By Jeff Moses
By Serene Dominic
By Benjamin Leatherman
By Glenn BurnSilver
By Glenn BurnSilver
By Troy Farah
By Roger Calamaio
By Mark Deming
December at night around here, where the houses have wheels and the cars do not, the magical sparkle of Christmas lights blends with the beer.
Tin sides of trailers reflect cheerful glimpses of green and red and a boozy jangle of sleigh bells promises childhood dreams like hope and Santa Claus, as the neighbors drunkenly pound into each other with fists, or--on better nights--sexual organs.
Rectangles of cardboard cover busted windows, and neglected dogs--whose owners are incredulous to the space of others--run unleashed over dirt yards kicking up dust devils that move in time with their stupid holiday barks.
And to those crap groups that rest under these dead trees, I raise my 40 of Magnum Malt with its new black-rimmed gilded label and say, "You are in the right place at the right time in the right moment at the downside of it all. Cheers."
3. Anything Swing, Swing. Yeah, should be from a noose with plenty of rope burns.
4. REM, Up (Warner Brothers) Shouldn't they mean down? After just over a month, Up had dropped from the Soundscan top 100. Good riddance.
5. KISS, Psycho Circus (Mercury) Ace Frehley and Peter Criss barely played on this thing, and rumor has it that ousted Kiss axe-dude Bruce Kulick did most of the guitars, and a guy named Kevin Valentine nearly all the drums. Toss in the fact that Paul Stanley is getting sued for the "I'm Eighteen" rewrite in "Dreamin'," and ya got yerself a veritable rock 'n' roll swindle that went south, in addition to the fact that this is just downright unlistenable.
6. Alanis Morissette, Porn debut: the video for "Thank U" from Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, (Maverick) First the platinum-selling chirp, then India, and now the spiritually awakened oblong ass attached to two inverted bowling pins passing as legs. Hey Alanis, leave the commercial nudity to the porn pros, eh!
7. Backstage Sluts #2 (Zane Entertainment) I heard the following recent slice of misogynistic mirth and thought it appropriate here:
Q: What's the difference between a pig & a roadie?
A: You'll never see a pig stay up all night trying to fuck a roadie. Ha!
Backstage Sluts features a coterie of goofy alterno stars like Mark McGrath (Sugar Ray), Fred & Wes (Limp Bizkit), Tairre B. (Tura Santana), Jonathan Davis (Korn), Clint (Sevendust), Nashville Pussy and Jay from Orgy mincing it up with real porno pros including Kelli Dean and Kristen and Dave Hardman.
But for those wanting to see the wood and jiz of their fave alterno heroes, yer outta luck 'cause Backstage Sluts #2 is really about the flesh antics of the bands' smelly roadies and other gangly road trash. The real rock stars here are just peripheral chickenshit props loitering about doing gawkish docu-style interviews, throwing beery hi-fives and airing sexist Rock Star supremacy. And Nashville Pussy, whose white-trash, pro-sleaze, pro-porn routine--the very thing that gives their power chords sheen in the straight world--pales alongside the stars in the valley of the porn. In this, even the porn huss out-white-trashes the Pussy.
8. Dee Snider, Strangeland (Shooting Gallery); Strangeland (soundtrack) (TVT) More frightening than the mug of Dee Snider is this unforgivably horrendous film that he wrote, produced and starred in (looking a sickly cross between Herman Munster and Gene Simmons). The film appeared nationwide, gathering heaps of horrible reviews and playing to empty seats before evaporating in the time it took to sing "We're not gonna take it/No, we ain't gonna take it . . ."
To coincide with the film's release, Twisted Sister regrouped for an autograph signing on Long Island in October. The in-store was set up to promote the soundtrack, and was touted as the "Triumphant Return of Twisted Sister." Gee, how surprising then that the signing--like the film--was attended by no more than a hapless handful. And the soundtrack disc, even with such dreadfuls like Marilyn Manson, Pantera, Megadeth, Kid Rock and Anthrax contributing "songs," has failed to crack the 75,000 sales mark.
9. Marilyn Manson, Mechanical Animals (Nothing) Geez, it seems everybody is nickin' the Coop these days and far be it from Marilyn Manson's gimpy glam stomp to follow trends. Hardly, hell. In '97 Manson was already ahead of the hordes, fashioning himself after the Coop. Now, obviously not wanting to stray from his trailblazing tendencies, Manson dumped the Alice Cooper shtick and became Bowie. "Ch-ch-ch-changes."
10. Journey, Greatest Hits Live (Columbia Records) Journey was the soundtrack to a long, slow, failed suicide where suburbia was prison and everybody became his old man, where all kids were of the Stepford variety and all wanted to beat me up because I wore a RAMONES tee shirt to school.
One spin of this and it all came back again.
I go to my bedroom and reach under the bed for the red shoebox. I pull the box out, lift the lid and reach for the weapon. I raise it to my mouth, being careful 'cause the thing is loaded. I could really hurt somebody with this thing with its heavy grip, spare blue-gray look and menacing barrel. I insert the thing into my mouth and position it just under the nasal cavity pointing the barrel up under the roof of my mouth, up toward heaven. I gently squeeze the trigger and flinch, preparing for the journey. Here goes. . . . BLAM!