Saturday, September 28, 2013

Stuck In Thee Garage #3: September 27, 2013

The third episode of Stuck In Thee Garage rocked like a hurricane last night. The theme in hour 2 was great songs from artists' third albums. By the end of the show, you might have ended up frothing at the mouth like this dude:

And now, here's the playlist:

Hour 1

Artist - Song/Album
Mean Creek - Cool Town/Local Losers
Los Campesinos! - What Death Leaves Behind/No Blues
Diarrhea Planet - Separations/I'm Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams
Shearwater - I Luv the Valley OH!/Fellow Travelers
Savages - She Will/Silence Yourself
Marnie Stern - This Is It/Adult Swim Singles Program 2013
Sebadoh - State of Mine/Defend Yourself
Superchunk - Breaking Down/I Hate Music
Queens of the Stone Age - If I Had a Tail/...Like Clockwork
Barrence Whitfield and the Savages - Turn Your Damper Down/Dig Thy Savage Soul
King Khan and the Shrines - Born to Die/Idle No More
Thee Oh Sees - Toe Cutter Thumb Buster/Floating Coffin
Pile - Prom Song/dripping
Mudhoney - I Like It Small/Vanishing Point
Iggy Pop and the Zig Zags - If I'm In Luck I Might Get Picked Up/Light in the Attic 10-Year Anniversary single
David Bowie - The Stars (Are Out Tonight)/The Next Day

Hour 2: Songs from third albums
At the Drive-In - One-Armed Scissor/Relationship of Command
...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead - Another Morning Stoner/Source Tags and Codes
Spoon - Everything Hits at Once/Girls Can Tell
The Clash - Spanish Bombs/London Calling
Husker Du - Never Talking to You Again/Zen Arcade
The Replacements - Unsatisfied/Let It Be
Pixies - Debaser/Doolittle
Blur - Parklife/Parklife
Radiohead - Electioneering/OK Computer
Sleater-Kinney - Dig Me Out/Dig Me Out
Neil Young - Only Love Can Break Your Heart/After the Gold Rush
Led Zeppelin - Friends/Led Zeppelin III
Black Sabbath - Sweet Leaf/Master of Reality
Elvis Costello and the Attractions - Goon Squad/Armed Forces
The Smiths - Bigmouth Strikes Again/The Queen is Dead
Peter Gabriel - I Don't Remember/Peter Gabriel (Melt)
The Police - When the World is Running Down, You Make the Best of What's Still Around/Zenyatta Mondatta


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Completely Conspicuous 296: These Important Years

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Brian Salvatore as we look back at the music of 1987. Listen to the episode below or download it directly (right click and "save as").

Show notes:
- Recorded via Skype
- Brian: Birth of the cassingle
- Inexpensive way to buy singles, B-sides
- Brian: Collecting 45s for a jukebox
- Jay: 1987 was big for female pop artists
- Madonna, Bangles, Belinda Carlisle, Lisa Lisa, Heart
- Older songs like "Stand By Me" were re-released
- Young Brian bought his first album in '87: The Monkees' Greatest Hits
- New Monkees TV show came and went
- Jay: Made two top 5 album lists, Then and Now
- Jay: Then list (#5 to #1): Def Leppard's Hysteria, INXS's Kick, Cult's Electric, Whitesnake's s/t and U2's Joshua Tree
- Whitesnake was the hard rock version of Ringo Starr's All Starr Band
- Brian's #5: George Harrison's Cloud Nine, despite Jeff Lynne's heavy handed production
- Jay's #5: Husker Du's Warehouse, not their best but still pretty great
- Incredible run of albums over a short period
- Brian's #4: Prince's Sign o' the Times, maybe his last great album
- Jay's #4: Replacements' Pleased to Meet Me; Westerberg's focuses on songwriting and less on aggression
- Brian's #4: Tom Waits' Franks Wild Years; did Izzy Stradlin play on this album?
- To be continued
- Bonehead of the Week

Okkervil River - Stay Young
Beachwood Sparks - Make It Together
Midlake - Antiphon

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

The Okkervil River song is on the album The Silver Gymnasium on ATO Records. Download the song for free (in exchange for your email address) on Goodbye Summer: ATO Records 2013 Fall Sampler at
The Beachwood Sparks song is on the album Desert Skies on Alive Naturalsounds Records. Download the song for free at Soundcloud.
The Midlake song is on the album Antiphon on ATO Records. Download the song for free (in exchange for your email address) on Goodbye Summer: ATO Records 2013 Fall Sampler at

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, September 22, 2013

My Life is Right

I turned 46 yesterday. It was a busy day of activities. Ran some errands. Coached the first half of Hannah's soccer game before booking it over to Wolf Hollow in Ipswich to run the Big Bad Wolf 5-mile trail race with my homies at Notch Brewing. Chris and Mary Ellen from Notch gave me an awesome, massive (36 oz.) beer stein for my birthday, which was filled a few times at the post-race party. Got home by 3, and then Deb and I dropped the girls off for a sleepover and headed in to Fenway for the Jays-Sox game. It was a beautiful night and the Jays obliged by actually beating the Sox, 3-2.

