The Weekly Music Pulse: The Saturday Swindle Sheet #82

Welcome to The Saturday Swindle Sheet. This week’s column is brought to you by the Aearo Corporation, manufacturer of quality safety products for hearing. Remember, kids, if you still want to be listening to Taking Back Sunday when you’re 80 years old, it’s a good idea to wear earplugs to concerts.

First off, I’d like to thank Mike Eagle for covering my ass last week and cranking out a quality Swindle Sheet, complete with an allusion to Jiffy mix…

My little Jiffy mix joke backfired when I found out there was lard in it. Why the hell is there lard in cornbread!!?!

Has to be those Mexicans. We put lard in everything…

My trip to Amsterdam was just what I needed after having one of the most stressful years since college. I spent a week just chilling out and doing whatever the f*ck I felt like. Some days I drank copious amounts of alcohol, went sightseeing, and other days I slept until 4pm. It was fantastic. Here are a few highlights…

Coffeebars. Most of you, even the ones who haven’t been to Amsterdam, are aware of this particular system. Marijuana isn’t necessarily legal, but it’s okay to buy at specially licensed establishments, in most cases referred to as “coffeebars.” Most of these businesses sell a large variety of pot and hash, along with pre-rolled joints, which are, for the most part, a lot weaker than if you were to buy it and roll it yourself. You can usually get between 1 and 3 grams (depending on the potency) for around €12. After buying your herbs, you are also able to sit and smoke them as long as you want. You’re usually also able to bring your own as long as you buy a drink or two. They also, surprisingly enough, sell really, really good coffee, as well as other beverages like Coca-Cola, Red Bull, juice, and Chocomel (like Yoo-hoo, but less watery and more milky). The coffeebars don’t sell alcohol, although I was able to track down a place in Leidseplein (I think it was called Down Under or something like that) that sold it at a separate bar inside the building, a license that is reportedly no longer available. The Bulldog is probably the most popular franchise with tourists, while the locals prefer the smaller, more intimate places. I really enjoyed a place called Baba, near the Red Light District. Speaking of which…

The Red Light District. If you like smut, this is your Mecca. Not only is it chock full of all of the prostitute goodness you can handle, but it’s also got a large variety of extravagant live sex shows and sex shops. The main strip of the Red Light District runs on either side of a narrow canal at the very north of the city, with several side alleys branching off. Two very narrow one-lane streets are on either side of the canal, and the strip is crowded with porn theaters (Casa Rosso), porn shops, coffeeshops (The Bulldog is here, along with several other indies), bars, and of course, dozens of windows with red or pink neon lights lining the frames. The prostitutes stand in front of their windows, usually illuminated in either black light or dim white lights. As you walk by looking, they’ll stare back at you, in some cases even tapping on their window and opening the door to beckon you in. It’s a sight to see. I honestly could not believe that this was legal, but instead of vehemently banning prostitution, Amsterdam has restricted it to a specific area, and imposed strict health regulations on it. In all honesty, it really doesn’t seem like a half bad idea. Of course, aside from sex, the drug vice is also very rampant in this area… not only vis-à-vis marijuana, but also hardcore drugs. You can’t walk but a yard or two without being asked if you want to buy coke or ecstasy from one of the resident drug runners. I found a really good bar in the area that sold DeKoninck on tap for only €2.20 per pint. Also worth checking out were the Hemp and Marihuana Museum, and the Sexmuseum.

Snackbars. These things are everywhere. For the most part, they are Arab-centric, offering some of the best falafel and shoarma I’ve ever had, although one can also purchase things like burgers, fried chicken, and fries. The Dutch prefer mayonnaise on their fries, and usually the vendor will either ask you if you want mayo or ketchup on your fries, which come in a paper cone. However, some places have up to a dozen different topping, including cheese, brown sauce (à la wets), tahini sauce (white yogurt-based sauce similar to that found on gyros) and even curry sauce. A very popular fry condiment found in places like Burger King and McDonalds is called fritessaus, which tastes like a combination of tartar sauce and dijon mustard. It’s surprisingly awesome.

