RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition who publishes zines & physical books & electronic books & music & photography & digital art & just generally whatever feels necessary to survive this deluded earth thru Rojonekku Word Fighting Arts survival systems (Version 69, establish 14 Feb 1973). Comments encouraged.

Friday, May 29

Friday Love/Hate

I love a thunderstorm. Hot ass humid life cut wide open by cold ass rains, watching lightning in the distance when I'm outside the edges of the madness. If there is some sort of end times boogie and armageddon fulfillment, I hope it's just like a giant thunderstorm for about three years, sitting on the porch at times watching it happen, but also ducking in the house and hoping the hail doesn't kill off all the squash plants at times, and after it finally clears up, all the assholes on earth will be dead and gone.
I hate all this. I hate internet bullshit, hate waking up to paint stupid fucking houses where I sometimes wish my truck would blow a tire and I'd flip over and be nothing but a roadside memorial. Fucking sick and tired of a lot of the shit I'm knee deep in with no obvious branch or rope or solid ground to pull myself out of. But fuck it man. Push forward, like a retarded warrior.

J.J. Krupert Top 13 Countdown - May '09

J.J. Krupert is the name of my gaypod, which is what I call my tiny little 2 gig iPod Shuffler, and I find it to be the perfect size, because when it comes to squeezing analogous music down into little 1s and 0s and stuffed into a tiny piece of electronical stimulation, I don't want 7000 albums all at once. With the little bitch, I change my theme every now and then, cut shit off fairly regularly, add other things, it's like survival of the fittest. It is called J.J. Krupert because when my middle kid was like 4, she always played my DJ Z-Trip CD we got back when his retard mash-up style was new and fresh and not old and played out. And she would ask what it is and I'd tell her and she'd go, "Oh cool. Mommy, I'm listening to J.J. Krupert again." So that's what it is.
I did this once before at some point as monthly mixes of songs, but fuck it man, there's enough free music inside the internets. So I'm starting fresh and will simply write about the top 13 most played songs on my gaypod named J.J. Krupert. Of course, with me and my strange halfwitted mathematically seduced brain, there are ridiculously unnecessary parameters. I will not write about a song more than once (if I even do this more than once, as this was my May list for the beginning of the month and I'm just now feeling like doing it), and there can only be one song per list by any individual musical artist, so that if I go buckwild this summer and just get high all the time and listen to Led Zeppelin constantly, it doesn't end up being just a list of Led Zeppeling songs. So anyways, here is my list of top 13 most played songs on my ridiculously small robot machine of music as it was for the start of May 2009 the year of the psychedelic goat eating all the blackberries that greedy little fucker.
#1: "A Crippled Man Finally Rides a Train" by 1000 Feathers - Basically, this is me using my new ancient hobo style that I've been doing out the in camper, since I mostly just make the music with myself nowadays. The formula is I take funky-ish breakbeats from classic rock records, sometimes identifiable sometimes not at all, straight up just loop them using the Audacity and a USB turnstable, and then I record my vocals straight into the Audacity too, testing it's limit to process too much information at once. I got a bootleg of that Ableton Live, but that shit's got too many knobs and bullshit for me to figure out. I wouldn't be able to actually write anything anymore if I learned myself that Jap nonsense. Then I pitch shift my vocals down seven notches since DJ Screw brainwashed me into thinking that's the best way, and plus I only write lyrics about riding trains or Greyhounds or shooting pool or swimming in the river - basically outlaw country standard fodder, but in the rappitty rapping ways. This song was the first one I did, and the best one too. I used the beginning break of "Up On Cripple Creek" by The Band, which was