Friday, March 29, 2013

Through the Past Dorkily: This Could Be the Right One

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.


Apologies for several days of slackery. Too much going on. But here's a mega-post of dorky goodness.


Tuesday, March 20, 1984

Song of the day: Trashed -  Black Sabbath


Top 5 at Five
1. Heaven - Bryan Adams
2. Jump - Van Halen
3. Against All Odds - Phil Collins
4. Runaway - Bon Jovi
5. Walking in My Sleep - Roger Daltrey

First day of spring. It sure didn't look like it today. It was miserable, just like yesterday. We had an assembly, which made us miss 2nd. Oh, drat! We saw this dumb Atari movie about computers, but at least I got out of Civics!

Got a Bi Sci test tomorrow. Got to get an A on it!

Dad stayed home because he was sick.

Till next we meet,

The Barbarian

Wednesday, March 21, 1984

Song of the day: Eminence Front - The Who

Top 5 at Five
1. Against All Odds - Phil Collins
2. Panama - Van Halen
3. Heaven - Bryan Adams
4. Rock You Like a Hurricane - Scorpions
5. Murder - David Gilmour

Another miserable day, weather-wise. I got a 95 on a Civics quiz from last week. That Bi Sci test was easy. I think I got an A. We got an Algebra quiz tomorrow. We can use our notebooks, but I know that stuff anyways.

Me and [cute girl I like] are getting along pretty good. Awesome!

[Buddy of mine] lent me "The Elfstones of Shannara." I started reading the minute I got home, and I stopped at page 325. There's 585 pages. Good book.

All day I've been saying (in my best Jewish accent) "What'd you do, GET FIRED?" (Billy Crystal said it on Sat. Night Live last week)

- The Barbarian

Thursday, March 22, 1984

Song of the day: Run Runaway - Slade

Top 5 at Five
1. Panama - Van Halen
2. All Lovers Are Deranged - David Gilmour
3. Against All Odds - Phil Collins
4. Runaway - Bon Jovi
5. Drive - The Cars

Well, at least the sun came out today. I got an A++ on the urinanalysis lab in Bi Sci. The Algebra quiz seemed easy. I hope I did good.

Like wow, man. [Cute girl I like] wore this awesome dress (that she made herself), and she looked absolutely HOT! Man! I just can't get her out of my head. Not that I really want to!

- The Barbarian

Friday, March 23, 1984

Song of the day: Space Truckin' - Deep Purple

Top 5 at Five
1. Rock You Like a Hurricane - Scorpions
2. Against All Odds - Phil Collins
3. Magic - The Cars
4. Heaven - Bryan Adams
5. Jump - Van Halen

It's Friday! I'm glad the weekend is here! I need the rest.

I got a 92 on my Geometry quiz, a 90 on my Bi Sci test, and an 88 on my Algebra quiz. Not bad, eh?

I was talking with [cute girl I like] again today! She's getting friendlier with me! I'm just captivated by her! She's great!

[Female classmate] told me that [schlubby dude] asked her to the prom. She said she started laughing on the phone! Apparently, he's already (unsuccessfully) asked 4 other girls! What a dork!

- The Barbarian

Saturday, March 24, 1984

Song of the day: This Could Be the Right One - April Wine

Alright day. After guitar lessons, I drove us straight to Salem (Daddy's Junky Music). I drove pretty good. Mom put a hi-hat on layaway for JP. I was looking for a guitar strap but they didn't have any good ones. They had this cool Flying V pin, but it cost $8! Geez!

Then we went to Methuen. I bought April Wine's new album, Animal Grace. It cranks! Plus I got two Rush pins, 2112 and the man-in-star one. I bought the new Guitar World mag. It has a good story on Rush.

We're going to that church in Plaistow tomorrow. Only thing is, service starts at 8 o'clock!

- The Barbarian

Sunday, March 25, 1984

Song of the day: Something for Nothing - Rush

We went to that church this morning. The service was only 45 minutes long! I couldn't believe it. There were only around 10 other people there. Mom says we'll go there from now on.  

We took the garbage to the dump and then I filled out my SAT form. I decided to pursue aerospace and aeronautical engineering. Not bad.

I ordered "Eddie Murphy - Comedian" on cassette from Columbia. I've still got three more to buy after that!

I watched "Alien" on TV. Scary stuff! Good movie.

- The Barbarian

Monday, March 26, 1984

Song of the day: Love Bites - Judas Priest
JUDAS PRIEST CONCERT TONITE! (which I did not attend)

Top 5 at Five
1. Against All Odds - Phil Collins
2. Some Heads Are Gonna Roll -  Judas Priest
3. Oh Sherri - Steve Perry
4. Heaven - Bryan Adams
5. Jump - Van Halen

I got on the bus this morning. Jeremy got on and told me that one of [his girlfriend's] friends wanted to meet me. Her name's [redacted] and she's a freshman. Jeremy said she's good looking. He said he'd try and bring a picture of her. He called me later and said that she would meet me tomorrow at his house! Like wow, man!

Man, I'm tellin' ya, [cute girl I like]'s gettin' friendlier every day! Today she even waited for me after Geometry to walk with her and in Algebra we worked together! Awesome!

Tomorrow should prove interesting.

