April 30, 2008

People I Hate: Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus

November 23, 1992 Franklin Tennessee

Singer, actress

Reason I hate her:
She's a spineless twit who wanted to show her spine

Let's be clear on this. I don't hate Miley for her acting chops or her singing ability. She is neither amazing nor gag-inspiring. She is a phenomenon bred by Disney, and as such her skills are par for the course. I've tuned in for the occasional "Hannah Montana" episode, and while they did drive my adrenaline levels into the roof and put me into a snarling vicious rage, they didn't do so any more than any program before or after it. Frankly, I was more than content to leave Ms. Cyrus out of my attack runs. Nothing I was inclined to have around, but certainly no threat.

But this whole Vanity Fair nonsense has pushed me over the edge, and now I'm pissed.

Look, I can understand people snapping pictures to make you dirtier than you are, then topping it off with words like "scantily clad," "whore-mongering," or even the dreaded "slutty." These sort of scenarios aren't easy on the rest of us either. God knows I've been inundated with enough celebrity snatch to make the JC Penny catalogs feel like safe harbor. The viciousness of the savage photographer can truly hurt everyone included. You don't need the bad press, and I don't need to know more about you than I care to. So by all means, protect your physical assets from these paparazzi fiends.

Oh wait, this wasn't an act by the paparazzi was it? No you actually hired the photographers didn't you?

You agreed to the photo session, had your family standing there while you were posing for it. And this wasn't even some analog, old school film, "you'll see the shots when they're developed" scenario. It was all digital baby. You see the results after the click. Convenient.

So it would seem there would be no reason to flip out over the end result would there? And yet, you have. You have flipped out in such extravagant fashion, I almost want to offer you a Valium to calm your dumb ass down.

"We're oh so embarrassed to be caught in such a vulnerable state. Those mean ol' photographers took advantage of me and my trust. Now the world knows what my thoracic vertebrae look like. Boo hoo, boo hoo."

Blah blah blah....

Look, if you're not ready for big girl pictures, fine. No need to do anything you're not ready for. Say no to the sessions, no harm no foul. You want to say "Damn the fates," and snap a few provocative photos? Well shit, power to you. But bear in mind that grown-up pictures require grown-up actions.

Be prepared to defend those pictures. To tell the world that you want to be viewed in a more adult fashion. To make the statement to the world that the presence of skin isn't an evil thing. Hell, I might even stand by your side in a battle like that. Standards must be maintained, no argument there but come on, it's skin for fuck's sake. Most of us can claim to have it, and the high percentage of it isn't prone to sin or hellfire. These ridiculous fanatics who insist that their role models cannot be allowed to grow up or change in any way are an exercise in futility. And they need to be put in their place. You could've have been just the person to do that.

But you didn't. You copped out. Made huge apologies and tried to paint Annie Leibovitz like some vengeful evil person who ran off with your virtue. These are not the actions of an adult dear Miley, but of a sad little child who's still trying to please everybody.

So do us all a favor and run on back to Disney. Stay in their shrouded, candy-covered shell making bad TV. You're not ready for the harsh realities of the real world. This is a place that can hate you just as intensely as it loves you, and you will never, ever do any right. And if you're ready to fall over and sob every time people point and heckle, well then you're not ready for my world baby. Stick to what you know and keep the kiddies entertained with hair-brained antics and cheesy morals. Leave the adult situations to the experts.

April 29, 2008

Random Conversations With Mrs. Boogie

Mrs. B: "Salma Hayek has a nice set of boobs."

Boogie: "Damn right she does."

Mrs. B: "And she's got great skin tone."

Boogie: "Won't argue with that either."

Mrs. B: "Too bad she's a genetic experiment grown in some lab."

Boogie: "Shit, I think it's a testament to the superior cloning skills of the Mexican people. Scientists in this country have spent far too long on sheep and the boobless I say."

April 28, 2008

A Letter To Whatever Divine Being Is In Charge

Dear God, Buddha, heavenly type thing.

While I have my doubts of your existence, And wouldn't be surprised if this little letter was RETURNED TO SENDER. But I figure it's about time that, on the off-hand chance you exist, that I have a say on a few things.

You and I have been in a standoff for years. Your refusal to give a man who craves steady balance anything but, has led to my refusal to play by the rules written in any book that bears your logo. Nothing dangerous of course, nobody's gotten hurt. But I still treat the brunt of the literature as pure gibberish (save the Kama Sutra. That fine piece of writing has some uses.)

If you are in fact running the show, you can certainly browse the records and see I've been through some wild times. If my autobiography was ever a profitable thing, I doubt anyone would believe it. And I will admit, through it all, you've gotten me out of a few strange scrapes. Whirlpools and speeding cars. Large rifles and larger cement trucks all pointed in my direction. Still, the glory of it all is strained by the fact that you technically got me into those messes in the first place. And it's hard to reward that kind of behavior.

All the emphasis on sticking with it and accomplishing goals, followed by the cruel joke of it all being meaningless because of the sick nature of our times. Pushing the idea of being one's self only to have it serve as more of a hindrance with the world at large. It's these little punchlines that keep us at odd's end. And while I accept them, and not in some strange "You work in mysterious ways" kind of bullshit, it's a sore spot. I glumly play along, lacking any real choice in the matter. I've taken the punches you've thrown and rolled with them as best I could. Tried hard to keep my complaints about how the place is run to a minimum since it's your roller rink buddy. But on this auspicious day, I feel the need to make a suggestion I've avoided making for some time now...

Give me my friend back you bastard.

