RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition. He does have an amazing PATREON, but also *normal* ARTIST WEBSITE too.

Thursday, June 24

daily frybread

brown-skinned landscaper dude cutting grass in 100 degree heat along busy road, wearing a shirt that says, "IF IT DON'T MAKE DOLLARS IT DON'T MAKE SENSE"
no doubt random dude, no doubt

Saturday, June 19

Dos Equis Lager Especial

AFFORDABILITY: Lately, there has been alternating weeks building up to the Cinco de Mayo fake white people holiday where various Gringo/Mexicano beers have been on sale in the bottle format, to where a 12-pack of Dos Equis was just barely more expensive than a shitty 12-pack of Miller or Budweiser, which is amazing to me. Also amazing to me is Mexican dudes in America who still buy the $10 12-packs of Tecate or Modelo cans, just to stay in touch with their roots. Or if they don't, they drink Bud Light. Proud Mazatlan warriors, reduced to below minimum wagers, trying to send money back home to their fat wives to buy a couple of tiendas that hopefully don't get ganked weekly by los narcoterroristos. Them motherfuckers are crazy. Just by mentioning them inside the internets, they might abduct me and leave me dead at the elementary school cemetary tombstone of my Chinese uncle. 5 out of 5.
DESTROYABILITY: All Mexican beer seems to be of the chemistry that it will only get you drunk if it is hot enough for it to taste like brown tittie nectar, and then you will drink it with such enthusiasm that you are bound to start wobbling during your walk back and forth between horseshoe pits. This is why playing partners is so good, because you don’t have to move back and forth, and when it is your turn to throw, you can properly dial yourself in by balancing your right calf muscle against the stob itself. Without the weatherly heat, Mexican beer doesn’t work right with my gringo bloodstream. But since it is getting onto summertime, we will say 4 out of 5.
LABEL AESTHETIC: Dos Equis labels are a chill thing, gold and red with sweet faux cursive letters. But the green bottle freaks me out. I used to live across the street from a dank ass Mexican joint in Richmond, Virginia, and many many of the brown bottles were crushed well before I hit the age of 21 in that place, soaking up third grade beef and second-rate Iceberg lettuce shreds and lard-enriched re-refried beans. The green bottle brings to mind fake good beers for white people, like Heineken or Rolling Rock, and confuses me. I know they need to distinguish between bottled brands internally, and I guess keeping the label that pimp Dos Equis style seemed like a no-brainer. But I think I would've kept the brown bottle and flipped the label colors, like an alternate jersey for a football team from the main label, and went with that. Thus is the problem with the green Dos Equis bottle - it is outside of their team colors, which makes it seem new-fangled and fly-by-night. 2 out of 5.
CORPORATE MASTER: You've seen those commercials, where somebody injected the Men's Wearhouse owner with Ricardo Montalban's blood, gave him two hits of X and let him loose in the VIP section of Las Vegas Strip night clubs to make commercials. If that's the real owner of Dos Equis, then holy fuck, that's great. Unfortunately, I would probably guess that Anheuser-Busch owns them and some snarky grad school advertising idiot savant came up with the whole thing. Still though, for the sake of feeling good about the world as it seems to exist as opposed to how it might exist, I will assume the crazy Latin businessman success story is the real deal. And I will pretend he paid Kim Kardashian and Britney Spears to have sex with each other while he watched in his top floor Presidential Suite one night, with glass dildos that had diamonds of three different colors embedded in the middle. Because that's how a guy like that would roll most likely. (This also makes me wonder what exactly is the world's most expensive dildo, because they make all types of ridiculous overblown things for the ultra-wealthy, like ATM machines that dole out gold bars - saw it online - or $1200 cupcakes with gold flakes or $25,000 bottles of wine or all sorts of tomfoolery for people to be as big stupidly big ballin' as they could possibly be, just because. So I have to imagine some sort of jewel arrangement surrounded by handblown artisan glass dildos must exist somewhere.) 6 out of 5.
OVERALL AMBIANCE: Dos Equis is double Xes, one shy of triple X, which in concept is a good thing, but if you actually try to look at it, usually leaves you feeling empty and hollow and uninspired to ever have sex with another human being for the rest of your life, unless it's a human being you have conquered into slavery and you really don't give a fuck about destroying them psychologically and then disposing of them to utilize a new one for your gratifications. But let's pretend the Dos Equis double Xes are to percolate in your head, while you get drunk with someone you enjoy sexual relations with, not a random individual. I have never understood the random sex principle, because if you can find longer term people (even if it's a couple weeks) to get your creative freak on and fulfill all sorts of personal nonsense that most normal humans would be afraid to ask of random strangers, why wouldn't you? But let's pretend that the Dos Equis double Xes are the percolation for you and this other person to conjure up the third X and get down and loosey goosey on the living room floor for about five hours on a Friday night. And in that case, nothing but high marks. 7 out of 5.

Friday, June 18

m a s k a

yesterday's glitter, faded
and molded and forgotten;
datsun rusting back to earth

Don De Dieu

AFFORDABILITY: There was a literal styrofoam cooler of beer for me at the post office the other week, with one-and-a-half four-packs of this here Don De Dieu beer, compliments of my man Pitz Dogg in North Carolina, which was perhaps the most amazingly large and pleasurable package to have showed up at Scottsville, VA's, box 270 in quite some time, maybe ever. I know in real people's world, where people pay for the things they use along their days, the Don De Dieu is exspensives, if you can even find it in your town (probably can't unless there's a college there, and total population is over 35,000). But I am a dude who has people mail me things... free things... and free is the greatest price of all. I mean, I know they lay it on you heavy about dead soldiers dying to pay the cost of freedom or whatever, but even that's not that bad. If a couple of broke assholes from Texas had to die for you to personally steal all the music and look at all the naked bitches you wanted for the rest of your life inside the internets, is that really that expensive? Not to sound cold or anything, but seriously. 5 out of 5.
DESTROYABILITY: Firmly destroyed. Does "Don de Dieu" stand for "gangsta of God"? Because this were a beer that put me on all fours mentally, and had me walking with a mighty wobble literally. I am sure it costs a million dollars a four-pack, which is a shame, because I could enjoy this being a weekend part of my life. 5 out of 5.
LABEL AESTHETIC: Some sort of viking ship glowing with a magical yet demented aura. Ideally, this is my soul, but honestly, the world sucks that glow down to halogen hallucinations most of the goddamned time. Still though, the label instills in my drunken hope for a better tomorrow, where I am paying more than the minimum payments, or better yet there are no payments at all, not because I am rich, bitch, but because the great facade has crumbled down and I can be a Myself again. 4 out of 5.
CORPORATE MASTER: Don De Dieu, the gangsta of god, is made by Unibroue, which I am sure is French talk and not pronounced the way I pronounce it, which is "you-ni-brow" like one long eyebrow across some dude's forehead. I have never had issues with their Frenchie flavors of beer, and have in fact enjoyed some of them numerous times during my life. They only show up at the strangest of places, like in a cooler in my PO Box, or at some fringe ghetto liquor store in Manchester, New Hampshire, or the frou-frou beer stores that pop up in college towns for about five years on average before whoever their owner is sells the place or shuts it down because frou-frou types tend to move on to $500 of wine and not $12 4-packs of beer. Also I am not so anti-Frenchie as I used to be, because World Cup 2010 thinking has got me to believing if you were to set up some sort of scientific criteria for what makes French people suck, and then apply it to the rest of the World, America would finish second in that data model. Thus, when I diss the French, I diss myself. So I don't actively diss the French so much anymore. 4 out of 5.
OVERALL AMBIANCE: As the mayor of Drunkachusetts, I hereby declare this beer to be totally awesome! (I vaguely remember using that joke before, but not enough so to know I did it for sure. My life is a blur of lost dreams, hallucinated novels, actual experience, and the things beamed into my head by the thousand tentacled beast, each tentacle with a wi-fi transmitting tesla coil artery running to the very tip.) 7 out of 5.

