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 28

J.J. Krupert Top 13 Countdown - May ’10 #8: “Ride” by Nappy Roots


Okay, I promise this is the last Nappy Roots hyping song on the list for a few months, and just in time for their actual record to come out that you might end up coming across and being like, "Wow, Raven has shitty taste." When they came out with "Gonna Be a Good Day" it was the greatest song ever. Then I heard it on their actual CD, with some bullshit strip club/phone call to the wifey skit piggybacked onto the back end. And then I heard the Greg Nice version with a DJ named Greg Nice yelling all over the shit. So it is obvious Nappy Roots are not hip to how to stand alone inside the music industry. This song, off that new album called Pursuit of Nappyness, is awesome as fuck. But I heard another "leaked" song, which is how record labels refer to singles nowadays, called "Fishbowl" and that song was a huge piece of shit. So I suggest you just download this song from here, and wait until they release a Nappy Roots Greatest Hits For White Dudes Who Grew Up Rurally And Have Abused Cough Syrup Enough To Keep It Slow And Simple Like That Lynyrd Skynyrd Simple Man CD. Because, like all rap music, the filler and bullshit and cringeworthy crap will probably outnumber the worthwhile shit five to one.
STEAL “Ride”
NEXT UP:
Music for drinking cough syrup to! Too!

J.J. Krupert Top 13 Countdown - May ’10 #9: “Luchini aka This Is It” by Camp Lo


I was reading a thing on a thing recently about HIP HOP ONE HIT WONDERS! and Camp Lo and this song came up. But the thing is, this song is so fucking summertime perfect, riding around high as fuck with the air condition running on full blast but the windows cracked so it sucks the cool right up past your eyebrows just right, that I can't even hear the hatred. It makes me hate the fact that things like VH1 or Amazon.com lists or any of this shit exists, because none of it is even close to "Luchini" in perfection, or even usefulness. Have you sat upon a picnic table in a public park with an older woman flirting with you for a beer as you try to remember how to get back to the horseshoe pits where your cousin was last seen at, and he was your ride? Were you born to people who played records that weren't jazz music, ever? Do you personally know the hopeless drug-addled shoe factories with plywood windows frustration that rules southside Virginia, where at least one of these Camp Lo dudes is allegedly from? Whatever your answers, my point was somehow supposed to show how you couldn't possibly understand how awesome this song was, even if you thought you understood, but I got lost somewhere in there, because I was trying to yell "WHAT!" in time with the song.
STEAL “Luchini”
NEXT UP:
More stupid nowadays country ass rap music!

J.J. Krupert Top 13 Countdown - May ’10 #10: “Franklin’s Tower (live)” by The Grateful Dead


I thought about doing some hipster internet bullshit and explain how, "Yeah, I kinda used to like the Grateful Dead but man they suck, plus hippies lololol" or something along those lines, but fuck all that. I always liked the notion of the Grateful Dead, and when life is right, there's nothing better to listen to. But like anything, a bunch of dumbasses busted it up into something less enjoyable. And I could digress into how people going to festivals and fake Dead shows nowadays not only missed the fucking boat, but don't even realize they're not even on water. Shows are all pharmaceuticals now, and even weed is more genetically engineered than your average albino rat having cancer tumors induced in its belly in the basements of every major university in America.
Instead, let me tell you about my first dead show. A dude who was a year older than me in high school and was graduating, plus a dude who had graduated the year before, were going to RFK for a show, and I jumped in on the action, not really checking with my folks. At this point - around 17 - my folks were split up and my dad lived in a trailer half a mile from the cedar-sided home I mostly grew up inside of, so I could bounce obligations back and forth and very easily disappear for weeks at a time so long as my grades got kept up and the cops didn't show up at the house (or the trailer, although most likely my dad would've had a shootout with them... for real too; he was on some anti-aircraft guns in a shed to blow jets out the sky shit sometimes). So I had a ticket to RFK already, and I remember showing up for my middle sister's softball game the day before, and we were kicking it and someone asked me about going to the show, with my dad standing there, and he was like, "WTF!" with his eyes, like a cartoon character that walked off a cliff five steps before he realized there wasn't nothing beneath him no more. So I got a quick rundown with him and my mom about being careful and all that.
Next day, me and the other two dudes, one of whom drove a VW microbus, which naturally we took to RFK because we was small town dudes, went to the big show. We bought a quarter bag of shrooms, plus two peanut butter sandwiches, and split the shrooms up mostly even, except the guy who had just graduated hadn't dabbled in the hallucinogenics too much, so he took it light on the sandwich tip. Let me tell you, peanut butter sandwiches are not the best thing to put earthy ass psilocybin shrooms down your throat with, so we drank a bunch of water and beer. But it didn't kick in fast enough for our tastes either, so we bought five hits of some yin/yang acid. I think the graduating dude took like half a hit, so me and the other dude split the rest, and it was sunshine in the sky and we wandered around the lot for a long ass time.
The show itself I remember being amazing. Deep bass, RFK upper deck rocking to where you had to time your retarded dancing so as to not get thrown off by the concrete shake, some hillbilly New York hippie looking dude grabbing some older gay black dude vendor pretzel guy's entire stack of money and throwing it over the rail onto the floor, creating a buzzish roar, balloons floating through the sky with fishing wire hanging down that cut up my arms (have never been able to verify if this was real or not), all sorts of wild shit. This was 1991, so even though I'm like, "You whippersnappers don't know the real deal, with your disco biscuits and bonnaroos and bullshit!" I'm sure there are many old fucks who would be like, "Hahaha, 1991, you might've well as seen Hall & Oates at that point." But whatever, it blew my young mind wide the fuck open. And we brought acid home and slept on the couches of our boy's apartment a block from where my dad worked on chainsaws, woke up in the afternoon as people started showing up to party, as it was that house in every small town where an older dude has all high school friends so they show up constantly from Friday at 2 pm until Sunday at 9 pm to get fucked up in safety. I remember being groggy as fuck as it was my hardest acid trip to that point, but I played foozball and drank Miller Genuine Drafts, and felt right again.
The show itself, I remember them doing the "Help/Slipknot/Franklin's Tower" thing, as well as "Tennessee Jed", which the Dead seemed to play every show I ever ended up at. I never wanted to follow them because if I could wander, why would I follow the itinerary of someone else? I could see picking a couple select spots out along the way, but to purposely follow someone else, in the form of a band where you sat amongst thousands of people to look up at them... I don't know, it seemed a little off-kilter to me.
To this day though, I love the "Help/Slipknot/Franklin's Tower" thing, except we live in a randomized computer music machine age, so the shit never comes up in order anymore in my life. When I got LOUNGIN' tattooed on my beer belly, the dude that did it was a former Dead road dog type dude whose Ipod was full of nothing but shows, and at that point I had long ass dreads, so he of course showed me pictures of his 4-year-old daughter and some giant weed plants he grew in Colorado, both of which were kept in the same stack of pictures in side his left desk drawer, and as his Ipod played nothing but Dead shows and he butchered me along my ribs but tried to make up for it by putting white highlights on the letters, even though I'm already white so you can't see it at all, I thought it would be quite a thing to just have "Help/Slip/Franklin's Tower" trios as a playlist on your all Grateful Dead show Ipod, and let it play and play and fucking play.
STEAL “Franklin’s Tower”
NEXT UP:
A more perfect summer jam than that “Summertime” song by Fresh Prince & Jazzy Jeff!

Friday Love/Hate

I hate when corn on the cob goes on sale at the store and they have those big piles of it, and some asshole is standing there, peeling back the top to see if the genetically modified corn is of proper standing, and shucking the shit right there into that big trash can that the produce guy rolls out because he knows the world is ruled by assholes, not loungers. Look motherfucker, I am of few beliefs, but I know that I want to cook my corn with the goddamned husk on it, not breached by your proper kernel appearance on one end testing standards, and most people with any goddamned sense know that the shit stays sweeter if you shuck it at the last second before throwing into boiling water or however you cook it. Usually the type of people doing this thing are of two varieties - either a 40- to 50-something white lady who still wears her hair in some sort of 2010 perm style, or a grumpfaced redneck business dude in a polo shirt with a company name on the breast. Fuckers, everywhere.

