Monday, September 17, 2007

Ukelele Jack Live! Anti Corporate Jingoism at the Starry Plough in Berkeley Tonight 9/24!

HAPPY CD RELEASE PARTY FOR UKELELE JACK!! Here is a bit of our pasts below via our "Camper van."


Amanda aka Crazy

"Restless, three days without sleep, his mind wrapped in barely perceptible haze, he continues east, shaking, despite the stuttering convulsions and near death throes of his endearing 1962 Chevrolet. Storm follows him closely as it has for 3 days. In the pouring rain on the long dark highways he sees roadside casualty armadillos on their backs and owls and bats fly out of the his eyes into the blinding horizon.

Despite the solitude of his dear car he feels he is being watched by more than just the curious deer and west Texas highway transients. At dawn, he begins to feel the first nearly imperceptible signs of the drugs taking effect. He crosses the border east into New Mexico. There is now no question in his mind about the flavor of the coffee and the sardonic smile of the crusty over made waitress. As he's crossing more than 2 states at once, his watch stops. He picks up a hitchhiker, some young lady, but unfortunately, as he's been expecting, the car breaks down in an abandoned shanty town known only as Brubaker.

"Just remember," she says. "I'm holding you responsible for all this" He cringes at the tone of her voice. A quick glance in the rear view mirror reveals to him the vision of the 3rd unattached eyeball. A star of dried cream at the bottom of the Styrofoam cup on the dashboard smiles at him and somehow, in her loneliness and boredom, her twelve-pack dwindling in the midday heat, he forces her into sex.

The Chevrolet temporarily fixed, they drift on and fall upon a small bar in no place specific. Drunk by evening, she complains of morning sickness and by morning has noticeably grown in size. 2 days later, still heading east towards the holy angelic temple he has been envisioning in his sleep, she is 9 months pregnant. Later that day she gives birth to their son.

Born with gingham snakeskin cowboy boots and three umbilical cords he is within hours cursing his parents in some otherworldly alien language. And he mutters in perfect English in his sleep, while sucking his mothers breast, his twisted Utopian visions. She looks at him terrified and says, "Remember, I'm holding you responsible for all of this."
Ukelele Jack and Super Amanda (Starry Plough 2003)

left channel lyrics:

Peace and Love
Love and Anger
Brotherly Love
Brotherly Love
I though I had something to say
But I forgot what it was
I'm gonna try and say it anyway
Too much ginseng
Makes me nervous
Shortened sounds
Too much ginger
Takes me over
John the Baptist
Comes to mind
I've got to drive faster
The road is falling
In front of my eyes
I've got to drive faster
If I want to get home

-Camper Van Beethoven

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, September 14, 2007

The New Nihilism: What's Up with these "Slacker Psuedo Geeks" anyway?

"We need someone new, somethin new, somethin else to get us through
Better bring your gun, better bring your gun
Tropic corridor, tropic treasure, were gonna ride and have some fun
When all else fails, we can whip the horses eyes
And make them sleep, and cry."

-The Doors "Soft Parade"

This is about the recent culture of slacker nerds that have sprung up in Northern California. Unlike the original nerds this new breed are not really that smart OR that nice and unlike traditional slackers they have little cultural literacy or artistic ability preferring to embrace the generic mainstays of pot, guns, gaming and 'cool books and music' that have been played and read to death.

This new breed of mostly 20 to 27 year old middle to upper middle class manboys, mocks the free spirited artistry of open mic and Burning Man sub culture and the young political activists who actually care about the upcoming election. It slacks it's way through computer schooling in medium to low profile universities demonstrating few real values or ethics. They primarily rent out in cheap areas such as Sacramento or San Fransisco's The Mission alongside the working class or minorities who entertain none of their parental kick backs and freebies. Think apolitical hipsters who dress like shit, eat organic, write their email addresses in computer code and can rarely get hot chicks.

Think Abbie Hoffman's worst nightmare.

Geeks have traditionally been unobtrusive and charming in their bashfulness while the slacker brethren mostly benign and occasionally very creative , this new breed is cynical, non-artistic and selfish; Ayn Rand and thrill seeking vandalism in place of DnD and John Cleese. This breed can't be bothered talking to their YouTube webcam buddies while wearing a 'Gandalf Rocks' t-shirt not when they could be throwing bricks at your car.

Joie de Vivre? Only if it's from a micro brewery.

The most puzzling and oddly troubling is their glaring lack of cultural literacy usually the hallmark of any fringe subculture that grows out of colleges and universities. They may have read Burroughs but somehow missed HOWL and "who's Bukowski? A band?" The only Rolling Stone they can name is Mick Jagger-maybe. Hall and Oates? Michael Macdonald jokes? "Yacht rock? I don't get it?"

Of course they've seen "Scarface" but they think Scorsese directed it and "Taxi Driver" still hasn't made it onto the NetFlix queue. "You talkin to Travis? Fuck ups who've never seen "Taxi Driver?!" Hell, even a barroom horde of Deadspin bloggers blow them away for cultural irreverence and equanimity and that's "pretty fucking sad dude." To be culturally literate in their minds is somehow inane and "hella gay."

