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Announcing “Sellouts And Posers”

Hi, friends –

Maybe you’re still following this blog on your RSS feed. Or maybe you keep coming back, day after day, and wondering “what the hell happened to that guy? You know, the Christmas special fella, who sometimes wrote about music or politics or whatever?”

Well, wonder no more, hypothetical non-person! The answer is: mostly, I’ve been busy with a lot of crazy life-related stuff. Oh, and I have a new project. A cool one. You’ll like it.

So, as ya might know, I was a DJ at WBCN in Boston for six years – from 2003 to 2009. Now that I’ve moved on to a super-serious grownup job in public broadcasting, I’ve been able to look at the “alternative rock” era with a little hindsight and clarity, a little spice and vinegar, a pinch of salt, and stir to taste (note to self: don’t write these entries before dinnertime.)

So, yeah. New blog. It’s my long-form, song-by-song chronological history of the “alternative rock” years, called (of course…) SELLOUTS AND POSERS.

And you can read it here. We’re starting in May of 1989 with The Cure and going straight on until 2001. Tomorrow you’ll get a post about Faith No More’s “Epic.” Later this week, we go all Nine Inch Nails-y. Sometimes, you’ll get little personal snippets from my own life that may, or may not, be terrible lies.

Share and enjoy!

~geek usa

 

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2016 in Uncategorized

 
Video

Nostalgia Critic – Tribute To Animaniacs

If you have an hour to kill, and you were a Child Of The Nineties (TM), you need to watch this. It’s the Nostalgla Critic, interviewing about five of the writers/voice artists for THE GREATEST CARTOON OF ALL TIME, Animaniacs. Complete with clips and nostalgic warm fuzzies.

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

 
Video

the misremembered ’90s: Fuzzy, “Flashlight”

If you wanted to do an archeological study of a particular time and place, and that particular time and place was “1994” and “Boston, Massachusetts”, you could do worse than to watch this video.

I mean, besides the fact that it’s awesomely catchy and all, “Flashlight” – by former Boston popsters Fuzzy – features a video that was probably filmed in their back yard, with lots of black and white slow motion guitar chuggin’.  If you live around here, you recognize that back yard.  Heck, you might have even been to a party in that *exact* back yard.  It’s in back of a triple decker apartment building in… something makes me want to say Jamaica Plain, but it could just as easily be Allston or Somerville.

There’s an adorably “look at us, with our crazy tanning foil like our parents used to use before they invented skin cancer” cutesy retro-vibe here, although it’s undercut by the black and white, which makes the whole thing seem more threatening than it probably meant to.

Ok, the video itself isn’t great.  But I still love this damn song, to this day.  It’s one of those local tunes ‘FNX used to play in the OK Soda era and, if you were a kid in the ‘burbs, it made you think that Boston was the coolest place in the entire world and you’d never, ever leave.

I’m still laboring under that delusion.  Thanks, Fuzzy.

 

the misremembered ’90s: catherine wheel, “judy staring at the sun”

 

Nothing to report… except…

Yes, I love this video because of its cheesy retro sci-fi “made in the basement” style.  I also love that thing it does… which seems unique to videos from ’90s no-hit wonders, somehow…. where you have lots of flashing pop-art doing that stop motion thing while random words pop up.  They did it at the end of Reality Bites in the Pizza Hut commercial.  They sort of did it with the whole OK Soda thing.  You know exactly what I’m talking about.  Like here’s a bunch of Day-Glo pop art and a monkey and random words like “memory” and “fantasy”, and it’s all moving really fast?

I’m not sure who did that thing first, but I really want to know, because it’s always fascinated me.  Nothing says “it’s 1994 and I’m in art school” like that kind of editing.

Yes, that’s Boston’s own Tanya Donelly, lead singer of legendary local band Belly, singing back-up vocals here with the Catherine Wheel.  My completely unfounded theory is that Julie Kramer, veteran mid-day DJ at WFNX, had something to do with this, as she loves Catherine Wheel more than life itself and, I’m pretty sure, she used to hang out with Tanya Donelly as the Boston Phoenix *always* had a thing for Belly and the Phoenix owns WFNX.  Then again, my other completely unfounded theory is that I was somehow indirectly responsible for Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer getting together.  Not in any direct way – it’s more of a butterfly effect kind of thing.  I’d explain it to you, but it would probably involve a Glenn Beck-ish chalkboard thing and you know what forget it.

This is such a good “it’s summer, let’s drive somewhere” song.   Go listen to it while you do that.

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

I really gave up blogging about political matters…

I did.  I gave up last year because I was sick of adding nothing to the discourse but yet another screaming partisan voice.

But…. wow.

Wow, Gov. Walker.  Wow.  Do you give a SHIT about how evil you look?  Do you Republicans care about how you come across to – let’s be honest here – the MAJORITY of Americans who were opposed to what you were doing?

 

This was never about money.  This was about screwing the unions so your corporate boyfriends could get their way.

