Wednesday, April 30, 2003

I have been banished to the Sixth Circle of Hell. Take a look:
The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Sixth Level of Hell - The City of Dis!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:

LevelScore
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Very Low
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Very Low
Level 2 (Lustful)Very High
Level 3 (Gluttonous)High
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)High
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Very High
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very High
Level 7 (Violent)High
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)High
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Very High

Take the Dante's Inferno Hell Test

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

The Eddie Haskells played with Save Ferris last night at the Bottom Of The Hill. Considering that the club burned down last night, my guess is that this was the last show at a pretty cool SF venue. I'm assuming that the show was underway when this tragedy struck. Although I'm assuming nobody was hurt, this fire is still a hard blow to the San Francisco punk rock scene. Now they know how it feels like down here in San Jo, what with all of the clubs disappearing and such. Remember, you heard it here first, folks!

In other news, I went out last night and saw Drunken Starfighter at Waves because I didn't have to work today. I had a long conversation with Mo concerning a mutual friend which left me with some unresolved feelings and some unanswered questions. This person we talked about was the same one I had referred to so obliquely a month or so ago. Remember the induvidual that was having a problem that I didn't know how to confront? I asked you all to give me a few pointers and nobody answered? Well, that's the same person. Mo recently dealt with a problem of her own, and had a unique perspective on the whole issue. While I appreciated her input, I was let down by the fact that the story she was told and the truth as I know it didn't quite match up. I guess that's the way it goes with stories and gossipy people. Things get twisted around.

Oh, by the way, Drunked Starfighter was great.

Monday, April 28, 2003

What was the best show this weekend that you didn't hear about? It was theTexas Thieves/East Bay Chasers/Fabulous Disaster show at the El Rio in SF on Saturday night. I had a chance to talk to Fozzie, the singer for Texas Thieves, just before their gig. He went on and on about how much they had enjoyed their local tour with The Cliftons a couple of weeks ago. These bands are obviously in love with each other, and after watching this show at the El Rio, I could understand why. These bands were carved from the same tree. Although their styles are a little different, their energy and enthusiasm are the same.

The Thieves took the stage at about 10 o'clock and ripped it up for the whole set. They never let the throttle fall back even a bit. The only complaint I had was the short duration of their set, a mere half hour. Their second song was their rendition of "Gas Chamber" by the Angry Samoans. I love it when bands cover the Samoans. The next song they did was a tune called, "Born To Bleed", which is about self-mutilation. Some would claim that a song covering such a subject would be in poor taste, but it was tactfully done. I used to date a girl who had this prbloem, and the song brought the whole issue into focus for me. Thank you, Texas Thieves, you did what four years of therapy couldn't. They even did a song about a murderer finding victims onCraig's List, which shows the imagination and creativity these guys use to write their songs. There was another short segue where Fozzie publicly admired Pete's chest. It was a little on the homoerotic side, but Fozzie likes to walk the line. I saw Billy Bob Clifton in the small crowd, and it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside knowing that these two bands really make an effort to support each other. I've said this before, but if more bands did this, then more local bands would have longer runs playing the local clubs. Far too many bands are written off because of a lack of draw. Some of these bands are really good, but only attract the ear of other musicians. It is also nice to see two bands from two scenes doing their best to help each other out in new cities. This is what the scene should be all about. It doesn't have to be about competition. The fans don't want to see one good band, but several good bands linked together like a string of pearls. You can insert your own "pearl necklace" joke here.

In short, it was a great show. It was small, but sometimes the small shows are the best ones. And thanks for the interview, Fozzie.