- The Barbarian

Tuesday, March 27, 1984

Song of the day: Killer - Pat Travers

Like wow, man. [Jeremy's girlfriend's friend]'s a babe! She could pass for a sophomore at Sanborn. We got along pretty well. She's a good-looking chick! I like her!

We (juniors) had a class meeting during 5th period so I didn't get to talk to [cute girl I like] that much today. Drat!

The college-bound juniors have a meeting 2nd period on Thursday. I don't mind that one.

It seems [Jeremy's girlfriend's friend] is the one who used to go with [classmate] in 6th grade. She called him a scum at that dance (Timberlane) that Jeremy went to. She hates his guts now. Along with 30 million other people! Ha ha!

Well, I hope to see more of [Jeremy's girlfriend's friend] in the near future.

- The Barbarian

Wednesday, March 28, 1984

Song of the day: Hot Rails to Hell - Blue Oyster Cult

What a strange day. Bad news first. After coming home from school, I was reading Newsweek when Mom started screaming. Those two dogs that come by sometimes were attacking Caesar, who was tied out back. They were beating the hell out of him! He couldn't fight back and they were biting his ears, legs, balls, everything. I ran out and started hitting them with the least and sticks and kicking 'em but they wouldn't leg go. Bastards! Finally, Caesar got loose and ran up the stairs, and I got him in the house. He was cut all over, poor boy. We called a cop to get those 2 dogs, who it turns out, live next door. Caesar went to the vet and got some antibiotics. He'll be okay.

Now the good news. When I got to school, it seemed Jeremy told everyone about me and [Jeremy's girlfriend's friend]. Jeez. [A female classmate] was even askin' me about her! But I don't care. After school, Jeremy told me that she said I was cute and funny (as in comedian). He also said that she would be at his girlfriend's house Friday night and I was invited. I gladly accepted! Mom said I could go so everything is set! I can't wait! She's a babe!

-  The Barbarian

Thursday, March 29, 1984

Song of the day: Blackout - Scorpions

Top 5 at Five
1. Oh Sherri - Steve Perry
2. I'll Wait - Van Halen
3. Prime Time - Alan Parsons Project
4. Runaway - Bon Jovi
5. ?

This day sucked. School was closed because of the storm. When I got up, there was no snow. That quickly changed. It got real windy and started snowing like crazy. I played a few albums and was generally bored till Mom got home. She got stuck in the snow just before our driveway. A couple of guys with a tow truck helped us get into the driveway. Then around 5:30, the power went. Just like that. I got out my Walkman and listened to some tapes. We got candles and a Coleman lantern out. Dad made it home around 6 or so. We just sat around and waited for the power to come on. It didn't.

- The Barbarian

Postscript: Well, things were seemingly turning around for our young hero's romantic life. It's kind of the way things have always gone for me. When I stopped trying, suddenly things would happen. 
 
I had to laugh at the entry when I'm making fun of someone for being a dork. Pot, kettle, etc.

I picked "aerospace and aeronautical engineering" as a possible career. By the time I got to college, it was chemical engineering. And by the time I almost flunked out a few months later, it became journalism. And that worked out just fine.

That dog attack was pretty freaky. I got right out there in the shit and started wailing on those dogs, which were pit bulls. If they had decided to turn on me, I would've been in deep trouble. Apparently, they only went after other dogs. Things wouldn't end well for them.

 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Completely Conspicuous 271: The Best of the Rest

Part 3 of my conversation with guest Brian Salvatore as we wrap up the CompCon Awards. Listen to the episode below or download it directly (right click and "save as").

Show notes:
- Recorded via Skype
- Worst Album by Best Band
- Mid-'90s Van Halen was really bad
- George Harrison had some questionable releases in early '80s
- The Clash's Cut the Crap was like a parody of the band
- Best Album by Worst Band
- The Strokes: One-hit-album wonder?
- Jay: Give the band Live credit for somehow having a career
- Best Non-Guitar Solo
- Jay: Looked at instruments other than drums
- Plenty of great bass solos over the years
- Best Live Album
- Stones played faster on Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out
- J. Geils Band were an amazing live act
- Sore Thumb Award for song that doesn't fit on album it's on
- What's the deal with skits on hip-hop albums?
- Best Moustache in Rock
- Jeff "Skunk" Baxter had a classic 'stache
- Zappa was defined by his 'stache
- Bonehead of the Week

Music:
Magnolia Electric Co. - The Dark Don't Hide It

Dinosaur Jr. - Entertainment
Kurt Vile - Never Run Away
Dump - Superpowerless
Completely Conspicuous is available through the iTunes podcast directory. Subscribe and write a review!
The Magnolia Electric Co. song is on the album What Comes After the Blues on Secretly Canadian. Download it for free at Chromewaves.
The Dinosaur Jr. song is a cover of a Phoenix track and is available for free download at Chromewaves.
The Kurt Vile song is on the album Walkin' on a Pretty Daze on Matador Records. Download the song for free at Matador.
The Dump song is on reissue of the album Superpowerless on Morr Music. 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.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Play It All Night Long

Some bands just know how to rock, no matter how many lineups they trot out on stage over the years. The Drive-By Truckers are one of those bands, and their recent show at the Paradise (yeah, this review is 10 days late) was proof positive that the live rock experience still exists in its purest form.