Thursday, June 17

s c r a p

fresh and colorful dumpster
produce piles, chickens picking
around the edges inward

Murphy's Stout

AFFORDABILITY: Look, I do not remember particularly what the cost was, and goddamnit I hate these stupid parameters I make that no one holds me to but if I switched off it somebody would be like, “What is this shit man?” as soon as I did it, like how your lottery numbers always hit the day you don’t play them. But I do know a few certain facts... One is the Murphy’s Stout is one of those fancy limey dude canned beers with the apple widget floating around inside that performs some sort of garbage science that Americans have never figured out or just don’t need with our waterbeers. The other is I never buy those four-packs of oddly-shaped beers with the rattling innards unless they are on sale, because breaking down to $2.50 per can and you’re not a normal tall can but a limey tall can, that does not compute. But if it goes on sale, it tricks me into thinking I have sprung upon a bargain, so I go with it, even though nothing we ever buy, even on sale, is a true bargain, because they still profit off selling rotten tomatoes and throw away more shit than I could hope to ever buy on a daily basis. But I do it. You know why. I was gonna write “Baaaa-cause” but that would be fucking retarded. So I’ll just leave it hanging with me admitting that and still seeming like a dumbass over the possibility shared. 2 out of 5.
DESTROYABILITY: I remember enjoying the Murphy’s Stout and it filled my head with wonkiness, much like my penis fills with blood during springtime drives around humans that lack their own penises, so far as I can tell. I know Murphy is a real dude, who I think lives in Alabama, or maybe Colorado, but bro, if you ever want to kick it in VA, bring some of your beers and we can roll to the river at Hatton Ferry and get our chill on, let the dogs run around and chase sticks and otters and crap like that, and scope out all the high school and college kids in groups doing the river tube rental thing from the place that shows up with buses full of people like every 20 minutes, who all climb into the water in a giant explosion of sound and laughter and beer can opening, and then float the fuck away, leaving us with our silence and a couple of their beers, which they are always only too glad to offer me when I ask for one, probably to keep the bearded, badly tattooed, in all likelihood hillbilly rapist guy with the big black dogs from ruining their life with elaborate victimizations. It’s fun. Holla at me, Murphy. 4 out of 5.
LABEL AESTHETIC: Murphy's has a beer can that is odd style because not commonly known, yet nothing about it stands out for me, especially compared to wacky limey cans like Boddingtons or Guinness. But whatever. It is a can, so you can crush it, which makes any logo look great. I have, for about a year and a half, been collecting whatever beer or soda cans that get flattened along my road, hoping to eventually bind them together using solder or tacks or alchemics or brain magic or something to make giant sheets of wall hangings. You can't do that with beer bottles. 3 out of 5.
CORPORATE MASTER: Don't know no Murphys anymore, though I have in the past. One was a straight up gonna be educated redheaded wise ass. I saw a picture of him on the Facebooks, but you can never tell if those things are the real deal or robot attempts to hijack your soul into wayward trajectories. I am not much for Irish pride type shit, ever since "Jump Around" became that extreme folksy song about walking in other people's shoes, so I don't really give a fuck about who makes Murphy's. I would hope it's bonafide in the flesh Murphy people, but most likely it's some sort of inanimate entity represented publicly by a sharp logo that performs psychological trickeries without you even knowing. 2 out of 5.
OVERALL AMBIANCE: I have no complaints over this here Murphy's Stout. Most limeyland beers I think I will hate but I don't mind, though I still halfway hate most of them, depending on how pretentious the real life people I've drank them around or with have been about the limey factor. Because of this, Boddington's Pub Ale is probably my least disliked of all the limeyland beers, but I'm not even sure if I have any real life drankin' with folks Murphy's Stout times to draw extreme prejudices from. I vaguely remember perhaps some nights of drinking it in Richmond back in the day, perhaps at that fucking hole in the wall Irish place right around the corner from the Science Museum, but I vaguely remember a lot of things at this point in my life, and a lot of times they either never happened, or somebody told me about it, or I saw it in a movie. Like I don't think I really ever jumped my car over a creek to escape a cop chasing me, cutting across Old Man Hatfield's ryegrass fields, but it's in my brain as a memory. Broke both tie rods, and it was a bitch getting my car to pass inspection two months later. 4 out of 5.

Wednesday, June 16

t i r e a

junk rubber bucket holder
back when we had goats, now pigs
snout kick it like soccer ball

