Friday, September 29, 2006

The Night Vader Went Crazy



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


Bad Hair Day by "Weird Al" Yankovic. Contains "Amish Paradise," in which Yank refers to Amish children as "Amettes." I don't know if this is a real term; if Al invented it, than what further proof do we need that he is (as Kurt Cobain famously tagged him) a rock genius?


- The phrase "won't you come?" in "The Alternative Polka" coincides with a shot of R2-D2 rolling toward Luke and C-3PO after the robot auction.

- Luke complains about being stuck on Tatooine as the line "I think I'm cracking up" is heard in "The Alternative Polka."

- The chorus of "I'm So Sick of You" ("I'm so sick of you") is heard as Luke walks out on his Uncle Owen after their argument.

- Luke is looking at his dead relatives as the line "the body count's rising, and everyone's wondering why, Santa, why?" is heard in "The Night Santa Went Crazy."


Vally inteleschting...baht schtoopit!

My friend Chris Shields loves to point out how "Weird Al" isn't really all that weird. Oh, how he loves to needle me with that one.

"Come on, Jim. What's so weird about the accordian? What's so weird about slip on shoes? Nothing! 'Hardware Store,' Jim? Come on! That's not weird!"

Keep in mind this is coming from a guy who toured the east coast simulating an entire rock band with his mouth under the name "Mr. Transylvania." Now that is weird, much weirder than "Fat" or "Eat It" or pretty much anything "Weird Al" has ever done. I'm sure even "Weird Al" himself would admit to that.

However, compared to the average Joe iPod on the street (who most certainly does not simulate entire rock bands with his mouth under nonsensical names), "Weird Al" is, in fact, quite weird. He's weirder than my dad, he's weirder than Joe Namath, and he's weirder than your mailman.

Furthermore, "Weird Al" is just a nickname. Sure, he may not be weird by everyone's standards, but the doubters would also be forced to admit that Andre the Giant was not actually a giant but in reality just a really tall fat guy. In the same vein, the aforementioned Joe Namath has never spent any time onstage in a Broadway production, despite carrying the nickname "Broadway Joe."

I guess the point of this rant is shut up, Chris.

I'm sorry, man, I don't mean to dog you here. I just gotta stick up for my man Al. You'd know how I feel if we were talking about your homeboy Paul Naschy.

I'm taking next week off from the GSWSP because my friend John Piacquadio is comin' into town and he's gonna help me party down. That means no new experiments until October 9th. Sorry, synch nuts. I might post one or two things next week just for the heck of it (stories or news or such). We'll see. I might be too busy drinking liquor out of a coconut shell and wearing oversized novelty sunglasses.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Spatula Death Star



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


The original motion picture soundtrack to UHF, the hilarious 1989 feature film starring "Weird Al" Yankovic, Kevin McCarthy, Victoria Jackson, and Michael Richards. Al pads out the tunes from his first movie (which is hilarious, by the way) with riffs on R.E.M., Fine Young Cannibals, and the Rolling Stones. Not quite as entertaining as the movie (again, hilarious), but fun nonetheless.


- The line "pleased to meet you" in "The Hot Rocks Polka" coincides with R2-D2 looking around for the first time at the other weird droids trapped in the sandcrawler.

- The line "I'm just walkin' down the road" in "Generic Blues" coincides with a shot of a small droid rolling slowly past Luke and C-3PO as they discuss R2-D2's whereabouts.


The UHF soundtrack closes with Al's classic meandering country ballad "The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota." Yes, that's a real thing, and yes, I've been there. In fact, I'm wearing my souvenir Twine Ball shirt right now (it has an outline of Minnesota behind the phrase "Land of 10,000 Lakes and...LARGEST BALL OF TWINE MADE BY ONE MAN - Darwin, MN"). It's a couple of hours west of Minneapolis, right smack dab in the middle of nowhere. You know where Tom Hanks and Helen Hunt lived in Castaway? It's kind of like that, only with more grass and trees.

All the photos I took while I was there came out kind of crappy, so I won't bother posting them. They don't really convey the majesty of seeing it in person, anyway. That damn thing could kill people if it ever got loose from its pagoda. Yep, if you ever find yourself with some time to kill in the Twin Cities area, I'd highly suggest checking the Twine Ball out. Just be sure to watch out for tractor trailers. Unless you're livestock, they don't stop in those parts. Almost had a replay of that Metallica video out there.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I Want a New Dewback



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


Dare to Be Stupid, "Weird Al" Yankovic's 1985 offering that boasted "Like A Surgeon," "Girls Just Want to Have Lunch," and the landmark title track. Also includes "Yoda," Al's parody of "Lola" sung from the perspective of Luke Skywalker. Funnier than it sounds.


- The phrase "I can hear your heartbeat" in "Like A Surgeon" coincides with C-3PO looking up to the ceiling, reacting to the noises he hears coming from outside the Tantive IV.

- R2-D2 is seen rolling away into the desert by himself as the line "well, I heard that you're leaving" is heard in "One More Minute."

- Al inhales sharply at the end of "One More Minute" at the same time the tube sucks R2-D2 up into the sandcrawler.

