The Adventures of Jackie and The Treehorns

The band Jackie and The Treehorns (disclaimer: I am a member) have released the first episode of their new official comic strip “The Adventures of Jackie and The Treehorns.” Each strip will be based off a song in their catalog. In the debut story the band encounters an alien while on tour. Only this time, it is the band that does the abducting. You can click on the image to view the strip in a web page, which gives you a higher resolution imagery.

RU4REAL

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Official Website

5 Myths About Playing In A Band

Women in band fighting over man

“I love Jackie!” “No, I love Jackie!!!!”

I have been playing in bands since the day after I bought my first guitar. I took my bar mitzvah money and purchased some cheap-ass imitation Stratocaster the same week a close friend decided he wanted to play drums. We recruited another classmate to play bass, another friend to play guitar, and High Voltage was formed in 1986 (you do the math how old I am now). I have played in 2,673 bands since (minus a few thousand).

Throughout my musical career (I use that term very loosely in that having a career in something usually means you actually make money doing it and, you know, do it full-time, neither of which I do) I have had many great moments, some okay moments, and plenty of that-fucking-sucked moments. If there is one thing you should expect when forming a band it’s that it is never going to be what you expect it to be.

Today, being that it’s been a while since I wrote any sort of “list” for BumsLogic, I have decided to come up with a list of 5 myths about playing in bands. These are mostly based off what people who don’t play in bands think about those of us that do. I shall pre-apologize for my cynicism. My pen name should’ve given that away before you even read this.

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Interview With TrampStamp Record’s Mick Longstein

As I enter TrampStamp Record’s downtown New York City office building I am immediately greeted by a man named Bruno. Bruno is well dressed, in his early 30’s, slender, and fit. He’s wearing a $3000 Armani suit. Black. He is wearing Ray Ban aviators inside the building. A little wire is dangling off his ear and down the side of his neck. He leans his head to his left and speaks to his shoulder.

“He’s here.”

Pause.

“Ok.” he says to his shoulder.

“Follow me.”

One awkward elevator ride later I am sitting in the waiting room of a posh multi-million office decorated with hallways of gold records, photos of famous musicians, and one fantastic gold plated door that leads to the office of the man who made all of it possible. That man is none other than the legendary Mick Longstein.

Bruno leads me in.

“How you doin?” Mr. Longstein asks.

“I’m good, how are you Mr. Longstein?”

“Please, please. Call me Mick. This ain’t no Wall Street bank aight?”

Moments later, after some small talk and the usual pleasantries I am finally able to get to the reason I am here: to interview a master of the arts.

Let’s start at the beginning. How did TrampStamp Records get its start?
Mick Longstein: 
When I was about 18 years old a few of my associates and myself took over a little night club in Brooklyn. Well, once we had it up and runnin’ we need somethin’ to, you know, draw the people from the neighborhood in to start spending their hard earned cash..with us. I had a cousin who started a little rock and roll/do wop outfit, The Dick Ritchie Valens Quartet, so we booked ’em to play 7 nights a week, 6 shows a night. Well, a few years later and we got all this cash flowing through the club but, you know, we ain’t gonna play Uncle Sam any of that cut. So we started a, umm, a subsidiary. Yea. That’s it. And we figured, hey, let’s expand our empire into this music business. So we started TrampStamp Records.

Let me get this straight, so TrampStamp Records was originally a front? A place to launder your cash?
ML: Hey buddy, who said anythin’ about laundering money huh? I got no fuckin’ clue what you mean by that. Next question!

Ok. Who was the first artist you signed?
ML: Let me think about that one, cause, you know, my memory ain’t too good no more. You know, it was Blue Lou Boyd & The Chesterfields.

Who had the big hit “Am I Lying?”
ML: Yea, that was a big hit for sure. We made our first million off a that one. I bought my first wife a mink coat with those proceeds.

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The Russian Incident

“Two and a half years!”

I am sitting with Gringo Starr, former drummer for Jackie & The Treehorns as he sips an espresso, noshes on a fish taco, and tells me his story.

“Two and a half years I spent in that gulag. Because of him.”

The “him” Gringo is referring to is known simply as Jackie. While many have written about him, few actually know the man.

‘Shady, elusive, arrogant, slutty’ are some of the words Mr. Starr uses when describing Jackie. Then he pauses in quiet contemplation and continues.

“But he’s also a genius.”

In what he now calls his “previous life” Gringo Starr was the drummer for Jackie & The Treehorns. A world-renowned rock group with an enigmatic frontman. While on tour in Russia with the group, Starr was arrested for indecent exposure after being caught receiving oral sex in an alley from a fan. He was sentenced to three years in a Russian gulag. While reports vary and rumors have swirled around the music industry and State Department for years, Gringo claims that only he and Jackie know what actually occurred that night.

