Monday, December 28, 2009

All my friends were going off to be professionals, and I said I wanted to be an actor.

Rick Deckard

"I have had people walk out on me before, but not... when I was being so charming. "

Han Solo

"Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid. "

Indiana Jones

“You want to talk to God? Let’s go see him together, I’ve got nothing better to do.”

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Why My Mom is Cooler Than Your Mom

I have recently unearthed a bunch of pictures from the late 80's and early 90's and have been posting them to facebook for S & G's. When digging through the box I found this Polaroid of the painting my Mother did on my bedroom wall. This is just before it was finished and I wish I had a picture after it was completed. It has to be one of the coolest things a Mom could ever do don't you think? The yellow wall was exactly the color of the Judas Priest album because I brought the record cover to the paint store to match it. I had red comforter, sheets and drapes to match as well. Bad Ass All The Way! Thanks Mom.

By the way to give you a sense of scale that is a standard wall outlet below the Hellion's talons.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

TV was better when I was a kid (Episode 2)

Sid and Marty Krofft Saturday Mornings

73-75 Sigmund and the Sea Monsters

A google eyed adolescent sea monster failing at sea monster life is exiled by his dysfunctional undersea family to the shore to prove he is sea monster worthy by scaring humans. Genius!

Two brothers, Johnny and Scott befriend Sigmund and the Hi-jinx begin as they try to keep a bumbling sea monster hidden from both their family and Sigmund's by hiding him in their clubhouse.

Kool-Aid and Super Sugar Crisp freak out at it's best!

74-76 Land of the Lost

The Rick Marshall and his children Will and Holly are somehow transported to a lost prehistoric era. While on a routine rafting expedition an earthquake (the greatest ever known) plunges them to a forgotten land merely 1000 feet below the earths surface.

In this untamed Land of the Lost they become the hunted while searching for a way back to modern civilization. They encounter dinosaurs, especially a T-Rex they affectionately name "Grumpy" who likes molest them in the cave they have made their home, they eat giant fruit and meet a cave humanoid named Chacka and most importantly they avoid their new found enemy the Sleastack.

Sleastacks were large humanoid half reptile half insect creatures with scaly green skin, unblinking google eyes, crab claw hands, tails, and a horn atop their heads. They communicated by hissing. Perhaps they were a prehistoric zombie saying only "BRAINZZZ"? I don't recall any real inflection denoting any emotion in the hissing.

They lived in a city underground and were able to create advanced tools like crossbows and rope. I believe they had a periscope type viewer in a couple of episodes even.

Sounds too good to be true doesn't it?

75-76 Far Out Space Nuts

Wait? Gilligan in Space? Far Out Space Nuts was a show about two NASA employees (Junior and Barney) who are inadvertently shot into space while loading provisions for an upcoming mission. When putting meals into their respective compartments Junior (Bob Denver) presses the button labeled LAUNCH instead of LUNCH. Why the geniuses at NASA would put the food buttons onto the main control panel was never really explained.

The two repeatedly have their lunar module captured by aliens and taken to another planet to encounter scary space creatures.

Along the way the do befriend an E.T. they cleverly name Honk because it communicates solely through a horn that sprouts from the top of it's head. Again Honk has buggy eyes. I am starting to see a theme here!

75-76 The Lost Saucer

Two time traveling robots accidentally kidnap a child and his babysitter setting off a series of time travel adventures.

The Robots, Fi (Ruth Buzzi) and Fum (Jim Nabors) land on earth and invite a child and his babysitter onto their time traveling flying saucer to just have a look around. When a group of people gather to check out this curious contraption the Fi and Fum panic and take off.

OF course the controls are broken, the two robot comically bicker constantly and along the way they encounter mysterious lands and weird aliens and monsters.

Oh ya, they also have a weird foam companion named Dorse. Half Dog and...that's right half horse. Really just a man hopping around in a giant grey fur dog suit with a tiny brown horse head attached. Sorry I couldn't find a decent picture but I think you get the idea from the screen capture.

76-78 The Krofft Supershow

Running three seasons this show was the final Saturday program from the Kroffts that I can or care to recall.

The Supershow was basically a variety show consisting of 12 to 15 minute episodic shows and musical numbers by Captain Kool and the Kongs. A glam rock band in the first season then toned down in season two akin to the Osmonds.

After a network change the Captain and his Kongs were replace by The Bay City Rollers.