In its 17-year career, DBT has had several different incarnations, but the common denominators through all of it are frontmen Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley. Most recently, bassist Shonna Tucker and guitarist John Neff left the band; Matt Patton of the Dexateens took over on bass and DBT is now touring as a five-piece; Brad Morgan on drums and Jay Gonzalez on guitars and keyboards are the other holdovers. The Whigs were the opening act and I'm sorry to say I missed all but two songs of their set, but they were excellent (and much hairier than the last time I saw them three or four years ago) as usual.


The fact that the usually prolific DBT had no new album to flog and no other songwriters in the band meant that Hood and Cooley essentially traded off songs throughout the two-hour-plus set. "Southern rock" is the descriptor I tend to use with DBT, but they pretty much cover a wide swath of styles: rock, country, a little soul, hard rock. The band liberally dug out songs from throughout its career, including the terrific "The Night G.G. Allin Came to Town" from 1999's Pizza Deliverance, as well as a raucous cover of Warren Zevon's "Play It All Night Long" (from the odds and sods collection The Fine Print) and "Hell No I Ain't Happy" from 2003's Decoration Day (along with several others). But the band closed out the encore with four barnburners from the beloved 2001 double album Southern Rock Opera, including "Zip City," "Let There Be Rock," "Shut Up and Get on the Plane" and "Angels and Fuselage," which ends with the band members walking offstage one at a time until just drummer Morgan is left playing.

On guitar, Hood and Cooley were in fine form, each taking solos on the other's songs, but Gonzalez also proved his mettle by providing ripping solos on several songs in addition to pedal steel and keyboards. New bassist Patton resembled a slightly older Opie Taylor as he bobbed his head grinning throughout the show. Hood and Cooley definitely seemed to be having fun, perhaps because some much of the interpersonal drama is gone from the band now. Whatever the case, DBT held nothing back, rocking the packed club and leaving us wanting more even as we stood there exhausted.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Against the '70s

Spring has sprung, sort of, and what better way to celebrate than with another musical list. This time around, Popblerd's counting down the top 100 albums of the 1970s. As with the others (we did an '80s list and a '90s list), it was tough whittling down my personal top 100. We had 19 people weighing in on this one, so there's a good diversity of opinions. The countdown is underway at Popblerd; today, it moved into the 30s.

Topping my personal top 100 of the '70s is Led Zeppelin IV. Kind of an obvious choice, I guess, but for me it's about as close to a perfect rock album as you're going to get. Ironically, I've heard pretty much every song on it so damn much that I don't break it out anymore, especially the likes of "Stairway to Heaven," "Rock and Roll" and "Black Dog." However, I still love hearing "When the Levee Breaks," with that iconic Bonham drum pattern and swampy blues sound. There are other Zeppelin albums I prefer, but this one's the best.

The rest of my list:

2. The Who - Who's Next
3. Rolling Stones - Exile on Main Street
4. The Clash - London Calling
5. Led Zeppelin - Physical Graffiti
6. David Bowie - The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust
7. Neil Young - Tonight's the Night
8. Iggy and the Stooges - Raw Power
9. Black Sabbath - s/t
10. Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon
11. The Who - Quadrophenia
12. Rolling Stones - Sticky Fingers
13. Van Halen - I
14. The Kinks - Muswell Hillbillies
15. Marvin Gaye - What's Going On
16. Ramones - s/t
17. David Bowie - Aladdin Sane
18. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band - The Wild, the Innocent and the E-Street Shuffle
19. Elvis Costello - My Aim is True
20. Led Zeppelin - Houses of the Holy
21. Neil Young and Crazy Horse - Rust Never Sleeps
22. The Clash - Give 'em Enough Rope
23. Sex Pistols - Never Mind the Bollocks
24. Black Sabbath - Paranoid
25. Beatles - Let It Be
26. Pink Floyd - The Wall
27. Talking Heads - Fear of Music
28. Fleetwood Mac - Rumours
29. Aerosmith - Toys in the Attic
30. AC/DC - Let There Be Rock
31. Queen - A Night at the Opera
32. Buzzcocks - Singles Going Steady
33. Big Star - #1 Recoprd
34. Elvis Costello - This Year's Model
35. Peter Gabriel - 2
36. The Stooges - Fun House
37. The Jam - All Mod Cons
38. Rush - 2112
39. Steely Dan - Aja
40. Cheap Trick - s/t
41. Led Zeppelin - III
42. The Who - Live at Leeds
43. David Bowie - Hunky Dory
44. Van Halen - II
45. Funkadelic - Maggot Brain
46. Television - Marquee Moon
47. Joe Jackson - I'm the Man
48. The Kinks - Lola
49. Deep Purple - Machine Head
50. Devo - Are We Not Men?
51. Rolling Stones - Some Girls
52. Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here
53. The Clash - s/t
54. Talking Heads - More Songs About Buildings and Food
55. Queen - News of the World
56. The Cars - s/t
57. Neil Young - After the Gold Rush
58. Big Star - Radio City
59. John Lennon - Mind Games
60. Stevie Wonder - Songs in the Key of Life
61. Joe Jackson - Look Sharp!
62. New York Dolls - s/t
63. AC/DC - TNT
64. Iggy Pop - Lust for Life
65. The Faces - A Nod is as Good as a Wink to a Blind Horse
66. Gang of Four - Entertainment
67. David Bowie - Lodger
68. Jimi Hendrix - Band of Gypsys
69. Aerosmith - Rocks
70. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Damn the Torpedoes
71. Supertramp - Breakfast in America
72. Allman Brothers Band - Eat a Peach
73. Ramones - Leave Home
74. XTC - Drums and Wires
75. The Modern Lovers - s/t
76. Wire - Pink Flag
77. Cheap Trick - At Budokan
78. Rush - A Farewell to Kings
79. Blondie - Parallel Lines
80. Peter Gabriel - 1
81. Sly and the Family Stone - There's a Riot Goin' On
82. Saturday Night Live soundtrack
83. The Police - Regatta de Blanc
84. Black Sabbath - Master of Reality
85. Nick Lowe - Labour of Lust
86. Max Webster - High Class in Borrowed Shoes
87. Wings - Band on the Run
88. Cheap Trick - In Color
89. Elvis Costello - Armed Forces
90. Roxy Music - Siren
91. Michael Jackson - Off the Wall
92. Alice Cooper - Billion Dollar Babies
93. KISS - Destroyer
94. Derek and the Dominoes - Layla and Other Love Songs
95. The Cars - Candy-O
96. The Police - Outlandos D'Amour
97. Thin Lizzy - Black Rose
98. Led Zeppelin - Presence
99. Big Star - Third/Sister Lovers
100. The Who - By Numbers

