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there's a broken nose cause it's come to blows

Day 59 of 365: a year in songs and photos

Song: Supersuckers, Fisticuffs

Taken at Islanders/Devils game, Nassau Coliseum

Isles won 4-1, making them 4-0 against the Devils this season.

A couple of really good fights. OLD TIME HOCKEY!

I officially love the new lens with the new camera. I got some awesome shots at this game even though I was up in section 331. I took about 700 photos total. Seriously. That’s not an exaggeration. I think it was 714. I’ll post my favorites tomorrow – too much to go through tonight. I bet I end up putting up about 50 of those 700. This is why I love digital. I can click all night and not feel like I’m wasting anything.

Overall, a decent game with a good crowd and a nice outcome. We went with a whole bunch of people and it was the most fun I’ve had at a hockey game since 1983.

I love this game.

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art every day – 11/3/07

someday i will kill you 11/3

Day 3 of Art Every Day : Supersuckers – Someday I Will Kill You

That’s not what the song is about. But as it played on the car stereo as Todd lit up another cigarette, the two things combined gave me my photographic inspiration for the day.

I’m an ex-smoker a hundred times over. I’m not a militant ex-smoker, mostly because there are going to be times I’ll go back. I know this. It’s in my nature. So I’m not so much an ex-smoker as an inactive one.

Still, I see Todd lighting up his 25th cigarette of the day and I remember the sad look my kids would get when they saw me smoking and I think, damn it’s not nice to watch someone you love slowly kill themselves. And then I start jonesing for a cigarette.

I’ve quit a lot of things in my life and none have been so hard as getting off of nicotine. The withdrawals consume your life, your body, your mind, your soul. Smoking is Todd’s last vice. I’ve asked him to give it up, and he says he will on January 1st, but I know how much it is to ask of someone.

Cigarettes are evil, evil creatures. Just looking at this picture makes me want to run out and buy a pack of Marlboros and sit in my car, furtively chain smoking, deeply inhaling the tar and nicotine, knowing the whole time that the cigarettes have won again. Because each time you light one, it laughs a little bit and says:

Someday, I will kill you.

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Plain text complete list to date here.


86. Run DMC – King of Rock

I just spent an hour watching Run DMC videos, groovin’ and rhymin’ and laughing at some of the memories that go hand in hand with these songs. But in the end, there can be only one:

I’m the king of rock, there is none higher..Sucker MCs should call me sire.

For the rhymes, for the bass line, for putting rock and rap together in a way that bands like Limp Bizkit thought they could but never did.

87. Public Enemy – Rebel Without A Pause
Long Island represent! Before rap became about bling, before Chuck D annoyed the hell out of me, before Flava Flav went crazier, there was Terminator X and horns and heaviness and a song that was so simple yet so complex.

88. The Police – Synchronicity II
This whole album defines the summer of 1983 for me. Everyone I knew was listening to it. The punks, the metalheads, the disco geeks – even my mother was in love with it. It was at times beautiful and at times dark and ugly. But the entire album – even the songs a lot of people write off like Miss Gradenko and Mother – were perfect musical specimens, showing off the talent of each individual band member and bringing everything together – music, lyrics, stories, emotion – in what I always described as a masterpiece (the overplayed and misunderstood Every Breath You Take notwithstanding). For me, the pinnacle of the album came on Synchronicity II, a tale of the darkness that looms under the surface in the life of a suburban family; how all the little things become big things when lived day to day, every single day of your entire life and sometimes it’s enough to turn you into a monster that slowly creeps toward madness (my take, anyhow).

There are pop rhythms thrown in with intense drumming and a foreboding bass line and the way the chorus and verses switch up pace is like moving between between chapters of a story. I always loved the line “The secretaries pout and preen like cheap tarts in a red light street,” more for the way he breathlessly sings it than the words, and my favorite part is when Stewart Coupland’s drumming perfectly punctuates the line ” a humiliating kick in the crotch.”

I really wish Sting didn’t go off and fall in love with himself after this album. Then again, the band put out five near-perfect albums. Maybe they knew enough to quit while they were ahead (and before Sting inflicted his penchant for pretentious pop tunes on the rest of the band).

89. Sick of it All – Potential For A Fall
This is NY Hardcore. A voice as mean as the South Bronx, music heavy as Hell’s Kitchen. Whatever that means. I’m just trying to make an analogy here. This is part punk, part metal, all aggression. I think it’s about materialism, but really, sometimes it’s just about needing the right kind of music to play when you’re feeling all aggro

90. Supersuckers – Rock Your Ass
If anyone ever tells you rock is dead, just sit them down and make them listen to the Supersuckers. This is the kind of music that makes you believe there is life after nu-metal and emo and boy bands, that there is no such thing as the day the music died, that the negative aura left by every niche and novelty rock band out there can’t kill rock and roll because as long as Eddie Spaghetti and the Supersuckers exist, rock and roll will still be around to kick ass and take names.

