started to feel a little better – I rationalized that I had spent Friday night / Saturday afternoon being a character in a Lifter Puller song. Yeah, I can almost hear the knockdown lyrics about the aging goofball who gets lit on Old Style, gets courage to talk to girls (but forgets the conversations), gets a ride home from his buds, then takes the bus all over Minneapolis the next day in order to get his car back … and the bus drops the dude off in front of a bar called the Sunrise Inn!

But last night after I walked through the bar’s door some speed freak – impossibly skinny, short, and with eyes like glowing saucers – proceeded to tell me some fast story about a girl who took his drink. He made sure to put his face mere inches from mine. Ugh. But I’m guessing that Saturday he got to be a Lifter Puller character, leaving me to enjoy the show. Thanks my dear methhead - just stay away from the Eyepatch Guy!

Yes, the Triple Rock’s new addition is outstanding. Great sight lines and fast bartenders and two-dollar Old Styles. The weird thing is that the place is so new, it’s clean and doesn’t quite feel rock-ready. But at the pace that smokes were being inhaled and bottles were being dropped on the floor over the weekend, I have a feeling that the joint will get that decadent feel real soon. I can’t wait to get back there.

And the show was fantastic. When the DJ played Thin Lizzy’s “The Boys Are Back in Town” before their set, everyone knew the band was going to be starting. They came out and kicked off with “Plymouth Rock” and tore the house down. The rest of the show continued on the wave of the band’s energy and the crowd’s enthusiasm. Highlights? The show was one long highlight! Guitars and keyboards and bass and drums played like the world is ending, over the top all those words about the thrills, chills, and spills of the night life. My smirk turned to a smile turned to that grin as the set went on. One cool moment of note – Craig mentioned all of the places that had reps in the crowd (South Dakota, East Coast, Iowa, etc.) and he followed it up with: “A question a lot of the out-of-towners ask is: ‘What is 3.2?’” Us locals cheered and the band went into “Lifter Puller vs. The End Of The Evening.” Sweet.

So let us now go ahead and say it: One of the very best live bands these twin towns has produced. If you’ve seen Lifter Puller before, you know what I mean – as a friend once said: “they give a shit every single second.” If you haven’t seen them, doors for the third show open soon. I’ll be at home with my coffee and my grin, so my place in the crowd will be open.

Current Tee Shirt Power Rankings:

1. Gray Spunk Studio that says "I Quit"
2. White sixties-style Batman
3. Grayish-Blue Nechama
4. Gray Colorado Avalanche
5. Green (from back when Chank owned the domain)
6. Green Billy's Corner Bar - Vergas, Minnesota
7. White Radio K
8. Black that simply says "Beer"
9. Gray that simply says "Jerk"
10. White Soul Asylum based on the Jagermeister label (shirt would place higher but it's ripped up and has been relegated to workout duty)

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Dream On

Circa ten years ago, me and my pal OC used to spend quality time over beers discussing the band we were going to form. These discussions were many times held while playing guitars or while checking out bands at the Uptown. As these talks involved beers and two not-highly-motivated twentysomethings, we had more fun talking about the band then actually putting it together. So the concept didn’t get beyond envisioning the lineup of the band (OC on bass, me on rhythm guitar, two other drinking buddies – who I don’t think were ever formally informed of the plan – on lead guitar and vocals, and some imaginary dude on drums) and coming up with names for the band. (Early favorites: “Village Idiot” and “Butt Ugly”.) Damn, those talks were fun.

Well now it’s 2003 and I don’t wanna be in a band. I don’t think I ever did. I enjoy playing guitar, but I just like playing a few minutes of relaxing acoustic strumming while on the futon in front of the TV – I doubt I could physically handle standing and holding and playing barre chords on a Telecaster for song after song. More importantly, I don’t know songs so much as I know intro chords of songs. Rehearsal? Forget it! Plus, being in a group involves being around a group of people – no thank you. But I still occasionally think of names for that band. Recently, I pulled out the ongoing list of band names and thought of what they might be like:

Die Princess Die – Angry/smart political metal band. Megadeth meets Corrosion of Conformity. We don’t smile much but reference worthy tomes (Chomskly, Zinn) in our liner notes.

Gino Gasparini – Faces/’Mats-like bloozy band. Sloppy and inspired, forgettable or unforgettable depending on which night you see us.

Johnson Evinrude – Rockabilly/Creedence band playing Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent, Jack Scott, etc. covers and wearing cool boots with buckles on the sides.

Mythical Champion – Heady seventies-type hard rock throwbacks. Think Guns n’ Roses or Mother Love Bone minus heroin and plus Heineken. Hated by hardcore punks for the stars in our eyes, hated by hardcore metalheads for our soft ‘n’ sweet ballads.

The Soaks – Cowpunk band placed somewhere between seventies outlaw country and Jason and the Scorchers. Half the band wears cowboy hats, we all have sideburns.

I Love Guns n' Rosses

Today I received an email from Bad Obsession, aka "The best GUNS N'ROSES tribute EVER!" They're "looking for the names, addresses and contacts of top quality hard rocking venues throughout the whole planet to construct our next FULL WORLD TOUR."

Best of luck to them. And I normally don't quibble over spelling in emails, but they might want to reconsider calling themselves "a full-time proffessional tribute band", especially when "proffessional" is underlined.