STAND DOWN, BLOGGERS! Abduction Crisis Is Over!
The power of the internet does something good OTHER than providing fast & cheap porn to the masses.
Jordan Barry is safely back with Kim and her loving family. Normally it is rare when stories like these have such a happy ending, but thanks to all of the bloggers who were willing to help spread the news, Nancy Rolfe turned herself in to the authorities this morning. I'll quote an e-mail I received from Kim this morning.
"He (Jordan) said his mom saw something on the computer and then she saw herself on the late local news broadcast and turned herself in."
Given that the blogs are so immediately spidered into the search engines, especially ones on Blogger, it is safe to assume that she saw herself plastered across the internet and realized she was is a heap of trouble. Thankfully, she is in jail and Jordan is back with Kim and her family. He's being checked out for any signs of abuse or trauma, but according to Kim, " the boy cannot stop smiling!"
I am going to permanently remove the last post so as not to have the news of the abduction popping up and potentially alarming anyone. I recommend anyone who helped out by posting the news do the same.
Please visit Kim and wish her some congratulatory thoughts. She is so happy now she could burst. I'm happy for her as well.
I Couldn't Wait Any Longer!
If you aren't a fan of Johnny Cash, I simply cannot tell you how overwhelmingly filled with SUCK you are.
He was, is, and forever shall be
No way around it, no use arguing with me about it. If you doubt my statement at all, just ask the Almighty God yourself, if you believe in Him. Of course you'll have to wait for an audience with God as he's standing in line to get into a Johnny Cash concert. He's recording, "Johnny Cash, Behind Bars Again: LIVE Behind the Pearly Gates"
later this week and tickets are so hard to get, God doesn't even have the juice to snag some seats.
Anyway, while I cannot boast any great love for a large majority of his catalogue, not being much of a country fan, I can lay claim to a rather great fondness for a hell of a lot of songs from the Man in Black. My favorite Cash recordings are, of course, the American Recordings. You simply can't find better recorded music anywhere. The four studio albums and the subsequent Unearthed box set are the quintessential examples magnificent beauty. A great American singer simply doing what he does best.
I've been EAGERLY
awaiting the release of American V, but it seems that CD may never come out. Prior to his death, Cash recorded about 60 tracks for the American V project and Rick Rubin has been very particular about picking the tracks and producing the final album of songs. The release date has been bumped and bumped so many times it seems as though it won't happen any time soon. I don't even find it listed at stores anymore with a release date.
I was hoping it would have come out by now so I could take full advantage of my car's CD player with MP3 playback. That way I could put every damn track on one disc and hit the open road. I just couldn't wait a moment longer and I went ahead and burned my CD tonight.
Perhaps this action will cause Rubin to release American V, the same way washing your car makes it rain.
Lotsa Traffic! Keep it...Cummin'!
Well, they say that sex sells. Surely that must be the case. I believe my post about Boobs for Bourbon Street and the subsequent links to many various sites about breastimacices had a little something to do with the increase of traffic I had in here the last few days.
Of course I can also attribute some traffic to the art of selling sex, if not the perception that sex is being sold. Alexa, of A New York Escort's Confessions has recently linked to my little old blog and I'm happy to do the same in return.
I was first made aware of this most titillating and tantalizing blog back when I wrote my very popular article, Sex Blogs: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly, for The Cheers. I found Alexa's link while, uh, researching the topic at the Small Town Sex Blog (No link because it's recently been shut down). Alexa has a great read at her blog. She does work in New York in the controversial and quite necessary escort business and yes, indeed you get some great stories. However you can also find many great reads for the everyday, no-need-for-sex-talk reader. In short, this is one most excellent blog to take in.
Thanks for the link, Alexa!
Boobs Help Make New Orleans Great...Again!
It is no secret that New Orleans was a great city. If not for the food and the music, then certainly for the extremely large quantity and easy availability of NAKED BOOBS!
Love it or hate it, New Orleans is the place to see public nudity as both an art form and a way of life (if not also a way to get free drinks).
Sadly, I've never been to New Orleans. However I have watched "Girls Gone Wild"
so I feel more than qualified to talk about the place. Without New Orleans I'd have never learned the most valuable of lessons a young man can learn; women will do absolutely ANYTHING
for cheap, plastic, beaded jewelry. If for no other reason than that one New Orleans deserves to rise again.
Of course, making that happen is no easy feat. In fact, feet have nothing to do with rebuilding NOLA at all. No, the two body parts that helped make the city great will play a major role in helping it "bounce" back. Ladies and gentlemen (but mostly ladies) I direct you to...
The premise is simple. Photos of naked boobs (both men and women alike) will be used to encourage people online to donate money for hurricane relief. You want to see the boobs, you pony up the dough. We all know that people spend countless BILLIONS
of dollars a year on internet nudity. This time your money will go for a more noble purpose, though I can't imagine anything more noble than giving me a reason to whack off.