“It’s simple. He left me. I was backstage with this super hot Ukrainian chick–cause Jackie always had hot international chicks around–and we were getting down. Well, she was going down I mean. Next thing I know, I’m skinning goats for Siberian farmers in the dead cold of a Russian winter.”

The story goes that while Gringo was encouraged by Jackie to partake in his post-show activities, once in the act, Jackie instructed his tour entourage to leave the venue, essentially deserting Gringo in an unknown land which led to his eventual arrest and incarceration.

“I mean, if he wanted me out of the band, he could’ve gone about it another way. That was kinda harsh, no? I hadn’t even finished yet!” says Gringo while inhaling a filterless Camel cigarette.

He continues, “Remember that scene in Almost Famous where the tour bus leaves the rest stop and Jason Lee’s character chases it screaming, ‘oh, it’s okay, it’s easy to leave me. I’m only the lead singer!!!”, well, that is what I felt like. Then I realized, shit, I’m only the drummer!”

“The Russian incident…it was tragic.” says Heshel Treehorn, Jackie’s long time manager.

“But it paved the way for Jackie’s amazing concept album The Russian Incident. It’s a story of one man’s struggles to cope with being a stranger in a strange land. But it’s kind of like Gringo’s sperm that night: it never got released.”

Jackie himself has refused to comment on the incident leaving his fans and the media with only speculation about what really happened that night.

“I’ve called, emailed, faxed, tweeted, and facebook-friended the U.S. State Department about this and they won’t return my calls.” says über Jackie fan Clarice of the band Clarice & The Lotion Baskets.

“I even put in a formal freedom of information request, but they keep telling me they have no ‘Jackie’ in their records. How is that even possible? Who doesn’t know Jackie?”

Gringo and Clarice will soon get a chance to tell their sides of the story in the upcoming Worthy Bros. documentary The Jackie Movie, which is scheduled for a Fall 2013 release.

“I am looking forward to exposing Jackie to the world for whom he really is.” says Gringo.

An interesting choice of words considering his history.

The WHO? Pop-Culture Shock at a Pizza Place

It certainly wasn’t my first old-guy moment. It probably won’t be the worst one I’ll ever have; in fact, it wasn’t so much an old-guy moment as it was a case of pop-culture shock.

On my way home from work on a recent Friday, I stopped into a nearby location of the regional pizza franchise PizzaBoli’s to pick up a couple pies I’d phoned in. The young girl at the counter, dead-eyed and slightly confused, says, “What does your shirt mean? I don’t get it.”

the who logo shirt“You don’t get it? Oh, it says The Who,” and I point out the lettering which is black on a dark background so I thought maybe she didn’t notice it and just saw the target and arrow up.

“What’s that mean? I don’t get it.”

“It’s the band, THE WHO.”

And she’s saying “Oh I never heard of them” while I was already babbling on about how “it’s kinda hard to see the lettering… or… were you confused by the arrow as if it was supposed to be pointing up at me like Who is this guy?”  Like I was trying to let her off the hook for not noticing what it said or something and then I realized that she really had never heard of The Who and probably thought I had on some random shirt of my friend’s band or some other “Never Hearduvums” and so I just had to ask….

“Wait, you’ve never heard of The Who?”
“No… sorry…”

I figured, okay she’s pretty young and so I turned to her PizzaBoli’s Teammate, I wish I’d gotten his name, he was a mousey lookin’ fella, very short reddish hair with a tightly trimmed matching mustache, let’s call him Chet. He certainly wasn’t as old me, but at first glance he had to be at least 30ish, but even if he was only 25 I figured it would balance out the possibly 16-year-old cashier. So I asked him…

“You’ve heard of the The Who, right?” Now I’m kinda point-framing the iconic logo as I leaned over the counter so he could see it. “The classic rock band? The Who?” I asked, certain that he was about to give me the “Oh yea, The Who. What about ’em?”

But he just shook his head sheepishly. “No, sorry…”

“You’ve never heard of THE WHO?”
“I’m really not much of a music guy.”
After a dumbfounded pause, I somehow managed to keep my composure. “Okay, fair enough… uh, you’ve heard of The Beatles, right?”
“Well yea…”
“Of course, The Who aren’t quite The Beatles, but I just thought you’d…”

…and I just trailed off. I knew I couldn’t go all DFENS on ’em like Michael Douglas in Falling Down, though a part of my brain wanted to. And I’m not even that much of a Who fan!

It’s not like I was wearing my Replacements shirt; The Who aren’t exactly something obscure, I mean I got the shirt at fucking Target! And it’s also a pretty iconic logo. I wasn’t asking them to sing or name songs. I could understand the young girl, but the other dude… They did play the Super Bowl a few years ago, they show up at every 121212 Sandy Relief 911 Concert for NY type event, awards shows, wherever they can get out there and have Roger Daltrey show us his Ken-doll plastic, oddly buff orange chest while Pete Townshend does 20,000 windmill moves to the point of self-parody…. Like ’em or not, and I realize they aren’t quite as well-known as the Rolling Stones or Led Zeppelin, but….. WHO THE FUCK HAS NEVER HEARD OF THE WHO?