Thursday, April 24, 2003

I saw Regulator and The Cliftons last night at the Voodoo Lounge. Although there wasn't a big turnout, Billy Bob puked all over himself right in front of me, so that really made the show. There were quite a few people there who have never seen The Cliftons before, so watching their reactions to vomit was priceless. I have come to the belief that the Voodoo Lounge is not the right venue for a band like this. Not only is the stage way too high, but it sorely lacks the kind of "punk band club" feeling that most places around here have. The place was loaded with the usual suspects, but I have a feeling that most people were there for a Cliftons show, and probably left right after they played. I know I did. I really wanted to see Regulator because they rock, but it was getting really late. The best part of the show: watching the bouncers mop up the puke at the end of the show.

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

With an end to Saddam's Iraqi regime, you would think it would be okay for U.N. weapoons inspectors to re-enter Iraq and complete their search for weapons of mass destruction. But, no. White House spokesman Ari Fleischer has stated that the Coalition forces will take care of it. How convenient.

Monday, April 21, 2003

I went to see The Faction and The Shitkickers on Saturday night, and let me tell you it was great. Billy's band, Drunken Starfighter, was supposed to play at Waves that same night, but when we arrived there, the bouncer told us the show was moved to Monday night. It turns out he was a goddamn liar, Billy did indeed play that night, but I missed it. Let's get a little more in-depth.

I had purchased my tickets for the Faction show a couple of days early because they always sell out. It was a good move, because the second I picked upi my tickets, the club announced that the show was sold out. The club was packed by the time The Shitkickers came on, and they played some fine music. Whenever I see this band I have to laugh at not only the cry-in-your-beer country music they play, but also hooting and hollering from the audience. It was a lively set played well by some very good musicians. It makes me want to take up the mandolin when I see these guys play. All in all, it was some good shitkickin' music, my Mom would have loved it.

Next up was The Faction. I have yet to see these guys put on a sub-par show since they got back together. They went through their sizable catalog with gusto, never missing a beat or riff. The one thing I would have to complain about was the fact that the club had become a sauna by the time these guys were halfway through their set, and I had to go outside to cool off. It was strange to stand outside the Blank club with a show in full swing and be the only person outside, but The Faction has that sort of drawing power. Seriously, you could book me making fart noises in the crook of my arm opening for The Faction or The Shitkickers, and the house would be packed as I did my rendition of "I Think We're Alone Now", faux-flatuence style.

On Sunday, I helped Tommy with yard work. It sucked, but you should see their yard now. It's magnificent!

Friday, April 18, 2003

By the way, Laci Petersen has been found. Scott Petersen is now under arrest, and is being rushed home from the beautiful city San Diego to the relative crappiness of Solano County because of cicumstances that will not be remarked upon by the local authorities. This means that the psychics were right up to a point, but Scott did not kill himself in a hotel room yet. I feel rooked. If I had given money to the charlatans, I would want it back. Although I am sickened by the discovery of the corpses of the mother and fetus, I can't say I am surprised. This gruesome discovery and subsequent identification brings some closure to this case, but I feel a little let down by the whole thing. I wanted more car crashes and the like. Maybe Scott will escape from jail and there will me a massive manhunt for him. That would add a little spice to the story.

I'm too tired to even finish this post. I guess better luck next

If you have alot of money, and you want to recreate a crappy 80's movie with your friends, how do you go about it? First, pick a movie. Let's say it's The Cannonball Run. Then, you go buy a ridiculously expensive car. Next, throw a lavish party in San Francisco's Fairmont Hotel. Finally, make a mad dash across the country to Miami. Viola, you have The Gumball Rally. This story makes me sick in many different ways, but mostly by the fact that I would love to be in a race like this, but have not the resources for it. Shit, I trip when I need to go to Oil Changers. Imagine wrapping a Bentley around a light pole in B.F.I. Few will remember this, but The Gumball Rally was a movie about a cross-country car race that came out years before The Cannonball Run. This glaring error dates the reporter of this story fairly well. As in, he's younger than me by a few years. And he writes for a real publication, while I write this thing.

