Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Horse Head Mask can make you famous

I'm gonna borrow comedian Louis C.K.'s "off course ... but maybe" bit from his recent HBO special here.

Of course Hurricane Sandy was one of the worst things to ever happen to the Jersey Shore. Of course ... BUT MAYBE something awesome came out of it. Something like this guy (above) running down a street in a horse mask on live TV.

Now you too can make a major-league asshole of yourself in front of millions thanks to Fred Flare, who is selling a Horse Head Mask for $26.

Or did that guy actually buy his mask on Fred Flare, and we have Fred Flare to thank for that?


Either way, it's pretty awesome, and if you get bored of the Horse Mask you can always go Unicorn.

Check out these two items and the other awesome merch at

Monday, May 20, 2013

Newman's HoF performance causes seismic shift in rock heirarchy

What's not weird: That I would be watching the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony as it's replayed one of 100,000 times on HBO.

What is weird: That I would be watching any portion of Randy Newman's induction. Come to think of it, what's even weirder is that Newman got in there at all. When he was nominated to get in last year, it seemed like a no-brainer to me. Then during the ceremony they started running through his "vast" songbook, I was kind of shocked at the dearth of great stuff. There's the ubiquitous "Short People," which is actually a really cruel and not that good tune, and the "Toy Story" tune, and "I Love L.A.," which is a total novelty money-grab.

But this isn't about Newman at all, or even about "I Love L.A.," or even about the quality of his performance of "I Love L.A." at the Rock Hall induction.

It's about who played during that performance. Tom Petty, Jackson Browne and John Fogerty, all of
Right after this...
whom have some kind of connection to California (but not necessarily Los Angeles) that ranges from strong to weak, played guitar on the track, all standing side by side, like some weird honkified, guitar-strapped version of a backup singer crew. Some of them even jump in to sing some lines, as Jack Nicholson looks on and sings along after enjoying some lines of his own (just kidding, sort of, not really).

Jack morphed into this during "I Love L.A."
The most shocking thing about all of this is how I felt looking at this trio - Petty with a bum's beard, Browne with his usual phallic haircut and Fogerty with a face melted by 100 plastic surgeries.

Here's how I would have ranked these three in terms of importance about five years ago:

1) Fogerty
2) Petty
3) Browne, a distant, distant, distant third

But now it's completely changed:

1) Petty
2) Fogerty
3) Browne, and not really that far behind

Why is this? To me, it's got nothing to do with what Petty or Browne has done in the last five years, it's more about what Fogerty has done and what he didn't do, and how I feel about that.

Without pulling up the stats, I think I can safely say that Petty has written as many impactful, lasting songs as Fogerty has during their respective careers. But Petty is pretty set in his place in history, and has done some significant things that has showed his humility, like deferring to Dylan and Orbison and Harrison in the Traveling Wilburys, playing on George's "Cloud Nine" solo album, playing on Johnny Cash's Rick Rubin stuff. And now he's playing the cool old dude, but not in an obnoxious way, tagging on to hipster festivals like the Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware.

Alex Lifeson: Clearly disturbed by the Newman performance.
Meanwhile, Fogerty continues to chip away at his legacy with every show he plays without Stu Cook and Doug Clifford. If he had joined the band for a performance at the 1993 Rock Hall ceremony, this wouldn't even be an issue. And even without that happening, if he had just mended fences with them and done even a one-off tour since then, that above ranking would have stayed the same.

His bitterness is sinking him further and further down the charts, the way it did to Chuck Berry. You can be great, and you can be an asshole, but in the end you're still a great asshole. Plus all these lame attempts at relevancy, cozying up to the likes of Dave Grohl, even going as far as to let the former Nirvana beat minder and his beat-off band redo "Fortunate Son" with him (check out that vocal effect on John. Woah). Come on, man, you're an old turd. You're not even a cool old turd. Stop it. Just stop.

By the way, Browne, despite holding a few great tunes ("Runnin' On Empty," "Somebody's Baby," "Lawyers In Love") is still horrid, I just don't hate him as much compared to Fogerty.

Here's a little bit of Newman's performance at the Hall. Have a barf bag at the ready.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Remember WWF's "Land of 1,000 Dances," you pencil neck geek?

The question isn't "holy shit did this really happen?" or "what kind of drugs were these wrestlers, managers, personalities and musicians on while making this flick" or "could I be eternally entertained and/or make to be insane by watching this?"

It's more "could this be any more awesome"?

First of all, the choice of "Land of 1,000 Dances" for the tune off the 1985 "The Wrestling Album." Of course. Of course you would choose a tune made famous by Wilson Pickett for a track to promote an album that also had tunes by Hillbilly Jim and Junkyard Dog. Of course you would pair it with a video that employed the same format as Band Aid and USA For Africa.

Then some of the lines, many of which sadly don't seem ad-libbed. As in, someone actually thought about this. Jesse "The Body" Ventura: "I'm gonna crush you and I'll see you later." So he's gonna crush you and THEN see you later? Not the other way around? Bobby "The Brain" Heenan: "I'm gonna stretch you from here to New Jersey." Heenan was a manager, so he wasn't stretching anyone anywhere. And where was the vid recorded? What if it wasn't far from New Jersey?

And the late Adrian Adonis: "I'm gonna slice you like a French fried potato." It's the only appearance from the guy who not only played the first gay (and hated, and derided) wrestler, not only died having his head cut off in a car accident, but also served as the moniker for one of my fantasy baseball teams.

