Comedians in Cars Getting a DUI
Comedians in Cars Getting No Respect
Comedians in Cars Getting their Marriage Proposal Rejected
Comedians in Cars to Cry During Their Lunchbreak
Comedians in Cars Getting Road Rage
Comedians in Cars Getting Tattoos
Comedians in Cars Getting Awkward Handjobs
Comedians in Cars Getting So Rich That They Have Nothing in Common with Regular People Rendering their Jokes Unlaughble
Comedians in Cars Getting Mcdonalds for the Fourth Straight Meal in a Row
Comedians in Cars Getting the Meat Sweats
Comedians in Cars Getting the Cold Sweats
Comedians in Cars Getting Racist
Comedians in Cars Getting DMT
Comedians in Cars Getting Nostalgic Over a Past That Never Truly Was
Comedians in Cars Growing Drowsier as the Hose Connected to the Exhaust Pipe Does its Job
Comedians in Cars Getting Haircuts
Comedians in Cars Getting a DUI
I, like many
self obsessed people geniuses, keep a notebook. In recent ones, I started doing a section of times I’ve taken public transportation. Of course even in the best of times it’s not a complete log, mainly because I’m running around and forget. Here’s some example entries from the latest one.
CTA L car No. 3432 10:22 pm
I probably would have made it (an earlier train) if I didn’t stop to look at an interesting pile of trash (i didn’t grab anything, it just just a bunch of random junk, but you know there’s a story behind that).
CTA L car No. 3198 7:32 am
Next to me: A forgotten notebook. Standard spiral bound, green cover, containing: division and a homework assignment about The Things We Carried. No teacher would buy this “I left it on the train” excuse, but I am a witness.
CTA L car No. 5246, run 912 7:21 am
A purple line train pulled up to the station before the red. Red announced, “Brown line on the outside line.” To which the purple conductor says, “WHAT? DO I LOOK LIKE THE BROWN LINE TO YOU?” Red line guy chuckled and announced it was a purple line after all.
7:55 am Special Waiting For the Train Edition at the Fullerton Red/Brown/Purple/Etc station
A bunch of trains just up and away, so this is about as desolate as the Fullerton stop gets at almost rush hour. Most of the people here are waiting for a red line train which is here at 7:57 and already packed, at least no seats available. The red lingered for almost a full minute, how decadently luxurious. But that splendor is only a facade, for someone has taken a shit in a landing of the north side stairway leading to the north bound platform. But even then, back in the day at those hoitty toitty french castles that where all the nobles would relieve themselves. Maybe our defecator is a scholar and this is a tribute to the golden days of yore.
CTA L Car No. 2693 7:30 am
Parody sticker where a “Priority Seating” decal should be. It’s halfway torn off, but on can still make it out. I reads, “Priority Seating. For Costumers with materialism issues.” Icons of a smart phone and laptop. Run 705
CTA L Car No. 3281 8:00 am
The single seat across from the aisle to me has 8 lotto tickets strewn to the side, crumpled up hopes.
CTA L Car No. 3390 7: 30ish am
Alright I’m tired. FUCK OFF.
CTA L Car No. 3347 7:24 am
Street lights splash orange on to purple snow. Dawn running slow. Ah fuck it’s xmas.
CTA L Car No. 3431 8:00 am
When the train pulled up to Belmont I heard the ambulance just get there, fading horn. Luckily not too many people going North right now, so not much chaos when crossing over. Saw the EMTS rushing up the stairs into the train car behind me. Lucky I didn’t have to deal with that shit.
CTA Bus No. 8208 6:30 pm Route 72
I got on the red line south to 95th from Fullerton. I was sitting across from a nice midwestern family as I was drinking 1.5 cans of PBR out my water bottle. The first was mostly foam, but I had that straight up on the platform. I guess you either die a hero or live long enough to slam a shaken up beer on public transportation.
CTA L Car No. 3315 6:12 am
Lots of birds up. Suckers. Why don’t they just sleep in? It’s not like they have a job.
CTA L Car No. 3374 3:33 pm
Just as I was getting on a lopsided old guy accompanied by a chubby kid wearing a t shirt for blood donation quizzically read out my hat, “Crook county?” I winked and said, “You know it.”
