The Perfect Crime.
The following recap is for the 06/06/06 installment of The Best Show on WFMU. Every installment in the 2006 season is now recapped in some form. Some early efforts need a good fleshing out, but what doesn't, right?
"It's the Devil doing this to me. Why are you doing it, Devil? I've served you well. Why would you turn on me in this moment of need?"--Tom, pleading with his Dark Overlord to cease interfering with his programe
"Why didn't you let us do whatever we want?" - Tom, holding a five-year grudge against a country he calls "Freedom" for their post-9/11 behavior
"You are a child, and you should be spanked like a child." - Tom, doling out punishment to a young member of the rock group Wet Rat
"That is not to be toyed with." - Bryce, stressing the seriousness of 666, the number of the beast
"You don't catch me wearing a noose at Orange Julius."-- Bryce, refusing to wear his father's Grateful Dead ties to his new job
"Let's just say I call it a dose." - Bryce, defining the special "additives" he mixes into unsuspecting customers' drinks
"I think you might want to go to rock school, son." - Tom, counseling an FOT Chatter who claims that Billy Preston was a musician, not a famous DJ
"You listen to me, Ingram. Not afraid to go right at you. I went at Bob Grant. GOMP was on the table. I took it. He tried to take it from me. I gave him the 'ol Reo Diner beatdown. Smashed him around the parking lot." - Tom, warning another radio legend about impending violence
"So it's like a 'Who's Who' or, in some cases, a 'Who's That' of exciting contributors." -- Tom, commenting on The Overrated Book's staff, ranging from A-Listers like Patton Oswalt to Chunkleteers like The Gooch
"I think they've contributed a lot to the rock 'n roll londscape over the years. Fulfilled a lot of fontasies." -- KISS superfan "Jerry," defending the bond's legacy
"Oh, geez. Probably like a 13." -- Jerry, rating Kiss outside the parameters of a 1-10 scale
"Let's just say the next time I see you, I will have an axe bass and it will be impounded into your head." -- Jerry, threatening to murder Henry Owings at an upcoming stop on his book burning tour
"I'm really, really, really sick of hearing about them." -- A caller, lamenting the constant chatter from friends, family, and co-workers about bands like Ugly Kid Joe and Let's Active
"Do you live in a 99-cent bin?" -- Tom, wondering if the caller has taken up residence alongside discounted musical detritus
"I took 42 Nada Surf CDs, and I made a pallette and laid some blanketing over it." -- The caller, confirming his makeshift sleeping quarters
"Yeah, you're right, they should kill eight people on every episode. Be like The Shield." -- Tom, firing back at an ultra-violent FX Droog for criticizing The Sopranos' more delicate approach to dramatic storytelling
"Mozart! Is Mozart overrated? No! Pollard's not overrated neither. How dare you." -- Tom, sticking up for the prolific Dayton, OH, songwriter
"Selfish bastard." -- Keith Schwarzendruber, scolding Tom for not letting him drive his parents car to his Little Steven band audition on 9/17/90
"Well don't most people have a couple of martinis after they get their license? I think so." -- Keith Schwarzendruber, arguing that his post-test arrest was the result of a standard celebration
"I made that Hondo speak, and you know it." -- Keith Schwarzendruber, touting his ability to animate his cheap guitar
"Basically creative differences all around." -- Keith Schwarzendruber, assessing his expulsion from three local bands for an inability to pick, play leads, and find a groove with the rest of the musicians
"Yeah, it sounds like they needed someone who was creative." -- Tom, offering an alternate interpretation
"I really don't look anything like him without all the long hair that I kinda put in my face and when I pucker, so I gotta do that." -- Keith Schwarzendruber, noting the keys to his successful circa-1990 Rich Robinson impersonation
"It's very passionate. It's a very erotic pairing." -- Keith Schwarzendruber, describing the nature of his relationship with a Rindy Ross lookalike
"I'm gonna colorform him. He's gonna pass out." -- Keith Schwarzendruber, revealing his plans for subduing a kidnapped Robinson
"I mean, it's not gonna be like gruel or anything. It's gonna be like real ... pretty good stuff, what he's accustomed to. Like, you know, nice poultries and turkeys and stuff, you know, like good quality fish, uh, you know, Holiday sauce. Stuff like that." -- Keith Schwarzendruber, assuring Tom that his island food drops will offer Robinson some good eats
"Oh, I hope I'm attracted to the wife. But even if I'm not, I mean she'll understand that as a rock star I can pretty much do whatever I want and sample whatever goods I want to sample, you know?" -- Keith Schwarzendruber, looking forward to domestic bliss with Mrs. Robinson
"He's got to, we're brothers." -- Keith Schwarzendruber, looking forward to Chris Robinson letting him "sample" his wife, actress Kate Hudson
"I'll just say that when I was down at the Shore I rolled my dune buggy and it screwed up my equilibriderm, so I'm kinda like, you know, kinda freaky." -- Keith Schwarzendruber, plotting his tricky transition into an aloof, full-time member of The Black Crowes
"You're gonna be regretting this when I summon the Sioux warrior spirits on your butt from my guitar." -- Keith Schwarzendruber, threatening Tom for refusing to help him transfer an unconscious Rich Robinson from his car into a speed boat docked at Newbridge Bay
Love Child - "Church of Satan"
( Click here to buy Restless and Wild)
Danzig - "Am I Demon"
( Click here to buy Danzig)
Danzig - "Long Way Back From Hell"
( Click here to buy Danzig II: Lucifuge)
Danzig - "Do You Wear The Mark"
( Click here to buy Danzig III: How the Gods Kill)
Repulsion - "Maggots In Your Coffin"
( Click here to buy Horrified)
Trouble - "The Fall of Lucifer"
( Click here to buy Psalm 9)
The Flaming Lips - "Lucifer Rising"
( Click here to buy The Day They Shot a Hole in the Jesus Egg - The Priest Driven Ambulance Album, Demos and Outtakes)
Now is the time for us to gather together and celebrate those things that we like and think are fun:
How about that?! Another episode of the exciting program that everybody loves. The Scratchy Record Olde Tyme Fun Hour comes to a close yet again. But when something ends, another thing begins. Tom almost started playing records. What?! He's got themes now! Yes, The Best Show on WFMU is back for another Tuuuuuuesday night installment with host Tom Scharpling serving up a demonic, three-hour dose of mirth, music, and mayhem. He mentions that at the top of the second hour Chunklet leader Henry Owings will call to discuss his new book. Tom cannot locate his notes with the book's title and cites this as further proof that something evil is in the air. The show has already been marred by skipping CDs, tangled computore cords, and an inadvertent taste of County Mounty's triumphant closing theme. Tom couldn't even give out the correct time, claiming it was 8:22 p.m. when it was actually 8:27 p.m.! He concludes that gremlins or the Devil himself have infiltrated the equipment to cause technical difficulties on the day when the apocalypse is supposed to dawn. 666: The number of nem beasts. Satan is clearly lurking around the studio to bring down the Good Guys.
