Tuesday, May 17, 2011

How To Be A Dick: Show Edition

One of my favorite leisure activities is attending rock shows. I, along with thousands of like-minded individuals, will attend almost any show if the chance presents itself to me. As such, I have been to hundreds of shows in my lifetime. This expertise has allowed me to compile a comprehensive list of ways in which you can elevate yourself from an average show goer to a total dick. Enjoy.

1. This is the first and easiest step to complete as it can be accomplished before the show begins. In fact, you don’t even need a ticket to pull it off. Since most concerts are held in metropolitan areas, there is a good chance that the one you attending will be in an area that is both residential and full of businesses. Before you go to your show, you can score major points by treating the surrounding neighborhood as though it is a dump/toilet/frat house/whatever. Once you park your car, be certain to yell as loudly as possible. Drink some beers and leave the empties anywhere you please, after all, you don’t have to clean it up so why should you care? If you’re white and middle class, be certain to complain loudly about poor people and minorities while you make your way to the venue. If you encounter a homeless person, get major bonus points for taunting them with the fact that you are unwilling to give to them. Claim that you are poor too, completely ignoring the fact that you’ve already spent at least $50 just to get into the door of the event. (This step can also be completed or even repeated after you’ve left the event.)

2. As you wait in line to enter the venue, continue editorializing about the state of the location. Loudly bemoan the fact that you had to walk on a dirty sidewalk, near homeless people, to get there. Complain about the trash and debris littering the area, as though you had nothing at all to do with it. As you get closer to the doors, and the inevitable security check, make loud jokes about rent-a-cops and pretend that you are concealing weapons/bombs/roofies. Threaten to sue the security guard for frisking you as you snidely look down your nose at him or her for daring to fulfill their duties. If you’re attempting to smuggle in some sort of illicit substance and get caught, yell at them for violating your rights until they are forced to call the police and have you arrested. Not only will you succeed in being a huge dick, but you will also provide endless amusement for those in line behind you, as well as a welcome distraction for local police.

3. Once you get into the venue, try to gain entry to the designated 21 + areas without showing ID. It doesn’t matter if you’re actually of age, just refuse to show your license. Shout “But I’m twenty-twoooooooooooooooooooooo” at the security guard with the hand stamp as a means of showing your maturity. When this doesn’t work, groan loudly and make huge show out of retrieving your wallet. Extract your ID from said wallet with the most exaggerated motions possible before shoving it so close to the checker’s face that they couldn’t possible see it. Then get angry when you’re asked to move it. Once you’ve proven your legal right to be a drunk dick, proceed slowly into the desired bar area while complaining about the hassle of having to prove your age. There will probably be quite a line for drinks at this point, so just shove those assholes out of your way until you’re belly up to the bar. Once there, wave your arms frantically until the bartender notices you. Once they come over, ask them the prices of every possible drink combo on the planet. Ignore the clearly printed price list in front of you. Finally, once they have repeated every price, order the first thing you asked about.

4. Once the bands begin to play, the real fun begins. This step is not for beginners, as it requires a real commitment. Once the music starts, regardless of how heavy or mellow, how fast or slow, start flailing around like you’re an epileptic on speed. Alternate between swinging your arms wildly from side to side and rapidly fist pumping to the beat. Try to start a mosh pit wherever you are by pulling and pushing others into you. If someone gets hurt, you’re doing it right. Respond to any and all protests by declaring that those complaining are total pussies. Alternately, if you’re in the back of the venue, you can attempt to push those in front of you closer to the stage as though you are trying to compress them. Basically, at this point, the rest of the crowd is your enemy and you must defeat them at any cost in order to reach the foot of the stage. Bonus points for crowd surfing. Remember, nothing expresses love for the band like forcing their other fans to choose between holding your hulking frame aloft and taking a size 13 Doc Martin to the face!