This is the 10th birthday in row I've documented on this blog. Much has changed in the last decade, most of which revolves around the kids getting older (one of them being born in '04). My job's the same, but very different; I've probably had 10 different direct supervisors in the last decade at least. I definitely look older thanks to the copious amounts of gray hair, but I'm in better shape now, even though I'm no longer running marathons.

Got to thinking today about what my dad was like at this age. He turned 46 in 1986, which was also the year he lost his job at the Seabrook nuke plant. He had been drinking pretty heavily for a few years and had a nasty DWI arrest the year before; it was fair to say he was seriously depressed and losing his job just gave him more time to wallow in self-pity and booze. He wasn't in the best of health, anyway, being overweight and diabetic, and within a few years that combo of booze and diabetes resulted in his body wasting away. By the time he died in '96 at the age of 55, he looked at least 20 years older.

It's hard to know exactly what was going through his head because the man didn't exactly open up to anyone; when the boozing was bad, he would cry about how he missed his family in India but I'm not sure how much of that was just the booze talking. He was never that close with anyone in his family, as far as I could tell him. Dude was all about himself. I think he believed if things went well for him, then by the properties of trickle down economics, they would likewise go well for the rest of us. But I don't remember ever having a real heart-to-heart talk with him about anything. That was where my mom came in; she handled all that messy emotional shizz that my dad wanted no part of. My brother and I absorbed all that stuff and I think we've both done pretty damn well considering how effed things got at home, especially after I went to college. But at any rate, 46 for my dad must have felt like another year in the Bataan Death March. Things were bad and just getting worse. And did they ever. He got other jobs, but he never stopped drinking or smoking until it was way too late. His body finally shut down on him, and that was that.

It's 27 years after my dad turned 46 and here I am. I've got a terrific wife and two amazing daughters who know me better than I knew my dad. I'm not saying I'm the perfect father, but I do my best. My dad's greatest lesson to me was to do the opposite of what he did, which was not give a shit. I'm involved in their lives and I'm enjoying the hell out of it. And their childhood is flying by. In nine years, Lily will be off to college and I'll be writing some lame-ass post about empty nest syndrome. So look forward to that, yo.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Through the Past Dorkily: Aces High

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, September 8, 1984

Song of the day: We Got the Night - Coney Hatch

I got up at 2:30 because Mom kept bugging me. I went at 3:30 to check my hours. They are Tues 6-9, Thurs 3-9 and Friday crew. I told [supervisor] I wanted only weekends yesterday. Dork. I'll have to call him about that 3-9.

I met [girl I like] there. She was pretty happy to see me. I think I'll just be good friends with her. I hardly ever see her anyways. I'm gonna concentrate on Sanborn women.  

The "party" was boring. [Mom's friend's] husband, a teacher, looked at that letter from Yale and freaked out! He said it was invitation to apply to Yale and that I should go for it! Yale, wow!

SNL rerun was the Billy Crystal show. Wicked funny.

- The Barbarian

Sunday, September 9, 1984

Song of the day: Rime of the Ancient Mariner - Iron Maiden

I got up at 9. We went to church, first time since June, I think. Mom wants us to join the youth group there. Great.

I finally got my hair cut today. Looks good, too.

I wrote an article about going back to school. I'm gonna do my Advanced Math homework first period.

I got this new station WHJY in Providence, 94. It fades in and out. It's good.

- The Barbarian

Monday, September 10, 1984

Song of the day: The Morning After - Ratt

Good day. We won our game over Pelham, 4-0! We kicked butt! Before the game, [buddy] slipped and cut his arm and had to go to the hospital to get 5 stitches. Too bad. Next we kill Timberlane!

[Buddy] couldn't give me a ride home, so I got one from [hot chick from school]! What a babe! I called her after I got home and we talked for 20 minutes. She is awesome!

- The Barbarian

Tuesday, September 11, 1984

Song of the day: Love Poison - Coney Hatch

Top 5 at Five
1. Pride (In the Name of Love) - U2
2. Tears - John Waite
3. Cage of Freedom - Jon Anderson
4. The Last in Line - Dio
5. Born in the USA - Bruce Springsteen

Today wasn't that hot. In fact, it kinda sucked. I couldn't get a ride and I had to take the bus (ugh)! That sucked.

Then I hadda go to work. I got Thursday off because I couldn't get the car. Thank goodness!

I got home at 10:30. Wow.

- The Barbarian

Wednesday, September 12, 1984

Song of the day: The Analog Kid - Rush

Definitely an interesting day. Third period, the guidance office announced the rankings of the senior class. When I got to fourth, I found out that I was ranked first! First! I couldn't believe it! If I finish the year first, I'll be the Valedictorian! Mutha! [Buddies of mine] were 2nd and 3rd.

My story is gonna be in the Kingstonian next week.

Now for the bad news: we lost to Timberlane 2-0. We played so terrible. We came in overconfident and we played lousy. I'm pissed because I didn't get into the game once! Now that sucks. I was wicked pissed when I got home so I called [hot chick] and we talked for half an hour. I felt a lot better afterwards.

First in my class? Wow, man.