When I found this site (thanks to Outhouse Rag
) I was reminded of a story I wrote for The Cheers
before the last Presidential debacle - uh, I mean election. This column, titled "Socially Responsible BOOBIES"
dealt with the same concept of using our need to see naked breasts for the common good (Click the link to read
The absolute best, if not the first to implement this genius tactic is the Blogger Boobiethon
, which raises money for breast cancer awareness and research. They're baring all again this year if you'd like to help.
I am hopeful that beads and boobs will never leave the landscape of New Orleans. Now that all of the rebuilding contracts are being handed over to G-Dub's bestest of friends I doubt that NOLA will be even remotely the same again. Luxury condos and country music in New Orleans??? FUCK YOU!
In any event I find it most excellent to see someone bringing the power of the internet and the allure of the lovely lady lumps
together for a good cause.
More Links - Brain Depot and The Goose!
I just received an e-mail from Mr Yaikz at Brain Depot. Brain Depot is a blog, not too dissimilar to Attu Sees All. Similar layout and design, also a big link dump filled with internet oddities, also kind enough to link to me.
What is different about this one is that ANYONE can post to the site. They have a login and password set up for anyone who would like to add something else to the site. I'll have to remember this one next time I have some shows or articles to promote. I haven't fully checked it out yet, but it does have some good stuff in there, if not a few excellent links to and photos of scantily clad women, which you KNOW I love. LOL!
Please check them out and feel free to use them as a good source for all things insignificant and amusing in the World Wide Web.
I just found out that The Goose still has my link up and running. I had mistakenly thought he dropped me like a bad habit and subsequently cleared him out of my link list. As it happens I was wrong and I am very pleased to direct your attention back to another good link dump. Lots of good stuff and the occasional mention of my own writing can be found there. Please visit The Goose.
As always, thanks for the links folks!
I Can Watch This All Day
I have to thank Jade for finding this little bit of internet oddity. It is just fascinating.
You can let this chick float on her own or left click on her and toss her about all you want.
Just click here and enjoy.
Should Be a Fun Gig Tonight
In light of my more depressing money post earlier today I do have a gig tonight that should cheer me up a bit.
I always enjoy doing some work as a Blues Brother. What's even more fun is when I get to sing a few songs and pretend to be a rock star for a little while. One way to make that even more fun is to have a good live band backing me up as opposed to a CD track. An even better way to make the whole thing really enjoyable is to do this on one of the stages at the House of Blues in Chicago.
Tonight I get to sing Blues Brothers tunes with a band at the House of Blues and I'm looking forward to letting off a little steam there!
I've been there a few times in the past and the vibe on that main stage is just AWESOME. You really feel like you're in show business (the good kind, not the kind I'm normally in) when you're performing on that stage. Plus I'll have the pleasure of working with The Chicago Kingsnakes, one of my favorite local blues bands. I'm worked with them many times now and they never fail to make me look considerably better than I actually am. LOL!
New Link Partner - The Torn Pages
Please welcome Sue from The Torn Pages to the ever-growing family of intelligent folks who have read and linked my crappy little blog. Looks as though pretty much everyone that has ever read my blog is already linked there, but if this is not the case, head on over there and read, comment, and enjoy.
Thanks for the link, Sue!
George Bailey Should Have Jumped!
Contrary to the belief of many, including several government agencies, I don't make a lot of money. It seems like a lot to the average person, but they never figure in taxes and the expenses of promoting and maintaining an act. Frequently, I find myself wondering if I will be able to make it from month to month, especially in years like this one.
I have been saving up and avoiding cashing at least one check so I could get some plans in order with a financial planner. I worked for his company awhile back and saw so many average folks like me that were so happy and so much less frazzled about the future thanks to him I thought he'd be the guy to call.
I have NO ILLUSIONS about ever living a debt-free existence. I don't even consider it an option or a goal to shoot for. Unless I really hit it big in this business it is a completely unrealistic notion that I'll ever be able to live without some major debt. All I wanted when I met with this guy initially back in April and again when I called him for an appointment today was to find a way where I can...
A) Reduce my debt
B) Gain enough financial security to cover the emergencies and pay for the vacations & maybe one day be able to afford health insurance.
C) Allow me to continue to try and make a living in my chosen profession
That's it. I have no need for a retirement plan. I'll never be retiring because I'll never make enough money to retire, I'm not working most of the time now, and I won't live long enough to even enjoy the cash I've socked away. I'll be dead some time between 60 and 70. That's just how it is in my family. I won't be having any kids so I've no need to save for them. April is covered under my life insurance, but that's not much, and I may not be able to keep the policy alive beyond 2006 as it is.
Anyway, I had to fill out this long form detailing all of my debt (which was difficult...I have so much debt), all of my assets (which was easy...I have none), and so on. Nothing on Earth has ever made me feel less intelligent, more useless, and so completely helpless in my life than filling out this form. I called the guy and begged him for a reason to keep my appointment because to me, it is beyond hope.
