Friday, December 31, 2004

"J.D. Salinger Writes More Than This Guy!"

Exiled on Main Street #40 is now posted.

After I dropped it off at the post office on Wednesday, I felt like Roger Miller on the cover of The Return of Roger Miller.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Geek Update
As AC/DC Said: Let There Be Rock

After spending forty-eight bucks on a tiny but awesome FM transmitter and another forty-three bucks on adapters to get said AAA battery-powered transmitter to plug into an AC outlet, I'm finally playing tunes from my iMac into my stereo and boombox on any damn available FM frequency I choose battery-free! (Above prices are inflated due to gotta-have-it-now shipping costs.)

The transmitter

The transmitter to DC adapter

The DC to AC adapter

Now all I need is some Macintosh freak to email me and say: "Hey, you could have bought (this yet-unrealized-for-me product) that does all of the above for only twenty-five bucks!"

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Monday, December 27, 2004

A Year-End List For The Rest Of Us

Fitted Sweats has the Most Annoying People Of 2004.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Christmas Eve Shocker

The Minnesota Vikings lost a big game yesterday. Imagine that.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Christmas Probables and Potentials

Lowenbrau and Grain Belt Premium longnecks in the icebox.

A Christmas Gift For Your From Phil Spector and A Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrak on CD.

Batman: The Animated Series episodes on DVD, included is "Christmas With The Joker."

Hickory Farms "The Little Farmer" box of cheese, summer sausage, and crackers ready to go.

Country Bar hours ... Christmas Eve 10AM - 2AM; Christmas Day 8PM - 2AM.

Sports, sports, sports ...

Christmas Eve:
Noon - "Favre 4-Ever" special, narrated by Billy Bob Thornton, on Fox
2PM - Purple vs. Packers on Fox

Christmas Day:
11:30AM - Hate-filled Pacers vs. Pistons rematch on ESPN
2:15PM - Hate-filled Shaq vs. Kobe tilt on ABC
7:30PM - Imploding Denver Broncos vs. already-imploded Tennessee Titans on ESPN
7:30PM - USA vs. Russia in the World Junior Championships from Grand Forks, North Dakota! on ESPN2

The first half of those last games might be missed due to me celebrating the holiday at my sister's house. The second half may be pre-empted by the second annual Christmas tracking of Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music.

"God bless us, everyone!"

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Random Stuff

- PJ Harvey apparently has played her last show. This is sad news - she's one of the best live performers I've seen. Her show last October was her at her peak.

- Chuck and Joel joined Ron "Boogiemonster" Gerber on the Crap From The Past program Friday night. The show is up online. It was ninety minutes of talking. Very enjoyable.

- Two things made me crabby last Tuesday that I meant to rant about here ...

1) I stopped in Cheapo Uptown to do some Christmas shopping and they now have rock n roll music divided into "classic rock" and "modern rock" sections. Why do record stores need so many divisions? (Husker Du: "They divide, conquer.") If I owned a record store, it would have two sections: New and Used. Within each section would be three divisions: A) Artists A through Z, B) Various Artists/Compilations, and C) Soundtracks. Why would this system not work? Whether you're looking for Johnny Cash, Run-DMC, or Dave Brubeck; you would simply find them under the appropriate letter. Are genre subdivisions in record stores truly helpful? (Oh, and I ended up doing my shopping at The Electric Fetus because their selection is much better.)

2) On The Common Man program, he came back from a break playing the latest, greatest Denny Green quotes from Arizona. I was eagerly anticipating 20-30 minutes of some classic Denny stories. But then Dan Barrerio stopped in for a so-called "Super Show," and he started to moan about some cable TV show he saw that dared show people having sex. The rest of the show then turned into a shrill and self-righteous "has the entertainment business gone too far" diatribe. Borrrrrring! Keep Barrerio off Common Man's program - all he does is dilute Common's greatness!

Thursday, December 16, 2004

But He Knows Where The Nearest Doughnut Shop Is

Potential scandal-a-day Bernard Kerik reminds me of the chorus from that Strokes song.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

The Other Night At The Country Bar

I'll treat it like a play ...

The Barfly is a 45-55 year-old white male.

Bill is a late-thirties white male. He's simply a guy with a newspaper to read and a notebook to write in, and he's standing at the bar ordering a Grain Belt Premium bottle. The Barfly, sitting at the bar, asks some simple small talk questions to Bill, who responds in kind. Then ...

BARFLY (hushed tones): Do you partake in Bud?

BILL (normal voice): Budweiser??

BARFLY (hushed tones): Noooo ... marijuana.

BILL (pointing to bottle of beer): No, I'm just a booze guy.

Bill walks away.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Bean Counter Laffs

I did some accounting work late this afternoon and have been amusing myself with a punchline to a dumb accounting joke I came up with:

"And that's why they call it a balance sheet!"

(Sorry, I won't share the set-up.)

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

The Back Cartoon Says "They Call Him 'Clem The Gem'"

While going through my brother's and my sports card collection tonight, I came across this one.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Sundays Won't Be The Same

Chuck and Joel just dropped a bomb on the Twin Cities airwaves. They announced that the final Cosmic Slop show will be on Sunday, December 26th.

My phone rang immediately after this announcement. I saw from the caller ID that it was my pal Def Jeff. I answered with "HOLY SHIT!" We shared our shock and soon-to-be-dawning depression. At some point Jeff said: "What are we supposed to do on Sundays now? Go to CHURCH??"

December 26th is Boxing Day, and I'll probably drink a box of beer as I listen to Cosmic Slop sign off.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Maris Reinstated

Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire took steroids and it's obvious that Sammy Sosa did also. Their records are fraudulent.

We here at Exiled on Main Street will now only recognize Roger Maris as the single-season home run leader. We also like Maris because he was one of the three best right fielders of his day (up there with Roberto Clemente and Al Kaline), with a gun for an arm. Compare him to Sosa, a crappy right fielder; Bonds, who loafs after fly balls in left; and McGwire, who played first base. (No offense to my friends who are first basemen.)

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Wednesday, December 01, 2004


Whilst over drinks tonight with friends, I mentioned that Highway 61 Revisited is my Stranded album. (Stranded is a book that came out in the late seventies wherein a bunch of rock critics wrote essays on the one album they would want with them if they were stranded on a desert island.) Then one friend asked the table - what would their five Stranded albums be?

Off of the top of my head, in no particular order I came up with:

Bob Dylan - Highway 61 Revisited (it would take me years to get to the bottom of it)
Public Enemy - It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back (same as above)
Creedence Clearwater Revival - Cosmo's Factory (the very essence of rock 'n' roll)
The White Stripes - White Blood Cells (favorite drinking album ever?)
Hank Williams - 40 Greatest Hits (great great lonesome songs)

Like I said, that list was from the top of my head. But what about Little Richard? I could scream along with him all day long and no one would be there to complain. Then there's PJ Harvey's Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea. Or early Rod Stewart - my favorite vocalist. Bruce Springsteen's The River? My Aussie punk anthology so I could sing along with The Saints' "(I'm) Stranded"? And what about the Replacements? Where's the metal?

Decisions, decisions. As for books .., give me some Lester Bangs and Joan Didion and ...

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Decisions, Decisions

Maybe the defining moment for when I chose to become a heterosexual was seeing Pat Benatar's "You Better Run" video.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Root Cellar Records ...

is going out of business.