always my favorite The Band song, but I've come to love my own song so much that when I used to have both songs on my gaypod and The Band would start singing instead of my warped vocals going "I'd like to ride the rails but I'm too far off the tracks..." I'd be bummed. I even deleted the original version because of this fact. It's the best song I've ever done in my life and makes The Band seem stupid in comparison. Basically, Robbie Robertson only existed as a springboard for me to make a retarded song in a borrowed gypsy lady's camper in my backyard about becoming a hobo out of frustration from life. Sorry bro. We all have our positions to play.
#2: "Enough Rope" by Chris Knight - I heard this on the satellite radio one Saturday morning (which I just cut that bitch off - they were offering me like 3 months free to stay on and all and I was like, "Dude, I don't listen to it. It's boring. Just cut it off.") and got some off an internet dude, and this song rules. It's the best country song ever of the past 10 years, except if he had actually sold it and like Trace Adkins did it as a follow-up to "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk", it wouldn't actually be awesome anymore because regular people would know it, and I'm an internet music nerd contrarian hipster fucker, so I can only really really really like things most people don't know about. It makes me feel special and helps me compensate for self-esteem issues I have in other facets of my life. There are other Chris Knight songs and I've heard them and tried multiple times, but honestly, I'm convinced this is the only good song this dude ever did. He is a one-hit wonder, except his one-hit is underground level hit, so he didn't even get briefly rich from Billboard charts until he realized his evil Jew manager ripped him off and actually owns the right to the song and made all the real money off the deal.
#3: "Ironhorse/Born to Lose" by Motorhead - Not the later metallic Motorhead version, but a very early, post-Hawkwind, mellow yet rugged Lemmy making the greatest biker anthem of all-time. I had this on a tape that got stolen out my car years ago when I worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in RVA, and I looked forever for it, even buying a few used Motorhead CDs that always ended up having the more metal version. Finally, this dude Sicknote who is inside the internets and can find anything you ask him for even if you make it up and it doesn't exist found me the version I had long been missing. One thing lame about gaypods is I can't just have this set to be the first thing I hear in my truck when I get in it in the morning, to motivate me to make that money and feel good working out in the sun simple man hell yeah boy. I mean, I guess I actually could figure out how to make that happen, but man, it's hard enough to get up and actually go to shitty ass work, much less plan out morning theme music to make the shitty day better.
#4: "Wagon Wheel" by Old Crow Medicine Show - This is the greatest new school bluegrass song ever. Most newgrass is a little too college town we wear overalls ironically for my taste. Even a bit of O.C.M.S. is like that for me. But there is no denying this is a great motherfuckin' song. It makes me want to get high and hitchhike to North Carolina and see if Boomer and Shannon are around and if they've had the baby or not but maybe Boomer and me can go to Georgia and find adventure for a few days. But of course none of that happens because I'm broke, have to work, and have already had three childrens of various ages, so whenever I get money, self-indulgent retarded drug-fueled road trips usually fall too far down the financial priority list underneath things like the electric bill and paying for ballet class and fuck we need to go grocery shopping again, the baby's already out of her muesli in the weird 1970s box we can only find at that grocery store in Waynesboro.
