notes from
the MUCK . . .

How does your garden grow? With muck, muck and more muck! I spent much of today finishing the final muck box and then shifting muck from one box to the next. The first box, which the Big Lad is enthusiastically pointing out, has been rotting down for two years now and once we’d removed the top quarter of unrotted material, we found we’d hit the pay dirt.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

While We're At It...

Hot on the heels of the birth of Matt's "Nipple Slip" feature, I'd like to add one of my own. Of course, it had to be MARIAH ! who would be the first to slip, but I think it only appropiate to include the Big Man, Andre the Giant as well.

Andre was very private and self conscious. It was an internet odyssey finding a picture of him where he had allowed his raisins to escape into the public eye while a camera was handy. Cue montage footage of me in some old library pouring over microfiche, clippings and wot not, falling asleep with the Stones' "Time is On My Side" playing in the background, looking frustrated before falling off my seat as a mixture of surprise, satisfaction, and sexual inadequacy slap me in my face.

Andre put his hands down slowly yet purposefully; "My God, I look ridiculous" he thought, and went to brush his hair for 7 hours.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Nipple Slips

Well, it's gotten damned depressing around here, what with Jeff on hiatus and Ben out of sorts over the Andre election results. I can certainly relate to Jeff's ennui1 and I understand his decision to take some time away from blogging and recharge his batteries. While I, too, have had little to say of late and have been acutely aware of my dwindling contributions to the Muck, I have settled upon a somewhat different tack, because if the internet has nothing else to offer, it has a virtually unlimited supply of celebrity nipple pictures. And I loves me some celebrity nipples. It's not a sexual thing, really; nipples are silly little appendages when you get right down to it (though useful). But there's something delightful about the fact that a nipple can expose itself in California and be on my computer before nightfall. So my commitment to the Muck will be to post every weekday, and if I have nothing else to say - which will be most days - I will at least provide a daily celebrity nipple slip to our readers. I feel that I owe you at least that much.

And for our inaugural nipple slip, I present the one, the only, the Big Black Mariah (possibly photoshopped, but who really cares?):



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1 Listlessness and dissatisfaction resulting from lack of interest; boredom. I had to look it up.

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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Alright, Leave.

There was a lot of fuss over the OK Go video for the song "A Million Ways". It was the most downloaded video or something. You didn't see it here because Notes from The Muck doesn't like to go with the crowd. However, their follow up video to the song "Here it Goes Again", is better. It has running machines. I don't wish to speak for Matt, and our sorely missed Jeff, but if the creators of the Muck were to be in the same room, this would be the kind of dance we would create.

But it would be better, and have more leg.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Bob Loves Madonna

Bobby Dylan said recently in Rolling Stone interview that he doesn't think any records in the last 20 years sound any good. His main beef is with the quality of the recordings;

"You do the best you can, you fight technology in all kinds of ways, but I don't know anyone who's made a record that sounds decent in the past 20 years, really"


And on the morality of downloading music for free on the internet he wryly commented;

"...well why not? It ain't worth nothing anyway".


I don't intend to contest Dylan's assertion about the quality of music these past two decades, not necessarily because I agree with it, but because there's more pressing questions at hand. Questions like what the fuck was released in 1986 that sounded decent??? I can understand harking back to the 60's, 70's, even the 50's for that improvised, unique, characterful, personal analogue sound, but the mid eighties?? Jesus.

So confounded was I that I went to old grumps himself, Papa Google, who reluctantly showed me what was hot in August, 1986 in the shape of the top 40. Maybe this would illuminate some little gems that could be called decent.

I'm probabaly looking in the wrong place, Bob's not exactly a top 40 man, but it's a start...Anywho, it's bad. REALLY bad.

John Cougar Mellencamp at 39 with Rumbleseat. Billy Ocean with, no, not get out of my dreams and into my car, but "Lovezone". There's a SOLO effort by Daryl Hall (what, no Oates??), Rod Stewart's classic "Love Touch" and who could forget Klymaxx's touching number "Man Sized Love"? Oh, quite a few.

