Crawlspaces & Cheesesteaks.
RECAP CULTURE NOT FOR SALE!
"The man in the bicycle shop?!" -- Phillip Drummond, shocked to find out the truth about Mr. Horton on Diff'rent Strokes
"Where are your tall bike heroes now?" -- Tom Scharpling, proud 53-year-old, to tall bike apologist, Purple Shirt
"He buried Orson Welles that day." -- Jeff Feuerzeig on Daniel Johnston's 1990 WFMU broadcast
"My eyes see what they see." -- Philly Boy Roy on The Sopranos
"Thou Ain’t Lived Till Thou Did Rails With The Hooters." -- Philly Boy Roy, quoting Biblical scripture
Daniel Johnston - "Museum Of Love" (from Yip/Jump Music)
Daniel Johnston - "Walking The Cow" (from Continued Story/Hi, How Are You)
Daniel Johnston - "Living Life" (from Songs Of Pain: The Early Recordings Vol. 1)
Daniel Johnston - "Monkey In A Zoo" (from Songs Of Pain: The Early Recordings Vol. 1)
Daniel Johnston - "True Love Will Find You In The End" (from 1990)
( Click here to buy DJ records)
Or, if you prefer, you can head to the last remaining Crazy Eddie outpost on Route 22 just outside of Middlebridge -- it's now mainly an adult novelty warehouse (some insane specials right now; I highly recommend "The Dillenger" in mahogany), but there's still a small selection of CASSettes and vinyl. Go there NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Annotated highlights of the action-packed excitement (this recap is dedicated to Jillian Barberie):
Yeah, but did you have to use ACID?! It's so ... gruesome!: Mutant train gang known as "The Station Agents" hit DK & B in Newbridge last week as part of their latest anti-consumerist spree. Local authorities believe this is the work of rogue Small Train crusader Ruben Arness (aka "Josh Acid"), who's been vandalizing local hobby shops for selling model trains instead of forcing people to cobble them from refuse. He's said to sport holsters containing vials of acid, which he uses to "sting" storefront windows with his rantings. In a recent interview in Port Morris High School's Patriot Press, Mr. Acid broke his media silence, saying the public should be happy that he is "killing fake model train culture" and offered a disturbing defense of his weapon of choice: "Acid is like a woman, a good one will eat right through your pants."
- Tom digs into (starts at 25:00) the cover story in The Village Voice about tall-bike gangs attacking culturally inauthentic Brooklyn storefronts. All of these recent read-and-condemns (placate-hatin' Chris Klein, flip-floppin' Mike Jeffries, etc.) suggest that Mr. Tom Hazelmyer should brace himself for El Goodo's eventual smackdown.
They were meant to be edgy advertising, those tall bikes towering in Brooklyn Industries windows, but somebody—or somebodies—took their presence personally. The bikes, each essentially a pair of ordinary cycles stacked into a single ride six feet high, had been in the clothing stores for less than a week when a saboteur etched a protest in acid.
"Bike Culture Not for Sale," read the runny white lettering found February 23 on the glass at the four Brooklyn Industries outlets in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Bike culture? Tom: "Bikes are for sale!"
The Park Slope store's assistant manager, McKenzie Rollins, first spotted trouble when she came into work the morning before and found someone had messed with the gate locks overnight. "They looked like someone had inserted something—maybe a screwdriver—to screw them up," she says, folding a retro '80s T-shirt with a cut-out neck. "We had to buy new locks."
The next morning, McKenzie found the graffiti. "They knew it wouldn't come off," she says. "This was malicious. They could have left a note. They could have gotten in touch with us about their concerns." But who could be so enraged by using a bike to pitch hipster duds? Another saleswoman suggested something curious, that it was local members of something called "tall-bike culture."
Tom thinks that the gangs should attack an actual bike store and suggests a possible target: the bike shop run by Mr. Horton (Gordon Jump, RIP) on Diff’rent Strokes. Horton's deserving of the acidic rebuke for his filth moves in the 1983 two-parter, "The Bicycle Man". His transgressions include trying to seduce Arnold and Dudley with wine (nice voicework by Tom when reciting this Mr. Horton line: "Hey, Ahnold, you know over in France, kids your age drink wine.") and eventually attacking Dudley in the stock room. The supposed friendly neighborhood merchant was in fact a stone-cold child molester.
