Los Duggans

The Wife was out and about, so anime night was in full force, watched 6 episodes of Drifters, a fairly new bloody comedy of sorts. Trippy story and like able characters. 300 minutes on 3 DVDs so plenty more to go (something to look forward to, ya know).  One thing about these animes is the dubbing and subtitles, jeez, they don’t match up.  Every anime I watch is this way and I don’t quite understand why.  In my mind you translate the Japanese once, then subtitle the dubbing, but of course that’s not what they do, instead it’s like there are two completely separate translations.  The subtitles are literal Japanese and the dubbing is “cool” English.  One of those little, unimportant things in life, to irritate and confound, it seems like after all these years the anime industry would get that straight.

After anime night it was time to veg out, crank some tunes and bang my head. The new speakers I got performed well, just in time to get into a Los Duggans groove (again). They have a shtick that you have to buy (I did) to get into their groove, metal infused bluegrass…can you dig it?

Broken by Michael Essington

You know I got to thinking about it and, except for graphic novels and these reviews, I don’t really read books anymore…at least not like I used to.  A bad faze?  What I do know is that books like this one make me want to get back into reading again…inhaling.  Just cuz it needs said though, reading PDFs is not the same.  I like to get my greedy little hands on things, get them dirty with use, hahaha.  Check out that cover, that is how a book needs introduced, and it makes me want to hold it, and wonder what’s inside, preparation for doing some serious digging.  Instead of leafing, I scroll on.  Even as a PDF though, the book is quite tasty, a meal and a half, enough to take home some in a doggy bag.  Not a difficult read at all, and as I’ve said before about Michael’s book, you pretty much are compelled to read the whole thing in a couple sittings (despite the numerous distractions we all have, does any of us have uninterrupted time anymore). Before I give my lame spiel, how about something from someone who is in the know…“Mike is one of them, a good writer and a damn good storyteller. He is eloquent and concise and doesn’t get lost in the world of minutia.  He tells the story and holds you captive page after page. To the point you want to cheat (go to the back of the book) but don’t!Enjoy the book. Learn something you perhaps didn’t know, I did. Thanks to some well written verse knowledge of a lifestyle and the honesty to tell it.” – Clyde A. Wray, Poet, Playwright, director and producer author of four books of poetry. I don’t know who Clyde is but, honestly I couldn’t have said it any better and this is my fucking blog and the trouble with bloggers, is their mouth don’t stop (intentional Fear reference). How about another author’s take, “Michael Essington’s short stories are contemporary tall tales, new urban legends that might be spun by a guffawing host to attendees at some summer night barbecue in a suburban enclave on the outskirts of any major American city.” – Chris D., author of Dragon Wheel Splendor and Other Love Stories of Violence and Dread? And, I think Mr. Essington was talking about me in the dedications, “Last and not least: I ask forgiveness of all those who have been with me over the course of the years and whose names I have failed to mention”…just kidding Mike (who reminds us, “Stay safe and thanks for reading”).

So tried something different this time around, I jotted down notes as I read the book, shit that relates to me, because many people will be able to relate to this book (especially if you’re one to go out and about in any major city)…

Awe…the jewelry district (got my first wife’s wedding ring made there)
Todd was a puss (you should have kicked his ass for that Mike)
Getting to know homeless guys downtown (a real education)
Executive and their false sense of importance (I worked at two law firms downtown)
It’s a shame about Harley (but I think everyone from Iron Butterfly could time travel)
Oh God the characters Mike meets, only in LA
7/11s baby (someone get me a slurpee)
Taking the bus across town (2 1/2 hours one way from Burbank to UCLA)
Watching your child grow up (I feel like I know Lucas)
You just have to know Rip Taylor, Paul Lynde and Allen Funt (and Nipsey Russell)
Mickey D’s (I vaguely remember growing up enough to go from the kids meal to the Big Mac)
High or unbalanced? (the question you ask yourself of everyone you come across)
Dad + dead = pee (sadly yes)
Shop class! (blue collar class)
Brain Dead Wayne (everybody knows a Brain Dead Wayne)
the innocence of childhood (ah, we just didn’t really know what was going on around us)

That may not make any sense to you, but it makes perfect sense if you read the book. Michael got it right once again with this one. He is a man of passion and compassion, a keen observer and, most of the time, a participant in this thing we call humanity. This is real life. A speck of time in the universe, but still important. In the days before writing, when spoken word was how humankind shared information and stories, Mr. Essington would have been highly sought after.  All and all another great read…


Scar Tissue

Saw my old homie Gage, who is the tour manager for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and he got my Wife and I, and our two exchange students into the sold the fuck out show at the Pepsi Center in Denver on Monday. The previous night we went to the Denver Broncos game, which they lost, but the highlight of our trip, for me, was seeing Gage (football crowds do not amuse me, although I do enjoy seeing athletes do their thing). The seats he got us for the show were about 20 feet from the bands, court side seats if it had been a basketball game and right on the glass for hockey. The first guy to play, was the original drummer for the RHCP and he played live drums to some trippy industrial-esque music…pretty cool and nice to see him doing his thing still. Next up was a band called Trombone Shorty, outta New Orleans, jazz rock with horns…also pretty cool. Now, I was not a huge RHCP fan, I knew and dug some of their tunes, but I don’t think I’ve ever listened to a whole album. I’ll tell ya though that these dudes put on a hell of a show. Stage presence, musicianship, crowd involvement, real all around performers. They had this killer light show type thing, hard to describe, that was extremely wild. I thoroughly enjoyed the show and Gage brought us backstage, just as the band was finishing up an encore. We didn’t hang with the band, but we did go back to his office, chilled and talked about old times and old friends. As we were leaving, we got to see about a hundred guys and gals tear down the set, stage and whatnot…left me very proud of my old pal (my first Humboldt friend) who with the help of some very hard working folks, runs the show…the guitar player, Josh, even dedicated a solo piece (a Hank Williams Jr. tune) to him. Oh yeah, and they played a very high energy cover of Iggy Pop’s Search and Destroy (2002), would’ve made Iggy proud. The next morning Gage picked up the tab for the four of us at a very tasty late breakfast. I was so jazzed to be hanging with him, I didn’t finish my banana pancakes (which I never do).  We did some nice catching up on where we are today and more chatting about old friends and where they are at today (some are definitely doing better than others).