I love the flash of heat lightning along the broccoli stalk horizon, like a strobe show, while I sit on the side porch drinking a cheapest of the week Mexican ass beer with some lime stuffed into the thing. The fireflies are along the tall grasses in the field, barely competing with the sky, and the full moon is gone to hell for the moment. I love that strong slight breeze of electrical energy in the air, where you know it's about to get straight crazy, and the kids will wake up crying and the electricity might go out, and with the lightning flashes in the background, the trees look ominous, like they had really clear video making capabilities for even minor bands back when Death and Possessed first came out back in the day, except they lived in the country. You can feel those first hard winds blow where you're like, "Maybe I should go inside," because you are starting to feel the energy trigger your adrenaline. When I went inside, the hall door to the upstairs was open, which it's not supposed to be, so I shut it. And even though the wind wasn't that strong really, it was tricky, and the hall door opened again right in front of my eyes, which was disturbing as we had a ghost in this house before. An ill wind blowing, for real though. But it's good to get recharged like that. I've been needing that, immensely. Nature is a sweet ass bitch, because you abandon it for months, even years, but when you need it, no matter how played out and abused it gets, it's got something just right for your ass. That's part of the reason I don't give a fuck about oil spills and global warming. We either die or adjust, and we deserve which ever one happens, individually and collectively. And now it's hailing like a motherfucker out there. I'm gonna shut off the computer before nature gives this piece of shit machine the final blast that stolen music, internet porn, and a budget price genetics couldn't give it.

Thursday, May 27

J.J. Krupert Top 13 Countdown - May ’10 #11: “Drunken Poet’s Dream” by Hayes Carll


This was supposed to be easier when I decided to break the J.J. Krupert list into multiple posts and all, but it doesn't seem to be. I am unmotivated, overheated, and full of anger and resentment towards the world. Luckily for me, my wife is as well. We are full of frustration and lack of inspiration and surrounded by scrunchfaced people living in doomed relationships with no creative passion. Trapped in a dilapidated house full of kids and to-do lists and no money and shit is broken and damn we could use a weekend in a hotel with a mini-fridge full of beer and no clothes, but all we got is the same routine all the fucking time. Stupid fucking blog that I feel I should keep up with, but for what? Like six books in various stages of neglect, and never finish any of them because if I can trick myself into writing for an hour after the day's and night's obligations and responsibilities have all been honored, I end up writing some stupid mindless shit like this.
Yeah, Hayes Carll. Some internet dude a few years back sent me a small collection of songs by dudes who probably are part of that uber-fucking stupid alt.country genre, but actually suggested as halfway decent from this internet dude, who was originally some overweight retard from Kentucky before he became an internet dude, so maybe he knew. The problem is all those guys he sent me - Hayes Carll and Robison Charlie and Chris Knight and all - they are all the same guy to me, a guy who Nashville doesn't respect and was married to one of the Dixie Chicks and went to rehab for cocaine. This isn't the song that the internet dude sent me, but it lead me, after a couple years, into stealing a Hayes Carll album called Trouble In Mind from inside the internet, and it is fucking awesome. This song just reaffirms in my mind how much me and the ol' lady need to be laying around a hotel room in some strange city we never heard of somewhere in West Virginia or North Carolina or somewhere. But we won't.
Oh well, fucking holiday weekend. Let's sit in the back yard and play music loud as fuck and get drunk and watch the kids chase the chickens around. Fuck it. That's the beauty of good music. When your life feels like a big pile of endless shit, someone has taken the story of their life being a big pile of endless shit, worded it well, and put it to a nice melody.
Also I should clarify that I don't mean to sound like a bitch. It's just I have a camper trailer and a ratty picnic table and an empty cooler, and none of that has been getting used as much lately as the DVD player or the cyberbox or the indoors electrified icebox, and I feel myself becoming disconnected to my standard disconnect. I am too much wired in lately, to the point I feel like a grounding wire is attached from the base of my spine where it meets my brainstem into that big giant electronic buzz. A weekend of camping, or at least purging my family of its endless piles of shit would do me a world of good. I think a couple feet in the James River, some horseshoes, and a tall stack of emtpy beer bottles will probably make it easier, plus a few five hour stints of writing in the camper. This writing in the house at the kitchen table is messing me up. I didn't spend all that time layering the inside of the camper with crushed beer cans to stifle the negative mental effect of electromagnetic waves for nothing, did I?
STEAL “Drunken Poet’s Dream”
NEXT UP:
Mushroom memories and girls who don’t wear underwear, or shave!

J.J. Krupert Top 13 Countdown - May ’10 #12: “Squaresville” by Thee Headcoat Sect


Billy Childish is an older used bookish type hipster fuckface superhero, which means I am heavily hyped up on Billy Childish. His stupid thrift store suits and goofy hats and bad limey poetry about hookers and lame ass people with regular jobs. I, like many shithead lazy Americans, first became exposed to the timeless awesomeness of Billy Childish when all the grunge bands who had gotten big from Sub Pop during that time of musics were busy hyping up their obscure inspirations galore, and Mr. Childish got mad love and a release of his "You Make Me Die Now" song here in the land of people who buy things because a semi-famous person they have bought things from encourages them to expand their material possession base a little further.
I didn't know the whole Billy Childish story. I looked him up at some point, and it's hard to tell if he's serious about being an artist, or a crazy guy. I mean, he writes poetry, and it's hard to not distrust people who willingly call themselves a "poet" in 2010. But he is a solid dude who makes solid music that most normal people have no idea about. And there's really nothing great or outstanding about it. It's not like he's reinvented the wheel. It's shitty rock-n-roll (meant as a compliment, naturally) with songs that talk of shitty normal people ruining the good times the rest of us could easily have if the whole goddamned world wasn't so uptight. "Squaresville" is that type of song, perfectly. Even the taking of a played out beatnik term like "square" and twisting it into a modern Sim Cityfied update, straight up predictable, and nothing about it should be awesome, yet somehow it is. That's the beauty of Billy Childish. Any of three million people could dedicate themselves to the personal cause for a year and a half and could do what he does, yet nobody does it.
I could write more, and try to make up some tangents to drag this out a few more words to justify having a giant picture at the top of a post on my stupid blog, but I'd kind of like to masturbate and go to bed. I'm way behind my self-imposed deadlines for the month when it comes to updating this crap, but it's been a busy and soulless time lately. Yet there is always time to masturbate.
STEAL “Squaresville”
NEXT UP:
The greatest country album of the last ten years!

Tuesday, May 25

J.J. Krupert Top 13 Countdown - May ’10 #13: “West Virginia Man” by David Allan Coe


Ahh... sweet, crazy David Allan Coe, a mystic and a criminal, part of that last generation of pre-ZZ Top's Eliminator bikers that lived when outlaws could be outside of the law without the 0s and 1s of digital law enforcement cornering them like rats just bound to get their neck snapped when they lick at the peanut butter one time too many. I grew up listening to dudes like this, who mix what happened with them with what happened with people they rolled with with what happened to things they heard someone tell an emphatic story about around a kitchen table somewhere with a screen door or window or both or a picnic table or something. He is a national treasure, both for the regular America as well as the twisted southern America. This song was the first of a pair that I heard that introduced me to the world of pre-Ten Years: For The Record David Allan Coe. This along with "Mississippi Woman" were the tail-end songs on a hodgepodge DAC LP my old roommate had after we weren't roommates. If he had this album while we lived together, I would've confiscated it for sure, on that whole retarded principal of "I deserve it more than he does, even if it is his shit". After I didn't live with that dude anymore, I would show up from time to time, as I still worked in Richmond, and we would abuse nitrous or crank or something or other and play video games and catch up on months of nothingness and listen to music. One night we dug this album out his stack and there was a letter tucked inside, to another friend, from some dude who shot up a bunch of people on New Year's Eve and went to jail for life. We, being of ill repute, read the letter, which was a sad thick slice of insight into some dude who liked vampires and slipped down a globbery slope into shooting a bunch of motherfuckers and going into the prison of prison for the rest of his living life. It depressed the fuck out of both of us. So we tucked it back into the album with this song.
The song itself is straight up exaggerated braggadacio - standard David Allan Coe perfection. If ever there was a country singer who lived, looked, and wrote lyrics like a rapper, it would be David Allan Coe. The lyrics of this song would make the perfect first two verses for a great song by an obscure country assed small southern city rapper, no bigger than 250,000 metropolitan area style, where a guy could live outside the radar long enough to build a cult following before being exploited by the record industry, yet international enough to become known. West Virginia itself is like this song - great as fuck, yet hardly respected. Shit, it's not like I've travelled a billion miles in my life or anything, but I can tell you in my limited but wide circled travels, I'd gladly trade about 18 American states for West Virginia alone.
STEAL “West Virginia Man”
NEXT UP:
Obscure hipsterism, in the house!