- The camera is on Luke as the line "I'll be playin' this part 'til I'm old and gray" is heard in "Yoda."


The title of this experiment is a play on "I Want A New Duck," which is Al's stinging parody of the Huey Lewis & the News song "I Want A New Drug" (found, obviously, on Dare to Be Stupid). It should be noted that I hate "I Want A New Drug" with a passion so blindingly intense that it prevents me from enjoying any aspect of "I Want A New Duck." I don't know what it is about that song. I guess I just hate ugly white people who musically advocate casual drug use.

Ironically, I have no problem with the indirect "Drug" ripoff song "Ghostbusters." This is probably because:

A) before "Huey Lewis: Behind the Music," I had no idea either song were related (and I probably never would have known had I missed that special, because I really go out of my way to avoid "I Want A New Drug")

B) I love songs about ghosts sung by black men and

C) "Ghostbusters" makes me think of the awesome movie it was written for, Ghostbusters.

Put that in your beaker and ponder its existence, Mr. Wizard.

I got Straight Outta Lynwood yesterday. I'm enjoying it so far. Like all Al albums, there are a couple clunkers, but for the most part it's smooth, enjoyable, giggly sailing. It must be good if I'm playing it indoors (as opposed to just rocking it in the car), breaking my usual aural apartment cocktail of computer hum and muffled neighborly discourse. Oh, and birds, too. The birds in my area like to chirp all night and day. It's like they get paid by the whistle.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Midnight Star Wars



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


"Weird Al" Yankovic in 3-D. The album that made "Weird Al" a household name, thanks to the mega success of "Eat It." Everybody I knew growing up had a copy of this one - from Kevin Ryan, the kid I was friendly with in fourth grade who moved to Massachusetts, to Kevin Greene, my cousin from Massapequa with the feathered mullet. It was omnipresent, like Santa Claus or the threat of nuclear annihilation.


- The phrase "the big surprise" in "Nature Trail to Hell" coincides with the camera panning across the burnt out Lars homestead to reveal the charred bodies of Owen and Beru.


Well, at least I got to listen to In 3-D, one of my top ten favorite albums of all-time.

Oh, the memories that came alive in my head during this experiment: blasting the Yank on my walkman during long car rides through rural New York; my Osh Kosh B'Gosh bed comforter, upon which I would sit and tap my foot when I listened to the Weird One at home; putting on Groucho glasses and my mom's old wig to simulate the "Weird Al" costume kit seen in The Compleat Al; renting The Compleat Al six million times from the video store down the block (they should have just sold it to me); wondering if I would one day "own half of Montana" just like "Jimmy the Geek," the hero in "That Boy Could Dance"; blushing uncontrollably everytime the lyric "I'm a little girl when we make love together" came through my speakers during "Polka on 45."

When I die, someone please make sure I'm buried with my copy of In 3-D. I need to have it on the other side, especially if I end up in H-E-double hockey sticks.

I said that, H-E-double hockey sticks, once in a high school classroom, and none of the kids knew what I was talking about. Hockey, apparently, is a dying art form. On the other hand, this happened in Florida, not exactly ground zero for pucks and ice skates. I just hope Disney gets around to making Mighty Ducks 5 before the youth of America completely replace their faint memories of hockey with knowledge of Fallout Boy and virus protection software.

How I know "Weird Al" and I aren't in the same tax bracket: he paid $500 dollars to see The Phantom Menace before its official release. I can't think of a movie I'd pay that much to see in advance, even if the proceeds went to charity. Maybe Beetlejuice Joins the Foriegn Legion.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Mr. Darth in the Iron Lung



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


"Weird Al" Yankovic's self-titled 1983 debut. Features hilarious parodies of Queen, the Knack, and Toni Basil. There's also, of course, a smattering of Al originals, including "I'll Be Mellow When I'm Dead," which was my personal anthem in fifth grade. This album is the most accordian-heavy offering in the Yank discography - he even snuck some in on "Buckingham Blues" (which, as the title suggests, is a straightforward blues song...about Prince Charles and Lady Di).


- The phrase "I'll be movin' on" in "I Love Rocky Road" coincides with the death of the Rebel Darth Vader is choking at the beginning of the film.

- A Jawa shrugs his shoulders after the line "what can I say?" is heard in "The Check's in the Mail."

- Princess Leia's hologram is onscreen as the line "you're beautiful!" is heard in "The Check's in the Mail."

- Luke storms away from the dinner table as the line "you can't make me settle down" is heard in "I'll Be Mellow When I'm Dead."

- The phrase "such an awesome sight" in "Such A Groovy Guy" coincides with the shot of the two Banthas through Luke's binoculars.

- Obi-Wan removes his hood for the first time as the line "such a groovy guy" is heard in "Such A Groovy Guy."


Fair enough.