Taking him away was a part of your recipe I never understood. It seemed like a rushed and foolhardy decision that completely lacked the basic logic you are so known for. For Christ sakes, the man was just coming off a divorce, barely getting his life together again. I was there for those last messy days. Well, as close as I could get with a cell phone anyways. It was a hard strange time for him, and I was just beginning to see the makings of the man that he once was. The light at the end of the tunnel. The man walked away from a train wreck, and just then, you decide to drop a chunk of airplane on him? Divinity comes with some brass balls. Admit it, he died weird. Passed on in a way that loaded massive shock and intense heartache on the people who knew him. Some days I can still remember what I saw in that coffin. The images never get easier. We never got the chemically loaded, glue and spackle version of him. None of that whole "He looks so natural," bullshit others get to use for comfort. No, we got true nature. We got the truth of his death. Withered bones, the remnants of skin and muscle covered by fine silk. What was left of his face showed no trace of the good man I was saying goodbye to. In that moment, seeing those remains, I almost forgot what he looked like. I think I may have been too scared to try. Associating that smiling face of his with the bones that lay before me might have destroyed what little I kept with me. It was wrong for him to go, and it was wrong for him to leave that way.

And I'm not so gutsy as to pretend my motives for this aren't selfish, they are. I want my friend back. I want the person who I could call at any time and talk about absolutely nothing with for hours on end. I want that person who let me be as crazy as I needed to be and was willing to go along for the ride. I want that person who's seen me at my worst, my most stuck up and stubborn, my cruelest and my darkest, and for some reason still stuck with me. Still called me a friend. You don't think that given the twisted course my life is in right now that I could use someone like that? That maybe I would like to laugh and joke about utter nonsense and have the weight off of me for just a few minutes? Trust me, I could.

I dreamed about him last night you know? Dreamed he called me up to tell me he was okay. That things were cool with him. And we got to talk for a few minutes before the noises of the day brought me back. I'm glad, truly I am. But it does little for my own private torments. I miss him. And I miss the fella he used to bring out of me whenever we hung out. A certain part of my being that will probably never see the light of day again without him. And not a day goes by where I think that all of the ridiculousness I'm facing wouldn't be a little bit easier with him around.

I'm willing to admit that my request here is unattainable. The idea of having him come back from the weepy blue is a little too zombified, bad science fiction for your tastes. Understandable. And exceptions to the rules just make for more paperwork. I'll accept that too. But be aware of the collateral damage your little decision has done. You made a bad choice in a long history of bad choices. And hopefully, somewhere you're owning up to it.

Of course, that's assuming that by some mere chance you exist. Otherwise, this whole thing ends up sounding mighty foolish.

In Memorial of Charles Reed Chapoose. I miss you buddy.

April 25, 2008

And I Quote

"Grammar is power. Nobody has ever been regarded as a badass for being "tuff."

-Boogie Man Montoya-

April 24, 2008

Why Do I Have To Hope?

Yesterday I was engaged in argument about the times we live in. A full summary of war, taxes, celebrity snatch and oil woes. The beginning of the end, in this unholy time of our lord 2007. Nothing strange about debating it.

What was strange was that I found myself in the unusual position of having to defend hope in these troubled times.

You can read through any of these deviations of sanity I've written and see I'm not a person who dabbles in hope too often. Expect the worst. Anticipate disaster, you'll live longer. When the worst hits, it'll find me well armed and barricaded. I may not endure, but my stand will be glorious.

But I am no stranger to hope. It's something I feel often, something I crave more of. At night I go to bed wishing a better day when I wake up. Not just for me, but for everyone. No more people freaking out over simple things like ethnicity and homosexuality. Nobody ever starving or living in fear again. Every country throwing down the over-sized guns and saying "Glad we don't have to do this stupid shit anymore." Artists making their craft without worry of vicious lawyers or lonely photographers. Utopia people. It's not just a place, it's a state of mind.

And while I'll always feel that Utopia is completely unattainable for the likes of us primitive primates, I keep the bar high. You never know.

So yeah, things are kind of a smoldering dog turd right now. Our fearless leader has no interest in what his people have to say. Innocent people are dying over a cause that no one understands. Meanwhile the families of those people can no longer afford to pay the mortgage. Big business is running the show, and now has the power to change what is said on the news. To change the very truth we are given. We are the scorn of the world and the scorn of ourselves.

And yet there is good. For the first time ever, people have the ability to use their thoughts and words, and share them with the world. A man can have his say on the war, on our dependence on oil, or on XBox 360's if he's so inclined. People can shape their destinies on their own. Those who can create something new no longer have to ride the leg of big business to make their reputations. People can care about the damage wrought upon the planet. Hybrid engines, bamboo laptops. They may not be the solution, but something is clearly germinating. The old guard is losing it's reign. The powers of government and business are no match for the people. And the people have found a way to circumvent them.

We have stumbled. Tripped on our own shoes and fallen on our faces. No denying that. But we will rise. We will rebuild our lives, dreams, and our reputation to those who share the big blue with us. I firmly believe that you people, my colleagues on this floating rock, have what it takes to make this stinkhole better.

And I hope for it. Every day, while barricaded in my armored fortress, I hope.

April 23, 2008

Why I Write

What am I doing here?

Seated in front of a keyboard in a dark room trying to make sense of the myriads of different thoughts that cross my brain. I find myself wondering why I do this? Why am I writing these ridiculous things and publishing them, putting decent people in the line of fire for my personal brand of madness?

Instinctively, I try to take the path of glory. I'm here to proclaim the evils of our time. To announce and bring attention to these wrongs we must battle with. Sounds glamorous, or at least worthy of song. But, sadly, it's probably far from the truth.

Pointing out the evils of the world? Child's play. Any grade school child with a package of Capri Sun and the internet can know what's evil. We're not dealing with a world that is unknowing. Just a world that is past caring. Why lament the sinister natures of Microsoft when there's porn to be viewed? Explorer can render tits just as easily as those other fools. Takes less work to use too. And there's so many things that sucks the teat of Windows. Lots of things is always good right? No harm can come from one beast holding all the chips.