All the vinyl is 50% off. All the $2.00 vinyl LPs are now fifty cents. Apparently they have a bunch more records in storage and will keep stocking the store until it's all gone.

I was over there yesterday and bought seven albums and spent a whopping $5.35. As far as I can tell so far, the vinyl is in pretty good condition - some of the $2.00 LPs have beat-up covers.

Don't forget to go into the basement dungeon for your metal needs!

Root Cellar Records
636 Snelling Ave N
St. Paul

(And since you're curious: I bought albums by: Kix, Bad Company, The Everly Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Beach Boys, Georgia Satellites, and Uriah Heep.)

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Naked Jesus Update

Naked Jesus has their website up and running. I believe they are the only local band I've written a poem about. I gave the poem away, but I remember rhyming "frontman" with "kinda tan." For some reason, that did not impress the ladies.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Albert Bouchard's Last Decade Of Music!

Sunday afternoon, about ten minutes into the Cosmic Slop show, I received the following email:

Subject: New Music from Guy Who Really Put the Cowbell in Reaper

Dear Rock Connoisseur:
It has been brought to the attention of Cellsum Records that you have an
interest in the music that Albert Bouchard has written and recorded in the
past. We thought you might like to know that Black Hearts of Soul, a
retrospective of his work in the last decade has recently been released by
the Bad Reputation label in France featuring three new tracks with Ross the
Boss, the guitarist he's wanted in his band ever since the Dictators first
opened for Blue Oyster Cult. More info is available at and the best is yet to come. We look forward to hearing from you.
Until then-
Cellsum NYC

I of course immediately forwarded this to Slop's Chuck and Joel down at the Radio K studios, and they later read and discussed it - as only they can. I laughed out loud when Chuck said the name of the record company (Cellsum = Sell Some, get it?) They then proceed to play Blue Oyster Cult's "Before The Kiss, A Redcap" followed by the Angels' "Marseilles." Way cool.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

While Surfing Tonight ...

... I came across Robert Christgau's rankings of beers from Oui magazine in 1975.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Because Freedom Can’t Protect Itself

Thanks to my friends Randy and Ken, I emerged from a week-long stupor and became a card-carrying member of the ACLU. All it takes is twenty bucks.

Then I cracked open the paper and see that the ACLU is battling creation "science" whackjobs in Georgia. And the president has said that "the jury is still out on evolution." Shoulda thrown the ACLU forty bucks.

Monday, November 08, 2004

A Lame Joke I Came Up With Today

Q: What do you call a bad Rush tribute band?

A: A "Fly By Night" operation.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Steve Erickson In American Nomad (1997)

They told you it was a war for the soul of America, but you didn't believe them. They kept saying you were the Enemy, but you wouldn't accept that, because you didn't feel like an enemy. Now you know they meant every word, and more. Now, as the Twentieth Century slips America's hold on it, you have become the Enemy they always said you were.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Better Listen To Him, He's In Pre-med

"My advice to you is to start drinking heavily."
- Bluto Blutarsky

Monday, November 01, 2004

Saturday: Tice Introduces Bush, Sunday: Giants 34, Vikings 13

Heard two tidbits of note recently on KFAN:

1) Someone suggested that if Tice wants to meet the president, he should win a Super Bowl and get to go to the White House.

2) It was alleged that Dan Murphy from Soul Asylum was kicked out of the Metrodome yesterday. Supposedly he was a few rows behind the Vikings bench and as they were getting beat badly, he yelled "It's the Curse of the Bush-ino!!"

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Green Bay 28, Washington 14

Pack wins, so will Kerry.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Bush Talks About Going To War, States Why He Doesn't Deserve Re-Election

"A political candidate who jumps to conclusions without knowing the facts is not a person you want as your commander in chief."

(I'm sure someone else has had this observation and it's on a blog or in my email inbox. Apologies to whoever I stole it from.)

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Tough Guy Town

The Gophers disassembled my beloved Sioux last night 6-0. Ouch. But I did get one tasty highlight. My favorite Sioux, Rory McMahon, dropped the gloves against Mike Vannelli and the two engaged in the type of bare-knuckled fisticuffs you rarely see in college hockey. McMahon won the fight convincingly. I will now refer to Mikey V. as "Milli Vannelli."

This brawl allowed me to incessantly paraphrase Vikings coach Mike Tice, saying that: "Grand Forks is a tough guy town. When the Sioux and the Gophers play, it's a street fight. If you're gonna be in a street fight, you better start getting ready now."

Oh, but I'm opposed to fighting in hockey. Really. I think ... then again, prior to the fight I stated that the Sioux should start a fight to "send a message."

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Should Have Looked For A Rod Hockey Game

Went out on a bender with some associates yesterday afternoon to commiserate on a friend's last day of work.

I had a scotch egg at Brit's. A scotch egg is a hard-boiled egg wrapped in banger sausage and then covered in bread crumbs and deep fried. It comes along with some wonderful dipping sauce. This is probably the greatest Homer Simpson food I've ever had.

(While walking to Brit's, my pal Def Jeff pointed at the Scientology headquarters and said: "They've been there fifteen years and they still haven't sprung for a permanent sign yet!" It's true - they still just have a large Church of Scientology banner.)

We headed over to Gameworks at Block E. I had never been there before - it's one huge room filled with all kinds of video games. It was a surreal experience to be sitting in the middle of the place at the bar drinking pitchers of Bass Ale - with a shot of Patron thrown in there at some point - while children run around playing video games. And because when one is drinking his voice becomes louder than he realizes, do you think the phrase "there's a hot mom!" was overheard by the general crowd once or twice?

Anyway, I did okay at air hockey and pretty crappy at some water-skiing video game. That last one threw me off though - it was two-ski sissy skiing and not slaloming. Reid Graf would not approve.

Then it was home to drink coffee (java tastes awesome after an afternoon of Harp and Bass) and watch the Sioux play tough-guy hockey, score four unanswered goals, and knock off the hated Gophers 4-2. Can't wait for the rematch tonight.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Straight Talk From The Heartland

My main man Eddie Schultz is now on 950 AM in the Twin Cities, weekdays 2-5. No more scratchy signals from the hinterlands. Alright!

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

It's Either This Or Post About My Cat

I finally found a hobby that isn't destructive (beer) or contingent on cheering for pimply-faced college boys (Sioux hockey.)

Bird watching. A couple of months ago I bought a window bird feeder from I put it up on my second-floor apartment window and now all these weeks later it's a seedfest daily here at WymanWorld.

So far I've spotted these birds:

Blue Jay
Northern Cardinal
Black-Capped Chickadee
White-Breasted Nuthatch
House Finch
Common Grackle

Plus a bunch of sparrows and nocturnal visits by a Flying Squirrel.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

From Wednesday's Strib Opinion Page: The Republicans Get Theirs

Former Republican governor of Minnesota Elmer Andersen on the Bush administration:

Elmer L. Andersen: Why this Republican ex-governor will be voting for Kerry

Throughout my tenure and beyond as the 30th governor of this state, I have been steadfastly aligned -- and until recently, proudly so -- with the Minnesota Republican Party.

It dismays me, therefore, to have to publicly disagree with the national Republican agenda and the national Republican candidate but, this year, I must.

