Thursday, December 28, 2006

This Is The List That Rocks

The City Paper unveiled its list of the Top 21 albums of 2006 today based on careful calculations from staff picks (click #16 for my review of Belle and Sebastian's The Life Pursuit). As good as the list is in print, it’s even better online. I’ve already wasted the better part of an hour clicking on the wonderful Databot Listamatron. I love this thing! With a single click, it shows me that no other critic even considered Mastodon worthy of mention.

The Bloody Knee Jerk Albums of the Year List
1. Mastodon, Blood Mountain
2. Band of Horses, Everything All the Time
3. Belle and Sebastian, The Life Pursuit
4. Wolfmother, Wolfmother
5. Artic Monkeys, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not
6. The Decemberists, The Crane’s Wife
7. Islands, Return to the Sea
8. The Hold Steady, Boys and Girls in America
9. Yo La Tengo, I Am Not Afraid of You, and I Will Beat Your Ass!
10. Gnarls Barkley, St. Elsewhere

The Hold Steady’s Boys and Girls in America tops the CP list (#8 above), but other than Gnarls Barkley (#10, both lists), none of my choices resonated strongly enough to make the top 10. Three of my choices made the top 21, which speaks to the diversity of the critics and my list. As any good critic knows, there's a world of difference between studio and stage, so even though I ranked Wolfmother's album ahead of the Hold Steady this year, I was at the North Star for the Hold Steady and not the Electric Factory for Wolfmother on November 21, 2006. That said, both bands turned in fantastic performances at Lollapalooza in August.

Mastodon’s Blood Mountain reigns as my pick for album of the year because it’s been a long time since an album’s had me running around the room making train noises and ramming my head into the wall. Blood Mountain kicks so much ass that I couldn’t justify denying it top billing on my list just because Mastodon left Philly off their tour. Relapse Records (Mastodon’s label) is based in Upper Darby with a store just off South Street, and the band still skipped us. Unconscionable. Nonetheless, great music will prevail and I’m proud to say that I was the only reviewer putting Blood fuckin’ Mountain on my list, and number 1 to boot (black steel-toe, to the head).

It is impossible to hear every record released in a given year. I missed the Art Brut boat in 2005. Bang Bang Rock N Roll was released stateside in 2006, but putting it on my list would be akin to breaking my hip (Ha!), and I fear the wrath of Pelusi. Likewise, I only picked up Clipse’s Hell Hath No Fury CD last week (after CP polls were closed). Holy shit, this is a fine piece of work. Maybe I’m crazy, but I would rank it #4, which means that Gnarls gets bumped.

It’s a top 10 list, not a top 100 list, so the following albums although quite good, didn’t make the cut: Ghostface Killa, Fishscale; Regina Spektor, Begin to Hope; Cat Power, The Greatest; M Ward, Post War; The Flaming Lips, At War with the Mystics, and 80 albums I’m forgetting. Cat Power’s album is amazingly beautiful, but my approach to these end-of-year lists precludes me from including it because I rarely have the desire to listen to it. It collects dust along with 88% of my CD collection, and I skip its songs when they come up on my iPod (although I don’t go so far as to remove them). Pretty songs put me to sleep.

It’s A Material World Award
Tool, 10,000 Days
Regardless of the quality of the music inside, the packaging on a Tool album is always a work of art. Be it the magic motion inserts on Aenima, the multi-layered psychedelic medical booklet for Lateralus, or the fold-out viewfinder on 10,000 Days, thes artwork is innovative, visually stunning, and recalls classic LP covers, such as the zipper on the Rolling Stones' Sticky Fingers and the wheel on Led Zeppelin III. Using the compact disc format to its full artistic potential is one way to discourage illegal downloading, and downloading in general.


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Attention Chief Wiggum

Upcoming Philadelphia events:
Jan. 18, Bob Seger at the Spectrum
Jan. 19, Bob Saget at the Tower Theater

Fans of The Simpsons will recall the hilarious conversation between Lisa and Chief Wiggum in which he mistakes Bob Saget tickets for Bob Seger tickets. Mercy.

Worst. Post. Ever.


Friday, December 15, 2006

Ad It Up

Last Monday during Monday Night Football, two ads aired in succession that got me thinking.

The first ad was a postmodern piece for Sony's Playstation 3. It shows the product having a supernatural effect on a doll. What does it mean? Who cares? The ad doesn't have to make sense to sell this gaming console. Hell, Sony probably doesn't even need advertising to sell out this gaming console for Christmas. They could put a turd in a box, mark it PS3 and well...

The second ad took a more classic approach. It featured an iconic hero, a recognizable theme, and played to our love of the underdog. Yes, it was an ad for Rocky Balboa. Haters out there will put this movie down, but it can be argued that Rocky's done more good for Philadelphia in the past 30 years than anyone not named Rendell, Schmidt, or (person to be determined).


Thursday, December 14, 2006

Merry Lex-Mas: Let Them Eat Brakes

This Lexus commercial really bugs me.
Who are these suckers pulling their lawn chairs up to the curb outside this suburban McMansion to share the joy of a yuppie Christmas?
The poor? The hungry?
The huddled masses yearning to breathe free SUV exhaust?
Joy to the world.


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Peter Boyle, RIP: 1935--2006

The world bids farewell to La Salle University's most famous non-athlete graduate.
Peter Boyle died today at the age of 71.
Recommended viewing: Taxi Driver, Young Frankenstein, or that really excellent episode of The X-Files. Unable to find any of those titles, pick something else from the man's stellar resume.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A Toast at Your Wake

See you in hell, teetotalers! I'll tip my 40 on your grave when I'm 150.
Oh wait, there's a moderation clause. Damn.


Monday, December 11, 2006

She Likes COLD Beverages

Woman in St. Louis kills her 70-year-old husband because he gave her a warm beer.
Damn, that's cold blooded.
Still, he should have known at his age not to give his best gal a warm beer. It doesn't matter that the electricity was out; a true player always has a bucket of ice on hand (or hoofs it to the 7-11) for just this kind of situation. Word.


Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Philadelphia Sixers: Don't Trade Iverson

So the Sixers are the only winter sports team in this town that hasn't won 6 games yet.
Now they're going to trade Allen Iverson.
I have nothing to add except: Don't trade your best player, you morons!


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Mastodon Fails to Rock Philly

Mastodon hates Philadelphia. There can be no other explanation for why there's no Philly date on their upcoming tour.

I was going to rank Blood Mountain in my Top 10 albums of 2006, but now I just don't know.


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Are You Ready for Some Reading?

TV Guide is no longer just for TV listings and fanatics of "The Guide."

The Guide's weekly Monday Night Football blog by Philly talent Keith Presnall is essential Tuesday reading (and not just for the references to Chuck D, Stone Cold, and Dee Snyder).


Until Then, You're Not Right!

My beloved, 2006 World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals have been selected to play in the first Civil Rights Game on March 31, 2007 in Memphis.

Their opponent? The Cleveland Indians.

Nothing like celebrating the civil rights movement while offending Native Americans.

If only I knew how to insert an MP3 of Atom and His Package's "If You Own the Washington Redskins, You're a Cock" here.


Saturday, November 25, 2006

Inky Come Lately

The Philadelphia Inquirer decided today to report on musicians being robbed of their gear in Philly. Philebrity pointed out the Metro's slow-on-the-draw coverage of this trend over a month ago. My favorite sentence from the Inky story is:

At least eight bands have had their equipment stolen while on tour in the city since March, the most recent earlier this month.

The bold print is my emphasis as I note that today is November 25. I can't wait to read the Inky's Thanksgiving Day coverage this Christmas.


Philly Owns Christmas!

That's right. Philadelphia is all over Christmas this year.

At least at the box office.

Hometown hero Will Smith tugs the heart strings December 15th in The Pursuit of Happyness (can't say I approve of the spelling, but there's probably an explanation), while Sylvester Stallone delivers body blows December 22nd in Rocky Balboa, shot here in Philly.

The Rocky site plays the "Gonna Fly Now" theme. Turn that shit up!


Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving 2006

Feeding on the encouragement of one BKJ reader, I'm live blogging the Thanksgiving Day parades again this year from the warmth and comfort of Lancaster, PA.

Last night's fun at the Khyber ended too late for Amtrak, so I was on the rails early this morning and we're joining our holiday program already in progress.

8:55 AM: It's raining in Philadelphia, and from the looks of the wet spots on the backs of one dancer's yellow parachute pants, this guy took a spill somewhere along the parade route.

Still in Philadelphia, here comes the first balloon of the day. It's Barney! Or some facsimile of Barney. It's big, it's pink/purple, and it looks like a dinosaur, but I'm pretty sure this is a sweat-shop bootleg Barney.

Pat Sajak takes Tony Danza's place as the honorary grand marshall of the parade this year. His duties are pretty simple. "My job is to eat the turkey."

9:06 New York: The 80th Macy's Thanksgiving Parade has gotten underway, and the rain is falling on A Chorus Line. The line between attractive for stage and attractive for television has blurred dramatically, or this could just be par for NYC. No doubt these actors are the envy of every other parade participant today--they're done for the day.

9:2? Philadelphia: I've already lost track of time (can't see the clock from my chair). Winnie the Pooh is making his way past the Art Museum. The narration of the parade is surprisingly informative, going into detail about A. A. Milne's creation. Pooh-san is much beloved in Japan (as is the next character, Hello Kitty--Kitty-chan), and I was fortunate enough to see my 2-year-old niece meet him at Disney World in October. I'll keep the personal remarks to a minimum. Oh, look who's decided to show up; it's Mayor John Street.

Cecily Tynan is having way too much fun with the Pirate Cove float and the nautical dialogue. Of course, she has some experience in these matters.

9:28 New York: What the hell is going on? These kids look like Oompa Loompas. Oh, it's the Grinch. Look, he's stealing Christmas. OK. The song's over. Wait. Where's he going? Is he coming back? We just saw him steal Christmas, but they left out the Grinch's transformation and change of heart. The whole lesson of the story has been lost. It seems appropriate that both parades have gone to commercial at this moment.

Bloody Mary time.

9:34 New York: Martin Short in a helicopter is actually funny. The Color Purple's "Mysterious Ways" sounds nothing like U2's version.

9:36 Philadelphia: Kelly Ripa is back in Philadelphia, perky as ever. Hilarity enrupts in our living room when they begin airing recorded clips of Disney on Ice and my father unwittingly asks, "How did they get the ice on the street?" Mercy.

More commercials. While the ads run, I come across the following facts from NPR: The balloons in New York must come down if the wind gusts to 34 miles per hour, or the wind blows at a sustained 23 mph. Only once, 1973, did the balloons have to come down.

9:50 Philadelphia: Sajak's out, Ripa's in. This has become a parade tradition: Ripa infusing new blood into the back end of the ceremony.

9:53 New York: The Rockettes have arrived. Those costumes do not look warm. My uncle just announced out of the blue, "I'm not fond of fondue."

9:54 Philadelphia: Kelly's turkey hat is fantastic! And here's 12-year-old Bianca Ryan. Just wait until her voice changes, she'll be coked-up and washed out, but she'll always remember the time when she was America's sweetheart. Huh, look at that split screen technology. It's like she's singing to herself.

10:00 Philadelphia: Someone is performing "Walk Like an Egyptian," and Kelly's wearing a King Tut hat. I just realized that every time a marching band comes along, the Philadelphia parade cuts to commercial.

10:13 Philadelphia: Civic Pride Moment: Philly celebrates its roots and Kevin Bacon with a tribute to Footloose. The man himself is nowhere in sight.

10:20 New York: Said of the Mr. Peanut balloon: "a legend among legumes." The broadcasters are announcing "a surprise visit by the Energizer Bunny." A surprise? Really? C'mon.

10:26 Philadelphia: Desperate to sate her hat addiction, Kelly's stolen Cecily Tynan's baby's hat. Let the "Kelly eats children" rumors start.

10:32 New York: The Sesame Street characters are singing about "another sunny day." The parade's gone metaphorical. Deeeeep. And now, New York has a King Tut performance, too. Sure, their dancers didn't bump into each other the way ours did, but only Philadelphia will be hosting the real King Tut.

