Archive for February, 2009

Breaking News: Obama Solves Financial Crisis

Posted in humor with tags , , , on February 21, 2009 by trapperKeeper

obama

You heard it here first, Obama has solved the financial crisis by printing new money, which makes all old debts are null and void.  More importantly, he has ended the reign of white men on United States printed money. Obviously, Obama is going to put himself on the new money.  He did come up with the solution.  None of the other original bill faces are getting another go-around.  America wants, no needs, to move forward.  Dead, ancient men on money is the worst kind of pining, nostalgic.  Oh children, remember when we threw all those British in the water, drank their tea, and declared ourselves free?  Initially, Obama will be the only face on the new money, but as sponsors come forward to back the paper there will be more diversity.  Hurray, the savior has saved, let all the earth rejoice!

Advertisements

Bread and Circuses? Sorry, I just want tax cuts

Posted in humor, Music, politics, zombies on February 21, 2009 by trapperKeeper

osmutantes-788788

http://www.divshare.com/download/6614785-eef

I have been working a Pistons’ post, so this post will be short.  Plus, the weather has been too nice to be in front of the computer all day.  Os Mutantes was a Brazilian psychedelic rock band first formed in 1965.  This album, self-titled, released in 1968 was Os Mutantes recording debut.  Enjoy.

Q: How do you destroy a zombie bank?

A: You must destroy the brain

Dead & Deader (How much did my brain regress?)

Posted in humor, zombies on February 19, 2009 by trapperKeeper

The gore is pretty weak from the beginning. Head shots result in no head explosions. Cheesy lines are uttered way too frequently. Instantly, you are laughing at the move and not with the movie. Not a good sign, but we will see how the rest of it goes. Somehow scorpions are involved. Oh yeah, and the U.S. military and bio-engineering chicanery. The credits are pointless, melodramatic. I realize credits happen at the beginning of the film, but isn’t there a better way to incorporate them into the story.

mcgrath_3_190

Dead and Deader is a true zombie movie, the men do die and come back to life. Dean Cain gets a leading role, and delivers on the potential of the role. The zombies can sometimes talk, have super strength and punishment levels. Eddie Griffin plays the military cook. Cain goes from dead to the walking dead to delivering orders and offering advice, such as “whatever you do, don’t let it bite you” in minutes. Yes, that is right 1990s Superman battles the walking dead while being .  Talk about a self loathing zombie, although he has some attractive opposite sex attention.  Even zombies have needs.  Plus, someone has to be the hero.

Anyways, Zombies barge in and create some chaos.  Zombies are dispatched via fan, meat grinder, and a wicked hatchet throw by the dead Cain who develops a strong urge for red meat. After a quick gorge, his red, demonic eyes fade and he is a rational being again. He is like a zombie Blade. This movie asks you to check logic at the door and indulge in fairly mediocre gore and Dean Cain’s handsome skeletal structure and superb acting abilities.

deaddeadpic3big

Court martialed a long with the cook, they are being escorted into lockup, where Cain goes berserk, freeing them. The white guy-black guy buddy movie territory is entered. Wariness sets in, too many genres and cliches are being tossed about.

Zombies have escaped from the military truck escorting them to a facility. Cain and cook are following behind. Apparently, the infected have incredible hearing. After finding the carnage, they stop off at a local dive bar. Of course, Cain has a craving for red meat, but before that can happen the tables are turned. Cain and cook have been found out due to . Obviously, everybody at the hick bar is armed with some sort of firearm. Unfortunately, they are of little use when zombies come a-knockin’. Necks are feasted upon while Cain and the cook are locked in the freezer. One ruffian gets his groan bitten into.

dad3

Continue reading

Watch Out I’m Bustin’ Out on the McDonald’s Value Meal Menu

Posted in Funk, Music, Photos, Seattle on February 19, 2009 by trapperKeeper

img_4759

It was another beautiful Wednesday here in Seattle.  Rick James’ Bustin’ Out of L 7 (1979) is some easy listening hard funk with some throbbing syncopation.  A perfect album for a day of blue skies, sunshine, and appreciating being too broke to be affected by the stock market and shady investment schemes.

