Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Completely Conspicuous 267: Which Doobie You Be?

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Ric Dube as we dissect a classic episode of the 1970s sitcom What's Happening. Listen to the episode below or download it directly (right click and "save as").

Show notes:
- Recorded at More Lost Time world HQ
- Inspired by MST3K and Rifftrax, we're commenting while watching video
- Watch the episode along with us at the CompCon YouTube channel
- What's Happening!! had all the sitcom archetypes
- Formula elements at play
- This was a Very Special Episode
- No continuity in the '70s on TV shows
- The evils of bootlegging
- Check out CompCon episodes 218 and 219 about bootlegs
- Ric: Wonder if there's a bootleg of the Doobies' performance in this show
- Show inspired by the movie Cooley High
- Ric's a fan of Dee
- Did inner city kids really listen to the Doobie Brothers?
- Jay: I rocked the velour shirts back in the day
- Rerun gets roped into the bootlegging world
- All the parodies have been parodied now
- Ric's heard the "Which Doobie You Be?" line a million times
- Doobies are so big they're playing a podunk high school
- Patrick Simmons had a brief solo career
- Michael McDonald's vocal style
- The kids pretend to like the Doobies
- Jeff "Skunk" had magnificent facial hair
- The band Bread appeared on an episode of The Hardy Boys
- Simmons supposedly went to the kids' high school
- Four minutes of scenes from next week
- Theme by Henry Mancini!
- Next week, it's part 2 of the Doobie Brothers episode
- Bonehead of the Week


Music:
They Might Be Giants - You're On Fire

Thalia Zedek Band - Walk Away

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

The They Might Be Giants song is on the album Nanobots on Idlewild Records. Download it for free at Stereogum.
The Thalia Zedek Band song is on the album Via on Thrill Jockey. Download it for free at Soundcloud.

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, February 24, 2013

Through the Past Dorkily: Rock You Like a Hurricane

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, February 21, 1984

Song of the day: Tear It Up - Queen

Top 5 at Five
1. Jump - Van Halen
2. New Moon on Monday - Duran Duran
3. Some Heads Are Gonna Roll - Judas Priest
4. Sister Christian - Night Ranger
5. Rock You Like a Hurricane - Scorpions  

Wow, man. What a boring day. Not much doing at school.

We gave Sammy some tranquilizers so we could take a thorn out of her foot. She's been stoned off her ass all evening!

That's it.

- The (bored) Barbarian

Thursday, February 23, 1984

Song of the day: Rock You Like a Hurricane - Scorpions

Top 5 at Five
1. Jump - Van Halen
2. Rock You Like a Hurricane - Scorpions
3. Looks That Kill - Motley Crue
4. Heaven - Bryan Adams
5. Footloose - Kenny Loggins

New heights in boredom. I'm sure glad we get next week off because I need the rest!

[Buddy of mine] got his license yesterday. Only a week till I get mine!

The Juniors are getting killed in Winter Carnival.

I got a detention in Bi Sci for swearing. I get it on the Monday we get back.

I'm lost.

- The (tired) Barbarian

Friday, February 24, 1984

Song of the day: Shoot to Thrill - AC/DC

Top 5 at Five
1. All Hell's Breakin' Loose - KISS
2. Jump - Van Halen
3. Heaven - Bryan Adams
4. Looks That Kill - Motley Crue
5. Sister Christian - Night Ranger

Awesome! A week off!

The seniors won Winter Carnival, followed by the sophomores, freshmen, and juniors. We were tied for first at one point, but then we came last in like three events in a row. I went in the crab walk and did pretty good. We finished second.

KISS and Accept play the Centrum tonight. The Scorpions' new album, Love at First Sting, comes out today.

Later.

The (vacationing) Barbarian

Postscript: It's kinda funny that I was so excited for a week's vacation and yet also complaining about boring things are, because there was nothing more boring than spending a week at home. It's not like we ever went on actual vacations during those weeks. And frankly, those family vacations were almost as boring as staying home, so it was really a lose-lose situation for me.

