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 bassist for Lynyrd Skynyrd died this past weekend:
Anyone know if there's ANY of the original lineup left? When the plane went down in '77 nobody formed a band with the "Skynyrd" name for, what, 10 years? In '82 "Skynyrd's First And...Last" was released, a collection of previously unreleased tracks, and the that could've been the end of it.
But in '87 a bunch of relatives and hangers-on got together to "relive the memories", i.e. make a quick buck, with "Southern by the Grace of God: Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute Tour" and found that they could still sell out large venues around the South and, like it or not, a new Skynrd was born with a few (street) survivors from the original lineup. But one by one those have passed away and we're left with a "grandfather's axe" of a band.
(For those of you that don't know, grandfather's axe has had the handle replaced 9 times and the head replaced 3, but it's still grandfather's axe.)
My question is this - at what point does it stop being The Band and become The Corporation? Corporations do not depend on the individual entities working within to carry on the name and business. As long as they're profitable you can swap out the staff without any need to change the name or direction of the company. At what point does it become Lynyrd Skynyrd Inc.?
I guess Bowie answered that one - it doesn't really matter if you swap out the staff or fail to produce any new and original product as long as you can make a buck with sheer brand recognition.
Maybe the bird never was "free."
We got this from degenerate SC:
I was doing some homework to see what it is exactly that I'm running wires for here at work, and happened across this web page...
Might be a trick to bulk up his collection, but apparently, one of the Smithereens is in charge of the programming for a satellite radio station, and is soliciting CD's from unsigned/unknown artists.
"You must be an unsigned artist or band that has no ties to a major label."
Mail CD and Bio to Pat DiNizio, c/o XM Satellite Radio, 1500 Eckington Place, NE, Washington, DC 20002
In other news, degeneratepress.com is a zenzibar.com "site of the week". Zenzibar is "A portal to alternatives to western mainstream culture." Cool, eh? Now if I could just find time to update the damn site...
I picked up our '69 Thunderbird from the shop Tuesday. It has been in the shop since we bought her back in May, mostly because we couldn't find a gas tank for the beast. If it wasn't one thing it was another with this car so we were pretty convinced she's cursed. But I finally tracked one down (thank Gore for the internet!) and was anxiously looking forward to getting behind the wheel and firing up that big 429.
She rumbled like a race car as they pulled her around - sounds like it needs a new muffler but I'm ok with a little extra noise for now. I drove up the block to another shop to borrow a wrench from the owner, a friend of mine, so I could take off the trailer hitch and get the tags put on. 45 minutes later we finally got the rusted bolts loose and got the 70 pound homemade trailer hitch off the beast. Then the rear valence fell off. Apparently the trailer hitch was the only thing holding it on, so we put on the appropriate fasteners, I slapped the tag on and headed to the car wash where the change machine refused to work, then ate my money.
"This car IS cursed..." I grumbled in the blazing parking lot heat.
But I got her home and SW came running out grinning. She's a fine machine.
We cleaned her up a bit, loaded her for the drive in and headed out. We stopped by the gas station to use their vacuum then headed south - only to head right back home again due to the skipping cylinder and the copious amounts of smoke bellowing out of the tailpipes.
So this morning I gathered all of my protection vs. evil spirits amulets and good luck charms, even though I don't believe in them, and hung them in the car before starting her up to take her back to the shop. She ran fine, of course, like a kid who stayed home sick from school but is then forced to go to the doctor and the symptoms mysteriously vanish.
So the mechanic poked around with it all day and couldn't find a thing wrong so it may have only been opening night jitters, so to speak, 'cause she drives fine now. Email us for a ride, but you gotta buy the gas...
We headed to Starlight Drive In in SW's truck for the much anticipated, critically maligned Planet of the Apes, Tim Burton style. Several critics have said it's pretty but dumb, but what do you expect in a film with Marky Mark and a Monkey Bunch? Sure, there were plot holes you could drive King Kong through, and some of the lines were a little on the goofy side, but the reference jokes were fun and it's a delight to heckle.
"How many human butlers will there be?"
"Well, one at first, but he'll train others."
You can whip out your monkey puns one after another. Go ape!
Seriously though, the film is beautiful. The makeup is absolutely astounding, even the costumes and sets are interesting. I could have used less fly-by-wire effects, but in general the ape movements and gestures were nice. Marky Mark somehow comes off as Dirk Diggler in space, kind of a lost bimbo, but maybe that's the only character he knows how to play?
And the whole thing wraps up with opportunities for even better puns, and a sequel. What more could you want from a summer blockbuster?
Here's a response to last episode from degenerate RVI:
"But John D. Freyer of allmylifeforsale really illustrates the end all beat
all logical end of capitalism - what is all this shit we accumulate
actually WORTH, in cold hard cash?"
And what's the cold, hard cash worth in cold, hard cash??? Do we give things value or is it the other way around?
In other news, eMpTyV turns 20 today, as you're well aware if you have cable
or have looked at the news in the last few days. There aren't many folks out
there who saw the station start up with The Buggles' Video Killed The Radio
Star. Cable wasn't as pervasive then, and nobody had said "I want my MTV"
to their cable operator. Record companies weren't cranking out video friendly
artists, or even videos, so eMpTV was showing whatever it could get it's hands
on ñ a real alternative selection of music.
On a recent VH1 documentary they discussed what was happening to radio in the 60's and 70's - how AM dominated the market and FM was the only place you could hear anything different/interesting/new. They noted that in 20 years FM took over as the youth market turned away from AM, and how FM radio became a corporate wasteland of play lists generated by pollsters to pander to the masses and everything slowly evolved so that it could please a niche market with an incredible sameness.
I found this ironically familiar and an article in today's Atlanta Constitution does a good job of pointing out how tough it is to tell the commercials from the content on eMpTyV these days, "See the artist in the video of the soundtrack to the movie, which is cut exactly like the video" or something like that. Everything on the station is a promotion for something targeted at a youth market, one I can no longer identify with.
Kids these days don't have a problem with commercials. Some of the guys I used to work with, 10 years or more younger than I, actually liked commercials as much or more than the show they interrupted. They'd surf various web sites looking for their favorite ads and talk about them with their friends.
Not many people have seen Sly Stallone's Demolition Man but it has some startlingly telling moments, like when Sandra Bollock turns up the radio station, broadcasting nothing but commercial jingles, and raves about her favorite. She's overjoyed with the shallow pointlessness of it all.
Her character would love eMpTyV.
Some years back I took to calling those 800 numbers for state tourist guides. The one from Texas is larger than a phone book from most cities under 100,000 population and could keep you busy for a long time. Having roots in Oklahoma, I've been there at least every 2 years on average my entire life. Despite this bias, their tour guide still has lots of interesting stuff in it. I did call once for a MS tour guide. If you don't fish, hunt ducks, play golf, or go to arts & craft fairs, there is NOTHING (officially recognized) to do there. In all fairness, if the GA guide was all I had to go on, I'd drive straight on through.
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