Today is a day that people will be talking about for years to come. Today is a day that will stand out in history.
Today is a great day.
That’s right folks I speak of the event that is happening today that are making people around the world talk. The event, in case you are out of the loop, is my birthday.
Yup, today happens to be the first day I opened my eyes the year punk was born.
I happen to share my birthday with quite a few important people too. In no real order: David Lynch, Bill Maher, Skeet Ulrich, Rob Bourdon (Linkin Park), Sid Wilson (Slipknot), ?uestlove (The Roots), Tracii Guns (Guns N Roses), Greg Kriesel (The Offspring), Nicky Wire (Manic Street Preechers), and Derrick Green (Sepultura).
I will gladly accept presents from anyone. I accept Paypal as well.
You can stop shaking your head now…
Today is an important day with an important inauguration. Now I try to stray away from my political/religious views on this site at all costs, but today deserves at least some mention of the day.
So the holidays are over, the presents were unwrapped, and even though I was happily satisfied with all the J-Day gifts I received I felt as if I lacked items for entertainment purposes.
I was a good boy, I done no wrong, in fact this was the first New Years since I was 12 I was completely sober so I think that means presents for me from me. I am just looking for some excuses to buy crap…
Now it is show and tell time. Lookie what I got/have/own…
First up is something I hesitated to buy because it was not something that I needed at all. Hell, none of the items I recently purchased were things I needed… Anyways, I am currently the proud owner of a MC Chris action figure. The thing is poorly made, can’t stand up on it’s own, does not move, and was not designed to do anything. It just lays there motionless, with no desire to entertain; but here is the kicker… it is awesome. It is so awesome that it now is one of my favorite non-animate objects that I own.
Why would I dare say something so poorly made is awesome? Well it reminds me of a toy you would find from the early 1900’s at your grandparent’s house, something you would look at and scratch your head at. I really think I have a piece of treasure here and to prove it I bought it for $25 from the MC Chris website and now it is on the very same site for $75 (they are claiming to have 3 left). Why the price increase? Well it seems as if there are only 50 in existence as the 450 others were lost in the order according to a bulletin that MC Chris had posted on MySpace.
Next up is a Derek Hess print I have had my eyes on for a while. Last year I interviewed the Cleveland rock artist and remember questioning his affordable prices. He wanted to make sure he sold his work at prices that people without a lot of money could afford. Well I am without a lot of money and I love his work. I was actually buying a print for my good friend for a belated J-Day gift and could not help myself in getting one for my own house.
This is my third Derek Hess print I now own and I know I have many more to acquire in the future. I have already framed it and will place it accordingly in my dwelling so that all can see. One day I hope to have an original piece in my collection…baby steps for now.
If you would like a print for yourself you might want to act fast as this offset print is limited to 300 and I scored numbers 204 and 205 for myself and said friend. Once 300 is reached it will be sold out and very difficult to find.
For my media pleasure I picked up a copy of the hilarious DVD Pineapple Express. If you have not seen the movie yet I promise you some foul mouthed stupid humor plus a little bit of action. The duo of Seth Rogen and James Franco are perfect for this derranged adventure involving two stoners.
Watching the movie last night had me rolling. I enjoyed it a lot more than originally when I saw the movie in the theaters seeing how it was ruined by two jackasses in front of me who clearly pregamed before the movie. The other benefit of DVD over going to the movies are having extra content. The deleted scenes were not too entertaining but the gag reel was hilarious.
Today I ventured to the Borders book store I used to work at a few years back. I went there looking for a vegan cupcake book. I know, what the hell was I thinking right? Well have you ever had a vegan cupcake? Exactly. Once you have you will want to know how it was made.
Let’s get back to why I went to Borders. Well that vegan cupcake book was nowhere to be found so I kept looking around and found something that I have been wanting for a while, a copy of Anthony Bourdain‘s A Cook’s Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines. The book captures Anthony Bourdain and his travels for food. I can not wait to find some free time to sink my eyes into it.