Plenty of great albums didn't make the cut. I could easily list another 100.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Through the Past Dorkily: Some Like It Hot

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, March 15, 1984

Song of the day: Little Guitars - Van Halen

Top 5 at Five
1. Jump - Van Halen
2. The Reflex - Duran Duran
3. Against All  Odds - Phil Collins
4. In the Beginning/Shout at the Devil - Motley Crue
5. Drive - The Cars

Not a good. Just a day. I had a credit check first period. After this year, I'll have 19 credits! You need 20 to graduate! Yaah!

I got an A on that Civics report. Took the Algebra test and I either did real good or real bad. I'm hoping it's real good!

Jeremy's on cloud nine. He's telling everyone about [girlfriend] and showing 'em her picture. That dude is gone!

Later.

- The Barbarian  

Friday, March 16, 1984

Song of the day: Everybody Wants Some! - Van Halen

Top 5 at Five
1. Jump - Van Halen
2. Against All Odds - Phil Collins
3. Runaway - Bon Jovi
4. Rock You Like a Hurricane - The Scorpions
5. Magic - The Cars

Well, the day started off great. I got off the bus this morning and promptly fell on my ass! I slipped on a patch of ice and scraped my hand up. I hadda get a bandage from the nurse.

We had a Civics quiz and I only got 1 wrong. We got a new girl in our Geometry class. Her name's [redacted] and she's a wicked short sophomore. I got a 90 on that Algebra test! Actually I got 80 but she scaled it up 10 points.

I lost my "Piece of Mind" pin! Shit! I still think [a buddy] stole it in Bi-Sci, but he denied it! I hope it turns up on Monday. Dang it!



I also lost my allowance for 3 weeks! We were all watching TV and Dad, Mom and the Jerk were on the couch. I said, "3 fatsos on the couch" and Dad got pissed. I took me an hour to get my foot out of my mouth.

STRANGE DEPT.: [Female friend] told me this morning that I should ask [another girl] to the prom. Seriously, she said. Right.

- The Barbarian

Monday, March 19, 1984

Song of the day: Some Like It Hot - Coney Hatch

Top 5 at Five
1. Against All Odds - Phil Collins
2. Panama - Van Halen
3. Rock You Like a Hurricane - The Scorpions
4. The Runner - Manfred Mann
5. When the Lady Smiles - Golden Earring

Not a totally bad day. The weather was miserable, but hey. I slept through Civics because she was talking about Youth in Gov. all period. In Geometry, [teacher] yelled at me for being a wiseass. He usually doesn't; something musta been buggin' him today. Who cares!

In Algebra, I was talking to [cute girl I like] a lot (hubba hubba). Man! She's great!

[Different teacher] wasn't here today. Yaah!

When I got home, the plumbers were still working. After they left, they forgot to turn the hot water back on. Dorks!

Later.

- The Barbarian

Postscript: More winter drudgery. Not too different than the current winter drudgery we're going through. 

I remember losing that Piece of Mind pin. I ended up losing a couple of pins. Wonder if they were lost or stolen...not that I ever saw anybody else wearing them. 

Too funny about losing my allowance. I don't remember that at all. I don't doubt that I said it...although I was usually pretty careful about insulting my dad. His sense of humor was inconsistent, to say the least. I think my allowance was something like $5 a week, so it wasn't a huge loss. Although I didn't have any other revenue streams, so maybe it was.

Coney Hatch was a Canadian hard rock act I got into a few years earlier when I was living in Washington state and found their debut album, which was produced by Max Webster's Kim Mitchell. Just serviceable hard rock that I dug, although bassist Andy Curran had an interesting voice and wrote songs that were at least a little different, like the one below. The band's first two albums were decent, but after that, they tried to become Foreigner and bored me. They split up in the mid-80s and Curran went on to make a solo album or two.

