He fills his head with culture-He gives himself and ulcer:Best of 2007~part 1

Hmmm, where to start? Well, I'll just say this: I liked 2007. Quite a bit actually. Aside from a few downers (panic attacks, the KG trade, the 35W bridge collapse, the passing of Mittens the cat), 2007, was for the most part, really good to me. Of course I "lost" a few peeps to new bf/gfs, marriage, new jobs, new locations, growing up, and mental illness. (Relax, it's all in good fun.) I aint mad at nobody though. People are people and they do what they gotta do. Besides, true friends will always come around again anyway. I thoroughly embrace the fantastic life that is being a single man in his early 30's. (Believe me; it's waaaaaaaay better than you'd think.) I met some great new people that let me into their lives. In return, I gave them a small glimpse into mine. (Sorry, I'm a selfish and guarded man.) I also reconnected with some old acquaintances and built new, (hopefully) lasting relationships with them. For that, I am truly grateful. Ok, fuck this self-reflecting bullshit. Let's talk about some wicked-awesome stuff. Ladies and Gentlemen, without further adieu, I give you the very best "best of" list you will see this year:
~HotDogDays!!!~Best of 2007~!
(part 1)
...let the ellipses roll...in no particular order...

"Miami Rain" via virtualmatter
Uploaded by virtualmatter

...Concert-Prince's performance at the Superbowl. I couldn't tell you who won the game, let alone who even played, but I will never forget the halftime show. I didn't make it to any of Prince's 3 concerts in 24 hours, this summer, here in the TC. Not without trying though. I cut in line for the First Avenue one, but as I got closer to the front, was kicked out, thanks to some vigilant folks that had been waiting since the night before. I didn't put up a fight. In fact I probably still could have gotten in, even if I went to the back of the line. However, I felt so shitty about trying to cut in on people (and getting caught,) that I made myself go home. Anyway, the halftime show was so good, Prince ran a commercial during the Grammys, thanking everyone for watching it. How weird slash cool is that?..CD-Representing Seattle and Oldominon: Greyskul's second Rhymesayers release Bloody Radio. Still rockin' it on the regular...Movie-Before the Devil Knows You're Dead. Opening the film with a shot of a butt-naked, fat Philip Seymour Hoffman doggy-styling Marisa Tomei is a nice touch. As are Tomei's pencil eraser nipples. I went with my mom. A little uncomfortable. But nowhere near the time we went to a play together that was acted out almost entirely in the nude with multiple simulated sex scenes. Anyway, this movie was dark, twisted, and uncomfortable and I liked it. Plus, who knew Ethan Hawke could still act?...Movie-Blades of Glory. A Will Ferrell composite character plus Napoleon Dynamite plus sequined figure skating outfits equals good comedy. I'm not sure if the two girls I went with were laughing at the movie or laughing at me, laughing at the movie?...Bar-The Cedar Inn. Yes, I put a bar on the "best of" list. This south Mpls place is a little jem. Checkerboard racing flags are used as table cloths and pictures of bikers and their Harleys line the walls. Beer is super cheap and the staff is so trusting that sometimes you may have to remind them that you have a tab at the end of the night. And the regulars; oh man. There is the foul mouthed daughter of the owner, the heavily bearded, poopy smelling man in a conductors hat that only comes in an hour before close, and the guy who claims he's not a racist but always refers to non white people as "the blacks." The coolest guy I've met there is a gentlemen whose last name is Kraft. He and his wife bought me and my friend a couple beers before showing us his tattoo. It's the Kraft cheese logo on his bicep! That so rules!...to be continued...


If I may, I'd just like to say...