(7s) Recent Force Battles For Control Of My Soul #7 - White Trash Genetical Heritage vs. Strange Electronic Musics


Look, I will be honest, this is not even a fair battle. No amount of musical expression, no amount of electronic clutter inside my mind, no amount of nothing from everywhere could ever trump my goddamned insides. Not like my pockmarked liver and cluttered intestines and hop-skipping heart and grey matter gone black from broken axons brain type of insides, but my straight up deep down inside every molecule type insides. I was born this man I am, and the new job has been strange, because I am navigating a world of responsibility and pretending I know what I'm doing. I actually flew to Florida related to work and we had a big Sunday dinner at fancy restaurant sponsored by our hosts, collaborators in a ginormous fucked up project, where entrees were $25 on the low end, and they had multiple forks laid out, and everybody who knew what they were doing was laying a cloth napkin across their lap in different manners. I will not front... I do not understand all this. But at the other end of the table was a Ukrainian lady who was my parallel counterpart at the Florida research lab doing what we do in Virginia, and she spoke broken English and was mostly quiet. As was I, although I guess my English is more warped than broken. But I had a very valuable moment of lucidity sitting there waiting for my $28 bison strips with grilled squashes and sautéed wild mushrooms... even though I am no other country immigrant, this world I am trying to navigate is very foreign to me. I do not know its customs or mannerisms or anything really. I mean, I guess I could know them, from seeing it in movies or on PBS cooking shows about manners or something, but I don't deep down in my molecules know them. I am of the earth, which is, if you haven't been paying attention, full of trash for the last hundred years. I am born of the light-skinned wretched of the earth, more inclined to get drunk as hell, be hungover the next day, and the only thing that keeps me from passing out under a table from the sweats is the delusional perverted thoughts that run wild through my brain during that moment of intense wet dehydration. I was born to somehow get brand new pairs of pants hung on barbed wire, or accidentally hit the concrete barrier at the gas station in a new ride, which isn't even "new" so to speak so much as new to me. Hell, I'm lucky to have a car from this decade most years of my life (for the record, three of my 37 years, I've rocked a ride from the same decade I'm driving through at the time).
Yet this has helped me immensely. Because even though I don't know how to act right in those prim and proper situations, or remember to cut my hair more than once every two months, being I'm not from that world, I am hungry, and full of a pitbull work ethic. I can do 17 things that would be menial to someone who knows how to swirl red wine around in a paper thin glass goblet, and in a third of the time it would take them to get started. I was born hungry, and those small high dollar portions of the good life will never satisfy that deep down in my molecules hunger. So as long as I can channel my immigrant thinking into a positive direction, to hold down the button-down job, then I can live the American Dream.
But at the same time, that hunger inside of me from birth... from before birth really, often times it needs to be fed with reckless nomadic wanders into shithole territories, sleeping on hotel mattresses that would look like disco balls underneath one of those exposé news shows black lights, and burn down all the bridges I’m sick of looking at, crossing back and forth for too long a stretch of my life. This is how I’m wired. Nothing can ever change that, and nothing can ever block that.
On my right forefinger is a crude, splotchy ahnk I gave myself when I was 17, sitting in my dad’s trailer living room. And there are times when I am navigating this brave new world I’m trying to belong to, at least during the work day, and I catch people’s eyes trying to figure that out. Why is it there? It is a leak of my inside molecular structure, right there in the opening, that no long-sleeved shirts or hair clippers can hide. And being to the rest of the upwardly slanted American world, I am not a bonafide foreigner of obvious immigrant status, I’m sure they question my presence in their world. As do I. But whatever. Civilization’s stacked enough bricks and paved enough paths through the wilderness that a man can burn a hell of a lot of bridges and still not be stuck on an island. Or in a prison. All that other electronic new-fangled cluttery is just prison bars or electrified fences trying to keep me penned up. But I’m too wild inside to stay still forever, plus I can’t ever have nice shit, always breaking it or busting it or half-assedly fixing it back together, so my type of stuff doesn’t properly transmit all that new age fencing charges like it’s supposed to anyways. My internal structure trumps outward controls. You can take the boy out of the cursed yet somehow perfect genetics, but you can’t take the cursed yet somehow perfect genetics out of the boy.

Monday, May 24

(7s) Recent Force Battles For Control Of My Soul #6 - White Trash Genetical Heritage vs. The HAARP Hum-Along


The BZZZZZZZZ surrounds with a mighty electronic swarm, especially at my new work. But my blood is thick with rural ignorance, not only here in the white mutt homeland of the American South (technically, Virginia is not entirely part of that anymore, but Southside Virginia - the state's armpit - is most definitely still a tragic gothic place), but back in the old world from my orphaned Swedish grandmother, my son of Ellis Island boat-riding Polacks, the other side of my family which is a hodgepodge of Scottish drunkards and German stubborns, it all coagulates thickly in my bloodstream, and no matter how hard they BZZZZZZZZZZ at me from all around, that blood flow can't be stopped, especially when perfectly thinned down with alcoholic beverages about 0.15%, give or take a few hundredths.
These are strange times for the electronics, them being everywhere, including on our pocket to go straight to our brain on our smart phones while we are tracked constantly like cows with blue clips dangling from their ears. It’s changed everything, including the moon cycles and ocean currents and caused more seismic activty which recently resulted in volcanic ash blacking out the European skies to airline flights. These are the natural repercussions to our natural actions, as we are men, a part of nature, and the eminent domain we declare over everything to recreate and reshape is a natural action, one that is supposed to happen. And what happens in return is also supposed to happen, the pendulum swinging back the other way, whether by global warming or an eventual mad cow/bird flu disease spreading quickly into mass madness as we eat cannibalistic meat products from allegedly lesser animals that are under our domestic rule.
Yet my blood still flows. My brain still thinks deranged caveman thoughts. Sure, sometimes I am distracted greatly by the shiny and bright digital displays of a million things at a million angles at a relentless pace; but I am also still tormented by adrenalin rushed fears of the sounds in the dark and a coyote yelp beyond the line of pines might make me run from my sitting stump by the pig pen back to the safety of the BZZZZZZZ of my house an acre away. But I at least am still pulling away from that BZZZZZZ, trying to settle myself on the stump, trying to sleep in the yard more often, once even in the chicken coop. I wish I had made myself more brotherly to my pigs because cuddling up with them at night in their nest would be perfect on those heavy BZZZZZZZZing nights. But I try to communicate with the pigs, with my dogs, with my chickens, with my children, with my sitting stump and the red maple in the field and the sky and stars and all of it out there away from the BZZZZZZZZ. I can’t communicate with the BZZZZZZZZZZ because I can never get a word in edgewise. I am thankful to be DNA-cursed enough to still realize that.

Sunday, May 23

(7s) Recent Force Battles For Control Of My Soul #5 - Strange Electronic Musics vs. Mind Mush


Music is what saves me. Without it, I'd be dead. And times change, that's for sure. I am not playing slabs of vinyl on ill-begotten turntables anymore, as the kitchen desktop computer with Itunes loaded full of stolen digital tracks tends to be the main night time stereo of my life... all very electronic and unreal and disconnected. Yet it helps ease the day's frantic breaths back down to normal breathing, and eventually I can convince myself that I guess I'm getting somewhere with this one ragged life.
And the music I enjoy has become more electronic because of this contributing environment. What I would've thought some punk ass bullshit a few years back is now soothing good shit. It's a combination of my kid being into electronic music, and equipment becoming cheaper and low-fi so that I can do strange hip hoptronic country outlaw bullshit as well production-wise as Pussy Galore in the camper behind my house.
I have a turntable that plugs into a computer. I didn't even have a computer when I was my oldest kid's age. I had the Atari 2600.
The weakening of my mind is a definite thing, I can feel it. Cell phones, wi fi, HAARP beams, fluoridated toothpaste, EMF tasers, tectonic shifts along the Appalachian ridgeline releasing mind-numbing Active Denial gases into the air... it's all going on at once, converging upon my now. But the human body is a fucking amazing thing. You can chop an oak tree into slabs and see the circles of years of existence. I have those same scars on me, but you cut a cross-section of my leg and it's not there, as I shed my skin like a snake, constantly healing, even in the worst of situations. Electronic mind clutter is no difference, so my warped mind seeks refuge in new art forms and new musics and new ways of expressing the unexplainable internal struggle in whatever words it has left to use. And it helps stabilize the deteriorating mindstate. Like planting oats on the blown away dunes of a rapidly eroding shoreline. It ain't gonna fix the problem, or make it like it was before it got all fucked up by what's been done, but I guess it helps. It certainly can't hurt. Like right now I think I could use a good infusion of go-go music, a half gallon jar of that cayenne pepper maple syrup cleansing lemonade, and some holy basil tincture, to keep my grey matter from turning black so fast. But the go-go music is a major part of that equation, and helps make tomorrow get here right on time.