Tom considers ending the show early, but the bigwigs at Mennen will sue his pants right off if he bolts. Unlike Sheila Larson, he does not work bottomless. Tom reminds everyone that the exclusive Best Show phone line costs him $3,348/call received. He asks listeners to blow the whistle on any other DJs who make unauthorized use of the absurdly expensive digits.
- Wet Rat calls (starts at 31:25) to say "Whatup" and find out whether Tom will be playing the band tonight. Tom says he doesn't have any Wet Rat material to play. The caller claims they sent WFMU an e-mail with attached sound clips per Tom's instructions. Tom denies making any requests for digitized junk. He wants CDs from this Clowntownosaur, Jr., who reveals that he'll turn 18 next week. Tom informs him that only a child points out what age he's going to be. He thinks he should be spanked like a child for being ill-mannered. Wet Rat thinks the proposed act is disgusting.
Tom wants to find out more about Wet Rat's family dynamic. Wet Rat says his parents are still married, but they are not around right now. Tom concludes that he's a latchkey kid. Wet Rat doesn't deny their general absenteeism, but he's currently walking down the street, chillin' in the horrible suburbs of Cornwall, NY. Tom assumes he's a rich kid. Wet Rat puts his household income in the lower middle-class bracket. His father lost his job as an advertising salesman for a newspaper company because that industry is dying, and his mom remains employed as a paralegal at a law firm. Tom realizes that Wet Rat is not in fact a Richie Rich. He says another caller wants to join the conversation.
- Bryce from Newbridge chimes in (starts at 34:08) with a reasonable question: "What's Wet Rat?" Wet Rat thinks he sounds like Opie (his friend, not the Ron Howard character from the 1986 television movie Return to Mayberry). Tom explains that Bryce is a music aficionado who regularly calls the program. Bryce says he has some real important stuff to lay on Tom because it sounds like he's dealing with some disturbing forces. Bryce believes that the number 666, which is definitely not to be toyed with, is the cause of tonight's weirdness. In fact, he felt the effects earlier in the day when he was walking down Muffler Row listening to Vol. 4 on his headphones. Tom suspects it was Grateful Dead's Dick's Pick's Volume 4, but it was actually the Black Sabbath long-player. Bryce explains that he likes to temper the mellow stuff, such as the 1970s bluegrass supergroup Old and In the Way, with some heavier riffage.
Bryce believes that demons were attacking him on Muffler Row. Wet Rat agrees that this is crazy stuff, and Tom dumps the aspiring rocker. Bryce thought Wet Rat's voice was some alternate version of himself because it goes along with what happened to him today. He then reveals a crucial piece of information: prior to the fateful Sabbath-fueled stroll, he took some 'shrooms and LSD. He believes the demons were real; Tom thinks it could have just been regular Newbridge residents filtered through Bryce's hallucinations. Bryce does recall that the supposed demons were wearing brown uniforms adorned with little designs that looked like mufflers. Tom says they were probably employees of the muffler shops that give the street its name. Newbridge, after all, is known as a safe haven for lovers, not a Hellmouth for evil spirits. Bryce feels better about the incident, but he still regrets signing over his soul to these mechanics. He doesn't know why they approached him for such a transaction. Tom wonders if they spotted a sad hippie walking down the street and decided to pull a devilish prank. Bryce does an incredibly high-pitched "Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat?" that ends with sounds barely audible to the human ear. Tom thinks he should say "Wait, what?" to that dog-whistle "Wait, what?"
Bryce wants to know if Tom was one of the people who jumped out at him. While Tom is not above working at a muffler shop, he was at Consolidated Cardboard at the time of the incident. Bryce says he heard that CC stinks, but Tom, who handles distribution for corporate accounts, thinks they get the job done within a tolerable working environment. (Unless, of course, one of his co-workers is trying to bronze-murder him inside an El Grande box as punishment for bragging about eating waffles for dinner and opening for The Fixx in 1992.) While Tom sometimes wears a tie to work, Bryce refuses to wear any of his dad's Grateful Dead ties to his current gig at the Newbridge Commons Orange Julius®. He believes a tie = death and compares its neck constriction to a noose. I wonder if he ever manned the counter alongside Corey Harris, who was recently fired for fluffing into someone's drink. Bryce offers to get Tom a good deal on a small juice.
Orange Julius carries the standard power-drink additives like protein powder, and then Bryce sneaks in some of his own special supplements. He refers to them as a "dose" like "Microdots," the term for mini-tablets of LSD. Tom says he has no right to do that, but Bryce thinks the customers are probably loving his off-menu treats. Tom hurts Bryce's feelings by calling this behavior really stupid and completely illegal. He says that he can't find much sympathy for Bryce because he's dosing people who are just trying to get a non-psychedelic refreshment. Bryce tells Tom to consider himself not dosed ever. Tom is thankful to escape Bryce's rogue pharmacology. Bryce doubts Tom will love not getting dosed because it's so good. Tom hopes Bryce's boss hears this call and finds out about his weird Orange Julius agenda. Bryce announces that he has to go because he just wet his pants. Tom laments that even Bryce is running with the Devil tonight.
- Best Show legend Officer Tom surprises (starts at 42:42) Host Tom with his first call after an extended absence. OT admits that he's returning with some shameless self-promotion for his upcoming WFMU Listener Hour on 7/22/06. [Note: CoKane took that slot and OT got 8/5/06.] He says the tentative title for his third LH is "Curbside Adjustment." Tom thinks that OT needs to step up his game and take things to the next level a la Born To Run, Bruce Springsteen's breakout third album. OT assures Tom that he has consulted with other listeners, selected some good tunes, and lined up some cop-related topics. He plans to educate people on the law and how to deal with certain situations. Tom, who was educated on the streets, is intrigued by this gritty lesson plan. OT says he's looking to get an outro from Tom and an awesome intro from the coolest female DJ on WFMU, DJ Terre T, host of the Cherry Blossom Clinic every Saturday from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. Tom announces that someone in the FOT Chat suggested that OT's LH will consist of 55 minutes of music from Body Count, the heavy metal group fronted by Newark-born rapper Ice-T. OT says that will be the setlist for his fourth and final LH. Cop Rock!