I first bought this album on cassette at Caldor. No, it wasn't a Viking theme park; Caldor was the New England equivalent of Kmart. In my hometown, the most devastating barb a kid could throw out was something along the lines of, "Hey Fransen, where'd you get your socks - CALDOR?!" The irony, of course, is that Caldor was about the only moderately priced retailer within twenty miles. I think everybody who grew up there at one time or another had socks from Caldor, or shoes from Caldor, or hats or shirts or skis or boots from Caldor. I don't remember too many kids sashaying around the playground in Versace evening wear.

But I digress. I got "Weird Al" Yankovic (or WAY, as the fans call it) at Caldor, and within two minutes of owning it I managed to smear the insert with snot. I had a cold (I always had a cold). I wiped my nose with my chubby little digits and then proceeded to use those same chubby little digits to get a closer look at the cover photo. A few seconds later, I noticed the light yellow stain I had just made. I was mad (at myself), but not mad enough to shout out, "Jesus Christ!" like I did the time I couldn't get my firefighting G.I. Joe figure assembled fast enough. That got me a stern lecture from Mother.

My agitation eased after hearing "Gotta Boogie," in which Al also faced a mucous-related problem. Am I the only one who finds it odd that "Weird Al" claims to be clean or family-friendly, yet he sings about boogers and decapitation and characters in his videos are always flipping people off? That's not family-friendly. Alright, maybe it's more family-friendly than Gwar, but Al acts like he's the Pat Boone of parody when, in fact, he is more like the Pat Hingle of parody.

Maybe I'm just bitter because I sent him a personal Myspace message and he has yet to reply. What's up, Al? You too busy writing Grammy-winning parodies and raising a daughter and loving your wife and owning a dog to talk to some yahoo in Orlando? Get out of your ivory tower!

Man, I need a job.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Hate Your Droids



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


Hate Your Friends by the Lemonheads. Hey, didn't I just do a Lemonheads album? Yeah, I did, but this one here I actually like. Hate Your Friends has a nice raw flavor. Distorted guitars, low production know, that kind of thing. I also really enjoy all the material co-founding Lemonhead Ben Deily wrote and performed here. Funny, earnest stuff. It's a shame he didn't share that rocket ride to fame and success with Dando.


- The chorus of "Nothing True" plays as Vader confronts Princess Leia and calls her out on her lies.

- C-3PO is seen walking away from R2-D2 on the surface of Tatooine as the line "now you're doing something different" is heard in "Second Chance."

- The phrase "sneakyville" in "Sneakyville" is heard as the Jawas are seen sneaking around R2-D2 in the canyon.

- The Jawas surround R2-D2 as the line "I once was lost but now am found" is heard in "Amazing Grace."

- The phrase "can't walk so well" coincides with R2-D2 hobbling through the sandcrawler.

- "Fed Up" plays during the scene where Luke expresses his desire to leave the farm and join the Academy.

- Luke looks up into Obi-Wan's eyes for the first time as the line "our eyes collide" is heard in "Ever."


You have to laugh at that "eyes collide" thing with Luke and Obi-Wan. Oh, the implied homoeroticism! It's just too much for a Jedi to take.

As I mentioned yesterday, next week is Five Days of Al. "Weird Al," that is. His newest masterpiece, Straight Outta Lynwood, is due to hit shelves this coming Tuesday. What better way to celebrate than to see if any of his older works synch up with Star Wars? I can't think of any.

9/25: "Weird Al" Yankovic
9/26: In 3-D
9/27: Dare to be Stupid
9/28: UHF (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
9/29: Bad Hair Day

Make yourself a Twinkie weiner sandwich and tune in. Me, I'm about to put on a stupid-looking shirt and go bowling with a few slime creatures from outer space. Tell Harvey the Wonder Hamster the check's in the mail.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Across the Dune Sea



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


Pinkerton, Weezer's sophomore effort. Disjointed, moody affair initially perceived as a dud that over time has become more emotionally revered by Generation Y than Pogs or "Duck Tales." I count myself on the sidelines for that particular parade; I've always preferred their 1994 debut, Weezer, to anything else in their catalog.


- The Tantive IV is shown being sucked up into the open cavity of the Star Destroyer as the line "this is beginning to be serious" is heard in "Getchoo."

- Rebel soldiers are seen falling over, victims of Imperial gunfire, as the line "sometimes you fall and skin your knee" is heard in "Getchoo."

- The chorus of "Getchoo," ("getchoo, uh huh") coincides with numerous Stormtroopers shooting and killing Rebel soldiers.

- The phrase "hello, I'm here" in "El Scorcho" coincides with Princess Leia's hologram appearing.

- Obi-Wan appears as the line "holy moley, wouldn't you know it?" is heard in "Falling For You."


I'm really glad I decided to do this album today. Not because of the synchs or because I enjoyed listening to it, but because of an unexpected discovery. When I opened the CD case up to put the disc in the CD player, sitting atop Pinkerton was my long-lost copy of "Weird Al" Yankovic's In 3-D. That made my millennium.

I don't know how it got there, and honestly, I don't really care to know. I'm sure it was my own stupidity and/or absent-mindedness. All I care about is the fact that my entire "Weird Al" collection has been restored, and next week I can carry out my "Five Days of Al" plan here on the GSWSP in honor of the Yank's latest album (Straight Outta Lynwood, droppin' Tuesday, 9/26).