This, of course, was a classic storyline in Very Special Episodes of 1980s sitcoms. Another standout is the 1982 episode of Family Ties ("Give Your Uncle A Kiss") where a longtime family friend and co-worker of Stephen Keaton known as "Uncle Artie" is in the throes of a mid-life crisis and treats Mallory as his personal Fun Kit at the PBS station's fundraiser. These episodes were always bizarre (often veering into unintentional comedy), riveting, and fairly frightening. For weeks after viewing a molestation-themed VSE, I would enter the local baseball card shop in a paranoid state, thinking the warm, "Heeeeelllllooooo there, son" greeting was merely part of a ruse that would end with a glass of Pinot and a trip to the back to look for that Don Mattingly rookie card I wanted.
Tom finds it hard to believe that the planet's problems have been eradicated to the point where people could reasonably worry about clothing stores displaying bikes in their windows. Tom speculates that TGI Friday's -- and many other theme restaurants -- could be a future victim due to its old-timey wallcoverings.
As for the dude with the paper bag over his head, Tom says that if he doesn't want people looking at him, he shouldn't ride a 9-foot-high bicycle. Also: acquiring acid to burn store windows = not a great use of one's time.
Mutant bikers, went the prevalent speculation, had just been heard. New York's leading tall-bike gangs, Black Label Bicycle Club and C.H.U.N.K. 666, are dedicated to fashioning "mutant" bikes from discarded scraps and spare parts—for love, not money.
A Web search turns up the direct e-mail address for "the Smelter," from C.H.U.N.K. 666's New York chapter. Finally, the Smelter—also known as Kansas—calls from a friend's funeral in Chicago. After mentioning that the club has talked it over, he gives the cell phone number of fellow C.H.U.N.K.ster Marko Bon, who goes by the name of Darko.
"I'm definitely part of consumerist economy," says Darko (aka Purple Sweater), 30, a chisel-featured creative director for the Ralph Lauren website who lives in Manhattan. "I don't think that earning a living is counterintuitive to making a bike."
Tom is baffled that a guy who peddles sweaters for Ralph Lauren is lecturing him on consumerism. Clothes Culture Not For Sale!
Businesses hoping to cash in on the cachet of mutant bikes could never grasp the kinship of the clubs, Darko insists. "The essence of any bike group is based on the fact that when you're riding these bikes, because they are made haphazardly, they break down. So we're always stopping and helping each other fix the bikes. That's where the camaraderie comes in." The name "C.H.U.N.K." isn't an acronym but instead a reference to the pieces of tubing, machinery chains, aluminum siding, and other scraps riders weld together. The New York chapter has a work space called the Shack, near the clattering J tracks in Bushwick, where some members also live. "When you're riding a bike and somebody says, 'These bikes are great, can I buy one?' The answer has always been, 'No, but you can make one,'" Darko explained. "And if they're interested, they can come to the Shack and we can build one together."
Tom wholeheartedly supports the communal kinship and fun of building bikes – that’s a legit hobby. However, if someone doesn't have time to build one at the Shack, he believes they should be able to purchase one.
Darko first learned of the tall-bikes flap at Brooklyn Industries stores from a private listserv dedicated to mutant-bike clubs. He said, "My feeling was, why are there tall bikes in the windows? It is so unnatural to build these bikes for any type of profit." He immediately called Brooklyn Industries' Williamsburg office to inquire about the displays.
Whaaaaaaaaat? Tom: "How dare you. I condemn C.H.U.N.K. 666!" Tom is angry that Brooklyn mutants have so much free time and decides to open a tall bike store and get the bikes stocked at WalMart.
At this point, resident Best Show tall bike expert Purple Shirt calls (starts at 36:00) to offer his perspective. PS's HOF status is certainly well-deserved -- he delivered a thoughtful, passionate defense of bike culture, although he was unable to sway Tom that much. He did get Tom to admit that tall bikes are cool, and he believes that the attacks are the work of one bad apple who doesn't represent the true philosophical core of the tall bike community.