The Scorpions were catching on with their new song "Rock You Like a Hurricane," but I don't know if anybody realized that it would still be played in sports arenas and strip joints almost 30 years later. That's staying power, people. I got into the Scorps with their previous album Blackout, which was pretty rockin', and they continued with this album. They also managed to put a decent ballad or two on each album. And you had to love singer Klaus Meine's heavy metal Woody Allen look (minus the glasses). The video's hilarious, too. Classic '80s metal video...and the lyrics are about as ridiculous as you'd expect from German dudes who speak English as their third or fourth language.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Through the Past Dorkily: Free Bird

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, February 19, 1984

Whew! Talk about yer close shaves! I drove Mom to Market Basket and when we were leaving, I was backing out of our parking spot and I hit this wicked long station wagon parked beside us. Mom took over and moved our car. Lucky for us, the guy's car wasn't even scratched! Our car has a tiny little scratch, but we both agreed not to tell Dad about it. Close one!

Me and JP stacked all that firewood. Yesterday, we stacked it all out back and today we put the rest in the house. Glad I got that over with.

Well, I know what to say to [cute girl I liked]. I hope I can talk to her before homeroom and I hope she changes her mind!

- The (anxious) Barbarian

Monday, February 20, 1984

Theme song: I'll Wait - Van Halen
 
Top 5 of All Time at Five
1. Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin
2. Won't Get Fooled Again - The Who
3. Free Bird - Lynyrd Skynyrd
4. LA Woman - The Doors
5. Purple Haze - Jimi Hendrix

Well, I talked to [cute girl] this morning and she accepted my apology but she still didn't want to go. Oh, well. No sense getting all depressed about it. I'll just keep pluggin' along!

I got 74 on my Civics test. Not as bad as I thought I'd do - it seems everybody bombed it, too.

I saw Roger Daltrey in "The Comedy of Errors" on PBS and he was pretty good. The show was pretty funny!

Every school in the U.S. had the day off except us. That's beat.  

- The Barbarian

P.S. From now on, I'll have a theme song for the day, up at the top of the page. Nifty, huh?   

Postscript: Ah, the early driving days! I had a couple of little scrapes but thankfully, nothing serious. Good thing I was with my mom instead of my dad. He would have lost his shit.

So the two-pronged plan didn't quite work out. Nice to see I got over it quickly, though. Funny how that happens. One minute, she's all I could think about and the next she's a blip.

At first I thought the day off reference was to MLK Day, but I looked it up and while the holiday had been signed into law in '83, it wasn't first observed until '86. So I have no idea what I'm talking about there.

The Top 5 of All Time list is interesting. No Beatles, but Skynyrd and the Doors? For shame! Ah, screw it, Skynyrd's cool.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Completely Conspicuous 266: Streets Ahead

Part 3 of my conversation with guests Mike Piantigini and Brad Searles as we discuss the new music we're looking forward to in 2013. Listen to the episode below or download it directly (right click and "save as").

Show notes:
- Recorded at Piantigini Place, Somerville, Mass.
- Mike: New Big Dipper album is great
- Bettie Serveert is back with a new release
- Brad: The Neats reunion is happening
- Shockingly, Brad's never been to SXSW
- SXSW has grown into a huge spectacle
- Thumbs up to The Sinclair
- Def Leppard's Vegas residency
- Bob Mould can't play acoustic shows quietly
- Sting's "Back to Bass" tour
- Bands going out on a bad note
- Guitar Hero/Rock Band games flamed out quickly
- Do not taunt the Zoo TV
- Brad and Mike reminisce about the Merge Records 20th anniv. show
- Wilco's Solid Sound Festival is always good
- Bonehead of the Week


Music:
The XX - Reconsider

The Thermals - Born to Kill
Redd Kross - Stay Away from Downtown
!!! - Slyd

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

The XX song is on the album Coexist on XL Recordings. Download it for free at Chromewaves.
The Thermals song is on the album Desperate Ground on Saddle Creek. Download the song for free (in exchange for your email address) at Soundcloud.
The Redd Kross song is on the album Researching the Blues on Merge Records. Download the song for free at Chromewaves.
The !!! song is on the album Thri!!!er on Warp Records. Download the song for free at Soundcloud.

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.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Through the Past Dorkily: Love Stinks

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. Today's entry is super-sized because I was out of town for the last few days, so get ready for some serious angst.

Wednesday, February 15, 1984

Top 5 at Five
1. Jump (what else?) - Van Halen
2. In the Beginning/Shout at the Devil - Motley Crue
3. Leave It - Yes
4. Nobody Told Me - John Lennon
5. Radio Gaga - Queen

Well, I finally did it! I asked [cute girl I liked] if she'd go to the prom with me! She said she'd think about it. But that isn't all! I told her when we were walking back from Geometry. [Another girl] was behind us and now the entire friggin' sophomore class knows about it! Man, I hope she says yes!! Tomorrow is going to be interesting, to say the least.

