Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Half Price Books Rant

Tonight I stopped off at my local Half Price Books after having a few for a work happy hour thing. HPB sounded like a good idea due to the fact that I was a little buzzed (How did I know this? I bumped "Arthur's Theme" by Christopher Cross and sang along at full blast). In retrospect, I should have just went home.

HPB is one of my fave raves when it comes to finding cheap records and CDs. But 50% of the patrons are, to put it bluntly, the scum of the fucking Earth. Tonight a 400 lb sweathog in a neon yellow shirt was screaming about how he found the "Great Milenko" by the Insane Clown Posse and asking his little subservient bitch friend if Moby was "some kind of DJ". The dudes purchases consisted of the aforementioned ICP disc, 10,000 Maniacs unplugged, and a Staind CD. He then literally ran out of the store giggling with his partner in bondage.

Last week at the same HPB, a fat dude in a Canadian Tuxedo waxed poetic to his autistic looking son about Don Knotts and how he "remembered him", how zombie movies were so bad they were "dead" (pun intended) and how Dog Day Afternoon and Reservoir Dogs were the same movie because "they both had that Harvey dude in them".

Also to be noted, none of these people are even giving the books a glance. It's always the VHS tapes and the DVDs that are getting the most play.

Will the sweet mix of white trash, hipsters and the mentally challenged stop me from digging in the crates? Definitely not. But it just feels nice to bitch about it every once in a while. I see HPB more than I see my extended family, so I think at this point I have earned the right to rant about Auntie Half Price.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Record Store Day Journal 2010

Saturday was the 3rd annual Record Store day. I always get really hyped up for record store day and then puss out on buying any of the big ticket shit because it's too spendy. This year was no different. But let me start with my two previous record store day experiences.

2008 - I went to a record store in Memphis called Katz (I believe) on Record Store Day. No one was there. The only "special releases" were a Black Keys 45 and an REM 45. Seeing as how I owned the records those songs came from, I said fuck it. I did get a goodie bag with the uber-shitty remake of "Wanna Be Startin Something" in it. I also think I bought "Dandy In The Underworld" by T.Rex. Oh wait, that was at the FYE on the Vanderbilt campus. Nevermind. But that record does kick some major ass...

2009 - Record Store Day 2009 was a little more hyped. The only record I really wanted was the Flaming Lips 45 of "Borderline" b/w a Black Keys cover. I guess it was sold out everywhere...except for the dinky ass Down in the Valley by my house. That was the only purchase I made that day.

2010 - This year, there was about four records I was amped for. I knew I wasn't going to get the Hold Steady LP (especially in MPLS) but I figured I could cop the Queens of the Stone Age, Passion Pit and Phoenix discs for cheap. Fortunately for me, I got Twins tickets and couldn't go to the stores early. Because the day was a dissapointment.

Cheapo in Uptown had the QOTSA and Phoenix records, but the QOTSA record was going for 16 bone for four tracks (one of which I owned). So I picked up the Phoenix record for 6 bucks...along with the Pavement "Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain" deluxe edition, the new(ish) Mos Def, and "The Handler" by Har Mar Superstar for under 16 bucks TOTAL.

Figuring my luck may be better at the hole in the wall Down In The Valley I scored at the year previous, I high tailed it over there. That is where I experienced the living, breathing personification of Comic Book Guy

ME: "You have any of the Record Store Day stuff?
RECORD STORE GUY: "Yeah, we have two Pantera records and Owl City."
ME: "Um, do you have the Queens of the Stone Age EP"
RECORD STORE GUY: "NO! That sold within 20 minutes"
ME: "Yeah, I saw it at Cheapo for 16. Kinda expensive"
RECORD STORE GUY: "That's the retail. 16"
ME: "Still expesive for four tracks"
RECORD STORE GUY: "Whatever, its worth, like 100 bucks! There's only 500 of them!"
ME: (Immeadetly leaves the store)

I don't know how the clerk immediately became Beckett Record Store Monthly, or who raised him, but I was about done after that shit. I did hit up Cheapo Fridley, where they had an abundance of the damn Owl City record. The only purchase there was "The Best of The Move" on CD.

Five days later, I still regret not buying that Queens of the Stone Age record...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Inside Target Field

Whoa, Nellie! Yesterday was one of those days that will stick with me forever, long after I am bald, fatter, and probably divorced from my Mail Order Russian bride. Saturday, April 17th was monumental in the life of one Jacob Donald Eickholt for one reason - I finally got to see the Minnesota Twins play outdoors at their own stadium.

