Saturday, November 03, 2007

He says your name out loud; In miniature rooms where no one’s found

You are walking down the streets of Philadelphia . Your sneakers rhythmically tread along the old splats of gum that decorate the sidewalk. The weather is changing and you start to appreciate where you are and how you got there. You might even stop and anticipate the official arrival of Michael Nutter as you hope he can save this fatalist empire. Then you stop, gasp and turn you head like a confused puppy. Is that a dead animal? Has a rodent spontaneously combusted leaving minimal remains?

No. It's a fucking weave. They are EVERYWHERE. Just walk down any street in the city and you will see a weave within minutes. Some of them are HUGE and they often get caught in chain linked fences. There are smaller weave remains that float limply off curbs and through the streets. They often act like vacuums as they roll down the street, picking up stones, sticks, trash and even some blunt and cigarette butts.

My question is: ‘How are they ending up on the streets?’ Are they the result of a street/ cat fight that involved women ripping out their opponent’s fake expensive hair? If they are where the hell are all of these scuffles? I am dying to see a chick fight that leaves a woman weaveless. I could see it now.

Woman 1: I told you I ain’t callin’ yo man on no prepaid cell phone!

Woman 2: My man said you been callin him all the time asking if he got tickets to the Keith Sweat show yet! Well…what is it biznitch?

Woman 1: Do not speak ill of Keith Sweat! I am going to rip out your fake expensive hair if you keep addressing me in such a manner.

Woman 2: Eat a dick Beeltch!

(A fight ensues leaving both woman weaveless and searching frantically through their purses for post-fight Newports)

Another hopeful theory is that they accidentally fall out like when guys lose their toupees in movies and cartoons following a sneeze. I could imagine a woman walking down the street, sneezing and hopefully farting at the same time, and her weave goes flying into the night like a bat that needs a haircut. She would act like nothing happened and proceed walking down the street with a lot less hair.

This phenomenon shall be known as the ‘Tumbleweave.’

I had the pleasure of seeing Sunset Rubdown play at the First Unitarian Church early in October. It might be one of the best live shows I have ever seen, solely based on lead singer, Spencer Kruug. This guy plays like he is on FIRE and everyone, including the band, looks at him in awe. He light the place on fire and had time to save us all from the smoke and flames.

Michael Nutter has the best voice out of any mayoral candidate in the history of politics. Imagine someone saying this with an angry Kermit voice, “Police will stop and frisk whoever they want. It’s not a black thing. It’s not a white thing! (Here is the amazing part) I don’t care if you are purple with white polka dots!

He actually said these things recently regarding the current dangerous state of Killadelphia.

Nutter is trying to sound like an authoritative figure, but a combination of the ludicrous, out of left field voice and reference to multi-hued criminals has me a little concerned. Think about all of those purple white-polka dotted people out there.

There is a purple guy standing on the Ben Franklin bridge as we speak ready to jump because of Nutter’s comments. He sheepishly says, “And they think the red heads have it bad. We don’t even have a group on Craig’s List and our soon to be fucking Kermit voiced mayor isn’t going to let me ride down Broad Street in peace. GOODBYE CRUEL WORLD!” SPLASH.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Don't Tell Me That I Have Changed...'Cause Man Of Course I Have

You slam the empty bottle on the coffee table and pick up a tattered lighter to set some weed on fire and you have a flashback. You wonder where this all began. Why are you doing this? Radiohead’s ‘Creep’ is faintly playing in the background, the ‘what the hell am I doing here….I don’t belong here’ lyrics stick out. The flashback and self hatred subside as you exhale and wait for the next episode of the Two Coreys to come on.

You will always remember the first time you chemically altered yourself no matter what substance it was. That first beer you stole from the garage and drank nervously, prompting you to act and or pretend like you were obliterated. The first time you smoked some grass and realized why some many people liked Pink Floyd.