Meanwhile, The Who aren’t even from my generation, pardon the pun. I was born in 1970, after the Beatles broke up, and month before Jimi Hendrix died (yet somehow I’ve heard of them).  Told ya this wasn’t really an old-guy incident.  Seriously, this isn’t about me being too old.  You can stay on my lawn. If I was 70 and some kids never heard of Frank Sinatra, I would just assume they’re too young… but this felt different. It was just odd… it was actually quite shocking on some level.

I love The Who. I’ve often considered writing something about them, and it sucks that it had to happen like this. Even though I was always much more partial to John Bonham and Mitch Mitchell, drummer Keith Moon was an absolute monster. I actually think Tommy and Quadrophenia are a bit bloated and could be intimidating for most listeners. Go crank up Who’s Next and picture feeling that kind of rock’n’roll power putting that record on for the first time way back in 1971. Those intros to “Baba O’Reilly” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again” musta blown people’s minds back then!

Anyway, I wish I’d stayed to check if they’d heard of Hendrix, the Stones, Zeppelin and a couple of others. Maybe next time, because I do like PizzaBoli’s, who I’ve now mentioned by name three times in hopes of getting free pizza when this article goes viral.

So I walk out with my pizzas, and echoing through the shopping center is the familiar sound of the Rolling Stones (in the case, the song “Shattered,”) blasting from a speaker outside the Radio Shack. Yes, the Radio Shack. With Mick Jagger imploring me to look at him, he’s in tatters, I’m not even sure what planet I’m on. The economy’s been in the toilet for like 6 years and somehow Radio Shack is still in business selling little fuses and plugs and batteries and bullshit that nobody needs and I just met two people who never heard of The Who.

Pass Me the Mic

Being a contributor to a blog that has a primary focus on music, it can be intimidating for me to step into the arena to discuss music from a non-musician’s standpoint. Any notion I had of being a musician was completely disabused in grade school after my third grade teacher took away my triangle and told me that perhaps my talents would be better suited for handing out the programs to the school pageant rather than performing in it. Looking back it was probably for the best. I have the neither the skills nor patience (read rhythm) to play a musical instrument so why try to force the matter from such a young age. It didn’t matter if I couldn’t strum to a time measure because I could sure as shit distribute leaflets littered with the names of other kids that could keep a beat.

Over the years I was able to reconcile with the truth and face the fact that I will never be a musician. To be perfectly honest, I am 100% OK with that. You see, to me music is very much like magic and I loves me some magic. Now I am not referring to made up magic like dragons and ferries and shit like that but magic that one might catch at a show at a casino on the strip in Vegas. Show me a card trick and I will probably be stupefied by your skills of slight-of-hand. The only problem I have with magic tricks is that I want to know how they are done so I will take to the youtubes and watch people perform a trick over and over again until I think I grasp  the basics of how the tricks was executed. This repeated viewing comes with an expense as once I understand the trick I become less fascinated in the trick and to a greater extent all illusions as a whole. If I were to study magic I truly believe that I would lose most of my interest because as it stands my fascination stems from not knowing.

The example of magic is one of the primary reasons I love music. I have sat in numerous conversations with musicians as they discussed things like ‘bridges’ and ‘breakdowns’ and all I can do is nod my head and wonder ‘what the fu…’ To me, not knowing how a piece of music is created is the same as fucking card trick. I feel like if I know how it’s done it will lose its luster. What I am saying, sometimes not knowing is awesome. Do I really want to know how Beck comes up with his compositions? How Radiohead decides on the arrangements of their synth sounds?  What was Hendrix thinking when he would sneak in extra notes in a solo? Do I want to know the answers to these questions? Hell yes and at the same time, never in a million years. In a way magic and music are the same things to me, both are mystifying and extremely fascinating.

However, on that note…
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A Music Confession

A few months ago Bums Logic’s own Todd Levinson Frank converted ownership of a wide collection of albums from various recording artists to me. My first confession: despite the fact that TLF had passed the music onto me months ago, it was only recently that I loaded the music on my iPod. While most people are quick to add new music to their libraries, for some reason it took me a few months to get around to it. On a side note, this is something that TLF knows about me all too well, as he once suggested a list of people to follow on twitter that I still have yet to ‘follow’ but I digress.

A waste of space.

I added this image in the hopes that you would read it and thus taking up at least five seconds of your time. Thanks for reading.

The list of artists in the collection that Todd provided is rather expansive and that stands as one of the reasons that I delayed the full addition to my music library. My point: if I were to add all of them at once, it is unlikely that any of the artists would be given the undivided attention that they deserve. Bands pour so much time and effort into their recordings and giving their work only a simple cursory listen is nearly equal to a slap in the face. Think about it. Suppose you spent time on a project of any particular discipline wouldn’t you be a bit put off if everyone simply provided it a perfunctory amount of their attention? I know I would.

