Thursday, January 31, 2013

Through the Past Dorkily: Crybaby

Editor's note: Through the Past Dorkily is a recurring feature that looks back at the embarrassingly dorky diary I kept as a 16-year-old in 1984.

Monday, January 30, 1984

WAAF Top 5 at Five
1. Jump - Van Halen
2. The Heart of Rock n' Roll - Huey Lewis and the News
3. Looks That Kill - Motley Crue
4. New Moon on Monday - Duran Duran
5. Some Heads are Gonna Roll - Judas Priest

Second semester started today. I found out 4 of my grades. In Geography, I got 85 for the quarter, 84 for the semester; in Bi Sci I got 89, 91; in Alg II, I got 91, 90; and in French III, I got 89, 88. Mom was kinda pissed at me. I gotta get my act together, man.


Jesse Jackson was in Kingston today. Me and Jeremy saw him at The Waste Site after school. The bus dropped us off at Old Mill Road and we walked the rest. He gave a speech and I shook his hand. There were lotsa mean-looking Secret Service muthas there, including one dude with a semi-automatic in a bag.

Other than that, nothing much happened. I'm doing my homework in 1st period 'cause there's nothing else to do then.

Tomorrow.

- The Barbarian

Tuesday, January 31, 1984

WAAF Top 5 at Five
1. Panama - Van Halen
2. Looks That Kill - Motley Crue
3. New Moon on Monday - Duran Duran
4. Crybaby - Utopia
5. Leave It - Yes

School was cancelled today because of snow. Damn! This adds another snow day to June. Plus it means I gotta sit at home and be bored all day. School is my social life.

I went to the Gulf station today to ask for a job but they didn't have any. Now what am I gonna do for money? That was the only place I could walk to work. How can I get money for a car when I need a car to get the money? Living out here in the boonies sucks. If only Dad bought a house in town!

I'm pissed.

- The (still unemployed) Barbarian

Postscript: It's funny, looking at those grades at first glance, they don't seem so bad. But then I remembered that my parents had high expectations for me (as in straight A's), so the whole B+/A- thing didn't fly. Especially given that I did much better in my other schools when I was more focused on school work and less on my social life, such as it was. It didn't help that my little brother was routinely nailing straight A's, too.

It was New Hampshire in an election year, so naturally presidential candidates were all over the place, although Jesse was the only one I remember actually coming to Kingston. He spoke at a toxic waste site in town. At the time, the idea of a black presidential candidate was pretty novel; I don't think anybody thought we'd actually have a black president inside of 30 years later. Jesse had a high profile; he hosted Saturday Night Live later that year, I believe. 

I was desperate for a job at the time. My only source of income was my allowance, although I don't remember what the amount was. I was still buying comics as well as music, so it didn't stick around. The job hunt would go on for a few more months before I landed a shelf-stocking gig at the Market Basket in Plaistow.

       

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Through the Past Dorkily: Flick of the Switch

Editor's note: Through the Past Dorkily is a recurring feature that looks back at the embarrassingly dorky diary I kept as a 16-year-old in 1984.

Sunday, January 29, 1984

Today was just yer basic boring day, part II. Drove today from the hardware store in Kingston to Ames in Plaistow. I saw [cute girl] at the plaza (hardware store). Yumm.

Came home, had lunch, played some hockey with JP for a couple of hours. Came in, had dinner, listened to new AC/DC album (Flick of the Switch) that I got from Columbia yesterday. Good record. Then I listened to Heavy Metal From Hell. Tony Beradini said that Saxon might be the opening act for Judas Priest in March. I saw a new Saxon 12" single at Midland Records yesterday called "Sailing to America." It's from a new album called Crusaders. Haven't seen that yet.

Well, seeya later. 

- The (bored, again) Barbarian

Postscript: The "Columbia" I refer to above is, of course, the Columbia House Record Club, which was how I built up my music collection. Pretty sure I signed up for one of those 11 records for a penny deals when we lived out in Washington state. Of course, it was a scam because you didn't pay squat for the first bunch of albums but then they charged through the nose for the subsequent ones that came every month; you had to be on the ball and return the form saying you didn't want that particular selection. After a while, they started having sales that at least made some things worth buying, like box sets. I joined RCA's club, too. Of course, they skimped on the packaging, too, so you often didn't get the lyric sheets that would normally come with an album because they were mass-producing records on the cheap. Amazingly, Columbia House somehow survived until 2011 before finally shutting down. 

Listening to "Flick of the Switch" below just now, I was struck at how it was almost identical to "Have a Drink on Me" from Back in Black. Totally forgot that they often just rewrote songs. Still pretty kickass, though.
 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Through the Past Dorkily: Bored to Death

Editor's note: Through the Past Dorkily is a recurring feature that looks back at the embarrassingly dorky diary I kept as a 16-year-old in 1984.

Saturday, January 28, 1984
Today was just yer basic boring day. I had my guitar lessons and then I drove Mom to Market Bucket. Later on we went to the Methuen Mall but we were only there for a half an hour. Then we came home and were having dinner at 7 when the power went out. We sat around for an hour with a couple of candles and then we called the electric company. After a while, the power came back on.

Michael Jackson had to go to the hospital last night. He was making a commercial for Pepsi in LA. He was singing "Billie Jean" and he went too close to some fireworks. His hair and jacket lit on fire and they rushed him to the hospital. He had second-degree burns but is alright.

Like I said, just yer basic boring day. Zzzzzzzzz.

- The (bored) Barbarian

Postscript: Sometimes there was no escaping the skull-crushing boredom of life in the boonies. Weekends were deadly dull for the most part, mainly because I was home with my family the whole time. We didn't really do anything other than shop or watch TV. I couldn't get my driver's license fast enough.

   

Completely Conspicuous 263: The Upside of Anger

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Matt Phillion as we discuss our angry society. Listen to the episode below or download it directly (right click and "save as").

Show notes:
- Recorded at Chez Phillion, Salem, Mass.
- Matt and his siblings got the angry gene
- Be nice to your crazy co-workers
- Copycat wackos
- Blaming the videogames and Hollywood
- Violent movies don't necessarily make you violent
- When you recognize the bank robber
- Matt's been shot at before
- It's unrealistic to think guns are going away
- Who's paranoid? Not us.
- Talk radio is another forum for angry people
- The 2nd Amendment
- Universal healthcare gets people angry
- "People aren't totally shitbags"
- High-powered hunting
- Matt's advocating for an asteroid to wipe us out
- Bonehead of the Week


Music:
The Joy Formidable - Wolf's Law

Bad Religion - True North
Screaming Females - Poison Arrow
Titus Andronicus - Upon Viewing Oregon's Landscape with the Flood of Detritus

Completely Conspicuous is available through the iTunes podcast directory. Subscribe and write a review!

The Joy Formidable song is on the album Wolf's Law on Atlantic. Download it for free at Chromewaves.
The Bad Religion song is on the band's new album True North on Epitaph. Download the song for free at Chromewaves.
The Screaming Females song is on the cassette-only album Chalk Tape on Don Giovanni. Download the song for free from Stereogum.
The Titus Andronicus song is on the album Local Business on XL Recordings. Download the song for free at Epitonic.

The opening and closing theme of Completely Conspicuous is "Theme to Big F'in Pants" by Jay Breitling. Find out more about Senor Breitling at his fine music blog Clicky Clicky. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Through the Past Dorkily: Sign of Fire

Editor's note: Through the Past Dorkily is a recurring feature that looks back at the embarrassingly dorky diary I kept as a 16-year-old in 1984.

Friday, January 27, 1984

WAAF Top 5 at Five
1. Jump - Van Halen
2. Looks That Kill - Motley Crue
3. Sister Christian - Night Ranger
4. Thumbelina - The Pretenders
5. Sign of Fire - The Fixx

Well, the first semester is over. I can't say that it's been a good one for me as far as marks go. I got some bad news: I got an 80 on the Algebra final and 76 on the Geometry final. Now that sucks! I sure hope I make honors. I finished my College Lit and Geography finals today. I think I did alright, but then, that's what I said about Geometry and Algebra, too.

