Stuff I Think and Shouldn't Say: Issue 20! Now with Monkey Madness

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And…

Mathan Erhardt’s More Reasons Why Being Deaf Sucks/Rocks

And Now, Words of Wisdom

The past week, I was excited to hear from readers about my last column. To me, it was a labor of love, written in a different manner than usual as a bit of a treat to myself and the InsidePulse Readers and Staff.

I was poised to accept some backlash for things that I had written as ATP said them, and I heard nothing. Kyle was a little pissed, but he makes a valid point about the phrase I use to close every column: “Keep it real.” He likened it to something a person would say to sound cool.

I wasn’t offended, as I think highly of his writing, and, to be fair, I did fail to mention his stellar work with the Coachella Preview or any of the other columns he does. It wasn’t meant as a ‘dis,’ it was my way of laughing with him about it.

“Keep it real,” is a joke, that’s for sure. With me, one thing is always true: I am a funny asshole. I love to make people laugh, but usually the best laughs come at my own expense. Self-deprecation, whether here on the site, or on stage, is my modus operandi. I have no problem laughing at myself, to the point that I usually beat anyone else to the punch.

I don’t try to be something I am not. I just enjoy poking fun at the fact that to some, I am far too “white” for my own good (and, remember, that isn’t something that I believe is possible) and, yet, find a way to make the dorkiest of things seem “cool.”

Maybe it was being such a wide-eyed child, or it’s due to be over-protected growing up, but my sister, girlfriend and mother will be the first ones to say that I am an overgrown child.

Life is too short to take it all so seriously. Everyone should just learn to laugh at themselves more, as when you learn to do that, life just gets easier. Trust me on that one.

Ssquared’s Album of Da Week!

Coldplay X&Y

Fuck, I really did want to hate this album. I have been bitching and moaning for two years, telling anyone who will listen, and even some that wouldn’t, that Coldplay had sold out. Do I still feel that way?

Yes.

But it’s a complicated situation.

Chris Martin and Co. first blipped onto my radar while I was on a visit to the U.K. in March 2001. I had downloaded the song “Yellow” onto my buddy’s computer because it was playing so frequently on the Campus Television channel in our cafeteria, that I thought I could get the damn thing out of my head by listening to it.

Obviously, that didn’t work. The song was phenomenal and it just resonated and burned with me. Hell, the video was so damn simple, and the lyrics reminded me of the girl I was dating at the time, who was studying abroad in England at an Equitation Center (Horsey-shit, you know?)

When I visited her, “Trouble” was all over the radio, and the British were enamored with these guys. All the folks on the “yard” would tell me just how much we were missing out on. I had a lot of free time on my hands while the ex was working (upwards of 12 hours a day!) so I would WALK into Cirencester and hang out in the tiny Virgin store they had near the center of town.

It was there that I first witnessed British hooliganism as I stood before a kiosk that offered me downloads of various artists whom I had never heard of, yet felt I needed to know. In fact, of the albums offered that day for my perusal, I fell in love with Parachutes on a level that bordered on obsessive.

After the worst 11 day vacation of my life, I returned home and was eager to spread the gospel. I had found the next big thing, the band that was going to sell-out stadiums stateside. This band could make the casual music fan forget the albums that Oasis had faltered on, or that Travis had underwhelmed us all with.

The album came out 4 months later, July 7th, if my memory is correct. I was working at a record store in the Brass Mill Center. If I was asked for what I thought was going to be something everyone needed to own, I shoved Coldplay in the customer’s hand, and walked them to the counter.

I built a following this way, you see. I was passionate about the music, and I loved that these guys were trying to do something for the world as well with their forays supporting Make Trade Fair, a cause I still believe in to this day. People kept coming back to ask what else I liked, and to be honest, I could have handed them a Mary-Kate and Ashley CD and they would have gobbled it up.

Somewhere in all this, I had a very messy break-up with the girl I considered the love of my life. Having overplayed their debut to the point that all it did was remind me of her, it was shelved for the Beta Band or Matthew Jay; two of the other artists on that kiosk in March.

