Thursday, October 31, 2013

There Goes My Hero...

Too alarming now to talk about
Take your pictures down and shake it out
Truth or consequence, say it aloud
Use that evidence, race it around

There goes my hero
Watch him as he goes
There goes my hero
He's ordinary

Don't the best of them bleed it out
While the rest of them peter out
Truth or consequence, say it aloud
Use that evidence, race it around

There goes my hero
Watch him as he goes
There goes my hero
He's ordinary

Kudos, my hero
Leaving all the best
You know my hero
The one that's on

There goes my hero
Watch him as he goes
There goes my hero
He's ordinary
There goes my hero
Watch him as he goes
There goes my hero
He's ordinary

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Seasonal Happiness...

One of my favorite Pumpkin beers...and it doesn't hurt it's from one of my favorite breweries.  Just snatched one of the only two cases in North Miami.  I'm gonna suck up and shut up and dream of what Fall must be like in a place where the four seasons exist.  Its been 90-100 degrees here since last February.  I change my underwear twice a day on average.  I have a separate towel in the bathroom just to mop the sweat from my balls from when I have to be outside wading through Hell-midity.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

New Species of Jellyfish Identified in Miami Beach

 Along the beautiful new Flamingo boardwalk in picturesque Miami Beach the creature is found...

The creature is seen here swimming in it's natural habitat looking out towards beautiful downtown Miami.

Closer inspection of the gelatinous zooplankton reveals a reservoir tip most likely used for navigation.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Elevator Small Talk - Miami Style

I'm on the ground floor and step into the elevator with another woman.
I push my floor.  She pushes hers.
Doors open and I step out.

Me: "Goodbye"
Her: "You're Welcome, Thanks"

Sunday, August 11, 2013

C'mon In! We're Closed!

I walk into this new deli/grocery store that recently opened to get a croissant for my daughter.  This place has had pretty good breakfasts in the past, but in Miami Beach nothing gold can stay.  It's one of the main reasons why so many places here don't last.  Everything goes to shit.  Don't even get me started on how my German Hofbrauhaus has somehow slowly morphed into Latin American fusion.
Anyways...I walk in and immediately get stink-eye from the youngest of the two workers.  She looks haggard, like she just walked in from clubbing all-night.  The other one blurts to me, "Can I help you?".
I ask for one croissant.
She taps her watch and says "Papi, nothing is ready...We open at 7"
I look at the clock above her head that reads 7:30.  Instead of arguing, I simply accept the ridiculousness of  living in this fucked up land, and leave with a smile, cursing them under my breath.  I used to work at a deli in Wisconsin & lived in NYC to tell you how it's done in the real world.  Do you think you could show up at a bagel shop in NYC the second the door opens, and not get a bag of warm, delicious bagels? Of course you would!  But I live in the land of idiocy! Usually people will get there an hour or two before you are actually open for business and prepare the food.  I know, this seems like common sense, right?  Not here.  God, I miss America...and stop calling me Papi.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Black Sabbath @ Cruzan Amphitheatre

Black Sabbath Live @ Cruzan Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach, FL - 7/31/13