I don't have any homework this weekend, so I can sit back and relax for once. I do have to study that fetal pig manual because we have a test next Friday in Bi Sci.

Next term I have first period free and Prep for College in sixth.

I handed in that research paper. I should get an A on it.

Later,

The (relaxed) Barbarian

Postscript: Academically, my parents always had high expectations for me and usually, I didn't disappoint. It's not that I wasn't doing my work or understanding the material, but it was actually the fact that I was making friends easily and goofing off too much. Had I been more of an outcast and a loner, I'm sure I would have gotten better grades. Of course, I would have been miserable as well. Can't win 'em all, I guess.

It's funny how stuff like grades and homework can seem like the end of the world when that's all you've got on your plate. I didn't have to worry about paying bills or putting food on the table or really, anything other than doing well in school. Now it's all about getting the kids to school and keeping them healthy and taking them to their various activities, while also getting myself to work and doing a good job there. Makes all that school stuff seem like nothing.

 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Get Off This

It's rare that Deb and I get out to see a rock show together these days. She's usually exhausted from the work week and is more content to stay in or do something a little earlier in the evening, as opposed to standing in a crowded rock club until the wee hours. But last weekend, taking advantage of the MLK Day holiday, she suggested we go to the Cracker/Camper Van Beethoven show at the Middle East Downstairs on Sunday night.

David Lowery brings his two bands to the Middle East every year on that weekend (and has since 2005), and it just so happened that the last show we went to was these two bands playing here two years ago, also while the Patriots were playing in the AFC championship game. And like that year, the Patriots lost hideously on this night, so we were glad to forget about it for a while with some American good rock.

CVB came on first and played an excellent 70-minute set. We watched the third quarter of the Pats game upstairs at the Middle East and then went downstairs when we head the band start up at 9 p.m. We went up by the bar TV and the Ravens scored almost immediately to put the Pats down by two touchdowns, so we decided to head down closer to the stage. Of course, we had some big drunk doofuses in front of us that annoyed Deb to no end, but she's not used to that shit like I am. CVB was a five-piece and sounded sharp, playing some songs from its new album, La Costa Perdida, which I've listened to on Spotify and like very much. "Northern California Girls" and "Too High for the Love In" fit nicely in with the rest of the CVB catalog. Lowery once again used his laptop to trigger instrumental samples. Violinist-guitarist Jonathan Segel was a standout, adding that multi-instrumental feel that sets CVB apart on songs like "Pictures of Matchstick Men," "Take the Skinheads Bowling" and "Sad Lovers Waltz." The band rocked magnificently on "Eye of Fatima, parts 1 and 2," which was the song that really got me into them back in the late '80s.

After CVB's set, Lowery returned with his four-piece country rock outfit Cracker, which shares drummer Frank Funaro with CVB. Johnny Hickman has been with Cracker since the band started in the early '90s and they wasted no time by starting their set with their biggest hit, "Low." The band ripped through 16 songs (although we missed the last during the encore), highlighted by "Teen Angst (What the World Needs Now)," crowd favorite "Eurotrash Girl" and the Hickman-sung "Another Song About the Rain." Although I would have rather seen more CVB than Cracker, it seemed right that Cracker played last because their sound has more appeal for drunk folks, of which there were many this night.

As they did two years earlier, CVB and Cracker provided plenty of entertainment for a club full of bummed out football fans.




Through the Past Dorkily: New Moon on Monday

Editor's note: Through the Past Dorkily is a recurring feature that looks back at the embarrassingly dorky diary I kept as a 16-year-old in 1984.

Wednesday, January 25, 1984
WAAF Top 5 at Five
1. Jump - Van Halen
2. Sister Christian - Night Ranger
3. Looks That Kill - Motley Crue
4. Send Me an Angel - Real Life
5. The Heart of Rock n' Roll - Huey Lewis and the News

Midterms. I had Algebra and Geometry finals today. I think (I hope!) I did good. Tomorrow I have Coll. Lit, Geog., Geom., Alg, finals and a Bi-Sci quiz! Now does that suck or what? 

I got 7 pages typed on my research paper. I have around 2 more to go.

[Redacted girl I like] lives in Newton. Well, once I get a car that won't be a problem. I'm acting as if I'm going with her. I haven't even asked her yet. Yet. Hey, a guy can dream, can't he? Well, we'll see.

Dad got a raise and a promotion today. Now he's "Design Supervisor." Not bad.

[Teacher] won't be at school in Geog. tomorrow. Hooray!

Things are starting to happen, man. I'm looking forward to the next few months.

- The (anxious) Barbarian

Thursday, January 26, 1984
EDDIE VAN HALEN'S BIRTHDAY

WAAF Top 5 at Five
1. Looks That Kill - Motley Crue
2. Sister Christian - Night Ranger
3. Jump - Van Halen
4. New Moon on Monday - Duran Duran
5. Some Heads are Gonna Roll - Judas Priest 

Actually, today wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. [Female friend] told me that I got 11 off on my College Lit final. If she's right, then I did better than [another student who was pretty smart]! The Geography final was surprisingly easy! I sat in [another kid's] seat with no complications today. Geometry and Algebra I'm a little less sure about!

I have [four friends] in my Prep for College class next term. That'll kick some butt!

Judas Priest is playing the Centrum on March 26. Van Halen's Centrum concert sold out in 2 hours yesterday!

I finally finished that dang research paper. 9 pages typed, with 10 footnotes and a bibliography. Not a bad job. I think I'll get an A.

Tomorrow's actually Friday! Wow.

- The (slightly relieved) Barbarian

Postscript: It was a fairly stressful week with all the midterms. School always came fairly easily to me, so I wasn't overly worried, but it was still a lot of work. 

Still mooning over this girl I liked. I used to really fall head over heels long before anything ever came close to materializing. Kinda funny to read now but at the time it was very distracting.

That a Duran Duran song was a hit on WAAF is interesting because of that station's hard rock bent, but at the time, it was a fairly mainstream station. And as a result, I have kind of a soft spot for that classic era DD stuff. Don't own any other than a few MP3s I found online, but I know all the popular stuff fairly well just from hearing it (and seeing the videos) so often back in the '80s.  

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Through the Past Dorkily: Send Me an Angel

Editor's note: Through the Past Dorkily is a recurring feature that looks back at the embarrassingly dorky diary I kept as a 16-year-old in 1984.

Monday, January 23, 1984
WAAF Top 5 at Five
1. Sister Christian - Night Ranger
2. Jump - Van Halen
3. Middle of the Road - The Pretenders
4. I Don't Wanna Face It - John Lennon
5. Send Me an Angel - Real Life

What a beat day. Today must have been a continuation of last Friday. [Cute girl] was wicked depressed because [ex-boyfriend] didn't go to the Ozzy concert like he said. I think he was with [a different cute girl]. Hmm.

I finally got [English teacher] to help me on my research paper. Great, now I have 3 days to type it and study for midterms.

This is such a lousy day, I don't want to write anymore. I just wanna go to bed and get today over with!

- The P.O.'d Barbarian

Tuesday, January 24, 1984
WAAF Top 5 at Five
1. Jump - Van Halen
2. Sister Christian - Night Ranger
3. The Heart of Rock n' Roll - Huey Lewis and the News
4. Looks That Kill - Motley Crue
5. Rebel Yell - Billy Idol

Yaah! I got my papers today! Even though the weather was lousy (freezing rain), I passed my road test. [Redacted and redacted] did, too.