"Weird Al" is God. If you do not accept this, you will go directly to Hell, where all the girls look like Norman Fell and the only thing to eat is unsalted, unbuttered popcorn. Sorry, dinkle-donk, but that's just the way it is!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Out of Step (with the Rebellion)



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


Minor Threat's Complete Discography. The only band whose music and lyrics I completely identified with at all times. Unlike, say, Cannibal Corpse. I don't know what it's like to be mummified in barbed wire, but I sure as hell can tell you all about my childhood friends who turned into nightmarish drunks and assholes.


- The stormtroopers open fire upon the Rebel soldiers with their red lasers as the lines "red, I'm seeing red" are repeatedly heard in "Seeing Red."

- The line "you're always on the move" in "Small Man, Big Mouth" coincides with Vader and his stormtroopers marching through the Tantive IV.

- The lines "don't go alone, go with a friend, you might need him in the end" in "Stand Up" are heard as R2-D2 watches C-3PO walk away from him into the Tatooine desert.

- Princess Leia's hologram in onscreen as the line "girls were girls" is heard in "It Follows."

- R2-D2 is seen hiding in a little alcove as the line "run and hide" is heard in "Look Back and Laugh."

- Princess Leia's hologram is onscreen as the phrase "my little friend" is heard in "Little Friend."

- The "there's no place like home" outro of "Cashing In" coincides with Luke returning to the Lars homestead and discovering that his relatives are dead; it begins as he pulls up in his landspeeder and ends as the film wipes to the Death Star.

- "Good Guys Don't Wear White" starts as the stormtroopers stop Luke and Obi-Wan as they arrive in Mos Eisley.


Here's a fact that probably isn't unique to my life: the first band I was ever in covered a Minor Threat song. Which one? "Straight Edge," although our playing was so choppy we should have called it "Rough Edge!" Yuk, yuk.

Man, that was ten years ago! Time flies when you're living in Florida. Seems like just yesterday I was peeling the skin off my fingers trying to learn that song (or any song, for that matter). Now look at me. I'm almost really sorta okay on the guitar! See kids, miracles do happen.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Tatooine D



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


Tenacious D's self-titled debut. Acousticomedy duo Jack Black and Kyle Gass expanded their lewd coffeehouse act on this 2001 gem with esteemed guest players like Dave Grohl and Page McConnell. Wasn't sure at first, but now I quietly worship this ridiculous rock n' roll yukfest.


- "Kielbasa" starts right as the "long time ago" text appears onscreen.

- The slide guitar noise in "Kielbasa" coincides with the camera panning down from the opening crawl.

- The explosion that rocks the Tantive IV occurs at the same moment Jack yells out, "TENACIOUS D TIME!" in "Kielbasa."

- Kyle asks jack if he thinks robots are living among us in "One Note Song" as the camera cuts back and forth between C-3PO and R2-D2.

- The phrase "in the middle of the road" is heard in "Tribute" as Princess Leia and R2-D2 are seen in the middle of the hallway C-3PO is looking down.

- Darth Vader looks the Rebel soldier he's choking square in the eye as the line "look into my eyes, it's easy to see" is heard in "Tribute."

- Jack's spoken interlude about Nasty Man in "Wonderboy" coincides with C-3PO leaning over R2-D2 and talking about which way to go on Tatooine; it actually looks like 3PO is trying to tell an unresponsive R2 all about Nasty Man.

- The line "she's good to go" in "Explosivo" coincides with a Jawa motioning toward C-3PO right before the robot auction.

- Uncle Owen is onscreen as the line "you're too old to rock" is heard in "Dio."

- Jack's angry reaction to Kyle's naysaying in "Inward Singing" begins right after Luke turns away from C-3PO in his room, disappointed that the droid doesn't know any more about the Rebellion; it looks like C-3PO is chewing Luke out for losing interest in what he was saying ("Fuck you! You fuckin' fuck!" and so on).

- Luke and Owen are arguing about Luke's future as the line "talkin' about the road" is repeated at the end of "The Road."

- The "Fuck!" at the end of "Lee" coincides with Luke's angry reaction to R2-D2 having run off on his own.

- Obi-Wan looks at Luke apprehensively when the subject of his father comes up; right at this moment, the line "I got some sour news for you, jack" is heard in "Rock Your Socks" (Obi-Wan eventually tells Luke that Vader killed his dad).


This was cooler than inward singing, cock pushups, and the one note song combined.

But you know what's even cooler than that? Lego Star Wars II. I rented it last night and holy crap is it sweet. I'm gonna go play it now in lieu of writing more here or working on my book or looking for a job or putting away the laundry or getting a haircut or trying to improve myself as a person.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Beat 'Em Up (the Rebels)



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


Beat 'Em Up by Iggy Pop. Released in 2001, this was the Igster's ferocious return to rawkanmuthafukkinrowl. Elicited a unanimous refrain from every state in the union: not bad for a guy closing in on sixty. Not bad at all. I'll go on record right here and say that I personally feel Beat 'Em Up is the best record Iggy has made since Raw Power.


