A heartbreaking Iron Maiden tale

2008. Amsterdam. I enter an empty bar. It is the dead of winter. It is cold and the streets are deserted. As is the bar. Deserted but for the barkeep. A British man standing behind the counter looking stoic. Early Iron Maiden plays featuring the first singer, Paul Di’Anno.

“My boyfriend left me last night and took all my records. All but Iron Maiden. The early Maiden. With the best singer. Paul Di’Anno. But it’s all right. I can listen to Paul Di’Anno the rest of my life.”

Stiff upper lip.

 

Christian Cake; Gay Cake | Food Fight

hotcake hotcake hotcake

This is not a cake it is dynamite (with apologies to our old friend Friedrich Nietzsche). Hotcake.

Some Christian bakers who open bakeries to sell cake do not want to sell cake to gay customers. Picky, picky, picky.

What makes evangelical Christians go into cake businesses anyway? Is it that much of a rush to deny cake to people? Evangelical Cakegasm.

“Follow our rules or no one gets cake” will never work. The code for cake was cracked long ago. Now anyone can make it. (Cake has risen.)

Forbidden cake tastes just like cake. You can’t fool me.  With cake.

You know, the gays have actually perfected cake. And they will let anyone eat gay cake.
What would happen if an evangelical Christian accidentally ate some gay cake?

Do not even get me started on evangelical hardware store owners. Selectively selling tools is not on the level.

 

The ghosts of vinyl past and digital presents

In the old days I would frequent record shops and select albums by their covers. This worked out more often then you would think. I judged them by the cover, front and back.

Things I miss about albums are their smell and their design elements. The smell of new records as well as, and more importantly, the smell of old. Just like books, records have an attractive smell, and the old ones smell the best. Like books you are smelling the slow decomposition of the paper and cardboard, which I am assured has a chemical relationship to vanilla. And, in the case of records, petroleum, I am sure.

Do you know why they call them albums? Because in even earlier days records were thick slabs which played at 78 RPM. The records were nearly as large as later LPs (standing for “long playing” compared to 78s) but each side played only about 3 minutes. These records were often sold in an “album” collection of records, like a photo album; a book of records, a book of sounds. I have seen these things in an antique store with my own eyes.

With later LPs came not just longer plays but better packaging. Inserts, liner notes, creative packaging. The Canadian band The Guess Who released an album in 1973, their tenth, Artificial Paradise. The packaging resembled a sweepstakes mailer, with inserts. The San Francisco punk band Flipper released an album in 1984 (Gone Fishin’) which could be cut apart to make a tour van, and a double live album in 1986 (Public Flipper Limited) which spread out to make a board game.

But the sad truth is I hate flipping over records. And I like the superior search ability and space saving of digital books and records.

So, here are my suggestions from bandcamp, the digital equivalent of ordering records and demos by mail-order from the pages of MaximumRock’n’Roll. Except you can listen to them before sending money.  Continue reading

Pod episode 5: Obama has an old hat; George W. Bush a one-track-mind

I have a joke about Gennady Zyuganov, Head of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, but odds are you will never hear it. Even though Gennady Zyuganov is a funny name. To western ears. And this has nothing to do with the podcast. Sort of.

Two pieces, one about Barack Obama telling jokes, one about George W. Bush having a one track mind.

I don’t ordinarily do topical material. The danger being that people will forget things like that the Nobel prize was given out to a man running a war or that the president of the USA hired a male escort to sit in the press gallery and ask questions in briefings, or that a previous candidate for president blamed a hurricane on “the homosexuals, feminists, and the ACLU,” acting in concert to make it rain. Those kind of things get lost in the mist of time. Are washed away with the years. Get drowned in a bathtub of memories.

Also a suggestion that you buy the album Adaptations to a Modern Age by Scott Steven Erickson. Even though I sing in the background.