#5: "Blue Jean Blues" by ZZ Top - DJed a party at my mom's crib last fall for a bunch of older country redneck drunkards and stoners. The next morning, when I woke late after drinking like 23 Yuenglings the night before, there was slow moving, some horseshoes throwing, fire still going, and plenty of loungers having some Sunday morning coming down beers in their hands. So before I could break all the components down, one old dude was like, "Play some Otis if you got it." This led to just playing mellow ass records and plenty of quality lounger bullshitting going on. I threw on Fandango to hear "Blue Jean Blues" and this one lady, good friend of my mom and her son and me grew up together - tight families, she looks at me and goes, "Oh Raven, what a great song." I already loved this song a shit ton, but all those top-level loungers being laid back and wasted, and Mike's mom with her outlaw woman voice saying that, it made the song even more perfect. Actually, I just copped something called The Moving Sidewalks off the inside of the internets which is Billy Gibbons' first band before ZZ Top, a late '60s psychedelic deal where you can really hear how into Jimi Hendrix ol' Billy Gibbons was back then, and it's good shit too. Billy Gibbons is a national treasure and it really saddens me that most people only think of the horrendous '80s MTV electronic hit factory ZZ Top and not the real deal dirty jeans scruffy beard professional lounger soundtrack masters. When I start a college, Billy Gibbons is gonna be one of the first people I tenure.
#6: "Country Rap Tune" by Tow Down featuring DJ Screw, Hawk, & Big Pokey - This is a great song, one of my favorite ever screwed songs and probably the most unheralded underground hit by a white rapper ever. I was in a fancy hotel with speedy internet one time and actually looked up the video for this on the youtubes and it was weird hearing it at regular speed, like it sounded all freaky and odd. But the Tow Down dude was driving like a Honda Civic painted like the General Lee, which is what I always joked I'd do with my Datsun, except I was gonna paint it orange with a Japanese flag on top and paint "GENERAL TSO" along the edges of the roof, and probably keep the 01 number. Have you ever been to a demolition derby? You'd be surprised how many cars at a demolition derby are number 69. You'd also be surprised how many different ways people can purposely misspell “get ‘er done”.
#7: "Long Haired Lounger" by Prolo - Boogie Brown has a bluegrassy group called The Porch Loungers, but some of his songs are too retarded and lazy-boned for them, so he makes them Prolo songs. This is one, with no rapping at all, where he plays guitar, sang harmonies and shit like only he can, then screwed the whole thing down. I’ve heard of people listening to country music screwed and how it works at times, but music made specifically for that purpose is some next level shit. My man Brown.
#8: "Born Poor" by The Jaggerz - 7-inch single I got from some yard sale that I didn’t know shit about and got the band mixed up with The Sylvers ends up being one of my favorite 7-inches I have. Just your standard everyday olden style soulish but maybe white dudes involved song about how being poor is golden and you are not corrupted by the bullshit uppitty affairs of this twisted world, thus you are able to truly love, and also truly long dick a chick. Well, maybe that last part is not so obvious, but it is implied. Poor people love big asses and only rich people lust for the emaciated scrawny sickliness of super models. Eat some samwich bitch.
#9: "Longhaired Redneck" by David Allan Coe - Man, I’ve been listening to a lot of David Allan Coe lately, but nothing as late as this song (from the late ‘70s or so), so I’m not sure how it got played so much on my gaypod. But it is here so I talk of it now. I went to a DAC show one time by myself in Richmond and it was bikers but no cowboys and I thought I’d be the hippie standing in the corner except a couple fake redneck college buddies of mine showed up too who don’t speak redneck, which made us more likely to get smashed by someone, except I do speak redneck since it’s in my bloodline, and probably actually nothing that extraordinary even happened, I’m just babbling. That show was the worst DAC show I saw (I’ve been to like 6 or 7) because I guess he had just made up and met his daughter, who was like 23 or some shit, so one whole set was a bunch of bullshit sentimental sorry deadbeat dad but I didn’t know no better let’s go dance in an abandoned warehouse like in The Wrestler type bullshit. Really dulled my drunk.