11:07 New York: Why are Daryl Hall and John Oates performing in the New York parade? Shouldn't they be in Philly? They are treating the City of Brotherly Love like an abandoned luncheonette. Where is their plaque: Broad Street or Broadway? Tear it up! Boo! I'm out of here. Actually, I nod off into a disheartened slumber and wake up midway through the first quarter of the Lions-Dolphins game. Something smells good.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Guess What's Still F'd Up

One week and counting to fix a broken handrail at 34th and Market.


Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick

Last night there was a huge banner of 2006 National League MVP Ryan Howard on City Hall. I saw it on the way to the North Star for the Hold Steady show, but I was sans camera. Even though I am not a Phillies fan, I recognize that Howard's achievement is great publicity for this city I call home, and I planned on dropping by the Hall today to snap a picture.

This award is a big deal, right? It was a big deal for me when Albert "El Hombre" Pujols took the honor in 2005. So, you'd think Philadelphia would hang that banner proudly for a while, right?


The banner was already gone this afternoon, and I'm left reprinting the stock image that's all over the internet.

When I read this story about Mayor Street botching Ryan Howard's name at the ceremony, I realized the banner wasn't meant as a tribute, it was just a giant cue card for Hizzoner. Next time, the mayor's handlers should make the cue card bigger and place it in front of the podium, not behind it.

One last thought: Howard for Mayor.

*in the interest of giving the full story, the banner originated at Citizens Bank Park, and I believe it's been returned there (unconfirmed).


Sunday, November 19, 2006

Modest Mouse on Marr

All the years of being "The City that Never Sleeps" finally caught up with the Big Apple, as New York City seemed tired last night.

The level of affected boredom in that town always drives me nuts, but it was particularly irritating last night at the Bowery Ballroom for Modest Mouse.

Let's go to the tale of the texts.

8:30: Bowery Ballroom is a fantastic venue!
Still relatively sober as I send this message. The Bowery is a great place to see a show, better than the Roseland.

9:30: David Cross and Johnny Marr performing a parody of U2’s “One” in commemoration of the Bank of America merger. Funny stuff.

About 5 beers into the show at this point. Opening act Marcellus Hall is lounging in a private, screened off room in the back of the balcony. I later discovered the Bank of America song that Johnny Marr and David Cross sang was actually performed at a Bank of America corporate event to celebrate their merger with MBNA.

Soon after sending this text I stepped across the velvet rope into the VIP section, removed a table tent emblazoned with "Reserved Modest Mouse" and had a front-railing view of the stage. The only problem was sneaking back in whenever my beer cup ran dry.

11:??: Best show ever. Ever.
Texted this after Modest Mouse played "Trailer Trash." Closing their encore with "Doin' the Cockroach" also cemented this sentiment in my mind. In the sober light of day, this show was fantastic, but I'm not sure it can top the time I saw Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick performing "The Show" (not the featured link, but really worth watching).

The only defense I have for my following name-dropping is that it was my first celebrity run-in (except when I saw this guy in Lancaster about 20 years ago). With the opening strands of “Doin’ the Cockroach,” I yelled, “David, good to see you,” shook Cross’s hand (abiding Ice Cube's words), ran down the stairs, and waded straight to the front of the stage before Isaac announced, “I was in heaven, I was in hell, believe in neither but fear ‘em as well…”

As the drunken bumpkin from the sticks (Philly), I was completely entertained and going bananas, as every one around me was doing their best to appear bored. At least they were nodding to the music. As I was stompin' my feet and jumping around, I high-fived a guy in the middle of "Cockroach"—damn, you should’ve seen the scared look in his eyes. He gave me his wallet.

I waded unaccosted to the front of the crowd like a giant through tall grass, and I was drumming on the stage by the end of the song. Right in front. Stompin and pogoing, and generally being a rowdy concertgoer in the midst of a bunch of staid, bored hipsters. This would never happen in Philadelphia, I've tried. Bunch of dispassionate, world-weary fuckers. Philly kicks NYC’s ass.

??:??: NYC is a town of pussies and posers. I am king of of New York.
The double “of” was not intentional. The alcohol hammer had dropped.

After the show, it was over to Brooklyn where I met the "grandmother of literary hipsters," Maud, who hates to be called “grandmother” or “hipster,” even though that's how my friend described her. For the rest of the night, I had to keep this in mind as Mrs. Parker's devotees maintained a steady stream of doting at the round table. She seemed like a good shit (and was dressed a bit like the Queen's mum), and you gotta give her credit for keeping her blog going after the novel-ty has worn off for her.

My friend Dennis was also at the bar. When "The Writer's Mind" opens in New York, go see it.

Modest Mouse: 11/18/2006
Paper-Thin Walls
Float On
The View
Fire It Up
We’ve Got Everything
Missed the Boat
Tiny Cities Made of Ashes
Black Cadillacs
Trailer Trash

Continental Breakfast???
Ocean Breathes Salty
Bury Me With It
Doin’ the Cockroach


Friday, November 17, 2006

The Philadelphia Sixers: Update

Don't look now, but the Flyers have won 2 in a row. One more win on Saturday, and they'll be the first Philadelphia sports team to hit 6 wins this season.

The Sixers won on Wednesday to improve to 4-3, so they're still in the running to be the first to 6 wins.

The Eagles (5-4) square off against the Titans on Sunday.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Philadelphia Sixers?

The sports section leads with its comprehensive and in-depth coverage of how bad Philadelphia sports teams suck. It's a portrait of futility that The Blarney Stone commemorates with a board detailing years and games lost by the Flyers, Sixers, Phillies, and Eagles since this town's last championship (1983 Sixers).

Taking a look at the sports in season at the moment, I wonder: Which team will be the real 6-ers come Sunday?

The Flyers are an abysmal 3-12-2 with 3 games to play before Sunday (11/15, 11/16, and 11/18)
The Sixers (3-3) got off to a fast start before returning to mediocrity. They could be 6-3 if they win on 11/15, 11/17, and 11/18.
The Eagles are a hair over .500 with a 5-4 record. If they beat the Titans on Sunday, they'll be 6-4.

