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ISSUE 40:

BUNGEE-JUMPING FROM THE IVORY TOWER

There was a time in my past when I actually enjoyed hangovers. Okay, maybe "enjoy" is too strong a word. I would wake up after a hard night's drinking, fetid tequila on my breath, and the world would take a lurching roll. I'd grab at my skull, feel the dull ache, and realize that I was, in fact, alive. The pain assured me of my existence, and I found comfort in the fact that my misery put paid to any additional existential angst. Of course, I was wearing a lot of black at the time.
Lex Marburger, "Liquor Lecture: Hangovers"

Having passionate sex while someone climbs over you, around you, and between your legs with a camera is not nearly as easy, or erotic, as it seems on TV... The throes of wild abandon look more like the graceless seizures of a fish out of water, and the expressions of utter ecstasy, like a drooling idiot trying to recite poetry in a foreign language from memory. Oh yeah,that's a turn on.
Scott Hefflon, "Videosyncrasy: Get Smart From Smut"

Funbox is a Canadian band. What does that mean to me? To you? Well, not shit actually. I'm always surprised when I get something from Canada. It generally neither gives nor asks for much. I forget it's there most of the time. I've been there and can say that it smells like horse crap in the summer and they don't have much interest in road signs. You can drive two or three hours in the wrong direction before you realize it.
Austin Nash, Funbox

Honest to God unpronounceable instruments are played (it turns out that a "Sami Jojkker" is someone who chants. Who knew? I thought it was an epileptic who did Sammy Davis Jr. impersonations).
Clarendon Lavorich, Hedingara

This is the disc you blindly dig for when, at 3 a.m., your roommate is emitting elephantine nasal utterances, and you must aurally induce sleep.
Jamie Kiffel, Velour 100

Them Dandy fuckers cleared off and the Blur came on. Just the sight of them Southerners filled me all fulla twist, especially that Damon twat, running all about the fuckin' stage an' not standing still with his hands behind his back like he should do, like proper performers do an'all. Listen to that shite - "girls who need boys who need..." a good fuckin' bash in the fuckin' gob with a Wellington boot, "parklife, parklife..." I'll meet you in the fuckin' park wi' a knife and slice up yer chest and that bird from Plastica you've been heftin' if she's wi' you, mate! I'm fuckin' frothin' in me seat-like, but I hafta choose me moment, that's what me ma told me on 'er dying day just before she kneed me in the bollocks.
Nik Rainey, Blur and Dandy Warhols at the Orpheum

How times have changed for men in the movies. The strong masculine archetype is a thing of the past - the closest we get to the righteous, heroic John Wayne type in the modern cinema is that akido-practicing hunk (of pony-tailed dogwood) Steven Seagal, the anti-hero has been transmogrified into the rampaging prick, and every single comedy Hollywood hacks up these days seems to require that a guy gets slammed in the balls at least once per reel. (I've come to consider this the ultimate embodiment of the changing roles of gender in the mass media - women get all the strong, multi-faceted roles these days, and the Sapphic streak that's recently risen to the surface gives them the opportunity to cut the patriarchy out of the equation entirely, so the men, who still wield most of the power but are feeling increasingly guilty about it, portray themselves as libidinous, self-centered buffoons who deserve all the pain they get. What better way to express their self-loathing than a good, sharp crunch in the yo-yos? Guys, maybe it's time we learned how to say "sorry" before we turn ourselves into a nation of hurt-looking sopranos with funny walks.)
William Ham, The Full Monty

Calling The Saint a poor James Bond rip-off brings up the chicken and the egg question. Which came first matters little; whether you have either in the fridge matters a lot when you're starving to death.
Scott Hefflon, The Saint

Gone are the days when a goofball turn of phrase was enough to satiate my writer's appetite - now every word has to be weighted with significance, every pseudonymous 150-word record review planted in the concrete tennies of amateur sociology, set to a running boil by the heat of my frustration, my increasingly impotent rage, and the energy that only petulant tantrums over the fact that most of my friends have done or are doing the things I would like to do or have done with my life can bring.
William Ham, "High Dudgeon and Low Self-Esteem"

"Mr. Puce, you're responsible for quelling the takeover of the hotel by a band of terrorists who threaten to subvert the world's power supply and replace all the wiring in the World Trade Center with No. 6 spaghetti unless the government meets their demand to reinstate the new Coke and make them the official threat to world safety of the 1998 Olympics. Insinuate your way into the air-conditioning duct, fashion a makeshift bungee-jumping rig with rubber bands and toupée glue, and execute a perfect swan-dive into their secret elevator-shaft lair, where you get a clear bead on the leader of the terrorist faction but hesitate when you realize he's the fraternal Siamese-twin brother you presumed died at birth. I wanna see soul-searching, a couple of hugs, and a mid-air toe-kick to the adam's-apple or two."
"Done."
"And you, Mr. Narrator... I think some wry, passive commentary is in order."
William Ham, "The Culture Bunker: Two Thumbs Up II Part Two"  


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