#10: "In the Red" by Willie Isz - Khujo Goodie is a growling pork chop breathed awesome MC motherfucker, who I’ve always loved. It was his growl and Ceelo’s wacky sang-rapping style that made Goodie Mobb so goddamned awesome when they came out. (I guess Gipp was good for a little break in the action and some funny fashion accessories, and honestly to this day I have no idea why T-Mo was in the group or what he contributed. He pretty much ruined the perfection of “Soul Food” with his “Fuck Chris Darden! Fuck Marcia Clark!” dumb shit, not to mention dating the hell out of that song now in retrospect.) Jneiro Jarel is some sort of space age indy rap producer extraordinaire who probably has sketches of a “RIP J. Dilla” tattoo in some art notebooks on his bookshelf made of milk crates and cinderblocks somewhere. Even his name - Jneiro Jarel - and I may even be right on this, but I’ve assumed it was one of the bad guys from Superman that got stuffed in that cocaine mirror and shot into space. But I will say, on the strength of this “In the Red” song, I am more stoked for this impending CD (supposed to come out in like week or two I think) than anything else hip hop related in maybe a couple years. I guess the MF Doom this year was pretty good, but it was predictable. This is some retarded next level paranoia-laced multi-generation corny swaggerless audio goodness potentially, this Willie Isz is. And if Ceelo can get famous with Gnarls Barkley, I’d like to see Khujo do the same with Willie Isz, so when they make a Goodie Mobb reunion CD where T-Mo ruins it yet again and Gipp wears like ostrich feathers in his teeth or some shit, regular white people will be more apt to lump Khujo in with Ceelo as a guy held back by his lesser potnas than lump him with the aforementioned clowns.
#11: "Better Off" by Corntooth - Corntooth is a country assed band from my old roommate Matt (also check out his rock shit at RPG) and his wife and some other dudes I know or don’t know who were or are in Lamb of God or Gwar or other shit. It’s good stuff, as Matt’s from Pennsyltucky and his wife Janey is from Roanoke so the vocal stylings make you want to drink beer while watching Philo Beddo beat up Mexicans. I’ts great shit and impossible to ever find inside the internets, but it exists. I swear.
#12: "Pills I Took" by Hank Williams III - I love some Tricephus, which is extra enjoyable now because my eldest kid is 10 and hates country music (much like I did at her age) and even drew me a wacky picture of her idea of a hoedown with people wearing plaid clothes and eating fried chicken from Wal-Mart and carrying purses made of old blue jeans and playing the banjo and harmonica in annoying hoedown ways. She hates Hank III. It’s fun to have kids growing up that you can torment. I wonder if my parents took so much pride in tormenting me or it was some regular sitcom style bullshit where they didn’t realize they were tormenting. Because I know I’m bugging my kid, and I am proud of it, and because I know it it means I’m smart. So smart. That’s why I have a blog. Only smart people have blogs, so they can share how smart they are with the rest of the stupid fucking world.
#13: "Box #10" by Jim Croce - If the current economic climate causes me to either flip out or get desperate or both and do something so stupid I end up in jail for the rest of my life, I’m gonna do nothing but tattoo Jim Croce lyrics on my body. That, and try not to let anybody know how good I braid hair. In the last month, I’ve actually become pretty good at putting a bun in a young girl’s hair (that’s not a euphemism, in case you were wondering), which is a skill I’d never thought I’d acquire. Of course, instead of just doing it half-assed, I had to look it up online, ask my wife to show me, and my middle kid’s bun got better each and every week. First week, the shit fell out, bobby pins all over the ballet school floor. But last week, shit was so tight I was tempted to not even use the little crocheted bun holder thingy to give it that added tightness. I thought I could let her roll straight bun style. I am a man who conquers things.