- The Barbarian

Thursday, September 13, 1984

Song of the day: The Body Electric - Rush

I went to the guidance office and transferred out of Data Processing B and into Data Processing A. I couldn't take that class any more. Too many retards for my taste! Now I have it 7th period with [teacher]. I have second free. I also had to move into Floor Hockey 3rd term first period.

I got my check, $92 and change.

- The Barbarian

Friday, September 14, 1984

Song of the day: YYZ - Rush

Another weird day. I got 90 on that Adv Math quiz. That's it.

At 3 I went to see [optometrist]. He said I could take 'em out every 5 to 7 days.

We lost to Exeter, 4-0. We played about even with them but we couldn't score. I played a couple of minutes in the 2nd quarter.

At 8:30 I went to work. We were done by 2:30. I got home at 7.

- The Barbarian

Saturday, September 15, 1984

Song of the day: Boogie in Your Butt - Eddie Murphy

I got up at 5. I went to check my hours. They had me down for 7-7 Sun and Fri NC. I can't work either of them. I haveta call in sick tomorrow.

- The Barbarian

Sunday, September 16, 1984

Song of the day: Into the Fire - Dokken

I got up at 9 and called in sick. [Supervisor] sounded pretty pissed. Who cares.

Those people from Boston came over at 1:30. Me and JP went to Methuen Mall at 2:30. They didn't have any turtles there. JP got me "Powerslave," Maiden's new JP and I bought MSG's "Built to Destroy." I forgot to get some blank tapes while I was there.

I stopped at Plaistow Aquarium but they didn't have any turtles either. Drat!

I didn't get an article done. I'll have to write one tomorrow.

- The Barbarian

Monday, September 17, 1984

Song of the day: Powerslave - Iron Maiden

Wild day. I was hyper all day, man. I did an article on cable TV during 2nd period. We didn't have soccer practice after school, but I was stuck there anyways. I stayed and watched the field hockey game. They lost 2-1. [A buddy] gave me a ride home.

I listened to Powerslave again. That album is excellent! It kicks total butt! Awesome!

- The Barbarian

Tuesday, September 18, 1984

Song of the day: Aces High - Iron Maiden

Hiawatha! [Lab partner] couldn't get the fish so we both mice. I named mine Captain Howdy. Big test tomorrow in Psych. I wrote my first program in Computers.

Powerslave debuted on the WAAF album countdown at no. 12. Good deal!

Detroit Tigers clinched the AL East today. Nice try, Toronto.

Canada beat Sweden again and won the Canada Cup, 2-0! Alright!

- The Barbarian

Wednesday, September 19, 1984

Song of the day: Back in the Village - Iron Maiden

Another weird day. I lost these 2 stories I was checking; one by [classmate] and one by [classmate]. I don't know where I lost 'em or how, but I'm gonna have to lose points on my grade. How stupid!

The paper looked pretty good today. My story was short but sweet.

[Ex-gf] asked me if I wanted to go to a party at her house on Sat., Oct. 20. I said sure. What the hey!

[Lab partner] has his birthday on Friday, too.

College Fair tomorrow.

- The Barbarian

Postscript: Being ranked first in my class came as a surprise, especially given how much I'd screwed off in the last year or so. Too bad I messed it up and ended up finishing second by a couple of points. It was a C in that computer programming class that did me in; the teacher left three-quarters of the way through the semester and the new guy buried us. Oh, well. In the long run, it didn't matter one bit.

 Our journalism class was getting articles published in the local weekly newspaper, so my first taste of journalism came long before I ever thought it would be my profession. I only took the class because it looked interesting, not because I thought it was a viable career option. 

  Boogie in your butt:

Completely Conspicuous 295: Here I Go Again

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Brian Salvatore as we look back at the music of 1987. Listen to the episode below or download it directly (right click and "save as").

Show notes:
- Recorded via Skype
- Different perspectives: Brian was 5 in 1987, Jay was in college
- Brian: The impact of La Bamba, movie about Richie Valens
- Kicked off a roots rock revival
- Jay: Big year for alternative rock
- Breakout year for R.E.M., The Cure, The Cult
- Jay: Making the transition from metalhead to alt-rock fan
- No regional radio anymore
- Brian: CDs started catching on, especially when Beatles catalog was released
- CDs provided definitive versions of albums
- Became easier to make mixtapes
- Jay: Huge year for U2 with The Joshua Tree
- Landing tickets for U2 in '87 was no easy feat
- Brian: GNR's Appetite for Destruction actually paved the way for hair metal's demise
- Harked back to sleazier sounds of '70s garage rock
- Jane's Addiction seemed dangerous back then
- Guitar music was moving in different directions
- To be continued
- Bonehead of the Week

Guillermo Sexo - Fall Lens
Natural Velvet - Dark Inertia
Speedy Ortiz - Plough (live)

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

The Guillermo Sexo song is on the album Dark Spring on Midriff Records. Download the song for free at Soundcloud.
The Natural Velvet song is on the EP Salome with the Head of John the Baptist. Download the EP for free at Bandcamp.
The Speedy Ortiz song is on the band's Epitonic Saki Session. 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.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Keep On Movin'

When I describe the Reach the Beach relay to people, the word "insane" usually comes up once or twice. It's really a rather nutty endeavor. But 15 years into it, RTB is more popular than ever. As I drove up to Salem, NH, to meet my team and head up to the start in Franconia Notch, I wondered how it would go. I've been hacking my lungs out for the last two weeks, and even though I'd continued to run, I was hoping I wouldn't bum out my teammates who were stuck in a van with me for 24+ hours and 200 miles. I was also wondering how my feet, which both have heel and Achilles problems, would do under the increased RTB workload.