I asked Jeremy if [yet another cute girl] was going with anyone. He spoke to his "contact" and told me she isn't. Alright! I'm thinking of asking her to the prom. I might even ask her out earlier. Man, is she hot! I'm thinking about her almost all the time. She is one of the few girls I've ever been really preoccupied with. Actually, it's just her and [redacted cute girl] I've had on my mind all the time but I think I'll concentrate on [the yet another cute girl] because [the second one mentioned] is too messed up because of [ex-boyfriend]. [Redacted], you're something else! Phew.

I picked my subjects for next year already and I'll check 'em out with the Guidance office later.

Like wow, man.

- The (Horny) Barbarian

Postscript: This was the real beginning of my girl crazy phase. Not because I wasn't crazy about them before, but I finally was stirring up the courage to ask one out. I hadn't stayed in one place long enough to so much as take a chance on asking someone out before. There was a girl I really liked when I was at Pickering High School freshman year, but we frickin' moved before I could ask her out. Then it was a couple of years of being the outcast before I could get to this point. As you'll see if you keep following along, things don't necessarily work out with this object of desire, but she was significant in that she was the first girl I ever asked out. And in retrospect, she wasn't THAT hot. But that's neither here not here. At the time, she was the hottest thing going.

   

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Through the Past Dorkily: Bite the Apple

Editor's note: Through the Past Dorkily is a recurring feature that looks back at the embarrassingly dorky diary I kept as a 16-year-old in 1984.

Sunday, January 22, 1984
SUPER BOWL SUNDAY

The Raiders beat the hell out of the Skins, 38-9! I couldn't believe it. Washington played terrible! Theismann couldn't throw worth beans and Riggins and the rest just played lousy! Marcus Allen, the MVP, rushed for 191 yards, a new record. Man!

Earlier, I did the Geometry Cumulative Review, but didn't do anything with my research paper. I hafta get those comments and fast! Time's running out!

Other than that, all I did was take out the garbage and knock down some icicles. Big day.

I woke up at 10:30. Caesar was barking and whining all morning. Talk about a pain in the butt!

Seeya later,

The Barbarian aka Mr. Obnoxious

Postscript: I wasn't a huge football fan at this point, but had started getting into it the last few years, especially the playoffs. The Redskins were the defending champs and went 14-2 in the regular season in 1983, so nobody expected them to get shellacked like that. 

The Super Bowl that year was also notable for the debut of Apple's 1984-themed (as in Orwell's "1984") ad for the Macintosh. People lost their minds over that shit.

 
 

This is Hi-Fi

Sometimes we Boston-area rock fans don't know how good we have it. And not even just for the ridiculous wealth of great local bands and clubs that we have access to; this is obvious. No, it's because we have the great fortune to live in the same general vicinity as the legendary Mission of Burma, and that said band continues to play terrific shows around here from time to time.

Last Saturday was one of those times, as Burma helped christen the recently opened (after a few frustrating months of delays) Sinclair in Harvard Square. The club holds 525 and it bodes well that the place was still standing after Burma's typically thunderous set. The sold-out night opened with a fine set from Cambridge's Reports, who melded pop melodies with a louder garage edge like a new take on the Feelies.


Burma played a 100-minute set, mixing in several songs from their latest release Unsound with material from their other three post-reunion albums and of course, from the classic '79-'83 first incarnation of the band. Burma was as powerful as ever: Roger Miller rocked furiously on guitar, while Clint Conley's bass reverberated through the hall and Peter Prescott made with the pounding drums and shouted vocals.

But what set this show apart from the previous Burma concerts I've seen over the last 10+ years since they reunited was the way they mixed things up. About halfway through the show, Miller introduced his brother Benjamin on sax and Steve Smith on trumpet; Prescott dubbed the combination the Burma Transit Authority. Later, Roger Miller played trumpet while his brother played sax, Conley played guitar and sang and tape loop dude Bob Weston played bass.

The piece de resistance came in the encore when Jeff "Monoman" Conolly of DMZ/Lyres fame joined the band for a couple of old DMZ songs and then a cover of the Stooges' "I Feel Alright." Conolly was hilarious, dancing around the stage like an old vaudeville performer. Interestingly, Burma never played their signature song, "That's When I Reach for My Revolver," but they didn't have to. Asses were kicked regardless.


Monday, January 21, 2013

Completely Conspicuous 262: Anger is an Energy

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Matt Phillion as we discuss anger management. Listen to the episode below or download it directly (right click and "save as").
Show notes:
- Recorded at Chez Phillion, Salem, Mass.
- The joys of home ownership
- We've talked in the past about profanity and politics, which both tie in to anger
- Many forums available for people to vent anger
- Dealing with crazy co-workers
- Matt's an angry man at times
- Running can be therapeutic...or not
- Getting behind the wheel instantly amplifies anger level
- Road rage is scary
- Are we an angrier society than we used to be?
- Like driving a car, social media makes you a lot braver
- Online comments can be particularly vicious
- Putting up with conflicting opinions on Facebook
- The gun debate has stoked anger on both sides
- Matt has a "Spanish face"
- Matt: The rest of the world sees Americans as "overweight, angry and armed"
- Some friends love to troll "the other side" online
- Seagull Facebook: Fly in, make a bunch of noise, crap on everything and fly away
- Anger is stoked at sporting events
- Alcohol doesn't help
- Giants fan beaten at Dodgers Stadium
- Matt wrecked his shoulder venting on a punching bag
- To be continued
- Bonehead of the Week

Music:
Mudhoney - The Only Son of the Widow of Nain

Camper Van Beethoven - Someday Our Love Will Sell Us Out
Guided By Voices - She Lives in an Airport
Lovestreams - Shock Corridor

Completely Conspicuous is available through the iTunes podcast directory. Subscribe and write a review!

The Mudhoney song is on the forthcoming album Vanishing Point on Sub Pop. Download it for free (in exchange for your email address) at SubPop.com.
The Camper Van Beethoven song is on the band's new album La Costa Perdida on 429 Records. Download the song for free at Soundcloud.
The Guided By Voices song is on the self-released album The Bears for Lunch. Download the song for free from Soundcloud.
The Lovestreams song is available for free download from the Lovestreams Tumblr.

The opening and closing theme of Completely Conspicuous is "Theme to Big F'in Pants" by Jay Breitling. Find out more about Senor Breitling at his fine music blog Clicky Clicky. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Through the Past Dorkily: Go Mental

Editor's note: Through the Past Dorkily is a recurring feature that looks back at the embarrassingly dorky diary I kept as a 16-year-old in 1984.

Friday, January 20, 1984

WAAF Top 5 at Five
1. Sister Christian - Night Ranger
2. Bark at the Moon - OZZY
3. Jump - Van Halen
4. Got a Hold on Me - Christine McVie
5. Send Me an Angel - Real Life

This was one of those rare Fridays that, for the most part, sucked. I slept in till 7 o'clock this morning. Mom had to drive us to school and I was about 10 minutes late. Then I had to hear the gory details of the College Lit final. We also have a 2-day final in Geography. We don't get a French mid-term at least. I went driving today and I get my road test on Tuesday.

Tomorrow we go to Manchester. I'm gonna wear that weird orange tie just for laughs. I'll ditch it after a while. It'll be good to see [various cute girls] and everyone. [Another cute girl] won't be there because she has a game. Too bad.

- The Barbarian

Saturday, January 21, 1984
OZZY CONCERT TONITE!

What a day! I got up at 9:30, took my guitar lessons, and got back at 12. Then I got ready for the trip. Got to the bus on time. Everybody cracked up at my tie. I told them it was my personality - loud and obnoxious. Jeremy brought his box - that's thing's massive! I got him to play Van Halen I [somebody else's tape] for a while. [Cute girls] were looking good! I half-flirted with 'em all day.