Jeremy said he'd give me a ride to the dance on Friday. Hmm, maybe [cute girl] will be there. Hmm...

Mom called the MV Bureau and got my driver's test moved to Feb. 29th. She's off that day and can take me.

The Leafs lost 3-1 to Minnesota after winning 4 straight (they beat the Isles 3-1 on Monday).

Man, I'm goin' nutso! I hope she says yes!

- The (anxious) Barbarian

Thursday, February 16, 1984

Top 5 at Five
1. In the Beginning/Shout at the Devil - Motley Crue
2. Jump - Van Halen
3. New Moon on Monday - Duran Duran
4. Leave It - Yes
5. Some Heads are Gonna Roll - Judas Priest

Wow, man. Today sucked wicked bad! Everything was fine until around 8:15 (1st period). [Guy and girl] wrote this little thing [name as acronym made up of unflattering things] about [cute girl I asked to the prom]. Apparently they don't like her. I asked [the guy] why and he said she's been giving him dirty looks. Right. I found out that he was goin' with her last year, but they must have got in a big fight. Anyhoo, I got kinda screwed up because he is my friend and I just didn't know what to think. I still don't. This doesn't mean I'm not backing down. I'm still hot for her. I was totally fucked up today and I didn't even talk to her. Wow, I never knew anyone hated her like that! Shit, even [other buddies of mine] were joining in. I could only sit there in disbelief.

Well, maybe tomorrow will be better. It has to be. It couldn't get much worse than this!

The babe still hasn't made up her mind!

The (screwed-up) Barbarian

Friday, February 17, 1984

Top 5 at Five
1. Jump - Van Halen
2. Leave It - Yes
3. In the Beginning/Shout at the Devil - Motley Crue
4. Send Me an Angel - Real Life
5. Radio Gaga - Queen

Well, well. The dance marked an all-time low in my life. I tried to ignore [cute girl I asked to prom] for a while, and then asked her. She said no. Needless to say, I am totally fucked up and depressed! What surprises me is that she took so long to think about it and then just says no. Something musta happened. She musta thought I wanted a long-term relationship or something. I don't know. All I know is I'm gonna take a while to get over this. It feels like I've been kicked in the gut!

I think I'll go to school on Monday and act like nothing even happened.

A bunch of people, including [a buddy of mine], got bagged at the dance. They were all shitfaced!

[Another friend] told me at the dance that [girl in my class] got in a car accident today. She's got a broken jaw but it looks like she'll be alright.

Well, for now, it looks like I won't be going to the prom, after all. Shit.

- The Depressed and Fucked-up Barbarian

Saturday, February 18, 1984

Hey, I'm doing alright now. I was wicked depressed last night but at around 6 this morning I sat in bed and thought. I came up with a two-pronged plan to see if I can change [cute girl's] mind. First, I'm gonna apologize for being a jerk on Friday and second, I'm gonna clear up that problem about the prom. I sure hope she listens and maybe changes her mind!

I can't wait till Monday.

- The (hopeful) Barbarian

Postscript: Wow, quite the roller coaster of emotions. Looking back at this 29 years later, it's easy to laugh now. But at the time, this was bigger than anything I could imagine. The teenage boy's brain is a funny thing to examine. Everything is SO. FRIGGIN'. IMPORTANT. Oh, man. The best part of it all was that this particular girl wasn't even a blip on the radar a month or so later. 

School dances were pretty lame. If I recall correctly, most of them were held in the cafeteria, so you had a lot of dorks like me hanging out with my buddies, a lot of girls hanging out, some couples dancing during slow songs, and everybody jumping around during faster ones. And of course, as happened at this dance, some folks would show up shitfaced or try to sneak in booze. I didn't drink and neither did my buddy who gave me a ride, so there were no worries on that front with us. 

Can't wait to see how my big two-pronged plan worked out. Yeesh.

      

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Through the Past Dorkily: Train Kept a Rollin'

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, February 13, 1984

WAAF Top 5 at Five
1. In the Beginning/Shout at the Devil - Motley Crue
2. Sister Christian - Night Ranger
3. Some Heads are Gonna Roll - Judas Priest
4. Don't Say Goodnight - Jon Butcher Axis
5. ?

Strange day. Fell asleep in NH/Civics today. [Math teacher] was wasted (sick) and he wasted time and didn't give us the test. I also fell asleep at 4 p.m. and missed the first song of the Top 5 at Five.