Saturday, May 22

(7s) Recent Force Battles For Control Of My Soul #4 - Mind Mush vs. Natural Structures & Fresh Air


I can feel this one as I sit surrounded by computers with various internet speeds all fucking day long, with a window to my office that I keep the shade drawn because it messes up the $100,000 microscope. The monitors are like soldiers' guns pointed at me, and even if I log them all off of their individual connections, it is there. You waste your time by looking up important things, then the semi-important, and you tell yourself you're staying informed, staying sharp, or just enjoying your slow death time through the work day. But man, I can feel my brain tissue ache. I guess saying it's soft is not the right term because it's spongy already, but there's something about the overload of electronic rays that causes it to tingle in a different way, like a slow charging taser shot straight past the blood brain barrier.
The odd thing is my job is related to the neurosciences, so in the process of being accessible to my work, I am weakening my own mind. Perhaps that is the point and I'm an elaborate fucking experiment. There's not much difference between us and the albino rats they genetically engineer at Charles River Laboratories. You take 100 of them, and completely randomly and by luck, 20 are kept on normal water and food, and the other 80 are given cancer through chemical-laced drinking water and high fat rat chow that weakens their liver even more so than their strange genetic make-up does. Completely by chance. They are trapped in cages together in groups of two, and play wrestle in the bedding and shit because what the hell else are they gonna do? We are no different, randomly placed into our lives, no choice in where we're born, and because of where we're born, genetically placed to have a 4 in 5 chance of dying that slow death of no hope, no glory, no cash money beyond the little stacks we grab in frustrated stabs at a future that isn't ever gonna exist no matter how hard we daydream. The weak mind feeling is the hardest for me because that's really what I prided myself on was my sharp sword of mentality that chopped at the senseless cravings.
I should be out in the air, feeling the solar rays, tromping through the woods where the redbuds are on display right now. I should be wearing loose-fitting clothes that I can easily take off and disappear into the water buck ass naked like the day I was born and the day I will die. Instead I am cramped in stiff clothes in a dark office with machines whispering all at once at me and I can't understand any of them but I know they are talking, and talking about me even, in disparaging ways, but I'm not supposed to not listen. I need to be accessible at all times, by email, by cell phone, by brain chip, by fucking god.
Right outside the thick glass is sunshine. The interstate of 64 is just beyond the trees over there to the right of my window view. It goes everywhere eventually, but none of that is the escape. It's just bouncing around at a high rate of speed to end up right back here in the same spot and let my brain bounce around the sensations to process them for a while and ignore the slow death cubicide, and how uncomfortable it is to have to wear underwear to work.
What I should do is go camping with no gear right there in the median strip of the interstate, hiding out overnight, training myself to tune out the constant hummmmmmm of Those Things That Hum. But I don't have the time. I have to hurry up and waste my fucking life. My mind aches like a bright, fat tomato, going to rot on the vine, the bugs crawling in and out that no one sees nor does anybody care.

Friday, May 21

Friday Love/Hate

I hate flying, which apparently I will be doing more often with my new job, even though before last November, I had never flown in my entire life of 36 (at the time) years on this stupid hunk of ball called the Earth. I had always said the first time I went up in a plane, I wasn't going to come down in it, meaning I wanted to do a tandem jump first time, but the convenient opportunity never arrived. And I compromised my lifelong nonsense parameter for something (those types of things rule my life in a ridiculous amount of ways, and help make me the self-retarded person I am) to build a relationship with asshole relatives-in-law who don't even speak to us anymore. What a fucking waste.
My problem with flying has never been a fear of being in the sky, and after having flown a number of times, it still isn't. My dislike of flying comes from losing touch with the passage. There is a theory that one reason so many women suffer from postpartum depression is the overuse of painkillers during child birth, so that the woman does not feel the transition of her offspring from inside her body to outside of her body, so there is a certain disconnect as if the baby was lost, and that chemically creates depression inside the mother, even though her baby is right there. Our conscious mind often times is overruled by all the little million year old cellular memory-filled molecules inside of us. Nothing can be done about this; it is scientific fact beyond the reproach of human studies or words.
For me personally, this is similar to how I feel about flying. When I get on a plane in Virginia, and end up two hours later in Florida, the climate, the environment, the type of people I'm around, it all is different, rather suddenly. There is no gradual ascent into a different weather zone, or seeing the make-up of the land shift and the constitution of the people start to alter ever so slightly in common roadside interactions. You are just there.
This has helped lead to why there are so many suburban clusters of chain stores and restaurants that are the same regardless of where you live. The land is clear cut and covered over with a fresh coat of asphalt and pre-fab boxes with easily identifiable brightly lit brand signs. For someone on the move, they don't want to be immersed into another region's insanity all of a sudden; they want familiarity, even if it is a sterilized and homogenized familiar face. It makes me sad there are people who feel more comfortable in a world like that, and that that world dominates the country I live in. Hell, I don't even like taking interstates on long drives because of how soulless they are. You ride the old US routes like US 1 or US 250, and you hit these long desolate stretches with burned out and crumbling restaurant shells or hotels that house illegal immigrants at best nowadays, and you think about what it must have been like back in the day.
Oh well, this ain't my world to control. I just walk around on the goddamned thing until I stop breathing oxygen and they stuff me back down six feet into the surface.

I love getting a review copy of a book that has my first ever published in for-real print story inside of it in the mail yesterday. I opened to the page to see it, read the first paragraph and the last paragraph, both of which did not seem fucking stupid to me. And I scoped one random sentence in the middle, that said, "He smiled a flat grin, missing a few pieces." This made me think that maybe the story didn't completely suck, but I was too afraid to sit down on the couch and actually read it. Plus I had to pick cherries from our honeysuckle vine/poison ivy entrenched cherry tree patch before the goddamned birds ate them all.
The publisher sent me an extra review copy of the book. Sometime in the next week, I'll be throwing up a contest for someone to win it here on the blog. That means that all three of you stand a 33% chance of winning a copy. When I become a famous, full of shit writer/author/runaway teenager self-help master/threat to the government/halfway outlaw type, you will have a ridiculously overvalued piece of my early rise to fame. When I don't become famous, I will help clutter your life a little bit more for as long as you deem it worthy to keep holding onto this obscure thing that nobody cares about. Either way, it will be a thing that happens. And it's better to have things happen than to have things no longer happen, that is for sure.

(7s) Recent Force Battles For Control Of My Soul #3 - The HAARP Hum-Along vs. Eyeballs That Have Beheld The Pale Horse


Cell phone towers of Babel are everywhere now, urban and rural and all points bulletins in between. Satellite television and radio is shooting from beyond into your immediate vicinity at all times, you just don't may not have paid to subscribe to have the garble get translated electronically for your enjoyment. But it is there. These things are floating everywhere, regardless of how far you try to run. You go out to nowhere where the hills turn to mountains and the buildings turn to cowshit and there's still those towers standing on the clearcut spots with those beam machines that look like Indian drums on the side, and it's shooting all around you. It is there.
At the same time, you can feel like you are "ultra-aware" about all this, having hung out with old people who give you books to read in the hopes of eventually having you be the regional director of information for the John Birch Society, and even though these secret texts were found in surplus copy machines from the Department of Defense, and in all likelihood dreamed up completely by someone who wanted to update the Learned Elders of Zion for the internet age, it still makes sense. How can it not make sense? Have you looked at these guys who do the bill passing and enforcing and judging? If there is no vast conspiracy to profit off of the American Way by a select few who were not so much selected as positioned themselves to benefit. Basically it's like getting a rebound in basketball, except generational, and there are those whose ancestors up the family tree boxed out the opposition and grabbed the gold and fuck passing it to that other asshole who'll just throw it away, they kept it for their self. I cannot fault anyone for that. I would do the same. Yet at the same time, if you are the boxed out type, and if you work hard and are creative and flexible, at the most you'll not have too much debt when you die. It's improbable you could actually get that generational money. And even if you did, you're not trained in how to lead that type of life, and much like NBA/NFL superstars and rap millionaires from the 1990s, you're gonna blow it on stupid shit and end up right where you started, coming around Go for the 3000th time, hoping to land on Community Chest and get $10 for second place in the beauty contest as opposed to landing on Baltic or Mediterranean Avenue, both with hotels, and although they’re the cheapest ones you still can’t afford it.
And that’s the thing. I used to be like, “Fuck this shit man, it’s all bullshit.” But now I got kids and cars that need replacing because they’re fucked up, and I feel the pressure on my insides the stress in my intestines, and I think, “Hey, if I work hard and things break my way and I pay my dues inside this thing, I could own Marvin Gardens and Atlantic and Ventnor Avenue and have hotels on them. I’ll never be Park Place/Broadway big, but I could do that, without a doubt.”
Fucking pipe dreams man, yet I think it because the electromagnetic haze is thick nowadays. Very thick. I don’t even see the pale horse no more. Sometimes, I think I still hear him neighing in the woods back behind all the pine trees falling over from wood disease and thunderstorm, but I look over there and all I see is grass that needs to be cut.