The beasts will eat us all. They'll rend every piece of usable flesh of our limbs and we'll watch them do it. We won't be ignorant to the fact, or unknowing of the procedure. We will simply allow it to happen, pacified to the point of carelessness. Sure there are other things out there that are righteous...........no wait. Rethink, rephrase. Sure, there are other things out there that are less evil, but integration is hard. The devil owns an XBox and drives a Dodge Ram. He hates foreigners and loves reality TV. Ol' Scratch has all the very best toys, and we all party at his house. The bar is stewn with empty boxes of Samuel Adams, Twinkie wrappers, and old copies of Rachael Ray's magazine. Flatscreen plasma pumps vintage reels of American Idol contestants being shown the door. Ryan Seacrest takes great amusement in telling the wishful and hopeful that their country doesn't think they're good enough. He paints clown makeup on their teary faces as they're forced to sing with their worthless voices one last time. Somewhere in the background, Toby Keith and Ashley Simpson are streamed over the loudspeakers. Singing of a love some desolate unattractive songwriter felt for one fleeting moment in his life. A moment that has been raped by the great and admirable show horses of our time. He'll never remember that time, or her face during that moment, without picturing them.

And there we can sit, talking about name brand jeans, enemies of the state, and how delicious the Olive Garden is. There's great peace in this. Righteous ignorance. No way to trip and fall if you never have to stand up. Dear god, has it really come to this? Have we accepted evil in our lives because it's convenient? Have the wounds caused by the sinister and depraved really become so easy to overlook? The doctors have scapel-slashed our carotid artery, then handed us a lollipop. Suckle at the sugar and watch the blood run to the floor. You might get just enough of a buzz to ride it out on top.

The world is filled with writers and artists and bankers who pass judgment on the evils of the world. I'm not anything special. Probably below the curve in most respects. I'm well read in all the wrong subjects, never held a petition sign in my life, avoid the news in all it's forms. I'm never first on the scene with the breaking news. Never will be. Watching tragedy in real time has little appeal for me. I'm no glory hound.

So what then? Why do this? Why spend days bending the fine lines of an already fragile language? I suppose just to clear up some space. Free the mind a little bit from the rampant thoughts that occupy most of my time. Have one less thing to think about.

So you, my dear reader are being grudgingly hauled along for this strange and twisted ride, for absolutely no reason whatsoever. Just to relieve the stress of a weary mind and partake of all the nonsense that comes out of it.

My sincerest apologies.

April 22, 2008

Myspace Music Part 2

I suppose it's been about a week or so since I decided to write a piece on the upcoming, much anticipated Myspace Music. I invested great deals of time and energy (about 20 minutes) into getting as much intel on this pet project as was available. Those who read it probably remember that my predictions on the venture were less than positive (like you crazy kids would expect anything less from me.)

Turns out I wasn't too far off the mark.

Mr. Murdoch is gonna be sitting at the big boys table. Talking football and getting first dibs at the gravy. It's so cute when they act all grown up. Of course, me and my colleagues will be firmly planted in that metaphorical cracked with warped plastic kiddy table. The unknown and unwanted rabble that the adults try to ignore but feel obligated to feed.

So here's the rundown from where I read it. Driving traffic to my Myspace artist page entitles me to no kind of advertising coin. Despite having cool people being barraged by pointless, redundant ads that spam cheaper crap than any porn site within every few inches of every scroll, and despite not being allowed to have any control over how the advertising happens on the page, or what is advertised, I shall also not be getting paid for it. Not a major niggle, considering I've never been paid for it in the past. However, now I know that I won't be paid for it while any act that's ever made the VH1 top 20 will be.

And that tends to make one feel a little cheap you know? I'm not so foolish as to assume I'm in the same standings as your modern popular fare, but it's beginning to feel like I don't even deserve to call what I do "music." Ye gods, I'm not a musician anymore. That title is reserved for artists with labels and hefty overpaid organizations who can peddle flesh that can hold a tune. That's not me. Can't be. I refuse to let Sony BMG touch me inappropriately in the back of a limo. My conscious is clear you bastards. Of course all this clean living has apparently come at a price in the eyes of Myspace. Me and my colleagues have become second stringers. "Sonic Apprenticeships" that's what we are, until we break down and suckle the teat of the majors.

Of course, focusing all eyes on the profit is sort of missing the point in doing what we do. I'm a musician. It's not a job or a career, it's a passion. A deep lust to conjure and create something unheard of in the ears of the world. To see someone's face contort into a twisted smile as my monster rapes their eardrums and fills the void with something interesting. To watch a crowd of people shake and sweat to a body of sound I made whole. That's the good stuff right there. Gets me out of bed every morning brother. And if you boys and girls want to help me pay my bills by investing in some of my penned works? Hell, I won't complain. If you don't well, I'll still play. Until my hands fail and my mind has heard one voice too many, I will play.

So, the money doesn't bother me as much as what will happen with the press. Artists need an audience and press is important. I'm an unheard entity for the most part. Not too many know I even exist. Same can be said for a lot of my colleagues. And when the big boys start taking their pieces of the pie, you can bet we'll become even harder to find. Backdrops and window dressing. Unnecessary entities in a world where Chris Brown and Rick Ross can drive more traffic than all of us combined. Which technically isn't all that hard since we're already tucked conveniently in the shadows already. Come launch day, we'll probably all be tossed in some throwaway corner of Myspace like the grab bag section of a thrift store. 10% chance of something interesting in every bag. You just need to sort and shuffle through the day job accountants and grocery store owners with bands on the side. You know the type, those who stopped their musical development once Whitesnake hit the scene.

My first reaction is naturally to lead an army of my colleagues away from Myspace to greener pastures. There are better options out there, those that believe what we make is something worth appreciating. We could storm away from Rupert's big top en masse, a bold statement to the man and his machine. Watch it all burn down as journey towards our utopia.

Ah, but I'm daydreaming again.

No artist would dare follow me into the void. Too much riding on the horse. There's a big world under the tent, lots of people that could be turned on to what they do. Too many webcam pimps and bad clothing merchandisers out there to befriend. And no fan would follow me out either. If anything my craft is merely a tacked on bonus to the joys of talking with school chums and other like-minded folks who enjoy sports teams, television programs, and real artists. My walk out wouldn't so much as register as a rat fart in an auditorium. It's pretty doubtful anyone would even know I was gone.