I don't even know how much money we spend on laundry much less how much I spend on everything else. We need eggs...I buy eggs. There's no budget involved. I pay the bills when they come and I buy the things I need when I need them, especially for the business. I keep track of my business expenses but as my accountant and the IRS will attest to, I'm not very organized and I'll likely never be any better at this crap. I am positive I won't even be able to do the things this planner suggested and keep track of every dollar I spend and try to come up with a budget. It is all too much and I was just not brought up to be that kind of person.
About all I can do right now is TRY to keep track of what I spend personally and professionally and put this check into a bank account. From there will be all the same trappings that have hit me every time I've made these attempts. I put money aside from every paycheck and vow not to touch the money. Some sort of cash emergency comes up and I don't have the money available to pay for everything. I take out the cash from the account and I never have money again.
By the way, if you're going to give me the self-fulfilling prophecy line of bullshit you can fuck right off right now! This is educated projections based upon years of conclusive data, here.
The cash emergency may already be here to be honest. I was considering canceling the appointment even before the financial planner suggested I sock the money away, sort out my expenses, and call him when I can afford to really get started. The thing is, anyone will tell you that at my age, if I haven't done something by now about my finances or my future, it is safe to say that I will have no finances nor any future to speak of because it takes time to make things like these happen. I am on the verge of a complete breakdown thinking about all this.
This is not a stereotypical loser suicide blog post here. I just find it somewhat funny to look at all the debt I'd written down on this form and realized that I'm BARELY worth more dead than alive. I'm not kidding, when you factor in taxes, the cash April would make off my life insurance policy would just about be enough to cover debt and allow her a dinner at Sizzler to celebrate. Really, how can any financial planner get any business after subjecting someone to this 20-page, "YOU'RE A LOSER" document?
Anyway, I'm not going to my appointment and I'm going to go through the folly of using this check to start a "You can't touch this money EVER" account. I'll let you know when that account has been touched to pay for the crappy life I ruined years ago and am still paying for now. Fuck, my whole life in on credit. I'm not just talking about credit cards, I'm talking about all the shitty and stupid things I've ever done are things I'm forced to pay for years down the road. There's got to be a blues song in there somewhere.
The guy was very cool about it and of course, optimistic about our one day being able to work together. I'm just wishing the director's cut of "It's a Wonderful Life" involved a scene where George Bailey sees life without him, realizes that it has in fact been a shitty life, and tosses Clarence over the bridge.
MMMmmm, Penguin Zipper Pull!
Check out this cool little present I got from my mom the other day. April got one too. Now we can open our zippers with style! Wait, that came out all wrong. Ah well.
More penguin news tomorrow.
HUGE Jump in Traffic Today
I had numbers considerably more like they were several months back and oddly enough, there was no real explanation for it. It seems nobody new linked to me nor blogged about this site. About all I can figure is that my post, "Respectfully..." seemed extremely interesting. Strange world. I'll never get this een-tur-net thing.
GO FUCK YOURSELF!You know who you are!
I've had a long day and it seems person after person wants to piss me off today so I offer this simple general message to all.
If you're not sure if I'm talking to you or not, just assume I am and try to figure out how you can make it all up to me. If you're 100% confident I'm not
talking to you then feel free to go about your day and not be troubled with my nonsense. Just know that I'm watching you very closely and your time may be up!
Fun With Ego-Surfing
No, I'm not talking about my past column with the same name. Of course that one is so damned funny you may as well go read it anyway.
I'm actually talking about some of the fun I had last night with the practice of ego-surfing (typing your own name into a search engine to see what comes up). I do this and REALLY go many pages into the search to see where my name & various websites pop up. I found a few things worth mentioning. After all, it is about ME!
I found out why so many requests for autographed cards have come my way. As it happens some fine person frequenting the forums at dvdtalk.com posted a link to my site for all the prospective autograph collectors searching for a "good" potential investment. That site is rather well-traveled and it certainly would explain many of the requests I've received. It also gets to humble me greatly as folks try so hard to figure out A) Who the hell I am, and B) Why would anyone want my autograph? I had to register there and post a reply just for fun. Check it out.
From the "You may ask yourself, 'Well? How did I get here?' Department" comes this mention & presumably a link somewhere in the...get this...The Taichido Newsletter (May 5 edition). The link seems to be missing from the newsletter now, but the guy decided to link to the plate spinning video found at my website because, "this was what the inside of my head was like when I was "reconfiguring" last month." Uh...OK. They say there's no such thing as bad publicity. So...Thanks for the mention and I assume, some kind of link.
Lastly, you can see a couple of photos of me at work at the Potowatomi Casino/Indian Springs Lodge in Wabeno, WI this past June 15th. This was an odd little gig that involved a lot of driving and a very quiet, but appreciative audience. All I know is that I got a free room, some tasty food, and free range of the pool and hot tub. Finding the photos was a bit of a surprise and I was happy to find them.