You look evil.  You look like the world’s biggest assholes to 66% of the country.  The rest are too busy whacking off to Fox News.

YOU DON’T CARE HOW EVIL YOU LOOK.    A State House full of protesters.  Teachers.  Cops.  Fucking firefighters.  The people you call “the heroes” every 9/11.  Now, bless your souls, you’ll be able to cut their salaries, cut their benefits, make ’em work 16 hour shifts and teach 50 kids at a time, and they won’t be able to complain.  It’s ok – it’s not like they have REAL jobs, like (for instance, just grabbing something out of the air here) one of the very part time Directors of Blue Cross/Blue Shield who pulls in about $1 million a year.  But that’s ok – that guy works for a living.

They teach your kids.  They patrol your streets.  They save you when your house is burning.  They gave up a raise, they gave up not having to pay into their pensions, they gave up everything, but they wouldn’t give up their ability to bargain.  And you fucking stripped it from them anyway.  Har har.  That’ll sure balance the budget, won’t it?  Hmm… we could raise the tax rate on the richest 1% by about 3 points, maybe…. orrrrrrr we could fuck over some teachers.  Well, now.  Ain’t you a Real American Patriot?  Ain’t that just what Thomas Fucking Jefferson would have wanted?

YOU DON’T CARE HOW EVIL YOU LOOK.  It just blows my tiny little mind.

 

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

About 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal every year. This blog was viewed about 51,000 times in 2010. If it were the Taj Mahal, it would take about 6 days for that many people to see it.

 

In 2010, there were 16 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 488 posts. There were 3 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 222kb.

The busiest day of the year was July 19th with 560 views. The most popular post that day was Act Like A Time Traveller Day.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, tumblr.com, trustyplinkostick.com, ifreestores.com, and search.aol.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for metro station, mgmt, kate nash, jimmy eat world, and dresden dolls.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Act Like A Time Traveller Day December 2007
2 comments

2

2008: The Top 15 Songs Of The Year December 2008
10 comments

3

The Best Songs of 2007: part one (24-13) January 2008
2 comments

4

niiice! christmas, day four/five/six: “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” (or: Better Dead Than Red!), Part One December 2007
1 comment

5

good news for people who like bad news: five big political rants October 2008
3 comments

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

niiice!: Atari commercial with Santa Claus (1984 or so)

What, you’re back?  It’s been TEN MONTHS.  Were you ever going to call?

Yeah, well, I got wrapped up in stuff.  Whatever.

Oh.  STUFF.  I see.  What in HEAVEN’S name were you doing this whole time?

Oh, you know, nothing important.  Just WRITING A MUSICAL AND BECOMING A FAMOUS RADIO PRODUCER, THAT’S ALL!!!

Sheesh.

Now, really, what I *shoulda* gone and done, is written one of those posts that said “Well, we’re taking a break from the action here at ol’ Geek USA….” but that takes time, and really, I had MUSICALS to write and RADIO PRODUCIN’ to do.  Things have calmed down somewhat, I’m back, etc.

Now, then…

Job willin’… (I gave up saying “God willin'” a while ago because, if God had intended us to blog, He would have added an eighth day onto the week – “and on the Eighth day, ye shall wallow in self-indulgence and fruitless nostalgia”, and really, it has nothing to do with God and everything to do with Job.  No, not “Job”, like the guy whose wife got turned into a salt lick.  JOB, like the thing you do to make money.  Although a lot of crap happened to “Job”, and when a lot of crap happens to you, it’s really hard to set aside time to blog about it.  Especially when a lot of stuff happens to you at your JOB.   Which is why, coming full circle here, if God had intended us to blog, He would have set up Bloggerday, right between Friday and Saturday.  You could also use Bloggerday to sometimes recover from Friday night without wasting all of Saturday in bed.   Taking a day off to recover from a hangover is probably the most self-indulgent thing anyone could possibly ever do, with the exception of taking a day off to masturbate.  As the only people who’d ever take a whole day off to masturbate are kind of gross and pervy anyway, and I don’t want them reading my blog, I’m not going to indulge them with anything more than the teensiest mention.   Go away, sketchy people.  Eww.  Where was I?)

Job willing… I should be able to do my annual Christmas special thingy again this year.  Until then, I’d like to treat you to the following commercial.   It’s a Christmas themed Atari commercial that takes place on a futuristic spaceship in the future.   Apparently, Santa Claus can find you anywhere, even in the somber chill of deep space.  In space, no one may be able to hear you scream, but Santa knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake, Spaaaaaaaaace Cadet.  (Yes, that was an Alien/Burl Ives/Gorf reference.  I’M BACK, BABY!)

You’ll note how this is secretly a commercial for the failed Atari 5200 console.  You’ll also note that the sets and special effects are at least twice as good as Doctor Who’s were in the mid-80s.

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2010 in games, nostalgia, Uncategorized, War on Xmas!, youtube