Saturday, August 30, 2008

OCD Chronicles: Black Sabbath "Children Of The Sea"

I’ve pretty much exhausted this topic, but I’m still in full R.J.D. mode and “Children Of The Sea” continues to channel itself in my head. Even one of the supervisors of work mentioned “You’re still buzzing with that Judas Priest show, aren’t you?” until I corrected him with “Actually, it’s the Sabbath set that’s still going around.”
So, at the most inappropriate moments, I blurt out “Look out! The sky is falling!” or sing to my daughter “Pooh Bear says that it’s over.”
I swear to God that the lyrics, as hilariously overreaching as they might be, serves as a metaphor for full on rock shows the way the used to be and should be. Look, I have no issues with the current state of metal and even those acts that I find unappealing. But there has got to be a market for big, dumb, over-the-top bands that are sincere in their deliverance of said topics.
Where are the modern-day Sabbaths, Scorpions, Maidens?
Shit, where are the farm-leagues of these bands?
I don’t believe for a moment that Avenged Sevenfold, The Darkness, et all give two shits about the themes they ape. I think that it’s a matter of irony for them, and even the dumbest of metalheads can figure out when you’re making fun of them.
But I’m totally sincere when I say that “Children Of The Sea” is an awesome song that takes on new meaning when one contemplates the future of arena metal.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Down With The King

Light in the loafers, news, and state of mind to come up with anything substantial. I’d like to draw your attention to an interview with the dude that created…CREATED…the animatronics characters of one Showbiz Pizza Place, the wonderful eatery that has been profiled here and in recent MGMT videos. Birthday boy Jake Brown actually tracked down the guy and got me to contribute a few questions to the originator.
Currently residing in the Ed McMahon “I Did Not Know That” Department: the guy also created the “Wack-A-Mole” game, which always reminds me of the time when I smashed a mole with a brick after seeing the little pest pop up in my yard.
In other news, the man who essentially shaped rock ‘n’ roll music is appearing in Iowa City on September 26th. For years I’ve been promising myself to go down to Blueberry Hill in Saint Louis to check out a Wednesday night Chuck Berry show before he passes and, like dozens of other well intentioned plans, I have not been able to follow through. The show in Iowa City is 1.) Close to home and 2.) Free, so there’s not a lot of excuses that one can muster for not being able to attend. Yeah, it’s Iowa’s homecoming and yeah, Iowa City is pretty must infiltrated with crazy people and drunk college kids, but I’m hoping that both will be on their best behavior when the true king of rock music comes to town. And fuck yes I’m bringing the kids. As Sven once said, this is “the Lord’s music” and they need to be brought up in the word of God right out of the gate.
Light in the loafers, news, and state of mind to come up with anything substantial. I’d like to draw your attention to an interview with the dude that created…CREATED…the animatronics characters of one Showbiz Pizza Place, the wonderful eatery that has been profiled here and in recent MGMT videos. Birthday boy Jake Brown actually tracked down the guy and got me to contribute a few questions to the originator.
Currently residing in the Ed McMahon “I Did Not Know That” Department: the guy also created the “Wack-A-Mole” game, which always reminds me of the time when I smashed a mole with a brick after seeing the little pest pop up in my yard.
In other news, the man who essentially shaped rock ‘n’ roll music is appearing in Iowa City on September 26th. For years I’ve been promising myself to go down to Blueberry Hill in Saint Louis to check out a Wednesday night Chuck Berry show before he passes and, like dozens of other well intentioned plans, I have not been able to follow through. The show in Iowa City is 1.) Close to home and 2.) Free, so there’s not a lot of excuses that one can muster for not being able to attend. Yeah, it’s Iowa’s homecoming and yeah, Iowa City is pretty must infiltrated with crazy people and drunk college kids, but I’m hoping that both will be on their best behavior when the true king of rock music comes to town. And fuck yes I’m bringing the kids. As Sven once said, this is “the Lord’s music” and they need to be brought up in the word of God right out of the gate.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Pondering The New AC/DC Album

Delimma. I don’t know what to do about the new AC/DC record. This issue started with Ballbreaker, the first “return to form” record from ’95 or whatever. The idea that it was being produced by Rick Rubin was attractive and the lead-off single “Hard As A Rock” certainly sounded like the boys were back in the game. Hell, they even got drummer Phil Rudd back in the fold. But the rest of the album was shite, an embarrassment, and why nobody bothered to tell any of the band that the idea of a song like “Cover You In Oil” was worthy of release is beyond me.
It’s over a decade later and similar rumblings are happening again. This time it’s producer Brendon O’Brien and this time it’s an album that you can only get at Wal-Mart.
I said, “this time it’s an album that you can only get at Wal-Mart.”
This exclusivity screams of money. After all, Back In Black is only behind a few albums in terms of most copies sold and the Young brothers must have taken notes while watching The Eagles hit pay dirt with Long Road Out Of Eden.
And, by the way, Long Road Out Of Eden has sold over three million copies, despite the fact that The Eagles suck stinky balls and nobody listens to the fucking album anymore.
So it’s easy to dismiss Black Ice as another one of those marketing strategies that will probably work even when the work itself is shit.
But hold the phone: early reports are that the thing is actually good! Realistically, it should be, particularly when it takes them a bagillion years just to make the album and, if we’re really paying attention here, it’s been over a quarter century since AC/DC even put out a decent album anyway.
The Razors Edge you say?
I say “Fuck off.”
Who Made Who?
Doesn’t count: compilation.
The fact is, AC/DC is pretty much a one-album band (Back In Black) since Bon Scott died and to disprove it, they need one more album before they cash in that proves otherwise.
And the rumor is that Bon was still around when the material for Back In Black was in its early stages, so there you go.
Sure, Brian Johnson is laughing all the way to the bank, but wouldn’t he like to be included in the conversation when everyone is talking about the reverence that AC/DC holds? Or will he be content with being pigeon-holed as the “dude who parlayed Bon Scott’s corpse into a rather large bank statement?”
For shame, dude. Now put your money where your (barely tolerable) mouth is an deliver the album that officially makes AC/DC a band with four decades of credible releases and, more importantly, your own fucking place in their legacy.
The press is intriguing, but this won’t be an impulse purchase for me. I’m playing it safe and going to try before I buy.
After all: I can’t even pawn off my copy of Ballbreaker to anybody.