Black Sabbath came to hot & humid South Florida last evening.  There was barely a breeze to be found in the mass of bodies adding to the heat, along with copious amounts of sweet leaf smoke resting stagnant on top of the crowd.  Andrew W.K. unusually opened the show as a DJ, and he got the crowd amped by cranking deep cuts from the likes of Dio, Rage Against The Machine, Judas Priest and Pantera, to name a few.  The people watching was great.  There were the burn-outs, the metal heads, some weird goth-kids, old farts & whippersnappers...oh my!  In fact, there was a older guy in front of me (late 50's) obviously with his son (late 20's) who was rocking out, fist pumping, shouting along and playing air guitar.  His son kind of stood there embarrassed.  Fuck, I think I was looking at my future!!!
The sun set, and in the darkness behind the massive curtain, Sabbath took the stage to the opening chords of "War Pigs".  They played about a 2 hour set with a great mix of the hits, the classics, some deep cuts, and a refreshing inclusion of a healthy amount from their fantastic new album, 13.  Geezer Butler was my favorite performer of the night.  Watching him play live is just fucking amazing.  Tony Iommi is no slouch either, just shredding on guitar, riff after riff.  The big digital screens on the sides of the stage were actually great for watching all that jaw-dropping finger work.  They also provided some great visuals during the show.  Massive amounts of cocaine mixed with blaxploitation film clips were shown during "Snowblind", all kinds of blood and evil-shit were shown during "Black Sabbath", for "Fairies Wear Boots" there were like goth-steam-punk strippers, and for "Dirty Women" it was like a tribute to Russ Meyer!!!  I've never seen so much tit in a concert!  Their touring drummer, Tony Clufetos, who I guess is from Ozzy's band was also impressive, especially with his explosive solo that I have to admit kept my attention all the way through.
Ozzy was....well, Ozzy.  He was flat a few times in the start, but by the end was a lot more relaxed and stomping around the stage, completely soaked in sweat.  That evil little stutter of a laugh heard on "Black Sabbath" was on the mark and heard every now and then throughout the show, along with a funny "cuckoo" call he kept making whenever the lights were out.  He repeatedly assured the crowd he loved us and then shouted..."I LOVE IT!...SWEATY NUTS!!!" commenting on the ever-present heat & humidity.  Immediately following the next song he spread his legs, reached down and appeared to lift his ballsack up to his shoulders.  Good Times!!!  Setlist was...
1.  War Pigs
2.  Into The Void
3.  Under The Sun
4.  Snowblind
5.  Age Of Reason
6.  Black Sabbath
7.  Behind The Wall Of Sleep
8.  Geezer Bass Solo
9.  N.I.B.
10.  End Of The Beginning
11.  Fairies Wear Boots
12.  Methademic
13.  Rat Salad
14.  Tommy Clufetos Drum Solo
15.  Iron Man
16.  God Is Dead?
17.  Dirty Women
18.  Children Of The Grave
19.  Sabbath Bloody Sabbath Tease
20.  Paranoid

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Flamin' Hot Frito Diarrhea For A Limited Time

I can't believe anyone actually eats this shit. 

This is also what it looks like as it exits your asshole.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Guns In The Sky

Happy Fourth Of July!!!  I hope you are enjoying the fireworks, as I will be indoors so I don't get a bullet in my head.  Forget Roman candles, the common practice here in South Florida is to unload your firearm into the sky.  A number of the Miami populace can't quite grasp the concept of gravity and that what goes up must come down.  It's gotten so bad that a few years back the Mayor of Miami had to enlist local rapper Pitbull (known for such hits as "Papi", "Dukey Love", "Miami Sh*t", "Full Of Shit", and "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)") to spread the word.  The campaign slogan of "One Bullet Kills The Party" is so Miami.  God forbid someone kills the party. 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Tales From The Anhinga Trail

Fuck South Beach.  One of the best destinations in Southern Florida has to be the Anhinga Trail, in the Everglades National Park.  This concrete path to wooden elevated walkways, maneuvers through a saw-grass marsh, where you get to see all the local wildlife in their natural habitat.  Even the actual journey to arrive is a hoot.  Once you get to Florida City, the directions involve taking a left at the famous Robert's (stop on your way back for a milkshake), making a right at the local correctional institution, and driving past all these crop fields and hired harvesters.  In some magical way, upon every visit I witness some kind of memorable moment of nature, be it man or animal.  The following is a "greatest hits" compilation of real life experiences.

Giant sprinkler systems were shooting water way out into the fields as we cruised toward the park.  In the distance we saw some kind of large creature on the side of the road bobbing it's head up and down.  As we got closer, we slowed down and pulled up right along a giant vulture.  I had never seen one this close and it revolted me.  It was an ugly son of a bitch.  It eyed us up, disregarded us as any real threat, and continued to pluck pieces of flesh from some fresh roadkill.