Still, one has to do what it takes right? Run lean, bare essentials, make your stand from any sure footing you can find. Running solo means doing battle as hard as you can for as long as you can.

So, I started drawing my line in the sand. First thing I did was start hacking dead weight from the page. Myspace friends, more than 1/4 of what I had in the stable, have been severed from me. All the major label big name artists (Yes, even Tila) have been cut. Any artist with big label backing and using me to push their stuff, gone. This may seem like a minor deal to most, almost childish. But it's a necessary statement for me, helps me sleep better at night. I'm no longer a walking endorsement for someone else. Scratch that, I'm no longer a walking endorsement for those who can afford to endorse themselves.

And when the big change hits, and Myspace Music launches, well I'll stay vigilant. If things go like I think they will, and I'm left nothing but shadow scraps, well I'll tip my hat to the storm and venture off. I have no time for those who don't have time for me. Life is too short.

Hell, maybe I might make a social network of my very own. Something happy and happening and different. Something for those of you dejected unknowns out there to feel celebrated in. To get the appreciation for your craft that you deserve.

Don't count on it though. I'm still a rat fart in the eyes of the world.

April 18, 2008

The Meditation Of The Daily Drive

Throughout the average day of the average person, one can find places where time is set aside. Little breaks from the daily grind that help replenish the sanity and recharge the batteries. Some folks run screaming into their scheduled work breaks, unwilling to do anything that might reduce those precious 15 minutes. I've met others who must go to the bathroom at exactly 1:23 every day and lock themselves into a stall for a solid 10. And I'm not here to judge, it's a necessary thing that keeps good people from buying semi-automatic weapons and unloading on a room full of their dumber peers. 10 minutes out of the day is a worthwhile sacrifice to spare the lives of many.

And there is one of these times that we all share, but doesn't get the credit it deserves. Probably one of the most mentally preserving times that nobody ever stops to think about. The drive to work.

Think about how every morning you throw yourself into bitter cold and harsh sunlight, climb into your loyal transportation, and turn that key. How through yelling at stoplights, and flipping off your peers, you mentally prepare yourself for your work day. Now consider taking it out of your day and simply having to walk 10 feet to work every day. You can already feel yourself burning out at the thought of it can't you? Yup, it's that important.

Meditation is what it is. Even if you don't follow Buddhism or those damned hippies, meditation is still a valid part of your day. You can't honestly tell me you're completely conscious and focused in your drive to work? Of course not, nobody is. It's early for fuck's sake. The mind has just been woken from restful slumber and forced to do something it doesn't want to. Of course it's going to tune out. And you need it to. To make the transition from "I'm a restful creature" to "I'm a slave wage junkie" takes a bit of time, and when better to do it than during the daily drive? It's truly the epitome that sets the course of the day.

The reason I bring this up is because earlier this week, I discovered how fragile a thing the meditation of the daily drive is.

As you can imagine, I am not a morning person. I loathe sunlight and brand new days. My typical habit is to work deep into the hallowed nights, where the death of the day is mine to claim. Mornings just don't do it for me.

But, there are times when one must wake up and face the world. And I had one of those mornings. And naturally, I wasn't too happy about it. Still, I knew instinctively that once I was driving and on my way to my destination, that I'd kind of self-regulate and get back on track. I had done it for years before, and I knew the rhythm would come back to me.

However, there is a flaw in my plan. For you see, I was driving in with Mrs. Boogie.

And I never accounted for the fact that she has her own daily drive meditation thing. Something that also requires a fair bit of solitude before reaching the time clock. So, you've got a small vehicle with two very big personalities in very grouchy states, trying to reach zen. I'm sure you can guess how it all went down.

By the time we were at the halfway point to her work, we were in full fledged combat. Hostile tones and scrunched eyebrows were exploding left and right. Fingerpointing was the name of the game, and neither party could do any right. Mrs. Boogie is a wonderful, vibrant, and utterly optimistic woman. But when she's in a bad mood, her words can scar. She will scan for every little thing that makes you hate yourself, and throw it in your face. Even things that seem utterly ridiculous to most mortals can do major damage in her hands. Things like:

"Oh yeah, well you're nose is too big!"

You bitch.

But I'm no better in this war. My voice gets louder and louder as I stand by my righteous flag. I'm right, and she's a horrible person for doubting it. Yeah, call me what you like woman, you just don't understand! That's what I say, she just doesn't understand. She doesn't have the skill or the experience to put two and two together. I can do it. Of course I can, I'm the fucking Boogie Man! I know the right answer for everything god damnit! And she's a fool for doubting it,which makes it my obligation and my duty to correct her in her stupidity. Which, naturally makes everything worse.

A few minutes later, she gets out of the truck angry, I drive off like a wolverine in heat. 2o minutes later, after the drive to my destination, I'm thinking to myself "What the fuck was that all about?" There was no real reason for us to engage in combat, we just sort of looked at each other and it was on. But now I was calm, completely mellow and back to normal, and I was feeling pretty stupid about what had just happened.

My phone rings. I pick it up and Mrs. Boogie says to me "What the fuck was that all about?" She just had some tea and took a few minutes to herself to get her mind sorted and came to the same conclusion I did. Neither of us were angry at each other. We hadn't said or done anything to win the hostility of the other. There's no reason we should've ever been mad at each other.

Ah but there was. We occupied each other's space for 12 minutes. Space that we usually had alone to think and sort the files. And having that time interrupted by another soul ruins that special meditation we so sorely need. It can drive a person mad. So mad, that two people who've been together for years can actually get to the point of killing each other. It's powerful stuff.

So, the next time you have to force yourself into your car to drive to a job you hate, consider how lucky you are to have these few minutes of traffic and highways. Don't take them for granted, for someday you may find your space intruded on. And god help us all when that happens.

April 17, 2008

The Friend Of My Enemy Is........