There are so many good songs to choose from. I could sit here all day and tell you about the virtues of each one. I ended up with Rock Your Ass simply because it epitomizes what the Supersuckers are all about: I said I’m Eddie Spaghetti, here to rock your ass steady.

91. The Kinks – Victoria
Do you know how many great songs this band had? It’s really a shame that so few people mention them when making lists of the greatest rock bands of all time. Look over there catalog – they tried a little of everything, fast, hard, mellow, groovy, conceptual – and almost all of it worked. They were really a brilliant band whose work spanned almost 20 years before I started to wish that they would stop.

Victoria is everything that was great about 60’s music, with none of the bullshit. It’s groovy and funky and it’s got great harmonizing laid over some cool rock and roll.

92. Pearl Jam –Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town
It’s funny, I always say that Ten was Pearl Jam’s greatest work and how they were never able to repeat the awesomeness of that album, but when pressed for my favorite Pearl Jam song, I always revert back to this one from VS. Maybe because it’s one of the few songs where you can actually understand what Vedder is singing. Or maybe I just like the sad poignancy of it.

Eight more to go and I reach my goal for the weekend. Below is an updated list of what’s coming up…but….I need more if I’m going to get to 300! I know there’s still a few bands I’m waiting for that haven’t been suggested yet. Also, the suggestions are now being left all over the place in the comments and I can’t keep up, or find the new ones readily. So if you left a suggestion in, say, the last two or three days and it’s not on the list below, please add it again.

Beastie boys
David bowie
Hendrix
Devo
Rush
LL Cool J
Styx
Gordon Lightfoot
Savatage
GBH
Fang
RKL
Bad Brains
Rocket from the Crypt
New Bomb Turks
Incubus
Green Day
The Dwarves
The English Beat
Guess Who
Elvis Presley
MDC
MTX
7 Seconds
Steve Miller
Ben Folds
System of a Down
Talking Heads
Snoop Dogg
The Doors
Grateful Dead
Angry Samoans

For those just joining us, explanation here.

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Carin emails and says:

Isn’t it time for a music post? I’m itching to get some new music …I want something I’d enjoy as much as QOTSA, but (obviously) someone else.

Ask and ye shall receive at ABV.

I really don’t feel like uploading songs tonight, so we’re gonna go with youtube. If you like any of these songs/bands, let me know and I’ll share the wealth. Also, not all these bands are like QOTSA, but you may dig them anyhow, Carin.

I also put this under the “best music you never heard” heading even though I know a lot of you know these bands, it’s just easier to keep track of my music posts that way.

First up, Fu Manchu. Heavy, groovy and funky, this band is the musical equivalent of a 71 Chevelle SS. They are all fast cars and airbrushed vans and girls in tube tops.

Next up is Clutch. One of my all time favorite bands, I describe them to the unchristened as early Black Sabbath meets Frank Zappa. Their entire catalog rocks my ass off.

Turbonegro

So you’re having a party. It’s going to be the kind of party where there’s so many people, they won’t fit into backyard and they will spill over into your living room and kitchen, maybe even the front yard. There will be things going on the bedroom that you only hear about in whispered rumors weeks later. There will be shattered glass, vomit on the bathroom floor, overturned chairs, tire tracks on your lawn, a turd floating in your pool and several wall holes that will need spackling. At some point there will be the sound of sirens wailing through your neighborhood. The neighbors will complain about the loud, offensive music, the foul-mouthed kids stealing their lawn jockeys, the near-comatose girl on their patio and the car parked on their rhododendrons. Someone will ride a bicycle through your house. Someone will attempt to jump from the second story bedroom window into your pool, and probably miss. The next door neighbor’s 12 year old son will sneak into the party and develop a new vocabulary as well as a drug habit. Your dog will get stoned. There will be a court appearance in your future.

Apocalypse Dudes is the only music selection you need for this party.

Supersuckers: I can’t tell you how much I love this band. This is the kind of music playing in the background of a heated poker game where large, mustached men in denim vests and ten gallon hats drink moonshine and accuse each other of cheating and occasionally pull out a six shooter to make a point. It’s music that belongs on a half warped cassette tape that you shove into the tape deck of your 20 year old car and you sing out loud along with it as your car backfires almost in time to the songs. It reminds you at once of the lights of Vegas, of dirt roads, of Satan and deserts and bar fights and motorcycles. It’s rock and roll, Texas style. And it’s some of the best damn music ever put down on vinyl.

New Bomb Turks – fast, fueled rock and roll, perfect to drive to if you don’t mind speeding tickets. Aggressive speed punk. The kind of stuff that makes you wonder if you should bang your head or start a pit.