By the way, I intended to have photos up for you within this post, but something's wrong the the Blogger ftp photo server thingy (Go figure) so you'll have to enjoy the links provided.
Funny How Things Work Out
Just thought I'd let you know that tonight I had a gig for a Cub Scout pack at a Methodist church. Behind me, against the wall in the room where I worked, hung a gigantic oil painting of Jesus (Read the story linked within my last post if you're lost). I refrained from making my "Look out, Jesus!" joke this time. But that guy is stalking me!
In Honor of the Religious Freaks at blogPsot.com
Thinking about my last post, I thought I'd remind all of you of a great little article I wrote some time back, "Jesus Likes My Balls!", originally published in The Cheers.
You can also read the blog post that inspired the long-form column found in The Cheers.
Yep. I'm going to Hell.
From Blogger Support
Just so everyone knows, if you have a blogger blog, you're site name is being hijacked by a religious nut-case website. I'm not kidding. Some ass-sniffing Jesus freaks at blogPsot.com (note the misspelling) have EVERY Blogger blog address filtered into their domain. So, if someone misspells "blogspot" as "blogpsot" people won't find your blog. They will find an absolutely ridiculous holy-roller-the-end-is-near-fear-God-or-he'll-smite-you-with-His-eternal-love crapsite.
You can hear some of the best reports about this crap at Christine's Blog and Doyle's Blog.
Until then, let's read the complaint letter I sent to Blogger support's dreadful help page. I say dreadful because if you use their help page you get an automated response that spiders keywords from your complaint and links you to help topics that are completely unrelated to your inquiry. This forces you to e-mail them back and yell at them, which in turn, makes them tell you to fuck off. Just use email@example.com from now on if you folks want to complain. That way you'll probably get a real response first. Anyway...
My original complaint reads...
From: andy martello
Subject: Re: [#279329]
All Blogger blogs are being hijacked byblogPsot.com
Virtually every blog in the Blogger roster is having their name absorbed by the religious zealots at blogpsot.com (notice the misspelling).That way, anyone who accidentally misspells blogspot will end up heading to these religious site instead of the correct blog.
What's worse is that now it is very likely that the religious site is more likely to come up in the searches thanks to the attachment to the Blogger names. My blog is as necessary for my business as my main website. Both sites feature my name and now that name is being associated with a site I have no real connection to at all. If this blogPsot were a porn site my business would be rather compromised.
This also reflects badly on Blogger as now all of your sites are inadvertently associated with this new site. I sincerely hope you do something to rectify this immediately as your business is now threatened as much as everyone associated with Blogger.
There is also a lot of "hijacking" of a Blogger domain if the blog operator deletes his blog. As an example, mooremarjo.blogspot.com used To be a writer's blog. Marjo deleted her blog entirely and someone took the exact domain immediately afterwards and turned it into a sex blog. Marjo Moore is a respected author for magazines and newspapers. She is not,however, a porn author.
Something has to be done about these issues as they actually can adversely affect people's lives, their businesses, and their privacy. This should fall into the category of security with regard to your company and I am hopeful you will fix these problems immediately. Failing to do so makes all of us loyal Blogger users wish we'd have chosen ANY of the other blog servers out there.
Their insightful and helpful reply (after my angry, "Don't bother sending me a useless auto-response. Just fix the damn problem"
letter back to them reads...(I use pink for them because their a bunch of pussies!Hello Andy,Thanks for writing in.
In regard to the sites located at blogpsot.com,please know that we are aware that the person running these sites has registered several misspellings of the blogspot.com domain, so a slight typo in a blog address may take you to one of these sites. Unfortunately,it's just a low trick to get more hits to his site. If you double-check and correct the address, you should be able to view the blog in question normally. We're sorry about any inconvenience.
In regard to the 'hijacking' of blogs that have been deleted, please be aware that once a blog has been deleted, the URL in question is freed up for any other user to take. However, please know that if we find any blog that is violating our policies, we will take action as necessary.
Well, shuck my corn! You guys sure helped out a plenty!
Goddamn! Doesn't Google and Blogger have enough cash in their accounts to sue the ever-living shit out of this other site for some sort of copyright infringement, theft of intellectual property, or at the very least, just buy their domain name out? Hell, can't they find some clause in the Bible about stealing that they could use in their favor? And as for the domain names being free for anyone to use, that's just ridiculous. They could at least have a waiting period or something before those domains are allowed back into the mix. What a bunch of crap.
I like my blog and I'm happy with Blogger's ease of use, but I don't want to be beholden to this fucking domain just so my well traveled (HA!) and very search engine-visible blog can be stolen by some porn monger. What a bunch of pussies the folks at Blogger are! I HATE
MySpace and LiveJournal, but at least for now I don't see those sites being stolen by unscrupulous assholes, nor protected by spineless morons like the ones found at Blogger.