CTA L Car No. 3381 6:24 am
Everyone is looking at me. All of these fuckers on the train need heavy metal.
CTA L Car No. 3450 8:10 am
Lady reading a book, “Are You Sleeping?” Tossing my whole consciousness into question. AM I AWAKE? I don’t need this shit right now. Now just sit in your tube and get to your job. You fucking drones. Look at us, contributing to society like the chumps we are. (At this point I was an hour late to work w/out even realizing it.)
CTA L Car No. 3231 10:02 pm
A guy who got on at Addison is carrying a sword.
Fool – Frankie Cosmos Yet another “I heard this song at like 7:30 am, burnt from work and I don’t remember why it stuck in my head so much, but here we are,” song. The only time of day that I’m even emotionally weaker is around 4, 4:30 am.
All I Want – The Spits I would be lying if I said I clearly remember the times I’ve seen the Spits. It’s just that kind music. Which is fine with me. Specially right now, in the middle of the night when I need something to remind that I AM ALIVE. DAMN YOU. ALIVE.
Garbage Man – The Cramps
You know you got theme songs. This is one of mine. It always picks me up and is fantastic for those long nights where I’m just getting by. YOU GOTTA LIVE UNTIL YOUR DEAD/YOU GOTTA ROCK TIL YOU SEE RED. True lesson! If I had my own Svengoolie like terrible movie TV show this would be my theme song.
The Bar is Low – Pissed Jeans
Listen to that intro, with those thumping drums, that stabbing guitar, and half a second into it, that earth rumbling bass, it’s so sick. This is some fast driving music right here. Or fast drinking music. Look it’s friday. What are you gonna do? Are you gonna rock to some capacity or are you going to be lame? Yeah that’s what I thought.
American Graffiti – Haggard Cat
I love how stompy this is. Listen to that dude, “I’M NOT THE DEVIL, I’M A MOTHERFUCKING GOD!!!” That’s what I’m talking about. Just fucking wipe the floor with everyone. Raucous stuff. Turn it up.
A Dime at a Time – Norma Jean
There’s also a terrible metalcore or whatever band called Norma Jean. Fuck that noise. This is the real stuff right here. This song is in my “Drinking Music” playlist, which is okay for drinking. Yes there’s a hint of leather in that microbrew, but mostly tears. I can’t listen to that list when I’m drinking because it bums me out.
I don’t remember the exact day that hard rocking, badass radio died. But it was some time in October 1998, when Rock 103.5 went off the air with Metallica’s cover of So What. And thus my beloved Rock 103.5 vanished into the FM airwave spectrum, having indoctrinated me to the cult of loud rock music that I still adhere to. It may have been the worst influence I’ve ever had. I was 13 years old and the looming question was where was I to get the same amount of hard rock that dripped out of my headphones and directly into my brain? 101.1 was out of the question because all that shit was whiny, and on certain nights they PLAYED TECHNO. How dare they call themselves a rock station. B96 made me carsick when I listened to it in a moving vehicle, and I couldn’t stand that music anyway. There was no music left.
Thus set adrift I cast about for some audio flotsam to hang on to. Options seemed dire until I landed on 97.9 the loop. Something. Of course they didn’t play White Zombie or Soundgarden, and there was no way Metallica was mandatory. But there was among the miasmic fog of bands like Styx was that shrieking voice, Ozzy himself “Flying high again!”Okay fine. I just wanted rock music and there was nothing else around. Sure I had to sit through interminable stretches of Journey, Stxy, and syrupy Aerosmith ballads. But this Stranglehold song rules. And they’re playing Kiss! Hell yeah, Iron Man! Oh fuck a Metallica song! This was shortly before I rejected my dear David Lee Roth era Van Halen, so what a treat when I got to hear Jamie’s Cryin’. But maybe it helped spur on that rejection by them playing Van Hagar all the fucking time. I remember sitting in the old typewriter cubes at Sulzer library, unable to type as fast as I wanted to while Led Zep’s Immigrant Song blasted on my headphones. And who is this band? This band that screaming out to break the law, BREAK THE LAW! I love these guys! The Loop didn’t really expose me to Aerosmith before they stopped doing drugs, but i wouldn’t have checked out their back catalog without constantly listening to Walk This Way and dream on. Let that be a lesson: Don’t stop doing drugs if the whole basis of your band is doing drugs. (Leave sobriety and well being to the rest of us who have to have jobs.) Sure trading off hearing Ramnstein in return for putting up with Phil Collins was a suckers deal, but AC/DC? It’ s impossible to think of living life bereft of thunderous guitars, bashing drums, and yowlings of a crew of demented Australians. I’m sure I would’ve eventually loved them anyway, but 97.9 helped push them on me. I didn’t have a choice to but to hang on to the Loop, it was either that or drown.