5. Believe it or not, the post show time frame is just as important as all of the others. Here, you can really shine. Once each band finishes playing, you should loudly begin complaining about how the band(s) didn’t perform as well as they have the 10,000 other times you’ve seen them. Start declaring that this venue was far too large and you’ve seen them in tiny corner bars, small local clubs, your best friend’s bar mitzvah, whatever. The point is that the band sucked tonight and you, the super fan, have seen them perform much, much better. As you’re doing this, loiter until you’re just about the last person there. When the security staff inevitably asks you to leave, yell at them some more about their fascist techniques and lack of understanding about how you pay their salary. Continue doing this as they toss you out on your ass. Don’t forget to repeat step 1 for extra points.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Record Jacket: 25 Favorite Album Covers (20-16)

20. Deftones – Deftones

Traditionally roses have symbolized beauty and love, while, skulls, have signified death and mortality. The cover seems to hint at the beauty of death, or even the idea that the beauty in life lies in the love and acceptance of the fact that it will one day end. The Image is more comforting then disturbing. It calls to mind the appreciation for the dead that we might encounter with the vibrant colors seen in Day of the Dead Imagery. Provoking in us the naturalist, and far from fatalist ideal that, death, is part of the life cycle, and should not be feared.

19. Songs About Fucking – Big Black

The last hurrah of Big Black, and only one of the many incarnations of musical genius Steve Albini, makes Songs about Fucking a classic noise-punk album, with a classic cover. When it was released the album's title was commonly blanked out. The cover featured the head of animated character sweating during sex, followed by a brutish white hair middle age man, finishing with some good old doggy style on the back cover. These images encapsulate the relentlessness of a great, no holds barred band. As CD Times Eamonn McCusker once wrote, "as brutal as that cover is, the music is even more so". I Couldn’t have said it better myself.

18. The Power to Believe – King Crimson

Now I know that most people would probably pick In the Court of The Crimson King, but I'm not most people. As iconic as album cover get, I don't think it captures the same power, as the images from, The Power to Believe. The painting on the cover was painted by P.J Cook, an artistic masterpiece called Fin de si├Ęcle, which means "End of the Century". The album was released during the early stages of our current "War on Terror" and with it dark ambiance, c the coupled with sporadic addition of more uplifting moments in tracks like "Eyes Wide Open", it allows the album cover to capture the spirit of the album and the intentions of Cook's painting. Before the image was used on the album, Cook wrote this about her painting," The infant here is not only making reference to the infant Christ but also symbolic of the new century and the world which is under constant threat. Not only the threat of war and famine but also degradation by pollution and overindulgence,... and the disregard for our natural resources, wildlife and our fellow Man. "

17. By All Means Necessary – Boogie Down Productions

A powerful album brought to you by the self-proclaimed "teacher", KRS-One. During a time in black culture when crack, Aids and violence where plaguing the inner cities across America, KRS-One does everything he can to inform African Americans across the nation of the entirety of their struggle, in an attempt to prevent his culture from destroying its self. The Album cover attempt to recall the, now famous, photo of Malcolm X, and the punctuating word of a pivotal speech, which was given by Malcolm X before he was brutally murdered,

" We declare our right on this earth to be a man, to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary."

Many of you may remember that Nelson Mandela recited this at the end of Spike Lee's Masterpiece Malcolm X, but refused to say the last line, "by any means necessary" on camera, fearing that the apartheid would use it against him if he did.

16. Daydream Nation – Sonic Youth

This Magnum Opus comes from, arguably, one of the most influential bands of the 80's underground, Sonic Youth. The aptly titled "Daydream Nation" features a painting entitled Kerze ,or “Candle”, by German Photorealist Gerhard Richter, and a similar painting entitled Zwei Kerzen , or Two Candles, that is featured on the back. The LP's 4 sides and the CD itself featured four symbols on the disc, said to represent the four members of the band. The symbols featured are an infinity symbol, a female sign, an upper case omega, and a drawing of a demon/angel holding drumsticks. The flame of the candle lies just beneath the word "Nation" in the title, which almost ,inadvertently, symbolizes the rude awakening America has faced then, in 1988, and now while the world crumbles just slow enough to not disturb this zombified nation. And if the world is slowly ending, at least this classic has a chance to be preserved in the ruble of the Library of Congress, since it was added to the National Recording Registry.