 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Completely Conspicuous 270: A Small Victory

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Brian Salvatore as we continue handing out the CompCon Awards. Listen to the episode below or download it directly (right click and "save as").

Show notes:
- Recorded via Skype
- Best Concept Album
- Brian: Not a fan of concept albums
- Jay: Afghan Whigs' Black Love is an underrated classic
- Townshend's book is a good read
- Best Album That Deviates From Band's Sound
- Brian: Prefers later Pavement to earlier stuff
- Tin Machine was welcome change after substandard Bowie albums
- Praising (or not hating) R.E.M.'s Monster
- Paul's Boutique was a masterpiece of sampling
- Best Song by Band Member Who Wasn't Main Songwriter
- Brian: George Harrison rules
- Best Rhythm Guitarist
- Post classic rock era, line between rhythm and lead has blurred
- Lee Ving and Dave Mustaine teamed up
- Bill Ward: Sabbath should give the drummer some
- Best Album Packaging
- Vinyl was the heyday of great packaging
- Zep's In Through the Out Door had several covers
- Music listening experience is less immersive now
- To be continued
- Bonehead of the Week


Music:
Wire - Love Bends

Mikal Cronin - Shout It Out
Parquet Courts - Stoned and Starving
Ten Kens - When a Door Opens

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

The Wire song is on the album Change Becomes Us on Pink Flag Records. Download it for free at Stereogum.
The Mikal Cronin song is on the album MCII on Merge Records. Download the song for free at NPR.
The Parquet Courts song is on the album Light Up Gold on Dull Tools/What's Your Rupture. Download the song for free at NPR.
The Ten Kens song is on the album Namesake on Fat Cat Records. Download the song for free at NPR.
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.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Through the Past Dorkily: Top of the Rock

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, March 10, 1984

Song of the day: You Can't Kill Rock 'n Roll - Ozzy Osbourne

Good deal. Today before I went to the party, I was phoning WHEB's T-shirt Trivia. I almost won, but not quite.

The party was pretty good. Jeremy's uncle was pretty wild. He drives like a friggin' lunatic! Me, Jeremy, [a buddy], [his cousin and her friends were there]. [Her friend] is built! Wow! Their hot tub was awesome! It was 102 degrees, but it felt alright. We had Chinese food just before we left. Me and [buddy] both left at 11, Jeremy's uncle drove us home.

Later, man.

- The (Hot Tub) Barbarian

Sunday, March 11, 1984

Song of the day: Top of the Rock - HSAS

Pretty boring day. I drove Mom to the dump and back, did my homework, and vegged for the the rest of the day.

Heard the new song from Neal Schon and Sammy Hagar. Kicks butt!

- The Barbarian

Monday, March 12, 1984

Song of the day: Heartbreaker - Led Zeppelin

Top 5 at Five
1. In the Beginning/Shout at the Devil - Motley Crue
2. Panama - Van Halen
3. Against All Odds - Phil Collins
4. Rock You Like a Hurricane - The Scorpions
5. Runaway - Bon Jovi

I got moved again in Civics. Hosebag moved me to the front of the room (right in front of her!). Tomorrow I'm gonna sit in my old seat and see if she kicks me out.

I got a 75 on that Geometry test. I took the Algebra re-quiz, I think I should get something in the 80s. We get a chapter test in there tomorrow!

Remember that girl from Jeremy's party? Well, he says he might be going with her now. Last I talked to him (6:30 p.m.), he was waiting for her to call him with an answer. Hmm.

- The Barbarian

Tuesday, March 13, 1984

[CUTE GIRL I LIKE]'S BIRTHDAY
 
Song of the day: Lay It On the Line - Triumph

Top 5 at Five
1. Jump - Van Halen
2. In the Beginning/Shout at the Devil - Motley Crue
3. Runaway - Bon Jovi
4. Footloose - Kenny Loggins
5. Murder - David Gilmour

Yeah, you read it right! Today is [cute girl I like]'s birthday (she's 16). I wished her a happy birthday and told her I would've given her a card if I knew about it. Happy birthday, babe.

Shoot! Jeremy's already going with [girl he likes], and he said he's gonna give her his class ring today! Man, that dude moves fast!

It's been snowing since 8 this morning and it's still going! I hope it stops so I can go to school tomorrow!

It's almost midnight so I better get to sleep! Pronto!

Hey, [cute girl I like], you're awesome!

- The (birthday) Barbarian

Wednesday, March 14, 1984

Song of the day: Where Eagles Dare - Iron Maiden

Top 5 at Five
1. Jump - Van Halen
2. Against All Odds - Phil Collins
3. New Moon on Monday - Duran Duran
4. Runaway - Bon Jovi
5. Rock You Like a Hurricane - The Scorpions

We got almost 2 feet of snow! Needless to say, school was cancelled today. After shoveling out the walkway at 9 a.m., I took an hour nap, and then started reading The Sword of Shannara, which I started on Sunday. I read up to page 680. Other than that I busted the lock on the back screen door and that was it.

Later,

The Barbarian

Postscript: Guess that girl I thought I was over wasn't totally out of my system. At least not yet, anyway. At least I wasn't making a complete fool of myself anymore.

Man, it's amazing how fast you can read without distractions. 680 pages in a couple of days? Damn. Now I struggle to read 50 pages in a week.

