Edgar Frog in: The Greatest Video Ever Made

If Jeff Goldblum didn’t exist, Corey Feldman would probably be my favorite celebrity of all time. In case you’re not sure who he is, let me refresh your memory. It’s understandable, it isn’t like he starred in every movie that made the 80s great.

Oh, wait.

Gremlins. The Goonies. Stand by Me. Lost Boys. Friday the 13th IV, the one where Jason stabs Crispin Glover in the hand with a corkscrew. He was Donatello in Ninja Turtles. DONATELLO. I bet you feel pretty silly now.

Despite what anyone tells you, Corey Feldman did not fall victim to the child actor curse that has besieged so many. Say what you will about past addictions and general insanity, but the man is still working and creating things that almost make me want to believe in god. Today, we pay tribute to one such project. See, Corey used to pal around with Michael Jackson, as evidenced by the picture I’m about to show you.

This is a still from the dance scene in his MUSIC VIDEO. It’s called Ascension Millennium, and it truly is a gift. All I ask is that you watch what’s posted below.

I am going to provide a brief summary. Essentially, what you are watching is a day in the life of Corey Feldman. I believe this to be factually accurate. He lives in a big mansion, surrounded by women he refers to as “Corey’s Angels.” His days last a little under five minutes, from the moment he wakes up next to one of his Angels to the moment he goes right back to bed. Because he’s not a slob, Corey starts off by showering in about 12 seconds.

I should mention here that there is a Cracked.com feature that goes through the video, step by step, as an example of something awful. This post will be the respectful objection to that claim. Whereas some have questioned Mr. Feldman’s ability to clean himself because of the above lackadaisical drying method, I choose to look at it differently. He’s obviously not worried about making himself look perfect, no longer being concerned with Hollywood or superficial things. There’s a quick rinse, dry, and it’s back to more pressing matters. It’s time to Ascend.

He’s joined by two Angels as he ironically descends the stairs, where he runs into his old Goonies pal Sean Astin. He tosses Sean an inhaler, because Corey is all about the fan service.There’s a moment in the later dance sequence where Cracked points out a gentleman who can’t separate his hat from the rope it’s hanging from. Instead, he just starts dancing with the rope still attached to his headgear. Pretend you didn’t read that because I’m not going to talk about it. I will, however, mention the Angel who ducks under the inhaler and knocks her halo off in the process.

She seemed sort of embarrassed by it. Don’t worry, lady. Corey Feldman isn’t a perfectionist. Unstable fake halos are right below thoroughly drying one’s hair on the list of things less important than ascending to the millennium.

After taking the viewer on a guided tour through his Feldmansion’s bitchin’ backyard bash, dancing his heart out, and replenishing his energy with what appears to be eggs and pancakes, Corey’s ready to do what he does best. What he does best is rock so hard that the walls crumble, revealing hordes of Feldman fanatics going nuts at a packed stadium.

You have never, and will never achieve this.

My favorite part in the video is right towards the end. Corey knows he’s just shown you some serious shit. It’s not his job to make sure you can handle it. All of the criticisms, all of the nit-picking and nay-saying doesn’t affect him. His pose after what is essentially a mic drop says it all:

Do something, sucka.

Now, this post does have a larger purpose. If I can get selfish here for a minute; the internet is a big place. It takes a lot to stand out. You’ve got to be willing to do what no one else has the patience or insanity to. For example, listen to Ascension Millennium for an hour straight on a pair of really good headphones while you transcribe the lyrics. I did it, and I defy you to find these anywhere else online.

These are, to the best of my knowledge, the lyrics to Corey Feldman’s magnum opus. And really, who’s going to listen to it for TWO hours and prove me wrong? Feel free to listen again and read along.

Ugghn!

Welcome to the dawn of everything you can become.
You’ll remember the reason yet of why you’re here.
But you can bet that they will let you have the chance
to be the master of the dance that you choose.
Right back to the floor, where you will have the chance at more
just by giving into groove. To have the chance, you never move, you’re standing still up on the hill.
It’s such a thrill you get the chills, the chance is nil
it’s gonna kill you in the end.
You get bent out of shape, at this age, and escaaaaaape

ASCENSION MILLENNIUM

You think you got the feeling and you’re surely not believing
You got the feeling in your soul, you just gotta let it go
You got the hold on to this, but god is tryin’ to get some

ASCENSION MILLENNIUM

ASCENSION MILLENNIUM

uhaww yeah

Be the best that you can be with all you do and who you see.
What is true for you and me.
Times are hard and this is true, but you can edit it to you.
Cause this reality is only temporaripermanently what you want.
First you vanish and that’s scary but in my mind you’re always there.
Giving peace and giving love, like the feathers of a dove.
You can lift your feet above and let it thrill you full of joy.
Like a toy for your soul, so here goes.