It sounds like this went on for years, but it was more like A year. I was 13. I started going to shows. I found out that used CDs were way cheaper than new. I took mindblowing sojourns to the stations on the lower end of the FM dial, the various 88s, that really shook me up. One of my best friends introduced me to hip hop and rap. I don’t remember the exact moment I the epiphany of “you know, you don’t have to just listen to rock music,” occurred but it was around the same time. And apparently you could get music on the internet. But the Loop was still there.
You can’t get WZRD everywhere. And how many cars have I been in with busted tape players. And how many cassette players that I’ve held together with duct tape have accompanied me on my CTA commutes/wanderings through the city? How was I suppose to work to WXRT, reglazing windows, or washing cars? Fuck that, it’s 2 for tuesday and they just played the Eagles (fuck the eagles) so you know something good is coming up. What radio station was I suppose to call when hammered to demand they play Iron Maiden (AND THE LOOP WOULD SOMETIMES!)? The Loop was there when I was cruising through the city in summer time in a nearly broken down van with no AC, blasting the Scorpions. Air guitaring in hardware stores to Sad But True. Missing turns because I was yelling along to AC/DC. Until Mancow jumped back on the Loop was the radio station on my alarm clock. Rousing me awake with the occasional AC/DC song, KNOWING that day was going to be a good one. Despite that they played more pap in it as the years went on, the commercials becoming more annoying, the lack of Judas Priest, I will miss the Loop. What am I going to listen to now?
yeah i know that it would’ve made more sense to have that side be on the “Classic Rock” edition of this, but this happened this week.
no paper edition this week. i had to train my night shift replacement. i can’t wait to be back on the streets. i can’t wait. right! on the plus side you don’t have to go look for the tunes i’m talking about. yeehaa
I wore out a 2 tapes when I was a little kid, one was Queen’s Greatest Hits, and the other was Michael Jackson’s Thriller. I remember watching Freddy and Michael on tv when I was a kid, they seemed like gods to me. So thanks mostly to MJ, and my ridiculous thirst for music, I like and appreciate well done pop songs. I might not listen to the same song every single day for a week, like I did a little while ago for Abba’s Lay Your Love on Me. I might not blasting stuff from the Spice Girls’ Spice cd all the time, but I will totally play that fucker when I’m drunk. And I might not be buying Lady Gaga’s cds, but I will totally watch her perform on tv. So after getting through Brand New’s Science Fiction I was kinda looking forward to listening to Emotion by Carle Rae Jepson.
I totally forgot that CRJ was the voice behind Call Me Maybe. Which is a monster of a pop song! It was everywhere! One time I saw a chorus of dogs singing it, kinda like a traditional dog rendition of Jingle Bells. It was crazy. Emotion doesn’t really sound like that at all! I try not to read too much about the albums for this uh project. Usually I just look at the wikipedia for technical specs, when it was released, producers, stuff like that. Anyway on there it says that Emotion was a response against the monster of Call Me Maybe, which explains why it sounds quite different from Kiss
Emotion is similar to old school 80s pop. Listen to that opening sax/synth riff from Run Away With Me! The whole is a tribute to 80s music that we’ve heard over and over again on the radio. I bet if When I Needed You came out in 1987 it would still be on the radio. All That is totally from some 80s teen rom com. Even on the more angular tracks, Emotion wears its 80s influence proudly, just listen to that “AAAAaaaAAAAaaaahhh” vocals on Black Heart.
All while I was listening to Emotion I knew there was something else besides the standard 80s pop sound. Jpop? Techno? House? (Just listen to those pianos in I didn’t Just Come Here to Dance) When it totally hit me, there is so much old school freestyle in it! Aha! The hidden piece! That familiarity of the kind of music I use to hear blasting out of windows when I was a lad.