We took a left off the main drag towards the Anhinga Trail. The road cut through trees and brush and as we were almost to the parking area, the pickup truck ahead of us quickly pulled to a stop.  The driver jumped out and motioned for us to stop.  He ran to the otherside of the road and put his hand up for the oncoming traffic to wait as well .  I stuck my head out of the window to see what the fuss was all about and I saw a massive 6 foot long snake stretched out on the pavement, covering both lanes of travel ahead of us.  This driver was obviously a Floridian redneck, as he leapt fearlessly into the brush, proceeded to break off the limb of some tree over his knee, and came running back towards it.    He then began to wrangle the serpent onto the branch.  Once he had it coiled around sufficiently, with a grunt he lifted it up and ran over to the other side of the road, depositing the slithery beast into the brush.  He thanked the opposing commuters for their patience and came running back towards us.  "Python!", he shouted with excitement.  Suffice to say, I won't be pulling over anytime soon to take a leak in any bush near the Everglades.
As soon as you walk through the visitor center, the marsh begins and alligators can be seen everywhere.  The first one I see is a big fellow.  He has a turtle the size of a small Weber grill in his jaws.  He continuously tries to clamp down.  The turtle is at a life-saving angle and is barely resisting being crushed, but he must know he's fucked.  This will still be going on when we leave the park.  Poor bastard.

As we walk to the beginning of the concrete path, another local creature is drawing a small audience.  This alligator is another Big Boy and acting quite lively, stealthily swimming towards the onlookers.  There is a giant carp of some kind floating on top of the water.  The alligator gets near it and snatches it in it's maw.  It carries it to the bank of the marsh and exits the water.  Everyone is snapping pictures of the prehistoric beast proudly displaying this partly decayed fish in the bottom of his jaw.  The fish looks like it's been dead for days.  An opaque film covers it's eyes.  Then in an instant, his jaws snap and this rancid gas wafts into the crowd, making everyone flee in disgust.  I laugh and move on.

Part of the appeal of this park is the real presence of danger.  This isn't anything like a zoo.  The alligators are not in cages and you are walking around watching these deadly beasts in their natural habitat.  The feeling of "who is looking at who?" is in the air.  Sure, there are wooden railings along the path, but it's not unusual to see caution tape in the nearby brush, several feet from where you're stepping with a sign "PLEASE BE QUIET/CAREFUL!  ALLIGATOR NEST!!!".  My favorite are the fat tourists who lean on the rail to get a photo, with their backs to one of these massive prehistoric beasts who are less than 3 feet away.  I'm certain there will be a "When Animals Attack" clip on youtube in their future.
As we get to the first bridge, the concrete path turns into a wooden elevated walkway, and a young boy is at the top of the railing looking over into the marsh below.
"LOOK MA!  BABY ALLIGATORS!!", he cries.
Sure enough, there is a mother alligator swimming through and in her wake are a number of baby alligators following.  As they slowly go under the bridge, I see the boy spit a big, stringy goober.  As the alligators slowly emerge at the other end of the bridge, I see he scored a bulls-eye on a baby alligator's head.  Ah... America.

With our binoculars handy, we witness many different creatures in the surrounding area.  But, the scene that steals the show turns out to be an altercation between a couple of feathered friends. 

My wife and I turned a corner on the winding walkway and were pretty much alone when we came upon two Anhinga birds perched in branches of a nearby tree.  These birds are fairly large, with a very long neck and a long sharply-pointed beak.  One of  the birds pulled it's head back, like a snake about to attack, and dove into the waters below.  When it emerged, it had a fish impaled on it's beak.  We sat there unmoving in awe as it slowly tried to disconnect the fish, and turn it head first into it's mouth.  The other bird watched and waited.  A slight miscalculation, and the bird lost it's prey.  The fish landed in the water, but was mortally wounded and before it could attempt to escape, the other bird snatched it up and landed on the railing maybe five feet from where we were standing.  We didn't move.  In an instant, the first bird flew up and landed on the railing, squawking loudly in disapproval.  The bird-thief flipped the fish in the air, and we could see the meal slowly slide down it's gullet and into it's belly.  The first bird was fucking livid and croaked in anger and then the bird-thief was bellowing back.  All this commotion brought more onlookers, and they crept closer to the birds, some snapping pictures.  There was a final "FUCK YOU!!!" in bird-speech from the one who originally caught the fish and in an instant it took an enormous SHIT OF ANGER all over the railing, splashing onto the walkway.  It was a full bucket of liquid bird shit!  It was the biggest shit I had ever witnessed first-hand in my entire existance.  People jumped back in revulsion, some getting it splashed on their flippy-floppies!  I had never seen so much bird shit and I was laughing my ass off!  Best Day Ever In The Everglades.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Sink Florida Sink

