Basement Party 2

Basement Party 2

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Dawn of a New Age

Hey gang, how goes it? I hope everyone had spectacularly kick ass holidays, I know I did. I didn't have as much time off as I would have liked, but that comes with having a new job where you don't have the necessary time off accrued.

So far 2013 has been pretty kick ass. I can't help feeling that there is a different vibe in the air in terms of how people are feeling and doing. It's hard to pinpoint when it started...maybe after the election? But anyway, it's something not only I have noticed but others too. The Canadian Belle works as a cashier at a big box supercenter-type store and she observed that people were being nicer to each other over the holiday season. My mom had a similar observation herself when she was out shopping...people were being more polite to each other than normal.

Maybe these are isolated incidents but I don't mom's theory is that everyone was so happy the world didn't end on December 21 that they're now acting like better people. This theory may have some merit. The Canadian Belle informed me of some astrological info, saying that this is now another Age of Aquarius, and could account for changing attitudes. Maybe. All I know is something is going on, and good things have been happening to me for the last few months. As you know, I recently got a new job with higher pay (I was hired on election night). When my car broke down for good a few weeks later, a friend informed me he was getting a new car and I could buy his. The timing worked out great! Since I'm making more money, I'm paying off more debt, which is of course awesome. More money means more potential to do awesome stuff, and buy sweet collectibles (although I have kept that under control...for now).

And one more thing...some of you may not know this, but I have an 11 year old son from a previous relationship. He lives with his mom in Tennessee so I don't get to see him as often as I would like. Well, after years of not being able to stand being in the presence of each other, his mom and I formally buried the hatchet a week ago and have opened up all lines of communication (instead of using the little guy as the go-between). Now, you could say, "Well, JEP, maybe things are just going your way for once. It doesn't mean there has been a paradigm shift for how society acts." To this I would have to say, "If my ex can extend an olive branch, I KNOW something is up with the world!"

                                           Take it away, cast of "The 40 Year Old Virgin!" 

                                                     Harmony and understanding
                                                   Sympathy and trust abounding
                                                  No more falsehoods or derisions
                                                   Golden living dreams of visions
                                                        Mystic crystal revelation
                                                   And the mind's true liberation
                                                          Aquarius! Aquarius!

Anyway, things are just ducky in my world. I hope you all are feeling the same...and now, what you've been waiting for...RANDOM RAMBLINGS!

In my last post I mentioned buying a handful of cassettes. I have been busy listening to them, and one thing that has sucked is the quality of some of them has been lacking. I know it's a crap shoot when you buy stuff from thirft stores, and it's not like I'm out a lot of money, but it is disappointing when you wanna rock to something and it doesn't work. The Bryan Adams tape I bought was very hissy sounding, so I had to toss it. I kept the little liner notes though and hung them up in my basement cavern, so it wasn't a total loss. The Al Corley tape had a problem when I tried rewinding would not rewind past a certain point on the tape. Weird. I kept that one though, for it's pop culture schlock value. 

So far, the tape I have enjoyed the most was Winger's debut album. First off, I love this album cover. It might as well say in neon, "This came out in 1988!"
My friend John would describe this as "artwork you would expect to see in an '80s dentist office."

Most people would disregard this as pop-metal drivel, but these guys were talented. Allmusic gave this album 4.5/5, and they're a record reviewing web site that usually knows what they're talking about. They had this to say about them:

"Since Winger was marketed largely on the looks of lead singer Kip Winger, and since their sleazy rockers and lovelorn ballads cover the same old pop-metal territory, the band's high-quality musicianship tended to get overlooked. Guitarist Reb Beach earned wide praise from other musicians, and he, ex-Dixie Dregs drummer Rod Morgensten, and keyboardist Paul Taylor, bring a distinct progressive metal influence to many of the tunes on Winger. Even if the lyrics are standard issue, the album is impeccably composed, crafted, and played, with melodies, riffs, and guitar solos taking off in unexpected directions and keeping the listener slightly off balance -- no easy task in the cookie-cutter hair metal genre."

Little known fact: Reb Beach formed a band with King's X front-man Doug Pinnick called the Mob. They had only had one album, which was released in 2005.

Looks like Stewart was ahead of his time.

