Archive for February, 2009

A Fanboy’s Rant

February 20, 2009

If you’ve ever shaken my hand, shared a conversation with me, or just gazed at my record collection, you’d know that I’m a huge Nirvana fan.  I currently have a collection of 34 CDs, 9 books, 7 DVDs and tons of other random items dedicated to a band that really only recorded three proper full-length studio albums (pretty sick, huh).  And seeing as today, February 20th, would be Kurt Cobain’s 42nd birthday, I figured you may want to celebrate with me.

Typically, every February 20th and April 5th (which is the day Cobain died) I try to listen to nothing but Nirvana.  This year will be no different, but I figured I’d also let you in on a website that’s celebrating his birthday a little differently.

I didn’t want to link this website, but I figured some people might not believe it otherwise.  So anyways, it’s called “Worn Free” and the Kurt Cobain page is here.  I received an email telling me that on this site you can purchase replicas of T-shirts that Kurt actually wore throughout Nirvana’s heyday.  If you think I’m gonna write about how lame that is, you obviously haven’t read the first paragraph of this post.    

So I clicked on the link to the site and thought about which shirts would be included, and sure enough, there they were.  They had the UK music magazine Sounds T-shirt, the Olympia Beer shirt, and the ever-famous Hi, How Are You Daniel Johnston shirt, to name a few.  As I pondered on which shirt to purchase, I looked down at the prices.  The cheapest of all the shirts was, drum roll please…..

$49.95!!!

Fuck this website!  I’ve spent a lot of money on stupid shit, but I am not spending fifty bucks on a T-shirt.  Especially considering I already bought the Hi, How Are You T-shirt last year at a Daniel Johnston show, where I paid $15 for it!  

It just really pisses me off that this website is using Kurt Cobain’s birthday as an opportunity to sell T-shirts with a 500% markup.  I know you can make an argument that Nirvana “sold out to the corporate rock gods,” but compared to artists now who put out albums when they’re not hocking Vitamin Water, Kurt & Co. held onto a good chunk of integrity.  And I think we could all agree that Kurt would be just as pissed (though I’m sure Courtney’s lovin’ it).

Look, I know I’m a total nerd.  If these shirts would’ve been a few bucks cheaper, I probably would’ve bought one (or more) of them.  That, however, does not justify the actions of the site.  It only proves that I’ve got some serious problems.  But instead of dwelling on all of this, I’m gonna just try to treat this as any other February 20th, and hope that I don’t remember it as the day I saw a website rape a dead man.

Joaquin Be Illin’

February 18, 2009

We’ve all seen a celebrity completely lose it, whether it’s a bald Britney Spears or Bjork beating the living shit out of a photographer.  But I really can’t remember a more interesting 180 turn than the one Joaquin Phoenix is putting the press through right now.

Now, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Joaquin was ever perfectly normal (while promoting Walk The Line he literally asked a reporter if there was a frog in his hair), but he seemed to be in much better psychological shape than a lot of the other Hollywood weirdos.  Well, all that has changed has Mr. Phoenix has publicly stated, with a full-on Matisyahu beard no less, that he has retired from acting and is now pursuing a career in hip-hop (You can check out some of the more interesting interviews here and here).

Believe it or not, this is not complete bullshit (A video of Joaquin rapping is right here).  Whether or not this is a meltdown or an awesome prank, though, remains to be seen.  But does it really matter?  It’s all fucking hilarious nonetheless.  From the hysterically awkward Letterman interview, to the fact that he now has a camera crew headed by Casey Affleck following him around at all times, I can’t help but wonder what’s gonna happen next, and that’s probably exactly what Joaquin wants.  Because if he is serious about this, these are some of the most creative PR moves I’ve ever seen. 

But for as much as Joaquin wants to convince me he’s serious, I gotta admit that I’d love for this to be a hoax, but only if Phoenix runs with it and plays along for the next decade or so.  Think about it.  Whether the music is insanely bad or good, how fucking funny would it be if Joaquin Phoenix spent the next ten or twenty years putting out rap albums.  If they’re terrible, he can just stick to his guns and claim that music is his passion and that no one is gonna deter him from following his chosen path.  If the music is good, he can play the role of the gracious artist; performing at benefits, inspiring the masses, and accepting Grammys.  Then one day, when he walks on stage to accept his Lifetime Achievement Award, he can get behind the podium, graciously gaze at all of his colleagues and fans and say: “Wow, I can’t believe you fell for this shit.  You’re all fucking morons.”

You know, my generation has yet to have its own Andy Kaufman.  Perhaps Joaquin can fill that void.

So whatever the motivation is for your next endeavor, I wish you the best Mr. Phoenix.  You’ve gone from playing Johnny Cash to possibly being lumped in with K-Fed’s “Popozao.”  That takes some balls.       

Watching People Die

February 10, 2009

The old saying says there’s two guarantees in life: death and taxes.  And seeing as the title 1,000 Ways To File Your W-2s doesn’t really roll off the tongue, Spike TV gave it’s proper premiere to 1,000 Ways To Die last night.

What the show is, basically, is re-enactments, sometimes accompanied by medical explanations, of the some of the most fucked up deaths that were ever died.  Each little vignette is usually treated with total irreverence, complete with bad acting, terrible CGI, and a scantily clad woman thrown in whenever possible.  Let me give you an example:

One segment features an alleged nymphomaniac who decides a carrot from her local grocery store will serve as a fitting substitute for a gentleman caller.  When she gets home and begins to use said carrot for the evening’s festivities, a rough edge of the carrot grazes and cuts her vaginal wall, thus allowing air into her bloodstream and causing her death.

Now here’s the kicker.  The aforementioned scene ends in a freeze frame with this text covering the TV screen:  “Way To Die #674: Killdo.” 

I’m sorry, but any show that uses the word “killdo” is a show that I want to watch.

In a nutshell, most of the stories in this show are cautionary tales that play out like a remedial Discovery Channel program.  And despite, the wretched acting, effects, and wittingly idiotic wordplay, this is by far the most entertaining show Spike TV has offered the viewer.  So be sure to check it out on Sundays.  If you don’t have cable, you can watch clips or full episodes here.  Take solace in the fact that no matter how dumb you think you are for watching it, you’re not as dumb as the people who are on it.