The Metal Masters

I did over 2,000 words on the Metal Masters tour that I can’t seem to edit down any farther. My head is still spinning with the majesty of rock, and I’ve grown some respect for Ronnie James Dio after seeing this old fart take command of a crowd. One of the first things I did after arriving home was to berate my wife with endless impersonations of “Children of the Sea” and “Holy Diver.”
I did the same thing at work.
When it wasn’t Dio, it was Halford and “The Green Manalishi.”
As if arena-metal didn’t have enough problems in sustaining an audience (we’re all getting older and there doesn’t seem to any new bands that can replace the legacy of the old guard), the fine folks at Live Nation don’t feel the need to assist with keeping it alive. Within minutes of arriving in the parking lot, we were barely into our first beer before some dude in his early twenties was advising us to move on. For whatever fucking retarded reason, it was perfectly ok to stand around by the front of the gate and drink beer, but it wasn’t ok to hang near the vehicle and maintain a short distance to the cooler. There was no aggression, just pure mellowness, listening to the sponsoring rock station, having a cold one and socializing with the fellow attendees. In perfect 10 minute intervals, a group of three Live Nation douchebags would stroll around with pretend authority and tell us to move along.
What the fuck.
It’s shit like this that is helping to close down these outdoor ampitheatres when they really should be doing all that they can to build the business and fans. They seem to think that by forcing us inside, we’d me more inclined to spend money on Live Nation’s selection of $8 beers (up $0.25 from last summer, btw). The reality is that I was still sober enough after two beers to know that there was no way that I was spending that kind of cash for booze. Maybe after a few more bottles, I would have been buzzed enough to dig in my pocket a little deeper for some extra booze money.
The other problem with the Metal Masters…and it’s something that obviously bit the promoters in the ass…was the idea of a VIP purchase. For an ungodly amount of money, you could get good seats in front of the stage, receive tour package items (a laminent and t-shirt) and meet the band to pose for a picture. Reports hinted that the items and seat didn’t live up to the high ticket price and that the meet-and-greet was nothing more than a cattle call, providing no opportunity to actually converse with the band; you were ushered in, place in a pose, and then sent away to receive your photo.
No wonder those seats remained open and Live Nation staff members were walking around the concourse with signs that read “Ticket Upgrades for $10.”
While there were huge holes in the seats, there was no one to be found in the lawn seating, the blue collar section for what is obviously a blue collar crowd. The guy next to me grumbled about it a little bit, and it seems that Live Nation was more content with pushing the crowd towards the front than allowing the audience to name their own price. I wonder if they lost tickets as a result of this or merely comped the crowd with a better seat.
This price gouging, mark my words, with one day haunt those fuckers at Live Nation and judging by the upcoming shows I failed to see a performer that would draw enough people to surpass what we saw at The Metal Masters show.
Which, if you didn’t guess, was awesome. With decent seats priced at $100, it was the type of value that more aging rockers need to consider.


Setlists:

Testament
Over The Wall-The Legacy
More Than Meets The Eye-The Formation of Damnation
Henchman Ride-The Formation of Damnation
D.N.R.-The Gathering
Three Days In Darkness-The Gathering
Disciples Of The Watch-The New Order

Motorhead
Dr. Rock-Orgasmatron
Stay Clean-Overkill
Be My Baby-Kiss Of Death
The Killers-Inferno
Metropolis-Overkill
Over The Top-b side of “Motorhead” (live version)
In The Name Of Tragedy-Inferno
Just 'Cos You Got The Power-b side of “Eat The Rich”
Going To Brazil-1916
Killed By Death-No Remorse
Ace Of Spades-Ace Of Spades
Overkill-Overkill

Black Sabbath

E5150-Mob Rules
The Mob Rules-Mob Rules
Children of the Sea-Heaven and Hell
I-Dehumanizer
Sign of the Southern Cross-Mob Rules
Vinny Appice Solo
Time Machine-Dehumanizer
Falling off the Edge of the World-Mob Rules
Tony Iommi Solo
Die Young-Heaven and Hell
Heaven and Hell-Heaven and Hell
Encore:
Neon Knights-Heaven and Hell

Judas Priest
Dawn Of Creation-Nostradamus
Prophecy-Nostradamus
Metal Gods-British Steel
Eat Me Alive-Defenders Of The Faith
Between The Hammer And The Anvil-Painkiller
Devil's Child-Screaming For Vengeance
Breaking The Law-British Steel
Hell Patrol-Painkiller
Dissident Aggressor-Sin After Sin
Angel-Angel Of Retribution
The Hellion>Electric Eye-Screaming For Vengeance
Rock Hard, Ride Free-Defenders Of The Faith
Painkiller-Painkiller
Hell Bent For Leather-Hell Bent For Leather
The Green Manalishi-Hell Bent For Leather
Encore:
You've Got Another Thing Coming-Screaming For Vengeance

Most obscure t-shirts
GBH (actually a denim jacket that featured this band as a patch. The dude wearing it was a kid that looked like a punk relic out of the 80’s)
Helloween
Robin Trower

Dream Line-Ups for future Metal Masters shows:

Accept
Armored Saint
Budgie
Deep Purple
Dio
Fastway
Iron Maiden
Judas Priest
King Diamond
Metal Church
Prong
Saxon
Scorpions
UFO

Saturday, August 16, 2008

If You Want To Bump, Let's Go

Once, the worst a kid could do was buy a W.A.S.P. record and smoke a little herb. Now, threatening murder and throwing out racial epitaphs is the norm. It took me over a year to finally see this...Where my boys at?

And with over a million views already, you know that a few are going to throw up replies. The best one follows:

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Jani Lane Tells Las Vegas Audience "Let's Go Get Some Fuckin' French Toast!"