As for The Sword of Shannara, I was big into the fantasy stuff back then. I had already read all the Lord of the Rings stuff and this was along those same lines. You know, elves and dwarves and swords and shit. Between those books and comics, I was definitely into alternate realities.

Hagar Schon Aaronson and Shrieve. Jesus:

 

 
  

Monday, March 11, 2013

Completely Conspicuous 269: Eyes on the Prize

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Brian Salvatore as we present the first edition of the CompCon Awards. Listen to the episode below or download it directly (right click and "save as").



Show notes:
- Recorded via Skype while the Oscars telecast was on
- Jay: Picking top albums of the 1970s was tough
- The CompCon Awards are an alternative to the Grammys looking at different categories
- First category: Best Band Name
- Brian saw Trail of Dead back in the day
- Best Sophomore Album
- Bands like The Strokes have struggled to follow up strong debut
- Nirvana's success both killed and launched a lot of terrible bands
- Dave Grohl backlash
- Pondering Weezer's decline
- Graham Maby rules
- Best Side 1
- Harking back to the heyday of vinyl
- First Van Halen album had killer side 1 and 2
- Bowie had an incredible run of albums in the '70s
- Best Side 2
- Other outstanding album sides
- The Chili Peppers haven't aged well
- To be continued
- Bonehead of the Week


Music:
Mudhoney - I Like It Small

Frightened Rabbit - State Hospital
Marnie Stern - Year of the Glad
Telekinesis - Ghosts and Creatures

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

The Mudhoney song is on the album Vanishing Point on Sub Pop. Download it for free from Sub Pop.
The Frightened Rabbit song is on the album Pedestrian Verse on Atlantic Records. Download the song for free at NPR.
The Marnie Stern song is on the album Chronicles of Marnia on Kill Rock Stars. Download the song for free at NPR.
The Telekinesis song is on the album Dormarion on Merge Records. Download the song for free at NPR.
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.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Through the Past Dorkily: Party On

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, March 6, 1984

Song of the day: Tom Sawyer - Rush

Top 5 at Five
1. I'll Wait - Van Halen
2. Heaven - Bryan Adams
3. Rock You Like a Hurricane - Scorpions
4. Eat It - Weird Al
5. In the Beginning/Shout at the Devil - Motley Crue

Today was alright, I guess. I was sitting in [cute girl's] desk  in Civics and alluva sudden [teacher] starts yelling and moves me to the front. I wasn't even talking! What a hosebag!

Not much else happened today that I can think of. I was talking to [cute girl I asked to prom] again. For a while there, it seemed like she wasn't talking to me but I think I just overreacted as usual. Man, she's nice!

I talked to Mom on the phone and she said I could go to the party. I hope Jeremy can talk [cute girls] into going!

Later.

- The Barbarian

Wednesday, March 7, 1984

Song of the day: Heading Out to the Highway - Judas Priest

Top 5 at Five
1. All Lovers are Deranged - David Gilmour
2. Jump - Van Halen
3. Eat It - Weird Al
4. Walking in My Sleep - Roger Daltrey  
5. Heaven - Bryan Adams

So-so day. [Teacher] bitched at me for no reason again. She'd better cut it out before I say something I might regret later! I think I bombed my Alg II quiz today (at least the last part, anyways). Got a Geometry quiz tomorrow.

Mom started asking me about the party on Saturday. She looked surprised when I told her there would be girls there. I told her that just his cousin would be there, not anyone from school. Then she warned me of the dangers of getting herpes and AIDS! Right. Come on, Mom, get real!

- The Barbarian

Thursday, March 8, 1984

Song of the day: Highway Star - Deep Purple

Top 5 at Five
1. Hot for Teacher - Van Halen
2. Heaven - Bryan Adams
3. Footloose - Kenny Loggins
4. In the Beginning/Shout at the Devil - Motley Crue
5. 68 Guns - The Alarm

Didn't take that Geometry test today because [teacher] wasted too much time. He got some chalk on his nose and we were ragging on my wicked bad! I kept sniffling real loud, and I kept on getting Kleenex! It was a riot!

Mom passed out this morning while on the toilet (no lie!). As a result, she stayed home and was pretty wiped out. We still don't know what's wrong with her!

Jeremy told me that Fotomat screwed up his film that he sent to be developed! All those pictures gone! I'm wicked pissed!

They say we're gonna get a heap 'a snow tonight. I hope we don't get much. I hope school doesn't get cancelled! I'd die of boredom here at home!

- The Barbarian

Friday, March 9, 1984

Song of the day: Freewill - Rush

Top 5 at Five
1. In the Beginning/Shout at the Devil - Motley Crue
2. Panama - Van Halen
3. Heaven - Bryan Adams
4. Rock You Like a Hurricane - Scorpions
5. Runaway - Bon Jovi

Hmm. All we got was 1 inch of snow so school was on today. However, it was colder than shit, too! I froze my buns off! Brr!

[Girl's] mom was guest speaker in Civics today. She was talking about Women's Week. Big deal. We finally took that Geometry test. I think I did good.

After school I went with Mom to PGA and I saw [classmate] (who works there) and [another classmate].

I can't wait till tomorrow night.