But where did this all begin? When did you decide to cross that moral line?
It was when you looked across the elementary school lunchroom and noticed one of your classmates writhing in pain. He had just ingested something that turned his face into abstract art. Someone dared him to do it. Someone opened their grimy hand to reveal several pieces of a tightly wrapped colorful candy. Your classmate gulps before he says,” All of them?” “All of ‘em!,” says another classmate as other students cover their faces like there is about to be an explosion. The classmate you saw writhing in pain had just placed 5 Warheads into his mouth.

Do you remember Warheads? If not here is some info via the online witch encyclopedia:

Warheads, also known as Mega Warheads, are a brand of sour candy manufactured by Impact Confections. The candy was invented in Taiwan in 1975 and was first imported to the United States by The Foreign Candy Company in 1993. For a while, "hot" versions of the candy were also available but proved to be less popular.
Warheads are marketed to children as an "extreme" candy. The name "Warhead" comes from the notion that the sour taste of the candies is akin to a real warhead going off in one's mouth, and the brand's mascot, Wally Warhead, is depicted as a boy with puckered lips and a small mushroom cloud eminating from the top of his head. A driving force behind the candy's popularity were informal competitions among schoolchildren to determine who could withstand eating the largest number of Warheads at once.

The last paragraph regarding informal competitions sums it all up. Warheads were your first introduction to the world of drugs and alcohol. You didn’t know it at the time, but those informal competitions and dares were your first foray into doing something that could eventually cause pain (hangovers, bug outs, bad reps) and a sense of danger (operating machinery while drunk or high). Those people daring you to place several Warheads are the same people who persuaded you into getting drunk before high school dances. Those people are the same people who told you to smoke grass before that dude came to your high school to talk about the dangers of tobacco. He most likely talked with one of those evil microphones through a hole in his neck.

It’s the same concept. You knew it was bad for you. You knew there could be some consequences, but you took the plunge. It was exciting and scary at the same time, just like that time you drank jungle juice and vomited all over the bar. Just like the time you took mushrooms and realized that your hand was the most complex living organism on earth.

That kid who was able to place about 10 Warheads in his mouth is most likely in an Old Country Buffet bathroom right now doing lines off the sink. It’s a pit stop on his road trip to an Interpol concert in North Jersey. The kid who decided not to place one Warhead in his mouth is working on Capitol Hill and is married with a nice car.

When you ask yourself ‘what the hell am I doing here’, don’t blame yourself. Don’t blame mom and dad. Blame the Warheads.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Don't Let It Bring You Down...It's Only Castles Burning

By: Cesar Aspadorante

Location: Old(e) City, 224 Market Street

Dress Code Violations: Sneakers, T-Shirts, Sandals, Frowns, Progressive Thought, Dust and Lack of Profound Jaw Line.

Dress Code Requirements: Collars, Hair Product, Phone Released after May '07.

Red Sky is a delectable lounge in the heart of the history-filled, Olde City district of Philadelphia. The front of the bar is unassuming; however the inside holds a world of blinding red lights and hot jams. Beers cost around $7.50 to $12.00…totally reasonable; whereas mixed drinks are only to be purchased with small sacks of gold. The crowd is twenty to thirty something young professionals looking to get down and dirty on a dance floor that is large enough for you to grind awkwardly next to your mate of choice. One of the most striking qualities of Red Sky is the amazing seating. Mini-cubes of leather provide plenty of butt space for you to sit. They may be extremely low to the ground and wobbly; however where else are you going to be able to sit on some audacious little seats like that!? Don't even think about stepping into the beautiful beacon of light that is Red Sky if you aren't going to at least move a little to the hot beats permeating from the BOSE speakers. This is the perfect place to find the next intro song for your MySpace page or the next great ring tone. If you are a disaffected hipster turn your scruffy cheek the other way and head to Skinner's. Red Sky is for smiles, dancing and comparing tans. Check out the candy rain coming from above at Red Sky next time you are looking for a hot, trendy and simply beautiful spot to hang in Olde City.