...SHUT THE FUCK UP! I'm so sick of people acting like the whole world is out to get them. You're overworked, you don't get paid enough, you don't get time off, blah, blah, blah. Yeah, yeah, you hate your job. I get it. Well so what?! So do I! So does everyone! Stop bitching and do something about it. Yeah, I know it's easier said than done but at least give it a shot. You're a fucking adult. Take some responsibility for yourself. Moping around like a little cry baby, trying to get attention, is not grown up behaviour. That's little kid shit and it's fucking annoying. Also, icy roads, snow storms and slippery sidewalks are not part of a grand scheme to ruin your life, designed by some higher power that has a personal vendetta against you. We live in Minnesota! We all deal with it. I'm not finished yet. Can you please stop with the continuous conspiracy theorists bullshit? It's so irritating. Like I said, the world is not out to get you! Here's a couple things to keep in mind that might help: a) Not everything you hear on the Internet or talk radio is true. b) Sci-fi is not real life. It's Science Fiction. c) Michael Moore is not God. d) Either is Oprah. OK, I'm done.

Now, if I may...here are some totally ellipses-crazy Randumb, dumb, dumb Thizzoughts...
...check out this article about some old ass graff that was found, hidden in the walls of a historic Soho building in NYC...Gossip Girl is hot...One Tree Hill is coming back. I heard K-Fed is going to be on some shows. That's tight...Journey Man is pretty deec...I'm looking forward to American Gladiators...but in general, broadcast tv sucks...
...If you haven't already, then you should go to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts to see Ta-coumba Aiken's exhibit, Call and Response. Ta-coumba's work is free of all pretension and snobbery. And although there is no shortage of talent and technique involved, it still seems attainable. Or should I say doable. He is an inspiration to me. I look at art in a whole new way and my approach to creating has become less stressful. This show changed my life. Not kidding...I love the ellipses...in case you didn't figure that out already...I also love the tilde~...and the tilde bang ~!...I'm extremely happy about Chris Jericho's return to the squared circle. However, I don't think WWE is utilizing him correctly. The program he'll be working with JBL should result in some great promos, but I don't think taking him out of the title picture so quickly is a good idea. We shall see...I have approximately five black jackets...Point Break is classic American cinema...My blog is better than your life...I'm out.


like the cornerstones of our minds

I stopped by Roadrunner Records last night to grab a ticket for the Doomtree Blowout at First Avenue tonight. Digging through the cheap bins, I found these four discs for just 2 bucks a piece. Don't worry, I'm not going to lay some record review crap on you this time. I haven't even listened to them yet. I'm just wasting time at work. Read on, if you'd like...

I'm sort of a late bloomer when it comes to the Cult. I mean, I've liked them for quite awhile now, but was never really a fan of them at the height of their popularity. Of course, I was fairly young then. I first got into them when I was working in the kitchen at T.Juans up in Bemidji. I dubbed a copy of their self titled "comeback" album from that year from my boss Rabbi. Rabbi was perhaps the coolest boss I have ever worked for. He always gave you the time off you needed and if he ever needed you to put in some extra hours, he would pay you in weed. I think it was '94 or '95? We listened to that album while slingin' Btac's and Bcer for maybe a couple weeks, but no more than that. Btac was waitress code for Burrito Taco. Bcer stood for Becerdo; which was this completely gross, pork, green chili and tomato burrito that was smothered in some type of sauce that looked like baby puke. There is no way in hell I would ever have gone near something like that if I didn't have to chef it up for other folks. It stunk like hell too. Whenever someone ordered one, we'd look at the waitress and be like "Are you sure?..." Anyway, the thing I like most about the Cult is Ian Astbury's voice. That and of course the fact that you can usually find used copies of their albums these days. I picked up Electric a couple years back and now I can officially start the collection. I'm keeping my eye out for cheap copies of Dreamtime and Love.

I've never owned a Smiths album until now. Hell, I've never even really listened to the Smiths. I catch a song here and there, on the radio or whatever but that's about it. Well, actually I do vaguely recall being subjected to some Smithery, or at least Morissey type shenanigans when I worked at Shinders (RIP) in Edina. From time to time, my buddy Jim would bring in old cassettes of stuff like this, that he listened to when he was a teenager. Mostly though, he just brought in black metal CDs. He had this huge Norway patch sewn onto his messenger bag and he wore black cargo pants, tucked into combat boots nearly everyday. He wasn't afraid to sport an upside down cross necklace either. I remember him getting so mad at other dudes that would ask him about black metal. He was very territorial about it. For some strange reason though, he didn't mind hipping me to all things black metal. Perhaps he didn't find me and my backwards fitted cap and Dropkick Murphys t-shirt all that threatening to his scene. Little does he know, I was listening. He's totally responsible for getting me into that shit. I wish I could tell him that. I miss Jim. I think about him all the time; wondering where he is. I also miss talking wrestling with him and wonder if he's gotten into MMA. Well, anyway I'm not sure if this is a good Smiths album or not but whatevs. It was a nice price. I'll listen to it at least once.

