Just a few random bits before I head off on another trip in the morning. I likely won’t be updating until next weekend.
· I was browsing at Easy St. Records last night and saw this newish Gang of Four CD. It had the most hilarious marketing copy stickered onto it. Dig this sales technique: “The triumphant return of the band that invented originality!” I mean, come on, how can you argue with the very inventors of originality?
· Juan Cole, the guy who does the aptly named blog Informed Content, has a really interesting article on Salon.com today. It’s called “All the Vice President’s Men” and it’s about the cabal of neocons Cheney surrounded himself with and the effect they’ve had on, well, everything for the past five years. Worth checking out: http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2005/10/28/vice_president/index_np.html
· I’ve been really digging on Tiger Army lately. I saw them live last year they put on a great show. I’m investigating other psychobilly bands because the combo of rockabilly and punk rock really works for me. I hope this isn’t a sign of old age.
· In between dinner and the Atomic Bombshells burlesque show last night, the gang stopped into a club called Chopstix for a while. The place has two dueling pianists who take requests from the crowd and play at ludicrous decibels. It is a favorite spot for drunken bachelorette parties as I understand it and last night just about the entire female audience was made up of skinny white girls in their early 20s. So the pianists lay off the keys to sing hometown hero Sir Mix-A-Lot’s epic “Baby Got Back.” The guys recruit three girls to get up on stage and dance while they rap and the irony was overwhelming. This is a song that starts off “I like big butts” and here we had three super skinny girls shaking their bone racks. They get an A for effort, but really girls, that song is not about you. I tried to change the mood of the room with a request for “Six Pack” by Black Flag but this only befuddled the pianists.
I got back from Ft. Wayne on Monday night and then I’m flying out on another business trip on Saturday morning. I’ve got a big pile of stuff to do before I go and my Seattle interlude is flying by. In good news I finished the WFRP adventure I’ve been working on yesterday. Huzzah. Next couple of days it’s going to be contracts, payments, comps, and other administrative delights. On the upside, I’ve been invited out tonight to celebrate the forthcoming indictments of various crooks and liars with booze and burlesque and that sounds plenty good to me.
The Alliance Open House was very good. It’s worth the trip to meet and interact with several hundred retailers, show off our assorted product lines, and pimp our upcoming books. The second day of the show is a warehouse sale and Alliance is nice enough to let manufacturers partake. This is my yearly excuse to pick up a pile of Osprey books and I did my patriotic duty in that regard. It’s probably a good thing Osprey does not have a subscription program or I’d be broke.
One of the books I picked up was the Russian Civil War (1) the Red Army. Reading it in my hotel room Sunday night I was overcome with a powerful and dangerous idea. It would not be difficult to come up with Flames of War army lists for the Russian Civil War and British company Peter Pig makes a line of Russian Civil War miniatures in 15mm scale. Wargaming with Cossacks, Chekists, Red Guards, the Czech Legion, foreign interventionists, and Makhnovists—oh yeah, baby. Not to mention armored trains. When I got home I checked out the Peter Pig website and discovered that they even make armored train models in the proper scale. I may be doomed.
It’s not often that I get to say this, but Wizards of the Coast, prepare to be owned:
Just don’t think this is going to do much in the face of our fully armed and operational Mutants & Masterminds RPG in its slick new edition.
In other news, I’m leaving in the morning for the armpit of Ft. Wayne, IN for the Alliance Open House. I know there are a bunch of people I owe e-mails to, but I’m not going to get to them before I go. Afraid Tuesday is about the earliest anyone is going to hear from me.
I went up to Capitol Hill last night to see the Epoxies, a tremendously fun band from Portland that Nik and I caught last year. I didn’t buy tickets in advance, figuring a Thursday night show with the likes of the Epoxies wouldn’t sell out. Turns out I was totally wrong. They were playing with Against Me, who have gotten a lot more popular than I knew. When I arrived at Neumo’s, I got in a huge line, only to find out this was the Will Call line and the show had already sold out. Doh! So as to not have a completely wasted trip, I walked up Broadway and had dinner a Greek place I hadn’t been to in something like 5 years. It was OK. Over the course of my Capitol Hill wanderings and the 4 busses I rode, I did see and hear some amusing things though. Here’s a sample:
- “If he gets his book published, I’m going to tattoo Fuck Me on my ass.” Overheard on the 106 bus.