Thursday, May 20

(7s) Recent Force Battles For Control Of My Soul #2 - Strange Electronic Musics vs. Traditional Labor


Music pumps blood through my days, and if there was no such thing... well that’s silly, if there was no music, there’d be no life, because it’s an extension of that same shit, life blood, all that. And I have always wanted to rock the music, from a young ‘un wishing to rule the world with a guitar, to rock god teen years, into realizing my only real musical talent was to push words out at a rapid and clever rate, thus hip hop took control and never really let go, although my other influences have eventually steeped into the tea as well, making for a hodgepodge nonsense white trash jailhouse tattoo style that probably about nine people on the earth would appreciate.
Last year, I was set on learning the banjo, mostly because I felt I needed to learn an instrument, to make that bonfire music, and banjo was a traditional instrument that jibed well with my traditional heritage and desire for the simple things. I mean, if you wanna rock the music in real life, you’re not always sitting around your gay assed computer set-up with Scratch Live and whatever sampling system you’ve set up allegiance to. So I figured an instrument was the way to go. This also fit in with my life of blue collar labor, born to a chainsaw mechanic (pops actually has a chainsaw graphic on his grave marker, and my uncle right beside him has a race car doing a burnout, both of which are way better than praying hands, and make me proud of my fucked up yet perfect familial tree), and it made sense to learn the traditional songs, you know Skynyrd and CDB and “Pills I Took” to bust out Raven-style.
The problem is, we don’t live in a traditional world anymore. Cyber cellphone towers of babble beam brainwaves through our bodies all day long, even out here in the rural armpit of Virginia. For one thing, this constant mental electromagnetic interference makes it almost impossible to concentrate on learning an instrument. The only way I could get anywhere was to be sitting down in a dip in my field underneath a red maple tree where it was low to the beams, and even then I had to be burning a trash barrel with aluminum cans in it beside me to run interference. So within the context of the stifling world I live in, it makes better sense for me to go ahead and just do some straight simple classic rock loops on my shitty $200 laptop using freeware Audacity and record through a $10 mic through a cassette 4-track recorder to alter the vocal mix with that runs into the RCA input on a USB turntable that USBs itself into said cheap ass gully laptop. Then I can write lyrics about the countryside as it is now, not as it was, because basically it’s the same. We still want to hang out by the river and we still want to ride trains and we still have broken hearts and shattered dreams and tattered futures, but we have to get down with the sound springing from the ground we walk right now. I don’t walk a banjo walk. My walk is three half-broken Frankenstein turntables and seven peach crates of slowly sedimented vinyl. Strange electronic music wins.

Wednesday, May 19

(7s) Recent Force Battles For Control Of My Soul #1 - Upwardly Mobile Aspirations vs. White Trash Genetical Heritage


Look, there's a lot of things I could say, but they're hard to admit to myself, much less to the whole fucking anonymously peeping tom world of the interwebs. But I'm working a new job where I wear shirts and pants that are clean and feel bad about driving a pick-up truck outside in the parkng lot with multiple stupid dents and mismatched colors, and it's hard to know what direction to go. There is the return to school to put paper behind what you already do to add an extra tax bracket or two to your year end government report, or there is the get by any way that you can and try to flatten hills and straighten curves and plant mortgage lifters every spring plus crookneck squash and cucumbers galore with old coffee cans hung on twine to scare off the deer and the goddamned dogs type getting by. Shit, I don't even know what I was getting at. What I know is there are two paths right now. The first is to pretend that the world rewards those who deserve it and put my faith in the impressive work ethic and natural intelligence I was blessed/cursed to be born with, and let mine be doled to me accordingly. Arbeit macht frei, motherfucker. The second is to be like a stupid goth kid with some "it doesn't matter anyways" type stream of thought, and just slide through my engagements, siphoning off as many good time blasts as I can along the way, and let the memories explode together inside my mind for good stories while leaning against the bed of a pick-up truck around a cooler full of beer. The first is my desires, much like hitting the lottery numbers on a MegaMillions Friday night, even if it ain't but $12 million. But the second is my me. It's my white blood cells and the scars from self-stupidity I have and the nicks and knacks that get scraped across your surface and into your sub-conscious because, most likely (with no science to prove this, although eugenics history would suggest it has long been accepted as probable truth), I was born into this situation. That's how it was and that's how it is. Only thing left really is to believe in a fake god from gilded books because futuristic degrees, no matter how cheaply acquired, can't trump the stamp the universe gave your brain before you even got splat out your mom's cooch into the impatient hands of a dude paid to pretend he gave a shit. White trash genetical heritage wins.

Tuesday, May 18

J.J. Krupert Top 13 Countdown - May ’10 Intro


Well, it is time to start this month’s countdown of songs that have been bouncing around my tiny little 2 gig gaypod in survival of the fittest mode. I will warn you, springtime with a new sort of soul-sucking job of a bureacratic nature has triggered in me a strong desire to ride around and get drunk, because a sweaty beer between my legs on the ride home makes those dress slacks and buttons not feel so tight, if only momentarily and misguidedly. This has meant screwed and chopped season has been set off early this year, and the ruralish hodgepodge of rock, country, and classics from my upbringing has been slapped back into J.J. Krupert as well. I have a longing for something, and I don’t know what it is but I know I ain’t feeling it, and it has caused a writer’s block in me that’s more lethargy for life than any sort of block. Bills must be paid, and usually there is only one way to pay them, so each day that becomes the order of business. The thing is, there are a pair of things I resent more than “order” and “business”. Luckily there is music, the soma for my withering soul. And these would be the songs for this month. No hipster posturing, no new music downloads to act like I’m ahead of the worldwide web curve for a day-and-a-half. This is my soundtrack, as I sit in a beat-up 2002 Nissan Frontier with matte black primer front end and silver/copper hard-to-tell factory ends, dented and paint-splotched, with river sand and the smell of river dogs inside the cab, plus it leaks rain from where I dented the fucking top carrying a load of 20 foot long cedar poles for a goddamned tipi one time, and we can sit on the tailgate and listen to this music for as long as my battery holds out, but the tailgate handle doesn’t work so I tore off the bedliner on the inside of the gate and removed the plate so you can reach inside and push down on the latch to put it down, and my battery terminal is not so tight because the beer can I had used to tighten the connection has disappeared, so if I’ve hit too many potholes on the commute to wherever the fuck we are, the connection might be loose at best. But if we were sitting there, this is what we’d be listening to, at least hopefully.
TOMORROW: Redneck mountain man bullshit stories that’ll make your foot tap!

(7s) Recent Force Battles For Control Of My Soul Intro


It has been a year of new things, rebirths, climbing out of the deep snows of the past five years and trying to warm up and look around and be happy enough with the foundation I still have to patch up the mess of clutter and chaos that can build up when your view is obstructed by crooked eyelids. I have a lot of animosity towards the exterior humans of all walks and varieties right now, probably part of sorting out myself and lashing out from feeling stifled for so long, feeling judged by the open-minded, feeling confined by the freedom-loving, feeling fucked by those who claim to be so pure of goddamned spirit.
When you make the big changes in life, you think you've hit a fork and you make a left or right choice and leave behind the path you came along, but it's not like that. So I'm struggling to take this new course but keep hold of what's important. Sometimes it's hard to distinguish what is important and what is waste when you're a wooden ruler's width away from burning it all down, taking a Greyhound as far west as you can afford to, and seeing where that ends up.
There is a battle for my soul right now, the forces of my pasts and the forces of my futures, a chessboard's worth of holographic universe of possibilities coming together with worrisome swords, fighting it out, march madness style. And just like paying $8 to sit there in a gym and watch two teams full of dudes in matching outfits play a game at each other in front of you and a bunch of other people's eyeballs, I can feel the momentum. I can feel what forces are winning and what are losing. Some seem like upsets to me, and some make perfect sense, and all of it is happening, internal struggles that you don't even notice. Yeah, this shit happens to all of us, but we confuse and delude ourselves to not pay attention to the cellular disturbances that put extra twists in our intestines and a millisecond skip to our heartbeat like that Chilean earthquake shifting Earth time ever so infinitely not there.
So this 7-list is straight up metaphysical color commentary. I've sat in a tipi in my back yard by the pig pen where I can lift weights naked until I'm as sweaty as the beer I leave sitting on the shell of an old wood stove I use as a table back there, and go inside the tipi, wearing a pair of headphones plugged into nothing, to stifle the bzzzzzzzzzzzz that is everywhere from the multitudes of cell phone towers of Babel, and to hear the different drums inside that ideally I should be marching to. Empty five-gallon water jugs flipped over inside of milk crates for a bass, and old three-gallon drywall buckets for a snare, with a gallon wine bottle cowbell and two 1/2 inch dowel scraps for drum sticks. Short pieces of salvaged rebar make a bigger sound but break the wine bottle, and wine bottles are only meant to be broken when two-thirds full of loose change. That's the way it is.
This 7-list is a tournamental battle for my soul, as it stands (or looks like it stands from where I sit) in the just about springtime of 2010.