My wife also found a book she knew I would have interest in called Punk: The Whole Story that usually retails for about $25. It was sitting there in the budget section with the attractive price of $4.99 so I grabbed it seeing how I never pass on a good punk rock deal. Full color hardbound book full of punk rock history, a great find if you ask me.
As I finish up this bragging of a blog I keep telling myself there was one more thing that I purchased…something very recent.
Oh yeah. I bought an album on iTunes today. Dirty south punk meets crunk act Whole Wheat Bread recently released their third CD on iTunes before it hits shelves and I could not wait. The Afro Punk rockers have been favorites of mine since they first released their material in 2005. The album Hearts of Hoodlums will be released in stores on January 20th. Inauguration coincidence? Perhaps. That also happens to be the day back in 1977 that I started kicking ass and taking names or however you say that (hint, hint).
Well I guess my show and tell time is over and I should go sit back down on the magic carpet and see what the next little kid out there had…until next time.
Here’s a Whole Wheat Bread video just for the heck of it:
Whole Wheat Bread covering Rancid‘s “Roots Radicals” featuring Chris from Stretch Armstrong at Peabody’s in tropical Cleveland, Ohio
Recently, rather a couple months back, I came across Kill Audio. Kill Audio is a comic/vinyl action figure created by Coheed & Cambria frontman Claudio Sanchez and artist Sheldon Vella. The comic is more of a project between the two with the comics being featured on the Kill Audio Myspace page, as well as featuring in Popgun from Image Comics. An actual hard copy should be available in 2009. Accompanying the comics are limited edition Kill Audio vinyl action figures, basicly a mini Claudio Sanchez who is the focus of the comics. The comic is just about as interesting as everything else that has been thought up by Claudio Sanchez.
So far the vinyl figures are available to fans through Comic Cons and other special events such as random signings at pop culture toy stores. A limited edition version gunmetal gray Kill Audio figure will be sold at the Neverender shows that Coheed & Cambria is playing in select cities. The Neverender show is the show of all Coheed & Cambria shows with the band playing through all four of their albums in four nights… What I would give to be a part of that.
For more info about Kill Audio, check out the following links:
Out of all the places I could have been born, I was born in Cleveland, OH. Some may find it difficult or depressing to grow up in a suburb of a dying steel manufacturing city but I myself consider it fortunate. I like where I am from and even though I sometimes wish to live life elsewhere I think, in fact I know, I would miss the city of Cleveland.
Realistically I am admitting that Solon was the city I was born and raised. I grew up in that city and while doing so I saw change. By the year 2000 the population doubled and Solon turned more upper class, a bracket I never fit in. Restaurants and stores were built on land that once housed the city’s first school or marshland. New schools had to be built to house all the children that were brought in to the city. It was change I did not agree with.
One change I dealt with was new neighbors. I watched the forest next to my parents property turn in to a upper class haven full of rude arrogant people I never called neighbors. How arrogant? Let’s just say one of the features of this high rolling development were man made ponds in which one of the new residents saw it as a jet ski racetrack… The successful ass also allowed his kids to destroy my folks property and would frequently dump his yard waste. I never rebelled at him as much as I wanted to but I was happy to hear he had to leave that house for breaking the law. What a jerk.
The good thing about Solon is that I had made amazing friends, many of which I still am friends with today. My neighbors growing up put up with parties my brother and I threw. Growing up was great as a kid but when I turned into a teenager and Dunkin Donuts kicked us out of their parking lot or we wanted to see a show Cleveland was just a short drive away.
Solon was a great city to grow up in. Next to a great school system, there were awesome shops including the one of most missed music shops ever, Disc Den (rip). When I was a kid that was the place to go. Mike at Disc Den ran a great shop but could not afford to move on with sales dropping due to corporately run book stores that sold music as well (yes, I worked there, but in my defense I was a barista!!!).