Great article at Rolling Stone on the future of Miami!  It feels like the writer was looking into a crystal ball.  They fictionalize 2030, but anyone who lives here knows it's like playing Russian roulette with every passing hurricane season.  The flooding is getting worse here every year.  During a recent evening of high tide, I witnessed some construction guys operating a backhoe on my street and when it broke through the pavement it looked like a raging river beneath it.  Fucking scary...I seriously think that one day when my daughters tell others they were born in Miami it will invoke the same reaction as if they were naming the lost city of Atlantis.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Dude Looks Like A Lady

Taxi Cab - Miami Beach

It's the thing here in South Beach to put the shitty DJs on the cabs.  I think the new hipster look is to appear as androgynous as possible.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


I'm trying to teach my daughter to count.  We began counting cats, planes, squirrels, etc, but I needed to take her into the double digits so we had to take it to the next level.  The only thing really in abundance living in Miami Beach is trash.  Human and otherwise.  Game on!!!*

*Points based on frequency of average sightings
CLUB FLYERS  - 1 point
McDONALD'S TRASH - 1 point
 DOG SHIT - 5 points

VOMIT- 10 points


BAKER ACTS - 20 points

USED CONDOMS - 25 points
HUMAN SHIT - 25 points
DIRTY UNDERWEAR  - 25 points

WIG OR WEAVE - 30 points



Thursday, May 30, 2013

Sitting Down To Pee

Did you ever see the episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm where Larry David explains why he sits down to pee?  Well, I'm a follower of this philosophy and have been for a while.  Last weekend, I was in Milwaukee staying with my parents.  I woke up in the middle of the night and stumbled blindly down the hall into the bathroom.  The door was open and I slowly made my way fumbling for the toilet to take a much needed piss. It was completely dark and I was blind as a bat.  Half-asleep, I realized I was near the bowl and began to drop my droors and rotated for landing. That's when I sat on my Dad who was obviously two steps ahead of me.  I jumped up and we both screamed.  I started laughing and so did my Pops.  I ran down the hall to the other toilet and as I sat down and urinated, I couldn't stop laughing.  We had a nice chuckle the next morning over coffee and compared notes.  I found out that he lives by the same philosophy!  Good Times!!!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Finally, A Kid I Can Relate To...

Playground at Flamingo Park, Miami Beach, FL

I'm amazed it was written in English.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Tomahawked Scalp & Smeared Human Feces!

Found at the tourist nexus of Lincoln & Alton Rd.

Nothing like a lovely morning stroll in the wastelands of Miami Beach.  You never know what kind of revolting filth you're going to come across! 

Bon Voyage Sash & Keesh!!!  Aren't you gonna miss this Shithole?!?!

Sunday, April 21, 2013


   One evening several years ago, I skipped down the back stairwell and exited into the alley to make a last minute beer run.  I prefer the alleys to streets mainly due to the peace and quiet.  Even with the dumpsters and random trash strewn about, it's still generally cleaner than the sidewalks, littered with various McDonald's wrappers, broken bottles, and dog shit.  Plus,  I'm able to stick to the shadows and not have to walk by any obnoxious tourists.

   As I started down the backstreets of the 1300 block, I slowly approached a bird cage held up on a stand at about eye level.  As I got closer, I noticed a couple cats prowling around and realized that there was still a bird in there.  It was a parakeet of some sort and it hopped about from perch to perch, cocking it's head left and right, seeming to eye me up.  I looked around and there was no one to be seen.  I've never been big on having birds as pets.  I always thought it sad that these creatures of flight be relegated to a prison for the rest of their lives.  Even if it was a pet, what kind of person would just leave it behind their apartment building in an alley full of stray cats?  I looked left and right,  lifted up the tiny cage door and the parakeet hopped to the ledge of the door, looked at me...and flew away into the night.  I know it may have been a death sentence, sending a domesticated, non-native bird into the wastelands of Miami, but I thought if that was me, I'd rather have a few awesome days of just flying my heart out until I die then live in a cage for the rest of my life, pecking at a bell to amuse the person who cleans my shitty newspaper off the bottom of my tiny world.  I smiled and continued on my journey.  When I got back to my apartment, I recanted the whole tale to my wife over a couple of cold, frosty ones.