McKroket. This was so insane that I think it necessitates its own paragraph. I stumbled into a McDonald’s restaurant after a night of vice-laden goodness, and was hungry for some grease burgers. Something that caught my eye was an item on the menu called “McKroket.” I ordered a Crispy Bacon cheeseburger and also picked up a large fries (with fritessaus). I wanted to ask what the McKroket was, but instead, wanting to keep the line expedient, I just added it to my order. When I got my food and sat down, I figured that I should eat this mystery sandwich first, because in case it sucked, I would still be so hungry that I’d probably inhale it anyway. I opened the package, and found inside what appeared to be a breaded mass of something with mayonnaise, on a bun. Hungry as f*ck, I bit in to what I perceived to be something that tasted fried. That’s about all I could get. I looked inside the breading and saw what looked like a mushy cacophony of some sort of broth or meal or something. Then about halfway through the sandwich, I realized where I’d tasted that filling before… Campbell’s cream of chicken soup. When I had about two bites left, I detected a piece of gristle. This meant that what I had just eaten was probably meat-based, and it was pretty f*cking good. In fact, if they sold it here I’d probably order it again. The next day I did some research into the McKroket, which, as it turns out, is the McDonald’s spin on the kroket, which is a native Dutch snack, available everywhere, including the aforementioned snackbars.

The kroket is a Dutch snack, which is made from meat ragout. You can eat it when you fry it in oil. Then there are some different manners of eating the kroket. Some people like to eat only the kroket, some eat it with bread and others with chips. We eat it also with ketchup, mustard or mayonnaise. The kroket is made from different kinds of meat, but the most important ingredient is flour. There is some meat in it but there are also a lot of other ingredients … in low percentages.

When you think about it, it’s really no worse than a hot dog.

The McKroket is a lot more delicious than it should be.

Bars. This was my favorite thing about the trip. I have never visited so many different bars over the course of a week. I didn’t even pay much attention to the names of the places, as I crawled into just about any building that had a “Heineken,” “Amstel,” or “Grolsch” sign outside. Holland is popular for its “brown bars,” which are small, tavern-like bars that date back to the days of Rembrandt. These are very intimate places, and at some of them I felt kind of odd because everybody knew each other and I was just some random stroke. I usually ordered a Grolsch, DeKoninck, or Hoegaarden, and, depending on the atmosphere, either stayed for a few more or trekked on to the next bar. I met a lot of really cool locals, as well as other people from all over the world. At ‘t Café Black and White in Leidseplein, I talked about heavy metal with a construction worker from London and a bartender from New Zealand (who even played “Just One Fix,” by Ministry, for me). I asked how the establishment was able to use the Rolling Stones’ tongue logo without having to pay royalties, and was told the three large murals had actually predated the band itself, and were purchased years ago. I had a robust Irish breakfast at the Aran Irish Bar in Max Euweplein, followed by a few Red Bulls and a Magner’s Cider to help me sober up from the night before. My favorite, though, was probably a joint in the Jordaan district called Korsakoff, a two-level bar which had the familiar punk/goth vibe that I’d been searching for while abroad. Not only did the place have cheap bottles of Hoegaarden and cheap shots of Apfel Korn, but they also played a long string of Sisters of Mercy songs on the lower level. Later on in the night, the downstairs switched over to electronic, and I decided to make my way upstairs for a more ambient atmosphere. I met some really cool people here, and was treated to a shot of jenever (a type of Dutch gin), which I didn’t like so much, but it’s apparently one of the big drinks in Holland.

In conclusion, I had an awesome time. Here’s your freakin’ plugs…


Michaelangelo McCullar set up an MC Battle Royale. If Rakim or KRS-One don’t win, minus a million Pulse Points for everyone!

Inner-Office Memo to That_Bootleg_Guy: Happy belated 2nd anniversary. In just a few days, you should be receiving this as my gift to you and your wonderful family. I’m also throwing in a travel-size jar of dijon mustard, for the Jason Jako reference. Somewhere out there, Warren Woo is looking on with approval.

Shawn M. Smith went over big time in The Saturday Swindle Sheet Battle Royale, and as a result he is on his way to New York to challenge Widro and Fingers and take over the site. Just remember, Shawn, whose idea it was for your big push…

Mathan goes to work on the guy that I mistook for Whitney Houston when I first read the headlines about him gouging his eye out. This is must-read, especially if you were floored by the now infamous (and equally legendary) RYAN T. MURPHY tribute column.

D’Estroyer recently fell behind in the number of posts on the staff forums, relinquishing the throne to Fingers. But that’s okay, because D’Estroyer is EXTRA HARDCORE this week. It may have something to do with that spicy BK Big Fish he ate the other day.

Gloomchen has a country-themed column this week, or is that ANTI-country-themed? She does not enjoy country music. I, on the other hand, find it cool once in a while at certain bars… kind of like karaoke. Sorry, Mitch. Trick love the kids.