Michelob Porter


AFFORDABILITY: Michelob, though I know it's just a cheap ass beer pretending to have it nice, like most of the shit ass suburban enclaves of no more than ten houses in the broke ass rural county I live in, it was boughten by me a couple of times, because I get on these kicks where I'm only gonna buy beers I haven't drank so that I can do reviews. But why? Stupid free internet time-wasting activities eating up my brain's word usage and thus conspiring against myself to fulfill a life of hopeless poverty that I've always felt susceptible to, from birth. But you break it down, it wasn't that bad per bottle, at least not costwise. Although at the same time, it is warm outside, I am feeling trapped by this goddamned button up shirt, and I feel like dranking up a case of Old Milwaukee. Michelob is some bourgoisie gold coin stealing bullshit compared to the O.M. 1 out of 5.
DESTROYABILITY: It had a nice taste of chocolate for a major brewery, but knowing they are major not minor they probably just squirted fucking Hershey’s cocoa into the batch after it brewed rather than bonafide brewing it in. But it tasted tasty enough for me to drink them in abundance enough to swirl my bloodstream into happiness for a few hours. In fact, I went out to the camper tonight to grab a bag of whole corn to open up and toss to the pigs in their last week of living life, and there were five of those Michelob Porter bottles cluttering up the table. 3 out of 5.
LABEL AESTHETIC: Michelob Porter label design, and all Michelob beer labels in general, unlike the night, are not kind of special. They are boring. I guess in the American corporate mindframe of branding, they might be getting their target demographics with bland labels featuring cursive lettering, but for the most part I have to assume that demographic is wealthy and milquetoast. 1 out of 5.
CORPORATE MASTER: Look, my current job is a top secret deal I can't really talk about, but I have access to medical journals galore, plus I am constantly keeping my finger on the pulse of the lesser well-known conspiracy websites, as the more well-known are just Department of Defense propaganda campaigns anyways (Jeff Rense, Alex Jones, David Icke, John Hinckley, J.D. Salinger... all dudes who cashed DoD/CIA checks on the DL), so I can tell you with a solid heart that the Michelob empire was directly responsible for the creation of Lyme disease on an island off the coast of Lyme, Connecticut, with the help of Brazilian biologists, who were a mutation of Nazi Germany-infused scientific techniques and the abundance of raw materials found in the Amazon. I mean, it's not like a dude named Mortimer Michelob IV actually was holding some serological pipets that they brewed that shit up in or something, but the family Michelob was heavy in the funding of this research with the ultimate goal of creating a biological weapon that could weaken the immune system of the infected, all while causing low grade mental disorder as well. But it backfired (or did it?) and now motherfuckers across America be getting Lyme disease, and the doctors can't help them and sometimes even deny they are sick like they feel they are sick. Madness... pure madness. 1 out of 5.
OVERALL AMBIANCE: I don't know, there's something that feels semi-skeevy about Michelob beer, even in their new school tiny myriad of flavors. That whole slow singing "tonight is kind of special... Mick a Lobe!" from the TV commercials of my youth just sounds too much like a date rape to me. 2 out of 5.
TOTAL RATING: 1 & 3/5 STARS!

Saturday, May 8

Grolsch


AFFORDABILITY: Being from a house of homebrewing and herbal tincturing and Ethiopian honey t’ej making, I thoughted Grolsch only came in the cap top doohickey bottles with the rubber gaskets and all, but apparently they be making normal sized six-pack bottles of the pop top variety as well. It wasn’t back breaking moneywise, but for something that didn’t look like I expected it to look like, there’s a pre-judgement charge involved, so it cost the Grolsch its financial positioning. Plus, if you rock green bottles, you shouldn’t rock big white labels, but that’s for a later category I guess. Still, I didn’t feel proud with this on the checkout aisle conveyor belt, and if you can’t feel proud buying a beer, what the fuck are you doing with a dick, know what I’m saying? 1 out of 5.
DESTROYABILITY: Grolsch was disgusting. Fucking disgusting. They should be ashamed of pretending to be a good beer, and probably no one would give a shit about them if they didn’t make those awesome pop top bottles that college age drunkards leave on their mantle like it’s a fine wine or some shit. 0 out of 5.
LABEL AESTHETIC: Grolsch is stupid. Stupid label, stupid taste, and it looks like a softball jersey font. I would abandon the rest of this stupid Grolsch beer review, but I’m halfway into it already, so I’ll force myself to complain about Grolsch a little longer. Green is a great color though. 1 out of 5.
CORPORATE MASTER: I think Grolsch is Germans or something, but I can't rightly care because the beer was not so, how you say, good. I don't know if Grolsch is German but I think I remember reading that, and usually anything that sucks that's definitely European I blame on the Germans when it doesn't sound French. 0 out of 5.
OVERALL AMBIANCE: Terrible. Worse than getting oral sex from what you think is a woman but find out is a man in that half second between feeling your orgasm about to happen and having it actually ejaculate. Not that I'm anti-gay. Is not liking trannies actually being anti-gay though? Man, this fucking modern world has too many blurry lines for my nearsighted moral vision. 1 out of 5.
TOTAL RATING: 3/5 STARS!

Friday, May 7

Friday Love/Hate

I hate the end result of the consumer culture we are, not in the general budding 13-year-old hippie girl two weeks after getting free Earth Day literature type of way, but in a grown man frustrated with how shit ain't shit anymore, especially while thinking about how my wife changes that "Box Chevy" song to "green Kia" because yeah, poor fuckers in our society still have four year old Kias with no resale value. Cheap fucking cars for a cheap fucking culture. My wife had tore up the carpet on the floor of our upstairs bedroom where the whole family sleeps in one big room because we are crazy compared to... well, this consumer culture where everybody needs their own room to sleep in, and underneath was the old ass wood with a hole that had been patched up with a flattened piece of tin can tacked into the wood. Very tight style. Patchwork perfection. No one drives patchwork perfection. They drive shiny pieces of shit made a third the cost by Koreans, being the Japanese have tried to be cool by building half their machines with lazy American laborers. Why the fuck don't we piece together our old real metal shit anymore? Plastic and fiberglass, plastic and fiberglass, let's get happy for our plastic and fiberglass. I feel like all the complaining about oil spills and corporate bonuses is a complete sham, because we all live a goddamned plastic and fiberglass life. Real wood is as soft as plastic nowadays because our real wood has no history to make it strong. And an old piece of shit car, box Chevy, real metal, pieced together a couple of times over, patchwork perfection, it's a history of our use of it. It's a lifelong tool more than a possession after a while. That's a dying commodity though. In fact, calling it a commodity is part of the problem. We are the land of the fucking lost, all too glad to be miserable so long as we have something new to be miserable over every so often. Makes me wanna scream fuck at the stars, but then I'd only disrupt my neighbors' peaceful misery again, and the ol' lady would think I had snuck a couple of the hydrocodones again with a pitcher of late night coffee.

I love wearing a surgical mask in public. It's very funny to see people react, on the immediate tip, because they're like, "Why the fuck is someone wearing a surgical mask?" like maybe they didn't know bird-swine flu hybrid had exploded across America that morning and no one told them yet. But when you bump into someone you know or have to interact with anybody, that's even more hilarious. It's painful to talk to someone wearing sunglasses, no doubt, but when you can't see if someone is smiling or not smiling, and you can still see their eyes, that's double awkward. I'm not really trying to fuck with people; I just find the surgical mask in public thing interesting because it makes other folks worried from afar, and uncomfortable up close and personal. Especially at Whole Foods. I hate going to Whole Foods and always refuse to go there even though I work in town and could save the rest of my family the trip. Fuck a Whole Foods. But wearing a surgical mask through Whole Foods, that's funny as shit. Even better is taking it off as soon as you leave the store, and throwing it away in that trash can right beside where you park your cart and carry off your two brown bags of groceries that cost $72.