I never got into Sugar when they first came out either. I was always aware of Bob Mould and Husker Du and all that stuff though. I was just getting into "Alternative" music about the time this album came out. Back then, I religiously read Spin Magazine front to back and I remember Sugar being in there a lot. It seemed like a band that the cooler people, a few years older than me, liked. Everyone always talked about how loud they were. A couple years later I got a used copy of File Under Easy Listening and liked it quite a bit. So much, in fact, that one night after getting toxically wasted, I went down to my girlfriend's dorm room, in the middle of the night, and scrawled the words to Gee Angel on her door. "There's nothing in this world that I'd rather do. Than buy a set of wings and fly away with you." I think I was channeling Lloyd Dobler or some shit. Except I didn't have a boombox and a Peter Gabriel cassette. I had a dry erase board and Sugar lyrics.

Slick Rick The Ruler~! I love Slick Rick. His first album The Great Adventures of Slick Rick is classic. LL Cool J, Run DMC, Fat Boys, Eric B & Rakim, Beastie Boys, etc. Slick Rick is right in there man. I bought my first copy of Adventures and EPMD's Strictly Business on cassette at the same time. It was on a Letterman's trip down here, to the TC for a Timberwolves game. It was the Wolves inaugural season. They were playing in a sectioned off area of the Metrodome. We played the Phoenix Suns. Kenny Battle from Illini was a rookie for the Suns, I think. Kurt Rambis was playing there too. Dang man, memories. My brother and I had Adventures and The Ruler's Back on cassette and we rocked 'em all the time. I love his voice, his laid back flow, and the way he can tell a story. I now have Adventures on CD and I still listen to it on the regular. I never did get Behind Bars; the album he recorded...well, behind bars. I will though, if I ever come across a cheap one. This is the one he did right when he got out of prison in '99. I think the bro had this when it came out but I don't recall ever really listening to it. I've actually been thinking about Slick Rick lately. He does guest vocals on some new dude's song. When I was in my very short lived B96 kick this summer, it was on all the time. Who the fuck was that? I can't remember now. Anyway, I don't care what the critics say, Slick Rick is tight, with a capital T. Score!


Raise a Glass to Years Gone Past.

Amy had a birthday this weekend. A bunch of us old-timers got together for a relaxing celebration over at her and Matt's house in Shots Paul. Exotic cheese & crackers and Amy's homemade chili provided the necessary base for beer and wine consumption. I'm not sure but there may have been some shots going around as well. Of course there was cake too. Somebody brought sushi and jerky later on. In a heartwarming moment, Amy gave a nice toast, thanking everyone for coming and wished us all well for new year. In a not so heartwarming moment, Lora looked right at my gut when she asked "Did you say you were doing some modeling?"

Yes, as a matter of fact, I have been. Husky But Cute-Men's Division. Thank you very much.


"I'm all lost in the supermarket...

...I can no longer shop happily. I came in here for that special offer. A guaranteed personality." -the Clash

I keep finding myself standing alone. In the corner. Even when I'm amongst a crowd of people I know. What's wrong with me? I'm all lost... Every conversation I walk into is one in which I cannot contribute. Every conversation I'm in, quickly turns into a similar scenario and I have to walk away. Back to the corner. ...in the supermarket. Am I responsible for creating this footing? Probably. Are people initiating discussion because they are genuinely interested in what I have to say? Or, are they hoping they can cut me off before I'm finished answering and start telling me all about themselves? I came here... Back to the corner. Stop trying to bait me. I don't want to argue. ...for that special offer. Haven't I made that perfectly clear? In order to avoid pettifog, I will agree with everything you say. Then I will walk away. Back to the corner. Perhaps I'm just imagining all this? I overhear someone say "Writers and artists are naturally reclusive." Well, then I got nothin' to worry about. A guaranteed personality.