A recent article I did had me asking the question: “I wonder what Warrant is up to?” to which I did a little digging. I apparently missed the press release that told the world that Jani Lane was getting back with the rest of the band for a world tour that featured the original line-in. It was their first time together in over 14 years, so as you can imagine, the world waited with baited breath to see the down boys. With such a wonderful occasion, one would think that the brilliant creative force behind “Cherry Pie” would want to give the audience their best performances ever…to give them a taste of what they may have missed the first time around when Jani and the boys ruled the pop metal landscape.
So how does Jani show his appreciation to the ever-diminishing fan base? He gets stinking drunk for a recent performance that is so awful it borders on the surreal. Rather than sucker punch Lane for this embarrassment, the rest of the band competently continues on with their legendary smash “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” while their lead singer slurs off-key.
Backstory: this douchebag has a history of substance abuse after apparently taking the fact that Warrant was left behind in grunge’s wake a little too personally. Rather than wait for the inevitable pendulum back towards profitability, Lane repeated the story of how he knew his label had abandon him after paying a visit to his record company’s offices. On one visit, they had huge framed posters of Warrant’s album Cherry Pie. On the next visit, the posters were of the latest Alice In Chains record.
He blames the downfall on lack of label support when pop-metal ran its course, not once acknowledging that he and his bandmates had essentially been sucking their label’s dick from day one. Lane fails to acknowledge how fucking awful the follow up to Cherry Pie was and how it was his creative control that ultimately contributed to the band’s demise. Yes, Dog Eat Dog was Lane’s attempt at showing Warrant were “true” artists, somehow above their pop-metal tags. By incorporating Queen-like arrangements and self-depravating song titles like “Andy Warhol Was Right,” Lane began the futile efforts to distance himself from the gravy train that filled his bank accounts.
And then the ungrateful prick later tries to distance himself from the biggest cash cow of them all…the song “Cherry Pie”…by whining how it was the head of the label that encouraged him to go back and write a hit single for their second album. Lane did exactly what he was told, and “Cherry Pie” became the band’s biggest chart success ever. But all you hear Lane talk about now is how he hates the song because it was the label’s suggestion and they completely took the song and changed the entire idea for the second album.
I say, be a little more appreciative of it, holmes, Because without that bit of direction, your fucking fifteen minutes would have ended a helluvalot sooner.
But the clip is more than embarrassing, it’s bad enough that we should never have to hear the word “warrant” again, unless it’s being delivered from a law officer.

On another note, I did manage to catch wind that Stephen Pearcy had re-joined Ratt for yet another reunion tour. Apparently Pearcy also got too drunk at a recent performance in Mexico and could barely finish “Lay It Down.” The band paused long enough for guitarist Warren DeMartini to take Pearcy backstage and knock him out, allowing second guitarist (and ex-Motley Crue replacement member Jon Corabi) complete the rest of the vocal duties for the rest of the night. Corabi has also apparently left the Ratt fold, allowing, get this, ex-Quiet Riot guitarist Carlos Cavazo the opportunity to join up.
Someone not only needs to tell these 80’s bands that it’s a different world now…that being drunk and on stage only gets your shit broadcast on YouTube a few hours after the fact thanks to video phones. And they need to be reminded that the only people left that are willing to shell out their cash for nostalgic trips are the very fans booing at the drunk vocalist on stage. Get your shit together or stay home, because to embarrass yourself like this is ultimately career suicide, part two.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Dig!! Lazarus Dig!!


Coming off the wonderful return to dirtyass rock of Grinderman, Nick Cave resumes his work with the Bad Seeds with an album more akin to the raucous nature of that aforementioned project. The difference is that Ginderman sounded like a man kicking out some guttural mid-life crisis, Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! sounds like a man baptized again on the alter of seedy six strings.
Marginally more restrained than Grinderman, Cave has instead focused on placing the negative energy in his words instead of merely turning up the amps. Placed against other performer’s mid-career work, one is hard pressed to find a reference point as consistently great as Lazarus.
And when you’re able to, you suddenly discover the kind of company that Nick Cave is in with. By now, it’s time to start realizing that he’s rubbing shoulders with people like Dylan and Cohen, and there’s no better moment to start diving into his wide body of work with this, an impeccably written and perfectly arranged statement from a man who’s delivering some of the best material on an already remarkable career.
This is my favorite kind of Cave; I consider Live Seeds as the best Nick Cave album ever on the merits that you can almost smell the sweat, booze and pussy that exudes over each song. Seriously: I’d trust my daughter more with the members of Motley Crue than with Nick Cave because there’s always this bad feeling that he’d not only be able to talk her into sleeping with him, but robbing a convenience store afterwards and killing the clerk in the process.
Lazarus is cut from similar cloth, forgoing any evidence of studio tools and relying on the band to create a menagerie that alternates between sublime and terrifying.
Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! goes deeper than merely reaffirming Cave’s well-known role as a cocksmith and lifetime member of The Sons of Lee Marvin. Back in fine form is Reverend Cave, who reworks the Lazarus into a modern-day parable where Lazarus, now known by “Larry,” spends the time after his resurrection roaming the streets of N.Y.C. circa 1977, bitterly offering how he “never asked to be raised up from the tomb.”
Is it a coincidence that Cave chose to release this around Easter, or is the implication that he, now into his fifth decade, is experiencing a resurrection of his own, finding new life in the blasphemy of rock? Whatever the holiday, religion, or position, Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! is one of Cave’s best, proving that he has himself ascended to a level of holy proportions.

This review originally appeared in Glorious Noise

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Foreigner - Double Vision


In a display of uncommon coolness, my Dad let me pick out an album at JC Penny’s in 1977 for no reason at all. The album I chose was Foreigner’s debut album. There were two bad ass singles all over radio from it: “Cold As Ice” and “Feels Like The First Time,” so I figured the rest of the album was pretty bad assed.
It was, for the most part, and I treated that album with extra care, because I wasn’t quite sure if my Dad would all of a sudden go “Hey, I’m gonna need that Foreigner album now” even though he never did that before. His records and mine were frequently segregated.
The next summer, Foreigner’s follow up Double Vision came out. I was over at my Grandparent's house when, out of nowhere, the lead single “Hot Blooded” was all over radio. If you’ve ever heard “Hot Blooded,” you understand why it was all over radio: because it rules. Oh you can sit there now and make fun of the idea of a Foreigner song being awesome but do you know how I know you’re wrong? Because the moment I go “Well I’m hot blooded” you automatically follow it with “Check it and see.”
Fuck, I’ve heard my wife sing it to our baby daughter, so you know future generations are going to be familiar with it, and that’s a clear sign that something rules, regardless of how many times you’ve heard it, or how jaded you may be with your Godspeed Black Emperor albums.
And I like Godspeed You Black Emperor albums, by the way.
Grandparents have a tendency to give you money when you visit them; I think its candy when you’re younger and then it moves to money when you get older. Anyway, I took the money that I had gotten from the Grandparents and went home after that visit in ’78 and immediately bought Double Vision, the album that contained that awesome “Hot Blooded” song. I bought it early enough that I knew the title track and “Blue Morning, Blue Day” before they became hit singles later on.
So is the rest of the album as awesome? Not really. It’s a Foreigner album, silly! A Foreigner album always contains about two or three great songs, a few good ones, and then about an entire side of filler. The filler here is “Tramontane” (a pointless instrumental by the keyboard player), “Lonely Children,” “Spellbinder,” and two tracks sung by Mick Jones, “Back Where You Belong” and “I Have Waited So Long.” Why they allowed Mick Jones to handle lead when they had Lou Fucking Gramm on lead vocals is beyond me, but then again, so is Mick Jones’ decision to carry on with the Foreigner name without Lou Fucking Gramm even in the line up.
Someone clearly needs to remind Mick Jones that he is “Mick Jones,” and that his most famous claim to fame prior to striking gold with Foreigner (thanks to the throat of Lou Gramm) was playing with Spooky Tooth.
Quick: name me a song by Spooky Tooth….exactly.
So now that we’ve adequately made fun of Mick Jones and the shittier material of Double Vision, it’s time to rightfully acknowledge how great the remaining tracks are. Those three singles plus the midtempo “You’re All I Am” and the side one closer “Love Has Taken It’s Toll” remain top notch. Had the band taken some time after the first one (Double Vision came only a year after the debut) and done the same thing for their third album Head Games (which came a year after this one), Foreigner would have had the elusive awesome album that they never managed to get.
Which is exactly what caused you to snicker in the first place.