The first museum we went to was boring but it blew the hell out of the other place we saw. The first one had all the stuff you'd think to see in an art museum - paintings, paintings, and more paintings. The second place was an art school and it sucked. Then we went to The Chateau - a crummy restaurant. Their "Chicken Cordon Bleu" almost made me puke. Ugh! The only good thing was where I was sitting - beside [aforementioned cute girl] and across from [other aforementioned cute girl]. The meal cost $8.50 or so - what a ripoff! After dinner, we went to see Fruit Pie - I mean Kreskin. After a little mess-up with our seats, Kreskin came on. I got on stage with him when I caught a card he threw into the crowd (we were sitting in the balcony!). Me and 3 others had to hide his check and then he'd locate it. It was fun, but he got kinda pissed because we screwed it up a bit. Anyhoo, we left at 11:30 and I got a ride home from Jeremy, got back at 12:40. What a day!

- The Barbarian

Postscript: I was excited about there being an Ozzy concert in Worcester on this night, but unfortunately I didn't go. Instead, it was a field trip. I believe this Manchester trip was organized by my French teacher, in an attempt to culture us up a bit. Sounds like it worked, huh? A couple of museums, a French restaurant and then...the Amazing Kreskin? I had seen Kreskin a zillion times before on TV, mainly on The Tonight Show. Letterman had him Late Night a lot during the '80s and would just tool on him. I still have that card I caught, although no idea where it is. 

I like my description of my personality, "loud and obnoxious." I was really going for Borscht Belt comedian, I guess. All "wakka wakka" and arms held out, going, "Huh? Huh?" Yikes.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Through the Past Dorkily: Just One More Time

Editor's note: Through the Past Dorkily is a recurring feature that looks back at the embarrassingly dorky diary I kept as a 16-year-old in 1984.

Thursday, January 19, 1984

WAAF Top 5 at Five
1. Sister Christian - Night Ranger
2. Jump - Van Halen
3. I Want a New Drug - Huey Lewis and the News
4. Owner of a Lonely Heart - Yes
5. Just One More Time - The Headpins

Took my Alg II retest and got an 88. Not bad!

It snowed all night but we only got about 3 inches. No delays or anything, at least not at Sanborn.

Today we got fetal pigs in Bi Sci. First we took a test on bones and then [the teacher] gave us pigs. Me and [redacted lab partner] got one. We called her (it was a female) Amelia. We're not making that permanent yet. We've got other choices like Boy George, Michael Jackson, etc.

I got a 77 on that French test on reflexives, but I added 18 francs to give me a 95.  

I'm going to bed now. Later.

- The Barbarian

Postscript: Bi Sci was the class where I hung out with a buddy who was considered a "burnout" and the teacher told my parents I was hanging out with the wrong crowd. There was a lot of goofing off and sarcastic remarks and such. Oh, well. I definitely had an interesting cross-section of friends at Sanborn. I hung out a lot with a group of unpopular dudes who could have been considered burnouts, although it's not like we were sneaking off to smoke weed or anything. But I also played soccer and hung out with those guys. And I would also congregate with the cute girls of the sophomore class. Hey, I'm not picky.

So that Headpins song, literally haven't heard it since 1984. They were a Canadian act that had a minor hit with this song. Don't really remember hearing much about them after that, but I recall thinking the singer, Darby Mills, was kind of hot. She also had a good voice. A couple of the guys in the band were from that band Chilliwack, which was both chilli and wack.

 



 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Through the Past Dorkily: Jump

Editor's note: Through the Past Dorkily is a recurring feature that looks back at the embarrassingly dorky diary I kept as a 16-year-old in 1984.

Wednesday, January 18, 1984

WAAF Top 5 at Five
1. Jump - Van Halen
2. Changes - Yes
3. Middle of the Road - The Pretenders
4. Looks That Kill - Motley Crue
5. I Want a New Drug - Huey Lewis and the News

They announced Van Halen is playing the Centrum on March 16. One show only. There's 2 shows at Providence, though. There was a big article on Ozzy in the Globe today. It was pretty good.

We had a sub in Geography today. The same one we had for French yesterday. Still had to take a test, though. I think I did pretty good.  

I got a letter from Andy Monko the punker. Man, is he gone!

I sat with [redacted] and [redacted] again today. [Second girl] likes me now, too. Awesome! I tell ya, there's girls galore here! [Third female] was sitting with us, too. WOW!

I heard a rumor that [a different girl] had an abortion. I don't know whether it's true or not, though.

It's been snowing since 2 o'clock. Actually, I hope school isn't cancelled. Guess I'm just in a good mood.

Tomorrow, man.

- The Barbarian 

Postscript: Van Halen was THE concert ticket to get back then. That show ended up selling out in minutes. Not that I could've gone. My first rock show wasn't for a few more months. The Worcester Centrum was the main concert venue in the greater Boston area back in the '80s. It was a hockey rink that held about 12,000 and all the big acts played there. It's now called the DCU Center and is the home of the Worcester Sharks AHL team. Occasionally there are concerts there, but not that often. 

Andy Monko was a good buddy of mine from Washington state. When we were hanging out in '82-'83, he was the biggest REO Speedwagon fan around, but also dug Rush, Def Leppard and lot of the bands I liked. Right after I moved away, he got into punk rock. A few months after this, he started a punk zine called Bowling for Humans and sent me copies for a while. I actually got to see him for the first time in almost 30 years when I was in Seattle a couple of summers ago.

Such was the dismal state of my social life previous to moving here that I was moved to joy just to have attractive girls sitting with me. Not that it's ever a bad situation to be in. 

 

Through the Past Dorkily: That's All

Editor's note: Through the Past Dorkily is a recurring feature that looks back at the embarrassingly dorky diary I kept as a 16-year-old in 1984.

Tuesday, January 17, 1984


WAAF Top 5 at Five
1. Jump - Van Halen
2. Sister Christian - Night Ranger
3. Our Song - Yes
4. Just One More Time - The Headpins
5. That's All - Genesis

Michael Jackson won almost all the awards at the American Music Awards! Gimme a break! Sheesh!


Mom hasn't even looked at Dad in the last 2 days.


School was alright. Had a Geometry test today. I did alright. I was talking to [a bunch of girls]. Man, I'm hitting it off with the girls! Things are gonna happen! [Redacted whose birthday party I attended] told me that her boyfriend thought I was cool. Not bad. I think this will be 'Year of the Barbarian,' despite Mom + Dad and all that. Maybe I'll have a social life, after all.


I get my 7th driving appointment on Thursday and my road test next week, I guess. Next month I'll have my license! Yahoo!


- The Barbarian


Postscript: Guess I wasn't much of a Michael Jackson fan. When I was little, I used to love the Jackson Five. But I was more of a hard rock guy by this point, so MJ wasn't really my thing anymore.

Tenseness in the house. Yikes.

Man, was I desperate for acceptance or what? I suppose it makes sense, given all the moving around we did. I never really had more than a friend or two in each of the three school I had previously attended, so it was cool to start making friends.  


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Through the Past Dorkily: Trouble in Paradise

Editor's note: Through the Past Dorkily is a recurring feature that looks back at the embarrassingly dorky diary I kept as a 16-year-old in 1984.

Monday, January 16, 1984

WAAF Top 5 at Five
1. Jump - Van Halen
2. Sister Christian - Night Ranger
3. Looks That Kill - Motley Crue
4. 99 Red Balloons - Nena
5. I Want a New Drug - Huey Lewis and the News

I wore those "Cyclops" glasses today in every class except Geography. I had 'em on but hosebag [redacted] made me take 'em off. The glasses cracked everybody up.

Mom's threatening to leave Dad because of his drinking. She keeps on asking me if I want to go with her to Toronto or Richland. I don't know! This screws everything up. Right when I get back on track here, this has to happen! Talk about a massive bummer. I'll just have to wait and see.

Later.

P.S. I got a friggin' C+ on my Geography paper. Forgot footnotes and bibliography.