From here, it looks like..

...Isaac Brock and I wear the same jeans. We also have a similar hair cut and both of us sport a hunter's cap from time to time as well...as does bass player Eric Judy. These are a couple of observations made from my vantage point, during tonight's Modest Mouse concert at the Orpheum Theater. I'm in the second row, behind the orchestra pit. Here are some more observations: Watching multi instrumentalist Tom Peloso in action is a real treat. Being this close to the stage, you can really see that his contribution is as much a defining factor of the band's sound as Brock's guitar playing is. Among other things, he's playing upright bass, violin, trumpet, acoustic guitar and some form of the keys. He even slaps his leg along to the tunes when he's not banging a tambourine or something. Perhaps this is residual behaviour stemming from his bluegrass background. (He was one of the founding members of The Hakensaw Boys.) Judy is cool as ever too. Although primarily a bass player, he does his part playing a few other instruments as well. Those of which include an accordion and a pump organ. He and Peloso switch guitar and bass on at least one song tonight. They have two drummers, but I can only see one. There is quite a diverse crowd here. Literally all ages of people. There are a couple older gentleman rocking out in the orchestra pit. That's awesome! As can be predicted, plenty of people sporting sweaters, blazers, hipster hats, scarves, etc. You know, the indie-rock slash preppy-grunge look that has become synonymous with Modest Mouse these days. I should point out here, that, sans the blazer, I pretty much just described exactly what I'm wearing this evening. I remember thinking the last time I saw them, that most of the audience dressed like they were in the band. I would say the same thing tonight. Johnny Marr is over there doing his thing. Rocking back and forth on his toes; guitar slung low. He's switching guitars in between every song. The guitar tech is earning his keep tonight. J-Sho just texted me to say she forgot to tape RAW. I'll manage. At times Isaac looks like he's going to explode. What's holding him back, I wonder? He's looks like he's having an internal battle between menacing Isaac and delicate Isaac. I hope menacing Isaac wins. Oh yes, he's got a crazed look in his eyes. I'm literally willing him to lose it during Tiny Cities. He's screaming "Does anybody know a way that a body could get away. Does anybody know a way?!" I do. Lose it man, lose it. Come on man, lose it! The rest of the band seems to be aware that this is a possibility. They are all glancing at each other with knowingly concerned looks. I've heard the stories about him cutting himself on stage and bashing his face with the mic. I'd love to see that right now. I'm happy with what I've seen so far. If it ends now because of some spastic, self mutilating behaviour, I'm cool with that. Dang man, no such luck. This still rules. Crowd is going nuts for the encore. We all know they will come back to play more but the audience is acting like it's a life and death situation. One fan in particular is standing on his chair at the front of the stage, facing the rest of the theater, throwing his arms in the air begging for louder cheering. That's pretty cool. I'm smiling. I just finished my third Heineken tall boy. They do come back, of course. Isaac mumbles something about "the cops shutting this place down in 20 minutes." At least I think that's what he said. He mumbles worse than me on the phone with some chick. And if you've ever been some chick on the phone with me, then you know hard it is to decipher what he just said. They play three more songs. During the final song, Spitting Venom, Isaac does some vocals from I Came As A Rat and we all get excited, thinking we're getting another song. Nope. Just a tease. It's all aces with me man. I'm satisfied. Good show.

setlist: (out of order-sorry)
Bury Me With It
Paper Thin Walls
Satin In A Coffin
Fire It Up
Tiny Cities
Here It Comes
We've Got Everything
Fly Trapped In A Jar
Float On
King Rat
Trailer Trash
The View
Black Cadillacs
Talking Shit
Spitting Venom (I Came As A Rat-lyric tease)