Freya’s Magic Stick

AFFORDABILITY: Freya’s Magic Stick is a homebrew we made that I concocted completely on my own, the first time I’ve imagined up a beer recipe. Basically after listening to the new Burzum record too much while falling asleep, I got into Norse mythology, and started learning about gruit ales made in that region of the earth. Gruits are flavored and bittered with herbs instead of hops, to this day in fact, made in big fucking pots and meant to drink sooner rather than later because it don’t last well. Apparently the types of herbs used - juniper berries, sweet gale, mugwort - they can be mildly psychotropic as well (that is not a juggalo vacation spot, although I guess actually it is). I did some poking and prodding inside the internet, read about old ladies who kept the same stick of juniper for stirring their beer that the yeasts would actually live on, so they called it a magic stick, because it magically fermented beer, and if you moved often times someone would give you a special stick to take with you on your move from the old village. All this was happening the same time I trimmed the fuck out of a juniper bush at the end of our driveway, so I had gotten way up in that bush and become close to it, feeling its branches, and I wanted to cook up some of it into a gruit ale. I also trimmed up a link of it for my own magic stick (which is currently drying out to take all the bark off of and then carve cryptic designs all over with my wife, so it should be ready by the fall). After all the planning and recipe conjuring, I went to the Fermentation Trap place up in Ruckersville to get ingredients for this and another batch. The defense intelligence dudes who had owned it as a hobby business apparently sold it to some upwardly mobile redneck dude who used to build houses. He didn’t seem to be as well-versed in the home beer shit, but he was a decent dude. Still though, the total runs the fuck up in a place like that, and the fucking ingredients for this beer alone, I’d guess were like $80. Being we got 27 big bottles of beer out of it, that’s about $3 a goddamned bottle. I guess that’s cheap for those big bottles, comparable at least to big Guinnesses or Red Stripes or whatever. But still... $80? I was like, “WTF Ceva?” 1 out of 5.
DESTROYABILITY: There is a certain craziness to this beer, there is no denying. My man Mike Gee was over last week so we could record some wack ass thirty-something white guy freestyles against the world’s better judgement, and I told him up front, “This beer tastes like ass, but it tears you up in a strange way.” He didn’t think it tasted so bad, more like a shot of Goldschlager than a beer, and yes, it tore us up. By the end of the evening we were doing some stupid rap bullshit that has already been deleted from my goddamned laptop. Tonight though, I plan on taking a bottle of this Freya’s Magic Stick (with mad head, by the way, you have to open it in a pan because it overflows, and overflow is sticky like honey) and kicking it out on the sitting stump by the pigs, who hopefully have not escaped yet. They are trying their best, and should be slaughtered in the next week I’d say. I am not looking forward to figuring out how to move 550 pounds of pig, so perhaps I’ll get drunk when I have to do that, get my berserker nature on, and suplex them motherfuckers into the back of my truck. Also, I’d like to say that everything I’ve ever learned about fixing cars has been because I don’t feel comfortable paying so much for another man to do it - it upsets my alpha male internals. I can vouch that before I drop $250 to get the next pair of pigs slaughtered, I’m gonna buy me some slaughtering equipment and do that shit myself next time. Fuck paying some dude to do some shit that I ought to be able to do myself. Plus, if I do it myself, I can mix in pig blood with the berserker beer to try and turn myself into a wolfman. 5 out of 5.
LABEL AESTHETIC: Usually we had printed out our shit with wacky fonts on white labels, but the day we were at the Wal-Marts looking for label paper, which was a frustrating experience since all sticker paper is like pre-sized now to mail out Christmas cards or shipping labels or some shit. I just want blank full sheets of sticker paper, motherfucker. But as I dug quickly through the office supply aisle while the middle kid wanted to go look at toys and the youngest kid was just screaming to not actually be in the seat of the shopping cart anymore, and I found sheets split into two halves what were recycled paper looking brown, so I boughted it. Being the Magic Stick is some Scandinavian bullshit, we went with a retarded olde world font, typed that bama up, and made labels. I have a big box full of vinyl I took from an old job that would've been used for printing letters for vehicles or signs or whatever, and I didn't really steal it so much as organize the vinyl room and ask the boss if I could have all the scraps that needed to be thrown away. He was like "sure" because he was stoked somebody was organizing a messy corner of his life, so I ended up with what probably amounts to a couple thousand dollars worth of vinyl sticker scraps that have lasted my personal vinyl sticker needs for nearly a decade now. Anyways, our Bird Tribe Brewery homebrewing label style is to print out a label with the name and bottling date, and then have some sort of shape of a certain color of vinyl sticker material go across a corner or edge of the label in the same way on all the bottles of the batch. My thinking behind this, because all the most retarded things in my house come from my thinking, for bestest or worst, is the big homebrew bottles we clean out and use again would eventually have layers of watered out labels and colored pieces of vinyl all over it, gradually buried by the long existence of each individual bottle in various homebrews over the years of my stupid life. This obviously makes it all great, because it increases the bizarre magic of my every day life. 5 out of 5.
CORPORATE MASTER: Nothing can ever be my corporate master unless we enter a post-Apocalyptic world where corporations involve wearing leather jackets with the sleeves cut off with rusty steak knives and living in structures made of crudely stacked rocks. And though I am a slave to many things in this little life of mine, to one solitary corporation I am not. Though I guess if you think about the many-tentacled beast and how it always is trying to slap a new headlock on a dude like me, then I guess I am a slave. Which is why I drink nasty tasting mildly hallucinogenic homebrews. 4 out of 5.
OVERALL AMBIANCE: Freya's Magic Stick tastes terrible, but the culture it comes from, and is somewhere beneath the electronic buzz at the surface of my life, deep down in my bone marrow and blood stream, it makes me tolerate it. I have been drinking this stuff more like a sipping tea that is cold than a beer, and it wonkifies me good enough. I have to admit, this batch turned out so left field-ish that I have become nervous of trying to correct it and making another beer flavored and bittered without hops, but I will. And I will try to add more psychedelic properties as well. I want a beer that makes me feel like Fox cartoon notions of drug abuse are drawn out eventually. And corporate beer will never give this to me. And microbrewed beers are simply corporate-minded individuals making beer on a smaller level to get their hands a little dirtiers and feel like they are still attached to the end product. It is all bullshit, and this beer has none of that to it. This is beer brewed in my kitchen, fermented in my hallway, and stirred with a stick from the bush beside my driveway. And if it becomes absolutely terrible tasting (which it is getting close to), then I'll feed it to my pigs the Friday night before slaughter. 5 out of 5.

Tuesday, June 15

c y c l e

rooster on the waterer
crowing his shit talk; inside
nesting box, one last white egg

Monday, June 14

r i v e r

youngest child with golden aura
confident in her path though
she don't even know it yet

Friday, June 11

Friday Love/Hate

I hate how nobody answers for shit for the BP oil bullshit (although I also hate internet activists aka internectivists getting all up in arms in corny and predictable ways), which has been a ridiculously mishandled mistake from the beginning. Seems like they've been more concerned with still squeezing some profit out the damn hole in the ocean floor than actually stopping the leak, and I'm sure in the end, it'll be a slap on the wrist. Personally, I think a good plan of activism would be for people to pour full gallons of black oil paint on BP executives. Oil paint is impossible to clean off without chemicals, and usually you'll lose your hair if it's on your head. Plus, it's oil paint, and black, which symbolically makes sense as well. Problem is if I was to scope these dudes out and bust them up with a can of Rustoleum industrial oil paint, I'd end up getting more time in jail for assault than any of these guys will get for mucking up a huge little corner of the earth.
What's worse is how this whole debacle, along with many other things, has shown what a fucking puppet Barack Obama is. It sucks that if I get all like, "Obama sucks," people will assume I'm some retarded Tea Party dumbass. (Side note: earlier this week we had congressional primaries for the Republican party in my local district, which is a hotly contested one because the rookie Representative that got elected during the 2008 ticket rode in with Barack and barely won, so he's kind of seen as stained by Barackness. So the Tea Party dumbasses put up a big Tom Perriello sign - that's the Democratic Rep. they're trying to beat out this fall - and blacked out his last name so it spelled out Per i l , as if that was some great statement. Seriously, you could get a pack of massively mentally handicapped kindergarteners and they could've come up with something more creative than that.) That's the problem with the two-party system... if you hate somebody and how full of shit and what a lying sack of assfuckery they are, you are automatically associated with the other side, even if you think they're a bunch of lying fuckheads too. Which they are. Obama has increased predator drone attacks in the Middle East, continues to support Israel as it pretty much does whatever the fuck it wants, has Monsanto lawyers going into the Supreme Court, all types of sketchy and unchangey things. Just another piece of shit politician with a forked tongue and some good speechwriters and a tax return with 8-digit earnings last year. But you could never get close enough to the President to pour black oil paint on him. You'd get shot, or committed, or something dreadful.
Hell, normal people like you and me could never even get close to BP executives. Which forces crap like protests at local BP gas stations, who have as much to do with the whole Gulf oil spill as I do. These people are well-protected by a thick and cushioned social barrier, not to mention the long arm of the legal system keeping us all far enough away that those dudes will forever be out of our reach. Is it illegal to make giant effigies of these people and pour black oil paint over that? If it's not, I'm sure it will be once one of us does it with enough cameras watching.

I love listening to books on CD. I spend a good hour-and-a-half to two hours in my truck every day, commuting around, and often times I will stop playing music because there's nothing left that makes my dick hard for the first time ever, and I'll drift into bad habits of AM sports radio or NPR or just something that is actually sucking away my thought processes, clogging my neurons up with nonsense. I also rarely get a chance to just lay back and read books, so I decided to start utilizing my windshield time by listening to books on CD from the library. And the thing I've found is I actually get more out of listening to them than I did reading them. For example, I am going through One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest right now, and just the simple fact every copy of that I've ever owned has had the pictures inside from the movie and Jack Nicholson's face on the cover has tinged the way I read that book. Listening to it, I get it this time. He is the book version of a guy I actually know. Like for real. It's uncanny. And plus, I never noticed how much the book has nothing to do with McMurphy so much as it has to do with the Chief. And there's so much in there that make it hard to believe it was written in the early '60s, because it's some straight electro-magnetic frequency dirty electricty 2010 bullshit going on.
Right before this, I had listened to Cormac McCarthy's The Road. (Well, actually I tried two other books in between these two, but they were both terribly boring, so I aborted those missions early. I can tell you this though - William Heat Least Moon could use an editor, because The Road to Quoz is about 30,000 words too long.) The Road was an amazing book to listen to, and fired me up for writing in ways I hadn't been fired up in a long time. Shit, that's the whole reason I'm enjoying the books on CD so much. There is nobody in my immediate world feeding my creative energy right now. Nothing but social and creative drains circling around me lately, like vultures, waiting for me to finally drop and be yet another of these walking zombies that inhabit most of my surroundings, picking the last little bits of my hopes and desires. Fuckers. So the CD books have fired me up for words again, and given me some better focus upon the strange underseams you can weave throughout longer works. It's like a quilt, and there's all the pieces that go together you obviously see. But there's also the stitchwork that you don't really notice that tie all the pieces together. I need to be working upon that shit.
Oh well. I go to Las Vegas next week, and will have no family duties or Little House on the Prairie chores when I get home, or commute, or nothing, so I'm hoping to use all that unusual free time to crank out thirty to forty thousand words.