There isn’t a rampaging type song like Call Me Maybe, and in fact there’s a few tracks that I straight up don’t like. Warm Blood is a total filler track. That chopped and screwed part is incongruous with the rest of the album. It should’ve been like an extra track. As well as Favourite Colour, which is a weak closer, but that might just be on the version of the album I listened to. But there are tracks like Making Most of the Night, which would make a great score to commit crimes to! And the ridiculous ear worminess of I Really Like You is a wonder to behold.
Because it’s so 80s you’d think it just be watered down versions of old songs, but Emotion seems pretty fresh. There’s a lot of components to the songs that are very modern. Many of the tracks are more angular than average pop songs, but are still very catchy. I can see many of these being remixed into awesome dance songs. I kind of wish that CRJ didn’t sing in english because sometimes the lyrics aren’t greatest, like in LA Hallucinations. But that doesn’t really matter in the end, because this is one of albums where you gotta take in the whole delightful picture.
Making the Most of the Night
Goes good with: A coconut milk mocha frapuccino. YOU KNOW IT’S TRUE.
I remember Brand New as this really sort of emo pop punk band. But this album starts off with this weird recording of someone talking about a dream in therapy which is blended into some great horror movie guitars. And then into these almost sad wave goth keyboard heavy track. I bet sad wave is a thing and I bet it rules. OK sure there’s some elements of the old school Brand New, the band I hated, but Science Fiction is quite a ways from any of the stuff I initially heard. Mainly because it doesn’t make me want to put something else on the second it starts.
If the music was a little different Same Logic/Teeth could fit in one of their old albums. I wouldn’t call this album emo or whatever the fuck you could call them. The more intense rocking tracks are more like some fine neo grunge stuff. Great solos, depth, and harmony make this an album that draws me in. But there’s still a looming anxiety to it. With this project/folly, I end up dipping into older stuff from the artist, but I still can’t listen to old Brand New at all. Instead of listening to an older album by those guys right now I’m listening to some ridiculous pop music.
I’ve been putting off this review because I don’t know what to make of Science Fiction.* It’s a brooding, keyboard heavy, rock album that sounds good. It’s not the feel good album of the year at all. Even Brand New are are adults now and still having to deal with this emotions bullshit. Damn. There’s a few references to drowning or being underwater, the fact that life can be overwhelming. An oft repeated sentiment I see is when you’re a kid you thought that being adult was being able to deal with life, but now that you’re an adult you can barely do that. I don’t want that reminder on my headphones, blasting from my boombox, when I’m on the train, when I’m sitting around kinda dazed from my fucked up schedule, when I’m trying to get hyped up to try and go out and act normal. That’s why I listen to the music I like, to hype me up. But it’s kind of a relief to know that someone is trying to keep their shit together as well.
Can’t Get It Out
Goes good with: Whatever drink you use to self medicate. But not as much as you used to because you’re not aiming to get fucked up to have fun. You just need a fucking drink.
*Also I’ve been sleeping worse than usual. Plus just I mean look around.
I knew Sufjan Stevens was somewhere within the indiefolk/indiepop genre. So i was expecting just like straightforward acoustic guitars songs about fields. I don’t know if you’ve ever driven across Illinois for any considerable amount of time, it can boring as fuck. However, every once in a while, you run into some weirdness. The first track, Concerning the UFO Sighting near Highland, Illinois, is a thing that happened. Who doesn’t love the weirdness of UFO sightings?
If the songs were more like traditional pop songs it would just never end, because the songs are so long. While Illinois has some pop element it’s more like some kind of prog folk album. I was expecting the sparseness of miles of Illinois fields, but Sufjan alone plays like a dozen instruments throughout the album. Come On! Feel the Illinoise! Part 1 etc, ugh that’s a long song title! Whatever! That song has so much stuff going on! An while the song titles are annoying to type out they help add to the atmosphere. Specially to the short instrumental tracks that maybe convey their point across without the titles. I’m sure those short tracks are sprinkled throughout the album as a sort of a palette cleanser. Most of the songs come in at around 5 minutes long, each one just packed with words and musical elements.