The team, as always, differed a bit from the previous year. We had a few people drop out, including my friend Molly, but I was able to get my old buddy Bob after he expressed interest. It was pouring here and alas, also at Cannon Mountain when we got there. Our start time was 1 p.m., later than we usually begin; we tried to get everyone to put down slower times so we could start earlier, but I guess we weren't slow enough. I was in Van 2, so after the first runner headed out, we drove on ahead and got some lunch at Flatbread Pizza in North Conway. Last year, I had chicken parm for lunch and it came back to haunt me; this time, I had a small pepperoni and mushroom pizza that seemed a little lighter.

Fortunately, the rain had long ceased by the time we started our first legs. I headed out around 8 after it was already dark, which was a first. I was used to doing our first leg in the waning daylight. I struggled with the hills on the 6.36-mile leg, which I also ran last year. My stomach didn't bother me, and I kicked ass on the last mile or so of downhill to finish in 51:51 (8:09 pace). Alas, after the run I spent about 40 minutes just coughing non-stop. Not fun. We had three runners go after me and then we headed to the transition area in Laconia to get some sleep; of course, we didn't realize it had been moved to a different school and had to backtrack, but it was fine.

We parked around 1 a.m. and figured it'd be two or three hours before Van 1 got there to hand off to us again. I tend to have trouble sleeping during RTB and I wasn't helped by my coughing and self-consciousness about waking everybody else up. I probably got 90 minutes of fitful sleep, punctuated by coughs, drinking water and the occasional trip to the porta-potties. We got Bob up when we got word from Van 1 that they weren't far off. The handoff was at 4:20 and we were off. By the time I got the handoff, daylight was creeping out. I had a very hilly 8.5-mile leg; I was passed almost immediately by three or four fast runners but maintained fairly fast splits (7:40, 7:35) for the first few miles until the mega-hilly mile 3. I ended up walking a few times and had a 10:40 split. But then the terrain leveled off and the leg finished with a huge downhill that I took advantage of, picking off six runners ahead of me. Finished strong in 1:11 (8:21 pace) and promptly started coughing like a mofo.

We finished our second set of legs and drove to Manchester to the Airport Diner, which has become a tradition for Van 2. I got French toast again and actually nodded off at one point before the food arrived. We drove to Kingston to wait for Van 1. I didn't get any sleep there; rather, threw a frisbee around with Bob and just hung out. Surprisingly, I didn't feel exhausted even though I know I was. I started my run a little after 4 and felt surprisingly strong. Usually the last leg is totally done on fumes, but I had a lot of power left. The 4.1-mile leg starts in downtown Exeter and heads up a long hill before finishing on a straightaway at the Timberland headquarters. Once I got the top of the hill, I blew past 10 runners on my way in. Felt awesome.  I regretted not picking up some beer to have in the van after I got done. Bob ended up doing an extra run because one of our teammates was injured. We ended up getting to Hampton Beach a little after 6 p.m. in 29:05, 172nd out of 474 teams. Not too bad. Considering how banged up a lot of us were, this was impressive.

The beer tent was sponsored by Narragansett and as much as I'd been looking forward to it, the first beer I had just didn't go down well (could've been the hot sauce I had with my burrito bowl). So we left after that since we still had to drive to Salem and unload the van, and then drive home. I got home around 9.

The cough continued Monday, so I decided to go to the doctor to get checked out. Turns out I had post-viral bronchitis, which basically means I have a nasty cough that won't go away. At least my feet felt pretty good, which is a good sign.

This was the fifth RTB for both me and another teammate, which means we hit the 1,000-mile mark this year. Pretty cool.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Stuck In Thee Garage #2: September 13, 2013

Sure, it was Friday the 13th, but there were nothing but good vibes happening during the second installment of Stuck In Thee Garage on Hopefully you were able to check it out.