Tod Seelie, 27, is an avid cyclist who over the years has befriended members of tall-bike clubs through Critical Mass rides and while studying photography at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. For the last three years, he has photographed the Brooklyn chapter of Black Label.
"To use tall bikes in a window display seemed shallow," Seelie tells the Voice. "Tall-bike gangs have a very heavy base of anti-consumerism. They live in warehouses, and all their clothing could fit into a tall duffel bag. A lot of them are dumpster-diving people. The idea is to avoid consumer waste."
Tom accepts no blame for their dumpster-minimalist lifestyle and finds it ridiculous that he would have to consult with the gangs before he put a baseball card in the spokes of his bike in order to avoid getting acid dumped on his head. PS says they are good people who throw wonderful events, not acid. Tom wants PS to condemn them all. He refuses to do so.
While Tom's fine with the gangs having a lifelong tall bike party, he objects to their quest to put the bikes off-limits to the general pubic and set the parameters for defining bike culture solely within their "nerd clubs".
PS thinks it's good that the media outlets are talking about bikes and suggests that both sides went too far, with Brooklyn Industries displaying inoperable tall bikes in an effort to drive sales of clothes and accessories made in Malaysia. (PS was not particularly impressed by BI's efforts to donate $2 from the sale of messenger bags to Recycle-a-Bicyle.) He asks Tom what he would think if Brooklyn Industries launched a Philly Boy Roy week and marketed it with mannequins (presumably of Frank Rizzo) in its windows. Tom said he would have no claim to such a campagin and Philly Boy Roy would have to address it. Since the show aired, BI did start a Philly Boy Roy promotion: a free hoagie and copy of The Hooters' Nervous Night with any purchase of one of dem Bullfrog Bags. Yeh.
Tom points out that he sees offensive stuff all day, but chooses to ignore it and elevate people instead of attacking them. PS tells Tom to get a tall bike to elevate humanity even more, but Tom prefers to equip his car with wide fenders to go after tall bikes. He vows to put PS's bike on its side by using acid canons to squirt its back tires. PS wants Tom to attend the next Bike Kill, which Tom dubs a Renaissance Fair for Brooklynites. Tom is amazed that even though the Renn Fair workers are trying to live like its 400 years ago, they are still cleaner than the Bike Kill attendees. Tom calls for PS to ban his son from becoming dumpster-diving, Brooklyn street filth who can't even run a Target and take advantage of its generous return policies.
In the last few years, tastemakers have begun calling on Black Label and C.H.U.N.K. Rumor has it that Rolling Stone and MTV have asked Black Label members to cooperate for feature stories, only to be declined. Darko says magazines such as GQ, Details, and The New York Observer have contacted C.H.U.N.K., and no wonder. The club's beer-soaked signature shindig, the Chunkathalon, has one event called Flaming Bikes of Deth. It involves draping chicken wire with rolls of kerosene-soaked newspaper, adding firecrackers, then hauling the exploding rig around on a cycle. On a quieter day recently, club riders saddled up and tried to eat a hot dog at every Gray's Papaya—a mission Darko says was foiled by widespread nausea at the 11th location. (Hot Dog Culture Not For Sale.) They're friendly to reporters, but usually say no. "C.H.U.N.K. has no interest in commercializing bike culture," Darko says.
Tom gives some more details on his plans to commercialize bike culture: "Tom's Tall Bikes" will be located in Williamsburg and offer domestically-made tall bikes. If any hoodlum vigilantes come around, Tom will be on the roof with a machine gun loaded with acid. He will gun them down and then take their tall bikes, spray paint them, and sell them in the store. Tom compares the bikers to nerds who refuse to acknowledge the existence of Star Wars episodes I-III.
Tom will ultimately co-opt bike culture, much like Myspace crushed Friendster in the online social community racket. Tom will wear a bandana and a crazy leather jacket to become "Bike Dude" -- he'll never actually be seen riding a tall bike but will serve as their official spokesman. Tom also has plans to market tall exercise bikes to Brooklyn gyms. PS is not sure if there are any Crunch locations in Brooklyn because his frequent bike riding makes gym visits unnecessary. Someone on the chat offered another merchandising suggestion: McTallBikes toys that could go in McDonald's Happy Meals -- not unlike the viral marketing of early Daniel Johnston cassette distribution.