The two "Say No to Bush" signs in my yard say it all.

The present Republican president has led us into an unjustified war -- based on misguided and blatantly false misrepresentations of the threat of weapons of mass destruction. The terror seat was Afghanistan. Iraq had no connection to these acts of terror and was not a serious threat to the United States, as this president claimed, and there was no relation, it's now obvious, to any serious weaponry. Although Saddam Hussein is a frightful tyrant, he posed no threat to the United States when we entered the war. George W. Bush's arrogant actions to jump into Iraq when he had no plan how to get out have alienated the United States from our most trusted allies and weakened us immeasurably around the world.

Also, if there as well had been proper and careful coordination of services and intelligence on Sept. 11, 2001, that horrific disaster might also have been averted. But it was a separate event from this brutal mess of a war, and the disingenuous linking of the wholly unrelated situation in Iraq to 9/11 by this administration is not supported by the facts.

Sen. John Kerry was correct when he said that seemingly it is only Bush and Dick Cheney who still believe their own spin. Both men spew outright untruths with evangelistic fervor. For Bush -- a man who chose to have his father help him duck service in the military during the Vietnam War -- to disparage and cast doubt on the medals Kerry won bravely and legitimately in the conflict of battle is a travesty.

For Cheney to tell the hand-picked, like-minded Republican crowds in Des Moines last month that to vote for John Kerry could mean another attack like that of 9/11 is reprehensible. Moreover, such false statements encourage more terrorist attacks rather than prevent them.

A far smaller transgression, but one typical of his stop-at-nothing tactics, was Cheney's assertion in last Wednesday's vice-presidential debate that he'd never met Sen. John Edwards until that night. The next day -- and the media must stay ever-vigilant at fact-checking the lies of this ticket -- news reports, to the contrary, showed four video clips of Edwards and Cheney sitting next to each other during the past five years.

In both presidential debates, Kerry has shown himself to be of far superior intellect and character than Bush. He speaks honestly to the American people, his ethics are unimpeachable and, clearly, with 20 respected years in the Senate, he has far better credentials to lead the country than did Bush when he was elected four years ago. And a far greater depth of understanding of domestic and foreign affairs to do it now.

Not that the sitting president has ever really been at the helm.

I am more fearful for the state of this nation than I have ever been -- because this country is in the hands of an evil man: Dick Cheney. It is eminently clear that it is he who is running the country, not George W. Bush.

Bush's phony posturing as cocksure leader of the free world -- symbolized by his victory symbol on the aircraft carrier and "mission accomplished" statement -- leave me speechless. The mission had barely been started, let alone finished, and 18 months later it still rages on. His ongoing "no-regrets," no-mistakes stance and untruths on the war -- as well as on the floundering economy and Bush administration joblessness -- also disappoint and worry me.

Liberal Republicans of my era and mind-set used to have a humane and reasonable platform. We advocated the importance of higher education, health care for all, programs for children at risk, energy conservation and environmental protection. Today, Bush and Cheney give us clever public relations names for programs -- need I say "No Child Left Behind? -- but a lack of funding to support them. Early childhood education programs and overall health care are woefully underfunded. We have not only the largest number ever of medically uninsured in this nation, our infant mortality rates, once among the lowest in the world, have worsened to 27th.

As taxes for the wealthy are being cut, jobs are being outsourced if not lost and children are homeless and uninsured, this administration is running up the biggest deficit in U.S. history -- bound to be a terrible burden for future generations.

This imperialistic, stubborn adherence to wrongful policies and known untruths by the Cheney-Bush administration -- and that's the accurate order -- has simply become more than I can stand.

Although I am a longtime Republican, it is time to make a statement, and it is this: Vote for Kerry-Edwards, I implore you, on Nov. 2.

(Elmer L. Andersen was Minnesota's governor from 1961 to 1963.)
"Stop Hurting America": The Crossfire Guys Get Theirs.

Jon Stewart on Crossfire. He calls Tucker Carlson a dick.

Thanks to Chuck T. for passing this one on.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Bring Back The Powder Blues Permanently

I just flipped over to CBS and the San Diego Chargers are wearing the most beautiful uniforms in pro footbal history.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

All Those Hours At The YMCA Will Now Pay Off

The only reason to leave the futon today is to get more coffee, beer, or snacks.

11:00 college football: flip channels between Oklahoma vs. Texas and Minnesota vs. Michigan (yep, not only am I watching Big Ten football, I'm watching Gopher football!)
3:00 major league baseball: Minnesota vs. New York
7:00 college hockey: Minnesota vs. Denver
Bush vs. Kerry Two

John Kerry cleaned George Bush's clock again.

And I'm wondering when the President will fill us in on how to get those multiple "Internets" that he referred to in tonight's debate.

Friday, October 08, 2004

CJ: Local Zinester Is Dive Bar Fave With The Ladies

Some cute punk-rock chick tried to make out with me at the Country Bar last night when I was getting money from the ATM. We need to make E legal, ASAP.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

So Should I Buy A Ticket For The Drive-By Truckers Show On 10/27 Or Not?

For Immediate Release

First Avenue Nightclub Expecting Changes:

Minneapolis - First Avenue the venue that really started it all in the Minneapolis music scene by hosting local talent into the national spotlight such as the Replacements, Soul Asylum, the Jayhawks, Semisonic and Prince to name a few, has been served with an eviction summons. Owner Allan Fingerhut has been in serious default on the club’s lease obligations, and by refusing to meet a deadline of last Friday imposed by the landlord to commit to correcting the defaults, his club stands to be evicted in the next few weeks.

Ironically, the management team that Fingerhut let go this past summer, Steve McClellan and Jack Meyers, are set to join longtime ally LeeAnn Weimar in starting a new music venue at 701 First Avenue North. Steve McClellan, will oversee the non-profit sector of the business developing talent as he has for the past 30 years, while Jack Meyers takes on the title of General Manager and LeeAnn Weimar has been named Marketing Manager of the yet to be named business to operate the new music venue.

Re-establishing 701 1st Avenue North as the number one music venue is the main goal. With many structural improvements on the horizon and an era of experience between them, this management team looks to create excitement in developing new talent as it always has, along with showcasing the top touring bands of the day and bringing the cultural diversity of our marketplace into the spotlight.
A Devastating Cartoon

The case against the Bush administration.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

This Just In From Down Under


In March 2004, John and Rick Brewster, Chris Bailey and Buzz Bidstrup, 4 of the 5 members of ‘The Angels’ who recorded the band’s first 4 albums ‘Face To Face’, ‘No Exit’, ‘Darkroom’ and the debut album ‘The Angels’ are presenting 2 shows in April after rocking jubilant audiences in Sydney during March.

Part acoustic, part electric, ‘The Angels Band’ will recreate the awesome
power that drove ‘Angels’ fans to madness in the late 70’s and early 80’s.
The show features many ‘Angels’ classics including ‘Take a Long Line’, ‘Shadowboxer’, ‘Marseilles’, ‘Comin Down On Me’, ‘After the Rain’,
‘Devil’s Gate’,‘Be With You’, ‘Mr Damage’, ‘No Secrets’ and ‘Marseilles’.
… with some new food for thought too ...