I can imagine that many of you are thinking, ‘Wow, that is some confession. I hope you feel better after alleviating such a huge burden.’ Well as I stated earlier, that was my first confession.  You see there is more.

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60 Days of The Circle Six: A True Story

WE GET LETTERS:  This story was sent to us by longtime fan and friend Andy S. aka Da Slob. We take his word that this story is true, and we’re glad to still be touching lives and annoying people all these years later…

By ANDY S. aka DA SLOB

I’m pretty sure I’m the only person in the world this has ever happened to….

A few years ago, I was getting ready to drive across town to meet some friends. Normally I’m never in the car for more than 10-15 minutes at a time, most of where I go and what I need are pretty close. But for this trip, I was looking at a good 40-45 minutes in the car, an eternity for me as far as In-the-Car-Time goes.

So before I left I thought, “I should grab a few fresh CDs for the ride.” Yes, my car still has a CD player, and yes I still listen to CDs. I haven’t bought one in years, but I have a crate full of them… dating back to the dawn of the CD. I keep a handful of them in my car, in the door compartment or map holder. (Remember maps?)

Anyway, when the 6 radio presets all come up a commercial or crap, I’ll reach into the stack of 20 or so CDs and blindly take one out. But I’d been pulling from the same stack for a while. So when I said “grab a few fresh CDs for the ride,” that really meant going into the crate and picking out a handful of CDs I hadn’t heard in a while. I don’t remember exactly which CDs I grabbed, but it was something like…  Rage Against The Machine: The Battle of Los Angeles, Cypress Hill: Temples Of Boom, Q-Tip: Amplified, Jane’s Addiction: Nothings Shocking, etc.

However, I DO remember one in particular…The Circle Six: Gravity Hits. I had listened to that album hundreds, maybe thousands of times. But that was way back in The Sunnyside days of the 1990’s in Morgantown, WV.

I’m guessing from the dust, I hadn’t heard the album since somewhere around 2002. It was the first one I dropped in the deck before I backed out of the driveway. And then….

The Frank bass…the Todd drums…the Rubin guitar…the Joey P. congas…and also…The COD.

Oh yeah, I remember this album like it was yesterday.

(Note: This is not an album review of The Circle Six Gravity Hits. It’s a story, just like the title says. And better yet …a true story. But in order to get to the heart of it, you have to ride along with me through the first few songs on the album. It’s all part of the story.)

The album kicks off with the title track and The COD makes his debut. Like the second coming of Zack de la Rocha, he jumped on the scene and punished the mic with furious lyrics. All backed by a band with a style that couldn’t really be labeled in 1995. Blues? Rock? Punk? Funk? Hip Hop?

No one was really sure.

This album was, and still is…the shit. As I listened, I began to realize how ahead of its time it was.  I mean… Jesus… it’s been almost 20 years since it came out! And then I started thinking, “Damn… back in 1995, before Eminem, Fred Durst and Kid Rock, there was The COD.” [Editors note: Really? Fred Durst and Kid Rock? You had to go there?]

A few minutes into the drive and we move on to the second track “Access.” After settling in, The COD hits you with a more laid back style. But even laid back, he’s still just as menacing. As he proceeds to calmly demand your milk money, COD also reminds you that “I might be a pussy, but I won’t back down.” And also, “If you step up to me, all you’ll find in your face is a size 11 Nike with the big fat laces.”

I cranked it up a bit as I got to the bridge (not the musical bridge in the song, an actual bridge) doing 60 mph with the windows down. Next up was the third track “Tricks of the Trade.” As some fans may know, when the album gets to Track 3, the volume increases significantly. I’m still not sure if this was a production error, or a brilliant plan by The Circle Six to automatically raise the volume and crank that shit up. We may never know.

So “Tricks of the Trade” is blaring pretty loud. The band is fucking tearing it up, and COD is taking it to another lyrical level. “All my competition, don’t gimme no beef. It’s kinda hard busting rhymes, all gums and no teeth.” I’m getting my head nod on, singing along, and exiting the bridge into regular city traffic.

I pull up to a traffic light, windows down, and Track 4, “Sold” comes on. At this point, without the wind and noise from going  60 mph, it’s probably a tad too loud at a city traffic light.

I’m not, and will never be…that guy. Blaring your car music for the rest of the world to hear is not cool, unless you’re playing something I like, then it’s OK. It wasn’t too loud, but loud enough to make me lower it a bit.

I went to lower the volume, and skip ahead to Track 5. No disrespect to “Sold,” it’s a great track, but I was buried in 1995, listening to the COD spit the angst of my Early 20’s. So I reached to lower the volume and skip to “Microphone Check.”

