Excerpts from Electric Degeneration, Degenerate Press' semi-weekly e-zine, free and ad-free. A full episode contains sections for music reviews, upcoming events, blasphemy, classifieds, and anything else we feel like saying. If you'd like to subscribe just contact us.
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The Littleton Art Community and Party Emporium had become a tradition after some 10 New Years and Summertime Blast parties. As most of you know, we lost that traditional venue for many Degenerate festivities back in '99. That and fear that I couldn't compete with everyone's Y2K plans led me to cancel the New Year's party that year. Like any annual event, folks become attached to a location after a couple of years so if you try to move it some folks just won't show up, others get lost, some don't find out about it, etc. Skipping a year is even worse, so I was more than a little worried about attendance for our New Year's Carnal Carnival at a new venue and after skipping the tradition last year.
Some of my fears were justified. Usually a horde of new folks show up to mingle with the old timers. Usually there are new girlfriends/boyfriends, or friends of friends, or new subscribers to the ezine. This year I think there were a mere two virgins that were a little dismayed when they showed up to find a half dozen good ol' boys standing around the campfire.
On the other hand, some folks we hadn't seen in years showed up out of the blue. Degenerate JM came all the way from Arkansas, degenerate DS hadn't been at a degenerate affair since before the official birth of Degenerate Press, and a few others hadn't been seen in five years or more, and as the evening wore on more and more folks showed up until there was nowhere to park and everywhere you looked there was some drunken degenerate chatting away.
It's interesting to think back over the 14 years of organizing this party. Back in the beginning all we needed was a few bottle rockets, a launch pad and a 12 pack per person and we couldn't be happier. Over the years the space requirements grew with attendance, the explosives grew with our incomes, and the amount of food and other amenities grew with the female-to-male ratio. For this year's event there was more food than even our herd of pigs could eat, more liquor and beer than even our barbarian horde could consume, and... well, you never can have enough explosives! Both new folks and old seem to be impressed with the music selection, an eclectic mix of funk, new wave, disco, and other retro-sci-fi references. And I know for a fact everyone was impressed when, after a countdown by Wolfman Jack, we launched off enough explosives to level a medium sized town! As the rocket's red glare died the music tempo flared and caused an explosion of dancing. Sometime around 3 degenerate SW couldn't dance or drink any more and hit the sack. I set up the next hour of tunes and followed. Around the campfire the survivors were still chatting. Degenerate JM was passed out, actually on the couch instead of in the middle of the dance floor for the first time ever. Other couples were slinking off to dark corners and a few sober folk actually headed home. I don't know if anyone was awake around 4 when the Teletubbies' "Lullaby" was supposed to lull everyone to sleep and close out the music selection.
The morning after was all hungover smiles, a few firework leftovers, cleanup duty, etc. When folks that fail to attend ask me how it went I usually just say "You should'a been there." If I'm feeling particularly talkative I'll say "No injuries, no cops, X years in a row!" But I couldn't say "no injuries" this year. For the first time in something like 20 degenerate gatherings with explosives, we've had our first injury. One of the degenerates that hadn't attended in a while caught a bottle rocket under her scarf and ended up with a chipped tooth! I still feel bad about it. Maybe next year we'll think of some creative way folks can enjoy the spectacle without having to interact with it, but I know I'll still be out there on the front line with a lighter and a can of WD40, safety glasses and a big, determined grin.
I'd like to thank degenerate DAC for the use of the space. "You call this a cabin? It's really more of a lodge." Commented degenerate MAC. Regardless, the place worked out perfectly and it'll only get better as the planned renovations are completed.
Thanks to degenerate SW for putting up with me during the last month of planning. I'm somewhat of a control freak so getting such a bundle of chaos organized gets me in a state.
And lastly I'd like to thank all attendees for making this a special event. Without you, yes you personally, I wouldn't bother. This party probably takes more of my time than the Summertime Blast, but it's been worth it every year because YOU showed up and I sure like seeing you, drinking with you, dancing with you, and occasionally exploding or setting fire to you.
There's always a few degenerates that ask when they're going to get the chance to do it again soon. We're considering having some kind of gathering in February, a combination Valentines party and 33 1/3 birthday party for the editor. So here's the Official Poll - to party or not to party? February 10 or February 17? Any ideas for a theme? This would probably be at the Degenerate Press HQ unless another venue presents itself, which means we wouldn't be able to have live music but we have ample infrastructure for recordings of all sorts. I know it sounds like a ways off, but I'd need to know SOON if there's an interest for this 'cause planning these things takes a load of time!