Saturday, May 23

These Boots Was Made What For Walking

I've been listening to a lot of old David Allan Coe lately, thanks to my ace boon limey Sicknote inside the Secret Clubhouse, and the greatest song ever forever and of all-time (of the last four attention spans of my brain) is "Walkin' Bum" by David Allan Coe. First off, Buckstone County Prison is a great ass record, and has the "Mississippi Woman" and "West Virginia Man" songs I have fucking loved forever, as it's old David Allan Coe, not really full-blown country yet, kind of a weird prison degenerate redneck Jerry Lee Lewis rock-n-country on speed type thing. Penitentiary Blues is another good album (in the form of cyber-codes that play on little machines inside my house) and has the "Walkin' Bum" song, which touches on some shit I've often thought about and have used in The Back Roads Ninjitsu Manual. One time, I visited this dude I knew out in Boulder, Colorado, and he was hung-up on his hang-ups, full color ohm back tattoo and shit, but sort of missing his mountain soul (sorry bro if you happenstance upon this). I went to some park like 8 miles away from his crib and said I'd walk. He was like, "I'll give you a ride man," like I was a fool for walking. But seriously, you ride by shit, you fly by, you don't see it or even begin to see all the great stupid things that great stupid people build in their little microcosms of a life. So I walked, step by step, through Boulder's sterile streets, up into the hills, and just vibed on it all. It was fine, nothing amazing, but I got a lot more out of that trip by walking than by cruising up, looking around, then cruising back in creature comfort. This led to a big part of a chapter in the rojonekku manual where there's a trailer park of seven trailers (based on Lindy Hamlet's Trailer Park in Hampden-Sydney, VA) and the student/kids/delinquents live in the trailer park, and oftentimes are moved from one trailer to the next in a process to get into the main big house on the compound, to truly know every trailer in that park, instead of just passing them by to their one. All the toilet handle jiggles and soft spots in the plywood by the leaky door and window with no screen that you can't leave open unless you want mosquitoes on your ass and moths all around the lights. Every detail becomes reality when you are more connected to something. I think this is part of the reason I've never flown, because I'm not afraid of flying at all. It just doesn't seem right to me, and I'm not of the lot in life where I have some godawful important bullshit where I have to be a thousand miles away in ten hours. I actually don't even like riding the interstates on road trips, preferring the old main roads that are clogged with stoplights and rundown hotels and strip malls and humanity. But fuck it man, I'm from all that shit too. And you run into cool ass things sometimes, so long as it's not new-fangled suburban sprawl with the same 23 stores you see everywhere. But even there, when you get to the edge where all the Mexicans live and there's a Big Lots, you can go into the Goodwill and find you a really nice authentic alternate black shamrock Boston Celtics Paul Pierce jersey with the embroidered numbers and name and all that shit for $4. Can't get that on the interstate.
Where I grew up in life is, to this day, at least an hour away from any U.S. interstate. And this is in Virginia, albeit southside VA - the home of textile mills with plywood windows and more crabgrass than cars in the parking lot. But still, an hour from the interstate makes me proud to be away from all that bullshit. Where I live now is only like 20 minutes from the interstate, which sucks, and you can tell. My neighbors think they live in the country, but they keep their lawn cut and don't like us having chickens and tall grass and freezers on the front porch and regular country folk things like that. At least I suspect they don't like it. Most of them don't hardly talk at us that often, unless pressed, which I like to do at times. Funny thing is the family that owns most things around here are country as fuck and all have nicknames like Gook or Beetle or Stump. They're good dudes too it seems most of the time. Seems like those dudes respect us having chickens and kids playing on homemade contraptions in the back yard and extra camper trailers out back with the light on all night long during the weekend.
Lately I've been wearing bandanas like Tommy Chong did because my hair's not quite long enough for a ponytail (unless I want the front sides to fall out and dangle while the rest is pulled back and look like some coffeeshop homo poet type). Dudes have been flashing me the peace sign at times, which bugs me, and one dude at the hardware store started talking about the '60s and free love and shit. Man, I was born in '73, I'm just holding my goddamned hair back. I think when I'm not so broke, I should go to the bar in town in my Tommy Chong bandana and get good and drunk and start a fight with one of those short little stocky redneck types who walk around like they were born a Marine and usually have some sort of rockin' ass tattoo they saw on a CD cover in high school. When people make me feel like too much of a hippie, I like to assert my alpha male hyperactivity. And then usually I'll realize, "Man, you were wearing a fucking Chong bandana and a pair of overalls with a Paul Pierce authentic jersey and some robot socks-looking ass new-fangled Converse sneaks... it's confusing and you do look half a fucking dirty hippie with your beard and all." And I laugh the type of laugh I laugh to myself at the world being the butt of my continuous humor.
Seriously though, I'm pretty proud of myself. So far as I know, I'm the first person in my family to graduate college (other than my cousin, who also graduated one semester before me, but we're the only two, and she failed sixth grade and I caught up to her and she got good grades from that point on, so I obviously secretly motivated her), and I'm the first person in my family - at least that I know of in my lifetime - that has chickens. I also had goats. I'm a true Renaissance man, if during the Renaissance they got useless degrees in stupid shit that didn't help them at all in life other than put them in debt that they ignore until hopefully it all blows up and goes away, and they had animals in their back yard. I never studied Renaissance studies in college, and honestly am not even sure if I spelled it right. (I cut spell check off automatic because fuck that, always telling me the words I make up aren't for real. If I thought of it, it's for real, cybertron-approval or not.)