Wednesday, May 5

First of Da Month

So I've started a print zine that hopefully I'll have a new issue of every two months. It's gonna be limited as fuck, doling out copies (along with some sort of retarded Raven care package) to the top three each month in my very personalized and non-scientific Mailed Shit To My Post Office Box monthly standings. I figured beginning of each month, I'd list out the top five, at this point a few them are cumulative from previous mailbox donations, along with the rating (on a 100-point scale) they accumulated to be in the top three, or be in the fourth or fifth spot to position themselves for next month, as once you make the top three, you reset to zero, thus hopefully encouraging a healthy pipeline of wacky and useful shit to my post office box, so long as I can deliver a worthwhile print-only zine to make it worth their while, along with whatever other dumb shit I put together to send out as well. Here are the top 5 mailbox rankings for May 1, 2010...
#1: RussMac in Georgia - dude hooked me up with the motherload of Iron Chef episodes, which for some reason are still not available on normal people DVD, along with the Iron Chef handbook, plus a ton of other wacky shit like space documentaries (perfect for stoners, as well as 11-year-old homeschoolers) and old UFCs and shit. 87.3 points.
#2: Pitz Dogg in North Cackalacka - an old roommate who seriously slid into second place on the last day of April by mailing me a literal styrofoam cooler of beer. Like I went to check my PO Box and there was the wonderful yellow card that says, "Go pick up some shit from the counter fool!" and I went and the guy came back out with a fucking styrofoam cooler with LIQUID and FRAGILE stamped all over it. I took it home and it was full of Canuck beer, mostly some Don De Dieus (which translates from Franch as "gangsta of god" beer) and a few Maudites (which do not jibe well with the sudden 90 degree heat we have in central Virginia). 64.2 points.
#3: Ten Dollar David in RVA - another old roommate of mines, who apparently broke his leg in severe fashion like where he couldn't walk for a while and now has a metal rod inside of him so all he did was sit around and do nothing. He got his nickname from me because the first time (and actually only time) I ever road a passenger train, I woke up on a hardwood floor wondering where the fuck I was. I had been living between couches in Richmond at the time, but did not recognize this particular hardwood floor. The night before had been a blur of whiskey and painkillers and purple passion and cop parties and chopping some girl with a samurai sword, and apparently I ended up in Williamsburg, at David's apartment, talking shit to his roommates, who he had just moved in with like two days before. Awesome. I had no money on me that I could find, so I had to borrow $10 from David to take the Amtrak back to Richmond. Except he had no money either, so we had to go to his work, some restaurant, where I sat around uncomfortably drinking a free water while he bummed the money from his boss. Then I went and bought a train tickets and laid on the bench sweating a thick and stanky whiskey sweat while the train station guard dude cut up the radio so I could listen to the Detroit Lions/Washington Redskins game that was going on that day. A wonderful memory. Oh yeah, what David had mailed me was a couple beers, plus a soccer magazine. 35.7 points.
#4: Jersey Jared - just missed the cut, and had previously hooked me up with like a giant case of fancy pumpkin truffles, plus frou-frou coffee, right about the time I started drinking frou-frou coffee, so long as it was cheap. And it don't get cheaper than free. First in line for next month, unless the PO Box has surprises. 27.9 points.
#5: Some dude Joel - bought me a subscription to Countryside magazine, which is still the greatest fucking magazine ever to be having a country compound for. Mother Earth News is for city faggots who go to political meetings and hang out on Facebook all the time, talking about oil spills and political scandals that don't involve them. Countryside is for people who want to build chicken houses out of old factory pallets. 17.4 points.
In case you didn't know, the post office box is on the sidebar, but it's Raven Mack PO Box 270 Scottsville, VA 24590. You're also always welcome to give me money through the Enable Rojonekku button, but nobody ever does that, and you don't get shit for it except if you give me enough money to buy some beer, I'll probably let you special request some bullshit for me to write about. I ain't got shit else to do.

J.J. Krupert Top 13 Countdown - April '10 #1: " Box Chevy - Pt. 3" by Yelawolf featuring Rittz


I finally wrap up the April countdown five days into May. I had crackhead thoughts the other week of starting a Top 40 countdown music blog that would throw up 10 videos a day, Monday through Friday, and shit might stay on the countdown the following week, like Casey Kasem's old school shit, but with a new school media flare. There's no way I could keep that up, without investors who could actually pay me to fuck around on the internet all day long, but then I just threw it out there into the maelstrom, so some asshole who writes half as good as me but four times better connections is gonna convince his money-holding asshole dude he knows to fund such an expedition into internettery. I'm making my mark however I can.
Yelawolf was the hottest shit ever, about four weeks ago. If his bonafide CD that comes out this summer is even half as good as his Trunk Muzik mixtape this song comes from, he will be this year's most definite can't miss rap prospect that ultimately misses, and eventually everybody hates. I remember seeing Yelawolf in one of the last Ozone magazines I ever read at the grocery store, and I was like, "Oh shit, a long braided hair whiteboy rapper from Alabama!" Back in the day, there was this dude Tip (aka Tank aka Eugene) who had a little junkyard at a crossroads in Cumberland County, and he fixed up cars to sell, going for one a month at $1200 apiece, because that meant he could have $100 a month for the next year. It was a financial plan that ended up with mad mason jars full of money buried throughout the junkyard that he dug up one day to go down to the bank and buy his place. No shit. He was one of a few father figures to me back in the day when my folks ran wild with a bunch of other wild assed folks, and an image that I was not there to see but I can see vividly is my mom telling me about driving this hot rod stationwagon my dad had at the time, while she was pregnant with me (age 16), and my dad, Tip, this other guy Bozo (aka J.T. aka a guy who lives like fifteen minutes away from me with no running water and an awesome place that I just don't see often enough but I'm about to have 500 pounds of pig meat so that's a good reason to drop by and give the ol' boy a ham), and another guy Wolfie (aka Wynn, who when I was a kid lived in a converted school bus and we'd go visit him on the side of the road, which was the coolest shit ever when you're five, to go hang out in a school bus with a woodstove that your parents' friend lives in), those four guys were all hanging on a door handle each, sliding through the snow my mom was being forced to drive the car through. Shit, that little incubationary scene alone probably says as much about why I'm the way I am as a hundred high dollar psychoanalytic therapy sessions could ever find. Well, Tip, in his last marriage, had a kid about my youngest sister's age named Tony. Tony was a fucking tank of a human being from even the earliest age. Like at age 2 (and I was probably about 9 or 10), I was afraid to fuck with him. Seriously. The kid was cock diesel from birth. Later in life, he ended up back at Eugene's junkyard, and I went by there one time for one thing or another, and Tony was kicking it, long ass braided hair, flannel, looking gangsta as fuck, but chilling with the rednecks that rolled through. I wanted to be like, "Shit Tony, I smoke blunts. I listen to gangsta shit." And I could see he wanted to be like that too, but we were from the rural place we were from, and you respected your elders. Maybe we'd run the same circles and could smoke blunts together elsewhere, but it wasn't gonna happen there at the crossroads junkyard.
Tony ended up killing himself at Tip's house, and they had a funeral down there, plus a party at the junkyard that I went to. I was couch crashing in a most fucked up fashion in Richmond at the time, and I remember rolling in and Tip was sitting on the picnic table and said, "Well if it isn't my long lost wayward son Raven." Having his kid just died, that shit hit me hard. Them older dudes looked out for me, even if I was an egghead to them. Shit, they were probably all proud of the fact I went to college when none of them even finished high school. It wasn't too much later that Tip died laying on the couch in his living room, and they had a funeral in the junkyard, because there was an old grave there so he could be buried on his own property as it was grandfathered in past the stupid state laws where you couldn't have family cemetaries anymore. I've actually been to multiple funerals in junkyards, believe it or not, and they've always been more real than regular ones. I mean, why dress yourself up in death and put on airs about Bible-thumping and straight-laced living? A lot of us live the back roads and backwoods life on purpose, because there aren't all those lines painted on the road to tell you what you can and where you can't and how you should and all that. You know, and you try to keep it between the ditches and survive. But some sharp curves were meant to have plastic bouquets of flowers in them, and that's just how it is.
I got way into this Yelawolf mixtape because this was music Tony would've pumped, and all the fuckin' small town go-nowhere half-racist half-hip hop cock diesel pieces of proud rebel shit whiteboys all around. I've been educated far beyond my intelligence, as Jerry Clower would say, and I try to walk that upwardly mobile life right now, for some reason, but there's no denying that's my fuckin' people. I drive my beat-up pick-up truck with my button-down shirt and pressed khakis and $6 dress shoes from Wal-Mart going to my job, and in fact today, I was driving our new Chinese doctor to go get her social security card from the SS Office on the other side of town, and a three-pack of piece of shit white kids like that were cutting sideways across the median strip, ragged as fuck but with that post-hip hop whiteboy swagger that didn't even exist when I was 13-years-old. You could tell they were up to no good, which was perfect. I wanted to be walking to the grocery store to steal wine, too.
Okay, I guess I should talk about the song as well. Yelawolf is supposed to blow up, but probably won't. This song is fucking bass-crazy. Like if you have a nice system, this is a great one to pump until fuses blow. Odd thing about this song is the guest rapper, Rittz, actually steals the show. There is very little about Rittz inside the internet, but he is apparently some suburban Atlanta rapper with longhair who has an alternate rap name of Jonny Valiant. I know the age is probably off, but I hope to fucking god this is because he grew up watching wrestling on TBS and was a big Jimmy Valiant fan. I hope to fucking god.
Two late additions to this long-winded commentary are the fact this shit came on my gaypod in the truck today riding back from Richmond, and it's a definite mirror rattler. I wish I had a solid system to just rattle the fuckin' rear view right off the windshield, bass stronger than factory glue. Also, we've played this song enough in the house for the ol' lady to already parody it with "my green Kia" in place of the "my box Chevy" part, which is probably more appropriate for your average ass average motherfucker.
STEAL "Box Chevy - Pt. 3"
NEXT MONTH
: Perhaps some of the new Hank Williams III CD, or go-go music, or Slow Motion Sounds, or who knows what bullshit I'll compulse over by then!