Monday, August 11, 2008

R.E.M. - Accelerate


If you haven’t heard, it’s been a while since the state of Georgia had a decent rainstorm and it’s been a while since we’ve had a decent album from R.E.M. While the weather in the Peach state is still in question, the early consensus is that the new R.E.M. album is a return to those fair-weather days of old and one that’s sure to please longtime fans.
Before we all start deeming Accelerate “the best R.E.M. album since,” let’s take a deep breath and allow all of that cynicism, resentment, and well-deserved ambivalence towards the band take hold and provide us with a much needed reality check.
The fact is, R.E.M. needed to make this album, so one has to consider the motivation behind it. It’s healthy to wonder if this album is a calculated attempt at salvaging a recording contract with Warners instead of winning back those fans who’ve given two shits about R.E.M. for some time.
You see, I’m one of “those guys” that used to fork over some serious cash for European imports of the band’s singles, limited edition copies each release along with the regular versions and other fan-only merchandise.
After New Adventures In Hi-Fi, I really wanted to get rid of all of that overpriced collection. The direction (or lack thereof) that the band chose when drummer Bill Berry retired, seemed to place the band in a place above their fans. There is something unforgiveable about assuming how your audience will support, or at the very least tolerate, every single whim while turning your back on the fundamentals that helped bring you success.
For the past ten years, R.E.M. made me feel like a sap for liking them so much for so long and, if you haven’t guessed, I’m a little bitter about it.
I wasn’t the only one: the band’s stock has sunk so low at this point that they may need to prove to their label that they can actually sell records. At the same time, this isn’t an era where Warners, or cd sales for that matter, mean much of anything. They’re going to prove it on the road and Accelerate sounds like a good record to play out on the road as well as a blatant attempt at getting those aforementioned saps like me to shell out some money and go see them.
But my resentment runs deep enough that I don’t plan to spend dime one for an overpriced ticket to see a band that has essentially released an album on par with their mediocre mid-period material.
You want names? Ok then: it’s as good as Green or Monster while being nowhere near Life’s Rich Pageant or any of the other I.R.S. albums and not even close to the band’s last official masterpiece, Automatic For The People.
And after a decade of scratching their heads and providing their fans with any half-baked idea that they feel passes for an album, well sir, I’d say it’s time that they actually deliver another fucking masterpiece.
“Houston” is an update of “Swan Swan H.” “Horse To Water” mines similar pageantry (pun intended), and “I’m Gonna DJ,” perhaps the album’s strangest and strongest track, closes Accelerate with the same abandon of the band’s earliest curios.
There’s probably another half-dozen decent radio-friendly units: the opener “Living Well Is The Best Revenge” is this year’s “Pop Song ’89.” “Supernatural Superserious” would get tons of airplay if this were still the year Monster was released. To be fair, everything on Accelerate is fine. However, outside of the pleasing notion of familiarity, they all seem to lack the emotional requirements and rustic feel to have me returning here in a year or two.
Its Peter Buck’s album, with a welcomed focus on the three facets of his guitarwork: the arpeggio jangle of the early releases, the guitar crunch of Monster, and the kudzu-strew back porch acoustics of everything in between.
Stipe’s delivery is noticeably feral and Mike Mills’ sweet backing vocals make a welcomed return, reaffirming that his contributions may indeed be R.E.M.’s secret weapon all of these years.
With all of these acknowledgements to their past, Accelerate is an album that isn’t able to recreate it. Indeed, R.E.M. does a great job of acting like a band again without really sounding like one. Sure, there’s the issue of the drummer, pointlessly overplayed by the dude that used to play for Ministry, of all bands. But I’m not one to point to Bill Berry’s retirement as the sole cause for the band’s bad sense of direction or general aloofness. There were hints for many years that the band was steering off course even when he was still with them, but his departure really put that reality into the spotlight.
So we’re back again to the idea of the motivation behind this album, while understanding that R.E.M. is professional enough to pull off a “return to form” record without actually doing so. Forgive me if I’m a little hesitant to believe that R.E.M. has truly seen the light yet. The next album will confirm it, and only then by returning to the metaphorical back porch, carefully considering why they’re making music to begin with. Hint hint: It’s not because the record company wants a return on their investment, or because they need to regain their diminishing fan base, or even because it’s expected of them. There was a time when they created music because their record collection(s) inspired them to do so, and now they need to do the same thing, particularly when there’s an entire generation that’s not aware of how inspiring R.E.M. could really be.
Until then, the draught in Georgia continues.

This review originally appeared in Glorious Noise

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Isaac Hayes R.I.P.

I wonder if anyone under the age of thirty knows Isaac Hayes from anything else other than doing the voice-over of "Chef" from South Park. Not that it was Matt & Trey's responsibility to point that out to anyone, but it's a shame nonetheless...a shame that they didn't dig a little deeper and find out how Hayes was "Black Moses," the bad mother....shut your mouth, the iconic bald head on the cover of Hot Buttered Soul, the dude with the chops that suggested that he could kick your ass, and when you saw him in person, the voice fit the body.
While it would have been cool for everyone to be on the same page with Hayes' passing, it's a damn shame that the passion for his religion caused him to curiously boycott his South Park gig in a fit that Matt & Trey accurately pointed to be hypocritical.
So now instead of celebrating his passing with mere soul and pop-culture praise, we're also remembering the footnote of how defensive he got about Scientology, to the point where he effectively took his toys home with him.
Isaac Hayes was only 65, but he looked nearly identical to this classic performance of "Walk On By."