Gordi is still f*cking awesome, and continues his pro wrestling/classical music tie-in opus with PUPPIES!!

Yes, we REALLY own these…

Amy Grant’s Heart in Motion

Vanilla Ice’s To the Extreme

Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill

Hanson’s The Middle of Nowhere


Rocket Science.

American Head Charge.



Josh One

Widro is dead. Help us fill the void.


G-Unit rapper The Game recently lashed out at Jay-Z and some of his underlings while on tour in the UK, citing that he felt “dissed” by some members of the Roc-A-Fella family. He shouted, “Memph Bleek can suck my dick, Beanie Sigel can suck my dick, Jay-Z can suck my dick, [and] Roc-A-Fella can suck my dick.” while onstage at a London venue. The rapper was responding to Memphis Bleek having challenged him to a freestyle battle, only to continually put it off. His main beef, however, was aimed at Jay-Z, who, on the contrary, denies that his song, “The Game’s Through,” is a personal dig at The Game. With lyrics like, “You saying my name to entertain your crew/ I ain’t playing no games… Shit, the game’s through/ You can get it broad day on Broadway while TRL taping/ You playing a game you know you can’t win/ Quit playing them childish games with grown men.” it’s understandable to see how The Game would be a tad bit chagrined. Jay-Z told radio station Hot 97 that the lyrics where a general statement and weren’t directed at anyone in particular. While The Game still says that he feels pissed about the song, he has looked up to Jay-Z for years. The rapper added that he would like to personally speak with Jay-Z in order to alleviate any hard feelings, and possibly have a chance to make out with him.

Britney Spears is reportedly irate with tabloid Us Weekly, which published several photos from her honeymoon in Fiji, including a large one on the cover with the headline “Britney’s Private Album!” According to the singer, who lashed out against the magazine on Friday, “[S]taff members took photographs of us, which we allowed them to take once we were assured they were being taken only for private use in a scrap book they gave us as a souvenir.” She added that the photos had been offered to a few other scandal rags, but they had contacted Spears’ representatives at the time and respected her wishes to not have the photos published. Us Weekly, on the other hand, stands by their decision to run the photos, telling The Associated Press, “Coming from a celebrity who sold pictures of both her wedding and her stepdaughter, it’s unlikely the issue here is privacy. Could it be that Britney is seeing red after not seeing the green from these photos? Britney Spears should start a magazine if she’d like to dictate her own coverage.”

Perhaps Britney Spears didn't want this photo being released because her usually perky and robust breasts look uncharacteristically saggy here. I'd still totally hit it, though.

Kid Rock (né Bob Ritchie) was arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault on Wednesday after allegedly punching a DJ at a Nashville-area strip club. According to several witnesses, and the DJ, Jerry Campos, he was in the DJ booth speaking on the PA, when someone in the audience shouted some generic obscenities at him. Campos exchanged some heated words with the man, who was a friend of Kid Rock, apparently bouncing back some of his own insults. Kid Rock shouted at Campos to apologize, and when he refused, he approached the DJ booth and punched him in the face. The bar’s management called the police, but Kid Rock ducked out a back door before they arrived. They caught up with a few hours later at a nearby apartment where he was staying and arrested him. According to police reports, the singer told them that he had avoided them because he’d wanted to sober up before being booked. In a related incident, a Vanderbilt University campus police officer had pulled Kid Rock over shortly after he had left the strip club after he peeled out at a stoplight. The officer had reportedly smelled alcohol on the singer, but didn’t administer a sobriety test, instead letting him off with a warning, and getting an autograph. That officer was fired shortly thereafter for being an idiot, and probably for wanting Kid Rock’s autograph as well. That’s just unacceptable…

It has come to my attention that Bauhaus has reunited and will be playing the Coachella Festival. At first I thought it was a cruel hoax, but it’s been officially confirmed. This, combined with New Order, The Cocteau Twins, Nine Inch Nails, Roni Size, The Prodigy, The Faint, Fantomas, Gang of Four, The Chemical Brothers, et al., cements my attendance. In other news, Jeremy Botter hates Nine Inch Nails but likes Snow Patrol. The Saturday Swindle Sheet currently has its crack team of scientists trying to find the smallest shred of tangible logic in this. More on this story as it develops…

Guernsey’s will be auctioning off nearly 450 pieces of jazz memorabilia at Lincoln Center on Sunday. Included in the auction are gems like John Coltrane’s tenor saxophone, Louis Armstrong’s trumpet, Thelonious Monk’s smoking jacket, and sketches by Miles Davis, all of which were donated by the artists’ respective families. All proceeds will go to various jazz foundations, historical societies, schools, and other similar beneficiaries.

