My War
ramblings by

Hey there.

Last time you heard from me, I had been traipsing willy-nilly all over the place to see bands here and there. I calmed down a bit with the coming of the fall, but still managed to catch some noteworthy events.

The last weekend of August, Optimus Prime and JAKKHAMR HYPOCRYT, the two bands I'm in, played a party in a friend's backyard. Optimus Prime were particularly loose that night, playing mostly instrumentals because vocalist Joe was too drunk to remember the words. JAKKHAMR HYPOCRYT played well that night, considering it was a drunken backyard party. This show is particularly notable, as it was the last performance with drummer Dan. We parted ways a few weeks later. No John has switched from bass to drums and we recruited Dan (different Dan) from Optimus Prime to play bass. I handle all the vocals now too. You'll hear about it when we're ready.

The middle of September placed me at Webster Hall for the coming of the Melvins. For three years, I have been unable to see the Melvins because they always seem to sell out in NYC. Finally, somebody got me a ticket in advance. (Thank you, Suzanne.) Like a jerk, I missed VAZ, who opened that night. Hopefully I'll get to see them again soon - they're a great band. I didn't pay too much attention to the second band who were a really bland mediocre improv Jazz combo; my Johnny Walker Black was much more interesting. At last the Melvins took the stage, and it was like hanging out with a friend you hadn't seen in years. Their set ranged from Experimental Noise to the noisy Metal that is their staple. To me, it's amazing that after twenty years, the Melvins have lost none of their steam - they continue to release quality recordings and their performances are consistently powerful. You can't say that about too many bands.

For the next few weeks, I remained relatively quiet, saving money for a trip across the country. That's right, I returned to Los Angeles for five nights of alcohol-fueled mayhem. I landed on Thursday. My friend Chris, with whom I was staying, picked me up at the airport and we immediately hit a liquor store for a bottle of Johnny Walker Black. Then we each bought a case of beer and went drinking off into the night, hanging out with old friends.

Friday was a different story and the whole reason for my trip. My dad got married on the Queen Mary, which is notorious for its haunted occupants. Unfortunately, I did not see, hear or feel and ghosts, but Chris and I had a lot of fun sneaking around the boat, venturing into areas we weren't supposed to be in, feigning ignorance when security guards found us. We even managed to sneak into one of the lame haunted house walkthrough attractions where people in rubber masks and black hooded robes jumped out of the shadows and said BOO. $29 for this? I think not. Free was the way to go.

The next day, Chris and I hung out, drank beer and eventually ended up at some random Halloween party where a bunch of my old friends randomly happened to be.

Sunday, I visited Aron's Records where I used to work. I traded in two boxes of old records and got $170 in store credit. Yippie! I had a field day and picked up the following CDs:

Bumblebeez 81 "The Printz"
Cathedral "Endtime"
Chrome Cranks "Lost Time Blues"
Jello Biafra with the Melvins "Never Breathe What You Can't See"
Melvin van Peebles "Ghetto Gothic"
Mission of Burma "Signals, Calls, and Marches"
Moving Units
Ultramagnetic MCs
"Critical Beatdown"
The Weirdos "We Got the Neutron Bomb"
V/A Nuggets "Hallucinations: Psychedelic Pop Nuggets from the WEA Vaults"
V/A Nuggets "Come to the Sunshine: Soft Pop Nuggets from the WEA Vaults"

People call me "eclectic".

Then I hit up Ameoba Music with the crap the Aron's didn't take. With my $20 in store credit, I picked up "Cannibal Ferox" aka "Make Them Die Slowly" and "Death Game" on DVD.

Later on, I met the lovely Maria Karolys, vocalist of Moktezoom. Their music is powerful, passionate and even a tad psychedelic. Check em out at

After a meal of Ceviche and beer, I headed over to a Halloween party hosted by members of Bad Acid Trip. Vocalist Dirk is a Special Effects/Prosthetics guy. He arranged his backyard into a literal labyrinth decorated by his monstrous gore creations. Guinness poured freely, as did conversations with various old friends, some of which I hadn't expected to see. The party was still full when I left at 3 am.

Monday was reserved for the mystikal rites of his Holiness Pope Goat VII, which I can't discuss here.

I'd like to thank everyone who bothered to take time to see me and hang out. It made it all worth it.

I flew back on Election Day.

Speaking of which, did you vote? I didn't. MTV is full of shit. Not voting IS making my voice heard. And my voice says "No choice/None of the above/I don't want either one of these bastards representing me to the rest of the world." Gee whiz, kids!!! You can vote for Lucifer or you can vote for Satan, and Satan always wins. No thanks, I have toenails to clip. The 2000 election was enough proof to me that the entire process is a farce, and it seems I'm not alone. I expected riots to break out when Bush won, but no, we've become too jaded, hoping for the best, expecting the worst, and shrugging when the worst becomes reality. Have another drink and slip into another reality TV show in hi-definition cuz it don't get much better than this.

November 22, 1963 anyone? I certainly hope so. And before you point yer finger and yell "Traitor!" let's look at Mr Bush's legacy of treason. Rigged election(s), sending us to war under false pretenses, screwing our economy and blaming 9/11 - sounds like treason to me, and treason is a federal offence punishable by execution. You've sold out the American people, Mr Bush - now what do you have to say for yourself? Probably nothing. He knows he'll get away with it and there's nothing we can do about it unless there's someone crazy and/or stupid enough to pull the trigger. It ain't me, babe, I can tell you that much. But maybe there's someone out there with nothing much left to live for who's willing to become an American martyr. Remember, the Founding Fathers of the United States of America were traitors and terrorists until they won the Revolutionary War.

Sounds like a reality TV show to me.


chuck.foster - Stero Land