I am going to focus on the episodes because I somehow have blocked out the music portion of the show.

Dr Shrinker

Three teenagers survive a plane crash on an island inhabited by an evil Doctor and his assistant, Hugo. The aptly named doctor created a shrink gun and after meeting the teens shrinks them to prove it works. The teens escape through a crack in the wall and spend the rest of their scheming on how to get un-shrunk while avoiding the evil Shrinker who needs the three to prove to the world he isn't a hack.

The show has a plot much like The Smurfs. Dr Shrinker is Gargamel but instead of the cat Azrael he has a dwarf named Hugo (Billy Barty) as a companion.

Electra Woman and Dyna Girl

A female caped crusader named Electra Woman (Deidre Hall) and her young sidekick Dyna Girl. Just two regular old magazine reporters that turn into sexy crime fighters in an "Electra-Change" flash of light.

They would cruise around in the "Electracar" and use various technologically advanced tools to thwart weird super villains assisted by Frank Heflin, a scientist that lives in the "Electrabase". He communicated with them through the "ElectraComps", a wrist worn device that transmitted two-way video and sound.

Who cares about the plot though, Electrawoman and Dyna Girl were HOT!


Three teens drive around in a living breathing talking old, beat up, jalopy dune buggy affectionately named Schlepcar To defend against wrong doing ole Schleppy transformed into a shiny metal-flaked orange living breathing crime fighting machine. When his magic horn was honked he would assist in the trio's battles against crooks and other vile sort.

Imagine Night Rider meets The Love Bug meets Speed Buggy meets Scooby Doo.

Magic Mongo

Three teens find a bottle that just so happens to be the home of a genie. The Zany adventures of the teens and their new friend Mongo revolved around the Genie unintentionally using his powers to get the gang into trouble, then out, while avoiding the no good deviance of Ace and Duncey a malicious pair of hooligans.

Bigfoot And Wildboy

Cue the funky guitar intro...Out of the Great Northwest comes the Legendary Bigfoot who eight years ago saved a young child lost in the vast wilderness and raised that child until he grew up to be Wildboy.

Wildboy and Bigfoot roamed the countryside stomping out pollution, capturing diabolical villains, and rescuing those in distress.

This show was only on the Supershow for eight episodes split into two 15 minute episodes each but it quickly became its own ABC series and another twelve 30 minute episodes were shot.

There were also 5 episodes of The Six Million Dollar Man that Bigfoot made appearances in. On that show Bigfoot was the protector of aliens from outer space.

Another reason I think the TV I watched as a kid is better than what you watch now.

Mentioned in this post:

New trading card set.

I stumbled on a new set of trading cards while researching my next TV was better when I was a kid post. I found these amusing trading card sets over at Donald Mills "The Problem With Young People Today Is...". They are similar to some ideas I had for cards I made while I was learning how to use Photoshop. They are brilliant, go check 'em out and read a bit of his blog, it's good for some laughs.

Set One Set Two

Thursday, November 19, 2009

TV was better when I was a kid (Episode 1)

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century was a science fiction adventure television series that ran for two seasons between 1979 - 1981 on NBC. It's premise was that Captain William Anthony "Buck" Rogers (Gil Gerard) a NASA pilot who commands the space shuttle Ranger 3 launched in May 1987 and is cryogenically frozen for 504 years returns to Earth after his derelict spacecraft is discovered in the year 2491. The thing is the Earth was rebuilt following a nuclear war on November 22, 1987 and is now under the protection of the Earth Defense Directorate.

Now, this is why I think this TV show is better than anything you watch now:

Captain Rogers friend and romantic interest Colonel Wilma Deering, played by Erin Gray. Whats not to like except the annoying robot sidekick Twiki and...

...the chief villain Princess Ardala (Pamela Hensley) whose main objective was to conquer the Earth, and secondary objective was making Buck her boy toy.

Oh yeah, how about Gary Coleman as Hieronymous Fox "The Cosmic Whiz Kid"?

If you still are not convinced go check out full episodes on especially the episode Cruise Ship to the Stars. Miss Cosmo is out of this world.

*Much love to Justin over at Siempre La Luna for Spaceman Love Tang inspiration.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Golly... you got mashed potatoes?

I want to know where the punk rock split 7" is for this?

A-side: The Frogtown Hollow Jubilee Jug Band "Barbecue" w/the B-side Riverbottom Nightmare Band "The Nightmare"

I picture the Hallowed Ground era Violent Femmes doing "Barbecue" and Big Business doing "The Nightmare".