   The next afternoon, my wife and I were in the apartment and noticed this non-stop chirping coming from our balcony.  We went to the sliding door and there was a parakeet sitting on my railing.  I told her, "That's the parakeet I freed last night!".  "Fuck Off!", she replied.  I slowly opened the door and crept closer to the bird.  It didn't move at all.  It just continued to look me over in that jittery bird manner.   My wife was astounded.  It was the bird from the alley.  I held out my finger as an invitation, thinking it would take off, but instead it hopped on, staring at me, and twitched it's head this way and that.  I couldn't believe it.  My wife grabbed the video camera and we recorded it.  She held out her finger and the bird jumped right on.  He chirped a bit and then suddenly just took off towards the bay.  That was the last I ever saw of my feathered friend.  I believe he stopped by to say "Thank You" before he headed off for the Keys to live it up.  It would be quite a distance for those little wings, but he probably needed the exercise anyways. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Applying Communal Laundry Etiquette To Life In General

From living on the Eastside of Milwaukee to the condo hell of South Beach, I've had my share of abysmal communal laundry room experiences.  There is a certain etiquette that everyone needs to follow, otherwise we have social-appliance anarchy.  Lets face it, some of us have a finite window of opportunity to get our stinky garments clean.  Laundry etiquette dictates that upon completion of the wash cycle, the owner of said civvies will be prompt in taking them out of the washer, moving them to the dryer and again returning once their paid time has expired to retrieve their drapery and vacate the machine for the next poor soul in line.  Also, show some respect and clean the lint trap!  It's bad enough thinking about all the neighborhood pubes that have danced with my sheets, the least you can do is scoop out your own fuzzy fragments.  By the way, I'm being gracious and giving you 10 minutes to return promptly for your washed wardrobe, or else.  It's the 10 minute rule.

I first learned of the 10 minute rule while living in NYC.  It seems everybody lives in peaceful co-existence based on this law of the laundromat land.  If your shit is done and you aren't around in 10 minutes, your shit is going on top of the next washer machine, a vacant chair, or if the person is really nice...placed in an empty dryer.  I never went the placing-in-a-vacant-dryer route for strangers.  If anything, I've wanted to whip my dick out and squirt some piss in your clean garments for not being courteous and prompt with your washing skills.  You should be ashamed of yourself.  It's called TARDiness for a reason, you waste of space.

I've begun to believe that this common courtesy should be applied to life in general, especially when using public property.  Take the other day at the park, for example.

There are four children swings.  Two are for the older cretins and the other two are especially designed for toddlers not to fly out of.  Some nanny had all four swings occupied with her brats of all ages.  Cellphone held to her head and yakking, she would walk to two of them, push lamely with her one available hand and then go to the next pair, alternating feeble shoves so the kids barely moved, more interested in her wireless chatter.  At one point, she was so into her conversation that two of the youngest kids sat there stagnant and confused in the blazing sun.  They sat like this for 10 minutes while Nanny hung up and began to text some guy she was calling Papi, "LMFAO", no doubt.

I need one swing for my daughter.  Just like the 10 minute laundry rule, I should be able to remove the nanny's property and use the public swing while not in use.  I believe it is in my right to just take the toddler out of the swing and lay him in the wood-chips (in the shade of course, I'm not some inhumane brute).  If he's still squirming there and unclaimed when I'm done, I'll be a good soul and put the poor lad back in the safety of the swing.  I won't even attempt to interrupt his guardian's telephone call.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Just Another Day in Hialeah, FL

Ah, Florida...It's been awhile since I've seen a manatee.  At least she has somewhere to put her keys.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Easter!!!