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Deserted Songs & Two Miller Tall Boys

Kidless. Wifeless too. I look forward to these rare moments of solitude, and then I miss everyone a few hours after they’re gone. It’s like I need the security of knowing that the kids are in their rooms, the wife’s sleeping in our room with the TV on and I’m alone downstairs relishing being finally alone. But now they’re not here, and I know it, and it doesn’t help that the music playing is Mercury Rev’s Deserter Songs.
There’s nothing better than that album, and its sister album The Flaming Lips The Soft Bulletin. I can’t believe what a place I was in when those two albums were release, these pair of approaching millennium epics. They had me considering possibilities, planting a seed of emotional self-evaluation. I don’t know if music has that kind of impact on you, and it isn’t until much later…like tonight in solitude…that I start to think about how things fell into place and what songs were playing when directions changed course.
It also helps that I’m reading Dero’s Staring At Sound, the book he did a few years ago on The Flaming Lips. So yeah, I’m continually spinning the Lips catalog, paying close attention not to spin Bulletin, but making sure to hit those moments where this band stopped by and said “I’m here!” before moving on again. Zaireeka wasn’t that familiar salutation. It was a smack to the face, demanding the listener get four cds together (ha!), I mean, how pretentious is that?!
Not very, actually. In fact it’s downright brilliant.
But the brilliance was unmistakable with The Soft Bulletin, and instead of smacking you across the face, it grabbed you by the collar and screamed “I’m here and we’re going someplace” before it threw you in the trunk of a car and sped off.
I’m sure I’ll write more on this some other time, but the point is that I’m on a Lips kick and trying to resuscitate the memories that each album created.
The book is good, Wayne’s kind of a prick, but not in the sense of Lou Reed, a man so utterly unapproachable and ill-tempered that you’d be better off not even reading about him. Wayne seems wonderfully approachable, just kind of a dick to work with because his work ethic is so much stronger than anyone else’s. He talked some shit about Robyn Hitchcock…another one of my heroes…and that kind of rubbed me the wrong way…but again, that’s not really my battle to fight.
Besides obsessing over the Lips, worrying about Robyn Hitchcock, and feeling sorry for myself, what did I do with myself? I went to a baseball game. I took the wife and kids to one last week, but I really got a chance to see about, oh, a half inning of it. So tonight, I went solo and watched the Kernels beat the Quad Cities River Bandits, and I mean watched the game. No kids to worry about, no wife to consider, just a few bears, some peanuts, and an awesome seat right behind home plate.
I wouldn’t have gotten a seat like that if there were more than just me.
And yes, that’s yet another picture of the huge eyeballs that race in between one of the innings.
God, I love that.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Bauhuas - Go Away White


Perhaps the best compliment that one can pay to Bauhaus’ Go Away White, the Goth Godfather’s first new studio album in a quarter century, is how excited it makes you for the possibility of additional efforts. But if we are to believe the press that comes with it, Go Away White is the end of Bauhaus. The band broke up (again) prior to the album’s release, making its surprising strength either a sigh of relief that they parlayed their reunion into a decent recording or a frustrated groan that they decided to throw in the towel.
One of the best things about this album is how it doesn’t take itself that seriously. The title, Go Away White, can take on a number of meanings and the music within it achieves the same results. I suppose there will be long time fans that view it from a darker perspective, but I believe ignoring that the members of Bauhaus might actually have an astute sense of humor prevents the listener from fully appreciating how good this album is.
Consider the band’s final tour, where vocalist Peter Murphy started each night by singing the band’s most famous song (“Bela Lugosi’s Dead”) upside down like a fucking bat. You could view that as one of the most pretentiously conceived ideas ever, or you can look at it as the result of nearly three decades of frustration: “Here’s the song you came to see, our debut single, the three minutes that encapsulated everything we did afterwards, and I’m singing it upside down…happy now?!”
From the sounds of Go Away White, the notion that Bauhaus had to revisit their past every single night, must have been somewhat of a drag. Start to finish, it resembles a cohesive and democratically conceived piece of work recorded with eyes ahead instead of looking backwards.
It alternates between the overly dramatic slow burns and post-punk mid-tempo dissonance, each one providing Murphy with a showcase for his low-end Bowie and, occasionally, an impressive vintage yell.
There are also moments of songs feelings half-finished or, on occasion, half-hearted.
“International Bullet Proof Talent” and “Endless Summer Of The Damned” sound clever in their titles alone, and prove to be repetitive filler that nearly derail the album’s fantastic second half.
It starts with “Saved,” an atmospheric dirge with minor-key harmonies, industrial rhythm loops and the compulsory church bell. It slowly trudges like a funeral procession until Murphy provides a haunting spoken word ending, which finds him repeating the word “saved” nine times.
It then goes directly into the high-maintenance fashion model observation “Mirror Remains,” a cautionary tale where the requirements of beauty are found to be, ultimately futile in the end. In other words, they successfully tie-in the words “anorexia,” “bulimia” and “decay” together in under five minutes.
As guitarist Daniel Ash changes from heavily chorused guitar chords to a staccato pattern in the middle of the song, Murphy determines audibly “Right, that’s the solo there of some kind.”
In the background, you hear Ash correct him with the reply “That is the solo!”
Understanding that this is a project of consensus, Murphy acquiesces and attempts to offers the olive branch with “Alright….Well…That’s good!”
Besides being more considerate of each other’s feelings, Bauhaus’ advanced age has also found them honing their skills, acknowledging their silliness and striving to work as a solid musical unit, the very thing that brought them together thirty years ago.
Far from a funeral Go Away White is a celebration of the band’s camaraderie, a capricious look back that hints at what might have been had they been able to break free from the confines that their debut single unfairly set upon them. And because of that, it’s a shame that they decided to go away at all.