And then it happened….and I remind you again, this is NOT fiction…

I pressed the volume down button…it didn’t go down.

I pressed the forward button to skip to “Microphone Check.” It didn’t go forward. I pressed the back button to go back to “Tricks of the Trade.” It didn’t go back.

The red light turns green, and I’m still bumpin’ “Sold” at a medium to high volume. At the next red light I pressed the Mode button to switch to the FM pre-sets… it didn’t switch. AM pre-sets? Nope.

NONE of the fucking buttons on the stereo worked anymore!

The actual disc that got stuck.

After about 30 seconds of pressing every button, I decided to pay attention to the road, enjoy the music and deal with it when I arrived. About 25 minutes into the trip, I’m speeding over another bridge and “Sickman” is rockin” at what seems like an appropriate volume. But the thought of my car stereo being broken still nagged at me every few minutes. I kept pressing buttons. Nothing.

I pull up to another red light, windows down, volume a bit too high…and “The Riot Song” comes on.

I start remembering the lyrics and begin thinking “Oh man, are these lyrics appropriate for a city street corner?” I mean, “The Revolution’s here and we’re in command!” I can’t bump that here! It’s 2010, I may get questioned by Homeland Security for this!”

“The Riot Song” is blaring out the windows on a city street corner. I roll the windows up and keep pressing buttons. Nothing.

I make my way across town. I’m getting closer and “Dodge” keeps me company. It’s harmless at city red lights. Nothing but a pure badass instrumental jam session by the C-6 Squad, while the COD takes a quick breather.

Pulling up to one of the last red lights, I’m almost there. But the COD jumps back in and starts some street corner trouble again…”He’s just trying to act black, what the hell is that? Tell me how do you think a black man acts?!”

In a last-ditch effort, and exactly like it happened in Willy Wonka, I pressed the one button I had not tried…The ON/OFF button. It worked! The radio was off. I pulled into my destination. Victory!

Still not wanting to leave well enough alone, I hit The ON/OFF button again. Surely it was all fixed, right? I hit the eject button. Nothing. I hit all the other buttons. Nothing. But wait…

Gravity Hits started to play again… from the beginning. And that’s when it really happened….

Over the next few days, I pressed every button, pried with a screwdriver, turn ON, turn OFF.

Nothing.

It was either Gravity Hits or nothing. And even better/worse, the volume was stuck at about 7. AND… you couldn’t change the track! AND… if you turned it off, it started over at the beginning! I kid you not….

And thus began… The 60 Days of The Circle Six.

The next day, I got a phone call while I was driving, and it was the first time I realized the new “game” I had to play…everyday. I can’t hear the caller over the blare of the C-6, but if I turn it off, I start over at Track 1 again. Some days I never made it past “Sold,” other weeks I vowed to ignore all calls while driving and make it to the final track “Money or the Freedom.”

People might ask, “Why didn’t you just get it fixed or buy a new stereo? What are you, an idiot? You listened to the same album for 2 months?”

Yes… yes I did. And I’m still not sure why.

I suppose it was a return to the past, and a “game” of sorts. Aside from the actual guys in The Circle Six, I doubt anyone knows the album better than me now. I know every note and every word (not necessarily by choice though).

Like I said in the beginning, I’m pretty sure this has never happened to anyone else. After a week or two, it just became the norm. Turn it on, turn it off. If you turned the car off, it started back where it left off. If you hit the OFF button…it started over from the beginning.

That means I heard the songs “Gravity Hits,” “Access,” and “Tricks of the Trade” more times than anyone on the planet.

Kinda like the old question, “If you could only bring one album to a deserted island, what would it be?”

Except…I didn’t get to choose the album, it chose me.

Once 30 days had turned to 60 days, something had to be done. I couldn’t listen this album forever, right? So I went at it again. Pressed all the buttons. Turn on, turn off, pry with a screwdriver, disconnect.

Nothing.

I was resigned to the fact that it was time to head to Circuit City (RIP) and remedy this once and for all. Maybe I can still get the guys at the stereo shop to get the CD out, maybe not. If not, I’ve heard it enough times that I don’t really need it anymore. It’s burned in my brain.

So one last time, I powered it off, powered it on, hit the Eject button and…

I shit you not…it popped out!

Early on, after trying for a few days… I gave up. And yet… it popped out after 2 months! If I had hit eject after 2 weeks, would it have popped out? If not, then when? Was it possessed? (Was it The Six?)

More importantly, I now have to think twice each time I put a new CD in. And ponder the question…”Will I be stuck with this album for the next 60 days? and… am I OK with that if it happens?”

In the case of Gravity Hits… I’m glad it happened.

So…anyone else ever have the same thing happen to them?

.

Guest columnist Andy S. (aka Da Slob) is a WVU grad (Class of 1995) and founder of Aloof Promos. He now resides in Charleston, SC. Follow him on Twitter: @aloofpromos.