Thursday, June 10

S14: World Cup Preliminary Hating Interests

The World Cup shall start this weekend, and like three months ago, in pure nerd fashion, I already did a Sporting 14 list about the teams I would most be rooting for. But sports is not so much about rooting for your team all the team as it is rooting against some other batch of assholes. So I would be lacking in my proper dork remembrance and self-important coverage of the World Cup of World Football 2010 South Africa - AFRICA REPRESENTS! IN THE COUNTRY WHERE THE WHITES RAN SHIT FOREVER! 2010 if I did not make a long-winded stupid tangential-driven list of the 14 teams I shall be playa hating upon in the coming weeks.

#1: FRANCE - Defending Copa Del Mundial Campeones and Group A frontrunner, I am completely not down with the Frenchies. I was not down with that Zidane Zhidane Zildjian dude headbutting that other guy in the last World Cup, and I am not down with their sneaky handball that got them in and the Irish out when it came to qualifying for this Cup, and I am not down with them. Thierry Henry is planning on signing with the New York MetroBulls for MLS after the World Cup, which also sucks, even if he is former awesome player of Europe of the year. I am not down with expensive washed-out foreign superstars coming to MLS to try and trick soccer into being an integral part of this balanced American consciousness. We have lost our Americanness, our ability to take dilapidation and shine it up right tightwise. Now we just look for shiny shit right away, and that's why America is in decline. We can't fix crap on our own anymore, so it has to be pre-fixed and shined up just right and cheap enough we can replace it right away under our credit limit if necessary. Shit, we Americans are as close to the French as possible, full of self import and condescending as fuck to outsiders, even when inside their world. Oh well, the French talk faggier than we do. Plus, I've never met a full-blooded Frenchman or woman who wasn't hard to get along with. Although when I was a kid, in my dad's stack of OUI magazines, there was a brunette French chick who was taking a bath in one of those by itself bathtubs like from the Old West, and she kicked it with a red sweater on and nothing on the bottom, and this was back when women still rocked the hair and had yet to be convinced they should try to physically replicate anime robot women to be sexually attractive, so she was pretty great in that magazine. And she was some sort of Frenchie. But outside of her, random porn mag chick, there's not much in defense of the French I can come up with inside my mind.

#2: GERMANY - During a brief intertwining of lives with family-in-laws who ended up bailing on us just as quickly because we weren't up to their uppitty snuff, the dude of that fam was sporting himself a German national team jersey from 2006. Chumpassdom. Plus, I'm not down with the German style of playing soccer, nor life itself. They are a robotic people, closer to cyborg status than the rest of us in this world could even imagine. Scientifically, they were forebearers in all the brainwashing arts that are so rampant nowadays during the Third Reich. I mean good goddamn, when a creative stroke of brilliance within your culture is the blip blooped tomfoolery of Kraftwerk, you are no longer ruled by blood and sinew and neurons so much as formulas and calculations and planned deviations that are expected from cold running the experiments a few thousand times beforehand, top secretly. Still, there are only like five teams that can actually win the World Cup, and usually a home continent team wins, but let's be honest here... Africa is fucked, both historically and in regards to this World Cup. Does the hemispheric partnership with South America have the advantage, or do colonial fucks from Europe? I don't know... unfortunately I think colonialism trumps down-with-yall-ships, and the asshole scat-loving robot athlete slave master Germans might be around for a while this coming month.

#3: ENGLAND - The limeys are the enemy, even though, unfortunately, America is like a second-tier version of the English national team. The English uniforms (no matter how soccer-gay I become, I will never start calling them "kits") are always the ugliest, most boring uniforms around, except for when America ups the ante, like we did this year, with our retard sashed unis. Unfortunately for myself, after months of hyping myself up for the World Cup, since last fall really, and looking forward to that opening U.S. game against England, our former motherland, which if America can win, puts us in a great position to not only get through the group stage but actually position ourselves better for the knockout stages, I will be travelling during the game. I will be in a fucking airplane going from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Las Vegas, Nevada, and the entire game will happen while I am in the sky, not really still in America, yet governed by it's rules and regulations. Isn't that why motherfuckers, according to historical myth, became Americans in the first place? Fuck. I am hoping Univision or something replays the game and I will just head straight to the hotel upon arrival and not look at TVs until I can watch the replay in its entirety. Or some dumbass will be like, "YEAH! WE FUCKING WON!" and his accent (or lack thereof) will ruin it for me. I hate fucking airplanes. And at least through Saturday night, I hate fucking England.

#4: ALGERIA - Working with an Egyptian guy has really taught me how naturally evil Algerians are, so much so that, currently, they might have surpassed Armenians as my least liked nationality on Earth. Of course, my Egyptian co-worker has also dropped a bit of Zionist conspiracies on me and told me that they were performing crazy surgeries and had built rockets from stone on the Arab peninsula, so who knows how much weight I should put into his words. But I do know that the Algerians drew the same group as America, so as a man who has decided to embrace the country I was randomly born into as the be-all end-all for me to pull for in the World football Bowl 2010, that means I hate them. Although I have to admit, if I get to watch them play in those green uniforms they have, I might not hate them so much. Maybe they could beat England to help my personal rooting causes. Of course, England is above Algeria on this list, and that is on purpose. Hopefully, they will wear green against England, who will be in their bullshit white uniforms, and evil Algerians with those big swashbuckler swords yelling "FALALALALALALA" will chop Wayne Rooney's left leg off right below the knee.

#5: SOUTH AFRICA - Speaking of green uniforms, is there something I do not know about why all the African teams are rocking strange green uniforms? I mean, I knew Nigeria always wore green, but it seems like most all of them are wearing green. Are we recycling Africans now? The whole Africa hosting the World Cup thing is kinda cool, but also bugs me because it's all the way down in stupid South Africa, where white people ruled shit with an iron shackle and golden gun for a long time, and most of the great soccer teams for Africa are up in the western part. So this makes me resent South Africa. Also, the fact South Africa will probably get worked into the knockout stages, as they always seem to get host countries into the knockout stages, even shitty South Korea and Japan when they co-hosted, that bugs me too. I might actually be rooting nearly as hard for Mexico to crush South Africa in the opener on Friday as I will for America on Saturday. One positive of it being held in South Africa is the giant black ghettos full of wannabe gangstas who will be robbing mad tourists over the next month when they wander a few blocks too far out of the safe zones.

#6: GREECE - Even though the Greek economy has gone to hades, I have no love for that country, nor it's soccer team. Maybe if they weren't all sitting around being hairy and eating olives and counting on endless government jobs with endless benefits, this wouldn't have happened. Of course, that seems to be the plan for economic resurrection here in America, so it's our future too. When it comes to international soccer of a national variety, I am a hater of the Euroteams, for no real reason than most maps you look at, that's the center of our earth universe. On top of that, Greece has boring colors in my opinion. Plus, they're only like the 14th best team in Europe. Plus, there's only so many teams I actively hate with any amount of emotion, so I have to fill out the list with teams I just don't care about.

#7: ITALY - Rooting for defending champions that you are not personally attached to is always a chump maneuver. Plus, they are Italians. Full-blooded Italians are some of the most impatient people on earth. Plus greasy.

