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 lovely people at Too Much Coffee Man,
http://www.toomuchcoffeeman.com, put together a HILARIOUS article
about war and the media that you really, really, really should read:
And once you've gotten a giggle out of a subtle, intellectually
stimulating article, switch over to their review of receiving (and
applying) a coffee enema for a full-out guffaw:
RATED X GAMES
Thursday we drove through the underground ruins around Philips Arena
in search of the media entrance. Initially we found our way into the
building without so much as a "Hey, buddy, where do you think you're
goin'?!" In fact, we had to hunt for a security guard to direct us to
the media contact while the athletes and trainers for the nights'
event snacked in the dining area.
Eventually we found our way to the press corral, along with the local
TV and mainstream radio folks. Kind of funny to see me, SW and CB
sitting around handing out Prick Magazine and pretending to be
important while TV cameras and microphones were crowding for room. It
was odd to see these guys whom I've watched on TV hundreds of times
just hanging around. They still have baggy shorts, grubby t-shirts,
and that demeanor that says "slacker." Yet they are the celebs of
today, famous athletes with almost rock star status. A few Gen Xers
who've managed to turn their hobby/sport/lifestyle into a living. How
did this happen?
We chatted with a couple of the motocross guys involved in the Tony
Hawk BoomBoom HuckJam, snapped a few pictures, and handed out
business cards and copies of the magazine. I'm missing the Celebrity
Worship gene, so I wasn't much impressed, though when Carey Hart said
"Me and my girlfriend got each other's names tattooed on us," and
flashed his Pink tattoo I did have to ask, "So how long have you been
"About a year."
I probably wouldn't have cared, but SW has a thing for Pink.
Speaking of people who have a thing for a specific celeb, Tony Hawk
himself showed up for a quick couple of minutes at the press
conference, did a few interviews and was about to slip away when CB
stepped up and with a shaking hand said, "Uh. Tony. You may not
remember, but back in 1989 you came to our town and I skated with you
at so-and-so skatepark. It was really cool." Surprisingly Tony did
remember the park and the event, even describing the ramp at the
place. CB posed for a photo and got Tony's autograph and was
absolutely wired by the time Tony slipped away to get ready for the
Maybe that's how this happened - maybe these guys turned this hobby
into a full-on sport because guys like Tony Hawk are not obviously
there for the money and the fame. They're there to do the best they
can do and to shake the hands of fans that want to do their best too.
Watch one X-Games type event and you'll spot the differences between
this and any other established sport immediately. Though they are in
competition with each other, you'd never know it. When one guy pulls
a trick nobody else can do or does it better than anyone else,
everyone smiles, rushes out onto the course and hugs. The whole
thing is about each person pushing their own limits, and thus the
limits of the sport. Maybe it's because the sport is still in its
infancy, from a mainstream money standpoint, but with guys like Tony
Hawk around who can ignore the fans? And who can fail to be
supportive of the other athletes in the sport? You'd look like a
We got snacks and found our seats, not the best seats in the house
but not the worst and for the price (free after some hustle) we
didn't complain... much.
They were showing clips from the Tony Hawk Gigantic Skate Park Summer
2002 Tour over the massive monitors hung around the arena, but it was
tough to pay attention when the arena floor itself was so
interesting. It looked like a strange roller coaster constructed of
steel scaffolding and plywood, all surrounding a huge cube curtain
that concealed the middle of the arena. The crowd was made up almost
entirely of families with young boys, many with skateboards or
helmets in hand, hoping for autographs. A few of the athletes were
talking to the early crowd about the show, how big the ramps were and
such, and answering questions from the crowd. The arena filled up and
they announced the show would begin in 15 minutes.
Half an hour later the lights dimmed and a DJ started scratching up a
mix of hip hop and rock. Green spotlights flashed around the arena
and suddenly the huge cube curtain dropped, revealing a massive vert
ramp, some 70+ feet long and 15 feet tall. Tony appeared on a
platform and rolled down into the ramp and the show kicked off with a
bang, motorcycles shooting around the course to launch off massive
ramps at either edge of the arena floor, sailing up among the
rafters. A mix of skateboards and BMX bikes shot up out of the vert
ramp, twisting, turning, and flipping before sailing back down into
the bowl and across to the other side for another trick. Lights
played across the ramps and scaffolds and the whole thing had an
almost other-worldly feel, like some kind of circus in a sci-fi movie
where you'd say "Oh, that'll never happen," yet there it was.
After the big opener, the show broke down into acts, with each
discipline getting a portion of showtime. The motocross guys provided
the biggest spectacle, but the boards and bikes have a wider variety
of tricks at their disposal.
At some point a band appeared on a stage at one end of the arena.
Good Charlotte. There were a handful of high school girls there to
see them, a good indicator of the type of music Good Charlotte play.
The fans were in their "rebellious" and "punk" attire - t-shirts with
the sleeves ripped off, studded leather belts, too much eyeliner - a
look that hasn't been punk or rebellious in 30 years. And Good
Charlotte satisfied their watered-down desires for organized anarchy
with carefully choreographed faux rage. I could've slept through them
had there not been motorcycles roaring by from time to time. But then
again, I'm not a 13-year-old girl trying to rebel against the
difficult life of upper middle class suburbia, what do I know?
Fortunately the band, and the seven fans in the arena that had come
to see them, was easily ignored in the face of the talent that Tony
Hawk had assembled. A couple of skaters were obviously off their game
that night, missing almost every trick they attempted, but when they
started mixing up two and three and more riders at a time we barely
noticed. And two guys off their game out of a dozen is pretty good
odds in a sport where you must fail time and time again before you
land a trick the first time, and even after repeated failure is
expected when attempting the near-impossible.
They wrapped up the show with another everything-at-once spectacle
and brought up the house lights. The athletes headed to the edges of
the floor to sign autographs from clamoring fans as we headed back to
the underground ruins in search of our truck. Pumped full of
adrenaline, loud music, and $3.50 Cokes, SW couldn't stop saying,
"Man that was SO FUN!"
Saturday we couldn't decide between the big show at Echo and the
small show at the Star Bar but eventually I decided I wasn't up for a
long, late show and the energy at the Star Bar would keep me awake so
we headed to L5P. The Nowhere Squares were the lead off act taking
their hyper, geeky rock into hypergeek mode, complete with skinny
ties and thick-framed glasses. It's got a strong 80's feel, like Devo
does Dead Kennedy's singing about high school. Fun stuff.
Next up were the Moto-Litas. I had reviewed their CD a while back but
they've made some slight changes since then, both in lineup and
sound. They're a little less pop, a little more rock, a change you
won't hear us complaining about. Fun grrrl rock! It turns out the
lead singer attended my high school and is good friends with my
brother, so we chatted about Dahlonega and other topics of ancient
The Helgas stepped up and belted out a burst of poppy punk, good
stuff, especially if you're still suffering from the loss of 17
Years. The addition of Suzanne, lead singer of Lust, really works
well with Scooter's lead vocals and it's music like this that makes
me want to puke on bands like Good Charlotte. I picked up The Helgas'
CD, "til the wheels fall off." It's what you'd expect - clean,
well-produced punk with actually discernable vocals and catchy hooks,
sort of like a lightweight X. And that's not an insult in my zine!
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