The some of the musical notes from the video:

Meat Loaf is on drums.

Cyndi Lauper, who contributes to other songs on the album, is in disguise and performing on the tune.

Rick Derringer, who wrote the awesome Hulk Hogan entrance theme, is on the geet.

Other observations:

Brutus Beefcake looks like Falco.

Don Muraco looks like Jose Canseco.

George "The Animal" Steele is pretty messed up, whether he was acting or not.

Vince McMahon is in full-on Roid rage even though he wouldn't be fully Roided for another 10 years.

Roddy Piper is either really coked up or just channeling some of the insanity that made "They Live" such a classic.

If you want some nostalgia, or want to be alternately entertained and disturbed, fire this one up.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Gags fit for a Joker

The all-time greatest Joker belongs to Cesar Romero. Jack Nicholson's take was decent, but it was kind of emblematic of the cartoonish villains from the lame-in-retrospect '90s remakes of the vintage '60s series, and even places a distant second to the late great Heath Ledger's dark, Oscar-winning spin on the silly swindler.

Scoops Ice Cream Door Stop.
With that established, we can envision Romero's cackling Joker hanging out and surfing the net for decor for his apartment with the crooked floor. We can see him stumbling on Fred Flare and doing his "oooh hooo, oooh hooooo hoooo" laugh and maybe putting together a chain email to The Penguin and The Riddler and Egghead to tell them about two of the more recent great items - a doorstop and a float disguised as a splattered ice cream cone and a giant donut, respectively.

First up is the Scoops Ice Cream Door Stop ($18), which looks like a major-league Fail that someone just decided to leave there and move on.

You could imagine dweeby '60s Batman played by Adam West getting played big-time: "But, but, Robin, how does a melting ice cream cone keep a door from closing?!! It's amazing! Oh, hahahaha, it's just a door stop from Fred Flare! Silly Joker!" and POW! BAM! POOF! OOF! ZAM! The Joker and his goons have got em. Until our heroes easily wriggle out of the string-like ties that The Joker uses to keep them prisoner.

And just in time for the opening of the summer season there's the Gigantic Donut Pool Float ($24), an inflatable float disguised as a donut with strawberry frosting and sprinkles with a bite already chomped out of it. 

Hopefully, The Joker's makeup doesn't wash off in the water. It didn't in this scene when he and Batman had a surf-off, so he should be good to go.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Gold star, and new bag, for robot boy

Here's to you, Mr. Technology. You who carries an iPod, iPhone, iPad, iLame, iDouche, iHaveCompletelyNoConnectionToTheRealWorld and maybe even a pedometer, never looking up yet somehow managing to avoid getting plowed by a dumptruck.

I can't do anything about your slow decline into becoming a robot, but I can suggest something that can help you carry around your 5,000 devices: The Setgo Transport Urban Bag from Yanko Design, home to some pretty wild but slick stuff.

The cut shape and strategically placed pockets will make it easy for you to listen to some Bon Iver or Gotye while rapping with your bud about last night's episode of "The Walking Dead."

It almost looks like something Han Solo would wear, only 10 times less cool.

Available for $79 at Yanko.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Atari poncho: Dorkin' out in style

Not sure where you get the Pac-Man shirt. Greg Wiggle?

If you're like me you're able to relive your days of playing Atari 2600 anytime you want a) because you're a mega-dork who also happens to own an Atari T-shirt; b) because Wii or even the various versions of PlayStation, which have far superior graphics, sound and gameplay, don't do it for you and c) you have some kind of Macgyver - or more like MacGruber - set up that allows you to play Joust, Pitfall, Defender, Missile Command, Combat and all of your favorite games from back in the day.

One thing leads to another, bitches.
But playing Atari while The Fixx plays in the background and your California Raisin dolls are at your side isn't enough. You need to live it, and to live it you have to wear it, and to really wear it you have to go beyond a T-shirt, you have to go with the Retro Arcade Poncho from Perpetual Kid.

Keep cool and/or dry while wearing these plastic body covers shaped like the red and blue ghosts from "Pac-Man," better known to us nerds as Blinky and Inky, respectively.

Available for $6.99, which is more than many of the Atari cartridges cost back in the early 1980s.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Giant statue will make you cool

Some people like to impress guests with their 500-inch flat-screen television that has hi-def, surround-sound, 3-D and other digital enhancements that allow you to analyze everything in frightening detail, including which of Ty Wigginton's nosehairs were twitching when he tomahawked a clutch RBI-single to left (let me know when this happens). Others like to pretend they're an Iron Chef or a "Chopped" Champion, even pronouncing exotic foods from other countries with the exact accent from the corresponding distant land (let me know when this happens so I can kick that person's teeth down their throat).

But if you really want to impress your guests this summer, may I recommend going classic - as in, really, really classic - with the Easter Island Ahu Akivi Moai Monolith Statue from our friends at Design Toscano. The replica King Moai, inspired by the 380 A.D. Easter Island originals, is cast in resin and features a faux stone finish and comes in three sizes: Medium (16 inches in height, $29.95), Large (48 inches, $399) or Giant (72 inches, 92 pounds, $995).

The statue is supposed to represent gods or powerful kings, but I think it represents that you're one bad mo-fo. Especially if you go with the Giant.