- The Barbarian

Postscript: This entry marks the first signs of trouble on the homefront, at least that I documented. I honestly don't remember a lot of stuff happening this early, but it definitely got worse as time went on. My father was never a huge drinker until we got to NH. Job stress got to him, I guess. By the mid-'80s, nuclear plants weren't exactly popular with the public, so my dad was constantly worried about losing his job. The two years in Washington state were even more stressful right from the start. The drinking got really bad a few years after this when I was in college and he lost his job. My mom threatened to leave constantly, but she never did. Meanwhile, I just tried to live the life of a normal teenager, whatever that was.  

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Through the Past Dorkily: Rockin' Every Night

Editor's note: Through the Past Dorkily is a recurring feature that looks back at the embarrassingly dorky diary I kept as a 16-year-old in 1984.

Sunday, January 15, 1984

This was the day boredom is made of. Got up at around 10, had breakfast and did homework. After lunch, we decided to go to the Methuen Mall. I bought 3 magazines and a Judas Priest pin. I lost my Rush pin last week. Came home, did more homework, went to bed.


What a day!

- The Barbarian

Postscript: A few words about the Methuen Mall, which no longer exists. Back in the early '80s, we used to go there fairly often because it was the closest real mall (i.e., non-strip mall) to our podunk town. My favorite spot there was Midland Records, a great little record shop. While my mother would go to Sears or wherever, I would hunker down at Midland and browse through the vinyl from A to Z. They had a great import section. I was mostly interested in hard rock and metal, so I would pick up things like Gary Moore's Rockin' Every Night, a live album only released in Japan (this was during his post-Thin Lizzy, pre-blues, hard rockin' phase). The store also was a Ticketron outlet; I once got tickets for U2 on the Joshua Tree tour in 1987 by getting to Midland after hearing tickets were going on sale that day and getting a wristband. For hot shows like that, it was tough to get tickets. You could never get through on the phone (I failed miserably a few years later trying to get tickets for the Achtung Baby tour), so if you could get a decent spot in line at a ticket outlet, you had a chance. Even then, my seats were behind the mixing board at the Boston Garden, which weren't awful, but were still pretty far from the stage. Anyway, the Methuen Mall also holds less fun memories; my dad ended up working at the Sears there after he lost his job at the nuke plant. Those were not good times.  


Monday, January 14, 2013

Through the Past Dorkily: The Party

Editor's note: Through the Past Dorkily is a recurring feature that looks back at the embarrassingly dorky diary I kept as a 16-year-old in 1984.

Saturday, January 14, 1984

What a day! After dumping the garbage, we went to see "Terms of Endearment" in Portsmouth. We ordered two large buckets which looked like a [redacted] deal. Needless to say, we didn't finish either bucket. The movie was alright. Not great, but okay. On a scale of 10, I'd give it a 7. Then when we left, it was snowing like crazy. We got stuck behind some old guy going 10 miles an hour. We stopped off at Osco and got home by around 5:15.

I then got ready for [redacted's] party. When 7 o'clock rolled around, Jeremy's mom drove in the driveway. Then their car broke down and Mom had to take us there. We made it there in time, though. Guests: [bunch of redacteds].

The first few hours were pretty slow because everybody just sat around. Me and Jeremy went up to [redacted's] room and I found a pair of blue space-cadet glasses that belonged to [redacted]. I put 'em on and proceeded to eat a candle and chug down a 2-liter bottle of Coke. Then we got the idea to throw [redacted--the birthday girl] in the snow. Me, Jeremy and her boyfriend carried out the plan. Then we got [redacted female] and [redacted male]. After this, mass snowfights followed. I got soaked. Jeremy's mom got there at 11:10. Too bad. Just when the fun started!

- The Barbarian

Postscript: Our town didn't have garbage pickup; instead every Saturday, we went to a big dump on the outskirts of town (fortunately for us, the outskirts in the other direction) to throw our trash into a big trash heap. Not fun duty in the summer. They ended up turning into a landfill a few years after my parents moved away. No doubt it's pretty toxic on and around that site.

I don't remember if there were any parents at that party, but there was definitely no booze. I didn't drink then and neither did my buddy, but I know the birthday girl was fairly straight-laced. I certainly went to other parties where there was plenty of alcohol, but I just wasn't into it at that time. Apparently I was into making an idiot of myself, but I guess it was all in good fun. Christ, I might as well have put a lampshade on my damn head. Oy.

 

Completely Conspicuous 261: Waiting for the Punchline

This week, I'm joined by guest Brian Lewandowski as he discusses navigating the Boston standup comedy scene. Listen to the episode below or download it directly (right click and "save as").

Show notes:
- Brian's back doing standup for the last few months
- Did it in the early '90s
- Started working townie bars
- Just stopped and began doing humor writing
- Did an early humor blog that he turned into a self-published book
- Recently decided to get back into comedy
- In college, ran the radio station with Ronnie James Dio's son
- Early heroes were Buddy Hackett, Woody Allen, Steve Martin
- Most comedians are loners
- Took comedy class; one week, Janeane Garofalo was guest instructor
- Hosts comedy nights now
- Dealing with cats in the audience
- Storytelling with embellishments
- Brian interviewed Marc Maron for his blog in the '90s
- The genius of SCTV
- Passing on your sense of humor to your kids
- Brian worked at AMC and Bravo in their early days
- "The Spiteful Salad"
- Bonehead of the Week


Music:
Iceage - Coalition

Chelsea Light Moving - Empires of Time
Pere Ubu - Free White
The Figgs - Brain Be Gone

Completely Conspicuous is available through the iTunes podcast directory. Subscribe and write a review!

The Iceage song is on the album You're Nothing on Matador Records. Download it for free at Pitchfork.
The Chelsea Light Moving song is on the band's self-titled album on Matador Records. Download the song for free at MatadorRecords.com.
The Pere Ubu song is on the album Lady from Shanghai on Fire Records. Download the song for free from Soundcloud.
The Figgs song is on the album The Day Gravity Stopped. Download the song (in exchange for your email address) for free at Noisetrade.

The opening and closing theme of Completely Conspicuous is "Theme to Big F'in Pants" by Jay Breitling. Find out more about Senor Breitling at his fine music blog Clicky Clicky. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Through the Past Dorkily: Looks That Kill

Editor's note: Through the Past Dorkily is a recurring feature that looks back at the embarrassingly dorky diary I kept as a 16-year-old in 1984.

Friday, January 13, 1984

WAAF Top 5 at Five
1. Sister Christian - Night Ranger
2. Looks That Kill - Motley Crue
3. The Heart of Rock 'n Roll - Huey Lewis and the News
4. Bark at the Moon - OZZY
5. Hot for Teacher - Van Halen!

Talk about Friday the 13th! I got a friggin' 69 on my Algebra II test and a zero on a quiz in French!

But, all that aside, I'm doing all right. I did good on my driving appointment today. We were doing parallel parking.

I'm really looking forward to [redacted's] party tomorrow. Jeremy is going to give me a ride. He'll pick me up at 7. I think I'm gonna get [redacted] one of those funny cards.

Oboy!

Later,

The Barbarian

Postscript: Ah, the anticipation of a big party. I believe this was the first party I'd been invited to, so naturally hopes were high. Not sure what "one of those funny cards" ended up being, but I'm sure it was pretty tame compared to the raunchy stuff you can get today. This girl was a friend and was probably the hottest girl in the sophomore class. That said, she also had a serious boyfriend and was way out of my league, but I had no unrealistic ideas about hooking up with her. No, this was just a way to escape the mind-crushing boredom of my family life for a few hours.

BTW, the Motley Crue video below is hilarious. So goddamn stupid. It's kinda funny to think that folks like Tipper Gore were so up in arms over these dopes. But I was into the first few Crue albums, I will admit. Good, dumb rock n' roll.