- The Barbarian

 Postscript: Excitement was building throughout this week for my buddy's party. I didn't get to go to many social events outside of school, so this was huge for me. I was talking to some high school buddies of mine last year and they were talking about the massive amount of partying they did. I had no clue. You can see how overprotective my mom was. It was like living in a bubble at times. Although I suppose my liver thanks her for that today. Still, I made up for lost time when I got to college.

Historically, I never had problems with behavior in school until I got to New Hampshire. Then I started amping up the wiseass factor in class to impress the other kids. So even though some teachers are portrayed here as hassling me for no reason, I'm sure I was being a total pain in the ass. 

Funny, when this Alarm song first hit the radio, it reminded me of a more radical U2, especially with the crazy hair. Turns out they weren't very radical at all, but I still dug the hell out of this song.

 

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Through the Past Dorkily: All Lovers Are Deranged

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, March 1, 1984

ROGER DALTREY'S BIRTHDAY

Song of the day: Free Me - Roger Daltrey

Top 5 at Five
1. I'll Wait - Van Halen
2. Eat It - Weird Al
3. All Lovers Are Deranged - David Gilmour
4. Heaven - Bryan Adams
5. In the Beginning/Shout at the Devil - Motley Crue

Not much doing today. Mom and JP went to the Methuen Mall with some friends today but I stayed home. I re-taped "Blizzard of Ozz" by Ozzy and "Number of the Beast" by Maiden. The Maiden one went okay, but the Ozzy one got all screwed up. I still don't know what happened!

Mom bought me a jacket. It's beige. I don't know, Ma...

I was watching Live on 4 and Joe Piscopo was on. He said he probably would not be back on SNL next year. Plus last week was Eddie Murphy's last show! Bummer!

I saw a commercial for a new movie, Splash. It's got John Candy and Eugene Levy in it. And it's PG. I gotta see it!

Jeremy called and said he could take me to Methuen tomorrow. Good deal.

- The (bored) Barbarian

Friday, March 2, 1984

Song of the day: Two Hearts Beat as One - U2

Top 5 at Five
1. Heaven - Bryan Adams
2. I'll Wait - Van Halen
3. In the Beginning/Shout at the Devil - Motley Crue
4. Leave It - Yes
5. Tear It Up - Queen

Went to Methuen today. Before going to the mall, Jeremy's mom stopped at the junkyard. I met Jeremy's cousin. Not a bad looking chick (she's 15). She said she might have a jacuzzi party next week, and Jeremy said he'd invite me [and cute girls from school], among others. Can't wait!

At the mall, I bought "Shout at the Devil" by the Crue and two magazines. When I got home, I found that I got a postcard from [aforementioned cute girls, who were in Florida for the week]. Wow, man. Plus I got the new Guitar magazine. Then I went and got a haircut. Sandy, my hairdresser, wasn't there so someone else did my hair. Did a good job, too.

I'm thinking of going skating tomorrow. It's wicked cold out there!

- The Barbarian

Saturday, March 3, 1984

Song of the day: When the Lady Smiles - Golden Earring

Didn't do too much today. Just went to the dump, and then the Carriage Towne Plaza, where I saw the luscious [girl from school]. Then I came home and went skating on the pond for a couple of hours. I listened to my new Motley album. That's it, man.

- The Barbarian

Sunday, March 4, 1984

Song of the day: Hot for Teacher - Van Halen

Today I reached new heights in boredom. The only thing I did all day watch the Bruins-Whalers game on TV. Hartford won 6-4.

Hopefully tomorrow won't be boring.

- The Barbarian

Monday, March 5, 1984

Song of the day: Run Like Hell - Pink Floyd

Top 5 at Five
1. Heaven - Bryan Adams
2. Jump - Van Halen
3. Eat It - Weird Al
4. In the Beginning/Shout at the Devil - Motley Crue
5. Against All Odds - Phil Collins

Just yer typical Monday. Wore that blasted beige jacket and I got ragged on by [a couple of buddies of mine]. Stupid homos. You can bet I'm never wearing it again!

I went for my detention in Bi Sci after school. [Teacher] let me go after 10 minutes. I looked out the window and saw the bus leaving! Then I had to wait 2 hours for the damn late bus. To make things worse, the bus got re-routed because of an accident and I got home at 5. 

Jeremy invited me to his jacuzzi party on Saturday. [Another buddy] is going, too. [Cute girl] isn't going because she has a cheering tournament or something. Damn!

Dad phoned at 5:30 and said he'd be working late. Well, it's 11 right now, and he still isn't home! Mom's working evenings. I'm gonna call his work number. Seeya later.

I called Dad. He was still working and came home at midnite.

- The Barbarian

Postscript: Had to laugh at the beige jacket debacle. That's why you shouldn't let your mom buy you clothes when you're in high school, kids. Not to mention the fact that it was a Members Only-type of jacket, whereas I usually wore a scruffy ski vest. 

I was still in the nascent stages of my home taping, not having discovered the joy of a real tape deck and Dolby sound. You can read about the gazillion mix tapes I made in later years with my Mixology series of posts, which started here. My recording technique in 1984 basically involved putting a boombox in front of my speakers. I bought everything on vinyl at this point, anyway. 