In other news, I handed out a few copies of Degeneration Excerpt to subscribers of our print zine. If you didn't get a copy and think you should've let us know and we'll put one in the mail for ya'.
For anyone dissatisfied with their "work life" vs. their "home life" situation, there's an interesting article on CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2000/CAREER/careercenter/09/28/work.vs.life/index.html
We got this from Brian Holloran, former cellist of Smoke:
"The internationally travelled and praised documentary BENJAMIN SMOKE--about local musician Benjamin and his band Smoke will be showing at Georgia State University's CINEFEST FILM THEATER. The film recently showed at The Plaza Theater and was named one of the Top 5 Films To See in The Atlanta Journal Constitution. Screening information can be found at Cinefest via showtime line 404-651-CINE, calling the office at 404-651-3565, or e-mailing the theater manager Blake Myers at email@example.com. For more information on the film visit www.benjaminsmoke.com For more information about Benjamin and Smoke visit www.benjaminremembered.com "
Thursday we hit Echo Lounge to do some last minute party promotion and to catch a show. We walked in on somebody's last number but it didn't sound like we'd missed much. After a break The Telepathics got on stage. 2/3 Ultrababyfat, 1/3 Titanic, 100% garage rock FUN. Damn good stuff and they're high on my list to get for the annual Summertime Blast this July. It reminds me of the early days of The Titanics before they added a few extra folk and overcomplicated the sound - super stripped down, fuzzy, twangy clangy stuff, complete with goofy costumes and stage names, a very mod/rocker show.
The Rock*A*Teens followed. R*A*T shows are an extremely hit or miss affairs - either they're one the worst shows of the year, or one the best. Thursday they were *on* - a fantastic show. They did a few numbers off the new CD, and a few off their older ones. The new numbers sounded great with the addition of a couple of keyboards. The old numbers rang true on the banging guitars. It had been long enough that I'd forgotten how much I liked their live show, but now I can hardly wait for the next one.
In other music news, local musicians and artists Jim and Shane, of Black Cat Tattoo and more bands than we have room to list in this publication, were injured in a car accident just before Consumass. According to degenerate GS, "Shane had minor cuts and bruises - Jim hurt his back and neck and had a concussion." Both have recovered, though it may require a trip to court to settle the matter.
Here's a report from degenerate SW:
We watched the most interesting thing on MTV last night. It was a special report on cosmetic surgery and breast implants & reductions. They chronicled three womens' surgeries: a 25-year old woman was getting a reduction, one was a stripper getting enlargements, one was a 24-year old getting implants and they featured a 23-year old who had her implants removed after years of illness due to the implants (eventually it was found she was suffering from silicone poisoning, but doctors couldn't pinpoint it for a long time.) It wasn't your typical MTV report and I was impressed by their handling of the subject. Much like the network's other "reality" shows they showed the good, the bad and the ugly. The stripper woke up after surgery and completely bawling and sobbing saying "It hurts so much!" Degenerate X thought it was a good report too, but he didn't think it belonged on MTV because he's a MUSIC TeleVision stalwart. "If it ain't music, it don't belong on MTV." Fair enough, but the network has evolved into a substantial influence on the youth of America and reports like this are insightful for young people who think they have to mimic a certain image of "beauty". On the other hand, they showed this report at 11pm when most the most influential minds are tucked in their beds. And it's ironic of MTV to have such an "unbiased" "impartial" "objective" account when they also play Britney Spears videos & images all day long. Anyway... personal opinions aside, I thought it was a very informative account of the pros and cons of cosmetic surgery. All three women were happy with the results, but in years to come they may regret the decision to have their bodies altered in the name of vanity.
If you prefer real breasts, Sofia Vergara, former hostess of Fuera de Serie and other programs on Univision and cover girl of several magazines, has a nifty new 3D poster! It's available via her web site and comes with a couple extra photos for only $8.95 at http://www.sofiavergara.com/ (No, this is NOT an ad, I'm just a huge fan.) For some reason her 2001 calendar is not available yet, don't know why. In other lovely Latin ladies news, Odalys Garcia's 2001 calendar has been available on her site for a while, and the site has recently had a makeover: http://www.odalysgarcia.com The 2001 calendar has much better photography than last year's.
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