Other mutant-bike clubs, however, dispense with any attempt at cloaking themselves in enigma. Skunk, 36, called from Massachusetts to talk about SCUL, or the Subversive Choppers Urban Legion, a gleefully nerdy sci-fi-based club whose members calls their bikes "ships."
Tom condemns The Village Voice for such a superficial, meandering piece that glorifies hoodlums. Tom now trades in his acid canon-enabled car for a garbage truck, which he will use to hunt down hoods and crush their tall bikes. PS agrees that there are much more important issues that deserve attention, such as the rampant development in Brooklyn with its shady political deals and destructive cranes.
Tom tries to get PS to repeat "I, PS, aka Tall Bike, hereby on March 28th 2006, fully condemn all actions taken by bike culture", but PS counters by pointing out the good things about bike culture: eco-initiatives like Critical Mass and Transporation Alternatives, the Tour de France, and Lance Armstrong, who, Tom points out, did not make his bike from parts found in a garbage dump. Tom now abandons all vehicles and will fight the tall bikers on foot, taking on as many as 10 at once. While the gang members swing soup-can maces and bridge-railing jousting lances, Tom will defeat them using only his hands, feet, and suburban wit. Tom believes that the mutants are soft, rich kids that have gone to seed. Bike culture has a new enemy: The Kid.
Tom realizes that he will need a fake mustache and a voice scrambler to safely attend a Bike Kill, although he wonders if the bike guys have radios or computers since they have to build them from soup cans and chicken wire. Computer Culture Not For Sale. Using bare-knuckled fists of fury, Tom will send them back to their parents' gated community in New Canaan, crying as they frantically buzz to be let back into the castle's safety. PS also hates rich kids, coming from the middle-class suburbs with a father who worked for a soap company.
Tom concludes by informing everyone in tall bike culture that PS is a double agent who will catalog their actions and report back to Tom and the NYPD. PS can't have it both ways. He's in too deep.
10-speed calls (starts at 59:00) to introduce a conspiracy theory: Brooklyn Industries was pulling a bit of a 1-2 by soaping up their own windows to get some pub. Tom needs more time to digest the theory. Interesting. What was it that PS’s father used to do? Access. Motive. Follow the soap.
- Major Tom has a friendly and serious chat (starts at 1:03) with Jeff Feuerzeig, the Sundance-winning director of the hot new documentary, The Devil And Daniel Johnston. While there was no goofing around during the interview, Jeff and Tom pointed out that the film is often very funny as Daniel Johnston is a gifted comic performer who views his life as an adventure filled with humor despite the tragic maelstrom that has often enveloped those around him. Tom assures the listeners that they will only regret seeing the film if they don't possess a functioning heart.
With his Jersey street cred intact, Feuerzeig made a case that Hoboken and WFMU can claim DJ as much as Austin, TX., and the film's genesis dates back to a 1990 broadcast on the The Music Faucet with Nick Hill. Leading listeners to believe he was peforming from a West Virginia mental hospital, DJ had people glued to their radios for an hour of self-interviews in multiple voices, elaborate comedy skits, improv songs, and a recording of "Speeding Motorcyle" with Yo La Tengo. Feuerzeig said it was the greatest radio drama he had ever heard -- much scarier and more real than Orson Welles's "War of the Worlds" fakeout. The Devil and Daniel Johnston (early title: Yip/Jump Movie) is that broadcast brought to cinematic life after four years of work that included pouring over collected press clippings, Super-8 comedies, and transcribing hundreds of 90-minute tapes -- an audio history of DJ's entire life.
The goal of the film was to break through the noise of the quick-and-dirty VH1 "Behind the Music"-style music exposes to create a richer portrait of an artist closer to a work like Terry Zwigoff's Crumb and shot on film instead of DV. The completely independent production was aided by the financial stewardship of Hank Rank, who despite snowballing costs did not want any creative interference on the project and was willing to use his Andy Warhol soup can painting as a potential financial safety net if excessive losses were incurred.
While Feuerzeig doubts that the film will cause people to become instant fans of DJ's music, he and Tom discussed the universal, Woody Guthrie-esque appeal to its fragile beauty and innocence, illuminated by stories about a 22-year-old Berkeley-based DJ who was driven to tears by her first exposure to his songs and other new fans who are responding to the arc of the wayward carnie going from nestling homemade tapes next to McDonald's customers' cheeseburgers to having his artwork displayed at gallery retrospectives.