The Violent Femmes had that whole gospel/country type thing down on that album.

Big Business partly because they cover "The Ballad of Dwight Fry" by Alice Cooper and "The Nightmare" just smacks of Alice Cooper.

Everybody Sing!


The Serpent is Rising

from wikipedia: The band considers this to be their worst recording. Dennis DeYoung has gone far as saying it was "one of the worst recorded and produced in the history of music."

For your listening pleasure I have posted the lyrics below so you too can sing along!

Plexiglass Toilet
(J. Curulewski)

Don't sit on the Plexiglas toilet
Said the momma to her son
Wipe the butt clean with the paper
Make it nice for everyone
But don't sit down on the Plexiglas toilet yeah

A boy of 5 stands close to the toilet
Holds the lid up with one hand
Won't let go the lid for fear that
On his banana it will land
Don't sit down on the Plexiglas toilet yeah

Boy goes up he eats the enchilada
With the sauce that burns the heart
Family comes to visit family
Momma says don't belch and fart

Don't sit on the Plexiglas toilet
Said the momma to her son
Wipe the butt clean with the paper
Make it nice for everyone
But don't sit down on the Plexiglas toilet yeah

Everybody Sing!

Don't sit on the Plexiglas toilet
Said the momma to her son
Wipe the butt clean with the paper
Make it nice for everyone
But don't sit down on the Plexiglas toilet yeah

Don't sit on the Plexiglas toilet
Said the momma to her son
Wipe the butt clean with the paper
Make it nice for everyone
But don't sit down on the Plexiglas toilet yeah

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Chuck Biscuits death a hoax

Chuck Biscuits 1965-2009

Reports of the death of Chuck Biscuits, the former D.O.A. and Danzig drummer, are a hoax, according to his brother.

Biscuits, whose real name is Charles Montgomery, is healthy and living in Seattle, according to Bob Montgomery, who spoke to CBC News from Vancouver.

On Thursday, CBC News and other media outlets reported the Canadian ex-drummer's death from throat cancer, but that has proved to be untrue.

The hoax appears to have originated with one U.S. blogger, James Greene Jr., and later was picked up by reputable music industry magazines such as ChartAttack and NME, as well as reported on a Facebook page purported to belong to Chuck Biscuits.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

I know a life of crime has led me to this sorry fate, and yet, I blame society. Society made me what I am.

I was cleaning up the template here at Things of the Spirit and came across a few unfinished posts and thought I should share them.

The movie Repo Man was a huge influence on me in my teen years. It was a quotable classic starring cool cars, cooler characters and a plot line stuffed full of bizarre themes. Plus it had an amazing punk rock soundtrack.

Recently Justin and I reviewed the film and J was able to assemble an amazing track using samples from the film, stringing together the character Miller's dialog involving the connectivity of all things in the universe, including a plate of shrimp. Check out the track here. The song will officially be released on the upcoming OvA album "Replicans not Replicants" the groups tribute to Gary Numan. Watch their Myspace page for details.

Now getting to the unfinished post part.

Over at Jalopnik, Repo Man creator Alex Cox chatted about how he picked the cars for the film and the site also posted a gallery of actual junkyard cars with the symbolic air freshener that Miller professes you will "find one in every car. You'll see.".

Remember...Repo Man's got all night, every night.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Thursday, August 13, 2009

When the music changes, so does the dance.

1935 - 2009

Another great passing. I actually got to see Rashied Ali play. A few years back Ali played 3 sets at The Blue Monk here in Portland and I managed to sneak myself and three friends into the sold out packed to the rafter club for the last set.

I ran into the bar and down the stairs to the humid low ceiling room and heard the crisp snap of a drum as the simple quartet raced into a number. I dashed upstairs and handed over a sum of money that was equal to 2 full price entries and convinced the doorman to allow my friends to venture down for the last set. He nodded us in while my neck hairs still bristled.

Amazing set, memory for life.

Thank you Rashied

I look at the floor and I see it needs sweeping

1915 – 2009

The man who invented all the things that allow me to process a guitar signal and allow me to make the music I love has passed. Multi-tracking, overdubbing, tape delay and phasing effects plus the little thing I like to call "electric guitar" are a few of the devices and processes Les Paul developed in his 94 years.