OT just came back from a nice Memorial Day Weekend trip to Wildwood with the underling and other family members. Tom says that when he's not stuck working at CC on weekends he'll swing by Point Pleasant Beach and hit the boards for a couple of hours. He likes to walk down to the far end to bask in the sadness of the series of dollar boutiques that try to expand beyond an inventory of beach blankets and inflatable rafts. Tom also enjoys the diverse entertainment options: One person can go shopping while a companion can try to win a carton of cigarettes. OT points out that cigarettes are now more expensive than the mini-bikes. Tom says that there's nothing sadder than the clientele who frequent the cigarette wheel. He's also troubled by the Fat Kids trying to win 36-ct. cases of Peanut M&Ms, nine pounds of Snickers, or a garbage bag filled with Reese's Pieces. Tom thinks the best place to win candy is on the 180-degree boardwalk where it becomes liquid in five minutes.
OT reveals that his fight with Purple Shirt is definitely not over. He hails from the Meadowlands, where the winds keep the fires blazing, and he will fan the flames by delivering another parody smackdown during his next LH. Like the last one, it will be Frank Sinatra-related, but more scathing. A. Always B. Be F. Festering. Always Be Festering.
- Purple Shirt, aka the "Purple Retard" per OT, checks in (starts at 50:36) to tout the raging fires over in Brooklyn. OT says that since his sources point to PS as the firestarter, he assigned an arson investigation unit to track his movements. PS denies the charge and challenges OT to step back into the nonagon. OT trashes PS's "Y.M.C.A."-inspired parody for exhibiting bottom-shelf "writing" and "singing." PS accuses OT of outsourcing the writing of his parody (Vilanch?), which did not even feature his own vocals.
PS says he's doing a Listener Hour on 6/17/06, and Tom wonders if anyone other than the two people on the phone get to host these things. OT explains that PS has the time to do 39 LHs because he's unemployed. He says it will be PS's fourth "Fatman Listener Hour." Tom enjoys the zing, and even PS agrees that it was a good one. OT wants to know if PS got his license back after his DWI arrest. PS denies ever receiving that citation. Tom wants to know if that's why PS rides a tall bike over the Brooklyn Bridge. PS says he traded in his tall bike for a unicycle, which OT believes lacks a seat. Tom asks PS if he's growing a handlebar mustache to look more like the old-timey gents on the T.G.I. Friday's® wallpaper. He's not.
PS announces his plans to eventually take the unicycle across the Brooklyn Bridge. Tom recommends installing a spoke-guard to prevent a spectator from jamming a stick in there after being pushed over the edge by the amount of free time Brooklyn mutants seem to have. OT promises to notify his friends at the 44th precinct to thwart his passage. Tom thinks PS should aspire to be like Gene Pool, the nerdy NYC eco-artist whose work includes grass-covered vehicles and clothing. PS says that Gene is a friend and a Good Guy. Tom does not want to attend any of that crew's barbecues. OT says that if he ever learns to ride a unicycle with a seat, he will challenge PS to a joust. PS tells OT that he's too fat and out of shape to ever develop the tremendous leg muscles and strength required to stay upright. Tom thinks PS's assessment is a bit harsh.
OT vows to take PS out on his LH, and Tom decides to consult with the LH showrunner to try to veto both of their programs. OT claims that PS's last LH featured an hour of cop songs as a tribute to him. PS says they were anti-cop songs, but OT says there's no such thing as being anti-cop. The bottom line: the feud is back on in a big way. PS says that his new LH is inspired by the two 13-year-old girls who appeared on The Best Show on 10/16/01. He will have two 6-year-old boys on the show. OT wants to know the way in which PS will "have" them because he doesn't want to be involved in anything unseemly. PS thinks the suggestion of pedophilia is sick. Tom expresses concern about PS raiding his archives for personal gain. He can't wait to hear PS's "Party Zone" LH in a few years. Tom bids farewell to both combatants. OT manages to squeeze in a parting wish for PS to die a painful death. Tom expects to hear PS take a call from Teddy, The Three-Inch Racist, a slightly taller version of the mommy-boot-stomping, Panzerfaust-loving Timmy von Trimble.
Tom reports (starts at 58:34) some sad news in the rock music world: Billy Preston passed away today in Scottsdale, Arizona. He was always a fan of the man who brought The Beatles to America back in 1964. Tom reminds listeners that Preston, who was often called the "Fifth Beatle," was the DJ who jumpstarted Beatlemania by giving the Fab Four their first on-air exposure. He mentions that Preston lived a troubled life after the payola scandal broke, although The Beatles were not part of a pay-for-play operation that mainly involved Roy Orbison recordings. While Preston was also known as "The Boss Jock," Tom isn't sure if he was one of WMCA's "Good Guys" or WABC's "All-Americans." He wants to take some time tonight to honor the memory of an important figure in the DJ community. Someone in the FOT Chat says that Preston was a musician, not a DJ. Tom recommends that this misinformed person attend Rock School.
This past Memorial Day Tom was listening to WABC's broadcast of old airchecks from guys like Dan Ingram, Ron Lundy, and Harry Harrison. Ingram called in for an interview about how it was back in the glory days of radio. Tom wants this sad guy to know that his days on the dial are over. He did what he did, he played records, and now it's time to move on. Tom says the scary Ingram whined to Allen Sniffen, a dentist by day who transforms into a fake-voiced NYC radio nerd at night, about how he essentially invented the medium. Ingram was particularly upset about his failed lawsuit against a Florida DJ who supposedly stole his name. Tom is prepared to change his name to Dan Ingram just to teach that fossil about how the kids do it now -- how THE Kid does it now.
Tom wants Ingram to know that he's not afraid to go right at him just like he went after Bob Grant outside the Reo Diner in Woodbridge, N.J. Grant tried to take the GOMP, so Tom smashed him around the parking lot. Grant, full of free grub courtesy of Reo co-owners George Forakis and Teddy Likakas, charged Tom, who countered by punching the 81-year-old in the throat. He does not regret striking an elderly man. Tom compares his response to Pedro Martinez's wise decision to take on Yankees coach Don Zimmer, a demented Ram-Man who lunged at the Red Sox's Dominican hurler like a rabid animule during Game 3 of the 2003 American League Championship Series. Remember the thrashing W. Axl Rose threatened to drop on an eros-deprived Robert Guccione, Jr. in the incendiary Use Your Illusion II track, "Get in the Ring"? Well, Tom can also sense the smell of retribution in the air and deal it back in spades to PUNKS of any age. He'll turf you the f out. Tom says his fists of fury will next land on Dan Ingram's face. PAIN! One fist says "Dan" backwards, and the other one says "Ingram" backwards. The raised lettering will brand the recently litigated name into his forehead. Daaaaaaaaaaaan Ingram!
- Henry Owings, creatore of Chunklet magazine and now editore of The Overrated Book: The Only Book You'll Ever Need, calls (starts at 1:05) to promote the underrated pleasures of southern life in Atlanta, Georgia. While some people scoff at its L.A.-esque sprawl, Owings points to the city's affordable housing and "amazing music scene" as two major benefits.