It was a long time before I could listen to Parachutes again. In fact, it was the week before Rush of Blood to the Head came out. I was in another bad relationship, and due to my obsession with the band, I had unearthed every single, every EP, any recorded piece of music that featured the words “Cold” and “Play” anywhere near each other. Hell, I bought electronic and orchestral tributes to the band as well.

When the new relationship hit the skids, I once again put a Coldplay disc on the shelf to collect dust with all the lingering feelings I had. Fuck, I was a mess, and I felt like this band had led me astray again, which I am pretty sure was not the band’s intention. They just write really great songs.

Once my mother and grandmother knew words to their songs, and I saw a toothless man sing “Clocks” at a Karaoke night, I was totally turned off. Even my favorite single, “See You Soon,” lost its luster.

You see, I made a mistake that many people make: I associate a band’s work with the time frame I was going through. This isn’t a typical “that album makes me think of her” situation, it was worse. I couldn’t think of the band without feeling some misdirected anger forcing me to ignore them at all costs. It was as though I didn’t want to remember the good stuff I saw in this fledgling band.

I wanted to hate them for being forever associated with a bad time in my life.

It was with much reluctance that I purchased the new album this week, that was for sure. In fact, to absolve myself of all guilt, I had Tracy pick it up for me. I acted very non-chalant, and I thanked her for doing that.

“Aren’t you going to open it?” she asked.

“No. I just wanted to have it, you know, for the collection. I felt bad having everything else, but not this.”

What a crock of shit! The minute she went to bed, I broke out the Bose Wave Radio, hopped into the hot tub and blasted the hell out of the album. I figured it was time to get over my fear of Coldplay.

The next morning, as I drove back from Long Island, I looked forward to listening to X&Y as I traversed my way into Astoria.

CRUNCH

After hearing what I first assumed was a brake pad shearing off the shoe, I realized the real source of the noise: I had left the CD on top of the car as I left her father’s development and the case was promptly disintegrated by the oncoming traffic.

Had it not been for my cunning wits and cheetah-like reflexes, I would never have known if I truly thought Coldplay sucked all these years later. The disc itself was undamaged and is playing fine, and I have a distinctive feeling that it will be in heavy rotation for a while, or at least until I pick up Common, the White Stripes, Oasis, Ben Folds, the Dissociatives, Ryan Adams, or anyone else I am a total bitch for.

SITASS NEWS: …The Open Window Lets the Rain In

Remember kids: Ssquared knows why they say every rose has its thorn…he LOVES roses!.

The “Stripes” Step Out

After a series of gigs in far-off exotic locales like Croatia and Estonia (not to mention Jack White’s wedding in Brazil), the duo heads back to the States — but don’t look for them at your friendly local megadome. Instead, the Detroit band is playing historic venues across America, including the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, as well as a handful of scenic amphitheaters, like Colorado’s Red Rocks. Recent shows have featured plenty of material from the band’s new Get Behind Me Satan, and Jack’s always good for a handful of blues classics.

Tickets: $40

Opener: The Greenhornes

Dates:
7/29: San Diego, San Diego Street Scene
8/06: George, WA, The Gorge
8/07: Vancouver, Orpheum Theatre
8/08: Vancouver, Orpheum Theatre
8/10: Portland, OR, Keller Auditorium
8/12: Berkeley, CA, Greek Theatre
8/15: Los Angeles, Greek Theatre
8/16: Los Angeles, Greek Theatre
8/17: Los Angeles, Greek Theatre
8/18: Los Angeles, Greek Theatre
8/19: Phoenix, Dodge Theatre
8/22: Morrison, CO, Red Rocks Amphitheatre
8/23: Kansas City, MO, Starlight Theatre
8/24: St Louis, MO, Fox Theatre
8/26: Minneapolis, Orpheum Theatre
8/27: Minneapolis, Orpheum Theatre
8/29: Chicago, Auditorium Theatre
8/30: Chicago, Auditorium Theatre
8/31: Chicago, Auditorium Theatre
9/8: Milwaukee, Eagles Ballroom
9/9: Indianapolis, Murat Theatre
9/10: Columbus, OH, Ohio Theatre
9/12: Cincinnati, Music Hall
9/13: Louisville, KY, Palace Theatre
9/14: Cleveland, State Theatre
9/16: Toronto, Molson Amphitheatre
9/17: Montreal, Bell Centre
9/19: Providence, RI, Providence PAC
9/20: Boston, Opera House
9/21: Boston, Opera House
9/24: Brooklyn, NY, Keyspan Park
9/25: Brooklyn, NY, Keyspan Park
9/27: Columbia, MD, Meriweather Post Pavilion
9/28: Atlantic City, NJ, House of Blues
(credit: RollingStone.com)