Here be the playlist for that second show, which may or may not have provoked extreme reactions like this:

Hour 1

Artist - Song/Album
Barrence Whitfield and the Savages - The Corner Man/Dig Thy Savage Soul
Nine Inch Nails - Copy of a/Hesitation Marks
Grant Hart - (It was a) Most Disturbing Dream/The Argument
Superchunk - FOH/I Hate Music
Soccer Mom - Dreams Burn Down/Nofuckingwhere
Golden Gurls - I Can See the City/Typo Magic
Radstewart - Beer Swindlers/Whig Crooks and Beer Swindlers
The Superman Revenge Squad Band - A Funny Thing You Said/A Funny Thing You Said
Murray A. Lightburn - Motherfuckers/Murray A. Lightburn's Mass: Light
Ovlov - Nu Punk/am
Speedy Ortiz - Tiger Tank/Major Arcana
Obits - Spun Out/Bed & Bugs
The Night Marchers - All Hits/Allez Allez
Hot Snakes - Braintrust/Audit in Progress
Rocket from the Crypt - Heart of a Rat/Group Sounds
Drive Like Jehu - Here Come the Rome Plows/Yank Crime

Hour 2: Songs about stupidity
Funkadelic - Super Stupid/Maggot Brain
The Dirtbombs - Stupid/Dangerous Magical Noise
Mudhoney - You Stupid Asshole/You Stupid Asshole
Yo La Tengo - Stupid Things/Fade
The King Khan Experience - Keep It Simple Stupid/Scion A/V Presents the King Khan Experience 
Bob Mould - Stupid Now/District Line
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - Where Was My Brain/The Brutalist Bricks
Green Day - American Idiot/American Idiot
The Desert Sessions - The Idiots Guide/The Desert Sessions Vol. 7 and 8
Eagles of Death Metal - Now I'm a Fool/Heart On
Patterson Hood - Foolish Young Bastard/Murdering Oscar (and other Love Songs)
Superchunk - Like a Fool/Foolish
Pavement - Easily Fooled/Live at the Palace, Hollywood 4/24/94
Fucked Up - Ship of Fools/David Comes to Life
The Stone Roses - Fools Gold/The Stone Roses
The Doobie Brothers - What a Fool Believes/Minute by Minute

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Completely Conspicuous 294: Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Ric Dube as we discuss actors turned singers. Listen to the episode below or download it directly (right click and "save as").

Show notes:
- Recorded at More Lost Time world HQ
- John Travolta's music career was dragged out over three albums
- "All Strung Out on You" could've been a Velvet Underground outtake
- Co-writer Nino Tempo had an illustrious acting career as an extra
- Burt Reynolds made an album in '73
- Burt reads from his childhood diary
- Ric serves up crap on my podcast, not his
- Adam West's novelty record
- Other actors who made albums: Telly Savalas, Ted Knight
- Plenty of musicians who became actors: Kris Kristofferson, Jagger, Bowie
- Mark Wahlberg and Justin Timberlake have done well as actors
- Actors turned musicians: Kevin Bacon, Bruce Willis, Keanu Reeves, Russell Crowe, Steven Seagal, Don Johnson
- Rick James produced Eddie Murphy's "Party All the Time"
- Eddie had already moved from comedian to movie star
- In "Boogie Nights," Dirk Diggler thinks he's got musical talent
- Murphy and Michael Jackson teamed up in '93's "Whatzupwitu"
- Corey Feldman's musical aspirations
- Ric's list of actresses who shouldn't make records
- Jodie Foster made an album when she was a kid
- Bonehead of the Week

Sebadoh - State of Mine
Mind Spiders - Make Make Make Make
Diarrhea Planet - Separations
Completely Conspicuous is available through the iTunes podcast directory. Subscribe and write a review!

The Sebadoh song is on the forthcoming album Defend Yourself on Joyful Noise Recordings. Download the song for free at Soundcloud.
The Mind Spiders song is on the forthcoming album Inhumanistic on Dirtnap Records. Download the song for free at LargeheartedBoy.
The Diarrhea Planet song is on the album I'm Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams on Infinity Cat Recordings. Download the song for free at Amazon MP3.

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, September 07, 2013

Through the Past Dorkily: Girl Gone Bad

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, September 2, 1984

Song of the day: Slide It In - Whitesnake

I got up at 2:30.  Didn't do much of anything today.

- The Barbarian

Monday, September 3, 1984

Song of the day: Pride (In the Name of Love) - U2

I got up. I went to work at 12. Worked all day. Came home at 10.

- The Barbarian

Tuesday, September 4, 1984

Song of the day: Mystery - Dio

Top 5 at Five
1. Pride (In the Name of Love) - U2
2. On the Dark Side - John Cafferty and Beaver Brown
3. New Girl Now - Honeymoon Suite
4. Midnight Maniac - Krokus
5. Tears - John Waite

Strange day. I got up at 11:30. All I did was bum around the house all day. I didn't go outside until 11 p.m. when I took the dog out.

Phone call of the day: [Cute girl I like] called me up. She asked me if I wanted to go to the second Summer Jam (Stompers, Beaver Brown) on Saturday with her. Unfortunately, I had to say no because I'm working Friday night crew. She also said she was going to see Rush on Oct. 2. She said she'd give me and [drummer dude] a ride to the show if we wanted. I said I'd talk to him.

She kept asking me if I was mad at her for not keeping in touch. She said she was real busy with relatives and stuff. I said no. She sounded pretty interested.  

Hmm. Double hmm.

- The Barbarian

Wednesday, September 5, 1984

Song of the day: All Along the Watchtower - Jimi Hendrix

Weird day. I got up at 8 and took Mom to work. [Buddy] and Jeremy came by and we rode around in [buddy's] car. When I got back, Sammy pissed on my bed! Right thru the covers! Damn dog!

I went to work at 3. I didn't get out till 11:10.