Following the band's recent shows at Rooty Hill and Selinas last December, Drum Media's Murray Engleheart said "The Angels Band and Rose Tattoo show at Rooty Hill RSL was a real acid test. Not for the Tatts who put in a typically storming set less their signatory 'Nice Boys'. No, the pressure was on The Angels Band, the original and best lineup without Doc Neeson. And you know what? They were great! With THAT guitar sound, John Brewster comfortably in the vocal spot and an utterly seamless and seemingly endless set list of classics it was more about the music than the rock theatre of old. The masses, even old school fans, loved it. As they should have".

See The Angels Band perform live

Friday 28th May Star City Casino

For more information and interviews please contact

Darrel Baird
Blue Tongue Records (Australasia) PTY. LTD.
Blue Tongue Management (MMF)
0422 973 185
02 9252 6602

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Long Live Rock

Two phrases to describe the awesome PJ Harvey show at First Avenue last night: "Tribal" and "Holy Zep, Batman!"

Her band was: a bass player, a guitarist who doubled on drums, and a drummer who doubled on keyboards and also did Polly-like backing vocals so eery that I thought it was a sampler at first. The sound was pounding and magnificent - two drummers at the same time sometimes - and Polly was on top of her game with her vocals and axe skills. (Note to guitar geeks: most songs played with a Fender Mustang played upside down - Holy Jimi Batman! - and "50 Ft. Queenie" done with a Nuge-like Gibson.)

She busted out three songs from Dry: "Dress", "Victory", and "Happy and Bleeding." She did "Queenie", and did solid stuff off of her last three albums. Throw in "Taut" off of Dance Hall at Louse Point and encores that included "Meet Ze Monsta" and "Shake Your Hips" and you've got proof of one of our very finest live rockers around. (Note to hipster dorks behind me who talked all pre-show about whiny girl problems like Not Having The Kind Of Girlfriend You Could Take To A PJ Harvey Show: "Shake Your Hips" isn't ZZ Top, nor is it truly the Stones either.)

So may the Lord be with you, Polly Jean Harvey, you in your blue pumps and tiny red tube dress with white birds on it and your haircut with bangs that came down to your eyes so that I could swear that you looked at me three times and no one would know the better. You are so goddamned cool that you could pass as an American.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Oh, Trust Me, Bill Tuomala Wrote The Greatest Book Ever. Than He Threw It Away.

Damn, I missed the Brian Wilson Smile concert last night! Nothing I look forward more to than shows by mentally-damaged obese old guys who no longer bother to make new music. (This includes Ozzy too, but at least everyone will admit Ozzy is a headwreck plus I'll take the power and glory of Sabbath over the cute dainty pop of Wilson any hour, any day.) In the Strib, Jon Bream referred to Wilson as "the greatest composer of the rock era", then piled on by saying that the Smile album was/is a "masterwork." Uh, Jon, how can something be considered a masterwork if NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD IT?

And I wonder what Pete Townshend is thinking about this Smile thing. He coasted off Tommy for a while, then dusted off Quadrophenia for a tour. This woke up Wilson, who responded with a Pet Sounds tour. But Pete, still being intelligent and thin, dove back into his unreleased tour de force, Lifehouse, a few years back and made a freakin' SIX-DISC BOX SET out of it. I mean, you know what they say about the size of a man's unreleased masterwork ...

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Kerry Looks And Sounds Presidential, Wins First Debate Convincingly
"We Got Poland!"

Bush slouching at the podium, too tired apparently to stand up straight. Bush smirking, or looking irritated like he doesn't want to be there. Bush saying the same catch phrases repeatedly, hoping it'll work just three more nights. Bush in reference to Iraq saying that the enemy attacked us. Kerry says that bin Laden attacked us. Bush takes a mulligan: "I know that!"

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

I Have Also Used The French Defense While Playing Black For Some Success

I've been reading columns by War Nerd. Chris at Incoming Signals had sent a link to War Nerd's column with his take on the history of the French military (as opposed to the usual stuff you read.)

Also recommended:

War Nerd: It's Not Nam, But It'll Do

War Nerd: Afghanistan: What Went Right?

War Nerd: Iraq: the “Duh!” Theory

Monday, September 27, 2004

39 Is Such A Fun Age

Last week my pal Def Jeff showed me a photo of The Donnas with Kirsten Dunst. Kirsten is standing next to my favorite Donna, Donna R.

I said: "Five girls that are 25 or under ... should be good odds that at least one of them has Daddy Issues."

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Crappy Band Reunites And Me Without A Handgun Due To Stupid Waiting List Law

Somewhere, some younger members of my generation probably give a shit about this. Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Quote Of The Week (So Far)

Tonight on "Hardball," Chris Matthews brought up the possibilities of whether: 1) Democrats planted the forged Bush/Guard memos in a smear campaign, or 2) Republicans planted the forgeries, knowing they'd be found as fake and this would then focus blame on the Democrats.

Former Bush speechwriter David Frum said: "I think it was the Masons."

(And Memogate pales in comparision to Rather's attempt to whitewash the Crime of the Twentieth Century ...)

Monday, September 20, 2004

Lowlight: The Under-utilization Of Malcolm-Jamal Warner

The highlight of tonight's "Listen Up" premiere on CBS was Jason Alexander singing the following to the tune of "Battle Hymn of the Republic":

I go to foreign countries and there's soccer everywhere
They've got big screens set up for the World Cup in the village square
But on TV in the US soccer gets a zero share
Cuz we know soccer blows


No one ever scores in soccer
If there's a highlight it's a shocker
You win by saying "Referee!
That player hurt my wittle knee!"
We hate this stupid game

Friday, September 10, 2004


I scrolled down this main page of this blog and thought: What am I doing here? Auditioning for a columnist's slot with Page 2 at

(Ah geez, Team USA - blowing a lead in the third period and losing to a team whose roster reads like a namecheck of my relatives standing in line for mojakka at the Finn Picnic in Perth, North Dakota, on a Sunday afternoon in July?)

I'll be out until September 20th. In the meantime, check out New Patriot, a recently-launched blog that proclaims itself "a group of proudly leftist Minnesota bloggers not content to sit on the sidelines."

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Can't Get Enough

The NFL regular season started tonight. In honor of this, I'ven been listening to my favorite piece of NFL play-by-play, as announced by the purple-and-gold-kneepad-wearing Paul Allen:

Here it is - the season's on the line ... two receivers left and right ... McCown ... takes the snap ... he steps up ... he's all by himself ... fires into the end zone ... CAUGHT! ... TOUCHDOWN!! ... NO!!! ... NO!!! ... THE CARDINALS HAVE KNOCKED THE VIKINGS OUT OF THE PLAYOFFS!

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

One Of Those Silly Thoughts That Bothers Me For Days

The Czech forecheck was made popular by the Czechoslovakian national teams of the seventies. So does the Slovakian hockey team refer to it as "the Czech forecheck" or do they claim it as their own?

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

World Cup North American Quarterfinal #1

I lucked out over the weekend and thanks to my great friend Bjerk, I was able to score a couple of $70 seats for tonight's USA vs. Russia World Cup hockey game for only $10 each. My pal Ben and I had wonderful 23rd row seats in section 125. Unfortunately, we also had some boneheads behind us who probably couldn't tell the difference between a blue line and a clothesline. They spent a good part of the first period talking about a two-stroke engine. A few choice quotes from them:

Q: "Is this an elimination game?" A: "No."