I'm going to bed.

- The (tired) Barbarian

Tuesday, February 14, 1984

WAAF Top 5 at Five
1. Jump - Van Halen
2. New Moon on Monday - Duran Duran
3. Sister Christian - Night Ranger
4. In the Beginning/Shout at the Devil - Motley Crue
5. Send Me an Angel - Real Life

Valentine's Day, huh? I gave one of the carnations I bought to [cute girl I liked] and one to [cute girl out of my league]. There's a dance on Friday. I'm gonna see if I can get a ride to it. If I can't, then I won't go (DUH!).

Both [math teacher and French teacher] weren't here today. We had [soccer coach] in Geometry today. [French teacher] will be gone all week. Yay!

There was a live Aerosmith concert on WBCN tonight. Aerosmith played the Orpheum tonite! Great show! They ended it with a killer version of "Train Kept a Rollin'"! Yeah!

- The (Valentine) Barbarian

Postscript: Funny thing about Valentine's Day. I had a stretch of several years where it was pretty much a dud for me. Plenty of at-bats, no hits. In hindsight, I know it's a bullshit "holiday" that creates fake pressure for guys to be all romantic and stuff. 

These were the days when Aerosmith was at a serious low point. Aerosmith was still playing locally fairly often, including at the Kingston Fairgrounds; Steven Tyler was infamous for passing out during shows. Joe Perry and Brad Whitford had left the band a few years earlier, and actually, they were in attendance at this show that I listened to (which featured replacement guitarists Jimmy Crespo and Rick Dufay). Perry and Whitford met with the band backstage and a few months later, they rejoined Aerosmith. It was a few years before the band teamed with Run DMC to remake "Walk This Way," which was a huge success on MTV and reignited Aerosmith's career.  Here they are at the end of the year, back at the Orpheum:     

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Through the Past Dorkily: Born Again

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, February 11, 1984

I drove home from Market Basket today with Mom. I did pretty good.

Also, I got my first two issues of Guitar magazine in the mail. It kicks butt!!

The Leafs beat Quebec 5-2 today!

Well, that's about all that happened today.

- The Barbarian

Sunday, February 12, 1984

I drove to the dump to get rid of the trash. We went to the Methuen Mall from there and I got a pair of Levis and some brown cords. I also got 6 pairs of socks, a Black Sabbath "Born Again" jersey, the new Circus mag and Defenders of the Faith by Judas Priest. Not a bad haul, eh?



That's it.

- The (idle) Barbarian

Postscript: Yet another thrilling weekend for the kid. Jesus, how did I not die of boredom? Oh well, in about a year and a half, I'd be getting s-faced at college on the weekends. I suppose my liver thanks me for taking it easy during high school.

I've discussed that Sabbath shirt before, as well as the album Born Again, which I feel is an underrated (if poorly recorded) classic. And good lord, what an awful album cover. I don't know where I thought I could wear that shirt and get away with it. Certainly couldn't at home, and definitely couldn't at school. It's kinda like the Dinosaur Jr. shirt I bought at a show circa '93 that features an axe-wielding freak on the front and a dead cat on the back. Pretty cool shirt, though.



Don't think I've worn that (on the outside) anywhere in the last 20 years. Hmm...maybe I'll wear it to work tomorrow. Under a sweater.

  

Monday, February 11, 2013

Completely Conspicuous 265: What's Good

Part 2 of my conversation with guests Mike Piantigini and Brad Searles as we discuss the new music we're looking forward to in 2013. Listen to the episode below or download it directly (right click and "save as").

Show notes:
- Recorded at Piantigini Place, Somerville, Mass.
- The Who's Live at Hull sounds a lot like Live at Leeds
- Hearing bands play old favorites vs. new material
- Selling your music for commercial use
- Pete Townshend was a major solo artist in the '80s
- '80s recording techniques have not aged well
- Debating McCartney's solo work
- Kids these days...
- YouTube as music delivery mechanism
- Not just videos, but full albums and lyric videos
- The sad tale of Myspace
- Bandcamp's fan pages
- Brad: Psyched about new LP from Kid Canaveral
- The death of Lovejoy's, a great Austin dive bar
- Alamo Drafthouse rules
- Brad: Mark Kozelek and Album Leaf collaboration
- Indie bands love covering the Misfits
- Bands keep touring without original members (Misfits, Dead Kennedys)
- Violent Femmes are reuniting with original lineup at Coachella
- Prog is coming back
- Brad dug Genesis in the Duke/Abacab era
- "Illegal Alien" is a horrible song
- Long-awaited albums that may never come: Dylan at the Movies, The Wrens
- Brad bets My Bloody Valentine won't release new album by time this airs (he loses bet)
- Mike can't stop talking about his trip to SXSW
- Labels are running out of classic rock to reissue, turning to alt-rock
- To be continued  
- Bonehead of the Week