Circumstantially speaking this song ended up on my virtual playlist day before yesterday…The Germs – Victim
…which made me think of the weepy voiced killer and then I remembered that I made a mix tape, must be several years ago now, that I called, aptly enough I think, the “Mental Health Mixtape”…

Syd Barret – Vegetable Man
The Ramones – Teenage Lobotomy
Joy Division – She’s Lost Control
Fear – Welcome to the Dust Ward
Koko Taylor & Howlin’ Wolf – Insane Asylum
Talking Heads – Psycho Killer
Black Flag – Depression
Disorder – Driller Killer
Amebix – Largactyl
The Cranberries – Zombie
Sonic Youth – Schizophrenia
Roky Erickson and the Explosives – I Think Of Demons
The Kinks – Destroyer
The Ramones – Psycho Therapy
The Velvet Underground – What Goes On
Black Flag – What I see
Jimi Hendrix – Manic Depression
Black Sabbath – Paranoid
Motorhead – Damage Case
The Clash – Lost in the Super Market
The Animals – Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood
SPK – Slogun

And then I had this almost epiphany, I came to a 1st step kind of realization, that I’m passively insane (and it’s getting worse).  Anyway, then I remembered that I’ve probably always been touched, but I’d rather be a little loopy and wet brained, than a fucking drunk, any day of the week.  My favorite RHCP song played a million times on the jukebox at my favorite strip mall dive bar…reminds me of being that loser drunk that would scam on your lady, bleed on your carpet and puke on your floor.  The other drunks knew I was more of a drunk than they ever were (not a contest, I’ll tell you that much)…pretty cool vid too

Way late, last night, you starve, we bite, I know, it’s real, you lie, still

Got my DNA results back and old Mustard is chock full of surprises genetically…puzzling, this will require some contemplation, which will undoubtedly end up where I began, an immigrant mutt.  It’s all a trip down memory lane, much like my obsession with music, finding the new that is old.

It’s been slow here at the Relics, need to post something, it’s been 10 days since the last post, but as slow as it is here, in the world of flesh and blood it’s been quite busy. I’m one to finish everything on my plate but damn I’m full. So here’s what’s on the virtual plate…

My pal Michael Essington has a new book, Broken, which I have read and like all his works, very digable. This is like his 4th or 5th book that I will be reviewing, making him sort of a Mustard Relic. In the meantime, if you couldn’t give two fucks about my review, you can download a chapter at Strange Reaction!

Also on my plate, the legendary Swedish band, Unter den Linden with their first release in 30 fucking years! I got five coming to me straight from my pal Björn, one for me, and the others will be up for sale (proceeds to the band)…damn straight! I’ll have more details in that post…

Mustard Relics Records is about to be busy again with two flexi releases, yup….more details once I have a piece of plastic or two in my hands to know that it’s real…

Was doing the youtube thing (after spinning some brand new wax), going from vid to vid, song to song, album to album ended up with this classic…The Mob – Let The Tribe Increase. Listened to most of the record, then got busy doing something else for a couple of hours. YT apparently was doing it’s thing too, playing whatever their algorithms suggest and when I wandered back this was playing…Crass – Penis Envy. I hadn’t listened to that record for quite some time and it’s still relevant as fuck. Then back to my own personal reality, because that’s where I’m selfishly stuck with a lot of noise from the outside world, but not enough to drown out the racket in my head…


Broke my record yesterday with 63 views thanx to that Paolo Spaccamonti & Paul Beauchamp – Torturatori review, they must have a lot of fans, but like everyone, nothing to comment. Oh well, an ancient complaint here at the Relics. Also got several hits from the Urban Styles review, get that book! I posted a few Beastie Boys tunes at the end of that review, as it was relevant, but of course the way my mind works (or doesn’t work), it sent me on a Beastie-thon on fucking YT. I saw them in San Diego with the Bad Brains long about ’94, top 5 concerts ever for yours truly. The other four, just in case you gave a fuck, you should, because you probably wish you had been there…Venom/Slayer/Exodus (’84/5?), Return To Forever (early 80’s), Creedle (mid 90s, numerous times), and Siouxsie and the Banshees (1988). But I got Beastie fever at the moment and I’m doing my own thing at fucking YT going from vid to vid, leave for a minute, come back and this is on, interesting (I can’t hate a band or two that covers the Beastie Boys)…
Korn/Slipknot – Sabotage (live) (little known fact, I saw Slipknot open up for Kittie…hahahaha…and liked it)
Like it or hate it it is what it is, but of course there is absolutely nothing like the B-Boys doing their live thing, on Letterman of all places, the same year I saw ’em…