Friday, May 22

100 VINYLZ: #76 - Abigail LP by King Diamond


(1987, Roadrunner Records)
I first had this on tape in high school, and everybody knows the King was the best because he can do death metal groans but could also sing opera if he wanted. He also could've been the European Pele but he gave up pro soccer when he sold his soul to the devil at his kitchen table one night. All King Diamond before 1990 is the greatest shit ever, the culmination of his early incubation in Mercyful Fate to where he had the Satanic theme record thing down pat. Abigail is still my favorite, and I am proud that one year in my wasting money on ebay periods, I acquired this on the vinyl. If I can't find my Death Angel LP, I will blast this through the speaker in the back yard on chicken slaughter day. They're these big ass heavy duty 1977 solid wood speakers I got from under the carport at the dump aka The Too Good To Throw Away section. I keep them in the camper, pull them out for parties, because they make big noise, but the other week I set one on a milk crate behind the shed, and my riding mower was in the shop back home where my dad worked for 30 years of his life, so the tarp that covered the riding mower was on the ground. Tarp over top speaker on milk crate, loose brick on top of tarp to hold it in place, and BAMMM! permanent back yard sound system that I didn't have to haul in and out all the time. Now, I just plug in the camper, hook my little 2 gig gaypod shufflenator into the jack by the door, and play the musics. I'm on a Los Tigres Del Norte kick lately.

Friday Love/Hate

LOVE: The latest homebrew we cracked open starting last night, called Spring Chicken Ale, which we made before we even had chickens I think. Has some coriander and lemonpeels in it and is light and good as fuck. My goal to make regular homebrews so I didn't ever buy beer again involved making light beers like this instead of most homebrews that taste like some poured a gallon of hops into a tiny bottle and swished it with some dirt. This is my new favorite beer ever and I'm glad my wife suggested we keep a recipe book because we didn't keep up with our every 2 weeks brewing plan, meaning we will need to get money to get started again, and this easily fills the light tasty awesome beer void that I tried to fill with Yuenglings. This Spring Chicken Ale gets me drunker though. I've drank one and a half tonight (22 oz. bottles) and have quite the buzz. 50 bottles ain't gonna last long though.
HATE: Having to pull a long day tomorrow, hopefully clock a check from folks, and spend half of it on fucking stupid bills right away that are due tomorrow. I hope the new credit card laws they are passing contains something about them issuing metal credit cards that I can then sharpen into ninja death tools and slit the throat of the fuckers in the credit industry. I know I know, it's all my fault, but I wasn't really trained properly for this bullshit world I seem to be stuck in. I'm old enough to know better, but I think I'd rather just have a temper tantrum, kill some motherfuckers, not have a revolution start because it won't be televised by the internets, go to jail, and get some really swank guitar string tattoos and hopefully not be, you know, raped, although I am white and from what I hear that makes for tasty ass in jail. I could be all white powered out in the name of self-preservation though. God what a shitty situation to get into. I apologize fake internet holographic world spun from my dorkblog... I won't use new-fangled metal credit cards as ninja throwing cards and kill credit industry fat cats. But I might use a fake social security number or two to solve my credit problems. If only I can maintain the sense to pay off actual credit cards with fake credit ones and not just use new fake ones for back tattoos and buying that lime green '65 Impala sitting at that body shop in Centenary on route 20. I'm sure that dude doesn't take credit cards anyways though.