I have been to probably 75-100 games in the Dome in my lifetime, starting with my first game against the Red Sox in the Summer of 1988. None of the games in the Dome (with the exception of Game 163 last year) can compare with the outdoor baseball I saw yesterday.

Everything was perfect, the green grass, the smell of sausages grilling, the fauxback unis the Twins were wearing. Everything. Walking around the concourses, I thought "I have been missing out on this for 22 years, and now it's here". Not gonna lie, I got a little overwhelmed by it all...yep, thankfully I was wearing sunglasses.

But enough about my emotional state. It's time for a review of the ammenities. The food choices at the Dome sucked. The only thing other than a Dome Dog that kicked any sort of ass was the giant Chicago Dog that you had to be drunk as hell to order.

Target Field, on the other hand, has overwhelmingly awesome food at just about every consession stand. The group I was with did the old "buy a ton of shit and pass it around routine" so I got to try a bunch of stuff. My faves were the Cheese Curds (very similar to the ones at Miller Park) and the Vincent Burger (a Jucy Lucy stuffed with short ribs and smoked Gouda). The Vincent was 12 bucks, but may have been the most delicious "gimmick" burger I have ever had. The only drawback food wise was that the Schweigert Hot Dogs couldn't hold a candle to the Dome Dog.

The restrooms had no troughs, which was nice for a non-public peeer like myself. The only acceptable trough at the Target would have been a double sided joint like they have at Wrigley. Since they didn't go with that, the urinals will have to do.

Maybe the best change was the actual seats. At the Dome, a large American like myself would usually have to sit uber-spread eagle to avoid kneeing the person in front of him. Target Field gives much more leg and ass room, so there was no need to worry on my part about hitting the sexy MILF in front of me with an errant knee.

Out of the six other MLB stadiums I have visited (including the Dome), Target Field is the nicest. That's not just homerism either. The Target feels like it has always been there, nestled in its little corner of downtown, beckoning all with its charms.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Secret 90s Song of The Day

Continuing with the trend of songs that sound like they came out in 1988 but in all actuality were much, much later...I give you today's song.

This one will go into the category of "songs I totally forgot existed". Let the record state that I am a superfan of Go West's biggesst hit "King of Wishful Thinking". I mean, I would play that song every day if I could, and I got insanely jealous at my brother once for finding the 12" single at a thrift store.

Now if you are a fan of "King of Wishful Thinking" then you will be a fan of this song. Cause it's pretty much the same goddamn tune. The only difference is that instead of a danceable ode to never getting over some chick (possibly Julia Roberts?) "Faithful" is a dancable ode to being "faithful to a lover's prayer." What the fuck is a lover's prayer anyways? The cats from Go West never really elaborate on this, just that they will be faithful. Seems like sort of a cop out to me...

Go West hit #14 with this slice of cheez, which I think is a perfect chart placing. "King of Wishful Thinking" hit #8, so "Faithful" is almost the chart half life of the song it carbon copied. Fitting. If this song were a restaurant, it would be Arby's. Mediocre but strangely satisfying.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Secret 80s Song of the Day

If there is one thing that screams "Look at me motherfucker, I came out in 1987!" it's programmed electronic drums. Our pick for the day has them in spades.

Upon first glance, Breakfast Club looks like a cut rate Madness. "Where are the horns", you may ask? The answer is horns didn't sell anymore, it was all about programmed electronic drums good sir. It also appears that the band saw that Pee Wee's Playhouse was giant in 1987, so they filmed their video in a knockoff of his famous abode. Not too mention that the band had the same name as one of the biggest movies of the decade. This was one club of opportunists.

According to my gay lover Wikipedia, the Club also featured not only Randy "American Idol Dawg" Jackson as a member at one point but...wait for it...Madonna on drums. Yes, the Material Girl played fucking drums for this act at one point. No wonder they went with the electronic programmed skins for this juicy cut. It's not like Keith Moon was back there.

Anyways, this song reminds me of ads for dance clubs in hotel lobbies that had teen nights. It probably also got mad play at Skateland, seeing as how it is about dancing and being on track. If this song's cool could be personified by an 80s celeb, it would be Judd Nelson...stone cold, baby.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Record Show Journal 4/3/10

The Bi-Monthly Uptown VFW Record Show went down yesterday morning. As usual, there were a lot of people I wouldn't usually associate with other than the fact that they dig the licorice pizza as much as I do. Sadly, there were more hipsters than old smelly creeps this time. I have never seen so many tan cardigans outside of a repeat of Mister Rogers Neighborhood.