The interview also explored the delicate balance of the fascinating raw abandon of a mentally-troubled artist and the potential to turn it into a exploitative carnival where the audience is laughing at the performer. The comparison point was Wesley Willis (RIP), who has shared bills with Daniel Johnston and is often dubiously lumped alongside him in the so-called "outsider art" genre. Tom feels that unlike DJ, Willis's act was a sad and depressing spectacle where he was trotted out so hipsters could have a laugh at the fat black guy using a cheap keyboard to deliver quotidian three-chord rants punctuated by corporate slogans.
Some FOT chatters felt that Tom and Jeff were being mean to Mr. Willis, discounting the genuine enjoyment he got out of performing; Tom countered by suggesting that the real meanies were those who pretended he was a rock star and lead him into the circus tent for public consumption. My experience with WW is limited to that period of a few months back in 1996 when he released those records on American and got a burst of media attention -- profiles about a schizophrenic singing on the streets of Chicago, headbutting all of his new friends and selling napkin drawings to Billy Corgan and other celebrity fans. Truth be told, I got a few chuckles out of his songs and found it somewhat intriguing, but, in retrospect, Tom's right about the ickiness of the enterprise. (For the record, my all-time fave WW lyric is "I will always love you like a milkshake" from "Liz Phair".)
As Feuerzeig's Google Alerts confirm, a lot has been written about DJ and the film in recent weeks. Here are some links:
(Like Fox News, I strive to offer fair and balanced recaps, so here's Kenneth Turan's negative review -- he found the film tedious and overly self-absorbed.)
Here's a parting quartet of DJ-related tracks. If you don't own the McCarty record, take immediate action to fill this void in your collection.
Yo La Tengo & Daniel Johnston - "Speeding Motorcyle" ["Hi, band!"]
( Click here to buy Genius + Love = Yo La Tengo)
Jad Fair & Daniel Johnston - "I Did Acid With Caroline"
( Click here to buy It's Spooky)
( Click here to buy Dead Dog's Eyeball: The Songs Of Daniel Johnston)
A few bad apples and crackpots in the FOT chat were causing a bit of a ruckus during this interview and Tom was prepared to fight them over the quality of the film. Tom thinks these babies need a spanking, but perhaps a Queens-style flogging soundtracked by some hardcore doo-wop is in order:
Ghostface - "Whip You With A Strap"
( Click here to buy Fishscale)
- Tom accidentally plays The West Cost Experimental Pop Band's cover of Frank Zappa's “Help I’m a Rock” (he intended to play “I Won’t Hurt You”), which delights Philly Boy Roy, who calls (starts at 2:26) to declare Zappa his favorite music of all-time. PBR's heyday was around the time of Zappa's Sheik Yerbouti, and he makes requests for tracks from Joe's Garage, Hot Rats (specific request for "Peaches en Regalia"), We’re Only In It For the Money, and Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar. Tom denies them all.
PBR then invites Tom to the Philadelphia Folk Festival in Schwenksville to show him how they really throw down. Tom's not familiar with the town, which prompts PBR to ask Tom if he actually lives on Earth. PBR explains that Schwenksville is out in the country, west of Lansdale, Harleysville, Upper Southford, and Lower Southford. While it's Mennonite-laden, he doesn't hold it against them. He explains that Mennonites are a step hipper than the Amish because they watch television, drive cars, and there's a proliferation of them at gentlemen’s clubs.
Tom’s so rattled by the hippie-drivel that he digs himself further into a Zappa hole by lapsing into Mahkyesque mispeak, claiming that Zappa "wasn’t anti-unfunny". PBR believes that this proves Tom's love for Zappa, and after years of hating The Best Show, he's now a fan.
PBR recalled seeing Zappa at the Tower Theater in 1978 (I assume he'll be there on June 11th for the Zappa Plays Zappa Tour de Frank), which marked the first time he every did a pony keg. PBR downed two pony kegs by himself and was joined by Steve, Kirk, and Keith, who he met that night. They are now all deceased due to excessive partying that caused them to fall into the same quarry in separate incidents four years apart. PBR thinks it "kinda crazy", but moves on because he didn't call to talk about them guys.