- The phrase "to die" in "L.O.S.T." coincides with a Rebel being shot and dying during the Tantive IV battle.

- "Howl" ends at the same moment the film wipes from C-3PO in the desert to R2-D2 in the canyon.

- The line "rollin' around the field" in "Football" is heard as R2-D2 is seen rolling through the canyon.

- "Football" ends as the film wipes to the stormtroopers in the desert searching for the droids.

- C-3PO is seen trying to convince Uncle Owen to buy him as the phrase "get me out of here" is repeatedly heard in "Savior."

- The line "look what you have done" is heard in "Talking Snake" as Aunt Beru begins talking to Uncle Owen after Luke walks out of their home in a huff.

- The opening line of "The Jerk" ("look, here comes the jerk") coincides with R2-D2 turning his head to watch the three Tusken Raiders (one of whom attacked Luke) walk into his general vicinity.

- Obi-Wan is onscreen in a closeup as the line "my death is certain alright" is heard in "Death is Certain."

- The chorus of "Go For the Throat" ("go for the throat") is heard as Vader Force-chokes Admiral Motti in the Death Star conference room.

- Iggy shouts out "Blood!" after Dr. Evanzan's bloody arm is shown on the floor of the cantina.

- Luke's angry reaction to Han Solo's initial price for the flight to Alderaan coincides with Iggy shouting, "Outburst, outburst, infantile violent outburst!" in "Drink New Blood."

- The car noise at the beginning of "Ugliness" coincides with the shot of the two Star Destroyers chasing the Millennium Falcon.

- The car horn in the middle of "Ugliness" sounds as Obi-Wan feels the destruction of Alderaan while aboard the Millennium Falcon.


I had a feeling some stuff would happen with this album. The "go for the throat" thing was incredible, of course. I'm a little upset "Mask" didn't last long enough to synch up with any shots of Vader. I was sincerely hoping for Darth to be onscreen during one of the many instances where Iggy sings, "You're wearin' a MASK!" Ah well. No use crying over missed synchs.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

GSWSP on Myspace

I created a Myspace page for the GSWSP. Check it out:

Now I'll be able to properly pimp this blog out to confused teenage runaways and horny middle aged men. Add it as your friend today and maybe you'll be able to prevent a future "Dateline" investigation from happening!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Wax Ecstatic (to Sell R2-D2)



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


Wax Ecstatic by Sponge. A forgotten relic of the post-Cobain '90s rock scene. Part of that weird, glitter-meets-grunge subgenre that never really took off. These guys are still plugging away, though. Check out their Myspace page if you don't believe me. They're not rockin' as many feather boas as they used to. That makes me sad.


- The line "things just aren't going your way" in "Wax Ecstatic (to Sell Angelina)" is heard as Princess Leia is seen being escorted to Darth Vader after her capture.


So, do you give up yet? Do you want to know what this week's theme was? Okay, I'll tell you. This week's theme was "Albums I've Been Trying to Get Rid of For Years." They won't sell for a dime on eBay, my friends don't want 'em - I can't even get bums on the street to take 'em!

Since no one guessed correctly, that means no one gets the fabulous prize: all five of these lousy CDs. Hmmm, now that I think about it, maybe that's why no one guessed correctly. Maybe word leaked out about the prize. Oh well. Back in the closet you go, CDs!

Next week? Potpourri. It's the opposite of what happened this week; you know the theme, but not the albums. Oh, see how I change it up on you? I'm like Machiavelli. Don't ask me to explain that statement any further, because I can't.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I Think I Can Beat Darth Vader



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


And in this Corner... by D.J. Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince. Includes "I Think I Can Beat Mike Tyson," a hilarious boast rap that inadvertantly became a call to arms for amateur brawlers everywhere when, less than five months after its release, newcomer Buster Douglas reduced "Iron" Mike to silly putty in a legendary ten round fight in Tokyo. This strange turn of events didn't seem to affect Jazzy Jeff or Will Smith, who continued making mildly popular parent-friendly jamz until Smith's movie career took off.


- The record scratching noise in the middle of "Then She Bit Me" coincides with the interior shot of the Tantive IV shaking as a result of the Star Destroyer's direct hit.

- The line "they tried to make me go meet my doom" in "I Think I Can Beat Mike Tyson" is heard as Princess Leia is being escorted to Darth Vader.


I used to really be into D.J. Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince. I had all their albums, watched "Yo! MTV Raps" constantly to try and catch their videos, and was overjoyed when I discovered the Fresh Prince was getting his own sitcom. Then they put out "Summertime," which I instantly hated. It seemed like a blatant attempt to crack the Top 40 (and it did). Disgusted, I declared Jazz and Will sellouts and started listening to Van Halen. I haven't looked back since.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Come on Feel the Stormtroopers



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


Come on Feel the Lemonheads by the Lemonheads. Light alternative pop that borders on folk. Never realized crackheads could be so mellow. Yeah, that's right, Evan Dando used to smoke crack. Luckily, he managed to quit before it ruined his career...oh wait, no he didn't.