Not even the hard core 80s fan will remember Wham's "Edge of Heaven". The Monkeys even had a hit out that was obviously worse than the ones you HAVE heard of; "That was Then, This is Now". All ZZ Top could be muster up was "Velcro Fly". Fuck ZZ Top, but they did know how to rock out....obviously not in 1986, but they had their time.

There's a few classics in there, Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer", "Venus" by Bananarama, and Run D-MC's sublime "Walk This Way". At number 1?? Madonna, Papa Don't Preach. I don't think any of them represented a "Golden Age of Sound Production" though.

"What an old coot", I thought. "He doesn't know what he's talking about". Then I saw it, nestled in snugly at number 4, Berlin, "Take My Breath Away". TopGunTonguetastic. THAT'S what Bobby was talking about...or was it???

Number 1, on January 4 1986, was Eddie Murphy; "Party All the Time". I doff my hat Bobby D, I doff my hat.


Freeze Mutha Fuckah, the times, well, they be a changin', an' yo' ship?? Yeah, you know where it's at.

Sabbatical

It's official - I've run out of things to do on the internet. Pitchfork is pretentious, Ain't it Cool is no longer very cool, and the Superficial is, well, superficial. Niki is pretty much the only one who emails me, and she's usually asleep when I'm at work, so even idle e-com (I just made up that word, and I'm pretty sure I hate it) is no longer an option.

The obvious solution is a return to the basics, to the reason the internet became popular in the first place: pornography. However, since I'm only online at work these days, that's not really much of an option.

Sure I could blog, but I think my recent history on the Muck has proven that I just don't have anything to say.

And so, dear reader(s?), I'm signing off for awhile. I will be back, but it's time for me to explore the real world for a change. Clearly, the internet isn't to blame. Boredom lies within, they say, and I'm as dull as ditchwater in there. Even in conversation I find myself dozing as soon as I open my mouth. The glazed look in the eyes of my listeners moves me to empathy, rather than anger: I know, man, I know - I'm suffering, too. Even the most interesting thoughts swimming in my head these days aren't fit for public discourse. Granted I was drunk, and therefore prone to rambling, but I got cut off last night by some friends after I had beaten a particularly dead horse beyond the limits of their patience. Worst thing was, one of those friends was Will. Will! This is the guy who can repeat the same point about Rambo for three hours, with blatant disregard for the interest or sanity of his audience, and then, a month later, assault the same people with the same exact speech for another three hours as if the thought had just occurred to him that morning (er...no offense or anything). And he shut me down?! I'm obviously way out of line.

But I digress. The point is, I've sunk deeper and deeper into a state of ennui over the past year, and I'm ready to pull myself back out. My only hope is that by abandoning some of my current time-wasting habits (surfing the web) and replacing them with more stimulating activities (taking pictures and reading and shit), I can shed some of my jaded cynicism, revitalize my spirits, and once again learn to appreciate the finer things in daily life...like celebrity bikini pics:

Eh.

So, goodbye for now. Matt and Ben are the real reasons you visit this site anyway, and they'll be around for all your toenail/wrestling needs during my absence.

Also, I'm leaving my job and moving to Georgia this weekend. Good night, and good luck.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

David Brent Trains Microsoft



Now get back to work you little nerd.

Update: Clicking on the picture leads to hilarity (thanks Matthew).

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Chow Chow My Arse

I don't know how far the story of the "Maine Monster" has traveled outside of Maine itself, but its death and apparent identification has caused ripples this side of the pond and beyond.

If, like me, you hadn't heard of this beast, it scared the bejesus out of people in Maine for quite some time, and has been blamed for killing a Doberman and a rottweiler, hellish howls have been heard in woodlands, while one resident who spotted the creature a week before it bought the farm described it as a

"hybrid mutant of something... It was evil, evil looking. And it had a horrible stench I will never forget"


People had long speculated about what it may be, some thought it was a hyena, a wolf, African wild dog or even a mutation or extra terrestial being. Such wild imaginings seem to have been confounded by the bitter pill of reality however.

Officially, according to cryptozoologist and author Loren Coleman, it's a dog. A "chow chow, or a chow chow mix" to be precise.

A chow chow?