This review originally appeared in Glorious Noise.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Senility Is Hereditary

Like a lot of people, I moved in to MySpace a few years ago and packed up my shit recently and moved out. I can't log in at work and half the time when I log in at home, I get all sorts of errors and general nonsense that wastes my precious internets time. I'll check in from time to time to add new family photos as needed and update the all-important music player selection. Other than that, it's being maintained on a less frequent basis, but before I cleaned up the place, I wanted to preserve the following real-life, honest injun phone conversation that I had with my parents a few years ago. None of it is made-up and the dialogue is verbatim.
The back story is this: My parents were getting ready to go on vacation to Napa Valley to celebrate my Dad's 60th birthday. My Mom's brother was also coming along, and for a moment my Aunt was also scheduled to come, but she cancelled at the last minute. The two of them were on the phone with me, explaining why my aunt couldn't come.
I talk to my parents on the phone to the tune of once every other week. They are going out to Napa for my Dad's birthday, and they invited my Aunt and Uncle to come with them. The Aunt determined at the last minute that she couldn't go. The following is an absolutely true transcript of the phone conversation (they were, of course, on the phone with me at the same time) detailing why she couldn't come:

Mom: She just had a pharmacist quit and instead of replacing her, they're getting a robot.
Me: A robot?
Mom: Yeah. They've got one at the pharmacy in Carthage too.
Dad: Do they really? I didn't know that!
Mom: Yeah. I haven't seen it...But I guess they have to train it where to go...
Me: There's a robot trainer?
Dad: Well, they have to train the workers...
Mom: Yeah. In case they need to change it's path, the people there need to know how to do it, and I guess there's someone who comes in and shows them how to do it.
Me: So you're serious? It's an actual robot?
Dad: I guess she's doing well...She's making a lot of money.
Mom: Well Mom said she got a half a million dollars...
Dad: (interrupting) Yeah...this is from the "source."
Mom: ...from her Uncle when he died.
Dad: He didn't have any kids, you know.
Me: So she bought a robot for the pharmacy?
Mom: I guess. But then the guy who was going to train them how to use the robot couldn't come down until the time we'd be out in California
Dad: So now it's just the three of us.
Mom: They have to show them how to do something to it if they want to change it's path, I guess.
Me: So they bought a robot to replace a worker.
Mom: Yeah. I don't know if it says anything.
Dad: It's not humanoid...
Mom: I know, but...
Me: Do you realize how bizarre this conversation is?
Dad: (laughs) Like Ray Bradbury!

On a related note, my parents just got back from Italy to celebrate my Mom's 60th birthday. They brought me back a silver bookmark and a silver pillbox. Now I can keep my pills nice and dry when I read Dostoevsky.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

And They Called It Puppy Love

In grade school, we used to be provided an opportunity to bring in our own records at the end of music class on Fridays. Not everyone participated as not every is that involved in music, but for those of us that were, it was like a little social gathering where we sat around, listened to records, and talked about whatever it was that kids in grade school talk about.
I remember being intrigued by girls at a young age. I had my share of guy friends, but I was continually on the make to try and impress the ladies, and music was one way I could do this.
I learned that Rochelle Morningstar really liked that Terry Jacks song “Seasons In The Sun.” So when she invited me to her birthday party, I bought her the single as a gift. When she asked me if I thought the song was the cat’s meow, I lied and told her that I liked it. In reality, I fucking hated “Seasons In The Sun,” but I liked the idea of eventually kissing Rochelle, so I became a fan of that awful song.
It’s probably obvious that things between Rochelle and me didn’t work out in the long run as our entire relationship was based on a lie.
I moved on to more of a tomboy, a strawberry-blonde girl with lots of freckles named Joni Winters. Joni was a riot, and she seemed to like my jokes too. I liked making her laugh and watching her hold her ground to nearly every dude in the playground. If I ever found myself in a pinch, there was a good chance that Joni could get me out of it by merely using her fists.
I went on a date with Joni…my first ever…and my parents thought it was a cute idea. They would tease me about it and jokingly ask if I planned on kissing her. The date was going to see The Apple Dumpling Gang, a shitty child’s movie starring Don Knotts and Tim Conway that was really beneath our comedic level even though it was directly targeted to our age group. My dad drove us to the theatre and within minutes, we were bored with the shitty plot line. Joni thought it would be better to make our own entertainment, and began throwing M&Ms at the head of a kid who sat a few rows ahead of it. Trying to impress her, I began doing the same but accidentally hit the person sitting next to him. The person stood up and I immediately saw that it was the kid’s mom. She scowled at us and walked past us to go towards the door. Soon afterwards, the manager of the theatre came and got Joni and I and took us the lobby. He scolded us and told us that we would be ejected from the theatre if we didn’t stop. The lack of fear on Joni’s face was priceless…I was so proud of her and in awe of her ambivalence…But the idea of having to call my Dad to ask him to come pick us up before the movie ended was of real concern to me.
It wasn’t long after we returned back to our seats before Joni suggested that we split, agreeing to get back to the front of the theatre around the same time that my Dad had scheduled to pick us up. We didn’t do anything, I didn’t get a kiss out of the deal, and we passed the time buying candy at the drug store down the street and looking at 45s at the music store.
When it came time for our musical show and tell, I knew that I needed to bring something uber-cool to impress this chick. I brought the new Aerosmith single about a “missy who was ready to play” while Joni brought something I had never heard before on A&M Records. The single was called “Love Hurts” by Nazareth, and Joni told me in private that she was going to have the teacher play the flip side, “Hair Of The Dog,” because it had bad words on it. It took the teacher until the second “Now you’re messing with a son of a bitch” before she ran over to the record player and changed songs.
Joni came from the wrong side of town, literally, and before long she was forced to change to one of the more “rough” schools on the south-side of town. At that time, there was a lot more fluidity between social status, but the next time I saw Joni was years later in Middle School, where clear distinctions in economic strata were placed. Joni stuck with her “kind” of people while I floated around with the more popular crowd, trying to make an impact on the popularity scale.
I was, in fact, cordial with her and the ironic thing was that I noticed more of a change in her than with me. I would have given anyone who was nice to me the time of day, but I think that she felt more uncomfortable with socializing with a “north side” boy that I was with her crowd. She excelled at basketball and track, which allowed her some access to the preppies, but after practice and during social settings, she remained with the denim jacket group. The kind that listened to Nazareth.
At the end of 7th grade, Joni moved to another town. My first ever girlfriend had gone, occasionally coming back when her new school played our town in basketball. Something tells me that, regardless of where she lived, her taste in music was probably similar as it was in the third grade. And to this day, whenever I hear Nazareth, I think of her.