- The line "I'll bite my tongue and won't say a word against anyone" in "It's About Time" coincides with Vader choking the Rebel soldier, who won't admit to harboring the stolen Death Star plans.

- The line "have your people contact mine and keep your lawyer on the line" in "It's About Time" is heard as Princess Leia confronts Darth Vader after being captured.

- The weird-looking droid with the big grey eyes is onscreen and looking into the camera as the line "take a look into some big grey eyes" is heard in "Big Gay Heart."

- C-3PO throws his arms up and says, "Don't shoot, don't shoot!" to the Jawa as the phrase "still afraid" is heard in "Big Gay Heart."

- C-3PO is trying to convince Uncle Owen to take him home as the line "please don't break my big gay heart" is heard in "Big Gay Heart."


Did you know that A) the Lemonheads have a new album coming out this month and B) the rhythm section consists of Karl Alvarez and Bill Stevenson from the Descendents? Strange but true! What's next, a Big Head Todd & the Monsters reunion with Tesco Vee?

I can't believe it's Wednesday and no one has figured out this week's theme yet. This ain't the riddle of the Sphinx, you know. It ain't even the riddle of Leon Spinks! There's a fabulous prize on the line that isn't battery operated or neon pink, so keep trying!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Blue Milk Incident?



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


The Spaghetti Incident? by Guns n' Roses. The story behind this album's title is far more interesting than the material within (mostly covers of obscure 1970s punk and hard rock songs). Apparently, in one of his many lawsuits against the band, former Guns drummer Steven Adler attempted to prove how cruel the rest of GNR was by claiming they had once eaten an entire plate of spaghetti reserved for him without explanation or apology.

Incredulous over these charges, Axl and Co. decided to respond by naming their next record The Spaghetti Incident?, with a big question mark, as if to say, "WTF?!? LOL." Truly, Adler had been PWND, but he would eventually win a million dollar plus settlement from his former employers.

Yes, really. It should be noted, however, that Matt Sorum, Steve Adler's replacement in GNR, later claimed that this was all hooey, and that The Spaghetti Incident? was actually named after a spaghetti-heavy food fight the band once started.

It's true.


- Darth Vader's choking victim dies as the phrase "too late" is heard in "New Rose."

- The phrase "got no place to go" in "Raw Power" is heard as Luke complains about being stuck on Tatooine.


This just in: Chinese Democracy is never coming out. Ever. Axl's dead, he's been dead for close to seven years now. That cornrowed thing you see parading around New York and L.A. these days is a professional lookalike Slash hired for his own amusement. He's rich, he can do that sort of thing. The new GNR? All robots. Come on, do you think Tommy Stinson would honestly agree to play in Guns n' Roses? He keeps quiet because he thinks it's funny. They all do. The "new" GNR songs you've heard floating around the Internet were written and recorded by Third Eye Blind with a rotating cast of metal session musicians.

I'm telling you, it's all a ruse. Chinese Democracy was never real. Total Spinal Tap. It's the greatest prank anyone in rock has ever played. I only know about it because my landlord used to be Slash's guitar tech when he was in the Snakepit. That's when it all began. Why would I make this shit up? I'm telling you. Axl died of food poisoning after trying to prepare his own blowfish. Poke around the Internet a little, you'll find the proof.

It should be obvious unemployment is destroying my mind.

Monday, September 11, 2006

C-3PO Pie



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


Cherry Pie by Warrant. Although Jani Lane recently expressed a mountain of regret for authoring the immensely popular and totally vapid title track from this album, deep down inside he must know that it saved Warrant from being remembered as just another poor man's Aerosmith. I mean, come on, take "Cherry Pie" and its too-stupid-to-be-real fun away and whaddya got? "Love in Stereo?" "Song and Dance Man?" No stripper's gonna dance to that crap when she can spend her dime on "Ragdoll."

Wake up, Jani. There's no shame in being "the 'Cherry Pie' guy." Would you rather be "the hamster fucking guy" or "the toe where my nose should be guy?" Take some time to yourself and think about it. I'm sure hamster fucker and toe nose would trade places with you in a heartbeat.


- The line "I know a secret that I just can't tell" in "Uncle Tom's Cabin" coincides with R2-D2 rolling past C-3PO after receiving the Death Star plans from Princess Leia.

- Darth Vader crushes his choking victim's neck right as the drums drop out in the middle of "Uncle Tom's Cabin."

- Darth Vader jerks his arm, signaling for Princess Leia to be taken away, just as the heavy guitars kick in in "I Saw Red."

- Darth Vader is onscreen as the line "I don't need to see his face" is heard in "I Saw Red."

- The line "I'm sure I'll be fine" in "I Saw Red" is heard as C-3PO is seen walking away from R2-D2 into the Tatooine desert.

- The camera is on R2-D2, who is watching C-3PO walk away, as the line "never thought it would end like this" is heard in "I Saw Red."

- Jani Lane lets out an emotional "oooh!" during "Love in Stereo" that coincides with C-3PO exclaiming how much he's going to enjoy the oil bath he's being lowered into.

- The line "I'll be okay as soon as I'm on my way" in "Song and Dance Man" is heard as Luke is seen walking outside the Lars homestead after the argument with his uncle.