So, will the real "sixers" please stand up?


Anne Frank's Tree

The chestnut tree growing outside of Anne Frank's house (huis) in Amsterdam is going to be cut down because it is rotten with fungus.
Nothing to add, just putting the word out in case Bloody Knee Jerk is your source for news.

I wish I could save it with some sort of pesticide.


Friday, November 10, 2006

Taking Excellence to New Lows

Most uninspired headline ever. Courtesy of the new Philadelphia Inquirer.

The Decemberists perform at the Electric Factory

Perhaps it is fitting that this uninspired show was given such an uninspired headline. The Decemberists played like they were going through the motions. Welcome to Dullsville.


Monday, November 06, 2006

Tower Records, R.I.P., But Still a Rip!

Certainly not fresh news, but Tower Records is going out of business. They've hired people to stand on the corner with signs foretelling their demise and promising big savings.

Currently these big savings are 30% rock and pop CDs (40% off hip hop). That's 30 percent off the list price, which at Tower Records was always $15.99 and up. Quick math prices CDs that used to cost $15.99--$18.99 at $11.20--$13.30.

Congratulations Tower Records, you're finally selling CDs at a price comparable to what A.K.A. Music has always charged. Don't let your boarded-up front door hit you in the ass as you leave South Street (or the revolving door on Broad Street).


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Ghost of Christmas Past

It's only November, but with the rash of Flyers firings and resignations, Christmas has come early!

Dec. 9 at the Keswick Theater: A Peter White Christmas.
Share the holiday spirit with a 4th-line center who never hustled and his drunken, out-of-work father-in-law. All the seasonal pageantry of a has-been and a never was…on ice!

Unless there's another Peter White (Warning: link plays smooth jazz).


Friday, September 08, 2006

Get Your Fringe On!

Tonight marks my unbilled Fringe Festival debut.

Come see Speak! Mascot

September 8--10 with It or Her (2 shows for the price of 1!)
Mum Puppettheatre
115 Arch Street
7 pm

My role is tiny. The show is great!

I really need to update this blog more often.


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

40 oz to Freedom, but Not to Northern Liberties

What is this horseshit? No 40s to be sold in Northern Liberties? Just one more reason for me not to visit. Don't get me wrong. No Libs is fine--if you live there or own a car. Otherwise, it sucks to fuckin' get there.
But more to the point: 40 ounces or fight! Or 40 ounces and fight. Whichever.


Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Burning the Flag? Fire Works!

Happy 4th of July!

Freedom lives!!!!
This week the amendment to ban flag burning was defeated in the Senate by 1 vote.
Republicans would like to brand the left as a bunch of cowards who hate America and refuse to fight. Fuck that shit. I will take up arms (thank you 2nd amendment) in defense of the 1st amendment. Hooray for freedom of expression!

I'm expressin' with my full capabilities, And now I'm livin' in correctional facilities
Cause some don't agree with how I do this.

-Dr. Dre, "Express Yourself", 1989

I may be unoriginal in many respects, but one thought I had this week that I have not heard voiced is my opinion that forced reverence for the flag weakens our nation. I was brought up with a healthy dose of American history and I respect America too much to force someone to worship its flag. I rise at baseball games and remove my cap when the national anthem is played because I learned to respect this country through my education. I was fortunate enough to have teachers in elementary and secondary schools who introduced me to American history and civics, and I paid a lot of fucking attention.

Forcing Americans to praise the flag by enacting a new amendment to ban flag desecration is both lazy and fascist. It devalues the flag to force Americans to worship it without question. From the Philadelphia Inquirer on June 25, 2006:

The countries that enacted national bans on flag desecration are Cuba, China, Iran, Nazi Germany, and Iraq under Saddam Hussein.

Hmm. I think I saw at least one of those countries listed in the Axis of Evil. George W. Bush, who dodged the draft in Vietnam, wants to ban flag burning, while John Kerry, a decorated veteran, stands against a constitutional amendment. Who understands the nature of American freedom better? No flip flop here. It’s time to readjust the bell curve for I.Q. based on the results of the 2004 presidential election and the USA Today poll indicating that 56% of Americans approve of an amendment to ban flag burning. The first amendement protects freedom. As much as I hate racists, the 1st Amendment protects their freedom of speech. So when the Republicans want to ban flag burning, I can only agree with Ice Cube: "You can burn your cross, while I burn your flag."

It brings me no pleasure to point out the following similarity:

I'm not buying what you're selling.


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Sleater-Kinney Leave You Behind

Holy Shit! Sleater-Kinney are breaking up.
Holy double shit! There are still tickets left to their July 31st show at the Starlight Ballroom.
If you miss out on this one, don't come crying to me. And don't mug me for my ticket, either.
Adios, Sleater-Kinney!


Sunday, June 25, 2006

Reign in Blood(y Knee Jerk)

All Slayer, All the Time!
Like triple 6's, here's my third consecutive post on Slayer.
Stop staring at the cover of the City Paper and read this week's Blistered in the Sun here (hint: it's about Slayer).
Now for the photos.

Also: Tweeter Center staff have festive new uniforms this summer.


Friday, June 16, 2006


Back from the Slayer show at the Tweeter Center, my first and possibly only stop there this summer. The Tweeter Center's been my home away from home these past 3 summers, but no longer. Tonight's Slayer show might be my first and last appearance at Camden's big house.

Also on the agenda of firsts and lasts is taking a camera to a metal show. Shit. I can't mix it up properly in the pit if I'm constantly worried about breaking the camera in my pocket. What was that Fight Club quote? The things you own end up owning you?

Got some excellent shots tonight, but also got a few clunkers like the one at the top of the page and the following.
This is a hat worn by the girl in front of me. For some reason, my camera switched from instant snapshot to a 5-second delay mode. I thought I was taking a picture of Children of Bodom, but instead I got this camouflaged chapeau. I feel a bit like the Greatest American Hero--I lost the instruction manual to this camera, and I have no idea how to use its power. Sometimes it's great (Lollapalooza 2005), other times the pictures are as shitty as my high school photo class snapshots (which I tended to solarize to compensate for my declining vision). Not sure why a digital camera is taking blurry pictures. Maybe the metal was just too fuckin' fast.