#8: JAPAN - I don't support Asians playing soccer. They should be sticking to kung fu, or drifting souped up Civics on highway ramps in cities that are abandoned because the Mothra alarm went off.

#9: SWITZERLAND - I don't know man, fucking Europe.

#10: SOUTH KOREA - Like I said, I am against Asians playing soccer. Plus, I think it would be awesome if Kim Jong Il really was the son of god and became leader of the world, so I obviously support them in the Korea vs. Korea conflict. Too many of this world's leaders are boring political dogmatic types or religiously oriented. There aren't enough crazy artsy wacko type dictators.

#11: SLOVENIA - In the American group, so I do not like them. But as you can see from this listing of teams I shall be rooting against, I hope they come in second in Group C. And they actually have some fairly pimp uniforms.

#12: SPAIN - Don't let the bronze skin mislead you... Spaniards have the souls of Europeans, those that kill and enslave people for profit. Though their bronze-skinned women are awfully attractive, and make the blood rush to my penis. As pertaining to sport, Spaniards have the athletic genetics of browner people, yet the floppity whiny nature of the Mediterranean peoples, yet they love soccer, and they are supposedly one of the best on this earth at it. I ally myself with Portugal though, meaning Spain is a lesser country in my mind. Spaniard blood is not good unless you mix it with indigenous people first.

#13: SERBIA - Serbia is the only country you actually here of from the nineteen countries that broke apart from the former Yugoslavia. I find eastern Europe very interesting, because white people from there actually know what type of white people they are, and even go to war with each other over it. In America, we are just white people - a giant slushy hodgepodge of mostly European bloods, all mixed together into a clusterfuck of genetics that is dazzled by shiny things and cul de sacs. Because Serbia is King of these eastern European trash cultures (no offense), I can only assume they are hooked up with the Rosicrucians or Knights of Templar or some shady shit like that.

#14: DENMARK - Mostly, in my brain I put Denmark and the Netherlands together, and only like the one that wears orange. That is not Denmark.

Wednesday, June 9

First of Da Month

(I know it is already almost half through the month, but whatever. I rock the calendar of Islam. I'm still in the 12th century.)
This past month not much more came to my PO Box, which should be expected because this is the internet and that is a PO Box and those things are like oil and water and only make tarball clusters that clog up my goddamned personal daily wish list, where I'm like, "OOOH OOOH OOOH I BET SOMETHING AWESOME IS IN MY POST OFFICE BOX!" but instead nothing, and then in my gmail somebody sends me an email saying they like the same stupid fucking song I like. Yay for assholes.
Anyways, I have created a convoluted and retarded list of the three monthly people that will be whittled down each month so that there is a constant and fluctuating list of 9 people from my PO Box to get my new zine, which is zine only. Fuck the internet, and fuck people having things. No one deserves shit, except us humans, who do actually deserve shit. That's why the BP oil spill is a great thing. People can be all, "Shocking!" as much as they want and screen print wacky t-shirt designs that are barely clever plays on common cultural memes, but damn, we all bring this shit on, and the quicker it all falls apart, the better. Or something. But what I'm saying is there will be a constant 9 person list working (after next month's list), and as I do new issues (shooting for one every 2 months), the nine people on the list get a copy, as will five real life people who are soul infusers (not many of them in my life lately, to be sure, but I could think of five still), and I keep one, for a grand total of 15 copies per issue of the zine. In the age of over-information, I have decided to go limited edition as fuck. So adding to last month's list of three (RussMac in GA, Pitz Dogg in North Cackylack, and Ten Dollar David) are this month's top three people who have put things in my PO Box. And being only two notable voluntary hook-ups happened in that tiny little Box 270 Scottsville Virginia America Land of the Free Home of the Fuck it You Know the Rests, I filled in the third with a notable donor of personal treasure from the past.
#1: Mr. Leroy in Wisconsin - An actual indy publisher fucker who sounds and seems like an actual chill dude, but is also from inside the internet, so it could be an elaborate holographic trickery device by the devil. But the dude has been supportive, and got me included in a collection of crime fiction stories called Florida Heat Wave (where, I proudly say, mine is the only story where nobody got murdered), and mailed me the early review copy of it, plus an extra for me to give away on the blog, of which I will be throwing that contest up soon enough. So for all you fuckers who have known me somewhat at some point throughout our lives during brief intersections of paths who feel entitled to anything I ever accomplish to be a part of your miserable life too, this will be a chance for you to get that. But Mr. Leroy mailed me two copies of the first book I've ever been published inside of, so far as I know, and even though there's an extra "L" in my name throughout, it made me believe that all the dreams I've been too retarded to give up on all these years, even though recent post age 35 cynicism has started to choke the carotid artery of those dreams a little tighter each month, I was briefly enthused for my own future being a bright and wonderful golden spotlight beam into the heavens again. At least until the alarm clock went off about three hours earlier than I had hoped, yet again. 78.7 points.
#2: Downn Unnder Dann - Sent me the latest copy of his actual print zine, which featured a reprint of my big ass Me and Brown story, which is something I've always been proud of, but liked seeing in a glossy zine even more. I submitted that story to Riverteeth, some journal of creative non-fiction, and they rejected it, which is always to be expected when you submit anything anywhere. But it would've been a good fit for Riverteeth, if they weren't so pussy. Luckily Downn Unnder Dann is not such a pussy. And by the time he reads this, he will hopefully be the proud papi if a second child. Congratulations Dann. 42.9 points.
#3: Jersey Jared - Has not technically sent anything in the past month, but the third spot was between him and this dude Joel who bought me a subscription to Countryside magazine. Jersey Jared has sent me frou-frou coffee as well as a giant box of like 5000 pumpkin truffles from Godiva chocolates, that I think he got from his uncle who works in the Mafia or some bullshit. But he is number three, in month number two. 27.3 points.
So you know, if you actually made it this far, I am actually just about done with the actual zine, so it will actually happen. And better yet, I've developed a style for adding to it that will guarantee more issues. Because if there's one thing I've got inside of me, in abundance, it's more issues.

Monday, June 7

J.J. Krupert Top 13 Countdown - May ’10 #1: “One Less Set of Footsteps” by Jim Croce