On another note, I may be writing an interview with The Cliftons for the illustrious "Maximum Rock And Roll". Although I have not been picked as yet, I am in fairly good standing, seeing as I'm the only writer that these guys know. Or at least that's what I keep saying to myself. If this thing works out, it will be the first time my work has ever been published in a regular periodical. If the good folks at MR&R like it, I could get more articles out of it. I would feel the same sense of accomplishment that the other writers for this mag feel, except for the fact that they are in their late teens, and I'm in my early thirties. Hey, I'm a late bloomer.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Let's look at another question.

"Dear Taco,
What should I fear more, My God or My Country?

Signed
Lost Sheep"

God is an artificial construct for allowing people to behave communally in a manner which is not always in their nature. Government is pretty much the same thing. Country is a type of music employing slide guitars and drunk Caucasians. I would fear my Country more. And my Western, for that matter.

As a way of adding new content to Intellectual Excrement, it has been suggested that I develop an "Ask Taco" column for people out there to ask some hard questions that deserve hard answers. Any topic, any angle, any time. I have already received some, so let's see what's in the bag:

"Dear Taco,
I have not been able to sleep since I read your story on chickens being
thrown into wood chippers, My Mommy said she is no longer able to make
babies, which I guess makes her 'spent'. Does this mean Daddy will
throw her in a wood chipper too?"
-Amy, age 9

Amy,
I don't know your father, so I can't guess at what he may do in a fit of anger. But if he likes children, he may do the "adult" version of tossing Mom in a chipper: He may start dating a younger woman. After a while, your parents will go through a thing called divorce, which basically means Daddy will move in with the slut he has been banging and your Mom will start saying mean things about him. Every weekend, your Dad will come over and buy you nice new toys and clothes in an effort to "win" your love. Your Mom will start to do the same. As you grow older, you can use this leverage to get away with just about anything from cutting class to staying out all night. If one of them gives you lip, you just shout, "Mommy/Daddy loves me more! They understand me! I should just go live with them!" This threat will topple whatever will and self-respect they have, and you will get your way!

So in short, your Daddy might not throw her into a wood chipper for being spent, but she may wish he had.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

It's nice to see famous people get behind political movements. They put their livelyhoods on the line sometimes in order to make a statement that means something to them. Woody Harrelson has been arrested locally before because of his stance on medicinal marijuana. And now, Heywood Jablome has made his feelings known about what gender may join the famed Augusta National Golf Club. I almost choked on my dinner when I saw this name in the news. I also think that the sign reading "Make Me Dinner" gives the story that misogynist tilt one could only expect from Georgia.

The new buzz around town is that Laci Peterson's remains have been found washed up near Point Isabel. One day before, the body of a fetus, with the umbilical cord still attached, had washed up about a mile away. While the authorities are reluctant to positively identify the body as Laci's, most likely so certain other parties don't decide to flee to a third-world country that doesn't have extradition laws, I can't think of any other pregnant women who have disappeared in the Bay Area recently. Now, if the psychics are are right, and it seems that they have been so far, Scott Peterson will commit suicide in a hotel room in the very near future. Let's all hope.

This horrible little drama that has played out in our backyards just keeps getting darker and darker. I really feel for the woman who made the grisly discovery yesterday. Can you image stumbling upon a body like that while you're out screwing around in the park? How gritty! I guess the discovery of a corpse is unpleasant in any case, so I don't know where I think I was going with this line of thought. Let's move on. I wish there was something funny to say about this story, but there really isn't. The killer has been allowed to walk free and generally behave creepily for far too long. Now maybe we shall get a chance at some sort of closure to this case. Then I can safely move on to the next local murder mystery. They are starting to pile up, nad I only rented the "Mystery Machine" for a few days.