Tom asks Owings if he hangs out with Kings of Leon, the southern rock family who are big stars in Eng-uh-lund. Owings says the band name rings a bell and asks Tom if KoL are signed to Goner Records. Tom's not sure if they record for the Memphis indie or the NYC-based Sony Music. Owings says the biggest major label acts from Atlanta other than hip-hop duo Outkast are probably alt-poppers Marvelous 3 and post-grunge radio kings Collective Soul. He realizes that those are two loathsome bands, but the city also boasts far better fare with The Carbonas, Black Lips, Mastodon, and lesser-known contenders like The Selmanaires and Zoroaster. (My faves: avant-garde singer-songwriter Shawn Mullins and funk-metal masters Follow For Now.) Tom sums up Atlanta's appeal: healthy rock scene and affordable living. Owings can't think of anything bad to say about his city and realizes that he's now jinxing it to imminent decay.
Tom, who visited Atlanta back in 1999 for a cardboard industry convention, recalls that many streets are named after peaches. Owings points out that up until the 1950s, the peach groves were located on those very streets, but city planners have now replaced all that fruity heritage with fancy lofts and high-rise office buildings. He says that Peachtree Street, the main artery that goes north-south through the city, was referenced in the 1920s by country and blues musicians like Georgia native Blind Willie McTell. Tom concludes that Peachtree Street is basically Toronto's Yonge Street, but with less camera shops. And little chance of spotting Paycheque scouring record store bins for Johnny Thunders imports.
Owings likes to take out-of-town visitors to a tourist spot on Peachtree where you can get all blinged up with monogrammed chalices and gold grills. He says that his British friends are especially fond of exposure to this strain of culture shock. Tom suggests that the blokes could return the favor with a trip to a fish-and-chips eatery or a lift ride. Owings adds haggis and bangers-and-mash to the potential UK tour. Tom doesn't know what he's talking about. Owings says that he also likes to take guests to shoot guns, which he believes is our birthright as Americans. Tom wonders if Owings is actually Jim Goad, author of The Redneck Manifesto. He grows tired of the tourism talk because he gets it: Atlanta is not too shabby.
Owings transitions to the topic of his new book, which came out this week via Last Gasp publishing in San Francisco. Tom confirms that the book is available at faithful indie book shops, Barnes & Nobles, Borders, and Amazonk. Owings says he will hit the road with a book and record burning tour that starts in Texas with a performance by the Fatal Flying Guilloteens. Tom wants to know what this book is all about. Owings backtracks to say that the last two issues of the erratically published Chunklet were "The Overrated Issue," Parts 1 and 2. He pared down the relevant items and then added 40% new content to shape it into book form. Owings says the tome completely defiles music, movies, and pop culture according to the overriding theme that everything is overrated to some extent. Tom asks Owings to give his personal criteria for declaring something to be "overrated." Owings says that anything on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list, such as cherished sacred cows Exile on Main Street, Revolver, and Pet Sounds, qualifies for him. However, he also realizes that you can pin the overrated tag on artists like Captain Beefheart or The Melvins.
Owings hopes that he and his culture-junky collaborators entertain readers by taking it all in, spewing it back up, and shaking stuff up. He runs down the roster of contributors, including professional comedians like Patton Oswalt, Brian Posehn, and David Cross, in addition to the anchors of the Chunklet ship: Bob Schriner, Brian Teasley, Dag Luther Gooch, Patrick Goss, Jerry Fuchs [RIP, 11/09], Adam Fuchs, Terry White, Ted Rall. Tom says it sounds like Owings is giving an acceptance speech on the stage of the Kodak Theater. He plays him off with his bed music. Owings explains that he just wants to give deserved credit to those who made the book happen. Tom describes the list as a "Who's Who" of funny people plus a "Who's That?" of Chunklet mainstays. He asks Owings to tell the backstory of his periodical.
Owings launched Chunklet 13 years ago in the lazy college town of Athens, GA, after a stint as one of the lead writers for Flagpole, the local alt-weekly. He became increasingly frustrated by editors who mercilessly tore his contributions to pieces. Owings decided that if he's going to do it for no money and no thanks, he might as well do it for himself. The publication experienced an organic growth from a one- or two-page pamphlet to perfect-bound magazine printed in Canada on 80-lb. offset paper. (This explains the poutine stains that marred my copy of issue #17.) Owings thinks that most mainstream magazines either cowtow to readers or, more significantly, their advertisers. He believes that Chunklet captures the true DIY spirit of doing it for your own pleasure and sense of well-being. Since Owings never had any interest in making it his job, the goal is always to derive as much fun out of it as possible. He says that the magazine has allowed him to meet like-minded miscreants and pranksters who muck around on the deck of a happy ship of fools.
Tom asks Owings to explain how he strikes a balance between being an obsessive fan of stuff while also ripping a lot of stuff to shreds. Owings says he does it for his own amusement and doesn't feel bad if other people find it irritating or hurtful. He believes that the magazine stirs the pot in a pretty respectful way. Owings points out that he often tears his friends apart and goofs on his own fanboy obsessions. He hopes that Chunklet helps to clear a playing field littered with an endless parade of glossy cover stories about the Flaming Lips, Wilco, and other schlubs who have become tiresome to the Chunklet constituency. Owings says that, at a minimum, he enjoys taking the wind out of the sails of things that people hype into oblivion, even if he actually likes them. Tom compares it to being a defense attorney for a client you think is guilty or a prosecutor for a defendant you think is innocent. Owings suspects that Tom would agree that the indie/underground/punk music world takes it self way, way, way, way too seriously and often creates as many barriers in their own minds as major label artists. A mohawk doesn't mean you are punk rock (a reverse-mohawk does, though), and being on an indie label doesn't necessarily make you one of the Good Guys.
Owings says that the Chunklet writers walk the walk by playing in bands (nine drummers are on staff, including Dokken's "Wild" Mick Brown), putting out records, and promoting shows to arrive at a pretty considered opinion on the musical landscape. He recalls a wise man who once said, "I don't care if I offend people I don't know, but I do care if I offend people I do know." (I'm not sure about the source of that quotation, but my guess is that it's either Buzz Osbourne or former Georgia governor Lestor Maddox.) Owings says that his friends usually laugh off his skewering as nothing personal.
Tom asks Owings if there are any people who have taken offense to any Chunklet barbs. Owings reluctantly mentions that he irrevocably irritated Stephen Merritt, the gentleman from The Magnetic Fields. In a nutshell, Mr. Merritt got Thai-rattlesnake mad about the blurb accompanying his placement at #38 on "The Top 100 Assholes in Rock" list in Chunklet #15 and then alerted his label, Merge Records, who paid for advertising space in the issue. Owings says that there was something in the magazine that he thought was one thing, but he later found out that it was something else. He explains that an issue of Chunklet is similar to a sloppy, error-laden term paper x100. Time to hire a new editor! He regrets shaking a nest of hornets because he does hold Merritt in high regard. Owings thinks that things have since been patched up with Merge.