Surprising to many I'm sure, it's easy for me to make enemies. Oh sure, you can slap your faces in awe and fall into denial at the notion of this, but it doesn't change the truth. I have a knack for pissing people off. And I make few apologies for it. Either some folks just don't get me, or there's something wrong enough with their lifestyle that drives me to the brink of madness and hostility. Racists, sexists, egotistical selfish jerks, it's hard not to put up the war flags around these sort of people. As such, I have plenty of enemies.

I even have enemies that don't know I exist. Take MTV for instance.

I am one of those musical types, and as such I am required to consider MTV my enemy. And while I'm sure there are multitudes of reasons for artists to hate MTV, such as lack of actual music on Music Television, or how the Real World is in fact, not. It's a long list, and you've got stuff to do so I'll spare the minutiae and simply summarize. MTV is an evil and pathetic institution, and one that I will loathe entirely into the next lifetime.

But that doesn't mean I don't watch the channel.

Oh yeah, I pop in from time to time. Early morning if I'm awake, the only time they actually play music. I'll take in the sights and sounds of whatever big name artists are being promoted then try to write material that's exactly the opposite. None of those reality programs or "What celebrities do when they're not being paid too much" mockumentaries. That stuff will eat your soul as it pretends to entertain you. And MTV isn't entertainment for me. It's not something I watch with my boots off and seated on the couch. Nosiree. It's something I watch in the studio, when I'm surrounded by gear and equipment. I consider it "surveillance." The act of observing one's enemy to learn their methods and discover weak spots. It's tactics, my good people, and I strive to stay one step ahead of the pack.

I was employing a little surveillance the other day while trying to argue with my taxes. Switched on over to MTV so I could hate something other than the government. And there's nothing like generic bands in music videos trying to make me take them seriously to instill that "there are worse creatures than the government" brand of hate in me.

A couple hours go by, and I'm thick in the middle of computations and form hunting, when the music videos cease. Time's up good people, we're now resuming our regularly scheduled program of sugar-coated reality for the dumb. My first instinct is to pounce on the remote and rapidly changing the channel to something less irritating.

However, I can't do that. The remote is hidden somewhere past my vision, and I really don't want to get up to search for it, for fear of losing my tax rhythm. So I sigh, ready for the barrage of stupidity that awaits, swearing under my breath that as soon as I've processed these deductions, that remote will be found.

And what programming doth await me? Well, Rob & Big of course. I'm cringing inside. I hate programs with skateboarders, because they always act like pricks just to annoy innocent people. And I hate music television programs featuring African Americans, because they always paint them out like the stereotypical "Act tough, wear lots of fancy jewelery, and speak incomprehensibly," sorts that most of the culture isn't. So here I'm shafted with a program that mixes the two. My guts are wrenching themselves into a bow-tie and I can't stop it.

30 minutes later the program ends........and I'll be damned if I didn't enjoy it.

Granted, the characters could be over the top, and the antics were a bit cliche, but shit man, it was still pretty entertaining. Very entertaining actually. So much so, that I wouldn't have minded seeing it again. And what luck! There were back to back episodes of Rob & Big that day. For joy!

So, I got a crash course in the lives of Rob Derdyk and Christopher "Big Black" Boykin. And by the end of it, I was a fan. Two men who have no business knowing each other, being best buddies and doing stupid shit together, wow. It was far more impressive than I ever could've imagined.

Dear god, now I'm in trouble. My enemy actually has something that could weaken my resolve. My fury for that station was absolute, unquestionable. I could've taken down any army that they would've thrown at me, but I caved for a professional skateboarder and a former chef? Sneaky bastards. While I was observing their weaknesses, they were watching mine. And now I'm screwed. I'll have to publicly acknowledge that MTV "isn't that bad." Oh sure, they're evil. No question about that. But they have a few bright spots that must be taken into consideration. I got sucked into the flytrap now. Not sure I can escape this one intact.

However, the heavens smiled upon me that day. Turns out the back-to-back marathon was to publicize the series finale. Yup, ol' Rob and Big were parting ways and the program would be no more. And I was a bit bummed, because I did enjoy the program, and I am happy for Mr. Boykin and his new family. But really, there was only one thing I was thinking at that point...

HA! You bastards don't have me yet! Cringe in terror MTV, the war is back on baby!

April 14, 2008

Boogie Presents "And I Quote"

One of my favorite time-killing pastimes is to hit up Brainy Quote and browse through the witty quotations of the notable. Nothing helps nourish the ol' perspective like reading something thought provoking by someone a lot more successful than you are.

Well, some notariety has come my way as of late. Been featured on a few podcasts now, and gotten some positive press along the way. The name Boogie Man Montoya is starting to get around. And I figure eventually the world will be calling on me to drop a few dollops of wisdom upon the populace. Natural progression right?

Alright, so maybe the world really doesn't want my poetic gibberish, and I just think it would be really cool to be quoted as saying something that could stand the test of time. Doesn't mean I can't have something useful to say in the meantime dammit.

So out of charity, fun, and the need to stroke my own ego, I am officially introducing the "And I Quote" section of The Boogie Man Speaks. Where I can present to you, my loyal readers, any well-worded wisdom that I think up.

And what wisdom do I have on this inaugural run? Simply the following:

"A man who walks into a room with a dominatrix is a man who knows no fear."

-Boogie Man Montoya-

April 9, 2008

Lost Musicians Are A Sad Thing

It's amazing how quickly one can forget what they are.

While the Bastard Groove Orchestra is a recent creation of mine, I've been involved in this music thing for some thirteen years or so. Long time. Many nights making ridiculous noise into the night, of tearing other people's music asunder trying to discover the inner core of the holy music. Many days of scribbling angry words into notebooks and replaying songs over and over in my weary head. Yes sir, I've been at the game for some time.

So now it's serious. I've got a body of work to stand behind and defend. My days are no longer spent screaming into the world, "Someday I'm gonna be a great musician with an album of my own," like some bad after school special. That day is here. Now is the time to stand tall and revel in accomplishment.

Well, not really.