"We smell the musk at the dusk in the crack of the dawn
We go through episodes too, like "Attack of the Clones"

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Every Spark Of Friendship And Love Will Die Without A Home

Ohhh the shore. We will all be filling our duffel bags with deodorant and underwear as 85% percent of the young heads in Philadelphia head to the Jersey shore for the weekend until the summer closes. We can't wait to fight through traffic in anticipation of something that we have seen a million times before. It's like the green light from The Great Gatsby. Our attention doesn't waver as we stare across the bay, but when we get there we see the same sweaty scene as people spray Miller Lite on their friends to the Journey song blasting from above.

The Jersey shore will thrill its visitors until the end of time, and its visitors will never lose faith in their beloved getaway. They will continue to throw cash into a damp shore house as a 'weekend only' participant. They will shine their sunglasses and wash their board shorts. They will look for love and get tickets for peeing in public, which will turn into a great story for a hungover breakfast. People will post 'U GOING TO THE SHORE ?' on MySpace pages when they start to get the shore fever in their cubicles as the work week comes to a close.

Cover bands sponsored by Budweiser will dominate the shore circuit as people request songs from the 80's and early 90's that are already played on repeat in ever bar in the country. Bon Jovi and Poison will get heavy rotation as shots are downed and lips are wiped. The lifeguards will walk around the bar like a blond, curly haired fraternity, who believe that they rule the school.

You will without a doubt run into people from high school and grade school to be followed by awkward “what are you up to these days” conversations.

The girls will rock their latest bright colored tight tops as the dudes don their latest Salvation Army t-shirt. People will dance and the beer flows until everyone makes their way to the streets for the drunken slice of pizza. The guys will try their best to woo women back to their place that houses about 15 dudes, but is only built for three people.

Maybe the outside shower will be a prime spot to get that much needed hook-up? Such a class move. Just take her out back, open that creaky door and lead her into the musty darkness. She will respect herself in the morning when she wakes up on your dirty kitchen floor in a sweaty tank top stained with Jagermeister. She will leave the house full of vigor and become the topic of conversation as you work on your tan at the beach the next day.

“Did you see that chick I made out with last night bro?”

“I don’t know browski I was pretty blacked.”

“Well so was she. In fact she was so blacked that she smoked my pole in the outside shower!”

(High fives ensue)

You soak in the rays and think about the amount of gel that is to be applied to your hair as the sun hides beneath the ocean. What striped button-up shirt should you wear? Will people like your new sandals? Is there a special on Miller Lites this evening? Is blacking out as I dance to arena rock really worth it? Of course it is bro. So is driving to the shore to drink, be sweet, dance, sweat, and do the same shit every weekend.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

i know you love to hear yourself speak words that you think i can't follow

You finger through your boring non-electronic mail and stumble upon a magazine/periodical that was sent from your old high school. They usually have clever names like: The Intelligencer, The Explorer, The Book With Pictures Of People Who Donated money, etc. They come about once a month to remind you that it is time to donate money.
These 'zines' tend to be filled with black and white glossy photos of people at fundraisers and sporting events. They read like the directions on your latest bottle of meds and none of the 'articles' are really worth reading or even perusing. There is usually a pic of some old head from the class of '25 at the homecoming game as he is being held up by a piece of galvanized steel. He raises one bony finger in the air to represent his school spirit; however he really is trying let his kids know that he did a number one in his pants.
You will flip through just about every page in these books until you reach the end.
That is when theses zines turn into letters from your old classmates letting you know that their lives are ten times better than yours. You are forced to read down the list of people from your graduating class and learn what they are up to these days. They usually read like this:

Trent Leatherberry '99 : Trent is now married to some ridiculously hot chick from high school that never noticed you in the first place. He drives a fast black car and just bought a huge house on the beach. He has been dominating at his job since he first walked in the place and is expecting to have a gorgeous little baby in the fall. Trent has recently donated a shit-load of money to the school and we are currently blowing him.

Marcus Beefheart '99 : Marcus has completed medical school at Georgetown and is currently working on curing all cancers. Marcus always had a huge penis; therefore we knew he would never let us down. He just got engaged to the hottest woman in Brazil, and they are set to get married in the fall. Did we mention he has a ridiculously huge penis?