My least favorite song is John Wayne Gacy, JR. While I appreciate that it’s not the kind of usual song about a murderer that I listen it’s too fucking twee. It’s suppose to contrast and highlight to the horrors of JWG, but it comes across like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre directed by Wes Anderson. And the last few lines:
And in my best behavior
I am really just like him
Look beneath the floor boards
For the secrets I have hid
Are just really obvious. That’s how serial killers operate. That’s how most people operate, by putting on a mask of normality and going about their day to day lives.
It doesn’t sound like my Illinois, because it’s about Sufjan Stevens’ Illinois. There are a lot of incredibly personal songs like Casimir Pulaksi Day, and Chicago. In particular Casimir Pulaski, this dude is questing his faith, close to losing it. That’s some heavy shit right there. Despite the amount of voices Illinois is not a real sing along album. Great songs, but nothing that would get the car going as you drive for hours on end. Despite that some of the songs are incredibly catchy, “Decatur” was stuck in my head for hours at one point. Illinois is incredibly well thought out album that covers a lot of ground. I wish I cared more about music, so that I would know about it more, so I could fully appreciate how technically good these song are. Plus who among us hasn’t had an existential crisis in a corn maze?
This album goes really good with: Driving for too damn long across Illinois. So you gotta stop somewhere to get something caffeinated and some gas. At the counter you and the attendant eye each other like one of you is an alien in an ill fitting human costume. In the car you gulp down your surprisingly good gas station coffee and put on some Misfits because Chicago is still far away.
Fave songs: Chicago, Jacksonville, Casimir Pulaski Day.
I don’t get it when people say “I like all kinds of music except rap and country.” Specially when they are american. I like rap and country. See one day I will really get down to it and make a chart of how Metallica ruined my life, one of those big corkboard maps with thumbtacks and strings, like some kind of conspiracy theorist. It would go like this Metallica -> Misfits -> punk -> psychobilly -> rockabilly -> country. It’s fucking wacky really. But I was still surprised that someone would recommended an album titled The Nashville Sound.
The opening track of The Nashville Sound by Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit is Last of My Kind which includes the lines
They laughed at my boots, laughed at my jeans
Laughed when they gave me amphetamines
Left me alone in a bad part of town
Thirty-six hours to come back down
A lot of music I like tends be more along the lines of, “I’m going to wear my boots, I’m going to wear my jeans, I took some drugs and didn’t sober up for 3 days, it was awesome, fuck you.” So I almost put off listening to this album just from that. The song Anxiety is superficially almost silly like something from an SNL skit. But then you hear a line like, “It’s the weight of the world but nothing at all” Alongside this great jangley tense guitar, followed by the coda which is this snarling feedback guitar that builds up into a big instrumental part that really knocks the song into place.
Ultimately it was the quality of the musicianship that won me over. That sounds like I’m underselling the lyrics, but those work well for what the songs are about, time passing, remembrances of things past, stormy relationships, facing an uncertain world. But listen to that sweet guitar solo in Hope the High Road! The Nashville Sound bridges the underground and old school country I like with the more radio friendly stuff which I tend to detest. But I’m not going to add any of the tracks to my “Drinking Music”, or “ROCK AND ROLL” lists, both of which feature some kind of country music. The tracks are good, but you really have to listen to it sober in order to appreciate what the music is about.
Goes good with: I’m having a hard time coming up with a non psychoactive beverage. Maybe a nice cold San Pellegrino. But fuck it you’re still going to get some bbq in a bit.
Chaos and Clothes
Hope the High Road
Something to Love
It’s real easy to be a critic, especially when the initial reaction to something is, ah fuck this. Which was my first reaction to Jawbreaker’s 24 Hour Revenge Therapy. Since the whole point of this enterprise(folly?) is to listen to other stuff beside Motörhead, Ghost, and Judas Priest, I gave it a chance.
Jawbreaker is always lumped into pop punk, but 24 Hour Revenge Therapy doesn’t sound super pop punk. Blake Schwarzenbach’s vocals have this great rough and slurred texture, which reminds me of Joe Strummer. The album also features almost hardcore sounding riffs, there this almost breakdown in Outpatient that is point. It sounds loud as fuck, which is great, this nice punk rock sound. The music in Do You Hate Me? is so good, that I would still like it even without lyrics.