Sierra Nevada Glissade Golden Bock


AFFORDABILITY: The Glissade was on mad sale, and my wife was a full-on Grateful Dead parking lot hippie for a few years, so Sierra Nevada in abundance is like the retro key to good times, where we will play cards in the kitchen and end up somewhere in the back yard before the night's out. I do not mind the taste of this here hippie girl beer, but I do not mind the taste of most beer. Sierra Nevada has never been a brand I tend to support, with money or kind words. But springtime is a time where women wear tank tops and flowery skirts, and it rekindles my inner hippie girl fetish, and the blood flows in and out of my penis in strange patterns, and my heart beams with positivity, and my mind is constantly like, "Yo Raven, fuck work, go sit out in the sunshine with some beer and think about who you're gonna play horseshoes with this weekend." The on sale Glissade is a part of this complete balanced afternoon breakfast I daydream about. 4 out of 5.
DESTROYABILITY: You see, if I had done did this blurbage two weeks ago, I would've been all over the Glissade's ability to cause enjoyable feelings in my brainstem. But I've moved on, and now my wife drinks the Glissade, so it's her beer when we get it, and mine ends up being the things that float to the back of the fridge, behind the kimchi crock and sauerkraut quart jars, so this makes me resentful of the Glissade. Thus I don't think of it as destroyable so much as necessary to be destroyed. My one time friend has become my enemy. Now I shall train. 1 out of 5.
LABEL AESTHETIC: It is your normal style stupid fucking Sierra Nevada label, just different. 0 out of 5.
CORPORATE MASTER: Sierra Nevada, and I hate to be so damned judgemental, but is probably owned by the type of people that make me think “fucking white people” in a derogatory way. And even if they’re not, they are dranken by that type of person, just on the starting trajectory of their upwardly mobile life. I guess eventually rich people stop drinking beer and drink wine instead, because there’s only so hoity-toity you can be about beer, and you can’t properly display your pretentiousness on full. But my wife likes it, in fact I just brought home a fresh 12-pack box of the Glissade yesterday for her, and as much as I’d like to be a hater, I can only hate so much if she’s into it, kind of like some of her friends. So we’ll say 3 out of 5. But I’m fucking sick of having pot luck cookouts and fucking Sierra Nevada Glissade Golden Bock bringing a goddamned couscous lentil salad with organic spinaches from Kazakstan originally that only they grow around here. Or bring a dozen eggs from their chickens to the pot luck. Bitch please, we all got chickens nowadays.
OVERALL AMBIANCE: Mixed feelings. I liked it but then didn’t like it, but the wife loves it, but the girlfriend hates it, but the boyfriend loves it. Plus it is Sierra Nevada so I feel like a tool when I buy it. 2 out of 5.
TOTAL RATING: 2 STARS!

Monday, May 3

J.J. Krupert Top 13 Countdown - April '10 #2: "Red Headed Stranger" by Willie Nelson


Even as a young buck who hated on the outlaw country music my folks played, I dug this back in the day. And I gained even more respect for it as a budding music nerd in my early 20s who collected all sorts of stupid genres of music in all sorts of obsessive compulsive manners. And really, even at this point in my life where I've obsessed over, indulged in, studied and nerded out upon, and ultimately abandoned 39,000 microgenres of music, the album this song comes from is still one of the all-time five best albums I've ever heard. Fuck, people don't even know the concept of having an album anymore. If you make a mixtape where you name all the songs after colors or some shit, you're considered a creative genius by 2010 standards. If I get vegetatively injured and mangled and am on life support, I hope they play this shit over and over to try and coax me back to the living world. That's what sucks about older artists. Like, if someone acting for me was saying, "Raven liked Willie Nelson," and someone else brought in like Willie Nelson's Greatest Hits to play on a CD player, and it was crap like "Always on My Mind" and that song with Julio Inglesias and some of that Highwaymen bullshit (far overrated, perpetually, because it's a collection of four people that are supposed to be awesome, therefore it must be awesome, but that's faulty logic, and don't equate in real life), I'd just end up wanting to die anyways.
STEAL "Red Headed Stranger"
NEXT UP
: More bass than Magic Mike, but now with whiteboys!

J.J. Krupert Top 13 Countdown - April '10 #3: "Hold Yuh" by Gyptian


It is already May and not April but I broke my stupid list into multiple posts and never did the shit because my job has taken a heel turn and decides to suck the life out of my soul, or the soul out of my life, or maybe both. The only thing left is to write my way out of it, both immediately and long-term.
Nonetheless, I do not listen to regular human people radio, but I know this song has apparently made the jump from internet nerd obtusianism into the mainstream. I actually saw a remix featuring Nikki Minaj of this song, though I would imagine multiple rappers wanted to jump on it and her record label jewish overlords were the high bidders. I know nothing about Nikki Minaj except, from her name alone, I assume she's a shitty Lil Kim 2.0 rapper woman (no bitch rappers are ever as tight as Khia... ever), which probably takes the Gyptian original and warps it into some urban contemporary Steve Harvey Show friendly innuendo rap feature. I originally came across this song at the After the End of the World blog, and after the Vybz Kartel co-sign before this one, I was thinking that blog was the greatest filter for dancehall ever. Then I found the Heatwave blog in Dave's sidebar and started hitting that up. Unfortunately, no matter how often a week you check an awesome dancehall blog for the latest hotness, you're only gonna get skullcrushers like this a couple times a year, if even that.
The great thing about this song is nothing about the beat is fucking complicated even slightly. The piano part could've been played by my 2-year-old while she was sick with the pig flu last fall, and the drum beat wasn't anything the simplest of drum machines could've been programmed to bap boom about for four minutes. Yet it all comes together so perfectly original, and Gyptian just fucking tears it up. It actually makes me sad that it's become a mainstream hit, mostly because this shit happens all the time, and the previously obscure Jamaican dude blows up, has rappers wanting him to do a guest spot on their hooks for four months, then fades the fuck back into the tin shack dance clubs of Jamaica proper. There's nothing wrong with that actually, because they make some money and go home, but fuck man, why can't one of these dudes just keep coming with the bangers? Although I did just read that Mavado passed Bob Marley as the highest selling reggae artist on Itunes ever, which, even with it being an online shop and angled that way, was shocking to me. Still, in my dream world that will never exist, songs like this would come out like five a month and there could be a big mixtape of them to pump up while me and the ol' lady rolled around on the living room floor on sheepskins and black-eyed susan petals.
STEAL "Hold Yuh"
NEXT UP
: Shit put into my head like brainwashing by Pops!