Alanis Morissette took the oath to become an American citizen on Wednesday, at the Los Angeles Convention Center, along with nearly 4500 other people. The singer told reporters that she is maintaining a dual citizenship, as she was born in Canada. On hand to support her was some guy that nobody knew, dressed like a chef, who, during the ceremony, kept on shouting out, “Duuuh… I heard that!”

A group of promoters and friends of the late Dimebag Darrell have created a Lance Armstrong-like rubber bracelet to benefit the victims of the Columbus shooting and VH1’s Save the Music Foundation. The bracelet is black, and contains the words, “Getcha Pull,” one of his famous sayings. They will be available at starting on February 28th.

Quick Bits

Manhattan’s legendary club, Country Blue Grass Blues & Other Music for Uplifting Gormandizers, also known as CBGB, could be on the verge of being shut down, as the building’s owners have astronomically raised the lease. Christmas is ruined.

Legendary “Wall of Sound” music producer Phil Spector will stand trial on September 16th for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson, which occurred at his Los Angeles home in 2003.

Snoop Dogg was hit in the head with a bottle while performing in the UK on February 12th. It was reportedly thrown by someone in the audience. The rapper was taken to a nearby clinic but did not receive any stitches.

Musicians Bono and Ravi Shankar are among the nominees for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize. Also nominated are 166 others, including the pope, Colin Powell, and newly elected Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko. This is Bono’s 2nd nomination.

Yusuf Islam, f/k/a Cat Stevens, was awarded unspecified monetary damages from two British tabloids after they had published articles about his possible ties to terrorism after being taken off of an American bound flight last year.

The upcoming Gorillaz album, Demon Days, has been completed, and is slated for a May 24th release.

Christina Aguilera is engaged, after her longtime boyfriend, record executive Jordan Bratman, proposed to her while the two were on vacation last week.

There will be an auction on Sunday set up by the Station Family Fund, set up to benefit families of victims of the Rhode Island club fire in 2003. It coincides with the two-year anniversary of the tragic event. More info here.

Epitaph will be releasing remastered versions of Pennywise’s first four albums on March 8th. Pennywise, Unknown Road, About Time, and Full Circle will contain no new tracks but will have exclusive artwork that’s most certainly not worth your 20 bucks.



Do you live in or near New York City or LA, have a passion for music, and can get course credit for internships? Astralwerks is looking for you! Click the above link for more info.


Ever wonder what makes me tick? No? Too bad. Here are some of the random songs that came up on the iPod as I wrote this week’s column…

Bauhaus, “Dive”
Filter & The Crystal Method, “(Can’t You) Trip Like I Do”
Squirrel Nut Zippers, “Hell”
Dead Kennedys, “Too Drunk to Fuck”
The Guess Who, “Undun”
Matthew Sweet, “Farther Down”
Roni Size/Reprazent, “Heavy Rotation”
Sting, “After the Rain Has Fallen”
Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, “Jo Jo’s Jacket”
Starsailor, “Alcoholic”
Da Ruckus, “We Shine” [f/Eminem]
Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, “Zoot Suit Riot”
Lyrics Born & Poets of Rhythm, “I Changed My Mind” (Stereo MCs Mx)
Siouxsie and the Banshees, “Cities in Dust”
Spin Doctors, “Two Princes”
Blue Oyster Cult, “Godzilla”
Sweet, “Little Willy”
Jay-Z, “Excuse Me Miss” [f/Pharrell Williams]
Minor Threat, “I Don’t Wanna Hear It”
Bad Brains, “I Love I Jah”
Donnell Jones, “U Know What’s Up”
The Breeders, “Cannonball”
Dario G, “Sunchyme”
Ozomatli, “Cut Chemist Suite”


Just months after announcing that he would be retiring from rap forever in order to deal more with the business aspect of the music industry, Jay-Z apparently told New York’s Hot 97 that “I’ll be back.” and added, “I am planning on recording again.” In some EXCLUSIVE news, I will be retiring from The Saturday Swindle Sheet for six days. I thank all of you for reading and supporting me throughout my tenure, but I feel that it’s time to start working work in web design as opposed to journalism. I will be returning to The Saturday Swindle Sheet next weekend.

Enjoy your week. Stay tuned for our Monday team. I’m Jeff Fernandez, and I’m useless, but not for long; the future is coming on.