Music:
Low - Just Make It Stop

Thee Oh Sees - Minotaur
Mikal Cronin - Apathy
Ken Stringfellow - Doesn't It Remind You of Something

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

The Low song is on the forthcoming album The Invisible Way on Sub Pop. Download it for free at SoundCloud.
The Thee Oh Sees song is on the forthcoming album Floating Coffin on the Castle Face label. Download the song for free at Stereogum.
The Mikal Cronin song is on his self-titled album on Trouble in Mind Records. Download the song for free from SoundSpike.
The Ken Stringfellow song is on the album Danzig in the Moonlight on Spark and Shine Records. Download the song for free at Chromewaves.

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, February 10, 2013

Through the Past Dorkily: Shout at the Devil

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, February 9, 1984

WAAF Top 5 at Five
1. Jump - Van Halen
2. In the Beginning/Shout at the Devil - Motley Crue
3. Sister Christian - Night Ranger
4. Sign of Fire - The Fixx
5. Don't Say Goodnight - Jon Butcher Axis

They did it again! The Leafs beat Boston, 6-3, in Boston. Allan Bester kept them in the game with excellent goaltending! The dude is simply awesome! The Leaf goals were 2 by Anderson (28 and 29), 2 by Derlago (23 and 24) and 2 by Ihnacak (8 and 9). Way to go, Leafs!!

School was alright today. The Algebra test was easy. I got a Geometry test tomorrow.

Canada beat Austria 8-1 in the Olympics. They're 2-0. The U.S. lost again.

- The (victorious) Barbarian

Friday, February 10, 1984

WAAF Top 5 at Five
1. Jump - Van Halen
2. Sister Christian - Night Ranger
3. Leave It - Yes
4. Looks That Kill - Motley Crue
5. Send Me an Angel - Real Life

We didn't have to take that Geometry test after all. We get it on Monday.

I got my appointment finally! It's on Feb. 27 at 10 a.m.! Alright!

I got an 85 on the Algebra test, an 80 (+ 10 francs) in French and 83 in Bi Sci.

Got a letter and some pictures from (old buddy from Richland, Wash.) today. It was pretty cool.

The Metal Shop has been extended to an hour! But it's on from 12 to 1 on Friday nights.

Later.

- The Barbarian

Postscript: The appointment I'm all fired up about was my driving test. There are few things more important to a teenage boy than his driver's license, and I was oh-so-close. Of course, I didn't have a car, but at least I could borrow one of my parents' cars from time to time.

Funny thing about Leafs goalie Allan Bester. He really wasn't THAT awesome, but he was decent on a lot of fairly underwhelming '80s Leafs teams. On one of my trips to Toronto circa 1991, I picked up posters of Bester and Fred McGriff of the Jays. Within months, both were traded. Not sure what that means, but it was weird. Anyway, Bester was an underrated goalie but far from awesome.  

The Metal Shop was the heavy metal show on WAAF, hosted by a Brit named Andy Wolf. I used to listen to it faithfully, as I did WBCN's Heavy Metal from Hell on Sunday nights. There was a fair amount of hair metal played during regular hours as you can see by the Top 5 at Five countdowns, but these shows played deeper, heavier stuff like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest and lesser known acts like Y&T and Metallica (at the time, they were lesser known) that I was into. 

Speaking of metal, the success of Motley Crue was based on a faux-Satanism schtick they were pulling. I was a good Christian boy but I loved my metal and could see that these guys were just playing at the Satanic stuff, unlike, say, Venom or Slayer. So I didn't have a problem with "Shout at the Devil," because they were, like, shouting AT him, not WITH him. Right? (And besides, this song was a total ripoff of Maiden's "Number of the Beast," in theme if not riff).

  

 

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Buried by the Blues

Last winter, we barely got 6 inches of snow combined. In the massively hyped Snowpocalypse 2013 that slammed into the Northeast yesterday and overnight, we easily quadrupled that.

