Why did it have to be Jimmy Fallon?

justin Awesomeness, Live Music, Music, Popular Culture Leave a Comment

From 1993 until some time in 1997, my roommate and I had a Sunday ritual. I’d usually spend the afternoon putting away a box of Peter Vella’s burgundy and, come evening, we’d watch and record 120 Minutes on MTV.

At this point in time, MTV also had Alternative Nation (hosted by the ever-annoying Kennedy) going just about every night, but we preferred trivia-tourettes spewing Matt Pinfield on 120 because they always seemed to play those videos that got a single airing and then had the tape chucked on the degausser.

We’d tape the two hours of videos because we never knew when there would be an incredible gem and the interwebs just weren’t very robust for that kind of crap pre-Y2K.

One of my favorite songs (and videos) that only ever seemed to get airtime on 120 was Jawbox’s “Savory.”  I was lucky enough to see Jawbox in September of 1994 at Emo’s, but not on their “farewell” tour at the end of 1996. 1997 rolled around and Jawbox called it quits.

Roll ahead to 2009 and a moron named Jimmy Fallon. For some unknown reason (aside from a re-release of Your Own Special Sweetheart), Fallon was able to get Jawbox back together after 12 years to play, among other things, “Savory” on his show. What? Could a reunion tour be in the works? The answer from front man J. Robbins is: hell no.

So, enjoy Jawbox on Jimmy Fallon, it may be the only new sounds we hear from them until the next ultra-annoying talk show host comes along.  Balls.

Put the mouse back in the box

justin Disney, Movies, Popular Culture Leave a Comment

So, now that Nic Cage is doing  pretty much nothing but being Disney’s bitch boy (I would actually love to be in that position), he’s throwing off all the pretense that he tried, at one point, to be a serious, dramatic actor.

Normally I would abhor any attempt at making an “adaptation” of a segment of the genius that is Fantasia, but, if you look at it as in no way related, the trailer for The Sorcerer’s Apprentice actually looks halfway decent.

It does, of course, also have the superglue that binds Nic Cage and Disney together: Jerry Bruckheimer. As long as there is no reference to the founding fathers or any attempted clever juxtoposition of sunglasses and Who songs, I might even enjoy this flick.

Besides, they even tried to kill a crowd of people while making this one.

Reboot is the new black(est night)

justin Comic Books, Popular Culture, Ravings Leave a Comment

It’s long been said that there really aren’t any new ideas out there, and that, for the most part, creative vehicles are nothing more than rehashes and combinations of stuff that has come before. In comic books, especially, this isn’t a new concept. For years heroes from the “Big Two” (DC & Marvel for you non-geek types) have been killing off characters left and right, reinventing characters and flat out replacing characters by putting new people in old costumes to keep the drama and continuity going.

In the early 90s, Marvel upped the ante and launched their 2099 line. It was basically a couple of books (Spider-Man, X-Men, Punisher, Dr. Doom, Hulk, Fantastic Four and Ghost Rider) set in 2099. The people behind the masks were all new (for the most part), but the banner and basic premise were familiar to comic fans. This amused people for a couple of years, but got old. The 2000s roll around and Marvel was back at it with the Ultimate Marvel line. The Ultimate line differed from 2099 in two major ways: character reboots and serious writing firepower.

batman_fnl3-219x300superman_leveledlores-196x300Now it’s 2009 and DC is jumping into the Ultimates-styled pool with Earth One. As mentioned yesterday on DC’s The Source blog, Earth One is going to be the vehicle to reboot Batman and Superman (like it hadn’t already been done with their All Star titles) with DC’s answer to Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Millar: Geoff Johns and J. Michael Straczynski.

Normally I would just roll my eyes and read some of the story hightlights to see if I wanted to jump on with this, but I can’t really see how yet another Batman and/or Superman title is going to do much more than dilute the property. I’ve been lucky enough to have avoided titles from the Last Son of Krypton since the early 90s: he just doesn’t interest me. I am, however, currently reading about 250 Batman or Batman related titles. Hell, I’m not even sure who is behind the cape and cowl in half of them (spoiler alert, Bruce Wayne is supposedly dead) and I’m really not interested in following him to a title that will likely be destroyed in “Insert Modifier Here Crisis” when the storylines start to get a little tired in three years.