You got to give Rick James some respect, despite his hedonistic ways, just for the fact he kept it old-school funky with live horns rather than giving in to the trend of synthesizing horns, drums, and more.  Rick and the Stone City Band had a hard-edged thump groove, but were also capable of pulling off soulful ballads.

rick_james_-_bustin_20061206093608http://www.divshare.com/download/6592537-2d6

Opening with a superb, up tempo pulsating blast, known as “Bustin’ Out,” Rick establishes the mood.  Horns punctuate the groove while a bass is popped like a collar.  I was pleased when this song entered the sound system during Superbad.  One of the best synth squeal sequences  I’ve heard appears just before the 3 minute mark.  Give up any resistance to the groove, it is too heavy and hard to resist.  Again, give props for RJ going with a live horn section and live percussion instruments, a tambourine on this number.  Electric and acoustic are mixed into a delicious hearty funk stew.

“High on Your Love Suite” is another classic.  Long, but not tedious, “High on Your Love Suite” has multiple high points of funky swang.  Already, Bustin’ is one of the best P-Funk influenced albums, peddlin’ the hard funk sound against the rising tide of airy, lightweight disco.  The song uses horns, African percussion, and synthesizers to form syncopated dense grooves.  The grooves on this album sound really afrobeat influenced, especially on the latter half of this song when the congas, which play a significant part in the African feel, really kick in. Rick channels afrobeat at the end with the bottom groove.  The groove sounds it could have been coming out of Fela’s camp in the late ’70s.  The chanting backing vocal adds to the similarity even more.  Only the syrupy synth gives it away that it is Rick James.

Slowing it down majorly on “Love Interlude,” you feel like taking a bath to wash away the stank of the last number.  It sequeways into “Spacey Love,” a ballad where Rick pines for a freak.  It goes on for a little long, but then again I am more a fan of James’ up-tempo songs.

Speaking of up-tempo, “Cop’n’Blow” operates at a higher BPM while sounding a bit jazzy.  Bass pops, a flute blows funky, hand claps, and piano .  Horns again accentuate the groove.  Guitar gets a well-deserved attention near the end.  Sounding as smooth, but funky, as possible, the riff works nicely over the throbbing pulse of the rest of the band.  Again, Rick has afrobeatish bottom; however, this time he has some jazzy guitar ride over the top.

Slowing it down again with the ballad “Jefferson Ball,” RJ shows a tender side.  It has some Motown sounding harpsichord.  It threatens to become tedious, but the harpsichord part is gorgeous.  There is also some nice bass drops.  But the harpsichord is by far the best element of this song for me.  Stick through it to the 4 minute mark to see what I mean.  Against the piano, a divine melody is achieved.  Harpsichord is underutilized, it has such a warm tone.  I think they even get some cello up in this one.  Orchestral funk at its’ finest, appreciate the dedication to achieving a full sound.

“Fool on the Street” has a good-timey feel to it.  It also has some funky flute, and a nice bass riff.  Some soulful wailing organ contrasts nicely to the clean synth sound.  A personal number how Rick lifted himself off the streets with his musical ability, it has a very hopeful spirit to it.  Again, African percussion is prominently featured on the latter half.  The synth gets real P-Funky at one point.  Combined with the fuzzy lead guitar, and you could mistake “Fool on the Street” for a P-Funk song.  Although, the xylophone is an instrument P-Funk never used to my knowledge.  At the end it gets real psychedelic Latin funky, like a Santana song.

Continue reading

Happy Parliafunkadelicment Presidents’ Thangday, Do You Know Where Your Towel Is?

Posted in Detroit, humor, Music, P-Funk on February 16, 2009 by trapperKeeper

Happy Parliafunkadelicment Presidents’ Thangday. In honor of the late, great funky president James Brown, today’s P-Funk post will honor James Brown emphasis on the One. James Brown’s obsession with the one had a major impact on the development of funk.  In 1970, James Brown’s band pulled a sit down strike over wages daring James to blink.  Unfortunately for them, the Funky President flew in the Pacesetters, a band Bootsy had formed in 1968 with his brother, Phelps or “Catfish,” Frank “Cash” Waddy, and Philippe Wynne.  Wynne followed the Pacesetters to James Brown and later  joined up with P-Funk empire in 1979.

Bootsy and his crew grew tired of the rigidity of Brown’s system, so they quit in 1971.  Bootsy was playing in Detroit when he was introduced to George Clinton.  Bootsy loved the freedom George offered, and they formed a partnership.  He brought along Catfish and Frank Waddy.  All three contributed to 1972’s America Eats Its’ Young.  Waddy didn’t stick around for much longer.  Nor did Bootsy and Catfish, who took the horn section with them.  They then began touring as  Funkadelic as well, leading to a legal solution that kind of remedied the situation.  Bootsy and Catfish were back in the P-Funk fold by 1974.  It is no coincidence the golden age of Parliament Funkadelic was to follow.  In 1975, they got Fred Wesley, Maceo Parker and a few other members of James Brown band to join up with P-Funk.  The stage was set for the coming of the Mothership.