"Jordan Leopold is playing tonight."

"How come Marian Gaborik isn't playing for Russia?"

Q: "Is that Rob Blake?" A: "Yes."

"That's their new flag." (Referring to the Russian one.)

But these folks weren't loud, so they were more amusing than irritating.

I'd bitch about the lack of a sellout, but until those cheap tickets came along I was content to sit at home and watch the game on ESPN2.

Strange things seen in the crowd:

- A dude carrying a sign that simply said "Rocky IV."

- Doug Woog

- Four or five guys in Winnipeg Jets jerseys holding up a sign that said "Bring Back Our Jets."

- People holding up a big American flag that had a black-and-white image of Jim Morrison in the middle of it. When I think international hockey, I think Lizard King.

- A guy wearing a shirt that said "Support Our Troops" on the back and "Now Is Time To Choose Your Country And God" on the front. Me, I'm a big Zeus guy.

Anyway, the U.S. won behind a superb effort by Keith Tkachuk and advanced to the semifinals - also to be played at the Xcel. They will face Finland, unless Slovakia upsets Canada tomorrow; then they will face the Czech Republic.

And after years of yelling it after life's little triumphs (ala Homer Simpson), it was a freakin' blast to yell "USA! USA! USA!" in the proper context.

Friday, September 03, 2004

A Few World Cup Thoughts

I watched some of Finland vs. Germany yesterday. Suomi's Miikka Kiprusoff has yet to give up a goal. Jere Lehtinen scored an awesome goal ... he was in the slot and fired a no-look, top-shelf backhand that was a rocket. Barry Melrose loved this one - said he hadn't seen a backhand goal like that in the last twenty years.

Russia vs. the USA last night. Russia is F-A-S-T. They had been written off coming into this tourney, but right now I have them #2 in my book. (Though I haven't seen Sweden yet.)

The pace of the Finland/Germany game was WCHA-like compared to the Stanley Cup-like pace of the Russia/USA game.

Ron Wilson did a nice juggling job tonight to put in some young guns who put a fire into the USA while they knocked of Slovakia. Still, it was Slovakia - the US needs to continue to play uptempo, no-mailing-it-in hockey to advance any further in this tourney. There's a good chance they'll face Russia again in the quarterfinals.

I still think Canada is the team to beat in this thing. Too bad tomorrow's Canada vs. Russia game isn't on ESPN ... or for that matter Sweden vs. Finland.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Strapped For Cash, Can't Make The Xcel, Instead I'll Just Link Away

Canada looks like the team to beat in the World Cup of Hockey.

Jeremy Roenick was a hilariously bad homer in the ESPN2 booth last night; referring to Canada's jerseys as being "puke yellow" and then a few minutes later admitting his bias by saying he hoped the US would "kick the Canadians butts."

Saturday's Finland vs. Sweden game could have some "sending of messages" (i.e. scraps and scrums) like last night's USA vs. Canada game. It sounds like Finland is playing tough-guy hockey. Barry Melrose had a great quote about the matchup: "These two teams HATE each other! ... They absolutely HATE each other!! ... This is something that dates back to the Viking days!!"

A few good links with which to track the World Cup:

World Cup official site

World Cup Blog


Sunday, August 29, 2004

Kerry Volunteered And Served, Bush Did Not

A link sent from Chris at Incoming Signals, former lieutenant governor of Texas Ben Barnes on George W. Bush:

"I got a young man named George W. Bush into the National Guard when I was lieutenant governor of Texas and I'm not neccessarily proud of that ... But I did it ... I got a lot of other people into the National Guard because I thought that's what people should do when you're in office, you helped a lot of rich people.

"And I walked to the Vietnam Memorial the other day and I looked at the names of the people that died in Vietnam and I became more ashamed of myself that I'd ever been because the worst thing I did was kept a lot of wealthy supporters and a lot of people who had family names and importance get into the National Guard, and I'm very sorry of that and I'm very ashamed and I apologize to you voters of Texas."

Saturday, August 28, 2004

It's Like A Nightmare, Isn't It? It Just Keeps Getting Worse And Worse, Doesn't It?

I had one of the crappiest mornings of my accounting career yesterday. I drove home in a fury with Zeppelin's "The Wanton Song" playing over and over. I got back to my apartment around noon, pounded a couple of Schlitzes and sat here steaming and fuming away.

Then I proceeded to watch Argentina defeat the US in basketball. By this time, I was so pissed off that my mind was pure black. I can't describe it any other way. It was the only time that the Ramones' "I Wanna Be Sedated" has ever made complete and utter sense to me.

I'm not used to dealing with people in my work. I'm generally left alone to do my work, which means I rarely sit in meetings and even rarer is my competence questioned. It's situations like yesterday's that make me daydream about telling my clients that I'll only do my work via email, Web, and phone calls. Then I'd outsource Street Accounting (collecting a healthy franchise fee and ongoing commission, of course) to India with instructions on how to be Bill Tuomala. I kept imaging some Indian dude speaking on the phone, trying to do a North Dakotan accent:

Hello Spunk Studio! How are you today? I will have your cash flow report done by this afternoon and will email it to you then. This winter weather is nothing compared to my days in Grand Forks. That new Westerberg album rules. One of these days I'll swing by with a twelver of Heineken keg cans for you guys. Go Fighting Sioux! Talk to you later!

Anyway ... congratulations to the United States men's basketball team on winning the bronze medal today. A few thoughts:

- I was one of the five people in this country cheering for them. It baffles me that so many Americans take so much glee when our basketball team loses. Jason Whitlock at's Page 2 addresses something that has been creeping me out about the US basketball haters - the borderline racism that could be involved in cheering against this team.

- The US basketball team was blatantly screwed out of a gold medal in 1972, when the Soviet Union team was given three chances to score the winning basket. For this reason alone, Americans should always cheer for the US to win Olympic basketball gold.

- Doug Collins on NBC today stressed that no one is to blame for the poor shooting of the US team. He's right, but c'mon we gotta point fingers! I like the take of Pardon The Interruption's Michael Wilbon - blame Stu Jackson. As Ira Winderman writes in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:

Instead of building the best team, USA Basketball (a de facto pseudonym for NBA management), settled for the best available players. What it wound up with was a team long on athleticism and short on compatibility.

Think of it as the NFL selecting its version of an Olympic team by ranking its players from best to worst and then selecting those at the top of the list. While a roster of Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick, Peyton Manning, Daunte Culpepper, Tom Brady, Steve McNair, Brett Favre and Trent Green might titillate, who exactly is going tackle, catch passes, block?

Such was the approach taken by the USA Basketball selection committee, a star-gazing group headed by NBA Vice President Stu Jackson that seemingly was blind to the realities of international basketball.

- I shold mock Spain's coach as a crybaby loser because he went after Larry Brown after their quarterfinal loss, and Brown is one of the classiest guys in sports. But I take comfort in the fact that Spain continues to be one of those wannabe basketball powers that has not caught up to the USA in the sport that we invented.

- Speaking of Larry Brown, I hope he also gets to coach the 2008 Olympic team with a squad that is put together Herb Brooks/1980 style. (Sorry to mix my sports comparisions.) Forget selling jerseys, get some shooters on the team, and let the USA take over basketball once again.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Olson Memorial Highway Forever

The Taxpayers League of Minnesota wants to rename Highway 55 – the Floyd B. Olson Memorial Highway – in honor of the late President Ronald Reagan.