Monday, April 14, 2003

What do you do with spent chickens? By spent, I mean chickens that no longer lay eggs. If you are running a chicken farm, spent chickens are a drain on your food stockpile. They no longer are busy doing that you have raised them to do. You could eat them, I guess, but what if they had been quarantined because of a poultry virus? Now you have a real problem on your hands. You can't just sell them off for slaughter, and it would take all day to chase them around with a sledgehammer. Logic concludes that your best bet at taking care of this situation is feeding them to a wood chipper. Although the Humane Society was understandably pissed by this thoughtless action, the farmers were in fact given permission by the Agriculture Department. I expect that exterminating scores of chickens in this way may have been fun in a Fargo kind of way at first, but would have gradually become more and more macabre as the day wore on. And, really, what do you do with the scraps?

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Baghdad has now fallen to the allies. Although I am as happy as the next guy when a small country is thrown into chaos by the United States military machine, I still have to wonder about a couple of things.

1. We still haven't found any weapons of mass destruction. Although there have been a few false alarms, we have yet to find the "smoking gun" we have been promised. I believe that this is because we have not had the time to both fabricate then and plant them in such a short period of time. Now that we have control of Iraq's capitol, however, stay tuned for some explosive discoveries! The pun was not intended, but now that it's there, I like it.

2. Saddam's remains haven't been found. I know it's a long shot that he survived the nuking of the restaurant he supposedly had his last big meeting in, but it seems that we never get the guy we shoot for. Osama is still creeping around out there, and I have a sinking feeling that Saddam might pop up sometime in the future. Or one of his look-a-likes, which he apparently has many. So, just in case, kill every person you see who even remotely looks like Saddam. If enough of us do this, soon we will all be able to sleep through the night.

3. I have used numbered lists twice in the last two posts. And the last one was supposed to be my first anniversary extravaganza. It wasn't as big a deal as I thought it would. It actually felt more like my birthday, just give me my fuckin' presents already. Yet, I resorted to using a numbered list once again this week. I have no idea where I'm really going with this, but having just two entries in a numbered list seems too sparse. Yet another reason for not using a numbered list, I guess.

With victory so close at hand, let's hope that the army starts smuggling some oil stateside so we can look foward to more affordable gas prices. My biggest fear is that the armed forces out there will realize the extraordinary wealth they're sitting on, and decide to take over Iraq on their own, using their military might to control the oil fields. Then they could start they're own sadistic regime over there and dictate oil prices to the rest of us. How could we fight back, when most of our forces would be the bad guys? It sounds like a great idea for a movie, doesn't it? Well, I thought of it first!

Sunday, April 06, 2003

Happy First Anniversary!

I can't believe that it has only been one year since I started this blog, but judging from the date on the first entry, it has been. We've been through some thrills and spills together, and we have grown closer as a result. This year has seen me going through the pain of withdrawal from cigarettes, losing my job and the getting a new one, and possibly fifty or sixty Cliftons shows. I have learned some important things about myself and this blog while reviewing the posts contained herein:

1. I'm not as funny as I think I am. While some of these entries seem like comedic gold while I write them, they don't always hold up to scrutiny in the hard light of day. Some are stilted, some are meandering, some are puerile. Don't get me wrong, there are some clever jokes scattered here and there, and I manage to sound like I know what I'm talking about in most of the posts. However, I really need to work on having a solid idea on what I'm going to write about before I start writing.

2. I use current events far too often as a way of providing content for my posts. This was much worse when I was laid off and posted three to four times per day. I started out thinking that this blog was going to be exactly what it was meant to be: a online journal. But I soon realized that my life was not really interesting enough to keep a journal these days. I would have never had any readers at all if I simply reported in every day, letting all of you know what I watched the night before or what I had eaten for lunch. So I decided that since I have an opinion for just about everything, it would be better if I made a type of editorial column where I could bitch and whine about everything going on in the world. Now I want to break away from that sort of format, but I am onece again faced with the dilemma of never posting, because I am not as exciting as I used to be, and reporting on current events for the rest of my life. At least the latter could conceivably be an employable career. If Herb Caen did it, so could I.