Amusing but it's also sadly indicative of how devoid of culture and nasty the US is becoming and how the war in Iraq is wearing down everyone especially young men as it creates this nihilistic feeling of unreality and hopelessness within our dorms and suburbs. After all, who wants to be anything brilliant or even part of anything potentially positive or light hearted when the country you live in spins it's wheels on the corpses of your peers and their younger siblings? Is there hope for them? Any semblance of direction beyond the craftsman they may rent and turn into a grow house in West Oakland? They could try to stop the war as their fathers and grandfather's did over forty years ago across the bay at CAL but they would have to actually care first and that's not an option they're 'down with,'

In fact, the Geekslerd who inspired the song "Sacreghetto Boy" even made this telling point about another well known war: "Did America really have to even get involved in World War Two? How did it really accomplish anything and make it better for Americans ultimately? What if we had just never got involved?" This spoken without a trace of irony or even devil's advocacy.

Talk to more than a few of these geek isolationists and they'll express mild disgust at the conspicuous consumption of the rich elite' Paris Hilton, reality Tv etc but coming from these guys it swiftly rings false as they themselves harness their own type of decadence-the kind that Mario Savio eschewed when he yelled "Please don't bend, fold, spindle or mutilate me" while he stood on top of a cop car in Sproul Plaza and kicked off the Free Speech Movement in 1964. They swim in a type of self indulgent malaise that's eerily reminiscent of Seung-Hui Cho, the Virgina Tech shooter. Cho (who was treated with amusement by more than one subject interviewed for this essay) and whom kicked off a movement of his own; by folding and mutilating the bodies of his teachers and fellow students he kept himself 'free' so to speak. His angry (and mostly inarticulate) ramblings blaring into media eternity via is own neatly delivered internet ready press kit.

Like the slackerhacker who finds himself laughing nervously and hastily shaving his goatee after an interrupted late night break in at a research lab puts him on a campus police crime sketch which will ultimately yield nothing but a joke on his best friend's refrigerator door for the next few years as it yellows and falls apart, these beta males seem to just want to do damage, take what they can and then hide.

Comparisons to the Lost Generation of the post World One could be drawn in pathetic culturally illiterate desperation to give these guys a scrap of legitimacy afterall they do tend to get around and don't just sit on the couch all day. They don't follow a set pattern and seem to be adventurous of spirit but Hemingway's era spawned literary giants driving everything forward in popular culture that youth culture should be; inspiring and authentic not exploitive and stagnant and they ushered in the JAZZ age making them 100% untouchable.

So are these lost the new Nihilists then? Nah, nihilism is a rejection of all systems of authority, morality, and social custom and slacker nerds desperately need those to keep the party going and the wireless up. Will their little brothers want to imitate them? Nah, who wants to be a college kid who's never heard of Quadrophenia or read Aldous Huxley? Or a slacker who never made a hemp necklace or built his own board? Unless you're a jock attending Brigham Young the answer is pretty clear.

As for violence, thankfully, like the guy who stole that San Pedro plant from the Indian reservation when he cut away one afternoon from his RV driving summer vacationing family , this type is all Beaver Cleaver wuss. Sex they learn from Wikipedia and the fears instilled by the snarky girls on the message boards who complain about back hair and cock size. Their destiny? That lies somewhere between Silicon Valley and the all night bakery that caters to meth users and serves fair trade coffee. This trend and all in UNinspires is a definite fashion (or fascist) "don't."

Labels: , , , , , ,

Sunday, September 09, 2007

New Song: Sacraghetto Boy

This song is based loosely on Dirty Water by the Standells

I'm gonna tell you a story
All about that town
I'm gonna tell you a big fat story
Bout the boy who wears
A frown
Upside down

Stealin the copper from air conditioners
Breaking in on the UC labs
With a cell phone and motorcycle bought by dad
Likes to get drunk and screw with a cop
Snx4or harvesting his crop

College is hard! Yo!

Sacraghetto Boy gotta find a way
Out of Oak Park and down to the Bay
Never had a real milkshake heard him say
Sacraghetto Boy doesn't wanna pay
She was a beauty, treated like a beast
Sacraghetto Boy--tried to fleece

LEETspeak! Yo!

Hocus Pocus these are the facts
Mom's wallet makes up
For what his cranium lacks
No music, no lyrics, no words, no song
Daycare raised nerd sayin 'pass me the bong'

College is hard

Sacraghetto Boy gonna find a way
Outta Oak Park and down to the Bay
Never had a real milkshake heard him say
Sacraghetto Boy doesn't wanna pay
She was a beauty, became a beast
Sacraghetto Boy-- born deceased

Bukowski, Burroughs, Paul Butterfield Blues
"Reading 'On the Road' again, dude fuckin cool"
Down in midtown all he does is die
Down in Silicon valley is where da future lies

College was hard

Hocus Pocus these are the facts
Mom's wallet makes up
For what your cranium lacks
No music, no lyrics, no words, no song
Napa raised slacker sayin 'pass me the bong'

College was hard

Sacraghetto Boy gonna find a way
Trader Joes, never Safeway
Sacraghetto Boy, you stalker! Touche!
Never had a real milkshake heard him say
She was a beauty, and you she 'beast'
Poor Sacraghetto Boy--all famine no feast

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,