What I really wanted from this “major publishing event” announcement was that DC was going to commit themselves to getting their damn titles out on time (something Marvel has a way worse problem doing). They can keep their Bat-One and Super-One.

Besides, didn’t Elseworlds address all of this?

blah blah blah, something clever about getting screwed and keys

justin Awesomeness, Useless Junk Leave a Comment

screwkey3smallScrew Key! I am floored at how easy and effective this tiny screwdriver set is. For some strange reason, I am in need of a handy screwdriver on a regular basis and, despite owning about three thousand different screwdriver-esque products, I can never find one when I need one, let alone one that does any actual good.

At the same time, these things are damn cheap; only $5 for one Phillips and one straight blade. That’s just about insane.

Now if I can just keep from hurting myself with these things.

On PB&J

justin food Leave a Comment

pbjI like to think of myself as a bit of a foodie. For those not in the know, that means I like to get pretentious about what I eat when I’m around other people, yet still do those 3AM McDonalds runs when I’m headed home from the bar after drinking a crapload of Bud Light. That’s a bit of an oversimplification, but the intent is there. The big difference between foodies and gluttons is that foodies tend to look at their cuisine before shovelling it into their faces: this being way different than actually meeting your food.

OK, enough of the sidetrack. I’m here today to speak about the wonders of the greatest food combination in the entire world: peanut butter and jelly.

I’ve been a massive fan of the PB&J since I was a wee lad. A couple of sammiches with a tall glass of chocolate milk and some Cheetos could very well beat out any fancy fare for my choice of last meal. I’m just that dedicated.

I am, however, quite snobbish when it comes to PB&Js. Crunchy is the only peanut butter that should be used and it is my firm belief that lightning should strike you if you meld peanut butter and bread together with anything other than grape jelly. I’m much more flexible with bread choices (I’m not a total asshole). I almost never eat plain ‘ol white bread, but it’s mighty tasty with PB&Js as well as leftover turkey sammiches. The Cheetos (puffy not the original) and chocolate milk are not necessary, but it does help to have something to wash down it all down with. Amazingly, this is one time where beer just doesn’t do the job.

It makes me hungry just thinking about it.

It’s been 10 days and you’re still playing that game…

justin Music Leave a Comment

[wpaudio url=”http://www.notwiththatface.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/01-Missle-Command.mp3″ text=”Shallow – Missle Command” dl=”0″]

Around 1995 (when I was swinging back and forth between shoegaze and punk) some friends of mine introduced me to Shallow: a Kansas City band that was kinda shoey and mostly geeky. When I found out that Sonic Boom had done a pile of remixes for them I thought I’d go ahead and give them a shot.

Turns out my friends were right. Unfortunately Shallow doesn’t exist anymore, but Jason and Julie Shields are still going strong as The Capsules, and apparently still play occasional Shallow songs.

When I started listening to Shallow, I had begun to find a whole mess of “not-so-pop” pop music. Bands like Cub, Bunnygrunt, Grover, Kittywinder all had definite roots in pop, but with something a little different: be it edgy lyrics or sickeningly sweet happy songs. For me, Shallow represented a middle ground between Spiritualized/Spaceman 3 and a band like Lush.

My friends and I would often find ourselves curled up on the floor of one of our friend’s apartment, drunk, Shallow cranked up, playing pogs on the kitchen floor. That’s what you did to Shallow. You either stood around swaying like a dumbass, or you did something inane like play pogs or throw bouncy balls into the ceiling fan. I’m pretty sure we wore out CD Laser Lens Cleaner and High Flyin’ Kids Stuff as well as the linoleum in that kitchen.

Listening to “Missle Command” still makes me want to pull out the pogs. Odd.