3. Keeping readers is a pain in the ass. You have to provide fresh content continuously, and if you don't have anything to write about, tough shit, write something anyway. This is the reason some of my posts are so bland I usually apologize for them at the end. Fortunatelymy posts are only around 1000 words or so, so it is impossible to get writer's block in such a short time. But publishing complete crap wears on my soul. I want to entertain, not bore, my readers. If you all were less picky, I could write whatever the fuck I wanted to, but I get bitched at for poor quality. I don't want to lose readers, so I worry constantly about whether anybody will even read my blog in a few weeks. This doesn't do my ulcer any good.

If you have read this blog and enjoyed it, thank you. I'm glad that I could entertain you, since that was my goal. If you haven't enjoyed it, oh well. I'm sure people who haven't enjoyed this blog aren't still reading it. So blow me.

There are some really big changes coming to the blog soon. I have secrued some web space, so I may soon be posting images on the site. I will also be moving the site, so there will be an address change. I will let you all know when it happens. I wanted to make this post the first one on the new server, but I ended up going out this weekend. This is the price you pay for having a social life.

Anyway, wish me a happy anniversary! My contact info is at the top. I like congratulatory emails, but will accept flowers as well.

Friday, April 04, 2003

People sometimes ask me, "Taco, what has made you, an exciting and hilarious person, decide to transfer that same precociousness to an online journal?" They usually ask me this while trying to glom on to me at the many social engagements I try to attend, or more often after a night of wild passion. I tell them that I have had this talent for writing percolating in my veins for many years. It has remained there, unbridled, for far too long, and I have had dreams where God has chastised me for not giving more to the people. One day, while surfing the web for porn, I came upon a site that, while having a name suggestive of pornographic material, actually consisted of some of the funniest articles I had ever read. They ran the gamut from bad movie reviews to bizarre scripts involving Star Wars action firgures. Since my blog's first anniversary is on Sunday(hold on for one hell of a post, kids!), I have decided to honor x-entertainment on it's third anniversary. Isn't that convenient? Matt has spent considerable time and effort to bring his readers content that will make you laugh, maybe even cry, but always, ALWAYS, make you think. The one thing I usually think is, "Is this guy on dope?" He has watched some of the most horrible movies imaginable, has spent literally hundreds of dollars at the 99 Cent Store, and has narrowly avoided Toxic Shock Syndrome with his choices of costumes during Halloween, all for his readers. I can only dream of having that motivation to entertain my fans, and he doesn't even know his! I know all of my readers on a first-name basis.

I can only imagine what his creative sessions are like. Mine consist mostly of drinking a few beers, opening up an entry window, and praying that inspiration strikes before I have to go to bed. More often than not, inspiration leaves me for Matt, and he writes an article on the Honeycomb Hideout while I watch Cops and fall asleep. He also has never fallen on that tired old standby of using current events to pad his posts, and I subsist on this gimmick like it was ramen. Jealous, yes. But still, give him a read. And if you feel like it, come back here once in a while. I'm not going anywhere. Unfortunately. (sigh)

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

It seems the whole Sarah & No Name April Fools Day stunt kinda backfired on them. Alot of listeners had stated that they felt betrayed and would never listen to the show again. I've got news for you, it's just a radio show. How can you feel "betrayed"? Some people made the comment that they were pissed that this was just some media ploy to get ratings. That's what they are supposed to do! They don't work for tips guys, they work for ratings. They only way they can even dream to get raises in their salaries is to bring up ratings. Sometimes things like this work for increasing listenership for a show, sometimes it has the opposite effect. It seems that Sarah and No Name's show is now suffering from the latter.