- Jerry calls (starts at 1:30) to ask Owings how Kiss fares in his book. Owings says that Kiss is pretty glaringly overrated and dismisses them as a glorified bar band who wore makeup. Jerry, who is a big fan of Kiss, wonders if this is some kind of unfunny joke. He takes offense to any mudslinging directed at the band. Jerry thinks that Kiss have contributed a lot to the rock n' roll landscape and fulfilled a lot of fontasies over the years. Owings asks him if "fontasy" is a graphic design term. Jerry clarifies that a lot of women have fontasies about him. He reveals that he's in the business of pleasing people. Jerry says he was a big Wicked Lester fan and attended one of the first Kiss shows in 1973 at the Hotel Diplomat in Manhattan. He thinks the band has evolved over the years and continues to deliver great pleasures. Tom asks Jerry to rate Kiss on a scale of 1 to 10. He disregards the parameters and gives them a 13. Owings wants Jerry to rate Led Zeppelin on the same scale. He gives them a 7 for being a very good bond who also fulfilled a lot of fontasies. Tom says that he would put Led Zep ahead of Kiss, and Owings agrees. Jerry detects a little bit of a poor attitude from the host. Tom apologizes.
Owings offers to arm wrestle Jerry on his book burning tour to decide the Kiss vs. Led Led Zeppelin debate. Jerry accepts ("You are on, my son") and asks Owings to contact his manager to set up the contest. Owings asks Jerry to provide a physical description so he can pick him out of the crowd. Jerry says that he's 6' 1" with jet-black hair and Middle Eastern features. Owings reminds him to buy the book in preparation for their meeting. Jerry tells Owings that he doesn't buy anything anymore because things are given to him. Tom suggests that Jerry might get a copy of the book as a gift. Jerry floats the possibility that Tom will get pounded. Owings grabs a pencil to take down Jerry's mailing address to send him a free copy. Jerry refuses to give out his address over the air. He says that the next time he sees Owings, he will impound an axe bass into his head. Owings thinks that sounds great. Jerry hangs up.
- A caller asks (starts at 1:34) "Harvey" to announce the most overrated record of all-time. Owings refuses to reveal it and urges the caller to go to his local bookstore to find out. Tom compares this move to a tease for the 10:00 p.m. local news. The caller insists that Owings answer his question, and Owings counters by asking him to pick his most overrated record. The caller allows Owings to keep the big surprise and just unveil #2. While Owings doesn't have a copy of the book in front of him, he does recall that Led Zeppelin's IV, The Beach Boys's Pet Sounds, and The Beatles's Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band landed in the Top 10. The caller thinks that these insane choices prove that Owings is possessed by the Devil. Tom argues that the overproduced Sgt. Pepper's isn't overrated -- it just plain stinks. The caller disputes this assessment and points out the innovative four-track recording process. Tom supports some kind of Engineering Award, but he can't get past the songs that sound like bad British music hall goofballism. Revolver = awesome. Sgt. Pepper's = terrible.
Owings asks the caller how he would feel if Nine Inch Nails's Pretty Hate Machine was in the Top 10. The caller has no opinion on the Reznor record because he's never heard it. He picks Nirvana's Nevermind, which did make the list, and takes a shot at Tom by adding anything by Guided By Voices. Tom tells the caller to give Sgt. Pepper's another listen. The caller makes a crack about Bob Pollard's Beatles intake, but Tom points out that Pollard doesn't listen to Sgt. Pepper's.
Caller: Says who?
Tom: Says me!
Tom mocks the caller in Spike-voice.
- A man pretending to be Jessica Hopper calls (starts at 1:38) to let Tom know that he's overrated, overrating things is overrated, and social commentary is overrated. Owings is pleased that the hormone treatments are working out well. S/he hangs up to listen to their reply off-air. Tom's verdict: underfunny.
- Laurie from Miami asks (starts at 1:38) Owings if he put Vincent Gallo on the list and was subsequently cursed like Roger Ebert. Owings says that Gallo is purposefully ignored in the Chunkletverse. He compares it to an unrequited crush who hurts you more by failing to acknowledge your existence than actually declining a direct request for a date.
- A caller asks Owings (starts at 1:40) if he can rattle off some bands to see if they made the cut. First up: Early 1990s hard rockers Ugly Kid Joe. Not on the list. The caller is surprised because he still hears about them all the time. Owings is baffled and wants to know where he lives. The caller says he prefers not to provide his location. Owings wonders if he's reading about the band on music blogs. The caller says that his friends and co-workers are talking about UKJ and other acts like the Athens, GA, percussion scavengers Chickasaw Mudd Puppies. Owings says the Pupps are also not on the list. The caller is incredibly sick of people talking his ear off about the Mudd Puppies or North Carolina jangle-rockers Let's Active every time he steps a foot out of the door. Owings wonders if the Husker Dude-inspired power pop-punk of Overwhelming Colorfast is another topic of conversation. Tom says he had no idea that people were still rating these bands, let alone overrating them.
The caller says his co-workers and friends will not shut up about Minnesota's Run Westy Run and the New Jersey punk band Skunk, featuring future Chavez singer/guitarist Matt Sweeney. Owings tells the caller that he's mentioning a lot of deep cuts that are not in the book. However, he will consider these bands for a possible second volume. The caller hopes that Tom Troccoli's Dog and other bands that continue to haunt and stalk him throughout the day will get their comeuppance. Owings asks the caller to e-mail him via the Chunklet website so he can serve as a guru for the next edition.
The caller requests write-ups on Junkyard (ft. Minor Threat's Brian Baker!), , and Dramarama. Tom wonders if the caller lives inside the 99-cent bin. Owings thinks he may be trapped in 1991, aka The Year Punk Rock N' Roll Broke. The caller admits that he was recently kicked out of his apartment and found temporary shelter underneath the cut-out bin at his friend's record store. He used 42 Nada Surf CDs to make a pallet that he covered with blankets. Owings asks him if the blanketing was made from discarded copies of Bobcat Goldthwaite's Meat Bob or Dennis Miller's The Off-White Album. The caller says that his warmth is provided by much darker fare. He hopes to be involved with the next edition, and Owings urges him to get in touch.
- A caller wants (starts at 1:45) Owings's take on Home Box Office's The Sopranos as it nears the end of its run. Owings says it's pretty solid television and not terribly overrated. The caller cites David Chase's reliance on dream sequences as an example of lazy writing. Tom thinks the writers should kill eight people on every episode like FX's The Shield. The caller admits that he would enjoy that level of violence. He cannot comment on the season finale of The Sopranos because he no longer subscribes to HBO. Tom suggests that he view the program from the parking lot of a Circuit City with Philly Boy Roy, who could interpret the plot and tell him all about nem antics of Old Vern.