Upon the internet, people try to maintain their cool, even though we all know from dealing with people inside the internet, if someone is immersed in this fake world, then something is probably not quite right for them. Usually, they are not firing all eight cylinders socially, but there are many deviations from this standard. My point is, as I start to hype the wonderful greatness that is Jim Croce, there is nothing fucking cool about that. He is a dead dude from the '70s, and an AM radio mainstay. He is what your mom listens to, or they play at the dentist's office on the subscription easy listening channel that is meant to not offend a single solitary person. Why would someone inside the internet try to tout the greatness of a completely inoffensive old ass dude who's music is most likely to be redone by second-tier American Idol cast-offs as adult contemporary hits on charts that no one actually pays attention to anymore outside of the actual radio industry dinosaurs, desperately clutching to their dying format, unable to imagine life without it?
Well, because Jim Croce is fucking awesome. I don't even know how to pronounce his last name, because he's only been music my whole life. No podcasts, no VH1 specials, no long-winded interviews about why he did this or that. The motherfucker made common man pop hits, on the regular, then was smart enough to die before it got ugly.
The thing about Croce is, I have often wondered what kind of short story writer he'd be. When you listen to his songs, he is obviously somebody who has known the dirtbags and pieces of shit of our American culture, at least during his time. But rather than look down upon them, you can tell he's known these dirtbags and pieces of shit as friends and lovers. That's very real. Who amongst us has not had a great friend we'd do anything for who was a hopeless fuck-up and involved you in some seriously sketchy bullshit? Who amongst us has not been deeply in love with the most whorish of sluts, yet unable to make the break because of the way they look you at sideways with those eyes of their's? Jim Croce, rather than make a stupid fucking song, humanized all this shit, and gave it great detail, without you really knowing. A faded matchbook with her old phone number (as in "Operator (That's Not The Way It Feels)" - one of his biggest hits). This song here I have been pumping (though it should be known I be pumping mad Jim Croce lately, and he has caused me to want to dig out the USB turntable and rip all the albums of his I have onto robot files so I can enjoy him within the happy buzzing confines of my new-fangled robot world), and it is a great ode to telling a bitch to fuck off. Like, it's a Fuck You song that would make Ani DiFranco proud. And yet it's by a dude that nobody really knows except as some shit that is in the background of the safe and sterile world of old people. And while it does not bum me out, because honestly if everybody started loving Jim Croce all of a sudden and stupid fucking kids were wearing Jim Croce shirts and drinking PBRs at hipster bars, I would at first be like, "I liked him since back in the day," but eventually I'd just stop liking it publicly, because it would be tarnished. Popular opinion ruins everything and anything, because all you have to do is ride down the fucking street and look around you, at the stores, the people, the cities we've built, and you can realize how fucking terribly misguided popular opinion is. To go against that is not a dangerous bet to make.
Nonetheless, I think a lot of motherfuckers are missing out on Jim Croce by him just being old fogey music. Or then again, maybe I am more old and fogeyish by the season. Oh well... such is life. We become old and irrelevant, and get stuck on reminisces about the way things once was.
Completely unrelated, other than it being Jim Croce, my favorite memory relating to his music is when I rode a Greyhound to Colorado on an open ticket and back one summer after me and this bitch I was living with split up finally for good (thank god). It was a good trip that involved drinking with hobos and crackheads and setting shit on fire in Colorado and almost getting stabbed in West Virginia and having a hallucinatory experience (I think) even though I had taken no hallucinogens of a deranged man on a bus being hauled in upon arrival by Elvis in the middle of the night in Amarillo, Texas, and handed over to local authorities. I saw that shit, but I have never really understood why I saw that shit, or if it was totally real. Seemed too far-fetched. But once I got back to central Virginia, riding 360 south out of Richmond into Amelia County, the land looked like my land, where I grew up, Piedmont Virginia, and I was talking to the old lady beside me about how this was home. I rode all the way to Keysville, where they dropped me off in front of the video store I used to rent kung fu flicks from when I was 15, and I started hitchhiking towards my mom's house, singing Jim Croce's "Walkin' Back to Georgia" the whole time. Five miles down the road, not a ride to be had for a fucked-up scraggly kid with a hiking backpack full of not-from-around-here looking shit, so I made a collect call to my mom's house, and when they said say your name, I said, "Raven, at the county line gas station, come get me," and hung up. I sat on my pack and sang the song a few more times, and then there she was, and I was home.
That's Jim Croce.
STEAL “One Less Set of Footsteps”
Perhaps some Chalino Sanchez, or Huntsville rap, or shit my eldest daughter makes me write about!

Thursday, June 3

J.J. Krupert Top 13 Countdown - May ’10 #2: “Weight of the World” by Blue Globe Beats

This is from a long tall stack of old beat CDs called Blue Globe Beats my man Boogie Brown made years back. I had taken three full CDs worth of those beats to run quick songs to inside the camper, but the camper is cluttered with the detritus of my life, and my mind can't find time to recline in the creative sunshine anymore. Some days, even as the thoughts for this or that bounce through my head with the same frantic urgency as they always have, I wonder if I haven't squandered my muse. Will it shut off one day, like an aging man's sex drive? I am not one for pharmaceutical enhancements, so there will be no Muzagracillin to trigger the ideas storming through my brain again. I am 37, and sit basically the same fucking place I was ten years ago, just with more kids now, needing longer clothes, and my hair is barely allowed to grow out of my head. Where do you express frustration when the whole fucking thing doesn't make sense to you, and you know the biggest problem is yourself. You are trapped, but every time you see a new shiny bear claw along the path, you stomp your fucking foot right down in the middle of it, thinking you are stronger than it this time. But you never are. And as more hairs twist out of your cheek with the color of a surrender flag, your bad decisions become a fucking albatross, financially and with psychological clutter, and your internal posture becomes worse. Outside, you walk like anyone, but inside you're a shrivelled goddamned hobo, tramping around a twenty mile cell, waiting for death to make all the questions stop, answers be damned.
Mike Gee and myself actually wrote a song for this beat one Friday night, something about change and getting by, and it's interesting sitting there teaching Mike Gee about how I write. He is a freestyle king, and could ride a beat from now til Friday, with a thick relentless style that has a poppy cadence to it, always. But when he writes, he writes sparsely, not able to hear himself in his own head filling out the beat like he does when he just lets himself do it naturally, freestyle. And that was weeks ago. Boogie Brown sent me an email about doing music, but life and things and fuck fuck fuck get in the way and make the three hour trip seem impossible to squeeze into any week, much less this or the next one. I know I should, but goddamn. There's just so much in the way every day. It's like one of those plastic childhood puzzle games, with the sliding pieces numbered from 1 to 15 and one empty slot, and I spend all day long sliding the pieces around, trying to get the day in order to have that empty time in the right place. Some days, I don't even get close. Other days, by the time I get there, I'm so goddamned tapped out, I can't even use it. I just sit there and stare at the blank screen, thinking about what I was thinking about three hours ago, five hours ago, this morning, and wishing I knew now what I knew then.
Oh fucking well. Salvation is around every corner. Unfortunately, it always ends up being a goddamned lie. But hopefully I'll catch a wave of salvation and ride it mightily for a brief slice of creative satisfaction here before too long.
STEAL “Weight of the World”
AM radio mainstay, but inside the interwebs as of my next J.J. Krupert posting!

Tuesday, June 1

J.J. Krupert Top 13 Countdown - May ’10 #3: “I’m Just a Country Boy” by Don Williams

I have two versions of this song inside my cyberland of computerdora devices. One was an early Audacity rip I did actually from before I even had a USB turntable when I was using RCA to phone jack cables running into the mic button with a ground wire going from the turntable to a fork laying on a washcloth, so the sound was rough as fuck, but I could boost it and amplify and then clean up the noise and fix the distortion and then it would be barely tolerable. So when I got a USB turntable, this song was one of the first ones I ripped in the cleaner, clearer way. But I also have a version of this song that came from a hard drive full of music I co-opted from somebody for various services rendered, and that was probably straight up Itunes originally. I really hope the version I ended up finding and upping for this stupid list is the one from my own vinyl, complete with scratches and crackles.
The reason for this is the album by the same name is one that my folks had when I was a kid, and would play often. The album design is maybe the most amazing and beautiful country music album cover ever, when you factor in front and back. The front is a straight up illustrated countryside, with rolling hills and farmland and shit, with a giant illustrated Don Williams, in his standard jean jacket and cowboy hat, climbing out the horizon from the torso up like rural Gulliver in America Lilliputia. Then when you flip the album, the back side is his back side, and the looming clusters of crystal cement and false hopes and broken dreams of the city are in the distance. He's just a country boy, and the city is there, but he only looks at it from afar. And the fact we live in a computer age with graphic designers galore but nobody who knows how to work a goddamned colored pencil, there will never be anything like this again, except for computerized ironic homages eventually, by somebody like myself who knows and loves it. Shit, maybe I end up doing a mixtape with that style cover bitten outright. I could see that happening, if my moral code of not tramping on the originality of personal heroes becomes a little more compromised.
Beyond that, this song is the shit. It was the shit to my folks when I was their only child and we lived in a shitty cinderblock house full of rats at the edge of a farm in podunk Rice, Virginia, on a road that now dead ends into a man-made reservoir. Me and the family rode down there last summer (or the one before), and where the house I lived at from like age 2 til age 7 was gone, it being a field now, and we pulled up to the house beside, looking as old as it did 30 years ago when I would play with the neighbor kid, where some old lady sat in a swing on the front porch. I asked her about the house that used to stand there, but she was an old lady in a cotton dress, no shit in 2010 (or 2009 I guess, to be more precise), and she didn't completely understand me, or was full of the Alzheimers, or something. But mostly she answered my questions with my questions, but positively reinforced. Like I would yell-talk, "Do you know the house that used to be in that field?" And she'd go, "Yeah, there was a house in that field?" And I would go, "Do you know how long it's been gone?" And she'd answer, "Yeah, it's gone."
That album is one of many I took from my folks, and it has gotten much play in my current house - an old two-story farmhouse built in 1905, and the cardboard sleeve is as neat as ever, and thinned by time. The album is scuffed yet cared for, like nothing you'd find at a thrift store (always scratched from neglect or being moved around by people who don't care) or at a record store (always too pristine and unblemished to be a part of a real person's real life on a real basis). I've seen my oldest kid staring at the cover, flipping it over and looking at the back, and then going back and forth a time or two before tucking it back into the stack. And no matter how much I struggle for money in life, which of course is a minor struggle compared to reality, but we all build our own little cocoons of creditory self-destruction that we feel is about to bury us to death, “I’ve got silver in the stars... and gold in the morning sun... gold in the morning sun.” Fuck yeah, Don. Fuck yeah.
STEAL “I’m Just a Country Boy”
Unfinished beat business and my literal soundtrack to life!