A review of this show will may appear as Blistered in the Sun in next Thursday's City Paper.

Speaking of the City Paper, I managed to escape the notice and ire of Philebrity this week when they named names of CP staffers with blogs. Probably because this fucking blog is updated once a decade and only read by my mom (Hi Mom). Nonetheless, Pat Rapa hit the nail on the head when he called Philebrity on the whole blogger complains about other blogs bullshit. I'm guilty of it. Coincidentally, I have a picture of myself sitting in the clog featured on the Philebrity post. I'm a tourist.



Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Happy Slayer Day!

Today is the National Day of Slayer!

I'm sure there were other metal bands that considered releasing an album today in an attempt to beef up their evil fan base (at least the ones quickly parted from their money), but Slayer went ahead and took the bull by the horns and declared a national holiday in their own honor. Any word on how the Prince of Darkness feels about being usurped?

Additional listening if you don't have any Slayer in your collection or if the 35-minute Reign in Blood gets worn out before its 48th playing at midnight.

Danzig: His whole solo catalog
Iron Maiden: The Number of the Beast
White Zombie: La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Vol. 1
Marilyn Manson: Antichrist Superstar
AC/DC: Highway to Hell
The Charlie Daniels Band: "Devil Went Down to Georgia"
The Rolling Stones: "Sympathy for the Devil"
Ice Cube: "Horny Lil' Devil" (not about Satan, per se, but Cube's new album drops today)
The Mountain Goats: "The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton" (for a little perspective on these bands and the kids who listen to them)

Avoid Stryper's To Hell With the Devil at all costs today.


Thursday, May 25, 2006

How Can Rock So Right Be So Wrong?

The New York Times ran an article on the National Review’s list of the Top 50 Conservative Rock songs. At Number 1 is the Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” Personally, I don’t give a fuck about the politics behind this classic song (although it reignites the debate between the artist’s intended message vs. the message interpreted by the audience), but the article was an eye opener. According to the National Review conservatives embrace the sad identity of “disillusioned revolutionaries” ready to conform to society. What a bunch of quitters. “Meet the new boss / Same as the old boss.” New or old, the boss is still an asshole. I always thought conservatives were assholes, but I didn’t know they were proud of that distinction.

Domestic spying and wiretapping are conservative values, right? The list includes "Sweet Home Alabama," which defends the Watergate break-ins, so why aren’t “Private Eyes” and “Every Breath You Take” on this list? If conservatives hate a "nanny state" so much, why are they monitoring American citizens like babies?

Seriously, I feel bad for a group that claims Sammy Hagar for their own.

*The New York Times articles are only free for a couple more days, and the original list at the National Review will cost you, but you can still read one entry for free (for a short time).


SEPTA Run by Vampires

"There's no debate, it's called gravy not blood, I mean pasta sauce." Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula shills for SEPTA and drives the Night Owl bus.

I've long suspected that SEPTA was run by a bunch of belligerant, know nothing know-it-alls bleeding this city dry, but who knew they hired actual vampires. Their "Genuine Philly" ad campaign can be neatly broken down into three categories: food, fightin' words, and ignorance.

Goodwill Rescinded
Not sure if this is a case of SEPTA biting the hand that feeds or whether I gave them enough rope to hang themselves. Either way, all bets are off and SEPTA can fuck off.

After praising SEPTA for their handling of the 15th Street shutdown a couple weeks ago, I was confronted with the ugly face (literally) of SEPTA on Friday. As SEPTA employees were mopping the floor at the 8th Street station I walked through the wet area. One mopper said, "It's wet, are you stupid?" The whole damned station was wet, and I remarked, "It's wet everywhere, jackass." This drew a chorus of heckling from his fellow employees, "It's wet everywhere. It's raining, it's raining." Never try to match wits with a SEPTA mopper.

Mopping the floor of a SEPTA station isn't exactly buffing the marble floor at Versailles, and in my defense I probably subconsciously walked on the freshly mopped area because it was just slightly less urine soaked than the rest of the station.

Mystery solved
A while back I reported on a trash play pen at 34th and Market that had been there for over a year. On Tuesday, there was a SEPTA truck parked next to this eyesore and by the afternoon it had been cleared away. It only took them a year to clean up their mess, but SEPTA got there...eventually.


Monday, May 22, 2006

No Iron Maidens from Philly?

Philadelphia ladies of metal, Bloody Knee Jerk still loves you, even if Ozzfest doesn't.

I can't decide if it's good or bad that the Search for Miss Ozzfest contest is skipping Philadelphia (or Camden) on August 4. It's a given that this contest is sexist and probably involves catcalls from meatheads; however, there are many attractive ladies of metal in Philadelphia deserving of attention. I suppose they could drive to Scranton, if they really want to be objectified.

For Ozzy, there will only be one true Iron Maiden.


Monday, May 15, 2006

No Amnesty for Superman!

President Bush's speech tonight on immigration neglected to mention a red-and-blue-tighted illegal immigrant who has been operating in the United States for decades.

Superman may have saved this country countless times since 1938, but that doesn't mean he should be granted immediate citizenship. That is amnesty, and it is "unfair to those who are here lawfully." It doesn't matter that he escaped from a planet that was about to explode, Superman became an illegal alien the moment his spaceship crash landed in Smallville, Kansas, U.S.A.

According to Bush's plan, Superman "will have to wait in line behind those who played by the rules and followed the law." Why should this alien who has been saving this country singlehandedly for almost 80 years become a citizen before an illegal alien who served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 26 years? When Bush talks about "jobs Americans are not doing," he means joining the military, cleaning toilets, and saving the Earth from Terrance Stamp.

Under Bush's proposed temporary worker program, Superman will be allowed to save our country from meteorites legally for "a limited period of time" and then go back to his Fortress of Solitude at the North Pole. With the new temporary work program in place, employers will have no excuse for hiring illegal immigrants, and finally Bush will be in a position to prosecute Perry White, editor of that liberal rag The Daily Planet for hiring a "Clark Kent."