We were supposed to get close to a foot a couple of weeks ago and then the storm completely missed us, so I was skeptical of this one at first. But as we got closer and the forecasts got definitive, I made sure we at least had extra beer in the house. And I'm glad I was able to get a good 7-mile run in yesterday morning before the storm hit. I worked from home yesterday so I wouldn't have to deal with the traffic, and they closed the office at 11:30 anyway just as the snow started to fall. The governor banned all "non-essential" motorists from the roadways, ridiculously threatening anyone who dared drive with jail time.



By the time I went outside with the girls around 6 p.m., we had about four inches on the ground and it was blowing hard out there. I got both driveways shoveled and came in for dinner, then went out again after 11 to find almost a foot on the ground. I shoveled a little but it seemed a little pointless at that time so I came back in. Our house was shaking from the winds and we were hoping the power wouldn't go out; the lights flickered around midnight, but that was it.

This morning I went out to find close to 2 feet of snow everywhere. Deb's mom had to work today at Salem Hospital, so I cleared out her driveway and car, and then got the end of ours before I was pretty close to exhaustion. The snow drifts were crazy in our backyard; in one corner, there's a 5-foot drift and just a few feet away you can see the grass. The fence creates some serious swirling winds back there. It's supposed to warm up on Monday, getting into the 40s and raining, so there could be some flooding around here. Tomorrow we're going to try out the snowshoes we got two Christmases ago, so that'll be fun. And knowing New England weather, I fully expect it to be in the 50s by next weekend.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Through the Past Dorkily: Tied Up in Love

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, February 7, 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. Tied Up in Love - Ted Nugent

They did it! Canada beat the US, 4-2, in the first hockey game of the Olympics! I saw it, sort of, because ABC edited the game so that only parts where goals were scored were shown. Well, at least Canada kicked butt! Go for it!

In Geometry, [dude] convinced [teacher] to let him sit in his regular seat. Thank goodness! All in all, a pretty uneventful day. Tomorrow's an early release day. We miss 1st and 2nd periods.
   
The U.S. pulled its troops out of Lebanon and onto the ships for now. I don't know if they'll be coming home, though.

- The Barbarian

Wednesday, February 8, 1984

WAAF Top 5 at Five
1. Jump - Van Halen
2. In the Beginning/Shout at the Devil - Motley Crue
3. New Moon on Monday - Duran Duran
4. Sister Christian - Night Ranger
5. Don't Say Goodnight - Jon Butcher Axis

The Leafs beat Boston 6-4! Talk about yer Miracle on Ice! Ricky Vaive got 2 goals (42 all together), plus Benning, Daoust, Derlago and Frycer scored. Allan Bester played awesome in goal! Yahoo!

I got 100 on yesterday's Geometry quiz. I had a test in Bi Sci and in French today, and I have one in Algebra tomorrow.

[Cute girl I like] wasn't at school today because she went skiing. Despite that, the day was alright. I did get put at a table in College Prep with [kid I apparently didn't like]. Ugh. Gimme a break. Well, at least [cute girl] sits with us, too.

Still waiting to get my papers back for my license.

- The (triumphant) Barbarian

Postscript: This was the first Winter Olympics since the U.S. shockingly won the gold in 1980, so I guess it was a big deal that Canada beat them. This was still the time when amateurs played, so Canada's best players were in the NHL. Also, I was still only a few years removed from living in Toronto, so I rooted for Canada big time. And the Leafs, although they didn't give me too much to cheer for in the '80s. Hmm, sounds familiar. Unlike now, when I can see every Leafs game thanks to the satellite package I have, back then I could only see Toronto play against the Bruins. I followed the highlights on ESPN and read the Globe sports section every day to get the latest info. I think there was a national game of the week on USA Network or ESPN back then that I occasionally watched, too.

I had forgotten about that Nugent song. Typical '80s hard rock wankery, although the video's funny in that only the Nuge gets any screen time. Not even the dude who sang the song is shown.

   

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Through the Past Dorkily: Clueless

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, February 6, 1984

WAAF Top 5 at Five
1. Looks That Kill - Motley Crue
2. Sister Christian - Night Ranger
3. Panama - Van Halen
4. Leave It - Yes
5. 99 Red Balloons - Nena

[Redacted girl] was "sick" today. That caused a few problems for me. In Geometry, she usually sits in front of me so I never get in trouble (tall babe). But today, me and [another dude] were talking and [teacher] got pissed and moved [other dude] all the way across the room and moved that weird guy [redacted] beside me. Stupid homo!