This experiment tasted so good it made a grown man cry. Interesting side note: Cherry Pie was released on this very day sixteen years ago. I totally did not plan that (despite what you may think).

The OUT DVDs come out tomorrow. Still not buying them. Still resent the fact this "for the fans" release is bundled with the 2004 Frankenversions. Still frustrated they didn't cancel it and take Robert Harris up on his restoration offer. Have heard rumors about the 2007 six film set possibly including restored, anamorphic OUT prints. Will hang on to my VHS tapes and wait to see how that plays out. Will also continue to communicate in sentence fragments when discussing this issue.

Not one of you has guessed correctly yet as to what all the albums this week have in common. Come on, think! It's not that hard. Remember, the winner of this dumb little contest gets an awesome prize that I can guarantee you is not a copy of Burt Ward's autobiography My Life in Tights. Scout's honor!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Riddle Me This

Correctly guess this week's theme and win a special prize that is also a mystery.

9/11: Warrant - Cherry Pie
9/12: Guns n' Roses - The Spaghetti Incident?
9/13: Lemonheads - Come on Feel the Lemonheads
9/14: D.J. Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince - And in this Corner...
9/15: Sponge - Wax Estatic


Friday, September 08, 2006

Tatooine City Dream



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


Television City Dream by Screeching Weasel. A fairly solid release noted for its blinding, garish cover. It's a diagram of some sort, I think. Could be one of those posters from the mall that you stare at until your eyes cross and you see a horse. Here, look at with me for a minute:



- Darth Vader is onscreen for the first time as the line "they can't tell you what to do" is heard in "Dummy Up."

- The line "keep it zipped when they ask for the microfilm" in "Dummy Up" is heard as we see R2-D2 rolling away from his meeting spot with Princess Leia, where she gave him the secret Death Star plans.


Jesus, I'm going to have to go to the doctor. You're lucky I'm not a litigious man, Ben Weasel. Otherwise I'd sue you and your album cover for breaking my eyes.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Kill the Cantina Band



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


Kill the Musicians, a collection of demos, b-sides, and live tracks from Screeching Weasel. Dropped in '95, one year after the Weaze broke up for the first time. Or was it the second? Man, they broke up so many times it's easy to loose track. They broke up for real, no do-overs, no take-backs, in 2001...although they did play a show in their hometown of Chicago in 2004, so who the hell knows. Guess it won't be over for sure until Ben Weasel dies.


- The word "up" in "Punkhouse" coincides with C-3PO looking up at the ceiling of the Tantive IV.

- The phrase "why don't you go away?" is repeatedly heard in "Fathead" as the stormtroopers invade and attack the Rebels aboard the Tantive IV.

- The phrase "I think we're alone now" in "I Think We're Alone Now" coincides with the first shot of the droids stranded alone in the Tatooine desert.

- The line "there doesn't seem to be anyone around" in "I Think We're Alone Now" coincides with the slow pan across the empty Tatooine desert.

- "Something Wrong" starts as the droids separate in the Tatooine desert.

- C-3PO is seen wandering through the Tatooine desert alone as the phrase "through nowhereland" is heard in "Something Wrong."

- The maudlin beginning of "I Wanna Be a Homosexual" plays as R2-D2 is sucked up into the sandcrawler and continues as he wakes up inside and takes in the drab surroundings (the depressing nature of the music just seems to fit this scene well).

- C-3PO is onscreen as the chorus of "I Wanna Be a Homosexual" ("I wanna be a homosexual") is heard (I shouldn't have to explain to you why this is interesting/funny).

- A group of Jawas runs behind the wheel of the sandcrawler in what appears to be fear as the line "she's giving me the creeps" is heard in "She's Giving Me the Creeps."

- Luke is sitting at the table, eating with his relatives, as the line "my future don't look too promising" is heard in "Celena."

- Uncle Owen tells Luke to take the droids to Anchorhead to have their memories erased as the line "she continues right on nagging me" is heard in "Celena."

- The line "Celena's leaving me" in "Celena" coincides with Luke walking out on his relatives.

- Princess Leia's hologram is onscreen as the line "Judy is a runt" is heard in "Judy is a Punk."

- The line "why don't you stop?" in "Soap Opera" coincides with Obi-Wan using the Jedi mind trick on the stormtrooper in Mos Eisley to get him to stop interrogating Luke about the droids.

- The line "why won't you die?" in "Stab Stab Stab" coincides with Obi-Wan slicing into Dr. Evanzan with his lightsaber in the cantina.

- The emphasized chord at the end of "Around on You" coincides with the little training ball zapping Luke on the leg.

- Luke shuts his lightsaber off as the phrase "good-bye to you" is heard in "Good-bye to You."

- The phrase "don't understand" in "Veronica Hates Me" coincides with Han looking perplexed as to why his ship is getting nailed by pieces of Alderaan.


Eighteen...and I don't know what I want! Sorry, couldn't resist. Welp, if ol' Ben Weasel had any kind of contact info on his blog, I'd mail him about this. Seems like something he might have a passing interest in. Maybe someone will tip him off. Hey, with this here Internet, you never know just what the frig is gonna happen!