Until his work permit comes through, Superman will be held in the brand new detention center Bush plans to build on the moon to hold illegal space aliens. Sure there's no air on the moon, but according to our president if illegal aliens "walk across miles of desert in the summer heat," they'll certainly volunteer to go work on a lifeless rock. Let's hope the temporary work permits run out before the air supply.


Thursday, May 11, 2006

Shortest Time to Extinction Ever!

The coolest thing since the liger.
50% polar bear + 50% grizzly bear = 100% awesome.
Also 100% dead because someone shot it.
It went from mythical creature to endangered species to extinction in the span of an afternoon.

Looks like 2 Live Crew were on to something in 1989.

Mama Bear and Papa Bear went for a walk through the forest
Mama Bear asked Papa Bear could he eat her porridge
Papa Bear said 'shit bitch, you must think I'm sick
Just get down here, on your knees
And suck this badass dick'


Sunday, May 07, 2006

Why Inquirer, Why?

Another "liberal rag" bites the dust.

Today's Philadelphia Inquirer ran a picture of a Ku Klux Klan member on page A6. That's it, just a picture and a caption. There's no story accompanying the picture (taken at an anti-immigration rally), so why is it being printed?

I know the Philadelphia Inquirer is cutting staff and enlarging its font size to fill the blank space, but now they are resorting to running wire service photos of the Klan from the Birmingham News?? WTF? The Klan's ignorance and racism are protected under the First Amendment, but why are they being publicized?

What is the story here? The Klan is still active in Alabama? Well no shit. Why is the Philadelphia Inquirer advertising this fact? Protecting free speech, even for racist assholes, is safer than outlawing these beliefs and letting them fester like a cancer. There is no need to advertise for these groups.

Earlier in the week reported on the Spanish version of the "Star Spangled Banner":

Outrage over what's being called "The Illegal Alien Anthem" is already building in the blogosphere and among conservative commentators.
Leave it to the Right-Wingers to insist on a unilingual country. Is there any form of tolerance, understanding, compassion, or integration that they won't shit on?

A lesson in synonyms and alliteration: Right Wing = Republican = Racist.

Addendum: 10:15 pm, May 7, 2006
After a conversation with a friend and some reflection, maybe the Inquirer was trying to make the subtle point that everyone protesting immigration is racist and the Klan is the face of that protest. Perhaps. I don't do subtlety well, and I probably wouldn't know subtlety if it hit me over the head.


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Rage Against the Mundane

Perhaps it's telling that it took NPR and a Neil Young album for me to finally finish this stupid entry about the dearth of protest music in an era ripe for protest. This isn’t exactly Under the Rock, which is consistently well written and backed up by research. No, this is more akin to Smash Your Head On the (Punk) Rock: messy and haphazard with only a single source on the reference, excuse me, works cited page.

The Goats reunion show at the Khyber in January reminded me how sorely the music scene needs a dissenting voice in the current political climate.

Where have you gone Zack De La Rocha?
A nation turns its angry eyes to you.

This could be Rage Against the Machine's finest moment. So where the fuck are they? It's like Superman II all over again; 3 super villains are running the country (Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld), trampling civil liberties, and there's no one to champion the people.*

Zack disappeared after 1999's Battle of Los Angeles, but the seeds of his reclusion were planted in 1995 when the Smashing Pumpkins released their anthem to defeatism, "Bullet with Butterfly Wings." The kids were angry, the colleges were a hotbed for a slacker revolution, and then, like a wet blanket, Billy Corgan screams, "Despite all my rage, I'm still just a rat in a cage!"

With one catchy chorus he took the wind out of countless angst-ridden sails and thousands of kids walked the plank into conformity, and corporate America breathed a sigh of relief. Being angry and doing something didn't mean shit, so it was off to haircuts, dead-end 9-to-5 jobs, and Starbucks-style homogenization.**

After unknowingly being used as a corporate schill, Corgan's band fell apart, his solo album sucked, and he bought an ad (on the day he released his shitty solo album) admitting he sucked and wishing he could take it all back. Too bad, pumpkin, the damage has been done.

Who's taken up the fight? System of a Down? Pretenders to the throne. Ministry? They're still fighting the good fight, but their influence has always been limited (they never packed arenas the way RATM did), and their recent efforts have been sub-par.

Damn it's great to have the Goats back.

Donde es la rock?***
Maybe it's better that Zack burned out instead of turning into Audioslave.

The current breed of hybrid supergroups have left everything good about Soundgarden, Rage Against the Machine, Guns-N-Roses, and even Stone Temple Pilots behind when they formed. Absolute crap from Velvet Revolver, Audioslave, and the re-formed Guns-N-Roses (3 songs from the forthcoming Chinese Democracy were leaked earlier this year, and they suck).

*I originally had DeLay in there when I started this entry.
**OK, I'm oversimplifying the situation. Most of the frat guys and meatheads listening to Rage Against the Machine were destined for conformity anyway.
***I use "ser" (the permanent form of "to be") because I don't think the lack of rock is a temporary situation. These bands eat ass. In the halls of supergroups, they're not Cream.


Sunday, April 23, 2006

Juicy, Junior, Real Juicy

Woke up this morning with a swollen uvula, which prompted a trip to the Emergency Room. The damn thing felt like a golf ball on the back of my tongue simultaneously blocking my windpipe while also triggering a gag reflex.

This is the second time my uvula's tried to kill me. The first was about 4 years ago when I had an allergic reaction to Foster's beer (Australian for death).* Unlike that trip to the ER, I wasn't admitted to the hospital today. After an IV,** a dose of steroids, and a prescription for more steroids, my uvula shrank enough that I could swallow water, and I was discharged. Look for me to hit supernatural 500-ft home-runs and tarnish the national pastime this week. Juicing!

*I think I've made that joke about a thousand times, probably on this blog somewhere.
**Speaking of IV (as in the number 4), there's something about a fourth album that causes bands to ditch creative titles. Godsmack, whose album titles really aren't that creative to begin with, becomes the latest band to title their fourth album "four" (even though All Music Guide lists IV as their sixth record--that's a lot of mediocrity). Other bands taking off for the fourth: Cypress Hill, Stone Temple Pilots, Led Zeppelin (not really slacking as their first 4 albums were numbered), Seal, Blues Traveler, etc. While Coheed and Cambria's Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV sports a large "IV" on the cover, it is their third official release. 10-4, good buddies.