Tom liked the finale a lot, and while Owings is less enthusiastic, he thought it did a good job of setting the stage for the final act. Tom reminds him that it can't be Grand Theft Automobile every week. He assures everyone that after the Sopranos clan enjoys their last moment of happiness, there will be blood. Tom recommends Resident Evil: Apocalypse to vampires looking for an interim fix.
- Jim from London, Eng-uh-lund, informs (starts at 1:46) Owings that he picked up an issue of Chunklet a couple of years ago at the All Tomorrow's Parties music festival. His review: "It was okay." Owings thanks him and asks him about the music scene in London. Jim says there is nothing interesting happening right now. Tom tells him to check out the Arctic Monkeys and performs a wonderful rendition of their vaude-a-ville-y first single, "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor."
- A caller selects (starts at 1:48) Wednesday as his overrated pick. He considers it to be early in the week despite its reputation for being mid-week ("Hump Day"). Owings says he's leaning toward Wednesday or Sunday for his most overrated days. The caller points out that Sunday is not overrated if you're a Christian. He reserves Sunday for spending time with his family. The caller provides the rest of his weekday lineup:
Monday: Football Watching
Tuesday: The Best Show on WFMU Listening
Thursday: Party Time
Friday: Doing Your Own Thing
Tom dumps him for being under-interesting.
- A caller checks in (starts at 1:50) to find out what the proprietor of Chocolate magazine thinks about Hershey's. Owings says that Hershey's --and American chocolate in general -- is terrifically overrated. Tom points out that the caller is being hilarious by claiming that Chunklet is actually some kind of trade journal called Chocolate. Owings admires the wiseguy approach; Tom thinks the caller is stupid. Owings anoints himself a lucky boy because in an hour he gets to see local metal stalwarts Mastodon. Tom tells him to have a good time at the show, and Owings giggles like a schoolgirl. Tom thinks his high-pitched "hee-hee" is more suitable for something like the indie-pop of Glasgow's Camera Obscura.
- Keith Schwarzendruber calls (starts at 2:16) to discuss an old dispute that sent him down the wrong path. A stunned Tom estimates that they haven't spoken in at least 20 years. Keith remembers the specific date: September 17, 1990. He says this is the day that Tom ruined his life. Tom does not recall The Incident. Keith thinks he must be kidding. He takes Tom back 16 years to the day he had an audition for the second guitarist spot in Little Steven's band, the New Disciples of Soul. Tom was supposed to drive him to Red Bank, but he had to pull out. As a result, Keith didn't get to audition and didn't get the coveted gig.
Tom says that he's starting to remember this scenario, but he hasn't thought about it in ages. Keith thinks it's unbelievable that Tom is this self-centered. Tom is pretty sure that he had to take his brother, Ronnie, to the hospital after he fell off a roof and broke his arm. Keith says that Tom should have at least let him drive his parents car to the audition. Tom explains that he did not consider that option because Keith was a terrible driver. Keith calls Tom a selfish bastard and disputes his poor driving record. Tom asks him how many times he failed his driver's license test. Keith admits that he failed four times, but he doesn't understand why that's relevant to The Incident. Tom reminds him that when he finally passed the test, he got pulled over for drinking on his way back from the DMV. Keith calls Tom a dummy for not realizing that it was just a celebratory drink. Tom says that if drinking is the mode of celebration for this milestone, it should not be done inside a moving vehicle. Keith believes that most people have a couple of martinis right after they get their license. Tom calls him nuts, and Keith growls in frustration.
Keith says that if he went to that audition as scheduled, he would have gotten the job and been able to afford a chauffeur with all his rock riches. Tom tells Keith that it might be time to reevaluate the anger he's been carrying around for 16 years. He recalls that Keith's brother got him the audition because he worked as an EMT with Little Steven's brother. Keith confirms that his brother got the ball rolling and then Tom made it stop rolling. Since Keith was only 18 at the time, Tom wonders if this audition with an established music veteran was just a courtesy call. Keith is certain that Little Steven would have hired him because even Tom used to tell him that he was a great guitar player. Tom clarifies that Keith was great for a kid in hobby bands who never played outside the local recreational center. Keith can't believe what he's hearing. He informs Tom that he fully prepared by learning most of the songs from the Little Steven records. Keith claims that he was really sounding good, but Tom doesn't remember his playing at the time sounding that good. Keith says that Tom was certainly privy to his ability to make his Hondo speak. Tom remembers hearing dialogue from the $160 entry-level instrument. He tells Keith that this is not a price point that indicates high-quality craftsmanship.
Keith says that "Freddy Sue" is still his main "rock rod." He thinks that Tom should know that anyone worth their salt names their guitar. Tom confirms that he's aware of one of the biggest rock clichés. He assumes that "Freddy Sue" is the name of some woman. Keith explains that "Freddy" is a reference to disfigured child killer Freddy Kreuger, who was on the screen the night he first made love. He says the second part is the term for the warriors in the Injun tribe. Tom spells out S-i-o-u-x, and Keith realizes that the misspelled S-i-o-x is engraved into his Hondo. Tom suspects that this will decrease its value.
Keith doubts that Tom will believe the autographs on it. He predicts that the collection of signatures will grant the Hondo admission into the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame. The rock greats include The Kinks drummer Mick Avory, Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony (Keith met him at a Jack Daniels convention), Red Rockers bassist Darren Hill, Yes keyboardist Rick Wakemen, The Police drummer Stewart Copeland, Nem Hooters multi-instrumentalist Rob Hyman, and Mark "Bez" Berry, the madcap dancer from The Happy Mondays. Tom finds it peculiar that a guitar is signed by drummers, bassists, keyboardists, and one dancer. Keith says that he's found it surprisingly difficult to secure guitarist autographs. Tom suggests that they don't want to sign Hondos. Keith responds with "screw you." Tom says he still can't understand why Keith continues to direct so much anger at him.
Keith reiterates that the Little Steven gig would have been the key event in his life. After Little Steven inevitably took him under his wing, he would have become a much better musician who was prepared for The Big Moment. Keith imagines the day when The Boss stops by the practice pad and gets bowled over by his talking Hondo. He says that Springsteen would have quickly hired him to join his band for his two 1992 solo albums, Human Torch and Lucky Days. Tom informs Keith that the terrible albums were actually called Human Touch and Lucky Town. Keith gives Tom Lucky Town, but he's 100% sure that it was Human Torch. He's confident that he would have signed a lucrative solo record deal after touring the world with Sprinsgteen instead of playing in crummy Newbridge bands like Jester's Folly, Crackpipe Susie, and Bret Haskins's New The Clash. He sarcastically thanks Tom for this downgrade. Tom tells Keith that he should have found another ride if the audition was so important to him. Keith insists that Tom was his ride. Tom reminds him that he had to take his brother to the hospital that day. Keith is unmoved by the family emergency because Ronnie fully recovered from his injury. His wounds remain.