Entering the World of Chickens

I have not been too stoked with this world, at least not the people part of it. Seems like a bunch of snakes and fakes and flakes and folks sucking the energy right out of me half the time. If someone's not posturing beyond their knowledge about some dumb shit I don't even care about, then some other person is getting things all twisted and retardified in their own head and forcing that drama triangle on me. (Drama triangle is this bullshit where someone always has others positioned either as friend or oppressor, and usually they switch you back and forth as necessary, like say they are trying to work things out with their wife over some long-term problems, instead of facing the issues inside of themselves, they switch you over to the oppressor and a lot of their problems with the former oppressor were because of you. Some folks be so melodramatic in abundance it's more like a drama dodecahadrangle or some bullshit.)
Anyways, I solved my socialization problems and hate for the world by building a pimp-ass chicken coop, absconding a chicken tractor from some folks in a barter deal my wife did, and getting me some chicks, who will hopefully be more hen than rooster (which is a fucking retarded dead art in itself, of which I'm no good at at all, and every person you ask has some other bullshit chick dangling foot watching mountaintop science to try and teach you in 37 words). So I think I will talk about chicken breeds, both the ones I have and the ones I'd like to get, and all the stupid things I've learned immersing myself in true retarded ass Raven fashion in the written world of chicken "knowledge". (By the way, there are crazy amounts of backyard chicken websites/blogs/and even message boards. Most of them disturb me, though I do lurk and learn, and one even has this impressive very-internet-like nerd project of documenting how chickens of all breeds look at almost any age - from days to weeks to months - of both sexes to give visual aid in sexing chicks. Of course, it's unfinished, because this is the internet after all. Also, "sexing chicks" seemed to me a very dangerous google search to do on the family computer instead of my little laptop disease machine of stolen music and questionable image searches, but not that much creepy shit came up. I may have changed google settings on that computer without remembering though, as my oldest kid always likes to be trying to go onto americangirl.com and look at shit we can't afford.)
First chicks I got were from some scowl-faced short ass redneck near where I grew up. He and his ol' lady had a trailer with like two big sheds behind the place full of chicks and chickens, and it was right down the road from where my dead grandpa's house is, of which the roof I'm supposed to paint, so it gave me an excuse to go look at that roof, miss my grandpa, see a skunk under the back porch, and think about how much I fucking hate painting, especially stupid metal roofs in the age of global warming my ass the fuck up on top of metal on top of buildings on top of the surface of the earth. Anyways, little scowl-faced dude in overalls (like me actually, which was mad funny to me, and I think what pissed him off, like that was his country style or some bullshit, or I don't know maybe we went to school together and I was all fucked up on acid or something at a party and dissed him or something, who the fuck knows with country folk; we hold bizarre grudges stubbornly hard for the stupidest of reasons) picked me out what he suspected were hens, though it's hard to know at that age. Got me three 5-week-old Rhode Island Reds and two 3-week-old Leghorns, basically on his insinuation that Leghorns outlay the Reds (known in chicken nerd world as "RIR"s). I actually started building my coop after situating all these little dudes in the chicken tractor, and when I was almost done, like one good solid day of work finishing the fencing, I went to some Jesus freak chiropractor cowboy dude's house I got off of ebay and got myself a pair of Ameracaunas about 10-weeks old. He had no idea about sexing them (probably because of his god), but he told me if one was a rooster he'd replace it, but if both were, he'd only replace one. I figure fuck it, if they end up a rooster we'll eat them, which will prepare me for doing a flock of meatbirds later this summer. I'd rather my first couple chicken slaughters be one or two at a time than jumping into doing a whole batch of 25, although maybe the speaker I have permanently set up in the back yard could be pointed toward the slaughtering area and I could just pump The Ultra-Violence by Death Angel and get my chicken slaughter on. Finally, the other day after ballet class with the kids in my truck, I swung by a lady's house and she was a Shifflett (which is a whole slew of local people who are like an army of Jesco Whites who were run off the Shenandoah Mountains by the federales when they built the Blue Ridge Parkway and Shenandoah National Park and all, so the Shiffletts are a strange, outlaw bunch) and I picked out two 3-week-old Buff Orpingtons and two 3-week-old Australorps. So here is what I have to say about chicken breeds, first the ones I've got, and then others I hope to get into.