He created the "Les Paulverizer" which allowed Les to create an orchestra of guitars on the fly live. He Later made the mythical "Les Paulverizer" real for his stage show, using a small prop box attached to his guitar. He really pretended to lay down one track over another and then play over the repeating forms he had pre-recorded.

We now have modern looping delay devices that Les Paul dared to dream about.

Thank you Les Paul.

Monday, August 03, 2009

“When we talk about ourselves we almost invariably use Latin words, and when we talk about our neighbors we use Saxon words”

Over at Siempre la Luna J has been having a time with the Blackest of Black and here at Things I've been enamored with Saxon's Wacken attack.

Biff Byford...Classic Mammal Toe

Steve Dawson...Hipster Split!

Screen capture of Steve Dawson to emphasize my point:
Puffy white high tops? Check!
Skinny Jeans? Check!
White belt? Check!
Thick porn stache? Check!
Headband? Check!

Pure hipster 101. In fact this may be the exact image all hipsters base their fashion on.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

2 a: a very pronounced or excessive degree

3:46 pm West Coast.

This is pretty much where I work. Justin posted something similar on Monday. Hey, at least the humidity is low.

What's it like where you are?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thursday, July 02, 2009

...and filled the air with barbarous dissonance.

thank you Emerson over at Chunklet for bring this to my attention.

Kittens who make no noise dangerous!

Monday, June 22, 2009

If it has more than three chords, it's jazz.

Come out on Wednesday night to have a few drinks with Hal. I will be playing Bop, Hard Bop and Cool Jazz until late.


TiGA, 1465 NE Prescott

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Its got wires that vibrate and give music.

click on banner to check out Devo's Guitar-A-Week

Looks as though Devo had the same idea as me. He will see a better selection and does not own them all but he has worked on them. Check out the coffin guitar built for my friend Justin. Killz!!

Devo and his crew at Portland Fret Works has done work on several of my guitars and I wont go anywhere else to have future work done. Check 'em out. Could not place your guitar in better hands.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I've got holes in my guitar *

* Dick Dale

In April I started recounting the guitars I have owned and or possessed long enough to claim ownership to. It has been awhile since the last guitar post so I thought I should start again. I guess the idea of recounting the first acoustic guitars seemed daunting or boring. Meh! Here you go. By the way check out the previous guitars here: 1 2 3 4.

Number 5 & 6
60's Stella H929
60's Silvertone Archtop

I am going to start with the sixties Stella H929. This guitar was also sold under the Airline 7076, Airline 8286/7026, Alden 9935, Barclay H929, Fender F-1000, Holiday AL9238, Regal R200, Silvertone S605 and SR (Sears & Roebuck) S1294 names and were manufactured by Harmony Guitar Company of Chicago. They were manufactured from the late fifties till the early seventies. You will find the majority of the these guitars from the mid sixties due to the boom the acoustic guitar had after the Beatles hit America. According to one Harmony history site over fifty percent of all acoustic guitars made during that period were manufactured by Harmony. I believe it because I see a lot of these things at thrift stores and hanging on walls everywhere I go.

My Stella had solid birch top and body wood with a deep tobacco burst paint scheme with faux flamed maple top. It also had the trapeze style metal tailpiece as in the photo above but I recollect mine had the pick guard as well. Mine did not have the fancy deco fret markers as pictured but I swore it had something. Perhaps dots or blocks.

I can't really recall where this guitar came from or where it is now but there was a time during high school when it never was out of my sight. It had a place in the back seat of my Plymouth Duster and made so many appearances at parties, school events and the beach.

It was brutal to play with razors for strings and action so high a medium sized carrot could pass under the strings at the 18th fret. I am lucky I learned to play guitar in the first position ala Bob Mould so I easily ripped through tunes like "Raspberry Beret", "Tainted Love" and David Bowies "Heroes" that had simple chords.

As I said this guitar went everywhere with me and I recall being pelted with movie theater candy while playing it on stage at the Marc Cinemas while ripping through "Substitute" or some other punk anthem at an un-chaperoned high school event.

I also remember ripping off songs in a friends bedroom. The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Cure, The Smiths, Husker Du, Black Flag and the likes. The guitar really helped me learn how to play guitar I think.

Now to the Silvertone Archtop guitar. I didn't really own this guitar but I did possess it for the better part of two years covering two entire summers. It wasn't really that much better a guitar than the Stella but it defiantly looked cooler. Played a little easier because the action was lower and it was a longer scale guitar which meant less string tension. It sounded flat and wasn't much louder than the Stella.