I actually entered this in a children's Easter coloring competition at a neighborhood grocery store on the Eastside of Milwaukee back in the late 90's.  I didn't win, but victory could never have been as sweet as when I gave a copy to my beloved indie record store Atomic Records, who enjoyed it so much that it was displayed in the shop for quite some time.  I miss you Atomic...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Coming Out Of The Coheed & Cambria Closet

The Afterman: Descension (2013)

This band was originally despised by me for no other reason than hating lead singer/songwriter/guitarist Claudio's giant hair and whiny voice.  They were just fucking irritating.  In 2005, I was working as label manager at Eulogy Recordings in Florida and was sent to CMJ in NYC.  I had access to the VIP balcony area for the Coheed & Cambria show.  I was really only there for the free drinks and food, and was more looking forward to seeing Diamond Nights and Against Me! in the coming days.  I had a nice buzz going on and saw a tray of hors d'oeuvres going round that looked tasty & meaty, and as I made my way to attack they were slowly being picked off one by one.  I moved in on the last morsel on the tray and another hand went for it.  I was faster, popped it in my mouth and smiled at the loser.  It was Matt Pinfield of MTV!  Ha!!!  Unknown to me, he was also the VP of A&R for Coheed's label Columbia Records.  I remember he looked like he didn't think it was as funny as I did.  Anyhoo, the lights went out and C&C went on.  I wasn't paying too much attention, then I heard the Zeppelin-esque stomp of "Welcome Home" kick in and squirmed my way to the rail to get a view.  There was a giant guillotine behind the band and this massive head of hair bouncing above a double-necked guitar that was being brutally fondled.  It was this performance that had me hooked.  That song to me is still the C&C music factory at their peak.
"Welcome Home (edit)" 
Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV Volume One: From Fear Through The Eyes Of Madness (2005)

Since that pinnacle album, they've put out Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV Volume Two: No World For Tomorrow (2007), Year Of The Black Rainbow (2010), and last year's The Afterman: Ascension.  All of which had occasional moments of greatness, like the songs "Feathers", "Far" and  title track "The Afterman".  I warily picked up Descension, thinking it was going to be more of the same, but happily I was wrong.  It's hard to define Coheed & Cambria.  If I could just throw my darts at the musical genre board, I guess it would be a combination of classic rock influenced, post emo-core/progressive leaning Album-Oriented-Rock.  That definition alone should have most people running away from The C&C Heaven's Fence universe also known as The Keywork (made up of 78 planets, divided into 12 sectors; each sector given a representing planet with 5 following planets, powered by 7 Star Transformers).  Is anybody still reading this?

As far as this long running sci-fi/fantasy story....I honestly don't know what the fuck is going on, I had to google the shit above, but I still enthusiastically sing along to..."You stormed off to scar the armada, Like Jesus played martyr, I'll drill through your hands, The stone for the curse you have blamed me, With love and devotion, I'll die as you sleep...".  Which brings us to the reason of this post, their latest album The Afterman: Descension. 

Though not quite as classic as IV: Volume One, it's definitely a worthy stab at greatness and a surprisingly early favorite for my best of 2013.  In fact, it seems to be just getting better and better with each re-visitation.  I always felt what worked best on IV: Vol. 1 was the 50/50 combination of melody & emotion/quiet & loud that ran throughout the album.  Those golden moments have never been touched with the same one-two punch until The Descension, in my opinion.  The sap runs sticky-icky-ooh-eee on this one.  Near the end of the album, when companion/computer system All Mother asks main character/cosmonaut Sirius Amory, "I am not equipped to comprehend human rationale...Sirius...Is this what love is?" and after a long, breathy pause he replies "...Yes.", my wife's eyes rolled and a very vocal "UUUGGH" came out of her mouth as my finger itched to push advance to relish the next final track.  There's so many good-uns on this one.  From chug-a-chug rockers like "The Hard Sell", to sing-along, dramatic heavy ballad heart-tuggers like "Dark Side Of Me", to diverse pop-songs like "Number City" almost delving into Michael Jackson territory (complete with horns, Fuck You very much).

Like I've said, this is not going to be for everyone.  It's pretty fucking nerdy.  I mean, how much more nerdier can you get than a constant barrage of song titles like "Key Entity Extraction V: Sentry The Defiant"?  Especially not only with their prog-rock and sci-fi leanings which have been likened to Rush, but as well as Claudio's vocals, which have been compared to Geddy Lee himself.  That voice, which was once thought of as annoying to me is actually quite versatile, and with how it's mixed and layered (along with his amazing guitar work) creates a lush sonic universe.