I wonder if they'll see this post and make me a "Blog of Note" NOW
You've Got to Tell Me You Linked to Me
I love the link exchange thing. Time was I got a lot of readers thanks to the active linking. That's how many a blog gathers new readers or so I'm told.
In any event, I found a new blog, Brain Droppings, has linked to me and I was completely unaware of it all. I'd use that Who Links to Me site to see who's linking here but I tried that thing once & I never got the thing to work. So, if you've done some sort of drive-by linking please e-mail me and let me know so I can add a reciprocal link, check out your blog, tout your virtues, etc.. Welcome to the fold, Brain Droppings. You show excellent taste in blogs. ;)
Speaking of linking, there is one blog I found via the gang at Fu-Qtoo called Click My Boobs.
Now I won't pretend that this is a site that is safe for work or anything like that. I will just laugh at the concept and share it with you.Click My Boobs
is the brain child of amateur internet nude model & exhibitionist Amy Lockheart
. The concept is simple and genius in it's ability to generate traffic. You link to her site and in return she checks out your site, blogs about it and adds a photo link of your site name scrawled across her naked chest. GENIUS! I wish I'd thought of it!
Of course she has an adult website and links only to other adult websites so I am not expecting to find Andy Land scrawled across her boobs any time soon. I just thought some of you who appreciate the absurdity(if not the nudity) offered by the internet would get a kick out of the idea.
I'd do the same for my readers but I doubt that Bud
or anyone else wants to have my flabtastic body advertising their sites.
Artist's Rendering. Oh, the HORROR!
Penguins In My Home
Well actually, these are penguins you can find in my car. I have no names for these guys resting in the back of my car, but I sometimes refer to them as Manny, Moe, & Jack. Of course I have also called them Moe, Larry, & Curly. Either way they are 3 of the 4 penguins I have traveling with me in my car at all times.
This photo was taken by my friend Kellie who is no stranger to the back seat of my car. Wait! That came out all wrong. Anyway, she and I had lunch a few months back and she took this photo.
Next I have to announce a new addition to the ever-growing penguin collection here in my home. Waiting in the mail for me today was a lovely little throw pillow, sent to me by Jade for no apparent reason.
I'm assuming she sent it my way because I've sent her Flying Penguinis, collector's cards, photos, and the March of the Penguins Activity Book and she felt guilty. She needn't have sent anything at all as her fan pics and the Andy Martello shrine are more than enough. Nonetheless, I now am the proud owner of a rather cute and comfy penguin throw pillow.
If I were more of a smart-ass I'd choose to look beyond the thoughtful gift and read some sort of hidden sexual agenda on the part of Jade. I mean, it is no secret she wants me big time and she does have a shrine "erected" in my honor. And really, all the signs are there. Penguins (something I love), a pillow (something to use in a bed - WAIT! This is a "throw" pillow. Uh huh.), a fart joke (something I would surely do to her after a night of carnal passion. The old Dutch Oven never turns off a lady, ya know.), it is all there. But, I am a gentleman and I choose to look at this only as a way cool present. ;)
One thing I am curious about though involves the pillow itself. Notice the above screen shot taken from the CafePress website. These penguins are shorter and more stout and squatty than the penguins seen on my actual pillow. My penguins are longer and more sleek.
Also, the name of the penguin in the back (the one wearing the red tie) asking, "Who Farted?", is named "Pop" on the website. MY penguin is named "Max". Max is surely a much cooler name, but what's the story behind this sudden artwork and name change? Was Max wanted by the law? Are shorter penguins somehow cuter and therefore appealing to a larger buying demographic? I MUST KNOW! No matter what the story, thanks, Jade. You made my day and you certainly didn't have to spend any moolah on me like that. You rock!
I other penguins news, "March of the Penguins" was the #10 film in the box office last week. It has finally started it's decline down the charts and should be now hitting the second-run theatres, making it even LESS expensive per ticket to see one of the best films of the year.
If you have not gone out and seen this film, I highly recommend doing so now. A cheap theatre price will be much less than a DVD rental or purchase and you'll still get to enjoy the majesty and beauty of the film on a big screen. I'm sure it will be a fine watch on a TV screen, but if you miss it on a big screen you miss a little something extra.
I find it hard to believe that you haven't seen this yet, but I do have some theories as to why some folks have foolishly been absent at the many screenings across the country.
- You can't figure out why a film about penguin migration is being so well received and, being something of a moron, also can't figure out that your questions will be answered by actually SEEING the film for yourself.
- You are a particularly cheap bastard and figure it HAS to come out on Animal Planet someday. Better for you would be if PBS decided to show it. That way you wouldn't have to actually pay for basic cable you miserly prick!
- You believe that there are never any high-quality films coming out of Hollywood and would rather spend your money on something that truly deserves all the attention like "Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo" or "Dukes of Hazard".
