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ROCKIN' THE CASH BAR
While the music of the '80s was bad, the fashion was worse. I'm not at all opposed to seeing high school chicks strutting around in trashy Madonna Wear®, hell, it's better than the form-hiding crotch-at-the-knee bullshit those crazy kids picked up from rap music. ...But for fuck's sake, don't bring back parachute pants! ...Sure, the Flashdance leg warmers were cute, and study halls just wouldn't have been the same without trying to snatch a peek of yummy flesh teased by that fallen-off-the-shoulder look, but parachute pants are evil. Ya sweat when it's hot, ya freeze when it's cold, and if you ever put anything in all those zippered pockets placed randomly up and down your legs, you look like the Michelin Tire Guy.
Scott Hefflon, "Prelude to a Lick"
Sample Questions from The Punker Aptitude Test (P.A.T.)
87. If Bad Religion were in a tour bus driving West at 69 mph, and collided with Def Leppard who were travelling East in a train going 92 mph, the resulting sound would be:
B) Weeping and gnashing of teeth.
C) The Offspring.
94. Dead Kennedys are to Green Day as:
A) Platypus is to Goat Cheese.
B) Minneapolis is to Shoehorn.
C) Florida Squeezed is to Sunny D.
D) Fuck you, man!
the editors, "Garbage Pail"
Imagine if you will, a typical night of drinking with your friends. They come over, laughing, yelling "PAAAAAARTY!" You sit down and crack the bottle. Fast forward a few hours. Paul's Boutique by The Beastie Boys is on the stereo, pumping out at full volume, the bottle is a quarter empty, and you're all jumping around, cackling like mad hyenas. Fast forward another hour. The bottle is half empty, people are slowing down, there's Prayers On Fire by The Birthday Party playing, one of your friends is moaning about how much of a bitch his girlfriend is, and the lightweight is throwing up in your bathroom. One more hour goes by, and the bottle is empty. Tom Waits' Bone Machine is on. Everybody is slouched over something. No one moves. Two of your friends have passed out, but not before puking on your carpet. In the bathroom, people's sense of aim has declined, and the back of the poor lightweight who passed out on the cold tile is now nauseatingly damp. As for you, the room sways and rotates like some fever dream nightmare, as drool escapes the corner of your mouth and puddles in your lap. Fade to black.
Lex Marburger, "Liquor Lecture: A Public Service Announcement"
Your fuzzy delusions of grandeur have been shattered by Mr. Reality's cold hard slap in the face. He's an unpleasant man, isn't he? You look worn, battle weary - at such a tender age, too. And that Copy Cop uniform is at least one size too small.
Chris Adams, "A Guide to Selecting the Proper Dive Bar"
Anaconda is about a bunch of people who travel on a riverboat deep into the heart of the Amazon on some sort of social science mission and get completely fucked up by large snakes.
Adam Haynes, Anaconda
On (some) level, as we are fond of saying in the New York Times Sunday Book Review supplement,Dead Man is a sort of Dances With Wolves of the lettered classes. The kind of fil-um that gets the candy butts over at Harper's and the Atlantic Monthly kowtowing to the point where their bowties touch their worshipfully-shaking knees, rich as it is in the (for some) vertigo-inducing ingredients of allegory, metaphor, foreshadowing, and other literary nutrients of the sort that keep pure-hearted school marms from ingesting psychoactive mushrooms or taking up bungee jumping on the weekends.
Kerry Joyce, Dead Man
I'm trying to improve your quality of life, so stay away (from straight-to-video horror movies) unless a) You are an idiot, or b) You don't yet realize what an idiot you truly are. Even though Socrates claims to have belonged in category "b," I can't picture him clutching a hot copy of Slave Girls From Beyond Infinity.
John Bikowski, "Coroner's Corner"
Old punks never die, they just get the band back together. Then they're about as welcome around the scuzzy club circuit as a pack of junkie in-laws. In most cases (the Circle Jerks, Fear, 7 Seconds, and the Damned instantly come to mind), it makes me wonder why they even bother. Wouldn't you get sick and tired of drunk "fans" telling you, "Hey, I thought you were dead, faggot!" Death, in fact, is often the only way to permanently kill off some of these bands - that's why the smart money says no big summer Germs tour.
Jon Sarre, the Crowd
I say LET'S TAKE BACK THE FUCKING AIRWAVES! FILL THE DUMPSTERS WITH THIS STUFF AND KICK THE ASSES OF THE NEXT BEER-SLOT BAND WE SEE. HOLLER "GET A JOB" AT A HAIR FARMER PICKING HIS AX ON THE "BERKLEE BEACH," WAITING THREE MORE MONTHS FOR HIS CHANCE TO SUCK! JUST FLAT OUT REFUSE THIS CRUDDY VOLUME-IS-BETTER-THAN-QUALITY GAMBIT. PISS THROUGH THE HOLE OF YOUR MOST LOATHED MONEY-BURNING PURCHASE AND FLIP 'EM THE GOD-DAMNED FINGER!
Austin "Kill This Fool" Nash, the Strike
I hesitate to use the words "quirky" and "hilarious" because it'd make me sound like one of them quote-seekers on movie posters. ("Riveting!" says Billy Boner of the Chicago Suck Nut, "Wow!" says Fenny Farfig-Newton of WANK TV, "Two Thumbs, Monkeyboys! It's all that separates you chumps from chimps!" say Cisco and Dilbert of Opposable Thumbs.)
Scott Hefflon, Ferd Mert
According to the liner notes, "The name Wang Chung means whatever you want it to mean... have fun with it." Why, thank you. Thus endeth my decade on various Tibetan mountaintops, searching tirelessly through forgotten dusty tomes for the true meaning of the enigmatic, evocative phrase. The notes also state that "Wang Chung" is an "inaudible pitch... all music aspires to perfect pitch." I certainly wish Wang Chung had stayed true to their title and remained inaudible, sparing me an hour's worth of their hapless, dinky, fake-euro electro-pap. Still, I "had fun with it" as I pitched it, quite audibly, I'm afraid, into the nearest trash can. Now that's a perfect pitch.
Chris Adams, Wang Chung
They're the guys who stayed up too late on school nights to catch Letterman (back when he was on the 12:30 tip) and drove their peers to distraction by quoting Monty Python sketches verbatim in the middle of trig class. They're the social misfits who most everybody liked but nobody figured would go anywhere once their mortarboards plummeted back to Earth. Hmmm... sounds like somebody I know whose pants I'm wearing. No wonder I have such a soft spot for TMBG - their success is the vicarious vindication for the drama club hipster/dork in all of us. Hey, everybody! Two more jumped the fence! Run! Run like the wind! Okay... run like a girl. See if I care.
Nik Rainey, They Might Be Giants
Sham 69 were one of the first of the early punk bands to straddle the uneasy no-man's land between the Sex Pistols' basic rhetoric ("Any kid can be us, mate") and the Clash's ("Any kid can lead the revolutionary proletariat, mate").
Jon Sarre, Sham 69
We had just finished a smoking set (the pre-amp shorted out) but the music didn't matter - all I cared about was "getting some," which would have been easier for me if there were a noun somewhere in that phrase to help me narrow my options. I set out on my search but was stopped in my tracks by the most charismatic man I had ever seen. "Where are you going?" he gently inquired.
"I'm trying to find some falafel. That's next on my list."
"No," he said, "where are you going?"
I had never heard that question posed to me in quite that way before. Maybe it was the italics.
William Ham, "The Culture Bunker: Hello, My Name is Legion"