 


 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Through the Past Dorkily: The Social Network

Editor's note: Through the Past Dorkily is a recurring feature that looks back at the embarrassingly dorky diary I kept as a 16-year-old in 1984.

Thursday, January 12, 1984

WAAF Top 5 at Five
1. Jump - Van Halen
2. Sister Christian - Night Ranger
3. Owner of a Lonely Heart - Yes
4. 99 Red Balloons - Nena
5. Some Heads are Gonna Roll -  Judas Priest

I finally finished my Geog. research paper today! 9 pages!

I got an invitation from [redacted] for [redacted's] surprise party. Jeremy's gonna give me a ride there. It's on Saturday the 14th and I can't wait!

Driver's Ed is over! Yaaah! I can't believe it, but we're finally outta there! Yahoo!

Things are going pretty good for me right now. [Redacted] invited me to his party on Saturday but I had to say no because I'm going to [redacted's]. But at least I was invited! I think I'm starting to fit in quite nicely here!

Later, man.

- The Barbarian

Postscript: One reason I made friends so quickly after arriving in Kingston was I had to make up some requirements so I was in a few classes as a junior that primarily sophomores took, like History and Geography. As a result, I hung out with a lot of those kids as well as the ones in my grade. It took a few months, but I was getting invited to parties, which was huge. I didn't end up going to a lot of parties, but it was good to be considered. Ultimately, I wanted to get a girlfriend because I had never had one before. This school was my fourth in three years of high school, which made it difficult to make any friends, let alone female friends. I was just hoping we stuck around long enough for something good to happen.

Getting my driver's license was another huge event that I was approaching. As I mentioned in a previous post, things were pretty spread out here in southern NH, so you really needed a car to get around. I had a bike and used that to get to soccer practice the previous summer, but in the winter, it wasn't an option. My buddy Jeremy lived just down the road and started giving me rides to school in his Celica. Dude was a maniac. He would hit 100 mph sometimes on our way and if the parking lot was the least bit icy, he loved to do emergency brake slides and donuts. At first, it was kind of scary but after a while, it was like riding a roller coaster. Thankfully the town was big and there weren't a lot of cops around.  


Friday, January 11, 2013

Through the Past Dorkily: Bark at the Moon

Editor's note: Through the Past Dorkily is a recurring feature that looks back at the embarrassingly dorky diary I kept as a 16-year-old in 1984.

Wednesday, January 11, 1984

WAAF Top 5 at Five
1. Looks That Kill - Motley Crue
2. Jump - Van Halen
3. The Heart of Rock n' Roll - Huey Lewis and the News
4. Changes - Yes
5. Bark at the Moon - OZZY

School was canceled today because of all the snow. I started typing my Geog. research paper and got 6 pages done. About two more to go.

Not much else to write about because all I did was type all day!

Later.

- The Barbarian

Postscript: It's funny what you remember and what you don't. I have zero memory of slaving away all day writing and typing these papers. My whole theory on memory is as you accumulate more and more memories, eventually less important information is pushed out of your brain. These memories definitely qualify for that less important category.

Might as well share a few thoughts on WAAF, which is one of the few area rock stations still standing. 'AAF was my go-to station when we first moved to New England. It had an emphasis on hard rock but played a fairly broad spectrum of other rock sounds. WBCN was a little more diverse, so eventually I started jumping back and forth between the two stations. And occasionally I would listen to new station WFNX, which played more of the "college rock" sound that I was slowly warming to. I was a big radio listener. If I wasn't listening to vinyl, I was listening to the radio. Now I never listen to the radio. Amazing how things change.

   

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Through the Past Dorkily: Snowbound

Editor's note: Through the Past Dorkily is a recurring feature that looks back at the embarrassingly dorky diary I kept as a 16-year-old in 1984.  

Tuesday, January 10, 1984
PAT BENATAR'S BIRTHDAY

WAAF Top 5 at Five
1. Some Heads Are Gonna Roll - JUDAS PRIEST
2. Nobody Told Me - John Lennon
3. It Can Happen - Yes
4. Looks That Kill - Motley Crue
5. Sweetheart Like You - Bob Dylan

It snowed a lot today, man. About 4 inches. They say we're gonna get about a foot tonight. School got out at 12 today, and if it isn't canceled, will only start at 9:40 tomorrow. That means I can get about 2 hours of extra sleep.

I tried to go skating on the pond after school but there was too much friggin' snow on it. So I went back in the house and started on my Geog. research paper. I only got 14 pages done!! I figure I'll have about 2 more to go and then I can start typing it up. Sure hope school is canceled tomorrow.

I got writer's cramp. I've been writing for about 10 hours today. Sheet!

Later, man.

- The Barbarian

P.S. "Hey, boy! You look mighty cute in those tight jeans, boy! Why don't you come over here and..."

Postscript: So I'm not really sure why I had to celebrate Pat Benatar's birthday, but there you have it...and holy shit, she turns 60 today!

These were the days when winters really kicked ass. We didn't even live that far up into NH; we were just over the border, two towns from Haverhill, but the winters in the '80s there were cold and snowy.

About that P.S. It's a line from Eddie Murphy's Comedian album (which itself comes from his Delirious video special). The routine is basically imagining various TV personalities as homosexuals, including Mr. T. Nowadays, it's terribly un-PC and basically homophobic, but damn if it wasn't the funniest thing my buddies and I had ever heard. And we were reciting those lines constantly. I pretty much knew most of the album by heart before I ever purchased it. I made sure when I ordered it from the Columbia Record Club that I bought the cassette so I could listen to it on my Walkman and not give my mom a heart attack. (Warning, the clip below is NSFW.)

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Through the Past Dorkily: Dazed and Confused

Editor's note: Through the Past Dorkily is a recurring feature that looks back at the embarrassingly dorky diary I kept as a 16-year-old in 1984.  

Monday, January 9, 1984
JIMMY PAGE'S BIRTHDAY

WAAF Top 5 at Five
1. 99 Red Balloons - Nena
2. Jump - Van Halen
3. Sister Christian - Night Ranger
4. Free Wheel Burning - Judas Priest
5. Sharp Dressed Man - ZZ Top

Today is Jimmy's birthday, not the 5th. WAAF played Side 2 from 'The Song Remains the Same' today. Cool!


'Free Wheel Burning' by the Priest is awesome! So is 'Hot for Teacher' by Van Halen. A couple of killers!!

[Redacted] told me if I just handed in my rough draft as it is, I'd get a B+. Not bad. A few changes and I got myself an A!

More tests tomorrow. Help!

Speaking of help, I've now got 4 days to write 20 pages of a Geog. report and then type it! Give me strength.

Two more days of Driver's Ed! Yaah!

Ceasar's lessons went well today. He did really well!

Later, man.

- The Barbarian

Postscript: I was pretty much exclusively a hard rock and metal fan at this point. Zeppelin, Priest, VH. I dug 'em all. Although I listened to a lot of FM radio, so I heard plenty of AOR fare like Springsteen, J. Geils Band and Boston and was starting to get into newer bands like U2 and Talking Heads. Still couldn't stand that Nena song, though.

I was a good student, for the most part. This was my junior year and I knew I was going to college, but I didn't know where yet. My dad was a draftsman at nuclear plants, so I just figured I'd get into some sort of engineering field. If you had told the 16-year-old me that I'd be an editor, he would have had a good laugh.

Papers took twice as long when I was in high school because I had to write them out longhand and then type them on my Underwood typewriter. Of course, you had to have plenty of Wite-Out correction fluid to dab over your mistakes. I can't even imagine how long it would take to type 20 pages that way. Not to mention the fact I couldn't type back then; on a lark, I smartly took a "Keyboarding" class senior year, which was about as valuable a high school class as I ever had. Got my senior prom date out of it, too.

Caesar was our black Lab puppy who we had enrolled in obedience lessons in Atkinson. I used to take him every Monday night. We had another dog, Sammy, a Spitz (aka American Eskimo) who we got when we lived in Canada.