Let's get a little background. Sarah and No Name told people last week that the CEO of Infinity Broadcasting had taken a trip out to San Francisco to rap with the bigwigs at Alice 97.3 about ratings. They proceeded to poke some minor fun at this guy, imitating him and the like. Apparently, he did not find the imitations amusing, and went on a tirade about how he felt they were insulting, and the show was not "family oriented". They were also admonished not to discuss the proceedings of the meeting while on the air the next morning. Of course, Sarah went off on it, and her boss showed up at the studio and glowered at them from the studio window for the duration of the program. He then chewed out Matty, the producer, and Sarah.
After that Friday show, things got weird. On Monday morning, there was no morning show. They played promos for a "new" morning show, starring Mike and Mallou, who are the hosts of the local edition of "Evening Magazine". On Tuesday morning the new show came on with only Mallou showing up(oops), and they basically trashed Sarah And No Name on the air. Most calls were initially negative of the change, but soon more and more callers voiced their opinion that the new show was a welcome change to what was termed as a stale format. At this point, Sarah and No Name decided that the joke was over, and came on to expose the ruse for what it was. This was when the proverbial shitstorm really hit the coast. People who claimed to be faithful listeners called in and said that they were hurt by the joke and were never going to listen again. I think this was a small population of folks who were looking for a reason to jump ship anyway.

If you listen to the same morning show day after day and the show never varies from it's regular routine, it can get old quick. The only thing that holds it together is the rapport the hosts have with each other, and with the audience. It can still be funny if the hosts are personalities that you genuinely like. This is why Howard Stern gets old to me about once every three to four minutes. Guys like this weren't funny in third grade, much less as supposed adults telling female callers to "go count the warts on their vaginas". Wow, that is a laugh-riot, Howie! All hail the king of all media! But I digress.

It is apparent that many people have discovered one of the dirty little secrets of morning shows: they are all the same. They are just like people. If you don't hang out with Baron Munchausen or Kid Rock, your friends lead lives depressingly like yours. They wake up, take a shit, get in the shower, go to work, watch TV, etc. What makes your best friend different than his or her neighbor is that indefinable quality that makes them more fun to hang around with. It could be having the same views of particular subjects, or differing views that you can debate ad infinitum. It could be that they make you laugh, or they make you think, or they have Playstation 2, or whatever. Morning radio shows are alot like that. You would rather listen to a friend blather on about their lives at six in the morning than a complete stranger, but sometimes the conversation gets predictable. I guess that most people thought that this was happening to Sarah and No Name. Or they were still pissed that Vinnie got fired a year ago. All I know is that alot more people decided to listen to some other stupid-ass morning show than those who toughed it out and stayed. I stayed for the above named reasons. I like listening to their voices, and I get all the inside jokes now. I'm not going to give that up in order to listen to Lamont & Tonelli or, even worse(ugh), Howard Stern. I'm glad they are back on the air, although it would have been nice if they had moved to a station with a better transmitter, because sometimes picking up Alice is like picking up SETI signals. Seriously. The fact that KFOG bought the next higher frequency(97.7) and push so many watts through the air that I get RF burns when I tune them in makes getting Alice that much harder.

Another thing about the April Fools joke with these guys was their guest hosting of Evening Magazine instead of Mike and Mallou. They pretended that they had switched jobs, and it was simply atrocious. If this had actually happened, both shows would have suffered greatly. It's true that there are some people who are more geared for radio, and there are some who are more TV'ish. Mallou is definitely eye-candy, but doesn't have a distinctive voice. Sarah and No Name have great voices, but have absolutely no talent for TV whatsoever. I don't think even I would have looked that uncomfortable on the screen, and I would have at least tried to learn my lines before showtime. These guys didn't even hide the fact that they were reading from scripts, because they were holding them in their hands the whole time. One more thing, guys: animation. Staring at the camera doesn't work for TV. Shaking your leg nervously doesn't, either. When Lurch and I created the "Lounge Videos", we didn't make these most basic of mistakes, and we were stoned most of the time during filming. I only hope that the experience of seeing these two on TV doesn't ruin the magic of their radio show for me, like when I fould out that most of the women you talk to on 976 chat lines are disgustingly obese rednecks. It sucks the magic right out of the experience, you know what I mean?

Yeah, you do, you fuckin' perverts.