- You are a right-wing asshole and you wouldn't stop fucking your sister in the ass long enough to watch any film originally made in France. Lousy terrorist-loving,frog-bastards! Who do they think they are trying to make a movie and send it here? Go back to Canada or something where they appreciate folks who hate freedom and freedom fries!
- You are Jewish and hate to admit that there are creatures in the world that have suffered more than you.
- You're out seeing "The Aristocrats" instead. You get a pass from me if this is the case. It has held steady in the top 20 films since it's release and that makes me very happy.
In any event, I hope you do see this film one day. I am confident you will enjoy it. If not, you are a heartless freak with no soul. See you in HELL!
Gutless Porn Monger
Some asshole has hijacked Marjo Moore's blog address and added a rather poorly-written sex blog in its place. He is an absolute piece of shit and deserves our wrath.
Marjo let her blog go awhile back and deleted everything, including the web address. This porn monger saw that her blog was fairly well-traveled and popped up in searches and therefore, claimed the address as his own. Nothing really illegal about this maneuver, just gutless and crass.
What I find amusing is that whomever did this probably has some program or something that detects recently abandoned blog domains and snatches them up, filling them with tales of snatches in the hopes folks wanting to read Marjo's news & views would like to read some awful fictional stories about somebody's first lezbo night out. As if people were already heading to Marjo Moore for such articles and were just frustrated...UNTIL NOW! Zeesh!
I've removed the link from my blog, but if you want to send some wrath that-a-way, I can post the link and we can all gang up on the poor bastard and flood his comments with some real anger. Just let me know.
Sorry, Marjo. Next time YOU tell us about your first lesbian experience first hand. OK? ;)
Moron Concerts (Or Should it Be "More On Concerts"?)
This past weekend I got to attend a concert with April. There was a warm-up act, a feature act, and a headlining band. I enjoyed the warm-up act, Silvertide, very much. They were a bit like The Black Crowes and that's more than enough for me. If Jessika is reading this she will get all giddy because Silvertide is from Philadelphia.
I'd seen Def Leppard before and I knew they always delivered the goods and put on a great show, even with the stupid encore games. I wasn't really looking forward to the headliner that night. No, I was most interested in seeing the middle set by Billy Squier.
I've always liked Billy Squier and for a time there in the late 70's/early 80's he OWNED the airwaves. He's got a great rock sound and voice and he's responsible for some of my favorite guitar licks ever. Having never gotten to see Squier I was really looking forward to his set, even though it would be just him and his guitar - no band backing him up.
I always felt bad for Squier because his awful prancing and his pseudo leotard found within the video for "Rock Me Tonight" quite actually KILLED his career. Guitar god turned writhing ballerina? Not good. In essence he is the epitome of the message behind the Buggles hit, "Video Killed the Radio Star". I'd always hoped that time would heal that vicious wound and Squier would one day make a grand comeback. After watching his set I've stopped feeling bad for the guy and hope he says far, FAR away from this day forward.
I expected a slightly different approach to his set knowing he would just be playing a guitar and not with a full band. What I didn't expect was a full-on musical "FUCK YOU" to everyone within the sound of his voice.
Of the many well-known favorites Billy could have played, he chose to do exactly TWO of the songs people would recognize and those songs were "reinvented" in such a way that even the hardcore Squier fans didn't want to hear them. While I liked the bluesy version of "The Stroke", it came far too late in his awful performance for anyone to care.
At the start of his set, he made mention of his reasons for hitting the stage and playing with only a guitar and his songs. He said that too many young bands were being handed record contracts these days and he felt it was time that people were made to appreciate "how it's done". His ego certainly hasn't been affected by 20 years of obscurity, that's for sure.
Then, rather than show us how it's done by...uh...showing us how he DID it back in the day, he chose to play songs that NOBODY, not even faithful Billy Squier fans had ever heard before. A full 45-minute set of complete jazz/blues/rock crap that nobody wanted to hear at all. I'm all for artists stretching their boundaries and continuing to hone their crafts, lay claim to relevance by way of musical growth, and yes, trying to give new life to a stalled career with new songs. However, it is not really a new concept to sandwich your new songs in between your hits in order to keep the audience interested and entertained. I've bought many a CD based upon performances of new material right after hearing the old material. I doubt I'll be buying any new Billy Squier CDs. I'm thinking of burning my old ones.
The sweetest plum was when he broke into the familiar riff from my favorite Squier song, "Lonely is the Night", only to stop and say, "I was just checking to see if you were still paying attention." Of course he did not play that song afterwards, nor did he play any songs anyone wanted to hear. he was nearly BOOED off the stage and rightly so.