Side note: I had the chance to see Nazareth in the early 90's during a weeknight performance at one of Southeast Iowa's summer festival. A major storm was approaching and the show was sparsely attended. I wasn't expecting much, and looked for ways to get out of being there for the show. The weather provided me with an opportunity to leave early, but before I did, I had to do a couple of radio remote broadcasts that I taped to make it sound like I was at the event. The band, knowing that they probably wouldn't be able to do a full set, started early while I was still there. To my surprise, they rocked. They were supporting their No Jive album and, aside from a new guitarist, contained pretty much the same line-up as they had when they last sported a U.S. hit. Small crowd, small town, and even the encroaching shitty weather didn't seem to phase these guys; they played a great set until lightening forced the festival personnel to shut down the show and the other festivities. Nazareth are still going at it and they're celebrating their 40th anniversary this year.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Left Of The Dial

I may have given the impression that I dislike radio or that I don’t listen to radio at all. This is not the case. I’m actually forced to listen to radio as the cd in our piece of shit Focus doesn’t like playing cds that much. As a result, the radio is pretty much locked in on public radio, to the point where Ethan can sing along to the theme song of All Things Considered.
KUNI is my choice for liberal media. Their vast left-wing conspiracy comes through a 100,000 watt tower perched 525 feet above average terrain. Full disclosure: I used to work for this communist manifesto juggernaut, and shouldn’t be surprised that some of the same people that work there now also used to work there decades ago. The low attrition is understandable: the brief three and a half years I worked at KUNI would qualify as some of the best ever, and those that are blessed with a full-time gig at the station seem to stay put.
With that being said, there are evidently a lot of changes going on as perceived from a listener’s point of view. I don’t know what the dynamics are like at the station now, but I could venture to guess that, thanks to dramatic roll-backs in government funding, there is a bigger scramble for cash than ever before and a noticeable tightening of the proverbial wallet.
The cruel irony is that the number crunching seems to have made KUNI less local than before, forcing the station to consolidate with other public radio stations across the state under an “Iowa Public Radio” moniker. Meanwhile, I’m pretty sure that cocksucker Garrison Keillor hasn’t looked for a dime of cost-cutting measures to help with public radio’s economic woes; A Prairie Home Companion remains a huge financial drain on any station that carries, ironically operating a business that is the polar opposite of the down-home bullshit story line that Keillor preaches every goddamn week. Yes, Prairie Home operates more like a Wal-Mart than the Chatterbox CafĂ©, squeezing out every drop of the station’s budget to fund Keillor’s audio vision of a Terry Redlin print.
There are a few things with KUNI as of late that are concerning, hinting at the possible aftermath of the station trying to do more with less.
Initially, it came with the disclaimer of “Iowa Public Radio,” suggesting a network of public radio stations within the state working together and sharing resources. And while that may be true, I hear an awful lot of repeated stories, typically originating in the afternoon during All Things Considered news breaks and then playing again during the Morning Edition program. The copy is seldom changed and the sound bites are the same. For those of us commuting during these times, it amounts to a news rerun when there was a time where this redundancy wasn’t as prevalent.
Minor quip, but the larger one is the increasing number of blackouts, where the station is essentially dark due to technical difficulties and interruptions in programming is frequent. This is unusual as I will never forget one of my first broadcasts on the station when a rather heavy thunderstorm was underway. In the first thirty minutes of my shift, lightening struck the tower and took the station off line. Scrambling to remember the procedure on how to restore the station, the studio phone line immediately lit up. It was the program director, demanding to know while I was trying to bring the station back on line why it was taking so long. We were probably dark for no more than a minute and I think he was trying to teach me a lesson, which honestly didn’t help me in restoring the station or build any respect for his managerial style. I will say this, however, all future power outages when I was on shift were restored immediately as to avoid any future phone confrontations with the Program Director.
Now, it seems, the station goes dark for an inordinate amount of time, frequently during prime drive-time periods where listenership is the highest. It is at this moment when I begin seeking other stations, the kiss of death to any broadcaster.
There are other technical anomalies that are annoying: levels (particularly during recorded interview segments) grow loud and soft, frustratingly avoiding any consistent volume. The other day, a news segment started, abruptly stopped while about twenty seconds of backwards jabber aired before resuming back to the news piece at the beginning. Then there are those moments when you’ll hear news or other information specifically for WOI, the public radio station in Des Moines, suddenly broadcasting over the KUNI airwaves, complete with the incorrect call letters. If the idea was to share resources, then someone needs to advise a few of them to mute the pots line at the right moment.
The news department must be at a point where they’re spread so thin that they have veteran music DJ Bob Dorr hosting The Exchange. Hearing him exclaim how listeners may learn about some “Chinese punk rock band” during a segment on that country’s music scene made for some surreal moment as the show seemed to original be an outlet for high-level news discussions. It’s now a show that seems to have no real host and the topics are just as schizophrenic as a recent discussion on schizophrenia.
And a minor point of contention: Whoever picked the introduction music to the Talk @ 12 show needs to re-evaluate their ears. The theme song features short, bouncy staccato trumpet bursts that neither promote the idea that it is a news program or prepare the listener for the sleep-inducing topics that the host must navigate through.
KUNI is still the best terrestrial radio station in the area, but it is quickly showing signs of a diminishing staff, conglomerate programming, and curious priorities.
I don’t pretend to have any answers for public radio’s shortfalls; I enjoy some of the eclectic programming and cringe at the increasing amount of pledge drive times. And judging by the number of “Account Executives” job postings for public radio these days, it appears that maintaining staff to solicit funding is becoming harder to do. The same is true of commercial radio, of course, because as more and more people become conditioned to leave radio for other options (satellite, Ipods, etc) they are failing to see the value in providing them with advertising or underwriting dollars.
Actually I do have one idea: change the fucking theme music to Talk @ 12 and I promise to renew my pledge during the next fund drive.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Todd Totale: Out Of The Closet