This is when you are sitting at your parent's kitchen table (because you still live there) and realize that your life means NOTHING. Everyone else is making moves and babies and you are in the back seat still waiting for someone to pass the grass. You don't even make enough money to rent a studio apartment, and Trent and Marcus are running shit.
Does your high school know what they are doing to you? Don't they know that you aren't running the race like the rest of them?
Of course they do, and that's why they want you to join the race. You join the race, you make some loot, you get a double income….YOU DONATE MONEY.
Someone needs to put an end to these demeaning zines. They should just take out the last five pages so we don't have to look into the past to see that we have no future. I would try to put an end to all this, but I am WAYYYY to lazy. Good luck Trent and Marcus.

TV On The Radio played one of the best shows in the history of time Friday night. That's all I have to say about that.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Disappear here

The stink hits you as soon as you walk into the bar. Perfume, deodorant, hair gel, bar scum, lies, cocaine, lip gloss and false pride make for a nice scent cocktail. A cocktail as potent as the Long Island iced tea that a gelled up guy in a white button-up shirt and jeans drinks as he stands along the bar looking at himself in the mirrors. Everyone is smiling as their Miller Lite bottles glug like the water cooler in your office.

Ear drums are blown as the DJ spins the latest Akon collaboration jam so girls can take pictures of themselves dancing for their Myspace pages. As they dance they laugh hysterically at each other. They then embrace and exclaim their love for one another through subtle kisses on the cheek. When the song ends it's time to flip open the cell phone and stare at their latest glowing text message.

People exchange phony smiles and laughs as their friends scream into their ears over the music blasting throughout the bar. They have no idea what they are saying to each other, but it doesn't matter.

Gelled up guys think they are impressing women by slowly nodding their heads as they leer at the gyrating hips on the dance floor. They follow them to the bar as they stick their hands in their jean pockets to pull out a few twenties. "SHOTS FOR EVERYONE," the gelled up guys will exclaim as they try to decipher if it is going to take a couple of lines to get the gyrating hips back to their apartments.

"Do you live in the city? Really…me too! How is your view? What building do you work in? Isn't there are REALLY good Indian restaurant around there?"

These conversations will be slyly lead into the direction of a yearly salary and what college he or she attended. "I would do anything to be back in college for just a week. Just give me a week man! Were you in a sorority? I was in Kappa Alpha Beta Delta Fresca"

Girls come out of the bathroom and order glasses of white wine as they furiously look around the bar and dip their hands in and out of their purses. They look down at their shoes and grimace when they realize that they are covered in bar sludge. Time for another glass of white wine and trips to the ladies room. They come out of the bathroom again talking on their glowing cell phones with one finger stuck in their unoccupied ear. The people on the other line can't hear and word, but it doesn't matter.

A guy with a backwards hat and popped collar raises his meaty fists into the air as he downs his fifth Red Bull vodka. He is blasted, but his motor is still running on the fuel of Red Bull. He walks out of the stinky bar onto the sidewalk to smoke a Parliament and sneers at a group of adults walking home from dinner. He spits on the windshield of a passing cab, and looks back at his friends with a laugh-at-me smirk on his face. "Fucking terrorists man. I got a buddy in Iraq man. Kid is a fucking hero."

A group of ridiculously good looking blonde-haired girls roll their eyes at a guy in a yellow button-up shirt as he tries to tell them about his job in real estate development. "I work on Walnut street. I go to the gym there too. It's great. They have a squash courts and flat screens mounted on the treadmills. You won't believe the deal I got on this flat-screen at Best Buy." The ridiculously good looking blondes are waiting for him to say the magic words. "Do you guys party?" The blondes and the yellow-shirted guy will walk out of the bar well before closing time.

It's getting late and the crowd gets stuffy when they realize that the lights will be flicked on soon followed by bouncers in tight black t-shirts. "Everyone get the fuck out! You don't have to go home, but get the fuck out of here!"