Listen and/or download The Circle Six Gravity Hits album for free by clicking HERE.

Welcome to Twitter, Asshole!

I’d like to think of myself as a pretty tech savvy guy. I design and develop web sites, I record music, I write on this blog, I use the email. For all its social value in self and/or band promotion I have still shunned Facebook for years and will continue to do so, probably, forever. But the other big “social media” boom of the past few years has been Twitter. Maybe there was something there for me.

Today, I signed up for my first ever Twitter account: @jadedbitterman (isn’t this where I am supposed to ask you to “Follow Me”???). Well? Follow me! Again, that’s @jadedbitterman.  Don’t ask me what you are supposed to do with that, I literally just signed up! Aren’t there, like, 78 icons and buttons all over every site with the “T” logo? I assume you click that and something happens.

As I signed up I was first asked to select some people to follow. I found a couple of friends I knew had accounts and then headed right for Neil Young. I saw a photo that looked legit and it had his name. His tweet said something like, “Playing with my trains with T.” Must be him right? Neil. Trains. Photo that looks like Grandpa Neil. Probably was. Here I am having a digital conversation with one of my musical heroes! Holy shit, I’m fuckin’ BOYS with Neil Young. Then I saw it was posted 351 days ago. Wow, Neil, we don’t talk much anymore do we?

I soon also realized, ok, cool, I can “tweet” all my random thoughts, photos, videos, ideas, jokes, music promotions, links, and whatever the hell else I want to. Then it dawned upon me: I have no one following me. How the fuck do I get people to follow me? I can easily follow them. But all I see is #this and #me that, tons of links and text and garbage and retweets and…Oh, wait, did Rihanna really just Tweet that?

So here I am, having at this Twitter thing. #followme #jadedbitterman #music #jokes #commentary #bumslogic. I am not sure (yet) why I did that. Someone told me to put hash marks on words to attract followers.

@jadedbitterman

My Next Arena

Die hard fans of Bums Logic know that I am awesome.

I have already stunned the world with my kick ass graphic design skills.  Avid fans have proven that my video stardom is nearly unparalleled with more than 20 views of my astounding display of  badassery.

Many fans have to be wondering, what’s next?  In what other ways can the amazing JrWorthy42 amaze with his seemingly boundless talents?

One that note, I present to you what is sure to be a hit in clubs, bars and bodegas across the globe – my very first pop sensation, ‘It Burns’.

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The Jersey Shore is Bad?

Please don’t ask questions about why but last night I watched an episode of The Rachel Zoe Project. First let me say, God bless Rachel Zoe for having a job that pays her to dress other people in other people’s clothes. I do not begrudge her one bit for how she makes a living. If there are people out there that are willing to pay other people to dress them in other people’s clothes then I am not going to try to discredit the people that the people pay to dress them in other people’s clothes. Had I known that such a job ever existed whilst I was busy ‘studying’ in college then I might have considered exploring that career path.

Rachel Zoe

People only pay me to put video on the web. I should have tried a hand at dressing people in designer clothes and have them pay me to do it like Rachel Zoe.

With that said, I can’t believe there is a television show that is dedicated to stylist such as Rachel Zoe. Again, I am not discounting Zoe’s profession. There apparently exists a market for people to have their fashion choices made by other people. Mouth agape, who knew? I am getting sidetracked, the episode I watched last night centered around Zoe’s work with actress Anne Hathaway. Hathaway was to host the Academy awards and it was Zoe’s task to provide her with multiple outfits because God knows that one should never host the Oscars without multiple wardrobe changes.

During the episode much of the teleplay led up to the big night with the show’s climax of Zoe and her team gathered together to watch the Academy Awards broadcast so that they could all congratulate each other, and most importantly Zoe, on just how great Hathaway looked in other people’s clothes. All in all it seems like a job well done. Hathaway certainly looked stunning in each of the outfits picked by Zoe and her team.  However, I think Anne would look great wearing little to nothing at all.  Don’t believe me? Maybe you should watch this sometime.

The real rub…

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Just a Dream

Last night in my deep slumber I had a simple yet strange dream.  In my dream I found myself in the year 1974 at the age I am now. All in all things weren’t too bad.  Despite the fact that I had no internet or cable TV, I was able to function just fine.  Can you believe that?

It wasn’t until I wanted to listen to some in dream tunes that I realized that there was a problem.  Seeing how I was in 1974 my ipod was years away from even being a fathomable concept, I was at a loss.  In my dream I began to lament the fact that it would be decades before I could listen to some of my favorite music that is just a few clicks away in my conscious world.

Radiohead, the Black Keys, Cee-lo Green, Jackie and the Treehorns, Adele (yes, I admit it.  The sassy Brit has soul), and the like wouldn’t be recording for years to come.  What could I do? Then it hit me.  Being in 1974 didn’t mean I would have to suffer.  Not in the least bit.  In my dream I tried to remember who exactly would I want to listen to in 1974.