[Cute girl I liked] was looking good today as usual. [Another cute girl] had this awesome shirt on! Every time she bent over I got a mountainous view! Incredible!

I decided to give [cute girl I liked] one of the carnations I bought.

Something funny (and gross) happened in French. We were making crepes and [another dude] found this blue case under his desk. He opened it and found two tampons!! Unused ones! Is that sick or what? He gave them to [another dude] who threw them 'em away! Yuk!

Caesar ate a chicken bone from the garbage so I put him in the front room to sleep from now on. I don't want any more puke on my carpet. Stupid pen ran out. Later, man.

- The stimulated (naturally) Barbarian

Postscript: In case you had any doubts about how immature I was, doubt no more. Yeesh. Hey, I was 16 and had limited exposure to females, so tampons were scary, I guess.

Speaking of dumb, my dog Caesar would eat just about anything. But he had an excuse. He was a puppy. As the coming weeks and months would reveal, I was just a big dumb puppy, too.   



Monday, February 04, 2013

Completely Conspicuous 264: Reasons to Be Cheerful

Part 1 of my conversation with guests Mike Piantigini and Brad Searles as we discuss what we're looking forward to in 2013, musically speaking. Listen to the episode below or download it directly (right click and "save as").


Show notes:
- Recorded at Piantigini Place, Somerville, Mass.
- Breitling couldn't make it
- Brad: Unusual collaborations including New Medicants (Joe Pernice and Norman Blake), Kristen Hersh and Pond, Greg Dulli and Steve Kilbey
- Hersh is super busy
- Artists escape from the album-tour-album cycle
- Robert Pollard is a freak of nature
- Mike: Replacements cover EP to benefit Slim Dunlap
- Westerberg should tour again
- Axl Rose soldiers on...at his own pace
- Great artists aren't always great businessmen
- Mike watches "Nashville"
- Breitling's list includes the Come reunion
- Come reissue has live set that Brad had hosted on his blog
- Jay: Bowie's back
- New Marnie Stern album on the way
- To be continued
- Bonehead of the Week


Music:
The Spinto Band - Shake It Off

FIDLAR - Got No Money
King Tuff - Keep On Movin'
The Maccabees - Go


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

The Spinto Band song is on the album Cool Cocoon on Spintonic Recordings. Download it for free at Spintonic.
The FIDLAR song is on the EP Don't Try on Mom and Pop Music. Download the song for free at Chromewaves.
The King Tuff song is on his self-titled album on Sub Pop. Download the song for free from Sub Pop.
The Maccabees song is on the album Given to the Wild on Fiction. Download the song for free at Chromewaves.
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: Chairman of the Bored

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, February 3, 1984

WAAF Top 5 at Five
1. Jump - Van Halen
2. Sister Christian - Night Ranger
3. Leave It - Yes
4. Looks That Kill - Motley Crue
5. "Michael Jackson Pepsi Commercial" - WAAF

Got my report card today. I did better than I thought I would. Got an 83 for the term in Geometry, 88 for the semester. In College Lit I got 87, 82. All together I had an 87 average for the term and made honors again.

Other than that, it was a boring day.

Uh, later.

- The (bored) Barbarian

Saturday, February 4, 1984

Another boring day. So what else is new?

I went to my guitar lesson. [Instructor] told me that [girl I liked] asked if I had lessons with her. Hmm. She's asking about me. That's a good sign. I'm doing pretty good. I gotta get a guitar strap, though.

Speaking of things I have to get, I need a new wardrobe. I need some jeans, some shirts and anything else I can get my hands on.

After I came home, I watched the Bruins-Flyers game on TV. Boston won 8-5. Good game. The Leafs beat Detroit 6-3. Their first win in around 2 or 3 weeks!

Just a boring day. Tomorrow should be even worse.
   
- The (even more bored) Barbarian

Postscript: One thing about New Hampshire living that's becoming apparent in reading this diary, there sure wasn't a lot going on at times. I was getting all worked up over this girl I liked, which certainly wasn't the last time that would happen in my life. And on many of those occasions, things didn't turn out so well. 

 

Titus Andronicus Forever

There once was a time when I would never think to go see a band alone. It's fun to share in the immediacy and communal joy of a rock show with a friend or two. But when I started to miss shows because I couldn't find someone to go with me, I decided I'd just go by myself. I adopted this new policy way back in 1996 when I missed a Beck show. Sure, it's more enjoyable to see a band with friends, but it's not a must for me anymore.