Tom points out that there are literally 1,000 things wrong with his flight of fontasy, which assumes countless steps that would have never happened. He thinks that Keith controls his own destiny with a music career that would have never penetrated the inner Springsteen sanctum. However, Keith says that he had no control over the guys who asked him to leave all those local bands. Tom wonders why someone of Boss-worthy caliber couldn't make it happen in Crackpipe Susie. Keith says that his CS bandmates expressed a need for a guitarist who could pick and not just play bar chords; Jester's Folly wanted someone who could play leads; Mr. Haskins opted for a player who could find what he called a "groove" in time with everyone else in the band. Keith summarizes the trio of dismissals as "basically creative differences all around." Tom thinks it sounded like they were seeking someone who was creative.
Keith laments that Tom caused him to give up all his rock n' roll dreams to get a real job as the manager of The Furniture Furnace in Old Westbridge. Tom recalls that this is the store that melts scrap metal to make chairs and couches. Keith says it's good stuff that fits within your budget, but Tom doesn't think these sculpted metalworks seem comfortable. Keith knows something that's definitely not comfortable: Getting thrown in the back of a cop car because of Tom. Tom wants to hear more about his supposed role in the arrest. Keith says that he spiraled out of control with an addiction to cocaine and got nabbed twice for possession and once for breaking into the Dairy Czar in Redbridge. He was so gakked that he stole the Czar's stash of "Dolly Bars," their version of Dairy Queen's Dilly® Bars. Keith, of course, blames all of this on Tom. Tom is alarmed that Keith refuses to take any personal responsibility for his sad plight. Keith announces that things are now on the upswing and will drastically change very soon.
He asks Tom to point his Web browser to http://www.njlookalikes.net. Keith instructs him to click the "Rockers" tab and then select the link for The Black Crowes. Tom sees three photos of a guy who looks like the circa-1990 version of the band's guitarist, Rich Robinson. It's Keith Schwarzendruber. Tom gives him credit for being a solid Rich Robinson lookalike. He mentions that Keith appears to be pulling his long hair in front of his face and puckering his lips. Keith explains that without those two moves, he doesn't look anything like Robinson. He says that he's appeared as Robinson at six parties in the Quint City area, but he's only played guitar at two of them. Tom asks Keith what happened at the other four engagements. Keith says that the party organizers asked him to leave after failing to properly play the leads to "Jealous Again" and "She Talks To Angels," two of the band's hit singles from their multi-platinum debut, Shake Your Moneymaker. He was able to "pretty much play" the rhythm parts, but it wasn't enough. Keith says that his performance at one party was affected by a badly cricked neck from maintaining the Robinson hair-over-face and pout pose.
Keith reveals that his time on the NJ Lookalikes roster includes a torrid affair with the woman who performs as their Rindy Ross, the lead singer and saxophonist for Quarterflash. He says that the situation is dicey because she's sort of engaged to their Bobby Blotzer lookalike. Tom correctly identifies Blotzer as the drummer for Ratt. Keith says that faux-Blotzer is on the warpath about his torrid affair with his real fiancée. Tom is glad that he said "torrid" again. Keith says that it's an accurate description of this very passionate and erotic pairing. Tom is disgusted by this illicit union. Keith reports that he is leaving the NJ Lookalikes community to replace Rich Robinson as the guitarist for The Black Crowes. Tom wants to know how he could possibly pull off this coup. Keith agrees to discuss his foolproof plan if Tom won't tell anyone about it.
The first phase involves spending the next six weeks getting completely "Richified" --totally getting into the mindset of the man - before The Black Crowes hit the PNC Bank Arts Center on July 22nd. Keith says that after the show he will lure Robinson to the parking lot with the promise of a rare 1960 Les Paul guitar. At this point, he will not sport his Robinson look to avoid arousing any suspicions. Keith informs Tom that he normally looks like Brian Forster, the second actor to portray Chris Partridge on The Partridge Family. He was originally hired by NJ Lookalikes as their Forster, but Keith abandoned the role because it didn't get as much happening on the lady front.
So when Robinson approaches the car Keith will invite him to climb into the back seat to take a closer look at the vintage rock rod. Keith says that he will then grab Robinson, "colorform" him, and watch him pass out. Tom is confused about exactly what he plans to do to Robinson. Keith asks Tom if he's seen movies with the guy who puts his handkerchief up to other another guy's nose and face. Tom points out that these villains are actually using a cloth moistened with chloroform, a potentially hazardous trihalomethane. He tells Keith that colorforms are vinyl shapes that statically cling to a cardboard background. You know, for kids! Keith is not sold on these definitions, but either way, Robinson is knocked out. He will then grab the cell phone from Robinson's pocket to call his brother, Black Crowes lead singer Chris Robinson, who's on the tour bus waiting to leave the venue. Keith says that he will tell Chris that he's going to the Jersey shore to drive dune buggies for two days before meeting up with the band for their next show in Scranton, PA. After subduing Rich and appeasing Chris, he's ready to move to the next phase where he gets really smart.
After Keith drives an unconscious Robinson to the banks of Newbridge Bay, they will board a speed boat that is hidden under a tarp. Keith says the duo will boat 20 miles into the Atlantic Ocean to reach the Delaware Isles, a string of six tiny islands. He will then drag Robinson onto the fifth isle, which is next to the isle where they shot the beach volleyball scene in President Baseball. At this point Keith will finally wake Robinson up to give him the first glimpse of where's he going to spend the rest of his life ... and die. Tom asks Keith if he plans to murder him. Keith explains that Robinson will be allowed to live a full, normal life far away from civilization. He promises to drop care packages once or twice a month from an airplane that he just purchased. Keith says that he just needs 280 more hours of in-flight training before he can get his pilot's license. Tom thinks this is the dumbest thing he's ever heard.
Keith also built Robinson a decent-sized hut and will serve as his primary care physician. He says that he will have to complete medical training to take care of any health issues because he can never bring a real doctor to the island. Keith fears that if any outsiders see what is going on, he will get sent to a different kind of hut (i.e., butt). His crash courses have included learning how to extract an appendix and tonsils, and studying treatments for Old Timer's disease. Keith asks Tom if he knew that humans have two kidneys. Tom did. Keith didn't. Tom thinks he has a long way to go with the medical training. Keith predicts that after 10 years of exile he will be a God to Rich Robinson. He points out that he'll also be only person that Robinson knows. Keith thinks it's a pretty cool situation, and he'll probably write a book about their relationship.