I Gotta Be Me

justin Awesomeness, monkey, Ravings, Useless Junk Leave a Comment

cat-mens-socksAs you have either known for a long time, or have just figured out from reading my little diatribes, I’m an odd fellow. Strike that, I’m almost downright weird. I find great comfort in individuality and always have.

Being weird isn’t a new thing for me; I’ve been weird just about all of my life. Just ask my Mother, she’d be more than happy to tell you how weird of a kid I was.

One of the funniest things about my life is that I have spent a lot of time and effort pursuing activities and careers that are pretty much anathema to individuality. I’ve worked for two semi-governmental organizations very much involved in the pursuit of the “Status Quo,” I damn near got a job with the State Department and I spent a good amount of time involved in United Nations related stuff in my college years.

I guess even my weird has a weird.

I bring this all up because my individuality has been butting heads with the constraints of my employment for the past several years and I finally have a way to relieve a little amount of stress in that regard.

As mentioned above, I work for a semi-governmental agency. As part of my wildly fulfilling employment, I get the opportunity to take out my piercings and cover up my tattoos every single day (I’m not bitter or anything). Yes, I get to look like every other penguin on the icefloe.

A month ago, squeezle set me up a way to be my own monkey and still keep the bigwigs happy: LittleMissMatched.

Basically, LittleMissMatched sells socks that come three-a-pair and each sock in the threesome is a different color. While I have both stripes and argyle, I tend to wear two striped or two argyle because one striped and one argyle would make squeezle crazy.

Today at work, someone finally noticed. With socks this bright, it’s pretty apparent that a statement is being made and that I didn’t just get dressed in the dark this morning. I’ve accidentally worn one black and one brown several times in the past couple of years, but that has more to do with my zombie-like state in the morning than active dissension.

I actually wouldn’t be surprised if, by the end of next week, I am not approached and told to wear normal socks. That’s just how this place seems to roll.

The Legend of Pao’ !Mo-Loki Keeble Drax

justin Fiction, monkey Leave a Comment

Note:
I wrote this back in April 2006 and stumbled across it this morning and thought I’d share it here. I believe it was an exercise in attempting to prove that if you are willing to make up some pretty obnoxious names, anyone can be a fantasy writer.


In the steppes outside the great hidden city lies a great temple. In the great temple sits the shrine to Pao !Mo-Loki Keeble Drax: the great warrior monkey of the Fourth Klattac. Grasped in the great gnarled paw of Pao !Mo-Loki Keeble Drax is a great Fork of great import. From astride his mighty Vulad, Pao !Mo-Loki Keeble Drax inspired the great armies of the Fourth Klattac with this great Fork to overthrow the oppressive Critasholnara and cast them into the Boiling Sea.

While the odds were against the Judromps of the Fourth Klattac, perseverance and the stirring motivation of Pao !Mo-Loki Keeble Drax granted them steady hands and true aim.

The fact that the Judromps of the Fourth Klattac were outnumbered and outgunned by the great battalions of the Critasholnara did nothing to bend their spirit. Pao !Mo-Loki Keeble Drax had spent the previous four cycles meeting with each of the Yessups of the Judromps in preparation for the liberation assault. Wielding his great Fork over the councils of the Yessups solidified Pao !Mo-Loki Keeble Drax as a natural leader and brought the peoples of the Fourth Klattac together in a unified effort not seen since the Twelfth Era.

Amidst the second wave of attacks, Pao !Mo-Loki Keeble Drax sensed the morale of the Judromps failing and, with it, the last hopes of the Fourth Klattac. Fetching his great Fork from its ceremonial stantchion, Pao !Mo-Loki Keeble Drax leapt to his Vulad and headed into the fray to rescue the hopes and dreams of all the Fourth Klattac.

Feeding off the raw power of the great monkey warrior in the throws of battle, the Judromps surged forward against the Critasholnara. Unfortunately, in the sixth wave of attacks, an errant atlatl dart pierced the chest of the mighty monkey. Faltering not in his mount, Pao !Mo-Loki Keeble Drax continued the charge while his lifes blood flowed forth from the most mortal of wounds.