Today’s post will focus on one of my favorite Parliament albums, The Motor Booty Affair.  Released in 1978, Bootsy, Catfish, and the Horny horns were all involved and the One is heavily emphasized sonically and lyrically.  One of Parliament’s best albums, George and the boys take the Mothership underwater.  It lacks the grime, but makes up for it with liquid funk provided by Bootsy and Bernie.  Bootsy’s bass takes the bottom while Bernie fills everywhere with stylings.  Mr. Wiggles are Rumpofsteelskin are introduced, while Sir Nose D’ Void of Funk and the Clones make appearances.  Rumpofsteelskin is an ally of Sir Nose.  Haters, coming to wreck the party.  Thankfully, Starchild shows up to save the day.

An immense cast of funkateers contributed to this album.  Check below to see who was credited with what.  A huge addition to the P-Funk army for Motor Booty was Rodney “Skeet” Curtis, a bassist who brought the jazz stylings.  Junie, Bootsy, and Bernie’s footprints are massive as well.

parliament-front-78

Opening the album, we are introduced to”Mr. Wiggles,” a disc jockey, capable of “molecules of wetness like an eel through seeweed,” taking us on a fantastic voyage.  This song has a killer jazz bass line. Listen closely to the opening spoken words, they are beautiful and full of wisdom even if they appear to be gibberish.  George as Mr. Wiggles, and his ladies, bionic slithering idiots, drop in.  Like royalty, they are welcomed with horns.  The rhythm guitar is killer.  Bernie and the Horny Horns come in shortly after and the underwater marathon is on.

The Worm

Continue reading

Lucid Memories of the Piston’s Past Decade, Pt. 1: The Building of a Champion

Posted in Basketball, Detroit, humor, Pistons on February 14, 2009 by trapperKeeper

Don't Mess w/ the Fro

The shorter abstract has become a much longer entity, so it is being broken up into parts. Here is part one, which focuses on the the rise of the new Bad Boys. They weren’t as dirty as the originals, but both versions were an unconventionally built teams who stressed a commitment to rugged defense.

Entering the new millennium, the Pistons were coming off a semi-successful, strike-shortened, season. Finishing at 29-21, good for 3rd place in the Central, they received a 5th seed and match-up against Mt. Mutumbo’s Atlanta Hawks. Taking them to a do or-die 5th game in the first round was as far as the talent-challenged Pistons could go. The team was appeared to be solid, coming in at 10th and 9th respectively at offensive and defensive efficiency. However, the roster had a few good players, and was atrocious if you look twelve deep.

Lacking a real post presence, point guard, and bench, the Pistons were a limited team. If it weren’t for the skill of Grant Hill, I can’t imagine the carnage in the loss column. Explosive, rounded, gentlemanly, and extremely gifted, Grant only lacked a consistent outside jump shot, which was something he was working on. Unfortunately, injuries had to prematurely limit his abilities. One of the better players in the league, he was surrounded by a soon to retire Joe Dumars, Bison Dele, Jerry Stackhouse, and not much else. Jerome “Junk Yard Dog” Williams was a scrappy, energetic bench player who could rebound well came off the bench and is worth a mention, but otherwise most of the bench consisted of never beens.

The 1999-2000 season, under coach Alvin Gentry and then interim George Gervin, saw the return of Detroit-area native and one of my favorite Piston players, Terry “T-Three” Mills, who made the second most amount of threes while shooting a respectable 39% from long range during the season. This was during a time where it was less common for big men to shoot threes. The impact of European migration had not yet approached full realization. I remember Sam Perkins and Bill Laimbeer being other big men long range shooters, although in a different way than Dirk.

The lack of a true big man, especially on the defensive end, was again a problem. This situation wasn’t really remedied until Ben Wallace came in. Brian Williams, aka Bison Dele, was a solid offensive player, but even he was gone after the 1998-1999 season. Becoming a swingman dominated team, Hill and Stackhouse put up numbers; however, the lack of big men contributed glaringly to the porous defense and rebounding. Ending the season at 42-40, they earned a 7th round playoff seed against the Heat, whose big men were too much, and were promptly swept.