This is a chow chow:













This is the thing that was found:



Some similarity sure, but I'm not convinced on the old Chow Chow front. It may help to have actual DNA evidence. I definitely don't think it was a goat/sheep hybrid as some have suggested, and it's not a rodent. Either way, this looks like a friendly little thing, maybe a little wolfish, whose "rein of terror" has ended. Sadly, its remains were left to be picked apart by vultures and other scavengers so barely anything is left of this creature that had such a hold on the local psyche. One would have thought some kind of burial would've been appropiate, or at least preservation to conduct proper tests.

So there it is; hardly the stuff of nightmares, hardly a chow chow, and surely deserving of more respect and care.

Andre's Elimination; A Response.

It has come to my attention that the votes have been counted in the recent poll to decide which one picture will represent Andre the Giant on this blog.

Needless to say, my choice did not win, and we wave goodbye to the iconic picture of Andre the Giant standing next to Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka.

Rather than dwell on this result, I would like to keep Notes from the Muck attatched to this image somehow, and have launched Andre's Mucky Tights to fill the void.

This will not interfere with my contribution to Notes, to the contrary, I am currently compiling a piece on the hybrid sheep/goat/rodent/dog whose identity was revealed after it's untimely death.

You may notice a lack of links or anything else that requires some kind of skill with computers...slowly slowly catchee monkee...


He can't even post once a week for Notes from the Muck, how's he going to do me justice?? HOW?

Friday, August 18, 2006

And the Winner Is



Sorry, Ben.

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Eliminating Andre

I long ago promised to do some housekeeping around here and elimiate some Andre the Giant pictures. Ann gently reminds me that I haven't. Now that our readership has dwindled to about five, a vote should be manageable. I will announce a winner at the close of business tomorrow. You should be able to vote once per day. So which Andre picture should we keep?

Pick One:
Free polls from Pollhost.com

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Dangle's Duty

A dude was fleeing the police. Guns were involved. The logical action to take? Why, jump in the river and take off your clothes you fools. Always good to see the po po with a facefull of arse.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Read it and Weep Alanis

Lots of people have a fear of flying. Courses exist that try to eliminate or at least temper this fear. Recently at a family gathering I heard of someone who had booked themselves into such a course as they were flying overseas on holiday. They didn't get to finish the course however, and their trip may be in doubt, as their instructor has been killed in a plane crash.

Cruel joke or tragic circumstances? Either way Ms. Morisette, it's a pretty far cry from having 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife, or meeting the man of your dreams, and then meeting his beautiful wife.





Alanis' crusade to do for brocolli and cup cakes what Louis Jordan did for beans and cornbread got off to a confident yet bemusing start.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Thunder On the Mountain

The opening track from the new Dylan album has been released (or leaked, I'm not sure which). Everybody at the Dylan Pool seems to hate it, but they're a bunch of cynics anyway. I like it. Pretty straightforward, some funny lyrics, and a nice groove. Bob seems to have developed a thing for Alicia Keys. The guitar solos are pretty weak, though it does sound like Bob plays the first one himself, so that's to be expected. His voice doesn't sound as good as it did on "Love and Theft," but it's still surprisingly good, especially as compared to his live singing.

Anyway, here it is. Link should work for seven days. I've never used yousendit before, so let me know if you have a problem downloading.
____________________

Update: Some nice person named jackobob transcribed the lyrics at DylanPool:

Thunder on the mountain

Thunder on the mountain, fires on the moon
There's a ruckus in the alley and the sun will be here soon
Today's the day, gonna grab my trombone and blow
Well, there's hot stuff here and it's everywhere I go

I was thinkin' 'bout Alicia Keys, couldn't keep from crying
When she was born in Hell's Kitchen, I was living down the line
I'm wondering where in the world Alicia Keys could be
I been looking for her even clear through Tennessee

Feel like my soul is beginning to expand
Look into my heart and you will sort of understand
You brought me here, now you're trying to run me away
The writing's on the wall, come read it, come see what it say

Thunder on the mountain, rolling like a drum
Gonna sleep over there, that's where the music coming from
I don't need any guide, I already know the way
Remember this, I'm your servant both night and day

The pistols are poppin' and the power is down
I'd like to try somethin' but I'm so far from town
The sun keeps shinin' and the North Wind keeps picking up speed
Gonna forget about myself for a while, gonna go out and see what others need

