Archive for December, 2009

Well, maybe not the return. Maybe we’ll just bring him back from the dead briefly. Exhume him, if you will.

As many of you know, besides writing fiction and blogging and journalism-ing, I am the creator of some extremely rarefied lo-fi rock music catering to a highly selective, partisan audience. However, I haven’t put any new material up since 2007, mainly because I became distracted by “The Retributioners.” Also, our new apartment, filled as it is with older co-op owners, isn’t a conducive environment for making rock music at your kitchen table like my old apartment was. For that reason, and because I have never been very happy with my singing voice, I put my side project ER Salo Deguierre on hold.

However, while I’m still waiting for a good time to record a new batch of material, I recently dug up some old four-track recordings that I want to share on the site. I produced these when I was 26, a novice to four-track recording. It was also a period when I was writing extended suites of six to 10 minutes long, most of them instrumentals owing their sonic ideas to my heroes: Sonic Youth and The Velvet Underground. If you think I am a bad singer now, you can’t imagine how awful I was in 1996. So these particular recordings, while kind of rough, still benefit from that whole “Eric’s voice isn’t on it” quality.

There are three recordings I’m going to put up this week, and I’d love you to check them out. The first one is called “13 Moons.” If they are still too long and rough for your taste, then please go back and enjoy hits like “Cleopatra” and bring more of your partisan friends. I’d love to populate this world with at least 50 Salo Deguierre fans if I could.

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Are you a Netflix subscriber? Do you have a Roku box? If so, you can now watch “The Retributioners” on your very own TV! Our preferred Web video channel, Blip.TV, has signed deals to share their content with several sites and subscription services, including YouTube, TiVo, Vimeo and iTunes. But our personal favorite is the tiny, efficient, extra-affordable Roku box, which you can check out here. This device, of course, allows you to pluck many Netflix movies off the Internet and throw them into your TV–all for free if you have a subscription. What movies the company doesn’t have online you can likely still get through an Amazon link for just a few bucks extra.

I am not saying all this because I am some shill for Roku or just because I want you to watch “The Retributions” again (Anyone up for another round of “Drunk Dial Party”?). No, I’m also a huge fan of this little box because it has completely changed my TV viewing habits, allowed me to waste less time and money on bad television and, most important, allowed me to call my cable company and demand again that they lower my rate or else I’ll get rid of them. Because, as Pliny the Elder once asked, why do I have to take their shit?

One of my favorite Roku discoveries lately is that I can now watch any DVD from the first five years of Saturday Night Live for FREE with my Netflix account and my tiny, compact, sleek, inexpensive and elegant little Roku box. That’s EVERYTHING! Even the stuff they never show in reruns–like Milton Berle singing “September Song,” and Louise Lasser apparently walking off in the middle of her monologue because she was having a nervous breakdown. Everyone remembers that Belushi did the Samurai, but nobody remembers that he also did FDR and Truman Capote. Nobody remembers the sketch where Ralph Nader tested sex dolls. But I have seen it and I still don’t believe he did it.

So, without an endorsement money from Roku, I must recommend this box. It was a steal when I bought it at $100, and now it seems to have dropped in price again. This is the future! If we all get extra picky about what we watch, maybe the regular networks will remove the Kardashians. Come on! We’re adults. We don’t have to take this abuse!

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After a mysterious car accident led to press speculation about golf star Tiger Woods’ possible marital infidelities, there are now reports that he and his wife Elin Nordegren have renegotiated several aspects of their prenuptial agreement, which now reportedly includes $80 million extra for Nordegren if she stays with her husband for two more years and $5 million if she does not leave him immediately. What are some of the other new clauses in the prenup?

–*Nordegren is to be paid an extra million for every new bimbo who emerges in South Beach or the Hamptons claiming to have had sex with her husband.

–*That number is to rise to $1.5 million if the woman in question is a Playboy model

–*It will be $1.7 million if the photos of the Playboy model have been retouched

–*It will be $2 million if the woman Tiger slept with gets her own reality TV special

–*It will be $2.2 million if the reality TV show special involves Flavor Flav, Danny Bonaduce or Scott Baio or features vomiting.

–*Woods must pay the $3.99 per minute of phone sex out of his own pocket.

–*Nordegren does not have to make Tiger dinner, watch TV with Tiger or clap during the Masters if Tiger wins.