Hmmm…is it just me, or is Coney Island having the most kickass summer? Shit, first they are the home of the Siren Music Festival, and now this.

Summer 2005 is really going to be a great one in Brooklyn.

It’s just really awesome to live in a city where truly awesome shows happen every night, and even the special ones are so damn close it’s scary. I love Coney Island.

Gavin Rossdale Committed to Institute

Was it just us, or was Gavin Rossdale just months away from being the answer to a “Where are they now?” sort of question? Fear not, fans of the Bush, for Mr. Gwen Stefani is back on the road fronting a new band called Institute in which Rossdale is backed by ex-Helmet guitarist Chris Traynor, former Rival Schools bassist Cache Tolman, and Charlie Walker on drums.

According to Rossdale’s official site, Institute’s debut album, Distort Yourself, departs from the music he played with Bush with a spare sound that focuses more on Rossdale’s voice. Institute’s tour kicks off on August 11 in San Diego, and Distort Yourself is in stores on September 13.

Institute tour dates:

8/11, San Diego, CA (Casbah)
8/12, Los Angeles, CA (Roxy)
8/13, Phoenix, AZ (Clubhouse)
8/16, Dallas, TX (Gypsy Tea Room)
8/17, Houston, TX (Engine Room)
8/19, Atlanta, GA (Roxy)
8/20, St. Louis, MO (Duck Room)
8/23, Minneapolis, MN (Ascot Room)
8/24, Chicago, IL (Double Door)
8/26, Philadelphia, PA (Theater of Living Arts)
8/27, Pittsburgh, PA (Rex Theater)
8/29, Boston, MA (Paradise)
8/30, New York, NY (Bowery Ballroom)

(credit: Spin.com)

When I first saw this headline on Spin.com, I nearly shit myself. See, my girlfriend is a huge Bush fan, and LOVES her some Gavin Rossdale. Here I was, smiling that he had finally cracked due to his wife’s sky-rocketing fame, and then I actually read it.

I wish sometimes that I had never learned how to read. Granted, it would make writing this column very hard, but gosh, I wouldn’t have to wade through that nonsense.

Hell, I guess Gavin isn’t really as interested in re-uniting Bush as we had thought. Too bad. Sixteen Stone was pretty good.

Its too bad that his music career hit the skids, as he wasn’t very good in Constantine. He tried, I will give him that, but after Mrs. Rossdale’s turn in The Aviator, its apparent that all of that talent he showed in the late 90’s really did vanish when he got married.

LONDON GIGS CANCELLED

As expected, following this morning’s (July 7) terrorist attack in LONDON, gigs across the city have been called off.

So far Sum 41 have announced that their show at the Astoria is cancelled, along with Nate James whose Shepherd’s Bush Empire gig is also off.
Prodigy were due to play London Carling Brixton Academy, but that is also off.

El Presidente have also cancelled their gig this evening at the The Underbelly in Hoxton.

So far there is no word on other concerts due to take place in London this week, however a statement concerning the fate of this evening’s Queens Of The Stone Age gig at Somerset House is due at 4pm.

NME.COM has been told their club date at Koko in Camden will not take place.