Important people came from Solon as well. Mike Cartellone, once the drummer of Damn Yankees and now current drummer of Lynyrd Skynyrd, was from Solon and he even played football with me when I was just a little tyke. There were even some pro football players born in the city including Kim Herring who was a few grades above me.
So why did I even mention I am Cleveland and where am I going with this? You might be wondering why I just told you my life story and I know it was not that good so let’s continue…
When you grow up you meet friends and lose friends, it’s a life long process. Luckily my close friends happened to like music and hanging out. As soon as I was old enough I started going to Cleveland to see shows. I can not even tell you how many shows I have been to in my life time but I can tell you most of the most memorable took place in the mid to late 90’s, right about the time when I was a raging punk rocker.
Cleveland has some great music venues. I can write all day about the shows I have seen. Bands that were nothing and are huge now I got to see as they hardly had anyone in the crowd cheering for them. Venues that have shut down or moved to the other side of town, been there.
I really don’t feel like writing about all that right now.
I want to talk about two things that recently happened to me that remind me why I like Cleveland so much:
First off…. The Cleveland Browns. I am a Brownie for life and win or lose will always support the team. I recently witnessed the Browns spank the Giants Monday Night Football style. It was a great experience. Even if almost everyone there was drunk and belligerent well before the game even started it was fun.
My brother and I got a pair of tickets so we decided to truck down early to tailgate. As we made way to the community lot we passed the Great Lakes Science Center and the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame Museum. I got to see Johnny Cash‘s tour bus parked in front of the Rock Hall and after checking to see if it was unlocked (I wanted to go on a joyride) we continued to a parking lot about a mile away from the Cleveland Browns stadium.
Tailgating was a treat alone with some folk starting their partying ritual at 9:00am, almost 12 hours before kick off. By the time my brother and I met up with some friends at the community lot around 6:30pm there were people falling over drunk but smiling on the way down. Everyone was decked out in Browns attire and DJs for a day were doing their best to play requests. Food was being consumed and everytime a brave Giants fan walked past crowds of folk would stop during mid beer bong to point and call that fan an a$$h@le. It was funny to see so many people get into it. It was the first time I engaged in tailgating and it certainly will not be the last.
The game itself was even more insane. Yelling and screaming and more drinking. I can honestly say the Browns have the greatest fans ever. We sat pretty far up but it didn’t matter. All the fans around me, many season ticket holders, were great to cheer along with as the Browns beat the Giants 35 to 14.
Another reason I like Cleveland so much… Last Friday’s trip to meet Derek Hess.
I’ve already interviewed the man himself but this past Friday I had the pleasure of meeting him in person.
Along with my wonderful wife, my friends Matt and Adam joined us to a book store in Tremont, a historic neighborhood just outside of downtown Cleveland. We all went to Visible Voice Books where I get to meet Derek Hess and author Kent Smith who both came together and wrote Please God Save Us. Both gentlemen were very kind and autographed my book that Matt purchased for me (thanks pal!). Kent Smith even asked to get a photo of us all where I look like a complete retard in it (see below for proof)! Once I read the book a few times over I will be sure to post something on here about it. If you are a fan of Derek Hess and wish to venture into his politically charged art, you need this book.
After Visible Voice books we went to nearby Lakewood and had dinner at a local bar. The name escapes me at this time but we dined outside at the patio. Even though it was a tad on the chilly side there were gas powered outdoor heaters that kept us warm.
We all sat around and chatted as we ate our meals. While hanging out, I could not help but think how much I have enjoyed Cleveland all these years. It seems like there is always something to do when you you venture in the city. There is also more still to be done and I know there will be many more trips to that wonderful city.
Like I said I could talk all day about Cleveland but just not today. I am sure other folk from Cleveland can agree it is a hell of a city with a lot to offer.
This was my story, for now. Here’s some other photos I took with my crappy camera (except the 1st, that was taken w/ Kent Smith’s camera):