Wednesday, August 10, 2005

My First Blank Gen Column

Okay, so in my continuing, pathetic effort to post everything on here that I've ever written within the last five years, I present to you now the first blank generation.com column I wrote. This is from March of 2001:

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"I am the end, NOW is release, NOW comes revenge, now is the PAIN, you think you know pain, you know nothing, feel my touch, feel the pulsing stimulation. Know the meaning of....My gift to you......I LIVE......."

Or something like that, we're just dealing in Samhain lyrics here, so there's no need to be precise. Anyway, as you've maybe gleamed from the above (I feel the need to mention a cube here, I know not why) this is my first Blank Generation thingy, and as such, uhhhh, "welcome to the pain", welcome to my column. In the coming months AND years I plan on using this column as a tool to explore and/or define the vast, ummmm, unexplored, ill-defined beast that is modern rock'n'roll/punk rock culture. I shall explain its relation to other cultures, both main and side-stream. I'll offer up all my bullshit, over-simplified theories on the working of life. I'll strive my striviest to identify all the latest cliches and then, obviously, make fun of them. I'll do all of this in a profoundly punk rock context, and what's more, I'll do it with a lot less ego then has been displayed in this first paragraph. (MODERN DAY, 2005 EDITOR'S NOTE:Obviously, I was not successful in THAT particular endeavor) Sorry, I guess that Samhain quote really got to me..........

SO then, in an effort to actually COME UP with a topic for the first column, I was looking around ol' Blank Gen, trying to find SOME source of inspiration. Wasn't coming up with much, obviously, but then, I stumbled across those geeky "staff profile" things where such and such talks about blah blah and blah blah and "I like this band", and "I'd give me first born to see the So and So's, circa '77" and "Ouuuuuuu, I'd just piss my pants for a chance to have Lou Reed shit in my mouth" and such. In those profiles though, someone mentioned something about the "Please Kill Me" book from a couple years back. A book which I just read (I had to order it, in case Paul Reject is reading this) recently. And clearly, this book is an AMAZING, AMAZING read. It's one of the first rock 'n' roll books EVER that doesn't sugarcoat a SINGLE THING. Sure, in other books you could read about Thunders' drug habit, but ne'er where else before would learn of just HOW disgusting he got towards the end. Ya know, how all the years of drug abuse had REALLY "taken its toll on his looks". How Liv Tyler's mommy WOULD've fucked him if he just weren't so repellent. And to think, Thunders has such a huge cult of junkie rockers nowadays, some of which actually ARE also copping a habit just to be like their hero. What the fuck, ya know?

Another cool thing about the book was all the small stuff that a lot of people maybe, probably, missed, like the fact that GG and crew hung out with the Ramones (Blondie was there to) while they were out in CA filming Rock 'N' Roll Highschool. Now, is it just me, or does it totally blow your mind that it's possible that while Dee Dee was fucking up his "Hey guys, it's pizza!" line, GG Allin himself might've been trying to mack on Debbie Harry? It's a Bizarro World, folks! (MODERN DAY, 2005 EDITOR'S NOTE:Twasn't GG, the Ramones hung out with the Sic Fucks in LA, not the Scum Fucks. The Sic Fucks were led by two chicks that were backup singers in an early version of Blondie. Later I think they went on to found the very profitable Manic Panic hair dye line)And another thing, fucking JERRY ONLY was there when Sid's mom spred Sid's ashes on Nancy's grave, fucking inbred, everybody knows everybody else in the New York punk scene of the mid to late seventies.........

But anyway, anyway, ANYway, overall, the coolest part of the book HAS TO BE the chapter on all the male prostitutes. Dee Dee Ramone, Jim Carroll, Richard (or should I say "Dick") Hell, SO many of our rock 'n' roll idols took it up the ass to earn to some scratch. Talk about putting the "punk" in uhhhhhh "punk rock." After reading about all that though, it's kinda hard to have the same respect for 'em. I mean, we're all probably about half a step from being a junkie, that’s understandable, but I don't know about you, I don't think I could do the whole "peddling my ass" thing. That is, unless I was some kind of male prostitute that only fucked really good looking, disease free women, preferably RICH; good looking disease free women. Or actually, if they were good looking and rich enough, maybe you could bump the whole "disease free" qualifier. For some reason though, I DOUBT I'm ever gonna find my time employed in THAT specific occupation. I can always dream though.............

Still though, THINKING about all of that, THINKING about a lot of doof’s blind hero worship/imitation, THINKING about the whole "newly unveiled" history of a punk rock hustlin', I uhhhhh, well, I came to the obvious conclusion. Namely, if people ARE so truly stupid that they'll cop a heroin habit JUST to be like their heroes (Brad Knowle, anybody?), if they're gonna go to THAT extreme, then it AIN'T a long time 'til "Hustler Chic’ll" take hold and become the latest trend.