Carried back to his tent during the eighth wave by his Yessups, Pao !Mo-Loki Deeble Drax perished attempting to once again mount his Vulad and charge back into the maelstrom.

Such an inspiration to the Fourth Klattac was the valor and death of Pao !Mo-Loki Keeble Drax that they quickly redoubled their efforts and finally overcame the Critasholnara in the thirteenth wave.

On the ground where life finally left the great Pao !Mo-Loki Keeble Drax, great Fork still grasped in his paw, plans were drawn to erect a mighty temple and shrine. It took the builders of the Fourth Klattac forty-two cycles to complete, but the radiant splendor of the end result brought tears even the most battle-hardened Yessups eyes.

The period of the construction of the great temple was considered a period of mourning for the Fourth Klattac as their inspiring leader and motivator had yet to have a final resting place worthy of his accomplishments. Once the dedication of the temple was completed, a colossal feast and celebration, dedicated to the heroic Pao !Mo-Loki Keeble Drax was undertaken. As a final symbol of honor, all the forks from this great feast were placed around the great golden shrine for Pao !Mo-Loki Keeble Drax. Even today it is customary to bring a fork to honor the legend that was Pao !Mo-Loki Keeble Drax.

The temple also has a large gift shop. I hear they make a spectacular egg cream.

Vulgarity vs. the State of Texas

justin monkey, Ravings, Stupidity, Texas Leave a Comment

forkerplatesI’m vulgar.  Well, that’s moderately common knowledge, but, according to the State of Texas, I’m officially vulgar.

This all started a few weeks ago. A company by the name of MyPlates.com was given a renewal by Texas to handle vanity license plates with a whole bevy of new designs that look about a bajillion times better than the piece of crap that Texas decided on in this last round (don’t even get me started on the new “look” the driver’s license has). Since I have a little website and associate myself with a gang of miscreant ne’er-do-wells called the Forkers, I thought it would be clever to have “Forker” on my plates (since they only allow six characters).

I should have known that it wouldn’t be that easy.  MyPlates has you by the balls.  All of their legalese lays out that once you click the submit with your payment, that payment is gone.  The State may still reject your request, but you are still out the amount of money you’ve just paid.  Bogus bullshits. Any legitimate company where “I want a refund” is not an option is not a company but, rather, organized crime.

So, now I have to come up with something unvulgar to put on my car since they already have my money hostage.  Bastards.

They can just go fork themselves.

My Name is Twilight and I am a Dracula

justin Books, Movies, Popular Culture, Ravings Leave a Comment

team-edwardI hate the Twilight series.

I know that “hate” is a strong emotion to throw out there, and I almost feel bad about it since I really don’t know much about the Twilight series, but I hate it.

First off, Twilight is not about vampires. Vampires generally have more weaknesses than just sparkling in sunlight. What the hell is that all about anyway? I’m pretty sure most strippers sparkle in sunlight thanks to “stripper dust,” does that make them vampires? Are Edward and crew really strippers? At best, the Twilight “vamps” are nothing more than hybrid gothy emokids. That’s deadly enough it its own right. At the worst, Edward is a pedophile. Isn’t he like hundreds of years old and still dating high school girls? Even Matthew McConaughey got over that.

I realize that I’m getting older, and that one of the first signs one is getting older is that the stuff the “younger folk” obsess over is annoying as hell. There, I found a reason I can justifiably hate Twilight: it makes me feel old.

That’s just not the best excuse.

I’m a vampire fan. I’ve watched some pretty terrible movies solely because there was vampy-time somewhere in the middle. In fact, I probably prefer terrible vampire movies to the really well done ones. I even buy into the concept that there are a whole mess of different varieties of vampires. I just don’t think Stephanie Meyer knows what the toss a vampire is.

That’s not even a good excuse.

Do I really need a good excuse?

Screw it, make mine Team Edward.