He called to talk about something he's really excited about: his new fantasy board game called Crawlspaces & Cheese
cakessteaks. The game is inspired by Dungeons & Dragons and takes place in the magical world of Philadelphia.
Tom does not know enough to declare his love for C&C, so PBR gives him the rules: A player rolls dice to become any one of hundreds of famous Philadelphians from its founding in 1682 to present. For example, you could take on the form of Ben Franklin, TO, Betsy Ross, Frank Rizzo, or even the drummer from Man-Man. Tom's never heard of them and neither has PBR, but PBR says they are the hippest band out there now and 37 times more far out than the Zappa track Tom played. Once you've morphed into a Philly hero, you can traverse the city stomping out evildoers such as Aaron Burr, Albert Einstein, Brian DePalma, Frank Sinatra, Bruce Springsteen, Martha Stewart, Southside Johnny. Tom points out that these victims are all from New Jersey, something that just dawned on PBR. He's fine with it because he believes NJ is "Evil Central: Ground Zero" and smells like an armpit ... or a crotch.
In C&C, you can also roll dice to become characters from The Sopranos and take on New Jersey evildoers. Tom points out that the show takes place in New Jersey and PBR calls for him to holdonasecondthere! PBR claims the show is about a Philadelphia singing group and notes that the opening credits show the lead character -- Fred Detweiler -- driving south on the NJ Turnpike en route to what appears to be either Lansdale or Ambler.
PBR has watched the show religiously since its premiere, but has yet to actually hear an episode. Unlike the hoity-toity residents of New Jersey who live in beachside castles and use doilies for toilet paper, PBR's family don't have the funds for anything beyond basic cable so they don't got no HBO. Faced with this dilemma, they watch it at 2 a.m. in the parking lot of a Circuit city, either in Manyunk or the one at the Granite Run mall in Media. The whole Zielger clan sits at the front of the store and stares through the glass doors at screens about 25 feet away. PBR is a pretty good lip reader, so he figures out the plot and tells his family as they chow down on hoagies and watch the images of the Detweiler clan's adventures in the music business.
Needles to say, PBR's plot and character descriptions are a bit irregular around the margins. In his mind, Fred, the big guy with the pet bear, is the group's lead singer. Tom is puzzled and PBR feels the need to start schooling him in The Sopranos lore. In season one, Fred gets bad leg cramps and visits Dr. Detweiler to get some leg cramp pills. They talk and it's revealed that Fred’s on shaky ground with his keyboardist wife, Sheila, and his son prefers to work at Pat’s Steaks instead of continuing with the group. This sets off a rivalry between Pat’s and Jim’s Steaks. Fred's not sure how to resolve the dispute so he firebombs Jim's. Tom hasn’t picked up on all these plot twists and thinks that PBR is filling in a lot of blanks with very creative embellishments. PBR thinks he's smarter because he can figure it out without sound and calls Tom a dummy for suggesting that the lead character is actually named Tony Soprano.
PBR jumps to season five when Fred realizes that Dr. Detweiler is his cousin and they make love. Tom suggests that PBR is unable to detect dream sequences, but PBR insists that what he saw was real and "so happening". PBR then informs Tom that West Philly Bobby, the group's baritone, gets killed early on and is replaced by a guy with weird teeth called Roosevelt Avenue Mike, who PBR previously saw as an old-timey music fan in an art film about two nerdy girls. PBR screened Ghost World by peeking through his sleeping neighbor's door late at night. He also watched two titallatin' Andy Sidaris films not sanctioned by Rhoda: Malibu Express and The Picasso Trigger.
So anyway, Roosevelt Avenue Mike missed a performance, so Fred went out to his house near Warrington and accidentally shot him in the face with a gun he found. Tom sees this as further evidence that PBR has completely misinterpreted the program. PBR asks Tom about Old Verne, Fred's spectacled father and manager of the group. Tom issues another character corrective, but PBR finds the name "Uncle Junior" outrageously incongruant -- the first half commanding respect with the latter half suggesting a man who would wear a derby or beanie propeller hat. PBR finds Vern to be hilariously crabby and recalls a scene in which he recited the line: "Oh, Fred, you make me as mad as a rattlesnake at a Thai wedding." Tom is certain that the dialogue is not accurate, but PBR is confident in his lip-reading skills.