Apparently, now is the time to put in serious amounts of work. Only the world can make you great, and from where I stand the world really doesn't know I exist. Time to put the hammer down and inspire my peers on this big bulbous globe with the sounds of my passions.

Sound poetic? It's really not. But on days when getting out of bed is difficult, sometimes a little poetry is just the ticket.

So, I do what it takes to turn on the world to my works. In the past that meant sending e-mails and sounding positive. These days, it seems to take a bit more. I've had to learn HTML code to keep up appearances, get an understanding with the graphic arts just to stand out in the crowd. Not to mention writing in this damn thing day in and day out. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy composing nonsense every day and ruining the purity of the written word with each sentence I complete. But, considering that I'm a guy who wanted to write music through his days, it's been quite the stretch to sit her now doing this.

So much of a stretch as a matter of fact, that I notice I don't actually make much music these days. Just the other day I picked up a guitar and it felt strangely foreign. I almost couldn't remember how to handle the thing anymore. And my callouses are gone for fucks sake! Pampered under too many soft keyboards and cutting boards. I suspect if I played an instrument for more than an hour, my fingertips would be in such agony, they'd try to rip themselves off from the knuckle.

Dear god, what if under all the pressure to show the world my music, I've forgotten how to play music? What if I can no longer play all these songs I've written and fought with? Well there'd be no quick end to it. After all the fuss I've made, I couldn't just skulk quietly into the night and reappear changing motor oil in some gas station years from now. People would talk. We can't have that.

Thankfully, investing so much time and energy into my craft has it's advantages. The feel, the flow, and the unbridled fury all came back to me. Like riding a bicycle, who'd have thought it?

Writing the remix for Dance Of The Dead turned out to be glorious therapy. I composed nonstop, bouncing take after take until things were perfect. Didn't even stop to consider all the happenings in the world. It was me and an idea. And we quarreled through day and night until I was satisfied.

And it felt good. Felt good to handle the strings, to think of arrangements that were pure magic, and force them into existence. I almost felt like a musician again, dear god.

I guess the moral is to never stray too far from where you're going. It's easy to get lost in the thick of things when the ultimate goal becomes hazy. Tossing in the towel is much easier than you think. So stick with it boys and girls, and hopefully the unbridled joy of doing what you do best will never leave you.

April 8, 2008

Crazy Drunk Feral Muppets

Me and Mrs. Boogie were sitting down after a fine meal and watching Muppets In Space. A personal favorite around this house. We were watching a scene with Animal in it when the missus suddenly said,

"You know what? Animal reminds me of that one guy."

This is a common game amongst us. She makes far-flung comparisons of things to famous people whose names she can't remember. And I am left to spend a good ten minutes trying to figure out who she's talking about. All the while, I'm missing parts of a program I specifically sat down to see. But, oh well. Can't ignore a challenge can I? It is a test of one's mettle to prove you know the identity of celebrities given only a handful of information. Besides, usually Mrs. Boogie is pretty on the ball with her comparisons. This might be good for a chuckle or two.

"Which guy?"

"You know, the one that you said banged Angelina Jolie."

Well gee this will narrow down the choices a bit. More details will definitely be needed.

"Umm babe," I said to her, "I think Angelina has had lots of sex with lots of people. I'm gonna need some more information."

"You know, the crazy one with all the tattoos."

I sigh, "Again babe, a bit more information."

"You know, the Irish one who was on Scrubs."

Bam! Recognition achieved. Neurons activiate in the brain and data mapping begins. A list of common attributes circulates through my mental network, making precise comparisons and listing similarities. No information is spared in this search for truth. In what seems like no time at all, the conclusion comes to me:

Dear god, Animal from the Muppets does indeed look like Colin Farrell.

April 7, 2008

Thomas Beatie Messed With The Roles

Thomas Beatie is all the rage these days. Beauty queen turned manly man, turned pregnant dude. He started as a she who didn't dig on being a she, turned into a he, and married a she. But he saved his she bits, and now he will be doing the she task of making a baby. Get it? Got it? Good.

It's the talk of town. Human interest, big awwws in the mix. Everyone's got something to say about the man who's having a baby. Nifty words are getting thrown around like beads at Mardi Gras. Words like, "magical, inspiring, hope, confusing, miraculous, strange," and my personal favorite, "made-for-TV movie."

Many are probably still trying to process this information. Can't fault them. This is a hard pill to swallow. Kind of messes with the perceptions a little bit. Have to rethink this bastard sideways you know? So, I took a long weekend with the information and processed it in the ol' noodle.

And I don't think I feel super good about all this.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think there's any legal or ethical issues that need to be brought up. Mr. Beatie has every right to change his gender, and to have a baby. Long as he pays the medical bill, it's all kosher with me. And the whole "transgender" thing really doesn't bother me either. While I can't say I've ever known a person who dabbles in the genders, I certainly wouldn't refuse a drink with someone who's made the flip. Learning about what makes a woman want to be man or vice versa sounds like it'd make for some damned interesting conversations. Hell, if their tastes in drink and music are good, and the boundaries are clear, it might be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. So none of that stuff bothers me.

What concerns me is one little factoid in this equation: The fact that he's married.

The man, err.........woman,........err Thomas, has a wife. Very lovely lady from what I can tell. Seems to be pretty supportive and positive about this whole thing, at least what little I saw on Oprah. But I don't think this whole thing is right for her, and I'll tell you why.

There are roles in relationships. Every couple has them, every couple needs them. Doesn't matter if you're gay, a lesbian, or into some of that other stuff, there is still a basic infrastructure of independent roles. One person always has the aggressive, competitive qualities of a male, and the other tends to be the more supportive, sensitive soft spoken female type. And that's not to say women aren't competitive or that men can't be sensitive, just that usually these tendencies are a lot stronger in those respective groups. Opposites attract, it's how the game goes. Sensitive types want a stronger alpha who will stand up for them. The alphas want someone who won't constantly challenge their needs to be at the head of things. Doesn't matter what bolt you're cut from, all follow the roles

And I admit, the roles are in constant flux. Seventy years ago, the alpha was the breadwinner, and his/her mate stayed at home cooking and cleaning. These days everyone works, and the rudiments of cuisine and household chores can and are managed by any soul, so long as it gets done. Women have corner offices and men work from home while watching children. It's certainly nothing new. Still, roles exist. And while they may not be clearly defined on paper or the evening schedule over at TV Land anymore, they're there.