J.J. Krupert Top 13 Countdown - May ’10 #4: “5 Shots of Whiskey” by Hank Williams III

Hank Williams III's new CD The Rebel Within came out the other week (honestly, I never know when things are actually for sale, as I don't for buy nothing anymore, because I have children to support; but I've been teaching them the need to support their favorite artists who are not attached directly to major corporations that will just steal all the profits anyways, because I believe in a music industry, just not one that's so goddamned sketchy; the point is, my children will be entering that age of discretionary income wasted like mad on music, so fuck you music industry, because I doubt my 11-year-old would want to even buy half the crap she wants to buy if I hadn't have exposed her to it from stolen internet songs, which works like radio used to work, just you can't horned cocksuckers can't manipulate it so easy), and though it was a great CD, better than his last one (I can't even remember the name of it), it's still a step below Straight to Hell, which is just such a goddamned great double CD, it sets a high bar to live up to. I know that Tricephus would rather do the metal stuff, and it's almost a country song in itself his whole life. Bastard son of an Populist outlaw country musician who was the neglected son himself of one of country music's most classic talented tragedies, dying in the back seat of a Cadillac. The young bastard grandchild wants to do the metal music that his heart loves, yet is beyond his ability to stop it, about a thousand times more talented at the country bullshit, because in that realm, he does something that nobody else does. In metal, it's the same ol' same ol' when he goes at it, nothing terrible but nothing special. So he gets forced into being what he doesn't really feel like being, by fans, by sketchy industry types, and by the modern necessity of seeing a goddamned paycheck go into the bank every now and then. Good country music is basically always about being trapped, and you either sing about how you are a simple and god-guided enough person to find peace and happiness within that trapped life, or you get fucked up to deal with that trapped life. Usually, the best country music combines the two, a Saturday night/Sunday morning dichotomy turned into toe-tapping jingles that help all the other sad sacks of shit staggering along the surface of the earth deal with their own life's trappings.
Oddly enough, as the new Hank Williams III came through the internet a few months ago and hit my gaypod's rotation, I found myself going back to the Lovesick, Broke, & Driftin' CD by Hank Williams III a lot more. I know he hates that album, due to the record company bullshit with Curb Records, but it's a great ass album, all the way through, with no down parts whatsoever, which you can't really say for The Rebel Within, which sometimes tried too hard to mix in that metal/punk ethos, to where it sounds forced and corny, like a public access TV show character doing junkyard commercials locally in his urban hipster idea of how a hillbilly would look. Shit, I think I'd enjoy Hank the 3rd just doing evil fucked up metal lyrics all normal wide open country style than forcing the punk bullshit into the mix. It's not like anybody other than him even does wide open country style anymore, making it not that normal. Crappy, sterilized, bullshit that dabbles in doing three hours worth of irresponsible indulgence is marketed as spirited outlaw salt of the earth music by Nashville nowadays. They don't have a fucking clue.
Anyways, "5 Shots of Whiskey" is off of that Lovesick, Broke, & Driftin' CD, and is a good fucking song to sit there and stare at an alcohol glass you are trying your best to keep empty, no matter how often you fill it back up. Trapped music for trapped lives. If that ain't country, then fuck you bitch.
STEAL “5 Shots of Whiskey”
Feel good funeral dirge that hopefully is played at my actual funeral!

J.J. Krupert Top 13 Countdown - May ’10 #5: “Burr Beer” by OJ Da Juiceman

I am not afraid to become infatuated with some ignorant ass shit. And no area of music has been a more fertile land for providing rich fruits of ignorance than southern American hip hop. I do not pretend to know all about all the dumb ass dudes that get monthly interviews in Ozone magazine, or have crew allegiances that ultimately all go back upstream to either Atlanta, New Orleans, or Memphis. I guess that this OJ Da Juiceman guy is down with Young Jeezy, or was, and most likely was a weed-holding hype man at some point or another, paying his dues, learning how to turn ignorant bliss into child-like sing songs of rap lyrics. "Burr Beer" is completely stupid, and just another of a billion songs attempting to describe in glorious flaunting detail diamonds that probably ain't even for real. Yet it's just so goddamned stupid and catchy, that I found it impossible to not like. Shit, fuck it, I love this song. I will never in my life probably like any other OJ Da Juiceman song; in fact. To be honest, I probably would never even download any OJ Da Juiceman mixtape for free that ever crossed my eyeballs online, because with that name and the style he does, this song has to be a perfect storm. There is no way an idiot savant like this could catch lightning bugs in a bottle and make diamonds that shine with their ass juice somehow like he did with this song ever again. (Oddly enough, crap like this is a "perfect storm" type thing that varies with the individual. You will perhaps download this song, and hate it to the point you question my opinions on anything else I spake upon. Oh well. Fuck you, you judgemental bastard.)
STEAL “Burr Beer”
Let’s get our mellow drunk on!

