Attacking the Beat

by Eric Lastname

Friends and relatives tell me that I'm impossible to shop for. To make things a little easier this year, I'm offering up my own Grown-Up X-Mas list. (I also like gift certificates.)

Eric Lastname's 2004 Christmas List, or "What I'd Really Like for the Holidays":

1. Thee Flying Dutchman to play Chicago.
Their records draw obvious Mummies comparisons, but scattered show reports from Europe and other places Non-Chicago lead me to believe that they're probably (drum roll) better than the Mummies ever were live. Or, hell, better than most any band that's playing around these days. Heard their set typically consists of standard drunk r'n'r dumbfuckery, but also involves instrument throwing, band blood, audience blood, etc. Sounds like a recipe for fun. Someone make this happen.

2. More heckling.
Heckling: When it's done well, it's great for many reasons. We need more hecklers, and we need more hecklers who are good at it, and we need more hecklers who are both good at it and ballsy enough to heckle to the point of near fisticuffs. Throwing stuff is good, too.

3. A new underground fad.
Is playing in THE ULTIMATE KBD DESTRUCTION band still cool? Are keyboards still the bitch's tits? Or is 2005 going to be the Year of Fashion-Oriented Power Pop Groups that Can't Actually Write Songs? I'm always two steps behind the scenemakers. Anyway, we all know the u-ground music biz ain't that far removed from the above-ground, because people are fickle and stupid no matter what. Can't wait to see what genre-concerned phony crud shoots down the ol' r'n'r pipeline in 2005. (Prediction: '80s-style skatepunk revival or Dicks-type hardcore.)

4. More hatemail, more enemies spawned from TB writings.
I've ruffled a few feathers here and there, but if writing for TB is good for anything, it's getting (good) free records and making enemies out of people who are touchy, self-important, hip, popular, loved and, last but not least, full of shit. I'm still honing my craft. Bear with me, please.

5. A Human Eye album.
If the recordings that have been floating around the 'net are any indication, this will be a killer. Also: They should play the Rock 'n' Roll Blackout. If they do, someone get me drunk, throw a brownie down my throat, dim the lights and toss me in front of the stage. Thanks in advance.

6. More print 'zines.
Horizontal Action's a must-read, but it can't carry all the weight. More people need to push out print 'zines that are entertaining, funny, easy to look at and in tune with the best r'n'r, whether it's new, old or reissued.

7. A blowjob while eating a cheeseburger.
Yeah. So?

8. The Gris Gris to cover Skip Spence's "Diana."
I don't know if it would even make much sense, but I'd just like to hear it.

9. Taxi to cover "Pour Some Sugar On Me."
This seems more appropriate.

10. Another Real Losers US Tour.
If you're gonna tout a band as THE prime modern dumb-dumb punk outfit, I'd place the Real Losers over the Spits -- or anyone else -- any day of the week. Their show w/ the Catholic Boys in Milwaukee last May remains one of my all-time favorites: Flying beers, uncircumcised Limey cock, unparalleled inebriation, instrument passing to unsuspecting crowd members, intoxicating and repetitive drum thud, the Hand... It was a riot. And it should happen again.

11. More picky assholes as record reviewers.
If I followed every suggestion made in the last howevermany issues of TB, Horizontal Action, etc., I would have no money and a lot of very shitty records. I understand that everyone wants to promote their friends' band or "discover" an as-of-then unheard of obscuro unit or just generally get off by tossing out a lazy, uninformed review that doesn't even cover what the rec sounds like, but, uh, I'M FUCKING BROKE, YOU IDIOTS, SO LET'S PRETEND FOR A SECOND THAT YOU HAD TO PAY YOUR OWN MONEY FOR THAT ALBUM AND YOU'RE CAPABLE OF TELLING ME WHETHER IT'S HONESTLY GOOD OR BAD. How does it sound now? Like turds? Great, I won't be buying it. Thanks.

12. A Headache City album.
Hurry up, guys and girls.

13. No more "artistes" in punk bands, please.
News flash, Rimbaud: YOU'RE IN A STUPID PUNK BAND.

14. No more Rave-Up Reissues.
I blame myself for buying 'em. $18 for four good tunes and a side-and-a-half of horrible live mess? One of these days, I'll get smart. Until then, for my benefit, kindly stop releasing this shit.

15. Another Cheater Slicks record.
I never want this band to break up. Most groups outlast their significance by years. The Cheater Slicks will always be significant.

16. A TB love-in.
Hot Soriano-on-Cardwell action while Trickknee watches and works himself over. Filthy Rich spreads the rubber sheets and drizzles the peanut oil, Greenback sticks an uncooked turkey leg up Rich Dropkick's ass, Strange and Costello play a rough 'n' tumble game of head-over-head. Steve rambles about the best new Cambodian import albs between mouthfulls of Coz. I will be filming.

Happy holidays, folks.

Eric Lastname
2216 W. Addison St.
Chicago, IL 60618
E-mail: mrlastname--at--yahoo.com