- The Barbarian

Thursday, September 6, 1984

Song of the day: Stand Up - Coney Hatch

First day of school. [Buddy] picked me up at 7. At school we stood around for a while in the freezin gair and then went in the gym, then to our homerooms. I'm in 27, the quiet study hall. I copied my schedule down wrong and went to the wrong classes 5th and 6th period, but I straightened it out.

[A buddy of mine] grew a mustache. [Girl I dated] bleached the front of her hair.

This year should be pretty good.

We played the Sanborn alumni and lost, 5-1.

I got my check and only got $58. [Store manager's] gonna run my check thru the computer tomorrow.

- The (back to school) Barbarian

Friday, September 7, 1984

Song of the day: Girl Gone Bad - Van Halen

School went pretty good today. In Field Biology, me and [another guy] decided to get sea horses for pets. I have some homework in Adv Math and Journalism. Journalism is cool. I became one of the readers who check stories for errors, etc. I have to write a story this weekend.

Hot new babe dept.: There's this girl who sits with us in 1st period free. I think her name is [redacted] (not spelled that way.  That's what I think people have called her). What a babe!

Another babe is in my Journalism class. I think her name is [redacted]. Nice bod.

We got a different jukebox. It sucks. It's even worse than last year's one. It's got disco songs, country songs and assorted garbage. Great. Some chick put on some queer disco song. I almost died.

After school, me and [a buddy] drove around for awhile. Practice was 3 hours long. I got home just past 6. At 9, I went to work. I found out that [some dude] quit. Too bad. Crew sucked! Too much work. As it turned out, I was up for 25 hours straight! Sheesh!

Postscript: Not sure why we started school so late this year. I forgot about getting that call from the girl I'd been pursuing all summer. I wasn't a fan of the Stompers or Beaver Brown, anyway.

Free periods were pretty fun. We hung out in the cafeteria, could buy candy and junk from the little store there, and could crank tunes on the jukebox. I remember, despite the "queer disco," playing a lot of U2 and Van Halen on that thing. Somebody figured out how to screw with the volume and really blast it, and then they turned it off for a while, I think.

Journalism class! At this point, I had no clue that journalism would be my chosen profession. It was just something that looked interesting and not too difficult. We didn't have a school paper, but our class had a page in the local newspaper that we contributed stories to, so that was cool.

Stuck in Thee Garage #1: September 6, 2013

And we're off! Stuck in Thee Garage made its debut last night on and I couldn't be more excited. Well, I suppose it'd be nice if I didn't feel like death warmed over, but that's another story. We were out last night, but I was able to get home to listen to good chunk of the show. Hopefully, you did as well.

I'm not sure what the plan is for archiving the episodes, but I trust that will happen soon on BFF's end and I will let you know as soon as I do. In the meantime, here's the playlist for the first show. The next one goes up next Friday the 13th, when I'll be out traversing the hills of New Hampshire in the Reach the Beach relay.

Hour 1

Artist - Song/Album
Speedy Ortiz - Plough/Major Arcana
Ovlov - Grapes/am
Lady Lamb the Beekeeper - Rooftop/Ripely Pine
Eleanor Friedberger - Stare at the Sun/Personal Record
Me & Stupid - Me and Stupid/Me & Stupid
Mind Spiders - They Lie/Garage Swim
King Khan - Strange Ways/Garage Swim
King Tuff - Bad Thing/King Tuff
FIDLAR - Gimme Something/FIDLAR
Parquet Courts - Borrowed Time/Light Up Gold
Pet Milk - February Fourteenth/And I Forgot a Long Time Ago How You Feel
Kurt Vile - KV Crimes/Wakin' on a Pretty Daze
Radiator Hospital - Our Song/Something Wild
The Henry Clay People - Everybandweeverloved/Twenty-five for the Rest of Our Lives
METZ - Can't Understand/Adult Swim Singles Project
Pointed Sticks - What Do You Want Me to Do?/Part of the Noise
Big Boys - History/Rat Music for Rat People, Part 2
Bad Brains - Big Take Over/Bad Brains
Fugazi - Last Chance for a Slow Dance/In on the Kill Taker

Hour 2: Songs about paranoia
The Nation of Ulysses - Target: America/13-Point Program to Destroy America
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - Paranoia (Never Enough)/Rapid Response
The National - Afraid of Everyone/High Violet
Jay Reatard - I'm Watching You/Watch Me Fall
Judas Priest - The Hellion/Electric Eye/Screaming for Vengeance
Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers - Can't Keep My Eyes on You/L.A.M.F. (the Lost '77 Tapes)
Matt Mays and El Torpedo - Digital Eyes/Terminal Romance
Maritime - Annihilation Eyes/Human Hearts
Johnny Foreigner - Eyes Wide Terrified/Waited Up Till It was Light
Yo La Tengo - All Your Secrets/Popular Songs
Destroyer - Leave Me Alone/MOJO: Power, Corruption and Lies
Dinosaur Jr. - We're Not Alone/Beyond
LCD Soundsystem - Watch the Tapes/Sound of Silver
The Minus 5 - My Life as a Creep/The Gun Album
Mission of Burma - Learn How/Vs.
The Jam - Going Underground/Going Underground single

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Completely Conspicuous 293: Don't Give Up on Us

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Ric Dube as we discuss actor-turned-singer David Soul's massive 1977 hit song. Listen to the episode below or download directly (right click and "save as").