Cell phones are flipped open for the usual drunk dials and text messages. Booty calls will be made and people will be disappointed. Several guys will desperately walk over to groups of random females to let them know that they have the goods back at their place.

The lights snap on and the bar patrons groan collectively. It's is time to fight for a cab so that they can be belligerent to the driver on their way home. People will fall asleep in the clothes they went out in and wake up early in the morning to call their friends about the night before. "The last thing I remember is dancing to that Akon song! Oh my god…we got pizza. I don't remember that AT ALL!"

You will see the same people doing the same things as soon as you enter the bar next weekend, but it doesn't matter.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Heart's colors changed like leaves


I saw a kid walking through Old City today with a t-shirt that read: I fart in your general direction. I wanted to punch him in the face.

I am BLOWN AWAY by the way people walk across the street when a car is coming towards them. I feel some people walk slower when a car is about to hit them. They "up their strut." If that makes any sense. I want to punch them all in the face.

The high school kids who use to food cart in front of my office, and talk to the guy inside like he is a complete asshole. "HEY OLD HEAD. I SAID WELL DONE OLD HEAD!" "DAMN OLD HEAD I AINT PAYING EXTRA FOR NO TOASTED BAGEL! YOU CRAZY!" All of these kids need to be punched in the face several times.

The people who feed the pigeons. They need to be covered with honey and then have bird seed dumped all over them and left under a bridge in West Philadelphia. Just like Home Alone 2: Lost In The City Of Dreams.

The homeless guy who complains that the cigarette I just lent him is not a Newport. He needs to be punched in the face (while wearing a latex glove).

Out-of-shape people who talk about working out all the time. I don't give a shit how hard your spin class was last night or how many miles you ran the other day. These people need to be punched in the gut while doing a sit-up.

People who incorporate global warming into small talk. All global warming is anymore is an extension of small talk. People who have nothing to say to you on the elevator will say something like, "Glad I brought my gloves today…it's FREEZING. (then the kicker) SO MUCH FOR GLOBAL WARMING!" I know weather is a go-to when you have nothing to say to someone you hardly know, and that's acceptable; however stop adding the global warming line at the end. "Man it's really hot out today for March. THAT AL GORE WAS RIGHT ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING!" People who bring up global warming while 'small-talking' should be struck across the head with a weathervane.

Some camera phone picks of the OF MONTREAL show at the Troc that my buddy Teddy Hef took. The show was a blast despite the hipster overload.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

You Just Keep Me Hanging On

You are driving along the glistening ice covered streets of Philadelphia. It's beautiful really. You don't even want to step on the few grass patches in the city because you could tarnish the purity of it all.

Until your life turns into an action film/video game/time to become a hero.

You are driving slowly along the highway to avoid slippage and the unexplainable happens. An obtusely shaped ice chunk comes flying off the hood of the car in front of you. Your world stops and the music creeping out your speakers becomes a soundtrack. The song seems perfect because the whole world starts to move in slow motion.

The ice slab floats through the air with grace leaving little bits of ice a snow in its trail like a frozen mist.

The music gets louder and your eyes don't leaving the icy piece of death headed for your windshield.

"Will it smash through my windshield and pierce my heart? Will my high school graduation picture be splattered across local news stations after I die from the flying ice?"

Then calmness flexes through your muscles. You don't think about being the victim of a freak accident. You don't feel so small and helpless. You MAKE MOVES.

As the spinning ice shard nears the windshield you jerk the wheel to the right, but have enough time to check to side mirror to make sure your path is clear. You move just enough and the ice dagger crashes down on your front left wheel. It smashes into about 74 pieces and remnants somersault off the wheel and onto your windshield; however these pieces are small and brittle.

You then slow down and your calmness turns into a swell of emotions. Your heart is sprinting out of your chest and you might even chuckle a little. It's better than any high you have ever felt.

You did it. You survived the horror from above, and you have never felt more alive. You cheated death, and it was easy. You didn’t know you had it in you. It’s a refreshing feeling knowing that you were so money in a dire situation.