Watched Splash again a few months ago and it still holds up for the most part. I was a huge SCTV fan from my days living in Toronto, so Candy and Levy were the big draws, but I also knew young Tom Hanks from his early '80s sitcom Bosom Buddies, which I enjoyed. I was also a major SNL fan and of course had a big appreciation for the talent of Eddie Murphy (and yes, Joe Piscopo).

David Gilmour's solo album, About Face, came out around this time and even though it's fairly forgotten now, it was pretty good. I particularly enjoyed the first single on rock radio:

    

Monday, March 04, 2013

Completely Conspicuous 268: Takin' It to the Streets

Part 2 of my conversation with guests Ric Dube and Jay Breitling 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; check out the 50th episode of MLT (with cameos from Mr. Breitling and myself)
- Inspired by MST3K and Rifftrax, we're commenting while watching video
- Watch the episode along with us at the CompCon YouTube channel
- Breitling joins the fray
- Haywood Nelson was the inspiration for indie rock band Haywood
- JB: The satin jacket died with Rainbow's "All Night Long" video (featuring Graham Bonnet on vocals, not Joe Lynn Turner)
- Enter Big Al Dunbar
- Rerun wore his pants old-man high
- The original discomfort comedy
- Were the Doobies big anti-bootleg advocates?
- Jeff "Skunk" Baxter is a defense industry consultant now
- Baxter's wearing a Warner Bros. jersey
- Rocking out while seated
- Flaming gongs kick ass
- Dee's tripping
- "Pluggin' in the USB"
- Rerun drops tape recorder, feels shame
- The Doobies intimidate Big Al and henchman
- Bonehead of the Week


Music:
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Let the Day Begin

Patrick Stickles - Hey Tonight
Me & Stupid - Receiver

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

The Black Rebel Motorcycle Club song is on the EP Let the Day Begin. Download it for free (in exchange for your email address) at the band's website.
The Patrick Stickles song is a cover of a Free Energy song and available for free download at Stereogum.
The Me & Stupid song is on the album In a Cabin with Me & Stupid. Download the album for free at the Me & Stupid website.
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.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Through the Past Dorkily: Eat 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.

Saturday, February 25, 1984

Song of the day: She's So Cold - The Rolling Stones

I was rudely awakened at 11:30 by Mom. That started the day off on the wrong foot. It was nice out, in the 60s and sunny. But I was inside cleaning the house all day. We had JP's friends, their parents and [friend of my dad's] over for dinner.

Ozzy was on Solid Gold, doing "Bark at the Moon." Then I watched Sharky's Machine. Good movie. I watched Saturday Night Live while wiping the dishes. Edwin Newman was the host. He's pretty cool.

I heard that there might be a snowstorm on Wednesday. I sure hope not!

- The (weary) Barbarian

Sunday, February 26, 1984

Song of the day: Top Jimmy - Van Halen

Drove to the dump and then practiced parking at the plaza. I didn't do too good, so I practiced some more at home. I should do okay at the test, but I heard that there could be a foot of snow by Wednesday!

That's about all I did today. Oh yeah, I moved my TV and stereo around. Now the stereo is on my dresser with the speakers on each side. The TV is on the desk that the stereo used to be on. Looks pretty decent.

I'm listening to the King Biscuit Flower Hour. They've got Dokken and Girlschool live. Good stuff.

- The Barbarian

Monday, February 27, 1984

Song of the day: Shout at the Devil - Motley Crue

Top 5 at Five
1. Runner - Manfred Mann
2. Looks That Kill - Motley Crue
3. Heaven - Bryan Adams
4. Sister Christian - Night Ranger
5. You Might Think - The Cars

BORING!

Caesar woke me up at 7:30. The stupid mutt kept on whining! Then I just did some homework while listening to "Defenders of the Faith" by Judas Priest and Zep's "Physical Graffiti."

Talked to Jeremy on the phone. He said he's going to Methuen Mall on Friday and wanted to know if I'd go with him. I said sure.

It doesn't look good, weather-wise, for Wednesday!

- The Barbarian

Tuesday, February 28, 1984

Song of the day: Balls to the Wall - Accept


Top 5 at Five
1. Heaven - Bryan Adams
2. Sister Christian - Night Ranger
3. Footloose - Kenny Loggins
4. In the Beginning/Shout at the Devil - Motley Crue
5. Eat It - Weird Al Yankovic

Not much happened today. I listened to "Blackout" by the Scorps, "Exit Stage Left" by Rush and "Power and the Glory" by Saxon.


That loser Michael Jackson won something like 8 Grammys tonight. That sucks!

- The Barbarian

Wednesday, February 29, 1984 (LEAP YEAR, Y'KNOW)

Song of the day: Hammer to Fall - Queen

Top 5 at Five
1. In the Beginning/Shout at the Devil - Motley Crue
2. I'll Wait - Van Halen
3. Eat It - Weird Al
4. Heaven - Bryan Adams
5. I Want a New Drug - Huey Lewis and the News

I GOT IT! I finally got my driver's license! Thankfully, the weather was alright. The guy only took me for 10 minutes! All I did was drive down the road, turn a lot and came back! That's it!

Watch out, pedestrians!

- The Barbarian is comin'! YAHOO!!

Postscript: I still remember that driver's test well. About as easy as I could have hoped for. And weirdly on February 29. 

Vacations were pretty much non-events at this time.