Tom asks Keith to give him an estimate of the total cost of running this Island Jail. Keith says the speed boat was $20,000, and the food drops will run about $5,000/month. He assures Tom that Robinson will not receive any gruel. Keith says the menu will include nice poultries, turkeys, good quality fish, and plenty of Holiday sauce. Tom believes that Keith was trying to reference Hollandaise, a French mother sauce made from an emulsion of egg yolk and butter. Keith concludes that Tom has not dined at many upscale restaurants. He says that he wants every day to feel like a holiday for Robinson, who is stuck on "Death Island," a name he would not say in his subject's presence.
Tom asks Keith to explain how the other side of this kidnapping and imprisonment will play out. Keith says that after the Robinson drop-off he will boat back to the mainland, bop over to Newark International Airport, jet over to Scranton, and check into his suite at the Black Crowes' hotel. Since he has Robinson's wallet and IDs, he's pretty much golden. Keith says he will then call up some groupies, do the deed, and maybe do some rails. He looks forward to finally being able to afford cocaine and not having to drive anywhere. Keith thinks that this is another totally foolproof phase of his plan.
Tom hopes his plan includes becoming a better guitarist because Robinson is an accomplished musician. Keith says he's just as good as he ever was and practices three times a week, sometimes with a metronome if he can hang with it. Tom confirms that Keith will take the stage every night as Rich Robinson, and nobody, including his lead singer brother, will notice. Keith explains that he will ease into his new role by being very aloof when he first joins the fold. He will inform his bandmates that after he rolled his dune buggy at the shore his "equilibriderm" went kind of freaky. Tom decides not to ask a follow-up question about this equilibriderm. Keith thinks it involves the inner ear. Tom repeats that he will not ask about it. Keith expects the rest of the band to get used to him after a few days and roll through the remainder of the tour.
However, he is sort of concerned about how he will get along with Robinson's wife and kids. Tom thinks it might be a bit tricky to pose as a husband and father to people he's never met. Keith reminds himself to ask Robinson some basic questions (birthdays, favorite foods, names, physical descriptions) before he leaves the island. He hopes that he's attracted to Mrs. Robinson, but even if he's not, she will understand that his status as a rock star gives him the right to pretty much do whatever he wants and sample whatever goods he wants. Tom jokingly suggests that the new domestic situation should not be a problem. Keith says that he's also excited about his hot new sister-in-law. Tom identifies the woman as Kate Hudson, but Keith thinks the hottie is Gwenyth Paltrow. Tom informs Keith that Hudson is married to Chris Robinson, while Paltrow is married to Coldplay's Chris Martin. Keith thanks Tom for filling him in. He assumes that his brother will have to let him sample those goods as part of some kind of fraternal code. Tom thinks the plan will go off perfectly and cannot foresee any problem with the following chain of events:
- Kidnaps Rich Robinson
- Banishes him to an island until his natural life expires
- Obtains a pilot's license to make food drops
- Becomes a doctor to take care of any medical issues
- Returns to America proper
- Poses as the guitarist for a popular rock band featuring Robinson's brother on vocals
- Passes himself off as Robinson to his wife and children
- Lives as a rock star for the rest of his life
Keith says that hearing it back from Tom only confirms that he has masterminded The Perfect Crime. He expects to eventually see it documented on The History Channel.
Keith gives Tom a chance to right his past wrong by helping him execute his plan. He needs Tom to meet him at Newbridge Bay to help get Robinson out of his car and into the speed boat. Tom immediately declines to serve as his accomplice. Keith sweetens the deal by offering Tom 30% off all metal rocking chairs and ottomans at The Furniture Furnace. Tom says he's not interested in any of their products. Keith realizes that it's the same old Tom. He knows that Tom will regret his decision when he summons the Sioux warrior spirits from his guitar. Keith tells him that he had to kidnap someone to make an honest living after the 9/17/90 debacle. He begins rousing the spirits from Freddy Sioux with stereotypical, "wah-wah-wah-wah" Native American noises. Keith warns Tom that they are going to get him and hangs up. Tom thinks the threat is stupid and really offensive. He's not sure what to make of this weird blast from his past.
- Recovering Internet Addict "Jane" returns (starts at 2:50) to follow up on her call from a couple of weeks ago. Tom wants some insight into the depths of a disease that plagued her from April 2005 through May 2006. Jane says that she got involved in a very furious and emotionally violent online love triangle after establishing "friendships" with 80 to 100 people (starting on Friendster before migrating to Myspace) in a very strange, unreal, emotionally-vacuous netherworld. In short: It was pretty bad. She says that her intense emotional investment in the Internet and people she had never met threatened her nearly 10-year relationship with her current fiancé. Tom asks Jane if there was a point where she crossed the line. Jane says that she made plans to travel to Virginia to consummate an affair with somebody she met online. She developed a cover story and rented a car before ultimately chickening out. Jane says that she did waste money to fly to Chicago for a gathering with six of her best Internet friends. She deeply regrets the entire experience because the people she interacted with for eight months were like a bunch of strangers in this setting. Jane says that everyone else seemed to be totally into it.
The addiction started when she was home sick and goofing around on the discussion boards. At first Jane used her compulsion to go on the boards to stay out of work longer. She then quit her job so she wouldn't miss anything going down with the inhabitants -- her online "best friend," "boyfriend," "nemesis," etc. -- of this virtual netherworld. Tom thinks it's freaky stuff. Jane says that it's all horrible and scary in retrospect. She recalls that her online love triangle spawned a flame war in the haiku thread of a poetry section of the message board. People flamed each other for hours on end without breaking the haiku pattern. Jane says that she was particularly alarmed by how the online world would often seep into the outside world in really ugly ways. After she decided not to visit her online boyfriend in Virginia, he met another girl in person about five times and then married her four months later.
Tom suspects that all this online activity fills a void in people's lives. Jane confirms that a real-world family estrangement led her to hunt down a surrogate online home. She discovered that it was really easy to attract attention and appear to be smart, beautiful, charming, and interesting to people who didn't know her. The daily doses of love were her drug of choice. Jane says that while the Chicago meet-up was horrifying, she didn't start her retreat until the guy from Virginia invited her to visit him and his new wife. At this point her fiancé gave her an ultimatum. Tom asks Jane to call earlier in next week's show to wrap up this harrowing journey with a happy ending. He reminds her that the Good Guys win and the Bad Guys die.
On the Next ... The Best Show on WFMU: The NJ Lookalike for Kix frontman Steve Whiteman accuses Keith Schwarzendruber of having torrid affairs with their Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Neneh Cherry, and Lorraine Bracco; Bryce announces his termination from Orange Julius for spiking Officer Harrups's Peaches & Cream Smoothie with Microdots he dug out of the pants he wore to the 3/31/88 Grateful Dead show at the Brendan Byrne Area; Tom continues to shift the equilibriderm closer to the side of the Good Guys.