J.J. Krupert Top 13 Countdown - May ’10 #6: “Working Man (screwed)” by Rush

There are two parts to this story - one of real friends from pre-internet days, and one of pretend friends from post-internet bombashment of reality. Let us start with the first part, from back in the day, for the reasons I learned to hate Rush.
There was a dude who lived down the road from me, a year older, and we both worked at the same appliance place in Farmville, Virginia, for our first job, me at 16, him at 17. They ended up hiring an older dude (about ten years older) to work in our area of the thing - basically hanging out in the warehouse and sweeping shit up whenever we weren't delivering things to people's houses and installing them. The older guy was a rock solid type of dude to come into an aspiring creative degenerate teenager's life, as he encouraged different directions of life exploration in me. I used to kick it at his house, get stoned and watched Reverend Gene Scott on TV, and at some point the guy, who was clearing out LPs for CDs, gave me a stack of a couple hundred records, with a lot of shit I got my first taste of. This dude, albeit a fringe element who smoked mad weed, was a music nerd, so a thick stack of Rush albums were in the mix of the hook-up, pretty much half their catalogue. The thing is, even when high, I really couldn't get into Rush. There's was always something missing for me, my DNA being fairly trashy and salted down with too much earth matter to really wrap my head around the odd time changes and whiny vocals written in iambic pentameter. (Even now, after I've become far more of a ridiculous nerd about stupid things, I do not understand them.) But the dude one year older than me who lived down the road, he loved Rush. So I gave him all the Rush albums, which he promptly dubbed onto tapes to listen to in his car. The problem with this was I rode with him to school a lot of days, and it wasn't a quick five minute drive from the cul-de-sac to the school. We lived 20 miles from the south end of the only sizeable town in our county, where the high school was located, so each morning in his car, Rush fucking blaring. Rush was the greatest thing ever to him, and he was 17, with his first car and a loud stereo. This all meant Rush played loud as fuck, mainlining into my brain for healthy half hour doses, young formative teenager mind being straight blasted with torture it didn't understand. So I came to go from not just not understanding Rush to outright hating it, to the point I developed this theory that Rush was only good music for brainiac nerds who got sort of high every now and then, or for the type of person who hangs out with outlaw stoner high school cliques but is sort of afraid to actually get high. My time in college did nothing to deter me from this belief, except I eventually expanded it once I realized in more densely populated areas, there could be whole cliques of Rush fans, and even within that strange sub-culture you'd have to have a wayward ultra-nerd stoner or ultra-stoner nerd who took it to the next level by hawking how awesome Yes was. But Rush and Yes are linked together, heavily. Nothing changed this at all.
Then I downloaded the Riding on Guilded Spinners mix of assorted screwed musics from the It's After the End of the World blog (which it seems I hype monthly), and there was this slowed down version of "Working Man" by Rush, which is absolutely fucking great. The stupid whiny vocals become draggish and like a terrible moan of lyrics, which become palatable enough to listen to and enjoy. The crazy Rush nerd rock basslines thicken and rattle when slowed, and the tender speedy guitar nonsense (the emotional opposite to thrash metal's brutal speediness) actually sound good, as opposed to something I need to take notes on for my thesis paper at the end of next semester.
Oddly enough, the guy who does that blog I got it from sent me an email, as we had been talking about obscure good gospel music, and what a hassle it is to try and find that type of shit in actual record bins, because even though the LPs are a buck each, you might blow $20 on gospel music and not find a goddamned song that's anything more than normal ass people who believe in normal ass god doing some normal ass singing. I think most music nerds who appreciated gospel music inside the internets are looking for sangin' not singing. Anyways, that After the End of the World blog guy asked me if I knew some guy he got music from online before. Turns out, it's this guy Ace who used to write for my old website and I actually hung with for a while, getting into a few lightweight Fear and Loathing adventures, including one time in Richmond where I was drunk as fuck and slouched over in his car, and he was drunk as fuck, and we hit a roadblock, and the cops gave him the field test, and he did okay enough I guess, and they said, "Your car reeks of alcohol," so Ace said, "Yeah, my friend is drunk as fuck, go look at him, I'm trying to get him home," and they come over and tap on the window with a flashlight at my slobbering, pathetic ass, and let us go without the breathalyzer because it certainly looks like he was telling the truth. Thing is, Ace kinda disappeared on me, and every now and then I'd hear from him. But also, he never went by Ace to anyone we bumped into in our travels, unless he didn't know them. He was Billy otherwise. That whole aspect kinda always bothered me, I guess because I'm naive as fuck. Whether online or in line at the grocery store, I am Raven. This is who I am. (Well, actually at work I go by my first name, but I revert to that less exciting name I share with my father and grandfather whenever I need to chain myself to uptight responsibility.) But apparently, that guy Billy or Ace or whoever, he was the one who originally hooked up the After the End of the World guy with this very slowed down Rush song. Where did Ace get it? Who knows? He might've done it himself. The one time I went to where he lived, which wasn't even his house, there were stacks of gospel records and strange 1970s recording equipment and the driveway was lined with rocks that when we came back drunk, I actually backed my Tercel up on top of somehow, and we had to use a tractor to pull it off, and I slobbered pathetically back home to Scottsville from wherever the fuck Keezletown is. In fact, to this day, I don't even know where the fuck that happened at. Plus, I never hear from that Ace guy anymore, except for occasional every third year blasts from nowhere. That's pretty much the essence of the internet. None of this really exists, and in two years, everything you are doing today like it's the greatest thing ever will be gone completely. No memories of riding to school or getting high watching Gene Scott. Just digital files that have been slid from machine to machine, allegedly still first generation even though it's the 49th time you've moved it around to somewhere else. And that's where I am at now, right inside of that giant digital land of nothingness, talking about a screwed song by Rush, like a giant faggot music nerd "LOOK AT ME! MY MUSICS IS THE BEST MUSICS!" guy. Oh well, like I said, this is me. At least you can actually hear this at my picnic table in the back yard as well, pumping from the speakers coming from the camper with an extension cord from the front porch powering it all. I actually just found out about a pair of ridiculous $600 speakers I'm going to inherit from someone, and just in time, because my back yard sitting on a milk crate 1970s speaker is almost entirely exploded from water damage, so I have to take the second one from inside the camper to put outside on the milk crate, and probably get a new tarp to cover it with to minimize future water damage, so I need new speakers for inside the camper. In real life, everything works out if you let it. Online, it's just clutter that disappears and is replaced with new clutter.
STEAL “Working Man (screwed)”
Let’s get ignorant!

J.J. Krupert Top 13 Countdown - May ’10 #7: “Smoke On (screwed & chopped)” by E.S.G.

It's officially summer season when we get a spell of hot days so bad my wife and kids force me to drag our ragged assortment of ill begotten window units out the shed, shopvac them out, clean the filters, plug 'em up in the yard and then haul them into our various styles of windows in various parts of house and try to condition the air down to something more tolerable for them. Usually, a few weeks before this every year, it gets warm enough where all I want to do is drink beer, ride to the river - not really get there and have to choose something to do but just constantly be riding to the river with that leisurely array of activities awaiting and kicking the lounge neurons around your brain, and jam DJ Screw shit. And screw season has been in effect, not that it ever really goes away, so much as calms down a bit during the cooler months. There is something about slow, warped hip hop music with the scratch effects leading into a cut instead of echoing behind a word or sound that just jibes with summertime, and jibes with getting fucked up most definitely. I have been so into screwed music for so long that last week when my daughter gave me a list of songs to make a birthday mix for her friend, one of the songs was "One Draw" by Rita Marley, and all I could find on the hard drive was a screwed and chopped version, which I included. Apparently, to regular people, screwed songs are not considered actual songs by the artist. Normal Rita Marley is happy and upbeat and could be about anything at all, but screwed and chopped Rita Marley drawling in a ghostly voice, "I waaannnnnaaaa get hiiiiiiiiiiiiiggggggggghhhhhhh, sooooooooo hiiiiiiiggggghhhh...." leaves no doubt about what the fuck is being suggested. My bad normal people; I aplogize for being in the midst of your world.
So I've hit my screw season so hard that I've actually contemplated just deleting everything else off my gaypod and filling it up with Screw music. The problem is, if you enjoy a vast array of musics like I do, there's only so many times you want to hear Tupac or gangsta rap bullshit like Screw filled his CDs out with. But there are great moments. And the whole Screwed-Up Clique definitely mastered the art of rapping with a consciousness for the end result of the screwed version. It's what makes their freestyle sessions so awesome. Fat Pat is the master of that shit. I'm fairly certain he does a verse on this song "Smoke On", attributed to ESG, but featuring 7000 people, that would be the absolute stupidest shit to hear at regular speed, rapping about taking a shit and taking a shower and eating breakfast. Slowed down though, and instantly chased down with the ghostly hook of "smoooke..... smooooke onnnnnn" the shit is damn near perfect. Like, if he had been rhyming about some serious soul-searching shit, it would've made it worse. The fact it's just everyday bullshit and they smoke, smoke on, yeah, it makes me want to just stay high from here til Labor Day.
STEAL “Smoke On”
More music for drinking cough syrup to, but from a far different angle!