Uh, no.

1) Floyd B. Olson was the most popular governor this state has ever had. Why do you think a (pre-interstate) major highway was named after him? Not only did he give Minnesotans hope through the Great Depression, but according to this website he accomplished the following:

Many of his political goals were passed despite hostility from a conservative legislature throughout much of his tenure, such as public unemployment insurance, hours and wages bills for women and state highway employees, a mortgage moratorium on farms, a progressive state income tax to relieve tax pressures on property, old age pensions, and the expansion of state environmental conservation programs and the state forest system. He also became well-revered for his restraint and refusal to use state troops to crush strikes in Minneapolis and Austin, the behavioral norm for the era.

2) Not only did Olson help the state of Minnesota, he himself was a Minnesotan. Ronald Reagan wasn't. And like I said, Olson was the most popular governor this state has had. Reagan failed to win this state in either of his presidential elections. History suggests that Olson stay as the Highway 55 patron saint. Although my pal Chuck pointed out that Reagan was a great liberator, because: "Reagan liberated so many Minnesotans from jobs during his first term."

3) Wouldn't renaming the highway, commissioning artists to sculpt up Ronnie, paying laborers to tear statues down (hey – great photo-op! you've liberated Minnesota from a state icon!), and the like, ummm, COST TAXPAYERS MONEY? Shouldn't the Taxpayers League be trying to find ways so that they and their fellow oppressed taxpayers can, you know, pay less taxes?

4) Olson "represents the failed path of socialism?" Oh sure, throw around the pinko card to dismiss a great Minnesotan. I'll say it again: He was the most popular governor this state has ever had. Minnesotans loved him. The Great Depression represented the failed path of the free market and it took a man like Olson to help Minnesota through that dark time. (Oh, and by the way, a similar "socialist" movement in North Dakota resulted in a state-owned mill and bank that still exist to this day.) On a national scale, Franklin D. Roosevelt was the Olson-like leader.

5) And it's Roosevelt that the conservatives want to replace on the dime with Reagan. Let's not diminish Minnesotan or American icons like Highway 55 or the dime by substituting a poor president like Reagan, whose only Cold War victory was in that courageous victory in Grenada.

Long live FDR and Floyd B. Olson.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Poster Offensive

Spunk Studio has an archive up of the posters from the first Poster Offensive show, which took place last February.

The second show will take place September 24-26, 2004 at the Frank Stone Gallery.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Black Hawk Veterans For Truth

From the World Book encyclopedia on my Mac:


By late 1831, the federal government had moved most of the Sauk and Fox Indians from Illinois to Iowa. In the spring of 1832, Chief Black Hawk led a band of several hundred Indians back across the Mississippi River to try to regain their lands near Rock Island. The governor called out the militia, and Abraham Lincoln volunteered for service.

Lincoln's company consisted of men from the New Salem area. The men promptly elected him captain. This was only nine months after he had settled in the village. Even after he had been nominated for president, Lincoln said this honor "gave me more pleasure than any I have had since." It provided the first significant indication of his gift for leadership. Lincoln's comrades liked his friendliness, his honesty, and his skill at storytelling. They also admired his great strength and his sportsmanship in wrestling matches and other contests.

Lincoln's term of service ended after 30 days, but he reenlisted, this time as a private. A month later, he enlisted again. He served a total of 90 days, but saw no fighting. He later described his militia experiences as "bloody struggles with the musquetoes" and "charges upon the wild onions."

Who is this Lincoln guy and what ever qualified him to be commander-in-chief? You can just see that he's planning a future in politics ... how else aside from campaigning did he get elected captain of his company when he had lived in the area less than a year?

He only served in this war for ninety days! Then he dismissed the whole war as an effort against insects and vegetables! Lincoln - unfit for command?

Monday, August 23, 2004

Stuff I Enjoyed Reading Today

It's not top-notch Onion material, but it takes place in Grand Forks.

Former Pioneer Press sportswriter Jim Caple is oh-so-right about the joys of watching women's beach volleyball.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Offensive Poster? No, Poster Offensive!

Paul Demko has a write-up in this week's City Pages about my pal Def Jeff's poster not being printed in the Strib as a paid advertisement.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Email Received Tonight From Jim Walsh


You’re receiving this email because of your interest and/or participation in last year’s Wellstone World Music Day. That day brought together hundreds of musicians of all stripes in over 70 venues in 20 cities across the United States. Many folks have suggested there be a second such celebration, so plans are now afoot for Wellstone World Music Weekend, to take place Saturday and Sunday, October 23rd and 24th,  the thinking being that Saturday will be a big day for bars, clubs, and theaters, and Sunday a natural fit for, but not limited to, churches.

Monday the 25th will be the second anniversary of the plane crash that killed the Wellstones and friends, and eight days before the presidential election.

As with last year’s festivities, Wellstone World Music Weekend is a grass-roots effort in which any and all sorts of musical expressions make sense. To quote the organizing email from last year: “We’re going to start something right here, right now, and we’re going to call it Paul and Sheila Wellstone World Music Day. 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. Tell them you want it to be advertised as part of Paul and Sheila Wellstone World Music (Weekend). 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 (Weekend).”

There are no official organizers for Wellstone World Music Weekend, though the web site ( will be up and running soon to chronicle news, chart events, and help people hook up with each other.

All the best,
Jim Walsh

Monday, August 16, 2004

If It Looks Like A Duck And Quacks Like A Duck ...

Harkin calls Cheney a coward. Give 'em hell, Tom!

Sunday, August 15, 2004

My Life's Work Complete

If you google the first word of "Wooly Bully", Rocks Off has the #1 and #2 results.

Here's to little victories!

Saturday, August 14, 2004

August 14th

Today is the 20th anniversary of my turning legal drinking age in the state of Minnesota. I celebrated the event in 1984 by helping my sister move to Devils Lake, North Dakota. That night I had an allergy attack and one of my eyelids swelled shut.

First beer had in a bar: Schmidt longneck at the Hotel Shoreham, near Detroit Lakes. (Bought by my pal Perry Eidem and his then-fiance-now-wife Mardi.)

First off-sale purchased. Twelve-pack of Meisterbrau cans, for my Mom, at the Vergas Municipal Liquor Store. It was four dollars even, tax included. The mean chick who worked there (we called her "The Dragon Lady") scoffed at my prescence, carded me, and exclaimed: "You just turned!" The law's the law, honey.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Help Me! I'm Trapped In A Self-Contained Hipster Universe!

Quick question for all y'all: Did my Michael Jordan mini-memoir come off as: 1) an aimless personal story, or 2) an insecure, half-assed grad school essay?

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Hey Terry Ryan:

You blew it by not trading for Kris Benson from the Pittsburgh Pirates. You would have had to give up Jason Kubel? Big freakin' deal!

We could have received the husband of Anna Benson!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Art Doesn't Exist In A Vacuum

From last Saturday's Strib:

Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty said he's "heartbroken" that Bruce Springsteen is planning to rock against President Bush.