Meanwhile Queen’s official website have issued a statement about their Hyde Park gig tomorrow (July 8).

The statement reads: “Further to the explosions in London this morning. We are currently speaking to the Queen camp in regards to the show in Hyde Park tomorrow. At present the Queen camp are being advised as to what they should do. The Queen press office is getting flooded with calls. Please do not call as we do not have any further information. We will keep you updated as soon we know anything.”

(credit: NME.com)

Obviously, there was good reason to cancel these concerts. In case you don’t know what that news piece is talking about, I suggest you head here first, and then come back. This can wait.

This is a sensitive time, indeed. There aren’t a whole lot of people that will be looking to me for advice on what to do, or how to feel right now in light of the tragedies that occurred earlier this morning, but I will say something anyway:

Today, I am proud to be an American. I am honored to have the right to say what I feel fit without repercussions because I am f*cking pissed. I am also scared as all hell.

Yes, America is “safer” than it was before 9/11, but if you Google the terms “al-Qaeda” and “London” you get thousands of hits linking you to websites illustrating that today’s attacks, regardless of the element of surprise, have been planned for quite some time.

It doesn’t make the world a better place, and I am sure that some Fundamentalist group will site Britain’s affiliation and support of United States foreign policy is to blame. I don’t agree with the U.S. occupation of Iraq for a lot of reasons, but one thing is for sure:

It could have been us again today. But it wasn’t.

With U.S. forces fighting OVERSEAS, the brunt of our terrorist attacks are occurring within a very specific area of the world. The insurgents are attacking soldiers, who stand for America to them. We may be leading a misguided generation toward further anti-American sentiments, but they can feel that way 5,000 miles away from us, taking shots at soldiers who are trained for combat and not by killing American businessmen and women. Children. Families.

London, the day after securing the Olympic Summer Games, were rocked by an unnecessary and disgusting act, executed by a pathetic and sad terror cell. Regardless of who accepts the final responsibility for the act, there is NO room in Heaven for people who commit massacre in the name of ANY God.

I wish to send my thoughts and prayers to those in London. Time will tell how this affects the nation as a whole, but having seen their support of the U.S. after 9/11, I feel that the nation will rally together and overcome this horrible day.

I just wish it didn’t have to happen…again.

In “The Most AWESOMELY RIDICULOUS Thing I Have Heard This Week” News

Mom sells face space for tattoo advertisement

Mormons find THIS less offensive than stripping?

For $10,000 and a brighter future for her son, Kari Smith on Wednesday became a real life pop-up ad for a virtual casino.

“It feels like someone is taking a pin and just stabbing you with it,” Smith told her son, Brady, seated nearby on the floor as tattoo artist Don Brouse — in permanent black block letters — branded her forehead with the Web site domain GoldenPalace.com.

The 30-year-old Bountiful mother, who put the space up for auction on the Web, will be promoting the multinational gambling site, which makes the claim — using a little more color and a lot more flash — to be the No. 1 online casino.

“Will it go numb?” she asked.

“It’ll go as numb as your brain,” Brouse replied.

“My brain is already numb,” she said, laughing.

Smith’s ad is a labor of love and actually a positive in her life, something she says her life hasn’t been filled with lately: a failed marriage and deaths of several family members — most recently, her sister in a car crash April 18.

Smith said the money will give her son the education boost she believes he needs after falling behind in school since the accident.

“For the all the sacrifices everyone makes, this is a very small one,” she said. “It’s a small sacrifice to build a better future for my son.”

Still, Smith said she knows most people won’t understand why she’s sold her forehead as advertising space.

“I really want to do this,” she said. “To everyone else, it seems like a stupid thing to do. To me, $10,000 is like $1 million. I only live once, and I’m doing it for my son.”

Brouse didn’t understand it, either.

In his 24 years, he’s turned away a lot of customers who want to get tattoos that can’t be covered up with clothing. He and his staff spent nearly seven hours Wednesday trying to talk Smith out of it.