Show notes:
- Recorded at More Lost Time world HQ
- David Soul, aka Hutch from "Starsky and Hutch," just turned 70
- "Don't Give Up on Us" hit #1 in April 1977
- Soul started out as a folk singer
- "Don't Give Up on Us" in the same vein as wuss rock by Bread, Dan Hill, Manilow
- Ric: Soul was on Private Stock Records, which churned out pop hits
- Label run by Larry Uttal, who was previously a hitmaker for Bell Records
- Private Stock master tapes were all lost after label went bankrupt
- Soul just had the one hit
- The B-side was weird song called "Black Bean Soup" that sounded like old Robert Palmer
- John Travolta was another actor with a record deal in the '70s
- Travolta was a teen idol after "Welcome Back, Kotter" and "The Boy in the Plastic Bubble"; pre-Saturday Night Fever and Grease
- Big single was "Let Her In," even schmaltzier than the David Soul song
- No vocal range whatsoever
- "Rack jobbers" were big business; putting records in racks in drugstores and supermarkets for impulse shoppers
- To be continued
- Bonehead of the Week

Mean Creek - Cool Town
Los Campesinos - What Death Leaves Behind
Shearwater - I Luv the Valley OH!
Completely Conspicuous is available through the iTunes podcast directory. Subscribe and write a review!

The Mean Creek song is on the forthcoming album Local Losers on Old Flame Records. Download the song for free at Soundcloud.
The Los Campesinos song is on the forthcoming album No Blues on Wichita Recordings. Download the song for free at Soundcloud.
The Shearwater song is on the album Fellow Travelers on Sub Pop. Download the song for free at Sub Pop.

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, September 01, 2013

Through the Past Dorkily: The Last in Line

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, August 21, 1984

Song of the day: Wait Until Summer's Gone - Zebra

I got up at 10:30. I didn't do much today, just bummed around. Jeremy called around 1. He said that [cute chick] wanted to go to Canobie Lake sometime before summer ends. Hmm. He also said we'd go to the mall next Wednesday or Thursday.

I went to practice at 5. We did mostly running today. I ran the 40 in 6:40 and 6:18. I ran the mile in 6:23, my personal best. After that, we did even more running, and believe me, I'm gonna be one sore barbarian in the morning.

I gotta get in touch with [metal dude] about the concert.

- The Barbarian

Wednesday, August 22, 1984

Song of the day: I'm Insane - Ratt

I got up at 12 today. I mowed all the weeds from both sides of the house. We did more running at practice today. [Another hot female classmate] came by later on. What a babe.

I called [drummer dude] and he gave me [metal dude's] phone number. I called his house but he was at school.

I get the car tomorrow.

- The Barbarian

Thursday, August 23, 1984

Song of the day: I Can't Shake You - Santers

I got up at 7 and took Mom to work. [Guitar dude] called and asked me if I could give him a ride to work. I went over at 2 and we sat around til 2:45. Disappointment #1: My paycheck was only $73! 20 bucks in taxes. That blows! #2: I called [metal dude]. His mom said I'd have to get a ride to his house. At first, things looked grim. But then I remembered Dad gets home at 5, so I could take his car to [metal dude's] house. Now, I have to find out how to get there. His mom said he'd be home from 12-1:30 tomorrow. I hope I can work this out and see that concert!

- The Barbarian

Friday, August 24, 1984


Song of the day: The Man on the Silver Mountain - Rainbow

Top 5 at Five
 1. The Last in Line - Dio
2. We're Not Gonna Take It - Twisted Sister
3. On the Dark Side - John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band
4. Missing You - John Waite
5. Talk to Me - Scandal

WOW! What an awesome concert! Dio rules! Twisted Sister rules! We had good seats on the right side of the stage. Dee Snider got in a fight with some bozo in the front row who threw something at him. They played a killer set.

Dio's set had an awesome laser show! Viv Campbell wailed! It was great! I got a Dio jersey and a tour program. I didn't find any good Sister shirts. The show finished at 10:30. I left the car at the Bucket. I got home at 11:45 after a good night of headbanging.

- The Barbarian

Saturday, August 25, 1984

Song of the day: Egypt (The Chains are On) - Dio

Hmm. I went to work at 12. [Supervisor] made up the schedules and gave me stupid hours. 7-1 Sunday and a bunch of 3-10s. I haveta get him to change them.

[Girl I like] came in today to check her hours while I was on lunch. Like I thought, she was on vacation last week. Wow, lotsa babes working. [Another one], what a fox! Yum!

I got the new issue of Guitar. Only thing is, it's the October issue with Ozzy on it. I haven't even gotten the September issue with Scorpions on it. Weird.

- The Barbarian

Sunday, August 26, 1984

Song of the day: Two Minutes to Midnight - Iron Maiden

I got up at 6. Only 4 1/2 hours of sleep! The only thing that made the day worthwhile was the fact that [girl I like] was working 8-1. She definitely likes me! We shared a carton of OJ during our break. What a babe!