And I bring up the notion of roles with regards to this breaking news because I'm concerned that Thomas' wife Nancy, may have lost hers.

Think about this for a second if you would. Here is a woman, who has a very confusing state in her relationship. Either she met Thomas assuming she was a man, and later found out he was a woman, or she is a lesbian who wanted to be with a woman, and is now married to one who is legally a man. No matter which way you slice it, some sacrifices had to have been made on her part to insure happy death 'til you part.

But the love is there, so she sticks with it.. Takes on the role of "Wife." She signed a marriage certificate to that effect, gets called it when in public, and doesn't seem to mind it.

Now, I won't pretend to understand the dynamics of a transgender relationship, but it is my understanding that the role of "Wife" typically has one, never-changing, always constant role in a relationship. The privileged role of being called "Mother."

Nancy Beatie gets to be the wife without being a mom. And that seems kind of bogus. It's probably hard enough having a husband whose technically a woman and be married to a woman who's technically a man. Now she doesn't get to conceive either? What becomes of her role now? Is she supposed to take on the fatherly characteristics of raising a child while still being addressed as "My wife" by her mate?

It strikes me as being very selfish to take this away from her. She is a woman, been one since birth. And she has had no problems with that. And now it's like she's being forced to play "Husband" to Thomas, because he wants to play "Wife" again. Sorry pal, it's gotta be one or the other. And not because of any man's bible or because it's confusing to the rest of us, but because your spouse needs you to be consistent. Frankly, you seem to be pretty wishy-washy in how you conduct your relationship. I want to be treated like a man, but have the opportunity to be a woman when I feel like it? This sort of indecisiveness may work when you're a college student trying to pick a major, or in line at your local fast food establishment, but not in matrimony buster. When you drop the vows, you need to create a stable world for your mate. You said the words to a religious or legal official, stick by them.

Granted, I may not understand the dynamics of their relationship, and I readily accept that. Maybe she loves Thomas so much that it made her happy for him to have the opportunity. Maybe she wanted nothing to do with the act of childbirth. God knows I wouldn't either. But after watching that Oprah episode on Youtube a few times, I have my doubts. Watch it if you get a chance, and keep your eyes on Nancy. Watch her as she sits next to Thomas, or is with him at the doctor's office. She's quiet, stares at the floor a lot, and looks like she wants to say something but can't. You can almost see her feeling like a third wheel in all this. And who could blame her? While her mate is making history, she has to basically nod and talk of being "supportive." Meanwhile, the roles that defined her in this relationship are gone.

Still, I suppose one can't believe everything they see on TV. So, Thomas, if your spouse Nancy is into this 100% and will support and love you every day with no regrets about anything, I support you. You've got a strong marriage and I wish you the best, for you and your little one.

However, if what I speak is even remotely true and Nancy is feeling a bit dejected, then you owe this woman bigger than you could imagine. A relationship like yours is hard enough I suspect, without making your significant other feel isolated because of your selfish desires. Be prepared to put in work buddy.

April 5, 2008

The Octopus Thing

"When was the last time you had octopus?" she asked me.

"Not sure," I replied. "Months, years maybe? Not sure I've ever eaten the stuff."

"Well then, you're not alive. A person who hasn't eaten octopus has yet to truly live."

I'm not alive? Dear god what went wrong? This started off as a need to fill a hunger, now my very existence is being called into question." Well, we shan't have this disgrace on my record. Order me a plate of octopus this instant, and be quick about it.

Several minutes later, an empty plate of what once contained a moderately well cooked cephalopod, sat before me.

"Well?" she asked.

"It's a rubbery little bastard, tastes kind of like a fish that's gone bad."

She laughed. "That's octopus for you."

Hang on a tick, I'm confused. I was one of the undead for a very long, very traumatic 30 minutes. Granted, I've now secured my destiny and returned to the living, but I expected this achievement to be something more.......I don't know, grand maybe?

"So, what's so great about the flavor of octopus that's supposedly so amazing?"

She shrugs. "Absolutely nothing. Personally, I think octopus tastes kind of gross."

"Then what's the deal here?"

"The deal is, now you get to tell people that you've eaten octopus."

Ha! Watch out world, this man is now something to be feared.

April 3, 2008

Myspace Is Creating A New Music Service....Big Whoop

So, Myspace is getting set to announce, or most likely as already announced, that they will be partnering with three of the major music labels to create an online music service. This new service is designed to compete with Apple's iTunes Store on it's own territory. By providing the 110 million monthly visitors to Myspace access a wide range of music services and products, it may actually surpass iTunes as the number two music retailer in the world.

Whoop de shit.

Don't get me wrong, I have no strong ties to Apple in particular. And anything that gets music to people is a good thing in my book. If some random person partaking in a little Myspace action happens to stumble upon some new sound, then it's all victory as far as I'm concerned. So, I take no issue with Myspace getting into the retailer racket.

My issue is how they're going about it.

In creating an iTunes competitor, who has Myspace formed a brotherhood with? Why, only Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and Sony/BMG of course. Three out of four of the top record labels in the world, don'tcha know?

And whose wares do you suspect those labels will be pushing upon creating this new service? Umm, gee I don't know, probably THEIRS. All the artists who sit under the major label's umbrella are going to be pushed on the streets and whored like nobody's business. Which is great if you're into that sort of thing. But I'm not, so I'm left with one question:

What happens to the indies?

All those stellar unheard acts and the minor labels trying to make some great things happen for music fans, who speaks up for them? Not Myspace apparently, from what I can tell. Despite having probably the largest number of unsigned and unheard band music and profiles on the internet today, I have read no evidence that suggests the parties involved in this service will be tapping any of it.