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Need Cash?

I recently returned from some much needed R&R taken on the sandy beaches of the Florida gulf coast.

The trip was amazing.  The water was clear and warm while the beach was clean and not crowded in the least bit.  I got to lay around and really enjoy some time away from my work and home life.

Given that I was on vacation I went ahead and spent some money on things that I probably would usually not.  For the first time ever I rented a wave runner, which to be perfectly honest, was a little scary at times.  Zipping along at +40 MPH can make you think that should you be thrown from the vehicle, even though you are going to land on water, the shit is going to hurt.  Nevertheless, I pressed on and had a field day out there on the open water tearing it up.

On top of the wave running adventure I took in the fun past time of mini-golf.  I also spent some time in a rather large human maze which while somewhat fun I was ready to be out of that thing after about 15 minutes.  Additionally on my trip I ate well.  I am an ardent believer that the solid cornerstone of vacation travel is fantastic dining.  Without good meals on your journeys, you might as well have stayed at home.

It wasn’t until I got home that I realized that all of the fun activities I enjoyed came with a price tag.  Sure zipping around the maze on a wave runner while eating a waygu steak and cheese was the tits, it is also a little costly. Thankfully I am gainfully employed as a contributor for Bums Logic so I could easily afford my vacation luxuries without having to duck my landlord with the rent for the month.

Having the money to go on vacation is great but still, wouldn’t it be great to have some additional money to help finance my adventures? Sure a Holiday Inn is comfortable enough but aren’t the 1000 count sheets and jacuzzi tub in the Omni properties just a little more comfortable? Amirite?

So after looking at my bank balance and considering my income I thought about ways in which I could supplement my cash flow.  After a long Sunday of watching some professional football I have come up with a fail safe plan that I am willing to share with all of you.

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Parents Guide to Birthday Parties at Bouncy Places

You’ve all been there, or you’ll be going there. The Birthday Party at a Bouncy Place is pretty easily navigated, actually. So consider these advanced tips for maximizing your experience.

OK, so, let’s be clear, we’re not talking about those small places in the corner of the mall with one little bounce thing and a ball pit. I’m talking about these industrial-sized warehouse-housed Bouncy Places with several Huge Bouncy Things, obstacle courses with huge climbs and slides, castles, bouncies with full court basketball hoops, the whole deal.

Big bouncey places make big bank.

Here’s how it works: they shuffle you all into the sign-in/waiting room area and you sign the waiver which must have all sorts of legalese about how they aren’t responsible for your inevitable separated shoulder. You’re sitting there at 2:59 for this 3 o’clock party that cost your friend/cousin/sister like $250 but you’re waiting cuz the Underhill family’s 2 o’clock party is still bouncing around. They paid $300; they have more people and got a different package.

Finally, they let you in, and here’s where, as a parent, just get ready to breathe in not only the stale plastic-meets-sanitizer scent of the place, but also get a big whiff of that pure joy on your kids’ face as he runs, no sprints toward Some Huge Bouncy Thing. Screaming. It’s pretty amazing.

While we’re bouncing, the Underhill party had been shuffled into the Party Room to get the pizza portion of their party package. And so this place is just constantly rotating parties of 25 or so, taking $250/pop, herding us from room to room, blasting us with extreme exhilaration followed by pizza and cupcakes. It’s like a drop-off point for cash. It’s practically money laundering. It’s more like the cocaine trade, just easy money, giving these wonder-seeking little kids the ultimate high of holding the keys to climb as far as they possibly can and jump and tumble down and bounce around and crash into stuff and, basically, just go crazy. It’s like they’re flying.

Soon, the girls in the orange shirts are rounding us up and getting us off the bouncy stuff and over to the cubbies to put our shoes back on and hit the party room.

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People Asked, I Answered

Since I have been writing for Bums Logic the administrators have been inundated with letters and emails from readers of the blog that have been addressed to yours truly, JrWorthy42. At the behest of my editors I have done my best to personally reply to each and everyone of them.

Email

You asked, I answered. It is the least I could do.

However, given the immense volume of messages that are sent to me I am not able to always reply in a timely manner. If you are one of the many folks that have taken the time to write in with questions for me, please know that I am doing my best to ensure that you receive a personal reply.  If it is the case that you do not hear from me personally it probably has to do with the fact that I get creeped out by some of you from time to time.  In those cases perhaps it is best that you take it personally because it is you and not me.

To the guy that requested a clean pair of my underwear, why? If there is one way to make me feel uncomfortable asking for a pair of my freshly washed boxer briefs will get you sent to the front of the line for those that will never have their request met. I mean, a clean pair?  Weird.