I heard Maiden's new single off Powerslave, "Two Minutes to Midnight" and the flipside, "Rime of the Ancient Mariner." Actually, I heard about half of "Mariner" when Mom got a stupid sliver in her finger and as a result, I missed the rest. Mind-blowing metal nonetheless.

- The Barbarian

Monday, August 27, 1984


Song of the day: Flesh for Fantasy - Billy Idol

I took Mom to work early so I could get my schedule fixed at 9:30. I got Creative Writing second semester, second period. As I was leaving, [female classmate] drove by. When I got home I called [optometrist] and they just got the contacts in. I went in at 11:30 and got 'em. Now I can see! I have to go back at 2:30 tomorrow to see how they are.

I mowed the lawn at 1.

[Buddy] told me at practice that he quit his job at the Bucket yesterday.

We got a scrimmage in Epping tomorrow. I hope we kick butt!

- The Barbarian

Tuesday, August 28, 1984

Song of the day: Rock Hard, Ride Free - Judas Priest

I took Mom to work. I got 2 records today, April Wine - Nature of the Beast and Van Halen - Fair Warning. Actually, I had to get them at the post office. I met [two classmates] at the plaza.

JP went with [buddy] to some camp for a couple of days.

I went to [optometrist] again today. I learned how to take out and clean and replace my contacts.

We won our scrimmage with Epping, 6-1! They stunk! I only played for most of the 4th quarter.

[Buddy] gets his license tomorrow.

- The Barbarian

Wednesday, August 29, 1984

Song of the day: So This is Love? - Van Halen

Pretty boring day. I just sat around till 4:45, then I went to practice. Yahoo.

- The Barbarian

Thursday, August 30, 1984

Song of the day: Revelation (Mother Earth) - Ozzy

Top 5 at Five
1. On the Dark Side - John Cafferty and Beaver Brown
2. The Last in Line - Dio
3. Walking on a Thin Line - Huey Lewis and the News
4. New Girl Now - Honeymoon Suite
5. I'm on Fire - Bruce Springsteen

Took Mom to work. I paid off my Guitar subscription. Got my check, $52.50. Got my senior pictures. Went to practice. That's it.

- The Barbarian

Friday, August 31, 1984

Song of the day: You're In Trouble - Ratt

What a day. I woke up at 8:15, rode over to the plaza for my 8:45 eye appointment. I got home at 10, or something like that, and went to bed. I got up at 12 and [buddy] picked me up at 12:20. We goofed around for a while and got to the field house around 2:30. We left for Dover at 3:30. We won, 1-0. I didn't play too good because my allergies were killing me. The JVs played 2 quarters after our 3 and we left at 7. After eating at Burger King and all, we got back at 8:30. [Another buddy] gave me a ride home and I got there at 8:45. I ran in and out and made it to work before 9. [Girl I liked] was there. Hmm. I worked with [another dude] in aisles 1, 3 and 4. We all finished stocking at 3:30. The ovens were left unlocked so we had pizza. I got home at 7:15.

- The (crew slut) Barbarian

Saturday, September 1, 1984

Song of the day: Let It Go - Def Leppard

I got up at 3 p.m. I had taken out my contacts before I went to bed, so I put 'em back in.

I got to work early so I could talk to [girl I liked], but she wasn't there. My hours are: Mon 12-10 (time and a half!), Wed 3-10 and Fri NC. Not bad, eh?

I worked with [some dude]. He goofed off so much that it took us longer than it should have. We finished stocking at 2:30.

We took an hour and a half break. Me [and four guys] went up to the catwalk to sit down. [One guy] got a quart of Bud and they all started drinking. They got 2 more quarts (I had a little), and we successfully hid them.

We got out right at 7.

- The Barbarian

Postscript: Life with contacts was a whole new world. I usually just walked around without wearing my glasses, so everything was blurry. I only wore my glasses when I drove or occasionally in class. So this was a big deal. These contacts were soft lenses, but you had to take them out and put them in solution when you weren't wearing them. Required some discipline.

The Dio show was fun. Can't believe I bought a program. I wonder if I still have it somewhere in a box. 

Soccer scrimmages were underway. I didn't play much senior year. Part of it was the coach didn't really know me because I played the previous year on the JV and obviously I wasn't wowing anybody with my athletic ability. I was a pipsqueak and didn't have a lot of power on my shots, and I didn't have blinding speedy or anything like that. I like to think I brought more to table in terms of knowing where to go in front of the net, but unfortunately I sat on the bench most of the season. I started playing again after college and I think I was a better athlete then.

Night crews were fun. I would continue working them periodically for the next five years or so. Totally forgot about drinking beer that time. I remember once having a wine cooler or two. We usually didn't drink because if we got caught, we'd be super-screwed. Plus I didn't really drink much in high school.

This female co-worker and I were starting to get a little close. Actually, there were a couple of them, but once school started, I focused more on girls in my school. Probably a dumb move on my part, but then, I was all about the dumb moves when I was 16.