- “See scenes from the first week of production on CTHULHU starring Tori Spelling at www.cthulhuthemovie.com then call 206.324.6400. WE WANT LOCAL INVESTORS.” Seen in the Stranger, one of Seattle’s free newpapers. I can think of nothing more sanity blasting than Tori Spelling in a Cthulhu movie.
- “Bitch, let me show how we do things on the other side of town.” Overheard while walking on Broadway.
- “Horses have big cocks. It’s true.” Overheard on the 106 bus.
- “Wouldn’t you just LOVE IT if a beautiful girl in a freaky cleavage-poppin’ Oktoberfest outfit handed you nice icy cold beer RIGHT NOW? Mmm, beer! Would you still drink it if I told you that she made that beer with yeast from her own vagina? That she made a keg homebrew, called “Toi Sennhauser’s OPB—Original Pussy Beer”” Hmm, would you drink it then?” From an article about performance artist Toi’s latest event last weekend in the Stranger.
- “They’re just a band. You can see them next year when they come back.” Overheard on Pike St on the way to Neumo’s. This was my first indication that the show might have sold out.
- “Would Citizen Kane have been any better if you could have walked around Kane’s mansion poking through his cabinets?” From a review of the computer game Indigo Prophecy by former Cthulhu disciple John Tynes.
So, it turns out I should have stayed home and written about WFRP rats. Ah well. Next week the Dropkick Murphys are playing and that I do have tickets for. My rocking out is thus only slightly delayed.
If you’re like me, you love the Minutemen, one of greatest punk bands to come out of California. What you may or may not know is that before the Minutemen, there was the Reactionaries. This band had all three members who later formed the Minutemen (D. Boon, Mike Watt, and George Hurley), plus lead singer Martin Tamburovich. In 1979 they recorded 9 songs in a George Hurley’s shed and Mike Watt has graciously released them for free in mp3 format. You can find them here:
Now this is the true History Lesson, Part 1. Very cool.
I found out last night that Randy “Biscuit” Turner died last week. This makes me sad.
Biscuit was the frontman for one of the all time great punk bands, the Big Boys. They were a Texas band that put some funk into punk in the late 70s and early 80s. Absolutely amazing band and of course little known outside of punk circles. If you can imagine what it would have been like to be punk and gay in Texas in 1980, you have an idea of what Biscuit had to deal with. Nonetheless, the Big Boys anthem was the song “Fun, Fun, Fun”. The article says nothing about cause of death. I wonder if there was foul play. Looks like the fun has come to an end.
Man, nearly all the Ramones are dead and in the past couple of years we’ve also lost Robert Quine, Joe Strummer, and now Randy Turner, yet the Rolling Stones are still touring. What the hell?
We had a Green Ronin summit over this past weekend. It was the first time we’ve actually gotten all seven of us in one room. Oh, we’ve gotten close during cons, but Evan usually doesn’t come out for those so it took until now for the Magnificent Seven to come together. We had a very fruitful weekend of meetings, punctuated by meals, libations, and demented humor. I don’t have anything to say about the business end of things; you’ll see the results of that over the next couple of years. I do want to say, however, that I absolutely adore my staff. Not only are they each a huge asset to the company, but they are great people as well. It’s so rare to have a group of people working together who all click, and who can bring out the best in each other. I’m lucky to have them, especially considering the challenges of 2005 to date. Everyone has stayed with us and done great work under enormous pressure. It’s hard to communicate the scope of their loyalty, industry, and ingenuity, but I thought a public shout out was due. So mondo thanks to Nicole, Hal, Rob, Steve, Evan, and Sparky. You kick ass.
While America declines day by day, at least there is one silver lining: our modern dystopia is great for comedy. Just think about the Daily Show. Would it be half as funny if Al Gore were in his second term? No sir. And since so much of the media is so useless at actual journalism, we should be thankful we have the comedians too. Bill Maher’s show and the Daily Show have more actual insight into what’s going on in the world than most news programs. Plus, dick jokes.
Let’s look at the events of the last month. First a big natural disaster shines a bright light on the dark corners of cronyism in the Bush administration (“You’re doing a heckuva job, Brownie!”). And yet, scant weeks later what do we see with a nomination to the Supreme Court no less? A Bush loyalist with no actual judicial experience sucking on the sweet teet of Queen Crony. You can’t make shit like this up. It is pure comedy gold.