Will you be that sharp the next time? Who knows, but that's the beauty of the snow.

This is one of my new favorite human beings. His name is Cadence Weapon and he is a rapper from Canada. He is simply bananas. He raps about Zelda and existentialism. If you hate rap you will love him. The first time you will hear him your intestines will explode from your belly. It will be easy to clean up though because you will have a smile on your face from the maniacally constructed sound.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Oh how I sighed when they asked if I knew his name

With the end of the Eagles season comes the end of information and stats for me to read at work to waste time. There are no injury reports or game predictions to keep my busy. There are no more "Garcia rising out of the ashes" stories to read as the time passes by. There's a black hole in the uselessness throughout my workday. I need something else. I need some more useless information to pump in my brain as my computer screen sucks the life out of my eyeballs.

I recently read a line in Chuck Klosterman's latest opus that struck me: "Prog rock is not music about the future. It about something from the past that never happened." In case you were wondering what prog rock is, here is horrible definition from Wikipedia:
Progressive rock (sometimes shortened to prog or prog rock) is a subgenre of rock music which arose in the mid-to-late 1960s, reached the peak of its popularity in the 1970s, and has continued as a form of popular music to this day. It is commonly associated with symphonic rock and art rock, although the term progressive rock in today's usage often embraces a significantly wider spectrum of music than these styles.

Progressive rock acts often combine elements of jazz and classical music, folk and world music influences with rock formats, often rejecting specific genre norms, and instead utilising relatively uncommon musical structures and ideas. As such, it can be seen as an approach to songwriting as well as a genre of its own.

The most important line in the definition is about it's approach to songwriting. I had always felt that prog rock had theatrical elements dervived from fantasy literature. They sounded more like narratives than songs to me. The first time I realized that I was listening to prog rock was when I was blasting Rush's Tom Sawyer from my beautiful 93' Mercury Sable. I originally thought this song was about a futuristic Tom Sawyer, which I believe it is; however after reading Klosterman I decided that the elements of the song took place in a land from long ago that never was. (Stay with me)

This very concept has fascinated me for about the past 3 weeks. I have never been a fan of fantasy literature. I only read the Hobbit because there was a test on it when I got back from summer break. I have decided that my fascination with song lyrics and meanings has led me to this fascination. A completely nonexistent world can be created and it's story can be told through music that's described as: often rejecting specific genre norms, and instead utilising relatively uncommon musical structures and ideas. BRILLIANT.

Klosterman's idea of this music being from a time and place that never happened is going to be my filler. I am going to use this idea to fill my time wasting internet gap. I have decided the submerse myself into the definition of prog rock.

I have been listening to David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars on repeat while smoking grass and playing Nintendo Wii since the inception of 2007. This is a concept album, which tells the story of an alien who comes to Earth to save it through rock and roll because it is apparently going to end in five years. Ziggy comes to Earth and is consumed by the lavish rock and roll lifestyle, which eventually leads to his death. He was killed by the ideals that he was going to save us from.

This album and it's story have become a part of me. I can see the story as the music plays. Its sweeping and georgeous and I recommend it to anyone that has ears. It isn't the grass either…it's Ziggy.

The question that has haunted me since my recent prog rock/Bowie obsession is this: Can Ziggy Stardust be labeled as prog rock?

Well it sure as hell has a narrative tone that deals with the unknown; however it doesn't contain uncommon musical structures. It contains the narrative elements of prog rock without the musical style. It only takes 11 songs to tell a story that can be played over and over again in your head for the rest of your life. Prog rock contains ideas of a non-existent world created by the artist that are left for you to create.

So I have decided that Ziggy Stardust is a concept album with prog elements. I have also decided that it doesn't matter. Does it really matter what genre of music I am listening too? Should I be concerned with what it has been labeled? Of course not because all art sould be consumed with and individualist approach as opposed to being an idealist. Many people would call me an fool for labeling Ziggy Stardust as a prog rock album. Celebrated rock journalists would call me an amateur, which I am.

Those people are the idealists.