Her resolve won out. The one thing Brouse could do with inch-tall letters in the prominent spot was to make them less so by keeping them as close to her hairline for those occasions when bangs or a hat might be the more appropriate message.

Smith’s boyfriend, Jeremy Williams, said the couple discussed the idea for more than three weeks before deciding to go through with it. And when they did, Smith’s eBay auction attracted more than 27,000 hits and 1,000 watchers.

Bidding reached $999.99 before Goldenpalace.com, an Internet gambling company in the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake, Canada, clicked “buy now,” meeting Smith’s $10,000 asking price and ending the auction two days early.

Smith said she talked to several companies and received multiple offers, but she decided Goldenpalace.com would be the best choice.

“We decided to go with these guys because they work with a lot of charities,” she said. “I want this to mean something.”

Jon Wolf of the company’s marketing department said skin is not an uncommon spot for the casino to advertise: It already has another forehead, more than 100 arms, legs, chests and backs.

Smith is the first woman to have her forehead tattooed with an advertisement, and “we like having a collection of firsts,” Wolf said.

While he said he wasn’t sure if body advertisements boosted the company’s business, Wolf said having so many has garnered notoriety.

“We couldn’t come up with an advertising campaign like this and try to make people get these tattoos,” he said. “But if they’re putting it out there, it’s good for them and it’s good for us.”

“Basically, if it’s legal offline, it’s generally fine on our site,” eBay spokesman Chris Donlay said. “We’ve seen people doing this for a number of years. I don’t know that any of them have actually sold, but it’s sort of interesting when people list them.”

Donlay said he has seen other auctions where bidders can pay to have their logo shaved into someone’s head — or even name their babies.

Smith said she doesn’t think she’ll ever regret having the permanent logo on her forehead, and her son promised to get good grades.
(credit: DeseretNews.com and the InsidePulse Super Secret Hush-Hush Staff Boards)

Wow. I love it. This is, by far, the stupidest thing I have ever seen. It tops last week’s column in a landslide.

Shit, it’s not even close.

The general consensus around InsidePulse is that the woman got screwed. She could have gotten 100 Large like it was nobody’s business, but she f*cked up. So, now she has a huge, ugly tattoo on her forehead, and her son has ten grand for school.

Ten grand? Shit, either education is dirt cheap in Utah, or someone didn’t clue this bitch into the fact that tattoos are permanent. Well, I am sure her “boyfriend,” whom I am sure either vibrates and glows-in-the-dark or is really named “Wesley,” thought the ten grand was for his new 4-wheeler, so he will be pissed.
God, this chick’s life is over now. That’s sad. She was okay looking before, nothing special about her, but now she is the fugliest person I have ever seen.

Oh, but I think I have a new beau lined up in the event it doesn’t work out with the current tool:

At least this guy WANTED his ink!

Drag ‘Em Out the Window
Links, links, and plugs to boot!

Kyle David Paul doesn’t think I “keep it real?” Ha, I have a black belt in keeping it real, foo’!

Michael Chadwick never DID write me back about do a collaboration on a feature on Bright Eyes. Seriously, though, Michael lives in the U.K. so my prayers are with him at this time. I just hope his family and friends were untouched by today’s tragedy.

Gloomchen is back to reading my mind. Who here is in the mood for some fiction from the IP writers? I know I am.

Tom D’Errico looks at the Metal Releases to come. I know I am very much looking forward to the final Biohazard release. Hopefully it will live up to my lofty standards.

As for Dan Hevia wants a revolution. Yeah, WWE will be forced to listen! Blah. Dan, McMahon is so f*cking rich he doesn’t care if you or I buy his PPVs and such. He already has a lot of our money. He’s after the next generation already, buddy.

Hey Michaelangelo McCullar? I f’n LOVE “Above the Law!” Thanks for reminding me of more stuff I need to purchase for my DVD collection.

That’s it. No more SITASS for this week. Sorry to waste your time, but hopefully it was fun.

Until next week:

Keep it real!

Ssquared

Any feedback or comments? Behemoth4life@yahoo.com is the email address.