Opening his weekly radio show Friday with "Born to Run," the 43-year-old Pawlenty called Springsteen one of his musical idols. "I really appreciate his music, but I wish he wouldn't interject his music with politics," said Pawlenty, who co-chairs Bush's campaign in Minnesota.

Springsteen and REM will perform Oct. 5 at St. Paul's Xcel Energy Center as part of a series of concerts staged in nine swing states across the country to oppose Bush's reelection.

"I'm going to have to miss this one," Pawlenty said.

1) "(Not) interject his music with politics ..." Then, Governor, why is okay for you to have bands play at your inaugural? Why is it okay for you to interject pop culture references into your political speech? If Springsteen rocked for Bush, would you feel the same way?

2) Governor: Ten years ago Springsteen released an album titled The Ghost of Tom Joad. Um, it's The Grapes Of Wrath, get it? "The Grapes of Wrath is a landmark of American literature, one that captures the horrors of the Great Depression as it probes into the very nature of equality and justice in America." John Steinbeck? Oh, never mind.

3) On a totally unrelated note, I have it on good word that Governor Pawlenty was once visiting a local business that has the word "loco" in its name. "Loco?" The governor asked, "Do you use that because it's a local business?" Way to chase that Hispanic vote Timmy!

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Mystery Solved

Saint Paul over at Fraters Libertas has figured out the "Wooly Bully" mystery that I wrote about on August 2nd.

Awesome, totally awesome!

(And yes, that was just a case of me blogging him blogging me.)

Thursday, August 05, 2004

All The Boys Walk By, Dressed Up For Each Other

The unsettling thought has occurred to me that when I go out, I subconsciously dress to appeal to men.

Case in point - last night I went to the Hold Steady show at First Avenue. I dressed simply in black Chucks, Levis, and a Winnipeg Jets teeshirt. As I made my way through the balcony bar, some dude stopped me and said: "Great shirt! Winnipeg Jets! Love it!" I slapped him on the back, thanked him, and made my way on.

Thirty feet away, I could still hear him telling his friends: "WINNIPEG JETS! YOU GOTTA LOVE IT! HE HAD A FREAKIN' WINNIPEG JETS SHIRT ON!!"

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Bloggers Are A Big Story This Year -- Possibly Because There Is No Other News ...

"I'm blogging him blogging you!"
My Favorite Album Covers From The Seventies

Cheap Trick - In Color
Bruce Springsteen - The Wild, The Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle
Mott the Hoople - Mott
Iggy & the Stooges - Metallic K.O.
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - You're Gonna Get It!
AC/DC - Highway To Hell
Deep Purple - Machine Head
Black Sabbath - Vol. 4
The J. Geils Band - Full House
Emmylou Harris - Luxury Liner
Blue Oyster Cult - Agents of Fortune

1) The Cheap Trick one is best appreciated if you see the back cover also.

2) Mott and Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited are my all-time faves. I have both of 'em framed on my living room walls.

3) "Metallic K.O. ... with a picture of me on the front of it, knocked out cold." - Iggy Pop in his autobiography, I Need More

4) AC/DC paid homage by Alison Kraus.

5) Sabbath paid homage by me.

6) Geils ... that ain't a full house! But I love those cards. (I mean the band, not that hand.)

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Couldn't Have Said It Any Better Myself

My friend Chad Hagen once said this about National Night Out: "I'll celebrate it with the doors locked, the shades drawn, and a shotgun in my lap."

Monday, August 02, 2004

I Believe Spicoli Said: "Ahhhh, I Know That Tune!"

I'm getting mucho hits on my site from people typing "first word of wooly bully" into search engines. If anybody knows what's up with this sudden world-wide curiousity about the nonsensical (I assume, though nonsensical don't mean bad in my book) lyrics all-time great rock 'n' roll song, please comment or email me. Thanks!

(And the first word is "uno" ... right?)

Update: The mystery has been solved. It's a clue in a crossword puzzle. See my August 7th post, or click here.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

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

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

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

Tuesday, July 27, 2004


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

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

Monday, July 26, 2004

Hey Chuck - Go Out And Get A Job Already!

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

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

Sunday, July 25, 2004

My Favorite Album Covers From The Fifties And Sixties

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Shouldn't This Be On The Editorial Page?

Today's Hagar the Horrible comic strip.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Go Reds

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

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

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

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

Sunday, July 18, 2004

New Zine Out

The 800-pound gorilla is finally off my back.

Exiled on Main Street #39 is now posted.

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

Saturday, July 17, 2004

I Like Trial Lawyers

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

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

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

Thursday, July 15, 2004

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

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

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

Monday, July 12, 2004

No Clothes

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

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

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Bogus Reasons For War

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


- No nuclear weapons program

- No biological weapons

- Only a small amount of chemical weapons

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, July 09, 2004

Yes, Pun Intended On That Last Exclamation

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

Their manifesto is:

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

Complete with mp3 downloads. Sweet!

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

The World That Matters

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

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

So The World That Matters is:

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

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

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

Monday, July 05, 2004

An Argument Against Authenticity

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, July 04, 2004


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, July 03, 2004


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

Thursday, July 01, 2004

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Five Albums I Don't Own, Would Probably Like, And Should Buy Just For Their Titles Alone

Hanoi Rocks - Self Destruction Blues
Cheap Trick - Music For Hangovers
The Flaming Sideburns Save Rock 'n' Roll
Bangkok Shocks, Saigon Shakes, Hanoi Rocks
The Donnas Turn 21

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Make It Stop, Please

In the last week I've linked an imaginary brand of beer to an eighties band I couldn't stand; compared a deejay's style to the coaching of former NFL genius Bill Walsh; compared a speculative North Dakota vs. Minnesota-Duluth hockey game to Fischer vs. Spassky; and namechecked Dick Pope Jr.

Tonight, I'm going to the Susstones event at the Bryant Lake Bowl. I can already hear myself dropping a Fay Vincent reference. Lord.

(Update: Instead, it was a reference to Emerson, Lake & Powell.)

Sunday, June 27, 2004

White, Talentless, And Overhyped Has Reached A New Level

The Streets needs to be terminated with extreme prejudice. Another example of a lousy Brit washing up on our shows and being hailed as The Next Big Thing. If this clown was from Lisle, Illinois, would anyone listen? I heard him back-to-back with fellow whiny twit Morrissey on Radio K this week and it was only laziness and masochism that kept me from turning the dial.

I'll mail a sixer of Lowenbrau to anyone who shuts The Streets up permanently.

Friday, June 25, 2004

End Of An Era

I'm in the mood for twelver or so of Old Milwaukee Dark.

But great programs are known as great programs because they field great teams throughout the decades. So I think there are only two questions to be answered:

1) Does UND remove the "interim" from Dave Hakstol's title and make him the permanent head coach or do they go after UMD's Scott Sandelin?

2) Will the Sioux be wearing their home whites or road greens when they win the national championship next April?

(thanks as always to Dan Cole.)

Thursday, June 24, 2004

I Hated The New Romantics

Old Milwaukee should come out with a dark beer so that we could call it "OMD."