 
 

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Through the Past Dorkily: Skateaway

Editor's note: Through the Past Dorkily is a recurring feature that looks back at the embarrassingly dorky diary I kept as a 16-year-old in 1984. 

Sunday, January 8, 1984

We went to the Mall of New Hampshire today. I got a Koho stick and Daoust skates! I also bought a Triumph button today. It's cool.



When we got home I went skating on the pond. I still got it! J.P. kept falling on his butt, though.

Man, weekends are a MASSIVE bore here.

Lotsa tests tomorrow.

Seeya later, hosehead!

- The Barbarian

Postscript: Back in the early '80s, going to a mall was a major expedition from Kingston. The Mall of NH is in Manchester, which is a good 40- to 45-minute drive.

As for the hockey stuff, it had been more than two years since I had last skated; I was still living in Canada then. In Washington state, nobody cared about hockey and there was nowhere to skate at the time (now there's a rink in one of the neighboring cities from where I lived). Our property in NH had a huge pond behind it and this was our first winter there. Back then, it stayed frozen all winter, so it was great to get new skates. Coincidentally, I used those same skates this past weekend when I took the girls pond skating here in Beverly. I don't use them to play hockey anymore but break them out on the rare occasions that it gets cold enough to skate on a pond. They're pretty flimsy compared to big hockey skate boots made nowadays, but they're fine for just zipping around outside.

As a connoisseur of Canadian hard rock,Triumph was one of my go-to bands. And back then I liked to wear pins of my favorite bands on my ski vest. Pretty sure that pin was of the Allied Forces album cover shown above.

Tomorrow: Christmas vacation is over, so it's back to school.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Through the Past Dorkily: Lazy Saturday

Editor's note: Through the Past Dorkily is a recurring feature that looks back at the embarrassingly dorky diary I kept as a 16-year-old in 1984.  

Saturday, January 7, 1984

Not much doing today.

I did my French today and then I called the delectable [redacted] to ask her about the Geography term paper. It's due on Friday the 13th. I haven't started yet.

All I did all day was sit around and laze.

Pretty boring.

- The Barbarian

Postscript: Not a real shocker that weekends in January were boring in rural southern New Hampshire. I didn't have a driver's license yet, so it wasn't like I could go anywhere. And we didn't live in an actual neighborhood but rather on a 3-acre plot alongside a two-lane highway heading out of town, so I couldn't just walk over to a friend's house or anything. What is a bit disturbing is that I used the term "delectable" to describe a female classmate. Yecch. Although in my defense, she was fairly attractive. Fear not, there will be many more clunky teenage laments to come.

Completely Conspicuous 260: The Year in Rock Music, Part 3

Part 3 of my conversation with guests Jay Breitling and Mike Piantigini as we review our favorite music of 2012. Listen to the episode below or download it directly (right click and "save as").

Show notes:
- Recorded at Clicky Clicky world HQ
- Breitling's #3 album of 2012 - Piantigini and Kumar agree on #3
- Divine Fits have stripped down songs
- JB's #2
- Golden Gurls are no relation to Bea Arthur
- MP's #2
- Plenty of Teenage Fanclub activity
- Imagining Breitling as a goth kid
- JK's #2
- The problem with doing covers
- JB's #1
- Piantigini's band Lump once opened for Karl Hendricks Trio
- Metallica owns their own masters
- Bands are now re-recording their classic tracks
- MP's #1 (sort of)
- New Big Dipper album out
- JK's #1
- JB's favorite song of the year
- MP's favorite song
- Westerberg releases material as he records it
- Jason Everman got around
- JK's favorite song
- Breitling's N SYNC sighting
- Trumped by Rock's Destiny's Child sighting
- Bonehead of the Week

Music:
Divine Fits - Civilian Stripes

Golden Gurls - I Can See the City
Karl Hendricks Trio - The Men's Room at the Airport
Mark Lanegan Band - The Gravedigger's Song
Paul Westerberg - My Road Now

Completely Conspicuous is available through the iTunes podcast directory. Subscribe and write a review!

The Divine Fits song is on the album A Thing Called Divine Fits on Merge Records. Download it for free at Epitonic.
The Golden Gurls song is on the self-released album Typo Magic. Download the entire album for free at Bandcamp.
The Karl Hendricks Trio song is on the album The Adult Section on Comedy Minus One Records. Download the song for free from Comedy Minus One.
The Mark Lanegan Band song is on the album Blues Funeral on 4AD. Download the song for free at Epitonic.
The Paul Westerberg song was self-released and is available for free download from Stereogum.

The opening and closing theme of Completely Conspicuous is "Theme to Big F'in Pants" by Jay Breitling. Find out more about Senor Breitling at his fine music blog Clicky Clicky. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Through the Past Dorkily: Nothing to Say

Editor's note: Through the Past Dorkily is a recurring feature that looks back at the embarrassingly dorky diary I kept as a 16-year-old in 1984. 

Friday, January 6, 1984
MALCOLM YOUNG'S BIRTHDAY

WAAF Top 5 at Five
1. Jump - Van Halen
2. Panama - Van Halen
3. 99 Red Balloons - Nena
4. Sister Christian - Night Ranger
5. Some Heads Are Gonna Roll - Judas Priest  

Oops! I forgot!

Postscript: This didn't happen too often, but it did happen. I was 16, after all. It certainly wasn't because I was out doing something fun, though. Back with more dorktasticness tomorrow.

 

Stop Draggin' My Heart Around

It took nearly four months and countless false starts and setbacks and legal standoffs, but the NHL and NHL Players Association finally (albeit tentatively) agreed on a collective bargaining agreement early this morning. The deal still has to be ratified by both sides, but it means there will be a 48- or 52-game season starting in the next couple of weeks. Which, to this hockey fan anyway, is better than no hockey at all this season, the fate that fans suffered in 2004-05 when the entire season was wiped out by legal strife. The previous lockout in 1994-95 was similarly resolved in January and resulted in a 48-game season.

No doubt the league and its teams and players will be doing a massive amount of ass-kissing to get back in the fans' good graces again. It'll be interesting to see just how many fans come back. Certainly in the large markets (Toronto, Montreal, New York, Detroit, Chicago, Boston), the arenas will be packed, but I wonder how many folks in places like Phoenix, Florida and Anaheim will flock back to see their teams.

Once the deal is official, teams will be able to make moves to get ready for the season, which some reports have said will start around Jan. 19. Although many players went to Europe to play until the lockout was resolved, many more just stayed home and trained on their own or with local teams. I'm guessing a new stat to track will be the number of groin and hamstring pulls in the first week of the new season; there will be many of them. You can't just go from relative inactivity to NHL action in the matter of a few weeks without your body paying the price in some fashion.

The new CBA is a 10-year deal, splits hockey-related revenue on a 50-50 basis between players and owners (as opposed to the previous 57-43 split), the salary cap next season will grow to $64 million and there will be increased revenue sharing.

I've been pretty down on both sides as this thing dragged on, but especially the league and owners. Ultimately, I'm a hockey fan and this is the best hockey there is, so I'm glad they're back. Am I pissed about what went on the last several months? Damn right. But I'm ready to see some hockey. Of course, the down side of that is I'm a Toronto Maple Leafs fan, so I'm bound to be disappointed yet again...but I'm used to that. Drop the puck!



Saturday, January 05, 2013

Through the Past Dorkily: Barbarian at the Gate

Happy 2013! Yeah, I know we're five days in already but I've been busy with work and such. Anyway, I'm pledging to do more blogmatizing this year and one way I'm doing so is by launching a new, embarrassing recurring feature. It's called Through the Past, Dorkily and is inspired by a blog I stumbled upon last year called A Geek's Journal - 1976, in which a guy reprinted his high school journal from 1976 on a regular basis 35 years later. There's some terrifically geeky stuff in it, and he actually proceeded to do the same with his first journal from 1974 last year.