Who picked out this color scheme?

Who picked out this color scheme?

At one point during the season, Grant Hill was out for a bit and Jud Buechler actually started five games at SF. Grant was going to be a free agent after the season, so he was traded after the playoff loss to Miami to Orlando for Chucky Atkins and Ben Wallace. Unfortunately for Grant, and the Magic, the ankle injury he had sustained and played through during the playoffs was more serious than initially thought. The trade, engineered by Joe Dumars, worked out well for the Pistons though. Ben Wallace blossomed into a dominant defensive player and leader. Joe had been brought in as the President of Basketball Operations right after the postseason. He wasted no time building a team in his image.

George Gervin, who had replaced Gentry as head coach during the previous season, retained the position for the 2000-2001. He did not fare well as the team finished 30-52. Sporting the not so fearsome PG trio of Chucky Atkins, Dana Baros, and local hero Mateen Cleaves, the team lacked a game plan capable of masking the limitations of the roster. Cleaves was Joe Dumars first first-round pick. To be fair the team needed a PG, although it was clear Cleaves was not going to the be answer and was a hometown hero. Joe grabbed another Big Ten player, Brian “The Janitor” Cardinal, who turned out to be a serviceable, albeit extremely overpaid, bench player, in the second round.

“Big Nasty” Corliss Williamson was brought over from Toronto for Jerome Williams. I remember Corliss and Scotty Thurman running Nolan Richardson’s “40 Minutes of Hell” defense to the Final Four. He was a pretty efficient low-post scorer off the bench, who would bang and could draw some fouls. Although, he was too small to guard most players he was matched up against in the post.  He would win the Sixth Man of the Year, being an important member of the dynamic bench unit, dubbed the “Alternatorz” by Jon Barry.

Jerry Stackhouse really went off, averaging 29.8 ppg, with the extra shots provided by Grant Hill’s departure. Sadly, he also led the team in assists with 5.1 ppg. Free throws and offense were never Ben Wallace’s professional forte, but his rebounding and defensive provided an encouraging piece to build around. Averaging over 13 rebounds, 1 steal and 2 blocks a game, he was able to change the game dramatically while doing almost nothing on offense.

During the off-season, Mateen Cleaves, drafted more as a publicity move, was traded for Jon Barry, who provided some long-range shooting and fire. Joe was fashioning a scrappy, defensive minded ball-club built on the model of the original Bad Boys. Jud Buechler was exchanged for Cliff Robinson. Buechler was a solid athlete, and a real good volleyball player apparently, but didn’t bring many skills to the basketball court. “Uncle” Cliffy was known for his headband, perimeter offensive game, and solid defense.

2023218

Continue reading

It’s Midnight, Do You Know Where Your Brain Is? Psych Rock from Across the Pond

Posted in Music on February 13, 2009 by trapperKeeper

pee_wees_big_adventure

Braintickets’ Cottonwoodhill, released in 1971, is one of the freakiest psych albums I’ve the pleasure of hearing. It was the groups’ debut album. Studio experimentation figures heavily into the proceedings with all kinds of feedback, reverb, and other effects thrown into the mix. The “Brainticket” sequence is particularly notable for sonic freakout as sounds, including strains of classical and the sounds of dental hygiene, are thrown at the wall in anarchic fashion, forming a unique sonic collage.  Dawn Muir again cites words over the fuzzy riff. It has the same spirit of Funkadelic’s “Wars of Armageddon.”

“Black Sand,” which has a tempo reminiscent of “Big Bottom” from Spinal Tap, has wonderfully distorted guitar, and good guitar-organ interplay. “Places of Light” is a bit lighter with the flute. It has a filtered Dawn Muir speaking bizarrely. Both of these songs are “normal” compared to “Brainticket.”

While much psych music from this time period can sound quite dated, Cottonwoodhill holds up extremely well. Granted, I am new to the album, but it sounded fresh, lively, and well-produced. I loved the dark edge to it, although I guess the band did not. After finishing the recording all the members of the band left project creator Joel Vandroogenbroeck.  The album was also banned in several countries.

According to wikipedia, the inside of the original release featured two warnings: “After Listening to this Record, your friends may not know you anymore” and “Only listen to this once a day. Your brain might be destroyed!”

Off to the great adventure.

brainticket-cottonwoodhill

http://www.divshare.com/download/6551608-473

Continue reading