Billy, if you're reading, let me just quote one of the few hits you did play that night and say, "Stroke me!". In fact, to prevent you from thinking I mean that sexually let me add, "Stroke me, you fucking arrogant has been!" God damn! Greg Kihn or Eddie fucking Money would have been a better feature act than your hackneyed, tired, pompous and boring ass. Christ, Billy VERA would have been more fun to watch and most people only know one, maybe two of his songs.
Now I know beyond any shadow of a doubt that HE killed his career, likely because he's an asshole, an asshole that can play guitar.
Being an entertainer myself, I know that you simply can't please everyone. I also know that you do have to try and please someone OTHER than yourself, especially when in front of a a few thousand fans. I can't believe that a veteran performer would forget such a notion.
It could be a very, VERY long time before I see another movie as beautiful, hysterical, and well made as "Kung Fu Hustle". Were I an Academy member it would be easy for me to come up with three of the five best films of the year. The first two you must be aware of by now. "Kung Fu Hustle" is the third on the list.
Something I hate so much about rock concerts can be best summarized in a little scene I've written for you.
[BAND LEAVES STAGE. CROWD CHEERS.]
ANDY: Oh no! The band has left the stage and they still haven't played my favorite of their tunes. How disturbing. This makes me sad. With so many people in this arena, how will the band ever know how desperately I want to hear more from them. If ONLY there were some way I could signal the band and alert them to my dilemma. WAIT! Perhaps if I cheer with vigor and encourage others to do the same they might return.
[ANDY ENTHUSIASTIC CLAPPING AND "WOO-HOOING"]
ANDY: It doesn't seem to be working. Ah well. It is my fault for not expressing my love for the band more while they were on stage. They are probably on a plane heading back to England, Peoria, or some other exotic location right now. I COULD try one last thing. I will light my cigarette lighter and wave it above my head WHILE cheering. Surely even a rock band cannot resist the flicker of my lighter, the smell of the butane, and my constant cheering.
[ANDY BEGINS WAVING LIT CIGARETTE LIGHTER AND CHEERING. SOON OTHERS JOIN IN.]
ANDY: Oh Look! The amassed crowd has joined me in my efforts to entice the band back to the stage. This must work. IT HAS TO WORK!
[BAND RE-EMERGES. CROWD CHEERS. BAND PLAYS "Pour Some Sugar On Me" AND PROMPTLY EXITS.]
ANDY: WHEW! That was refreshing. I am completely sated now. I couldn't hear one more rock song if my life depended upon it. Thank God I remembered my trusty lighter.
Encores are supposed to be surprises to the band. You are supposed to play your best show and rock the adoring fans so hard, they are compelled to demand more, wishing the show would never end. Don't play the stupid game. If you haven't played your big hit, we know you're coming back IF we happen to scream loud enough. It is bullshit. Our large quantities of cash spent on tickets, food, and over-priced merchandise should be enough to prove to you how much we love you. Now play the fucking song so I can wait in the parking lot for an hour.
Bob Denver died on Friday. Hard to believe he's gone. The last surviving cast members from "Gilligan's Island" are... (HIT IT, BOYS!) "The movie star, The Professor and Mary Ann..."
For you old-timers, the last surviving cast members are..."The movie star, and THE REST!"
Andy Martello's Cinema Radar (A Long & Informative Post)
After seeing my last two film recommendations ("March of the Penguins" and "The Aristocrats" for those of you who have been reading my blog in a cave or something like that), Bud Buckley asked me what else was on my radar.
I realized I have three soon-to-be-released films worth touting, even though I haven't seen a single frame of any of them. Get your pencils and scorecards ready. Here are the next three movies you should watch, but probably won't simply because you don't know if it is "worth it". In no particular order...
"Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit"
Wallace & Gromit are the brilliant comedic creations of Academy Award winning clay animator and filmmaker, Nick Park. If you are not familiar with his work, you can, thankfully, become extremely familiar with him at your local video store. Most notably to many of you will be his first full-length feature film, "Chicken Run".
Park first gained recognition for his absolutely hysterical animated short, "Creature Comforts" (NEW episodes and installments are out now!). He later went on to create one of the world's funniest and relatively unknown comedy teams, Wallace & Gromit.
I have the Wallace & Gromit shorts ( "The Wrong Trousers", "A Grand Day Out", & "A Close Shave") on video and find them to be true gems. Nick Park has a fantastic sense of comedic timing and a flair for paying tribute to film noir classics in his productions. So much comedy today is too heavily reliant on dialogue and set-up. Wallace & Gromit hearken back to days gone by and let the sight gags and the story speak for themselves.
Finally, after YEARS of waiting and animating, the first full-length adventure featuring these two will be out in theatres this coming October. Check out the trailer and see for yourself how good this will be!
One of television's all-time best-written programs, "Firefly" provides the setting for this feature film. If you didn't see or ever hear of the show, "Firefly" don't feel bad. There were only 14 episodes produced and even only about 11 of those ever aired. Thank you, FOX TV for being complete morons! Now you're asking, "Why on Earth would anyone make a big-budget film about based upon a canceled television show nobody ever saw?" The answer to that is simple.