Fast forward to last Sunday night. It was a cold, miserable evening that would have been nice to spend at home on the couch, but I made my way to Harvard Square and the Sinclair to see the mighty Titus Andronicus. The sold-out show was originally supposed to take place on November 30, but construction delays at the new venue pushed it back a few months.

The Palma Violets opened the show, replacing Ceremony from the original bill. I hadn't heard the UK-based band before, but I'd heard of them because I believe they'd been voted best live act by the readers of NME. The four-piece PV's were immediately impressive, reminding me of the Arctic Monkeys and Libertines in sound. It was classic Brit-rock, poppy and powerful, building into a ramshackle punk-inspired rumble. The band's first album is coming out here in a few weeks, and I'm definitely going to check it out.


While Titus was setting up, I noticed that even its roadies were nerds. Then the band came out and it turned out that it was actually the band members themselves who were setting up. The crowd was very young (it was all ages) and the front of the stage was pretty active with all the stage diving and the pogoing and such. Frontman Patrick Stickles (who no longer rocks the majestic beard he had the first time I saw these guys opening for Ted Leo a few years back) launched right into three songs off the band's latest album Local Business.

Titus' bar-ready singalongs were tailor-made for the live setting, and the increasingly inebriated crowd was into it. The three-guitar attack was bracing and immediate, and the 16-song set was loud and pile-driving. The band drew liberally from its three albums, closing with the 14-minute+ "The Battle of Hampton Roads." There was an initial disappointment when the houselights went on right after the band left the stage, signaling that there would be no encore. But when you consider how hard they rocked for 90 straight minutes, you really had to be satisfied with the excellence of the show. Titus is a band you shouldn't miss whenever they hit town.


Saturday, February 02, 2013

Through the Past Dorkily: Leave It

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, February 1, 1984

WAAF Top 5 at Five
1. Jump - Van Halen
2. The Heart of Rock 'n Roll - Huey Lewis and the News
3. Leave It - Yes
4. Sister Christian - Night Ranger
5. New Moon on Monday - Duran Duran

Weird day. We saw this dumb videotape on New Hampshire in NH Civics today. Then we painfully looked at the final in Geometry. And so the day went on. In French, I had my cheat notes under my notebook on my desk. [French teacher] wanted to look at my Deuxieme Livre and the notes fell out on my knee! I didn't even know where they were! Finally [classmate] told me where they were and I almost died on the spot! Stupid [teacher] didn't even notice! Man, talk about a close shave!

Prep for College sucks! We got tons of homework in there already!

Tomorrow we use first period to pick our subjects for next year.

- The Barbarian

Thursday, February 2, 1984

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

We picked our subjects today. I found out that I can't take Adv. Math in summer school because I didn't already have it. You can only make up subjects in summer school. So now I have to take Adv. Math next year. Also, there was a screw up with Type 1 and Keyboarding, so I just took Keyboarding and Media for another elective.

[Teacher] bitched at me again in NH Civics. [Another student] made a joke, I laughed and got yelled at. So who cares?

I stayed after school for a Junior Planning Committee meeting about the prom. We were trying to think of a theme song and narrowed it down to 5 songs. I still don't even know when the prom is! [Class president] walked out early because we were being noisy and rude. Big deal. Anyhoo, the meeting only lasted around 15 minutes and I had to wait for the friggin' late bus for 1.5 hours! I was talking to [cute girl I liked] for a while. Man, she's a babe! She has guitar lessons from [same instructor as me], too. She goes on Fridays. Wow.

Later.

- The Barbarian

Postscript: I was surprised to read that I had used cheat notes in French class there. Definitely don't remember doing that. Scandalous!

The math thing was a problem because of all the moving around we did my freshman year. At the high school I attended for three months in Canada, you only took subjects for a semester and I hadn't taken math yet before we moved. So when we got to Washington state, I got thrown in a remedial math class because I was too far behind in algebra. I never caught up and didn't have pre-calculus before going to college as a chemical engineering major; I was hopelessly lost in my calculus class freshman year at UNH. Just as well, I suppose.

I had also forgotten how big that Yes comeback album, 90215, was at this time. Back with Jon Anderson for the first time in a few years (but not Steve Howe), they had some big radio hits, including "Leave It." Nice video, guys. Yeesh.