Staying with the topic of music, one of the awesome gifts the Canadian Belle bestowed upon me for Christmas was the autobiography of Gregg Allman which came out this past year, titled "My Cross to Bear." I'm about 1/4 of the way through it and it is a good read so far. I love Gregg's writing style; like Ozzy's autobiography, he writes the way he speaks. A lot of sentences end with words like "man,"or "brother." It almost creates the illusion that he is having a conversation with you. I have read some great stories in this book so far, one of which is when Gregg met the Doors. My favorite part of the book though was the story of how he shot himself in the foot to get out of the draft. Now that shit is hardcore!
I'm looking forward to reading about his short-lived marriage to Cher. I'm sure there were some fireworks involved in that relationship!
You know what old school character actor I like? George Kennedy. He's been appearing in season 12 episodes of "Dallas" I have been watching lately as Carter McKay, and I enjoyed his airline trouble-shooter character Joe Patroni in the "Airport" series of movies from the '70s. You may also remember him from "Creepshow 2" and "The Naked Gun" movies. He carried a certain gravitas, and his presence dominated any scene he was in. His booming voice commanded repsect. And he had bad breath.
I first recall seeing him in the '90s doing commercials for "Breath Assure." He never went anywhere without it!

On Friday I saw "Texas Chainsaw 3D" with my buddy Shane from high school. We're big horror buffs, and spent many hours watching the various '80s slasher franchises and cult classics of the '70s back in the day. It was a pretty decent flick overall. The best thing about it was how it picks up right at the ending of the original one from 1973, after a montage of clips from that film...I felt myself smiling a Jack Nicholson-size grin when that part came on! Bill Moseley (who played "Chop Top" in 1986's "Texas Chansaw Massacre 2") returns to the franchise as Drayton Sawyer, a part originally played by the late Jim Siedow. He may not look exactly like Jim, but he sure has the voice down!

Once it flashes forward to the present it becomes your generic hack-up-slut-fest, and it has a wonky timeline, but it did have some sweet gory parts. It looks like the 2003 reboot will only consist of the two movies that came out in that franchise, as it appears they're going back to the beginning and negating the other sequels in the original franchise (part 2, "Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3," and "Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation"- the less said about the last one, the better). If horror is your thing, it's worth checking out. It had some sweet 3D effects too (I flinched when Leatherface threw a chainsaw in my direction)!

My favorite song (this week). "Twilight World" by Swing Out Sister

I remember this song from when I was a kid, but never knew the name of the artist. I recall one of their other big hits, "Break Out," but I thought that was their only hit. They had one more big success in the early '90s with a cover of the Dusty Springfield track "Am I the Same Girl?"

No, I'm not gay, but I do enjoy '80s sophisti-pop music, a genre of music that includes such bands as Level 42 and ABC. I really like singer Corinne Drewery's voice...she has a certain Annie Lenox quality at times. Plus she's hot. I know it sounds like something you might hear in a dentist's office, but like I said before, my taste in music goes against the grain.

And speaking of dentist's offices, remember earlier when I mentioned how some album artwork from the '80s looks like it belongs in a dentist office? Here's another classic example:
This album by Rush came out in 1989. I remember seeing it at a record store 4 years later and thinking how dated looking it was. Talk about a short shelf life!

Well, that's all I have for this week. You all be sure to come back to hang real soon alright?

Cuz when you get your friends together, there's never a dull moment in the basement.


  1. I glad to hear things are going good for you man. And I hope the goodwill with the ex stays gold. And think of it this way...Tennessee is on the way to Georgia my friend!

    Those album covers are dated as hell. Just as bad as that Living Colour album I bought when we went record shopping. By the way, that record suuuuuucked.

    I can't remember ever actually listening to a Winger song. I mean, I know I must have at some point...but I just can't place it. I don't really want to.

    Speaking of Winger fans and Beavis & Butthead, I watched a marathon of the new episodes they made. They were on Comedy Central a couple weeks back. I me it didn't really compare, nor hold up.

    Cher was hot back in the day. Enough said.

  2. I watched the new episodes when they aired last year. They were better than I thought they would be, but not quite as good as before. I think that when you take that show out of its' 90s context it just doesn't have the same resonance.

    Btw, I heard the main demographic that watched the new Beavis and Butthead was girls aged 12-14. What the heck!