I've been sitting down studying the art of love
I think it will fit me like a glove
I want some real good woman to do just what I say
Everybody got to wonder what's the matter with this cruel world today

Thunder on the mountain rolling to the ground
Gonna get up in the morning walk the hard road down
Some sweet day I'll stand beside my king
I wouldn't betray your love or any other thing

Gonna raise me an army, some tough sons of bitches
I'll recruit my army from the orphanages
I been to St. Herman's church and I've said my religious vows
I've sucked the milk out of a thousand cows

I got the porkchops, she got the pie
She ain't no angel and neither am I
Shame on your greed, shame on your wicked schemes
I'll say this, I don't give a damn about your dreams

Thunder on the mountain heavy as can be
Mean old twister bearing down on me
All the ladies of Washington scrambling to get out of town
Looks like something bad gonna happen, better roll your airplane down

Everybody's going and I want to go too
Don't wanna take a chance with somebody new
I did all I could and I did it right there and then
I've already confessed - no need to confess again

Gonna make a lot of money, gonna go up north
I'll plant and I'll harvest what the earth brings forth
The hammer's on the table, the pitchfork's on the shelf
For the love of God, you ought to take pity on yourself

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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Let's Don't Fuck This Up

Omar, Lightbulb Carrier, Lily... , and Shatner, the new Dylan Pool registration is open. Go make your picks and join the team (the password is lasvegas). You should each have gotten an e-mail invitation. Post here if you didn't (or you can just join by going to the website and entering the password). Let's let bygones be bygones and just win this goddamned thing.

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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Reading Project Update

There's a question posed by Raphael in a time-killing Trivial Pursuit game out on the farm in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:

"What Russian novel embraces more than 500 characters and is set in the Napoleotic wars?"

Donatello got it right - did you? The answer is War and Peace.

Well, it just so happens that Matthew and I have a date to start reading the greatest novel of all time on September 11 (Patriot Day.) Just to take some of the pressure off, our only goal is to finish it by my birthday (March 14th.) For the time in between, the plan is to inform everyone we meet that we are, in fact, reading War and Peace and that, yes, it IS, like, really long.

This got me thinking. Since the time investment is so substantial, and the accomplishment of finishing it so very great and impressive, we would be doing ourselves a major disservice if we didn't carry the book around with us at all times for the remainder of our lives...or would we? Along those lines, I have posed a rather provocative question to Matthew regarding the interminable toting of said tome...and now it's time to pose it to you.

How much would someone have to pay you to cart around a little red wagon with a copy of War and Peace in it for the rest of your life? You can never be more than 10 feet away from your wagon (and you have to be buried with it) but someone will pay you a large sum of money for the pleasure of watching you do it. The catch is if you slip up, you have to pay it all back (and any money you've aquired through investments) with interest.

$5 million?

$10 million?

$50 million?

Now, think long and hard about the reality of this before you answer. My knee jerk response was that I would definitely do it for 5 big ones, but Matt said he wouldn't do it for any amount of money. After discussing it in further detail, I eventually came around to his side. Imagine the torture of being married to this little red wagon with a copy of War and Peace inside it for the rest of your life. No matter how rich you are, you may just find yourself hoping that life ends as soon as possible. You certainly come to hate War and Peace, and wagons, and maybe even the color red.

What's your price? Remember, one strike and you're out.

PS - Here's some more details - There's a sophisticated monitoring system attached to the wagon and the book, which is also linked to your bank accounts and designed to drain them immediately upon alarm, so cheating is out of the question. You can, however, hire a person or persons to do the actual carting around for you. If you do fail, you will be tortured like no man has ever been tortured before, once a week until you pay the money all back. Also, you can't put anything else in the wagon. Just War and Peace.

Update:

Monday, August 07, 2006

In Case You Care

Harp Magazine has posted a great (and lengthy) review of the Asheville show:
Upon reflection it occurs that a Waits concert is part musical exorcism, part extemporaneous theater, and a whole lotta psychological manipulation. It’s certainly a stage show, but it’s also larger than just a “show” – it’s something more emotionally extreme than that. The entire time attendees get so caught up in the moment – all 120 moments, in fact – that they never stop to ask themselves, “What am I seeing and hearing? What does this mean?” It’s that same spontaneous, willing suspension of belief you tumble into when taking in a particularly transcendent piece of cinema.
Read the whole thing here.