Hellacopters: It’s hard, it’s evil, it’s fun, it’s something you listen to while you are doing shots of some illegal liquor that you set on fire before throwing down your throat. And they are LOUD. Like good music is supposed to be. It’s like listening to angry sex. Those Swedes know how to rock.

Rocket From The Crypt – Go out right now and buy their album Scream, Dracula, Scream. Right now. It’s that good. If you don’t own it, you are really missing out on something spectacular. Drunken bar room brawling music.

I could literally do this all night. But this post is getting too long so I’ll stop here. The videos aren’t the best quality, but you can get the idea. And like I said, anything you want more of, just ask. I’m all about getting people to listen to the stuff I like.

Let me know if you listened/watched/enjoyed/hated it.

Volume 1
Volume 2
Volume 3
Volume 4

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One Cigarette Away*

one  cigarette away

Most of the photos I put here are 500px wide, and the blogger template cuts them off. So just click on them if you want to see the whole pic. Hey, you can check out my flickr page while you are there!

I took this photo on January 4th of this year. I wasn’t smoking then; the Camels were Todd’s. In fact, it was about a week before my two year no-smoking anniversary that I snapped this shot.

When I did some Photoshopping on it later that night, I realized I was craving a cigarette. That’s nothing unusual. Even after two years, the nicotine cravings still bite. The feeling that starts at the tip of your tongue, like a an electric buzz running through your mouth that you recognize like a neon light flashing the word SMOKE at you. It’s unmistakable. You ignore it for a while but then that same buzz takes over your body. It becomes more than physical. Your mind wants a cigarette. It wants to feel that slow exhale as you breathe out carcinogens. Your hands want the feel of the cigarette between your fingers. Your mouth wants that oral fixation.

Your lungs tell you no. Your heart tells you no. Your brain tells you no. Sometimes you listen to those voices. Sometimes the devil on your left shoulder wins out over the angel on your right. But sometimes it’s overwhelming.

I stared at the photo. I posted it on flickr that night and the first two comments were from people who said the picture made them want a cigarette. Are our minds so easily convinced or is that the will to smoke, the need to smoke never really leaves us?

I have an addictive personality. I’ve known that since I was about 13. It’s so easy for me to grasp onto something, whether it be a habit or a hobby, and fixate on it to the point of obsession. It’s so easy for me to pick up a cigarette after not smoking for two and a half years and go right back into it full swing.

I don’t know why I smoke. I know why I drank. I know why I swallowed a double dose of Paxil and Wellbutrin every day for a few years. I know why I engaged in a lot of the bad habits I picked up from my teenage years straight through to adulthood. But the smoking, there’s no emotional reason for it. There’s no mental breakdown that precedes it. I pick up a pack of cigarettes knowing full well what I am putting into my body and knowing full well what it can do to me.

I like smoking. I like the inhaling and exhaling. I like the first drag of a cigarette after going all day at work without one. I like the calm that comes over me as I quiet the parts of me that were screaming for a nicotine fix.

Quitting smoking is not like quitting anything else. I know people who beat a heroin addiction, people who beat alcoholism. And they say the same thing; quitting cigarettes is the hardest thing to do. I don’t know why that is. Maybe it’s mental. Maybe it’s physical. But I know it’s the hardest bad habit I ever had to get rid of.

And it keeps coming back again.

I didn’t pick up a cigarette that night I shot the photo. But I did the first week in April. That’s only two months I’ve been back to smoking. Two months. And I know I’m already at that place where throwing the smokes away will lead me to three weeks of intensity. Three weeks of full on lunatic mode. Three weeks of pacing and talking to myself. Long days looking for something to do with my hands because they are waiting for a box of cigarettes to pack against my palm, waiting to hold one, to light one, to flick the ashes. Three weeks of my mouth crawling with desperate nerve endings waiting for the smoke. Three weeks of jaw clenching, nail biting and listening to Husker Du’s Candy Apple Grey over and over again. Three weeks of waking up with my body set on vibrate.

I don’t know if my reluctance to quit is an avoidance of all that. I’m not sure if I crave cigarettes or if I crave an addiction. The mind and body work in weird ways together like that. They can really fuck with you when they work in tandem, especially when it’s the devil on your left working with them. I don’t know if people like me are wired that way to begin with or if things come along in our life that make us become this way. Not that it really matters.

Willfully engaging in destructive behavior is not something I’m proud of. Regardless of what scientific scenarios I can come up with to defend my addiction, I’m still shamed by it.

But shame never stopped me before.

I need a smoke.

*Well we’re one cigarette away from being done
One cigarette away, sure has been fun

Yeah we’re one cigarette away, gotta find some place to stay

Cause we’re one cigarette away from being done
One drink so quickly turns into another
It’s gonna to take me all day tomorrow to recover
Over has been hung, the last fag has been bummed
And we’re one cigarette away from being done

Supersuckers

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