When show creator, Joss Whedon (of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel" fame) released the canceled series on DVD, it skyrocketed up the charts as one of the best-selling DVD releases of all time. Clearly there were fans of the show, FOX just did not handle the airing and marketing of the show properly ("Family Guy" anyone?). As more and more people, both existing fans of the program and fans of Joss Whedon's stellar work, bought the DVD box set it seemed to everyone involved that the story needed to be told more completely than it was on television. In fact, the cast & crew were all stunned that such a special and unique program was canceled in the first place. To paraphrase Whedon, "I was so traumatized I wrote an entire movie!"
What made "Firefly" so special? Many things. First off, it was a space western that had appeal far beyond the sci-fi genre. This was a character-driven program with plot lines and stories rich in depth and color. It was futuristic without being filled with crazy aliens and improbable technology. It was a genre piece that anyone who enjoyed clever writing and smart dialogue could enjoy.
Next, the show was filmed in many unusual ways, from a technical standpoint. Modern camera lenses were tossed aside in favor of lower-grade lenses in order to give large flares of light and add to a nostalgic spaghetti western feeling. The set for Serenity, the name of the spaceship they travel in, was a complete set and not broken down into several pieces for specific shots. There were stairways, hallways, and rooms all connected to one another and this provided for dramatic camera work.
One other thing to mention is that since it was, at it's most simple, a space western, the show's cast are tainted and flawed heroes. They are all rebels and outlaws, but not in the gritty, bad-man stereotype. These are colorful people with believable stories and backgrounds. Their stories are what make the whole thing work on so many levels.
Don't be afraid to check out this film. An advantage to having so few people being familiar with the back story and the TV show is that it will be much easier to make a film that can stand alone as a complete story. You will not have to head on out to the video store to rent or buy the box set and catch up (though I recommend it since the show is so damned good.). You will be able to watch the film and never have any idea there was a show beforehand. You will also not have any genre fear with this flick. Folks leary of sci-fi need not worry at all. Joss Whedon is an amazing storyteller (he also wrote "Toy Story" if that helps you a bit) and this, his cinematic directorial debut, will provide a fine movie-going experience for all. You can see the trailers online by clicking here and here. Look for this film to hit theatres September 30.
I have to thank my wife for making me aware of this one. In fact, I need to thank her for turning me on to the comedic masterminds behind this and several other excellent projects, The State.
Since I grew up in a small country town where you couldn't even get cable if you lived beyond the city limits (not that my folks would have paid for cable at the time, but you get the idea), I did not have any MTV in my life until well into my adult years. The bad thing was that MTV wasn't even worth watching by that time. The worse thing was that I'd completely missed out on the most significant sketch comedy group since Monty Python (no disrespect to the Kids in the Hall or The Frantics), known as The State.
I'm very late to the game with regard to The State. However, since MTV has never rerun the shows nor have they ever released them on VHS or DVD (plans to do so are in the works and have been for years now...SIGH!) I can't feel too bad.
I can say that The State is so important in the comedy landscape by recognizing the many years of high quality work by members of the original troupe and latter-day incarnations. The works of these extremely innovative and intelligent comedy performers is quite impressive and often overlooked. If you did not know about The State (which I didn't) you wouldn't know about their connections to some of TV & the cinema's most inspired comedy works. Just a few of their projects you may or may not have seen...
"Wet Hot American Summer" One of the funniest camp comedies ever! I've mentioned this one before.
"Drop Dead Gorgeous" You just can't find a more twisted and hysterical comedy about beauty queens.
"Reno 911" This show never fails to make me laugh.
"Viva Variety" Hard to describe, sometimes hard to watch, always engaging entertainment.
"Stella" Arguably the best comedy on television right now (with nods towards "Family Guy" and "Arrested Development", which I also love).
The Pets.com dog Yes, the famous dog in those commercials was voiced by Michael Ian Black, a State member. The commercials were also directed by another member of the group, Thomas Lennon.
Founding member, Michael Showalter, has written and directed a new movie about being the loser, the fifth wheel, the odd man out in the dating world, also known as "The Baxter". Knowing how damned funny so many of his other projects have been I can say with confidence that "The Baxter" will be a fine film to watch. "Stella" and "Reno 911" are currently on Comedy Central and "The Baxter" will be hitting theatres near you this month. Check out the official website for the trailer and other great info about this romantic comedy.
Too Busy for You. Read This.
Just go here and see why Jade rocks. Actually, se why I rock by visiting Jade. Yep. She wants me. ;)
In case you think I forgot, March of the Penguins (NOW in 2400 theatres) was #7 in the box office last week and The Aristocrats was #18 or #19. Both are still making cash and maintaining an ever-growing audience. Go see these films, unless you're a complete LOSER! Then stay home and watch re-runs of "Just Shoot Me".