Yeah, you heard me, peddling your ass, ESPECIALLY if yer a guy, is gonna be the next big thing with yer hipster doofus types. They've already tried "bi", they could find work as a tattoo man in ANY 1930's circus, and they’ve pierced their genitals into nothing-ness… WHAT IS LEFT FOR THESE PEOPLE? WHERE DO THEY GO NOW? I'll tell ya where it's all a going, it's all headed straight for "Peddler Punk", for "Hustler Chic." You'll walk down the street in some metropolitan area (preferably somewhere around 53rd and 3rd) and some spiked, dog collared, Toilet Boys be-t-shirted moron is gonna walk up to you and say "Dude, do you like wanna uhhhhh, go on a DATE?"

Now, IN THEORY New Wave Hookers are cool, but fuck, in practice, in practice they're a mediocre band that DOES sound like they'd be in Junk....... Whoops, sorry, kinda got side tracked there, it's just that I had such high hopes for them, based on that song from the Spastics' LP, but oh well.………

Moral of the story: Hipster doofuses are doofuses, and fucking HELL, is the future ever gonna be a scary place. Between them and the amputee fetish freaks, I just think I might vote republican in uhhhhh, 2020 or whenever.

So anyway, that's it for this for now. Even though I'm not a reviewer, feel free to send me any free records or whatever (naked photos of yourself, but only if you are the aforementioned disease free, good looking WOMAN and the "rich" part don't hurt either). Also, as a faggy "end notes" type thing, I'm gonna do a "movie of the week" and "band of week" sorta dealie. WHY? Because I want to........

Movie of the Week: "The Tao of Steve"

Rented this a couple of weeks ago, stars Donal Logue of TV's "Growded For Life", which actually IS one of the few decent sit-coms on the air today(MODERN DAY, 2005 EDITOR'S NOTE:No it wasn't, that show sucked). Anyway, "Steve" is the tale of this post 30 philoso-slacker that still manages to get laid a lot even though he's real fat. Damn, I hope to one day to BE that post 30 philoso-slacker that still blah, blah....... But anyway, all in life is fine for him until he falls for this hot drummer chick, and THEN......... it all changes. Nothing great, but still, it's a new slacker movie, and I am duty bound to see ALL slacker movies. Actually, I'll probably DO a column on slacker movies sooner or later, but whatever.............

Band of week: Mission of Burma

Now I generally wanna spotlight a CURRENT band here, but what the fuck, Burma have been unappreciated their whole fucking career (and also in the nearly twenty years since they broke up) Fuck, I went to the only Burma web site the other day www.missionofburma.com and the counter was only at like 287, or something ridiculous like that(MODERN DAY, 2005 EDITOR'S NOTE:Also, they had Clint Conley's personal email address on the website at the time. It's hard to believe that a mere half decade ago Burma was so overlooked) . The damn these kids today, they got no sense of history... So anyway, they formed in '78 and kept a stable line-up of Roger Miller on guitar and vocals; Clint Conley on bass and vocals, Peter Prescott on drums and backing vocals and Martin fucking Swope as the enigmatic "live tape manipulator/sound guy".

Now as for what Swope actually DID, I have no fucking clue, nothing further then like he MANIPULATED TAPES, and/or tape LOOPS.... LIVE. His presence can be felt most on the "VS." LP, where he is the guy responsible for all the backwards-y sounding stuff (side note here: Now this is just personal opinion, but I think Burma, and Swopes contributions in particular were a HUGE influence on all the strange-ness that was "Zen Arcade" but anyway, that just my opinion). In live settings, Swope was not a huge factor, you can hear his work on their cover of "Heart of Darkness" from the live "The Horrible Truth About Burma" CD. And you can really hear his stuff on any live version of "Mica" to. Still though, Swope was never a HUGE part of the group, he just did his part to add to the overall "riddle" that was Mission of Burma.

And I mean, that's what they were, they're hard to grasp, impossible to "figure out." I mean, who the fuck knows what "science can wait, democracy now" means? Like the linear notes to the rarities CD "Forget" says, They were too punk to be arty, but too arty to be punk. They live in some weird no man’s land in between the both. SOMEhow, someWAY they managed to do a bunch of arty shit without being the slighest bit pretentious about it, don't ask me how.

Anyway, in '83, after having only released one real LP, they broke up, mainly because Miller was loosing his hearing (he could be seen wearing one of those big sound dampening headset dealies during their last bunch shows). As for what record you should go for, fuck, they're all good, the "Signals, Calls and Marches" EP, the "VS." LP, the self titled, ten song rarity disc (contains the ULTRA classic "Peking Spring", TOTALLY essential), the SECOND rarities disc "Forget", the live record "The Horrible Truth About Burma" and if you look kinda hard, you can find their video "Live at the Bradford" without too much trouble. Half their stuff's on Rykodisc, half of it on Taang!!, the video's harder to find, but it's out there.

They've been covered by the likes of REM, Soul Asylum, Moby, Screaming Trees and the Spinnanes. In Rolling Stone, Peter Buck called "Forget" the album of the year, and fuck, that was their weekest (but still awesome) stuff. Definitely check these guys out, they were one of the FEW bands that actually did the whole arty-ness thing "right." And fuck, it's doubtful that bands like Le Shok and the Piranhas would be around today if it weren't for Burma (or well, maybe Devo or the Screamers, but whatever). - Clint Parson