One tan cardigan douche hipster was arguing about Cocateau Twins records with some clown who had all his 12" records priced at like 20 bucks a pop (I mean, really, who would pay that much for a single of "Come On Eileen"?). King fucking hipster douche claimed he owned all the Cocateau Twins 12"ers, at which point I felt like interjecting "who the fuck cares? That band kinda blew anyways". But I just shut my fat mouth and continued looking for glam rock records.

ANYWAYS...I got some good finds there, at Cheapo, and at HPB today. The cream of the crop:

"Do You Wanna Get Funky With Me" by Peter Brown - This album cover contains the awesomest naked boob in album cover history. The damn thing is so perky...oh, and its got some disco jams that rule also.

"Emotional Rescue" by Englands Newest Hitmakers - Mainly bought it for Dance, but Dance Pt. II is way fucking better. More of the disco shit between the besties "Some Girls" and "Tattoo You".

"We Went to Different High Schools Together" by The Jaggerz - Donnie Irises first group, way more psychedelic than The Rapper would lead you to believe.

"Street Legal" by Robert Zimmerman - Minnesota native does pop album about Ponies and broads crying. Then he turns to Jesus. I didn't think the album was Messiah worthy.

"Knife" by Aztec Camera - 80s Brit Pop at its best.

Also picked up a late period Sly record I haven't listened to yet, a Roy Wood outtakes album, and some Hall and Oates (who never lie). Good time had by all who attended I believe.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Secret 90s Song of the Day

Moving on into the 1990s...which, at least until about 1994, didn't sound that much different from the late 1980s (at least in the pop realm). Sure, Nirvana and Pearl Jam were creating insanely personal music that owed more of a debt to the 70s than the 80s. But the records on CHR Radio owed a huge debt to, um, 1988. Listen to the following song and tell me what year you think its from:

Give up? 1993. If it weren't for Jeremy Jordan's Cross Colour inspiried wardrobe, this video coulda come from Rick Astley's debut album. I totally forgot about this joint and I am really ashamed to say it, but 5th grade Jake REALLY loved this song. I even remember the little factoid that Rick Dees used to introduce this song on the top 40: that Jeremy Jordan was homeless until this song hit big. Something tells me that by 1994, Mister Jordan was homeless again.

The song itself is the bastard son of a Michelob ad and the song "C'est La Vie" by Robbie Nevil. All computerized nonsense beats, cosmopolitan crooning, and a bit of a rap. I am sure the right kind of night involved a bottle of Cool Water colonge, a burnt orange silk shirt, and a chick who looked like Taylor Dayne.

Sadly, this song was dated by 1993 and Jeremy Jordan faded from popualrity after another single ("Wannagirl") that sounded even MORE dated than "The Right Kind of Love". Still, a great song from a time in my life when all that mattered was RPG battles with my GI Joes and riding my bike to Tom Thumb to buy Tahitian Treat.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Secret 80s Cut of the Day

Recently, I was presented with complete versions of the Billboard Hot 100 year end charts (in MP3 form) from 1980 to 1999. Unfortunately, this is pretty much all I have been listening to for the last two weeks. Fortunately, I am finding a lot of songs I blocked out of my memory, forgot about, or just plain never heard. For the next couple of weeks, I am going to present my loyal reader(s) with some of the cream of the crop. We're gonna start off with a #11 hit from 1986. Yes, here's some Toto.

Toto decided to become Chicago or something with this cut. The passion! The intensity! The McDonald! I remember hearing this joint many many times in the back seat of my parents Delta 88, probably being introduced by Dan Donovan on KS95 (when all KS95 played was supple ass jams like this and "No One Is To Blame" by Howard Jones). For all I know, this song could have played the time my parents took me to Children's Palace and said I could pick out any toy I wanted...and I picked out a Noid toy. I didn't avoid the Noid. But I digress...

I like to judge 80s wuss bullet ballads on a scale of supple. The most supple song of all time is "One More Night" by Phil Collins. It sounds as soft as a baby's ass feels. The suppleness of Toto's "I'll Be Over You" is improved by the Robert Horry of supple, Michael McDonald, singing backups. Yes Big Shot Mike only played for champs when he sang those backups, just like Horry. So if "One More Night" is a 10 on Moh's Scale of Supple, and "Slam" by Onyx is a 0, I give Toto's "I'll Be Over You" an 8.5 on the scale. The only way it could have improved its rating would have been more tinkling piano, and perhaps a 45 second tenor sax solo.