If you've tried C&C before and didn't like, then you probably still won't care for, but if you were a fan of IV and gave up soon after, this installment is definitely worth turning the ship around for.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Twilight: Breakin' 2 - Electric Boogaloo

After seeing the latest & last (thank God) installment of the Twilight franchise, I am happy to give you the best part of the movie.  You need see no more...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Masked Intruder @ Churchill's Pub

Friday, February 22, 2013 - Churchill's Pub, Miami, FL

 (I know this photo sucks, but it's the only one I snapped due to the flash on my phone going off like a neutron bomb...I thought I paralyzed the band)

Ah, Churchill's...Every time I'm looking for a parking spot, driving through the wastelands of Little Haiti, I tell myself this is the last time I'll ever be visiting, but somehow I always come back.  I circled the area for about 15 minutes, looking for a safe and legal place to park.  In the past, the local derelicts would ask for a dollar to make sure your car is safe (you always give it to them or forfeit your windows smashed & tires slashed), now they are wearing orange "construction" vests and directing you where to park.  One guy was telling me to straight-up park on the sidewalk blocking both directions.  Since I didn't have a good feeling about my car being there when I returned, I decided to keep looking.  I was almost ready to go home, but found a spot about two blocks down on NE 54th St.  There was some kind of strip-mall church on the same block with people hanging outside, so I told myself that I should be relatively safe here, being their religious and the 10 commandments, or whatnot.  I got out of the car and slipped into the shadows, making a b-line for the venue, hoping not to be seen or mugged.  

The venue itself is an anomaly in Miami for not being the usual glossy, high end techno dance club.  It is loud, scuzzy, and most definitely has that CBGB's charm.  And just like the famous Country, BlueGrass & Blues, if possible, try not to use their's fucking nasty.  Beer is pretty cheap for Miami standards, but the people are mainly loud, obnoxious hardcore-knuckleheads.  They have that unique Floridian flair where it's not unusual to see a studded leather jacket combined with a feathered Justin Beiber haircut.  But whatever, after their self-titled debut making my 2012 "best of", nothing could ruin my anticipation to see Masked Intruder.  Yet another great band hailing from Wisconsin (Madison) and recently signed to big-punk-rock-indie Fat Wreck Chords, Blue (lead singer/guitarist), Yellow (bassist/singer), Red (drummer), & Green (guitarist/singer) combine to create an amazing blend of bouncy, melodic pop-punk with a stalker-like, hopeless romantic Ramones crunch.  I loved their debut album, but little did I know that their live show would eclipse it.  

After the band (sans masks) set up, they all left the stage to the back area.  I think maybe 10% of the audience knew their schtick.  Sure enough, 15 minutes later the music playing in the bar dies down and local DJ Skidmark welcomes Masked Intruder.  Police sirens blared over the PA, as the four masked men made their way through the unsuspecting crowd to the stage, followed by someone dressed like a cop, later revealed as their parole officer (who stood behind them, watching the entire show and never breaking character).  They immediately burst into their best sing-along "Stick 'Em Up" and won the crowd over.  They rolled through a majority of songs from their latest album including "25 To Life", "How Do I Get To You?", "Unrequited Love" & "Why Won't You Love Me In Real Life".   They also played 2 or 3 new songs that sounded fantastic and super dance-y (wish I could remember their names), most likely from their upcoming album this year on Fat.  For a relatively new band, they didn't look green is the slightest.  They were a tight, well-honed machine and the crowd reacted to it appropriately.  Like the cherry on top, they had that special band-to-audience factor.  There was lots of hilarious banter going on.  They all spoke in these over the top NY accents, like they were the T-Birds from the movie Grease.  Blue (adorned with spectacles over his mask), found a girl in the crowd and asked her "Hey there...You here alone tonight, honey?...Am I embarrassing you?" and dedicated one of my favorite songs "Crazy" to her.  Then, Blue announced they were going to steal a few songs and play couple of covers.  Green reminded everybody that it "...ain't stealing if you ain't caught" and they broke into The Outfield's "Your Love".  The bassist, Yellow sang this one and they all pounced together in all the right places to make it the best version of that often-covered song I've ever heard.  From there, Green ironically sang Green Day's "She".  The entire place went nuts.  It was the most energetic performance of the night.  After a brief breather for all involved, Blue asked everyone not to try to sing along to the next one "You'll confuse yourselves, just snap your fingers like this...".  The entire band let their instruments fall to their sides and began snapping and singing acapella doo-wap style.  As soon as the second verse ended, they exploded into "Wish You Were Mine" and the audience who were staring at these guys previously harmonizing sweet doo-doo-da-doo-doo's were caught off guard and immediately were sent into a frenzy.  They ended their set, said goodnight and I genuinely believe they weren't going to play an encore song.  After all, they were the opener for the opening band .  People loved them though, and they looked at the DJ who was ready to announce the next band and said they had time for one more.  They tore into the tiny morsel "Gimme Parole" off their earliest EP First Offender.  In one minute it was over and they said good-night for real.  They probably played a 25-30 minute set, and I think everyone was taken aback by how good they were.  Even DJ Skidmark who was kind of crusty and older said something like, "Everyone give it up for Masked Intruder!  Wow, that was great!  How have I never heard of you guys?!  Everyone buy a T-shirt or CD...maybe someone in the band can give me a cd, how about it?!".  It was a great show.  One of those shows you feel lucky to have witnessed.  My only gripe was that they didn't play my favorite track "Hello Beautiful", but I forgive them.