Friday, April 21, 2006

Mixed Bag

Holy Shit! Kudos to SEPTA for their handling of the closure of 15th Street station due to a fire earlier today. Riders who normally disembark at 15th for the free transfer to the Broad Street Line were forced off at 13th Street where they were greeted by SEPTA employees at EVERY turnstile and exit directing them to the free Orange Line interchange. I admit to being hard on SEPTA (deservedly so, I think), but they handled this situation well.

Earlier this month disgruntled Phillies fans showed restraint when SEPTA distributed chocolate "tokens" to riders taking the subway to the Phillies home opener. It's OK to take candy from strangers if they're wearing a SEPTA smock. As far as I know, no one jammed a "token" into the turnstile even though they were marked "Good for One Fare." Perhaps they recognized that the gesture would have missed its mark: the employee who would have had to clean out the slot wouldn't have been a SEPTA manager or policy maker.

On the down side, this eye sore has been blocking the subway entrance at 34th and Market for more than a year with no sign of any progress or work taking place. It has essentially become a trash playpen for broken beer bottles, crushed cans, a sneaker (left foot, size 11), and various debris.

This week it's become a cup holder. There are no signs indicating who's to blame for this fiasco, but inquiries are being made.


Thursday, April 06, 2006

Didn't I Just Blow Your Mind, Again (Aussie Edition)

Following up on my last post, I received the same chain e-mail about the time and date aligning to 01:02:03 04/05/06 from an Australian friend with British spelling and a minor change. Down under (and pretty much everywhere that isn't the United States) the date is written day/month/year. So, if you slept through the aligning of the stars in the U.S. on April 5th, head to some other country to catch the "momentous event" on May 4th.

Thursday the 4th of May , at two minutes and three seconds after 1:00 in the morning, the time and date will be 01:02:03 04/05/06.

Everybody say, "huh, that's kind of interesting" and go back to sleep. 01:02:03 04/05/06 is the new 4:20.


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Didn't I Just Blow Your Mind?

On Wednesday of this week, at two minutes and three seconds after 1:00 in the morning, the time and date will be 01:02:03 04/05/06.

That won't ever happen again.

The tidbit above came from a chain e-mail my aunt forwarded to me. Obviously the creator of the e-mail (presumably not my aunt) is short sighted. Unless he/she is privy to some end-of-the-world cataclysmic information, the time and date will be 01:02:03 04/05/06 again in 3006, 4006, 5006, etc. Maybe the author meant to write "That won't ever happen again in your lifetime."


Monday, April 03, 2006

Play Ball!

It's Opening Day 2006, and the St. Louis Cardinals are in town for their only visit of the season. I miss the days when the Cards would match up against the Phils and Mets for more than two series. Those rivalries produced some great baseball (particularly Cards vs. Mets), but I guess the geniuses at MLB thinks interleague games against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays are more exciting. Enough on that though, it's a new season and the Phillies have a new slogan...the Cardinals old slogan: Red Means Go! Real original, Philadelphia. The Cards retired that slogan in 2006 (it served them well the past 3 seasons) in favor of a slogan that touts the new Busch Stadium: Welcome to Baseball Heaven. There's no way the Phils could ever claim that slogan for their own.

I am off to the game this afternoon to duck beer bottles thrown at my head, and to watch the reigning Cy Young Award winner (Chris Carpenter) and National League MVP (Albert Pujols) square off against the 2005 NL Rookie of the Year (Ryan Howard). Can some baseball guru tell me when (or if) that has happened before in an Opening Day game? Let the Ryan Howard trade rumors begin (a la Schmidt, Schilling, Rolen, Burrell, Abreu).* The Sillies Phuck!**

Go Cardinals!

*The Cardinals already have a pretty good 1st baseman, but Abreu in the outfield would be sweet, and it sounded like a distinct possibility for the Redbirds to make the move this past off-season. Even if Abreu’s best days are behind him (as many so-called experts claim), he’s still a dynamic player with sound defensive skills and a good bat. But if the Phillies faithful would rather have another Bud Smith, I’m sure the Cardinals can find one in their system. Actually, to be fair to Bud Smith, he did throw a no-hitter as a Redbird, and it was pretty damned exciting to watch (on TV). Not sure why the Philadelphia dis-Cards are still listing David Bell as the starting 3rd baseman when they have Abraham Nunez (Nunez is listed third on the depth chart behind Bell and Alex Gonzalez).

**Maybe it was carrying a sign with that phrase into Veterans Stadium that prompted the beer bottle thrown at my brother's head a few years back.


Thursday, March 30, 2006

Spinto Band

The Spinto Band kazoo. My lousy picture does not do it justice. How on Earth a digital camera took an out-of-focus picture, I will never know.

Before going into a long-winded entry, let me skip to the chase: See the Spinto Band at the TLA tonight!

As one who knows and loves free swag, the Spinto Band kazoos chucked into the Starlight Ballroom audience on Sunday night (3/26/06) rank among the best. Sadly, I was not in position to snatch one from the air. Worse, the uber-hipsters who were able to make the grab, pocketed them and didn’t play along during “Brown Boxes”. Shit.

Too little, too late I paid a buck for a Spinto kazoo at the merchandise stand, so I am ready* for their TLA show on Thursday with National Eye and The Teeth (couldn’t find the official Teeth website, only lots of information on Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem). I have no qualms about making an ass of myself (and embarrassing those around me), as I did at the Belle and Sebastian/New Pornographers show at the Electric Factory a few weeks ago. Yep, I was “the yelling guy in Philadelphia” (A.C. Newman’s term) shouting for “From Blown Speakers”. I was NOT the dumbass who kept asking, “Where’s Neko”? That dude needs to do his homework before coming to class.

More later.

*Or I thought I was ready. Somehow I managed to pick the one broken kazoo (missing the membrane) out of the whole pile.