Setlist:

Asheville (NC) Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, August 2

Singapore
Make it Rain
Hoist That Rag
Shore Leave
November
Gods Away on Business
'Til the money Runs out
All The World Is Green
Tango 'Til Their Sore
Invitation to the Blues
You Can Never Hold Back Spring
Clap Hands
Whistling Past The Graveyard
Heartattack and Vine
Who's Been Talkin'
What's He Building in There
Trampled Rose
Get Behind the Mule
Murder in the Red Barn
Goin' out West
Down In The Hole
Blue Valentine
Dont Go into that Barn

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Sunday, August 06, 2006

Hell Has A New Name...

And it is Lewisham. People are getting so fat over here that when it comes to cremation many furnaces over here are unable to handle the increading size of coffins. Somewhat predictabaly, our friends stateside are well aware of the problem, and have given us a supersized cremator which lives in Lewisham, London. Apparently they receive lots of requests from around the country and the last journey is somewhat longer for some as their fat cans are carted off to Lewisham.

Let this be a warning to all you kids...lay off the chips, the cake, the chocolate, otherwise, you'll end up in Lewisham.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Setlist

Atlanta (GA) Tabernacle, Tuesday, August 1

Make It Rain
Hoist that Rag
Shore Leave
God's Away on Business
November
'Til the Money Runs Out
Blue Valentine
Lucky Day
Tango til they're Sore
House Where Nobody Lives
Don't Go into that Barn
(Lie to Me, Baby)
Whislin' Past the Graveyard
9th & Hennepin
Trampled Rose
Get Behind the Mule
Murder in the Red Barn
Shake It

Singapore
Goin' Out West

Day After Tomorrow
Heartattack & Vine

The show was a blast. The line to get in literally wrapped around the block and there was some anxiety about getting in before the show started, but they moved people along pretty quickly. The venue was really cool, but we had probably the worst "seats" in the house - standing room General Admission, and we were stuck WAY at the back of the floor. The sound was really quiet, but that could have been because we were stuck under the balcony for the whole show. Those were the negatives, but on the plus side the setlist was great. Six songs from Real Gone, which I was thrilled about, including opening with my two favorite songs from the album. Goin' Out West rocked and that Lie to Me, Baby song was great (I have no idea what it was). Lucky Day and Day After Tomorrow were both beautifully done. Discussing the matter afterwards, Jeff and I concluded that Tom Waits is simply the coolest motherfucker ever, and that we both wish we could look as good in a hat as he does. Noting that he hadn't been to Atlanta in some 30 years, Waits lamented that when he went back to all the rough neighborhoods, they were all selling yogurt and sandals there now. When he spoke, his voice sounded frighteningly weak and raspy, but his singing was wonderful. All in all, it was everything I could have hoped for.

SUPPOSEDLY we're in the third row dead center tonight, but I'll believe it when I see it. Jeff is hoping for some early stuff and I want to hear 16 Shells From a Thirty-Ought Six or (much less likely) I Know I've Been Changed. Will try to get a few pictures posted, too...

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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Karma Kameleon

Has had it's wicked way with Boy George. After cocaine was found at his New York apartment, he's been ordered to do community service in the form of sweeping the streets of Manhattan. Not so many shades of red gold and green there Georgey boy, we'll be thinking of ya.


"Popeye" and "Olive Oil" casting failures show us what should have been.

Should You Need Us...

We'll be in Atlanta tonight and Asheville tomorrow night seeing the one and only TOM WAITS live and in person.

-Gas in the car? Check.
-License and credit card for airport? Check.
-Tickets? At will call.
-Digital camera? Check.
-Cell phone and charger? Check.
-iPod and headphones? Check.
-Laptop for blogging? Check, but probably unnecessary.
-Clean underwear? Check.
-Toothbrush? Check.
-Cigars? Oh, hell yes.

See you suckers later.

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