It also had a cardboard case so it really didn't see the inside of the car, the beach or school functions much. I treated the Silvertone so differently than the Stella out of respect. I cried a bit when my friend asked if he could have it back. Sob!

So there you have it. That wasn't too bad now was it? And I can finally talk about my first true love. Stay tuned!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Once again, he's back the incredible...the rhyme animal.

We talked about the incredible SlapChop once before here at Things of the Spirit an I thought we would do a follow up post.

We all know the ShamWow spokesman Vince Shlomi had gotten arrested bac in March because a hooker did not love his nuts as much as he thought she would. Shlomi, after paying Sasha Harris $1,000 for sex, punched her face repeatedly after she bit his tongue and would not let go.

Shlomi and Harris avoided trial because prosecutors declined to pursue formal charges against either of them.

What I truley wanted to share with you though is the video remix that DJ Steve Porter put together. It is currently topping my favorite song list along with the Auto-Tune dude's songs.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Cheapness And Beauty (Once You Go Black...)

Series of posts blah blah blah...reminiscing blah blah blah...share a get the picture.

This post is going to be about the guitar Casey referred affectionately to in the comments as "Odie".

Number 4
1964 Silvertone Silhouette

Odie was a 1964 Silvertone Silhouette solid body electric. It was made in Chicago by Harmony and was black with white plastic pick guard that held the controls and two DeArmond pickups. I stuck an Odie decal on the headstock and a legend was born.

Here is the original description from the 1964 Sears catalog:

Dual-pickup Guitar. Tone and volume controls for each pickup plus 3-way selector switch. Thin, high-speed neck with adjustable steel reinforcing rod. Ebonized fingerboard. Adjustable bridge. White position markers. About 36 x 13 x 2 inches. $5 mo. Shpg. wt. 9 lbs. 57 H 1476L--Black finish..............Cash $54.95

Now that I had fully caught the bug I was on the constant lookout for another cool tool. Something on the cheap of course because I wasn't wealthy. One night while scanning the Sheboygan Press classifieds I came across an ad for a Sears guitar. I called the number in the ad and spoke to an older man who said it had been purchased in the 60's and all it said was Silvertone on the headstock.

The first thing that went through my head was Danelectro! Seeing they had built guitars with the Silvertone moniker for Sears I saw my chance for a real bargain.

The man wanted $75 for the guitar and accessories but it wasn't clear what they were and the fact that I might steal a 60's Danelectro for that amount it didn't matter so much. I booked across town to the man's house to scope it out.

When I got there I was only a bit disappointed it was a '64 Silvertone which was manufactured by Harmony and not Danelectro. The guitar was in great shape with the majority of the wear on the fret board. The frets were nice but the fingerboard was scalloped pretty deeply at the first position. It really didn't effect the playability of the guitar so I plugged it in.

This is when the sale became a bargain. The accessories that went along with the guitar were a 60's 20 foot coiled patch cord, amp and foot switch.

The amp is where this one becomes fun. This thing was a warm 55 watt two channel combo with a tremolo circuit and a single 12" speaker and it was mint.

I bought that rig in a heartbeat and raced home to check it out. I was already pulling the speaker wires from my Peavey Audition 30 and running it like a preamp into a 30 watt Washburn bass amp I got from my friend Scott after his failed attempt at playing bass. That combo was a tinnitus inducing swarm of bees and now coupled with that Silvertone amp I could achieve something that resembled Bob Mould's rig albeit on a smaller scale.

Scan of the 1966 Sears Catalog showing the Silhouette

Back to the guitar. It was very light with a thin neck that did nothing to help with the sustain. The neck as I mentioned earlier was very soft, or what the catalog refers to as a high-speed Ebonized fingerboard. The man I bought it from must have had a ton of Ebonized wood under his nails because the scalloping on the fingerboard would have made Yngwie Johann Malmsteen proud. The thin plastic pick guard made a sound like stretching a dental dam over the top of a cereal bowl and humming into it.

One thing the guitar wasn't was grounded. I eventually wound an e string around the output jack and tucked it under the tailpiece cover to reduce the wonderful hum it produced.

This guitar was nothing special but it did make an appearance on stage with the one off band Septic Fish. I owned it for quite sometime and finally sold it to a kid from a group called Agent Glitter. I hope he enjoyed it more than I did.