Sunday, February 05, 2006

Super Drunk 40: Fistful of Steel

Touchdown Steelhawks!
This game was over the moment the Seahawks loped onto the field to "Bittersweet Symphony". Worst entrance music ever. It's the musical equivalent of saying, "We're just happy to be here." For the sake of continuity, the song did inadvertently tie kick-off with the half-time "entertainment" ("Bittersweet Symphony" borrowed from the Rolling Stones' "The Last Time"; lawsuit filed). The choice of music is particularly shameful considering the game was played in Detroit Rock City. There are hundreds of hard rock anthems from the Motor City that would have better fit the bill. Don't tell me the Nuge doesn't like football.

As for the game, obviously the Steelers wanted the victory more: evident by the way Bill Cowher was cradling the Lombardi Trophy like a newborn baby ("You will be called stitch face") in the commercials for the game. It was odd that ABC wasted valuable ad time to run commercials promoting a game already in progress. Were they afraid viewers might tune out or possibly get distracted by the barrage of advertising and forget there was a game being played?

Speaking of commercials (and who doesn't talk about the Super Bowl ads), Fed Ex failed the truth in advertising test (or they're promoting Intelligent Design) by showing cavemen alongside dinosaurs. Beer ads teach us that commercials don't have to be realistic, now Fed Ex demonstrates that they don't have to be historically accurate, either. Que sera.

I am 40 sheets to the wind, but I distinctly remember a piece in the Onion about a razor with 5 blades, and now it's come to fruition.*

*Link added on 2/6 thanks to this piece in Slate Magazine.


Super Bowl 40?

Game on.
Which will become stale first, the game or the 40?


Sunday, January 22, 2006

Bigger & Denser

So McDonald's got rid of the "Super Size" because the larger portions contributed to obesity. But now they've introduced the Double Quarter Pounder with cheese, and billed them hors d'ouevres (or so the ad campaign goes).

Super Size was at least truth in advertising. If you order a Super-Size meal, you could expect to be super sized. The Double Quarter Pounder is sold under the slogan "Pound One". Last time I checked, two quarter pounds only equal a half pound. McDonald's is encouraging consumers to eat 2 Double Quarter Pounders with their slogan. Super Sizing isn't gone, it's just gotten sneaky.

Read the page on Dr. Cathy Kapica, McDonald's Global Director of Nutrition. Maybe she can explain what "Grill Seasonings" are and why they are so essential to taste that it's worth adding 240 mg of sodium. As if being a "dietitian" with McDonald's simply isn't enough of a joke in itself, she lists her favorite part of the job as getting paid to hang out with Ronald McDonald. Well, when you work in the fictional realm of fast food nutrition, you're bound to make a few fictional friends.


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Happy Bloody Birthday!

Today marks the first birthday of Bloody Knee Jerk and the 300th birthday of Ben Franklin, and I'm celebratin' with a delicious American brewed malt beverage served in a luxurious 40 oz glass container. True, I might be drinkin' a 40 even if it weren't such a momentous occasion, but tonight I'm tippin' the first sip to my man, BF.

The Daily News serves up a Franklin quiz that caters to the sub-moronic. They even botch the headline for the piece: "Put your Franlinania to the test". Franklinania? What the hell is that? Is it the state bordering Pennsylvania? Is it supposed to be Franklin mania or Franklin inanity? My suggestion: Test your Franklinsense.

The Philadelphia Inquirer enumerates Franklin's achievements. One in particular caught my eye:
lead the militia that drove hostile Indian tribes from the Lehigh Valley

There's no way to dress that up in political correctness without making Franklin look like an imperialist asshole.

Neither Philadelphia paper speculates how Franklin might feel about the security and inaccessibility of Independence Hall.

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Ben Franklin

Click for more wisdom from the man.


Monday, January 16, 2006

Clap Your Hands Say FUCK NO!

As if "In This Home On Ice" didn't already rip off the Cure's "Just Like Heaven", now Clap Your Hands Say Yeah are taking a cue from Ticketmaster and ripping off concertgoers, and presumably their own fans since the ticket pre-sale is through their website, with inflated service charges.

Pre-sale tickets for the band's March 7th show at the T.L.A. are reasonable ($15), but what is up with the outrageous service and shipping fees?

Tickets (2): $30
Shipping fees: $9
Service fees: $6 ($3 per ticket)
Total: $45

Fuck that. Both tickets could be mailed in an envelope for the price of a 39 cent stamp. What is this 9-dollar horseshit?

Are fans supposed to feel OK about a 50% markup because the money goes to a indie rock band and not an evil corporation? No way. It's the principle, not the money. Fuck 'em.


Friday, January 13, 2006

Friday Fluff Piece

There goes the neighborhood. BKJ's reporting on celebrity gossip.

David Hasselhoff filed for divorce from his wife of 16 years. The Baywatch star cited irreconcilable differences, but I suspect that's just a cover for the love affair with Germany he's enjoyed for so long.

Taking cues from Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent, Axl Rose is suing a car dealership--but this time it's not Gary Barbera. A car dealership in L.A. has incurred the pint-sized wrath of the rocker-turned-recluse for reportedly failing to deliver two luxury sportscars. The lawsuit filed by Rose doesn't explain how Rose, who hasn't completed an album in over a decade, is able to afford these cars, nor does it answer when or if Rose will ever finish Chinese Democracy.

It's Friday the 13th. Go see The Goats reunion show at the Khyber.


Thursday, January 12, 2006


Bruce Sutter’s going into the Hall of Fame…as a Cardinal.

Look at that beard! It's going to look great on the HOF plaque and the statue outside of Busch Stadium.

The slug for the story on the Cardinals web site says it all: Reliever also played for Cubs and Braves in career. I love the use of “also” in that sentence, as if the Cubs and Braves are mere afterthoughts. Sutter may have won a Cy Young award as a Cub in 1979, but he got his World Series ring as a Redbird.

It wasn't all joy in Mudville on Wednesday, however. Cardinals great Willie McGee did not get enough votes to remain on the Hall of Fame ballot. McGee was a two-time batting champ (1985, 1990), four-time All Star, the National League MVP in 1985, and helped the Cardinals win the World Series in 1982. Sadly, he will not be joining teammates Sutter and Ozzie Smith in Cooperstown.