–*Nordegren gets $100,000 per sexual encounter with Tiger, plus a facial at Bliss Spa.

–*Nordegren does not have to address Tiger in English.

–*Nordegren does not have to continue to love him.

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Hello everybody. I am 40 today. I am sitting here wondering if I have anything smart-assed to say on this topic. Of course, usually I have something smart-assed to say about everything. It’s how I get through the day. It’s how I get through conversations. It’s how I get through dessert. I have, since age 12 at least, tried to think of something funny to say whenever I’m talking to somebody. Why? Because I do not want you to walk away from me. I value your company whoever you are. Yes, you. Whoever you are–whenever you walk away from me it feels mighty bad. Maybe we just met at a party. “Wait!” I wonder. “Where are you going? We just met and already I’m suffering from separation anxiety. I can’t bear it if you leave. If you do, I hate you forever. You’re horrible. Go then. Leave me! Oh! The pain!”

Of course as I get older, I realize sometimes I don’t have to be funny all the time. Sometimes people like you for other reasons. They want you to say how much you liked their movie about the Vietnam War. “Really, Oliver Stone, I told you I liked it. Please, don’t be so insecure!” Other times people just want you to loan them money. As in Oklahoma, where I grew up. That happens a lot there.

I’ve noticed that as we get older, we get more unique. Fewer people get us. Despite the fact that we have more friends and more memories to share, our roads sometimes seem at the same time more lonely. We all deal with defeat and death and rejection, but we handle it differently and we know it differently. Our values might have started the same, but then they change, transmogrify into kaleidoscopic differentiation and never look the same again. I’ve contended with death and loss in my life, but I’ve handled it differently than my friends, and sometimes that can be a more insurmountable wall of communication than if we’d never suffered loss at all. My road is different than yours. You can hug me but not understand. I can hug you but not understand. We love each other anyway.

I now have a single desire, which is to make as much film, literature and music as I possibly can until I drop dead. I don’t say that blithely. I say that as if it could happen tomorrow. Because sometimes it does. The weird thing about turning 40 is that a lot of your idealism goes away, but you also see things with more clarity and perhaps optimism about what you can actually do. I feel that as long as I keep making breakthroughs and learning and keeping my mind open to the vicissitudes of life by applying my mind to the new tasks at hand, I’ll be young. I have a lot of goals, and I haven’t let one of them go. And for that reason, too, I still feel young. Also, I still feel the compulsive need to be funny. And so that makes me feel young, too, because it hasn’t changed.

It takes some of us longer to figure life out. I’m neither faster or slower at that than most other people. Maybe when I have figured everything out, there will be some prize at the end. Maybe it will be something with sound and fury, like at the end of Highlander 2: The Quickening. Or maybe it will be deathly silent and empty. I promise myself that whatever it is, I won’t be bitter if it’s different from what I expected. It’s just time. Every moment I’m awake I can change it.

Happy 40th birthday to myself and love to everybody else.


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What cheap gimmicks are we using to get people to watch our online wine show?

–*We’re doing it from St. Bart’s.

–*We’re doing it naked.

–*We never taste Merlots.

–*We only drink Merlots.

–*We’re using the skull of a lowland druid as a spit bucket.

–*We’re using the New York Jets as a spit bucket.

–*The show is hosted by Elmo.

–*The show is hosted by an austere German baby nurse named Benz.

–*We always start by comparing every wine unfavorably to our favorite Northern Rhone that tastes like a French barnyard.

–*We do the show from a French barnyard.

–*We do the show in a burn ward.

–*David Lee Roth will come to your house.

–*We only taste harsh acidic wines from cool climates and measure each by how much sour “O” face it gives you–in a very special segment we like to call “The O Face.”

–*We only taste wines made by adult film stars.

–*We have a special migraines and flatulence segment.

–*Our tag-team hosts include one seasoned sommelier and a spasmodic Borscht Belt comedian who humps the grape vats for cheap yuks.

–*Every week, our on-location show ends in a Jerry Springer-style fistfight after we insult the vintner, usually after our host makes some comment like “Your wine has too much tannin on the back of the palate. You gonna do something about it?”

–*It is as true as anything Aristotle wrote in Metaphysics that your show has a better chance of being watched if Flavor Flav is in it.

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