The same could be said for our beautiful non-cyber world. Case in point: I lost my job today. Canned, terminated, PLAY DOH. Apparently it was a decision my boss "struggled with" because there had been so much "positive feedback" about my performance from my immediate supervisors. However, the company had the "opportunity" to "bring someone on" with "more experience," so I was "tossed out" on my "ass" like "the bear claw that's been sitting on the event table for three weeks."

That last bit was an inside joke for all my former co-workers. Thanks for the memories. Miss ya already.

So it's back to sleeping until noon and checking the mail in my underwear, at least for now. The good news is I'll have plenty of time to scour the area libraries for albums to use here on the GSWSP. Yep, just me and the homeless guys, wandering through the library at two o'clock on a Wednesday afternoon. Can't wait.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Alderaan For a New Tomorrow



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


Anthem For a New Tomorrow by Screeching Weasel. A concept album that explores one man's psychosis following a series of failed relationships. This is the Weasel at their peak. Set the standard for all pop punk to follow, though none of it was ever this satisfying again. Sorry, Dr. Frank. In this critic's eyes, you are Chachi to Ben Weasel's Fonzie.


- The droids are seen scurrying through the corridor of the Tantive IV while it's under attack as the phrase "I'm in my own world and it's falling apart" is heard repeatedly in "Falling Apart."

- Rebel soldiers are seen running away from stormtroopers who are attacking them as the line "everything around me is turning to shit and I don't know what to do" is heard in "Rubber Room."

- C-3PO kicks R2-D2 as the line "there's something vapid inside of you" is heard in "Peter Brady."

- The line "I am a robot" in "I, Robot" coincides with a shot of R2-D2.

- Luke is seen walking up to his Uncle, about to protest cleaning the droids because he has plans to visit the Toschi Station, as the line "you're not aware of all my plans" is heard in "Totally."


I wrote a haiku about this experiment:

it did not synch well
the pain, the horror, the pain
five dollar voucher.

I didn't say it was a good haiku.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Star Destroyer Fantasy



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


Screeching Weasel's Boogadaboogadaboogada! Angry, sneering party punk. Includes classic youth rants such as "I Hate Led Zeppelin," "I Wanna Be Naked," and "Mad at the Paperboy." Hard to believe this is real. Seems like it should be a running gag from one of those movies Kirk Cameron made in the 1980s (you know, before he got all Jesusy).

MOVIE DAD: Who are you going to see? The Screaming Weasel? What's the album called? Biggitybiggityboo?

KIRK CAMERON: [EXASPERATED] It's SCREECHING WEASEL, Dad, and they're going to be bigger than the Beatles!! So can I borrow your car? I promised Cindy I'd take her to the cnocert!

MOVIE DAD: You'd better not get her pregnant!

KIRK: Oh, Dad!



- Luke is onscreen as the line "the sun's gonna shine on you" is heard in "Sunshine."

- The Tusken Raider is beating up on Luke with his gaffi stick as the phrase "I love to hate you" is heard in "I Love to Hate."

- The flying saucer effects before "I Believe in UFOs" coincide with a shot of a lone Star Destroyer flying towards the Death Star.


Since I can't think of anything witty or astute to say here today, I'll give you a link to Ben Weasel's blog. It's an interesting read, even if you aren't a SW/pop punk fanatic. For serious. Layout's nice, too. Mmmm, I think I wanna get in that blog's pants.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Clock Strikes Ten Parsecs



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


Disc two of Cheap Trick At Budokan: the Complete Concert, featuring the Trick's biggest hit ever, "I Want You To Want Me." According to das liner notes, the band had retired this song from their live set way before Budokan. Rick and the boys decided to whip it out at this concert, though, because they knew their Japanese fans really liked it. Best set list decision they ever made. It probably paid for all their houses.


- "Need Your Love" gets faster as Darth Vader makes his grand first entrance.

- The crowd at Budokan cheers loudly as Princess Leia creeps out from the bowels of the Tantive IV to eye the stormtroopers looking for her.

- The line "I'll take real good care of you" in "High Roller" coincides with the Jawas picking up R2-D2 to carry him to the sandcrawler.

- The first lines of "I Want You To Want Me" ("I want you to want me, I need you to need me") coincide with C-3PO trying to convince Uncle Owen to buy him.

- "Goodnight" starts as Luke gets up and leaves the dinner table after his argument with Uncle Owen.


Not so hot, but the "I Want You To Want Me" synch is tight. It's tight, it's bomb, it's the chick's dick. Yeah, I drop slang that don't even make sense. Jealous?

Three day weekend, WHOOOOO!! That means four day week next week. Perfect opportunity to do Screeching Weasel...'cause I only have four of their albums! Nyuk, nyuk!

9/05: Boogadaboogadaboogada!
9/06: Anthem for a New Tomorrow
9/07: Kill the Musicians
9/08: Television City Dream

Have a gravy Labor Day. Watch out for killer bees. They're here, and according to the Discovery Channel, they're pissed.