I walked into the night with a smile on my face, knowing I had one of those rare occasions of seeing a band in their prime on the verge of greatness.  I hastily walked to my car, my pockets bulging with merch, hoping to make it without getting a bullet between the eyes, or my hubcaps stolen, or "Honky Lips" spray painted on my vehicle. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

You Know What I'm Sick Of ?...

Longboards.  Get a normal skateboard.  Get rid of the flippy-floppies and put on a pair of sneakers, like a Man.  Don't forget your white sunglasses & to pop your collar before you head out, to complete your transformation into a total South Beach waste of space.  Now go ride in the street, asshole.  I'm not moving over on this sidewalk.  Turn up those headphones & keep texting while you head into that upcoming intersection, *douche-bag.
*click on the photo above to go to the OFFICIAL douchebags on longboards blog! yep, it exists!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Top 5 Reasons To Come To South Beach


Located on the ground level of the massive parking garage at 1111 Lincoln Rd on Lenox Ave, is the only real reason to come to South Beach.  One of the only enjoyable, laid back, casual dining experiences you'll ever have in this land of overpriced/underwhelming Latin-infused-name-your-ethnicity-food establishments.  It makes sense that something so good has been transplanted here, based on the original from NYC.  There are a lot of burger places springing up, but nothing makes me happier than Shake Shack.  People may argue Burger & Beer Joint is better, but the Shack is just a tastier burger, the portions are just perfect (as to not make you sick) and as opposed to B&B, a visit has never resulted in explosive diarrhea.  Every time I order, I ask them how business is doing.  Nobody here has good taste and I will be devastated if they leave Miami Beach before I do.  Without further ado, the only 5 reasons to come to South Beach...

1.  16 oz. ShackMeister Ale!!!

 This delicious amber ale from Brooklyn Brewery is exclusive to Shake Shack and arrives cold & sweaty in a plastic pint.  Suck up while you wait for your food buzzer to come alive.  It goes down easy...

2.  Double Shackburger!!!

100% all-natural Angus beef.  No hormones and no antibiotics ever.  They grind their proprietary Shack blend fresh daily.  Their burgers are cooked medium unless otherwise requested.  Topped with lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions and ShackSauce.  I love you...

3.  Cheese Fries!!!

 Topped with Shack Cheddar and American cheese sauce, these fries are crinkly tater pieces from Heaven.  Share with your mate or tell them to get their own.

4.  Another 16 oz. ShackMeister Ale!!!

Wash down all that goodness with another frosty one.  

5. ________________________

There is no 5.  The only reasons to come to South Beach are listed above.  Now get the Hell outta here before you are killed crossing the street, robbed with a sub-machine gun in your back, or die of skin cancer.