While I do my best to respond to every message I thought that answering some of the messages here on the blog would be a real treat not only for those who wrote but for every reader and fan.  So without further ado,

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Freddie Mitchell’s Cousins Hall of Fame

Welcome to Freddie Mitchell’s Cousins Hall of Fame, a place to chronicle brushes with fame, or more accurately, brushes with near fame and distant non-brushes with fame.

Freddie Mitchell might still be kinda sorta famous.

Let me try to explain. Obviously, a brush with fame would be something like sitting next to Robert DeNiro on a plane. Or meeting Peyton Manning at a charity event, getting your picture taken with him and perhaps some officially licensed gear autographed. But that’s not what we’re talking about. In keeping with the football analogy, Manning is a very famous and accomplished athlete, a future Hall-of-Famer and one of the most marketable athletes in sports. Freddie Mitchell was a marginal-at-best wide receiver who’s forgettable tenure with the Philadelphia Eagles is only remembered by the bizarre fact that Mitchell thought of himself as the next Jerry Rice. The guy is a nobody, he’s not even a trivia-question answer like fellow wideout David Tyree (unless you think we should count catching “4th and 22” from Donovan McNabb against Green Bay).

And so Freddie Mitchell is the perfect namesake for our mundane list of near encounters with B-listers as well as our twice removed associations with people who had real brushes with fame. Also, our very own Jr.Worthy actually worked with Freddie Mitchell’s cousin.

As for my credentials… I once served hummus to Crispin Glover. He was doing some strange spoken word performance art tour thing back in the mid-90’s and I was supporting my drumming habit by working part-time at a vegetarian restaurant when Glover’s “show” came through town. Apparently he was a vegan or a macrobiotic or whatever, I don’t remember. But my boss and chef extraordinaire Sue was tasked with making his dinner. Late in the afternoon, the screen door slams and in creeps Crispin Glover, grinning not quite ear to ear, hair framing his face while his skeptical eyebrows tried to make sense of the salads and sides we had displayed in our front cooler.

Crispin Glover: just as McFly in person.

Finally, the meek man who once played McFly asked “is that… hummus?”

It was in fact hummus, and I served some to Hollywood actor Crispin Glover. He asked for water, and back then we used to just serve it up in a mason jar, straight from the sink. It was safe and clean, but sometimes it just needed 20 seconds to settle after appearing cloudy. In my haste to serve this visiting megastar as fast as possible, I handed him some still-cloudy water in a jar. Crispin Glover raised the glass, not in toast or tribute, but close to that signature pointed nose of his and gave it a quick, disappointed examination and slowly turned to find a seat.

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Bite a Dick You Quivering Douche Bag

In or around 2004 fellow Bums Logic blogger Todd.Levinson.Frank and I had a web site called Eight Track Mind. It was partially our bands site along with what was essentially a blog. We wrote stuff and posted it our site much like we do here. Only that back then blogs weren’t as big as they are today.  When we launched Bums Logic we re-posted some of our favorite writings from that site and dated them as such. Top Ten Most Overrated Musicians/Bands or Pink Floyd’s Discography Review are two such posts now appearing on Bums Logic. A third re-post was of a semi-controversial topic: Top Ten Reasons Why Neil Young Is Better Than Bob Dylan. Ha! What idiocy I have writing such things. So I am a fan of Neil Young and Bob Dylan I just happen to lean more towards Neil. When I wrote the piece I was looking to rile up some online conversations and partially trying to play a devil’s advocate to the oft held belief that Dylan is the bees knees.

The original posting led to some interesting exchanges with readers. Mostly Dylan-loving loyalists who were astonished to be reading such ridiculous nonsense. And let me remind you about this or any other blog: In the end, it’s all ridiculous. Posts are written based on opinions because that is what each and every one of us has that is 100% unique to ourselves: our opinion. It could be ones based on taste: Hey, I like that beat and singer. It could be based on influence: My friend Matt said he heard this band, check em out. Or it could be just a pure gut-feeling about something.

I understand the need for some people to take full advantage of their free speech and post comments on as many blogs as they choose. They are at least making themselves part of a conversation. When it can lead to fluent, thought-provoking dialogue then you have nothing but knowledge to gain from it.  But when it comes to the point where someone feels the need to express themselves by opining on your state-of-mind or throwing personal insults at you, well, then its all fair game my friends.
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Precious

In the past I have shared with you my amazing athletic skills and sheer physical gifts.  Today I wish to share with you my, shall we say, more sensitive side.  Yeah that’s right ladies and gentlemen, not only do I rival the Greek god Hermes in the sporting arena but I am also blessed to be graced with an eye for the arts just like his half brother Apollo.

Here now, on this magnificent blog, I present to you an example of my unparalleled graphic design skills.  Be prepared to behold artistry the likes of which you have never seen before.

Warning to those of you that do not deal with disappointment well for if you view the image after the jump you may wish to have your eyes gouged out so that you will not have to ever see anything ever again because you know that nothing could live up to its certain and understated greatness.

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