Nope, this is the big boys show, and if you weren't invited to the party well..........sucks to be you I guess.

And yes, I am one of those unsigned and unheard artists trying to find some success out in the world. However, my concern isn't just for myself, but for the tons of really great artists out there. Where are the I Make This Sound, or the Ether Orchestra's, or the Sarah Severson's or the Erin Austin's gonna be? In a day where any artist has the ability to share their work with anybody in the world at anytime, Myspace done went and made shit harder.

And maybe it's just me, and the shallow world I live in, but aren't those indie artists the thing that's actually bring the fans? Majors are hurting from what I understand. Every article I read is about how they're bleeding money. They've gotten stale, haven't changed the recipe in far too long. And the world is more than smart enough to know it. Seems to me more and more folks are investing in those unsigned and unheards because it is something is completely fresh. Wouldn't making a fantastic service that only promotes that old sound cause more of the same nonsense? Ah, but what do I know about all this?

So, you boys go ahead and aim after Apple's throat. If being number one is what gets you off, well then knock yourselves out. I sure as hell won't support you. Y'see, for all the evil Apple can drop, they did do one thing that appeals to me: They put the indies on an equal footing with the majors. The segregation on iTunes is at a minimum. You can just as easily scope out the last American Idol's CD and then find the BGO. And yeah, they do some advertising for big boy artists on the site, but nothing like you'd see like on.............oh I don't know.....Myspace maybe? Ye gods, artists in the good graces of Tom get huge pictures of themselves shoved down everybody's throat. Extra songs, special treatment, all if you're willing to pay the tolls. Life is good when you can afford it. So, if this music service follows suit to how the operation's been run, well I think me and a lot of other great folks are about to be pushed even further into the shadows.

So good luck on your new endeavor Myspace. Hope you crash and burn.

April 2, 2008

Velvet Revolver And The Death Of The Supergroup

Well, it's official. Scott Weiland and the lads of Velvet Revolver are parting ways. The band has cited that Weiland's "increasingly erratic" behavior as the cause of the split and have no eminent plans for a reconciliation. The era of the Supergroup has reached it's end.

Thank god.

It was all the rage a few years ago. Musicians from once popular, now dissolved bands meeting singers from once popular, now dissolved bands, and deciding to cash in on each other's success with a hip sounding project that was equal parts fresh and stale. It was all anyone could talk about. Audioslave, Zwan, A Perfect Circle (The second lineup, not the first,) and of course the aforementioned Velvet Revolver. The steam coming off of this crap was so intense, that even VH-1 had to get in on the action with a supercharged reality program of their own. For a while there, it seemed like the beginning of the end. One could almost imagine people breaking up with their bands to form new bands and write new songs that sounded older and less vibrant than the old songs their old bands used to play. Yup, every single one of these groups patted themselves on the back, called each other brothers, and prattled on about the staying power of this new act.

But it was not to last. Whether anyone realized it or not, it was doomed to fall.

Musicians are egotistical creatures. There is a certain amount of fearlessness that must be thrust into melody and rhythm to make it strong. A commitment, if you will, to push things past any creative limit you might have. And ego breeds fearlessness. It's the nature of the beast. This recipe gets doubled when talking about successful musicians. They not only posses the fearlessness, but proof of it's success.

So, if you were to tell Chris Cornell that he needs to change up his vocal style, he can say, "Oh gee really? Well, gosh I guess I could. I mean, that style worked for me with Soundgarden, and millions of people seemed to like it, but hey what do I know?" Nobody argued with him, hell neither would I. Let the man do what he wants I say. But don't be surprised as the well-lubed wheels of creativity start to make some friction.

The end result were two camps of folks trying to please each other, creating several camps of mediocrity. I liked Rage Against The Machine, and I adored Soundgarden. But I didn't like one for the same reasons I liked the other. They were disparate sounds for different occasions. By putting them together, you'd create something similar to sonic gruel. Filling, but hardly appetizing.

The Rage guys had to force themselves to be more melodic and create more structured songs, which isn't their forte. Cornell had to adapt to singing more standardized material, is a weak point for the man. He has proven to be outstanding when he's vocalizing to a fucked up backdrop. Putting four on the floor and adding predicable key changes is not going to bring out his best. As such, their respective work was sloppy. Financially successful to be sure, but hardly memorable.

The same can be said for any of these other Supergroups. Sub par albums, music that was decent, but not great. Too many successful people who did things the way they always have because it's what they've always done.

Typically, when dealing with bands, you have to figure each other out. See where people's limits are, where you can push. Adapt their nuances to yourself, and learn how to play to their limitations. It's a constant tug and pull that creates camaraderie and unity. The building blocks of a strong and powerful group. Too much individual success spoils the pie. Think too highly of your own prosperities, and you'll never adapt to the new performers in your stead. Which can be bad, when said performers happen to have equal amounts of success as you.

So farewell, era of the Supergroup. It's been entertaining. I suppose many will follow in Weiland's footsteps and reunite with their old bands for big headlines and mega tours. Shoot, you guys may even find that old spirit we all fell for back in the day. Just remember to lay off the ego , and that there are other guys in your band who can push you hard and make you great, or can just as easily sit on their asses and make you sound old.

April 1, 2008

Jessica Simpson Says, "Oh My Kidney"

Yesterday, I stumbled across a news report on Jessica Simpson and her recent hospitalization. Apparently after reports of a fever, she was diagnosed with a kidney infection and spent the weekend in the hospital undergoing treatment. She is reportedly doing fine now, and is now at home recuperating.

I'm not here to make light of these facts. Despite how often that woman makes me sick with rage when she's on my TV, I would never go so far as to wish ill upon her. So, I genuinely feel bad that she had a medical problem and I'm glad things worked out.

What I will make light of, however, is this picture of her used in the article:

Just look at that would you? Have you ever seen anything scream "Deer in the headlights" more than this?