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

UND Hat, Teeshirt, Levis, Black Chucks

Last night the cutie ponytailed bartender at the Bar Abilene only charged me a dollar for a pint of Sam Adams. She said she was giving me the hospitality night discount. Sometimes it pays to dress like a slob.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Not That You Care, Especially Six Months Later, But Atmosphere's Seven's Travels Is Likely My Favorite Album From 2003

I'm digging Slug's Ten Reasons Why Minneapolis Is The Best City In America, as listed in the May issue of Spin. I won't type 'em all, but 7-9 are worth the exercise:

7. Small population of vegan bike messengers.
8. Do you like coffee?
9. How about independent record stores?

Thursday, June 17, 2004

It's Funny Because It's True

In case you missed it, Kirk Anderson had a brilliant cartoon that ran in the Strib on June 8th.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Billy Gets His Tooth Sawed Down

As reported on the Cosmic Slop show last Sunday (they reported it because I emailed 'em all about it with my request - which was played, those guys are great - for "Popcorn" by Hot Butter), I shattered a tooth a few weeks back while munching on popcorn and watching the Timberwolves on TV. I did manage to tough it out and have a couple of more Old Styles that night, but I have sworn popcorn off indefinitely.

So last week I had a temporary crown put in. (The permanent one gets put in next week.) Halfway through the hour-long procedure, while I was propped back and my mouth was wide open and swallowing was difficult, another dentist popped in and talked my dentist's ear off about a potential golf outing. He wouldn't freakin' leave - he kept doing the Columbo "one more thing" deal - and I was mostly pissed and just a little bemused. Why the bemusement? Somewhere in my head, a voice was saying: "Isn't this something from a Replacements song?"

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Politics Aside, These Days I'm Telling The Girls That "I'm Studying The Art And The Form Of The Personal Essay"

I am at my secret getaway and on a writing break until June 17th or so.

- FDR was hands-down the greatest U.S. president of the twentieth century. Keep him on the dime.

- Yesterday Dan "The Common Man" Cole did a brilliant job of fleshing out the right-hand side of my poster. I'm mailing him one.

- Another reason to cheer against the Lakers: Brian Wilson has been spotted at Staples Center. When Little Richard and Chuck Berry coast on the laurels of music they made decades ago, they get referred to as "nostalgia acts." When Wilson does it, he's referred to as a "reclusive genius."

- SCTV is out on DVD. Cool.

- Any man who drinks Michelob Ultra, Rolling Rock Green Light, or Aspen Edge (not to mention light beers) needs to go check his makeup.

- Something I wrote for City Pages is on this page somewhere.

- Let's all adopt the philosophy of Doctor J: "Dare to be great."

Monday, June 07, 2004

Game Seven

I was hoping to watch game seven of the Stanley Cup finals in the air-conditioned comfort of the CC Club. But I'm sitting here at home still debiting and crediting, though I do have some cold Premos going. As I type, Tampa Bay leads Calgary 1-0 after one period.

Most astute hockey fans I know are cheering for Calgary, for various reasons. Me, while far from astute, am also cheering for the Flames as I caught a few of their upset wins in the preliminary rounds and liked their energy, not to mention the underdog factor. Plus they have two of my favorite college hockey players of the past five years - Mike Commodore out of North Dakota and Jordan Leopold out of Minnesota. Finally, throw in the three Finns on their roster to zero for Tampa Bay.

A few random notes:

- The Tampa Bay coach looks like Ron Silver.

- I liked it better when the NHL home teams wore white, not dark, uniforms. Is this a temporary move or a permanent one?

- Barry Melrose, like Pat Buchanan, needs to drop the pinstripe suits.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

I Know Nothing About Hoops
And The Pistons Have Better Uniforms

I probably should be cheering for Phil Jackson (UND '67) and the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA finals, but thing is - I'd rather see smug Karl Malone be denied a ring than see Jackson win another.

Besides, Larry Brown coaches the Detroit Pistons. I've been a fan of his ever since I saw the ABA Denver Nuggets play at McNichols Arena thirty years ago. Brown has had an incredible coaching career - only three losing seasons in the pros since 1972 and an NCAA title with Kansas in 1988. And he'll be coaching the USA Olympic team this summer to the gold as they crush all the pretend basketball powers.

(Oh, and is a goldmine of ABA memories. I still miss that red, white, and blue basketball.)

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Coming To Target Center In August

If your favorite thing about hockey is the fights, well, Hockey Gladiators has gotten rid of the hockey.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Who's The Arsehole?

The April issue of MOJO has a feature on Queen that has drummer Roger Taylor relating a tale of playing shows with Lynyrd Skynyrd in Germany in 1971. (The date is doubtful, see note at bottom.) Taylor says:

"They were awful. They were Southern rednecks and they could not believe it when they saw us four caked in make-up and dressed like women. They were outraged, confused and a little frightened, because the four nancy boys were giving them quite a run for their money on-stage ... God, Lynyrd Skynyrd! They were arseholes, frankly. When they played that song 'Free Bird' it seemed to go for months. As I remember they had three lead guitarists. Hmmm, well we only seemed to need one. Absolute arseholes. Later on they had that terrible fatal plane crash, didn't they? Shouldn't speak ill of the dead ... bollocks to that!"

Hey Roger Taylor:

The guys in Lynyrd Skynyrd went through the South in the late sixties and early seventies as rock-n-rollers with long hair! Do you think the sight of four effeminate limeys would scare them after facing all the good-old-boy roadside bars and backwoods joints they played while woodshedding? Ever heard Charlie Daniels' "Uneasy Rider"?

If you are stupidly going to refer to the members of Skynyrd as "rednecks" because they were from the South (which, by the way Rog, is where rock 'n' roll was born), then I am going to refer to you and your fellow bandmates as "swishy Brits." And it's off the topic, but why has your country continued to make such pussified rock 'n' roll for the past quarter-century or so? Is the swishiness in your blood or what?

And yes, while Skynyrd had three guitarists, they also didn't have to spend eight months in the studio overdubbing/multitracking/whatevering to come up with "Workin' For MCA" or "Saturday Night Special" - rockers which simply and straightly kick the ass of anything you and your mates ever came up with. "Free Bird" goes on for months? You're one to talk - how about "Bohemian Rhapsody" and that "We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions" monstrosity? Fuck, at least Skynyrd wasn't channeling a Nuremberg rally. I'll put the original Skynyrd's output of Pronounced through Street Survivors up against anything your cute little band came up with any time.

"Bollocks" to respect for the dead? I agree. When Freddie Mercury croaked, I did a shot and cracked a beer and broke down and cried! Queen could never again get together to create more gems like "Bicycle Race"! Oh no! The tragedy! No more pretentious, overblown, aristocratic British rock! No more brilliance ala "Body Language"! Boo-hoo! What a loss!

Finally, Roger, let's get something straight. Lynyrd Skynyrd was one of the finest, toughest, rock 'n' roll bands ever. Queen was an overblown, crappy pomposity of an outfit that performed show tunes covered up with a buncha overdubbed guitars and vocals. And as I type this, I sincerely hope that wherever they are ... Ronnie Van Zant is busting a pool cue over Freddie Mercury's skull.

(Note: A letter-writer in the June issue of MOJO points out that the concerts occurred in 1974 and sent a photo of a ticket stub to prove it. Makes sense as Skynyrd was still in the bars in '71 and Queen's first album didn't come out until '73 - sloppy fact-checking by MOJO. The letter-writer also says at the show he attended that Skynyrd blew people away and half the crowd left before Queen came on. He and his pals got bored with Queen after a few numbers and also left.)