As it turns out, I kept my own dorky diary in 1984 for the whole year. I'm not sure exactly why I decided to do it. We had a 1982 diary kicking around the house that I stumbled across and some point in late '83, I resolved to keep a diary the following year. Of course, I had to cross out the days of the week and write in the actual day, but other than that, I was good to go. And good lord, is there some embarrassing shit in this thing. But I figure there will be some good comedy to mine from it, not to mention the fact that it was a whole different world back then.




A little background: I was 16 at the beginning of 1984. We had moved to Kingston, NH, seven months earlier and I had begun my junior year of high school that fall. It was a small school, but I made friends fairly quickly. I also was given the nickname "Kumar the Barbarian," which I embraced wholeheartedly; hence, I signed off each entry as "The Barbarian." Told you it was dorky.

There are still a lot of references to Washington state, which is where we had spent the previous two years before moving to the Northeast. I mostly write about the day-to-day shizz going on, like sports and school and my endless quest for a girlfriend. I'm changing the names of some folks (i.e., the girls I dated and/or liked) since I still know most of them and besides, I'm the only one who should be embarrassed by this, not them. Everything else will be verbatim.

My plan right now is to reprint most of my 1984 entries. Some days I forgot to write anything, and some I barely wrote anything. I used to write before I went to bed, so it wasn't always the most coherent stuff. I also started including the WAAF-FM Top 5 at 5, the Worcester rock station's top songs of the day, which I listened to religiously, and later in the year, I started designating my own song of the day as well. I'll include that info as well. I'll annotate occasionally with a background info when necessary.

So since I dropped the ball on starting this feature on Jan. 1, I'm going to catch up by including the first five days in this post and then doing one a day when appropriate. Without further ado, let's get going...

Sunday, January 1, 1984
WOW. MAN, IT'S 1984. THIS SHOULD BE A GOOD YEAR SINCE THE LAST TWO SUCKED. I THINK I'LL USE CURSIVE FROM NOW ON. HERE GOES: Ah yes, that's better. One thing for sure, 1983 went by wicked fast.

Oboy! Now I've got 3 whole pages done on my College Lit research paper. Now I've only got 9 more to go. Who says I don't get my work done? And it's only due in 3 days. No problem, right? Right.

Ever since noon today I've been listening to the WAAF Album Countdown. Top 107 of '83. I've been writing 'em down, too. Maiden's 'Piece of Mind' only hit 80. Of course, this is only for New England. It probably did better in other areas of the U.S. (Ed. note: Yeah, probably not.)

Hey, the Seahawks kicked Miami 27-20 yesterday. They're pretty good this year. They'll play the LA Raiders next week in the AFC championship game. Meanwhile, the Redskins romped all over the Raqms, 51-7. Hah! They play San Francisco next week. They'll moider 'em!!

The Leafs trashed the Kings 5-3 last night. Now they got 35 points.

'Pyromania' was the number one album on the countdown. Good job!

3 more days till school starts up again. Great.

Now let's see if I can keep this up for a whole year.

- The Barbarian

Monday, January 2, 1984
WAAF Top 5 at Five
1. Jump - Van Halen
2. She Was Hot - The Rolling Stones 
3. Sunday Bloody Sunday - U2
4. Sister Christian - Night Ranger
5. 99 Red Balloons - Nena (this song bites)

Not much doing today. We took down all our Christmas decorations today. I managed to finish 7 pages in my research paper. 5 more to go, I should get it done tomorrow. A lot of bowl games but I don't really care about college football anyway. (Ed. note: My views on this topic haven't changed.)

Van Halen's new album "1984" is coming out on Friday. "Jump" is a good song but there's more keyboards than guitars. Nice solo, though.

Not too much to write about so I'll catch you tomorrow.

- The Barbarian


Tuesday, January 3, 1984
JOHN PAUL JONES' BIRTHDAY

WAAF Top 5 at Five
1. Jump - Van Halen
2. 99 Red Balloons - Nena
3. Sister Christian - Night Ranger
4. It Can Happen - Yes
5. Looks that Kill - Motley Crue

Yaaah! I finally finished my research paper rough draft!! Ended up as 14 pages! Couldn't do my essay questions because 1) I forgot my book and 2) I don't know the questions. I got a Christmas card from Dave White. It was cool. I wrote him a letter today. (Ed. note: Dave White was a buddy of mine from my previous school. For a few years, I was pretty good about staying in touch with my old buddies.)

There was a car accident up by Hunt road around 7:20 PM. I went out to take a look. There was were two cars involved. A little red Honda (or something like it) got trashed by another black car (couldn't tell what make it was). They closed off the road for a couple of hours. (Ed. note: We lived right on a two-lane highway and every so often there would be a serious accident.)

I watched the first and third periods of the Bruins-Islanders. Boston won 4-2. The Leafs play St. Louis tonight. Last I heard it was 5-3 for St. Louis after 2. Damn! 

The number one album on the New England album countdown was Genesis - Genesis. Motley Crue's album "Shout at the Devil" finished at 11. Not bad.

Well, it's back to school tomorrow. It was getting kind of boring around here anyways.

- The Barbarian

Wednesday, January 4, 1984
WAAF Top 5 at Five
1. Jump - Van Halen
2. Sister Christian - Night Ranger
3. Looks That Kill - Motley Crue
4. I Wanna New Drug - Huey Lewis and the News
5. Shooting Shark - Blue Oyster Cult

Found out the final score on that Leafs-St. Louis game. St. Louis won 8-3. Blast!!!!

School was the same as always - it sucked! I finished that essay test tonight. It was 3 pages long. I got moved again in Geography! That hosebag [redacted] moved me and I wasn't even talking, for Pete's sake! Mike C. was talking to me. I was just sitting there! If I'm moved one more time, I'll probably get kicked out. (Ed. note: I had always been a good student, but I also had always been something of a smartass. In NH, I quickly gained a reputation as both. I may have gone a little overboard being silly in class.)

Heard a new Judas Priest song, "Some Heads Are Gonna Roll." It's kickass!

I can't wait till the weekend, man. This week is a pain in the neck.

I gotta start practising my guitar. I haven't practised in a week!

I don't feel like writing anymore.

- The Barbarian

Thursday, January 5, 1984
JIMMY PAGE'S BIRTHDAY

WAAF Top 5 at Five
1. Jump - Van Halen
2. 99 Red Balloons - Nena
3. Some Heads Are Gonna Roll - Judas Priest
4. Nobody Told Me - John Lennon
5. Sister Christian - Night Ranger

The Leafs lost to Chicago 5-1 last night. What's wrong with them? They can't win two games in a row!

O-MY-GOSH DEPT. CB's husband was the guy who died in that accident on Tuesday (he was in the VW Rabbit). I can't believe it! (Ed. note: I referenced this incident in my post last week about taking guitar lessons. CB was my guitar instructor. Contrary to what I wrote that post, I now believe we started up again after that incident until I went off to college.)

I got 96 on a Geography test I took around a month ago on Asia. [Redacted] wants me to take the Australia test that I missed (Ed. note: This particular teacher was not fond of my attitude. As a result, I was not fond of her.)

I drove today in Driver's Ed. It was the best I ever did. We went to Exeter. I didn't jerk the wheel once. She says we're gonna do parallel parking next. (Ed. note: Had we stayed in Washington state, I would have taken Driver's Education the previous summer and been driving a lot sooner. This was especially a bummer given the fact that where we lived in NH required one to pretty much drive everywhere.)

[Redacted] made an interesting analogy in College Lit today. He was talking about denotations and connotations, and used intercourse and fuck as an example. Right...

[Redacted] is having a skating party on Saturday but I've got no skates and no way of getting there! Why the hell do I have to live way out here in the boonies?"

- The Barbarian