Crazy bouts of nostalgia. First off, I get an email from a friend advising me that The Residents are playing in Chicago around my birthday. I’ve already seen them (the story some other time), but it got me thinking about them after many years of not keeping up to speed on their bizarre musical world.
Then I receive a pair of Residents re-issue discs for consideration, Eskimo and Duck Stab!, which are two fine examples of the band’s brilliance and records that I haven’t listened to in some time. A few spins has me thinking about those times in my past where The Residents and hallucinogens seemed to go hand-in-hand and some of the activities involving them now seem curiously obsessive. I immediately documented a few of those incidents under the guise of reviews and they should be posted on the Glorious Noise website in the near future.
To be honest, I had no idea that those two aforementioned albums had fallen out of print, and I’m thankful that I now have a pair of new copies to replace those still good vinyl versions.
I’ve also taken a curious initiative to track down a few albums from my childhood years that I enjoyed and then outgrew.
One of those artists is none other than Peter Frampton, who’s Frampton Comes Alive is most certainly a prerequisite album for anyone who grew up in the 70’s. There’s a reason why it was so well received: because it’s a really good album.
I took the path to Frampton a little more seriously than perhaps I should. It started with Frampton’s previous band, Humble Pie, who’s Smokin’ was a strange childhood favorite for me. I think this was the first album the band had without Frampton, and so then I was required to check out what Peter was doing as a solo artist.
Briefly, he decided to start his own band, Frampton’s Camel, which may qualify as one of the dumbest ideas ever put on paper. Not the music of Frampton’s Camel or the album…called Frampton’s Camel in case you’re wondering…but the notion that you’re going to start a band that’s named after you and then decide to incorporate a very decidedly un-rocking animal as your identifier. When I think of “Camel,” I think of my favorite cigarette when I was a smoker or I think of a filthy, gynormous tooth creature that has a tendency of spitting on you when provoked.
So I locate a copy of Frampton’s Camel online and it’s follow up, the proper solo album Frampton. These are the two albums that led up to Frampton Comes Alive and they’re not bad documents of mid-70’s arena rock. Frampton had some chops and about four albums worth of material when making up the setlist for Comes Alive. Not only did he choose the right tunes for the show, his live abilities enhanced them and made the majority of the cuts definitive versions. The original studio cuts seem a bit tepid, with Frampton’s Camel being a bit more aggressive and, as a result, similar in feel to the live versions.
And then my parents come up to visit with a fair warning that they’re cleaning out closets in preparation for what will be a move from my old hometown. That’s family speak for “If we come across some of your shit in the closet or attic, we’re bringing it up to you and letting you deal with it.
So I get a box of albums, many of which I had no idea that I still possessed, and they did indeed contain those aforementioned Frampton albums as well as the Comes Alive follow-up: I’m In You. It should comes as no surprise that I stopped keeping track of Peter Frampton after that album, aided in large part by the utterly retarded decision to star in the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band movie with the Bee Gees and easy-to-knockout-nursing-home-mainstay, George Burns. With the exception of Burns, I hated every one of the artists that joined in this assfucking of Beatles favorites. I waited until Oh God, You Devil! before I started to hate George Burns.
There were some other surprises in that box of albums, most notably dozens of record sleeves that I took out and replaced with non-scratch sleeves that I bought to prevent damaging my priceless vinyl. So now I have the inner sleeves to such wonderful titles like Sports and High Infidelity while not being in possession of the actual album itself. I wisely unloaded them for pennies on the dollar, and probably would have done the same had I maintained my vinyl collection like I now admit that I should have done.
To be honest, I probably would have kept those Frampton albums too, but thanks to their strategic location (read: in the back of one of my parent’s closets) I was unable to unload them when I didn’t know any better.

The booty:

The Beatles Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (red Capitol label pressing)
The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour (purple Capitol label pressing)
The Beatles Let It Be (original red Apple pressing)
John Lennon Imagine (purple Capitol label pressing)
George Harrison Spirits In The Material World (original Apple pressing)
George Harrison Somewhere In England (US pressing)
The Yardbirds Yardbirds Favorites
Cheap Trick At Budokan
Elton John Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player
Tom Waits Swordfishtrombones
The Velvet Underground V.U.
U2 October
U2 Wide Awake In America
Pete Townshend Who Came First
The Moody Blues Days Of Future Passed
Humble Pie Smokin’
Frampton’s Camel Frampton’s Camel
Peter Frampton Frampton
Peter Frampton Frampton Comes Alive
Peter Frampton I’m In You

Friday, August 1, 2008

Fun In The Cubicle

At my job, I’m required to document my interaction with clients including their first and last names. On occasion, I will forget to get complete name which enables me to make up my own. One of my favorite things is to merely put the name of a television show. Example: I received a call from a “James,” forgot his last name, so I documented the call as from “James Atfifteen.” It’s become such a joy that I now incorporate the idea into names that I know fully.
Example: a call from Larry Smith will be coded as “Hello Larry Smith.”
A call from an Asian woman who I didn’t understand the name was listed as “Pink Lady.” I thought about coding it “Themaidfromthecourtshipofeddie’sfather” but that was too long.
It makes me laugh out loud, even when I realize that 90% of the people that may come across it will have no idea that MacLean Stevenson’s first role after leaving M.A.S.H. was the short-lived and incredibly unfunny Hello Larry.
I don’t know what it is, but right around 2:00pm, I’m ready to explode. It is around this time when the company allows me to field calls from dipshits that I come close to behaving poorly enough that it’s grounds for being written up. Today, I dealt with an old cunt from Minnesota who chastised me because the hold music wasn’t good enough to her liking and the voice prompt that advises “Your call is important to us” wasn’t sincere enough.
I swear to god that I’m not making this up.
Understanding what kind of sad individual that I was about to be dealing with, I advised the old bag that I would have a supervisor re-record the voice prompts and have them “put it a new cassette.” Additionally, I told her that whoever sent her the notice that stated she was late who immediately be reprimanded. I usually refer to the offending employee as “Carlos” or “Clark,” two fictitious members of our organization that get the brunt of my blame.
The reality on this particular case is this: the decomposing bitch waited until the last minute to send her payment in, and decided to send in an amount that was different that her payment coupon stated. This caused the payment to be received a day after the due date and a delay of an additional two days in posting it as it had to be manually entered into the system because it didn’t match what we were anticipating. Essentially, the system automatically generated a late notice a day after it noticed we hadn’t received her payment and while it was making its way into our company, our company was sending her the obligatory “you’re late” letter.
By the time she received it, everything was hunky dory, but she had it in her mind that she was going to give someone a what for, even though I was feeding her with the responses that she really wanted to hear.
There was not a hint of remorse after learning that I would personally advise “Carlos’” supervisor that he sent out the late notice without knowing that her payment was in the mail on its way to us.
I hope that fucker gets fired for not reading her mind.
We also have these acrylic holders that house our cubicle addresses and proper names. I replaced my supervisor’s name tag with “The Lady.” He knew it was me.