PBR tries to find some common ground with Tom on Fred’s Fonzlily-pompadoured cousin Todd. Tom tells him that he's talking about Silvio, but PBR finds it laughable that Tom would suggest that the character was a woman instead of a dude. Todd does do doo-wop, but Fred wants to stay contemporary, like current South Philly faves Gavin DeGraw and Kelly Clarkson. Tom is losing his patience and PBR is becoming more riled up, calling Tom a "stupid, dumb, dunce jerk" for trying to convince him yet again that the show is named after an Italian crime family instead of a (practically) Mennonite singing group. In the most recent episode, PBR saw Todd being carted off to the hospital after getting food poisoning from a bad hoagie purchased at a NJ Wawa.
Tom asks PBR about the final scene of the season premiere where "Old Vern" shoot the guy he calls "Fred" in the season opener. PBR did not see this -- he saw Vern simply pointing a metal stick at Fred. Shawn the Skunk is the black sheep who is having an affair with Sheila. Fred and Sheila love each other, but want to go their separate ways creatively, much like Stills & Cross or The Hooters' Hyman & Bazillian. PBR proceeds to name the entire classic-era lineup and informs Tom that he did coke with all of them from 1983-1989. He still snorts the occasional rail and thinks it's probably approved of in The Holy Book.
PBR changes the subject back to Roddy, the little fat kid who doubles as Fred's valet and drummer in the group. He wants to see if his main Roddy plotline matches up with Tom's: his biggest scene ever a occurred a few seasons ago when he was taken to a hotel in the city to get an exorcism to rid him of chronic, diarrhetic demons. Tom doesn't recall the scene and PBR says it looks like someone don't watch the show. Tom reverts back to the double negatives by saying "don't not watch", which PBR hails as a blessing since the Greatest Love Of All is to talk like someone from Roxboro.
PBR also informs Tom that he killed him in a recent game of C&C. He flew across the city as Julius Erving and stabbed Tom in the face with a sharpened peanut chew because he was trying to suck the funny out of David Brenner. He promises to do it again with future Scharpling kills coming from a juggler vein severed by a throwing star made from a sharpened Kandy Kake. Tom doesn't know what to make of all this, but tells PBR that it sounds like he's having a blast filling in all the story details on The Sopranos to make it Philly-centric. PBR warns Tom that if he doesn't watch himself, he's gonna get filled in by some Yeunglings down below. PBR declares victory over Tom and gives him an inside scoop that Fred will grace the cover of next week's TV Guide. PBR won't read it because he already knows everything he can and wants to know. He also can't afford to buy it because his pencil factorty job was outsourced to Trenton and he won't commute because of the bad air. To him, Philly is a paradise compared to Jersey's hades.
I picked up a copy of C&C at Brooklyn Industries (Fantasy Game Culture For Sale) and played as Cinderella bassist Eric Brittingham, killing Tico Torres, Dave "The Snake" Sabo, and the drummer from Higgins with a sharpened rod of ring bologna.
PBR is bored and might go to 7-11 to read rock magazines until 4 a.m. since he's on the outs with Rhoda. His mag of choice is Revolver because he likes to keep up on some of the heavy stuff like AFI. He tells Tom that he thought Fallout Boy were great a on SNL, but Tom disagrees. As a result, Tom will get also get some franks down below.
Tom can’t win. Whah Whah Whaaaaaaaaaaah.
Frank Zappa - "The Sheik Yerbouti Tango"
Hose it down:
Volcano Suns - "Laff Riot"
On the next ... The Best Show on WFMU: Tom morphs into Arnold Diaz and BRINGS IT, Joey the Pimp calls to discuss the juice he brings to his new radio obsession, Spike slinks back to the fold to announce his plans to launch Droopy Zippermouth's Discipline Den on WFMU (a mixture of The Beatles, doo-wop, and the horror film soundtrack work of Italian prog-rockers Goblin), and the Good Guys win because Free Form Radio Culture is Not For Sale.