Some of the lyrics on Boxcar are “‘You’re not punk and I’m telling everyone.’ Save your breath, I never was one” and “I was passing out when you were passing out your rules/ 1 2 3 4/ what’s punk what’s the score?” Calling 24 Hour Revenge Therapy “Pop Punk” is cutting it short. Punk is basically folk music: the folk singing to the folk about what they are going through. People feel shit, go through stuff, and hopefully connect with other people. I bet thousands of people sing along to these songs every single time they hear them, either in their bedrooms, or in a bar, or out in some field.
25 Hour Revenge Therapy is almost too personal, like reading someone’s diary. Which of course makes the music veer into stuff I don’t dig, all this introspection. How dare you make me feel things? I was at Riotfest a few days ago, and Jawbreaker was one of the headlining bands, but I didn’t go see them. I imagine if I had gone to see them I would’ve been standing in the back, watching everyone mosh, sing along, go nuts, and feeling a little jealous.
Fave songs: Indictment, Boxcar, Do You Still Hate Me?, Jinx Removal.
Goes good with: A big ice coffee on your way somewhere you want to go, to see people you want to see. It just rained and it’s still mostly cloudy, but the sun is coming out.
Next up is Running out of Red by Zig Zags.
It’s also real easy to be a critic when you’re just watching. You try doing that shit, getting up there and bleeding.
I was at Andrew WK when Jawbreaker was on. I was having way, way too much fun! Party hard!
There’s this incredibly mediocre radio station here, 97.1, “The Drive.” They’re tag line is “the soundtrack to your life” and it is, which is a little bit sad! At least for my life, because I’ve been listening to “classic rock” for so long that songs that were new rock are now on classic rock stations. So you get the fucking Eagles then a few songs later some fucking Pearl Jam. A lot of classic rock stations just play mainstream rock and not rock music that is just old. The Loop won’t play Sons of Satan by Venom from 1981, but you will hear Van Halen’s Running with the Devil from 1979. In 1981 that monster of rock, Billy Joel, released Glass Houses, and that album is packed with classic rock station standards. So what does “classic rock” sound like? It sounds like a lot of things, but it for sure sounds like Thin Lizzy’s Jailbreak, which sounds like ROCK MUSIC.
Jailbreak starts off with this big all band power chord, segues into this amazing riff, and into a fucking beautiful lick, right before before Phyl appears smooth as the devil. Bass, drums, voice, guitar. That’s it. All the way back in 1976. The songs are either a little melancholy or a little rowdy. Running Back to You is almost syrupy with thick melancholy. Then you got Warriors with these big drums and chords just washing into them like waves on to boulders. The Boys are Back in Town is a song you’ve probably heard, but my god listen to those guitars. Awesome. Don’t lie, you know you’ve air guitared to The Boys are back in town. Even in on the more introspective songs the instrumentation is superb, like in Fight and Fall. Cowboy Song, which is a perennial “I’m going to play this song” when I’m at a nice chill bar and slowly ramping my night up into ridiculousness. Emerald is basically a heavy metal song. You would think that Jailbreak is one of those odd compilations albums that record labels would put out all the time, but it’s a standalone album, which is awesome.
In the version of the album I heard there are extra tracks, remixes and the like. The tracks that are really worth listening to are the BBC Session versions of Jailbreak, Emerald, Cowboy Song, and The Warrior. The tracks are more aggressive than the album versions and beg to be played at a preposterous volume.
Favorite tracks: Warriors, Fight or Fall, Emerald, Running Back, Cowboy Song
This would go great with: A beer and shot at a cookout, where the sun is out, and the radio is on, and it’s just a good day.
Next up Jawbreaker’s 24 Hour Revenge Therapy
I had a lot of fun at Riot Fest. Too much fun maybe, because man I was bummed out on Monday. That always happens, all of this good stuff packed into a few days and BAM.
I have a hard time believing that teenagers ever voluntarily listened to Billy Joel. I’ve been listening to him for a really long time now but not because I want to, just because the radio is on. It’s only quite recently that i started to give him a chance only to be surprised at how much i like some of his tracks. Dude has amazing range.