RHODE ISLAND REDS - These are standard red-assed chickens you always see and they lay big brown eggs pretty regularly it seems. Mine are now about 8-weeks old I think, and one I'm almost completely certain is a hen, the other two I'm not sure about, leaning hard hen on one and hard rooster on the other. Very functional animals and have a chill personality so far it seems. They remind me of the type of guys who work for themselves and like to play horseshoes while high but also lead cub scout troops or coach t-ball or something like that. I think if we keep a flock of around 12 to 20 birds, I will always have 3 or 4 of these guys, especially considering their egg-laying reputation.
WHITE LEGHORNS - These are the main commercial layers of all those white assed eggs you get at the store, which I think makes the do-it-yourself type playa hate on them. There also, for some reason, is a big deal about brown eggs being superior over white eggs, and I'm not sure if there's truth to it or it's just misplaced white guilt or retarded hippie nonsense, but I do know the Leghorns aren't supposed to get as big as the RIRs so they probably don't lay as big an egg. Still, an egg a day ain't uncommon for these dudes. And they look very normal chickeny too. I guess I am operating my flock like a game of Sim City in that I want a good amount of regular people shit going on and not just crazy fucked up birds everywhere. I also know from my brief consultations with internet nerd chicken world on some breed history site that White Leghorns were highly cherished in ancient Rome and used to foretell the future. So I like to pretend that involves them being super-mental chickens and not just something that was sliced open in a cave on a mountainside to spill it's blood and see what the gods wanted us to know.
AMERACAUNAS - They lay colored eggs, and my wife named these two some fucked up Russian names or something. One of them is most definitely a hen and the other I don't know. It looks like a hen, no real heavy comb or arrowhead ass feathers or anything, but it's aggressive and bossy to the other birds. It was also by far the biggest of the bunch until the one probably rooster RIR caught up to it in the last week, so maybe it's just got a big chicken in the coop complex going on. These are strange birds, therefore I like them. Apparently, true araucanas came from Chile and most every bird in America called araucana or ameracauna is a fake ass mutt hybrid that lays colored eggs and the true araucanas are impossible to find for real though.
BUFF ORPINGTONS - Straight pimps of the chicken world, with a tight ass cream feather color and goofy fluff to their tails. Mine are too young to sex (that's what she said), but one has the demeanor of a pimp ass rooster. Most of these, if they end up roosters, they will end up stuffed with rosemary and cooked in my oven, but I'd be tempted to keep a pimp ass straight gangsta funk looking buff orpington rooster. (I also apparently decided to stop capitalizing rooster breeds halfway through this post, as rhode island reds use of a geographical place confused me.)
AUSTRALORPS - These were bred by some mad scientist in Australia and were called Australian Laying chickens, but everyone put the -orp on the end so you knew they came from orpingtons, and they were called australorps and now you know the rest of the story. Mine are small, like 3-weeks, and they hang with the buff orps so I don't even notice them really, little ugly ass black chicks.
BLACK STARS - Basically, there are two types of chickens called red sex links and black sex links that are called so because you know what sex the chick is when it's born by the color of it's feathers. This shit was done in the mid '70s in mad science fashion, but I hate that term "sex link" for a chicken. They are also called red stars and black stars too, probably by uptight people who don't like to say "sex", which I'm fine with in this case. Mostly, this is because I have had a large west African fetish the past year or two, searching out bullshit rap and old funk and crap like that (if you want to buy me a present, get me Extreme Canvas by some dude, about Ghanaiananaan handmade movie posters for VCR movie theaters they used to have back in the day). Anyways, Ghana was the first African country to get independence, and they have the standard red yellow green (or is it black?) striped flag like a ton of African countries, but with a black star in the middle of the center yellow stripe. So since then, Ghana has had Black Star culture, where dudes who are on the come-up, or the national soccer team, or a song by English rapper Sway, is called "Black Star". Thus, I want some black stars.
BROWN LEGHORNS - They have a pretty odd wacky colorful feather patch on their front ends, kinda psychedelic, and I've been listening to a lot of Hawkwind and 13th Floor Elevators in the darkness of my backyard lately as the fireflies crank up, so I think I'm pretty down with psychedelic chickens. Maybe I'll crack open one of those glow sticks and pour it over them and watch them bug out.
There's more but the second bell rang so I've got to make it to algebra real quick.

Thursday, May 21

100 VINYLZ: #77 - Soul Power '74 7" by Maceo & The Macks


(1974, People Records)
Kind of forgot about this, and had planned on finishing the list by end of 2008, to revisit and re-list every Presidential election year. Oh fucking well.
This is a jukebox single I got out of the dollar bins in the basement of Plan 9 in Richmond's gay ass Carytown, an instrumental funkdown of the James Brown song, complete with crying baby, breaks galore, horns getting the type of ill that diseases DJ Premier's mind, and a side A part 1 and side B part 2. One of the greatest 7-inch singles I own and how the fuck it only ended up #77 confuses May 2009 Raven immensely. Spring 2008 Raven was on some bullshit methinks.