Let it go now! Let it go now! Gotta go now!

*autotune of background talking*

Ascension! Millennium!

You think you got the feeling, and you’re surely not believing
You got the feeling in your soul, you just gotta let it go

Now your time has almost come, when all emotions become one.
Instead of running from the gun we can relax and have some fun.
And as we’re swept onto the floor, open our hearts and spirits soar.
Our souls are held captive no more, like opening a magic door.
And now we face our biggest fear; finally learning why we’re here.
With all the music you will hear your destiny will suddenly become clear as a bell, there’s no hell, and no end.

So ascend!

I hope that this has been enlightening. Corey Feldman put a lot of effort this video, and I put even more into trying to figure out what the heck he was saying. Now that you know the words, there’s no excuse. This song should be in your head at all hours of the day. Inspiring, radiating, pushing you towards your potential.

So ascend.

When You Get to My Door, Tell Them Boris Sent You

Halloween is a very visual holiday. Next to Christmas, it’s the event that stretches out the longest and overtakes the most store shelves. There’s no mistaking what day is fast-approaching when you see 17 versions of the same cheap hockey mask where the gardening tools used to be.

I am here today, however, to make a bold claim. As eye-catching as Halloween is, I’d argue that it’s equally ear-catching. That phrasing I unfortunately chose is incredibly stupid but it doesn’t lessen its validity. Science has proven that an individual’s Halloween spirit leaps by over 75% when exposed to a Halloween sound effects CD. You can cover your face in as much fake blood as you want, but it doesn’t mean as much as it would if done while listening to wind howling and doors creaking.

Or, even better, a crazy person singing about how well a werewolf dances.

You know the songs I’m talking about. Novelty hits like The Time Warp and Monster Mash. They’re so ingrained into pop culture that music experts the world over have studied their importance.

It’s probably not wise to include here a video that’s way funnier than anything else in the post will be. This is a decision I’ve made and will have to live with.

Of the many weird and wonderful things my grandfather left behind, fairly close to the top of the list would be a collection of Halloween novelty records from the 1960s. It’s true that between the eight records, there are many 10 songs total. There is a lot of crossover and it doesn’t matter in the slightest. While you listen to that handful of songs over and over, you can peruse the album art and pretend you are an art connoisseur, collecting pieces for the world’s greatest museum.

Let’s go through them one by one and figure out together what order to hang them in after picking them up from the frame shop.

Let’s start with this one because it emphasizes the song that basically all of these revolve around. If you haven’t heard Monster Mash, you’re purposely avoiding anything vaguely associated with Halloween. It’s an October staple and I love the confident look of the vampire guy on this cover. He realizes he’s backed by the most popular novelty song of all time. He’s got a fist raised in solidarity to his fellow monsters, knowing this is their hour. That dude is the first entry in my top three favorite things about this artwork. The second and third are Dracula seemingly trying to shoo his own bats away, and the idea that there’s also a Popeye who digs graves, respectively. Although as I type this, I think Dracula maybe deserves to be moved up a spot. It’s pretty hilarious to imagine a vampire with a fervent bat phobia.

Get used to seeing “Frankie Stein” because he basically did all of the albums featured here. This is particularly neat artwork because it features what appears to be a swamp monster with the head of a baboon in the background. As for the foreground, I have no idea what that thing is. If I had to put money on it, I’d maybe go with the ghost of a marshmallow dragon in the clutches of a sea giant. It would also appear that the swamp baboon is protesting this. Whether he’s angry at the lack of monster ethics or he wanted the kill himself is up to you, the viewer. If just trying to figure out what on earth the artist was going for requires a sentence that idiotic, you know you’ve got something special.

This was probably my favorite album cover. Look how interested that creature from the black lagoon-type guy is by the mummy’s spider accessory. He’s so entranced by it that he doesn’t even notice he’s sharing space with an ordinary gorilla. I’m not sure what business that gorilla has there, but you can bet there’s some sort of fantastic story behind it. I like to think that the mummy’s new jewelry has bridged the gap between almost-man and monster. Their differences are cast aside as countless demons and apes gather in awe. Can’t you picture the three of these guys going to a diner and exchanging bad Halloween puns before skipping out on the bill and eating their waiter?

“What did the ghost eat for dinner…..? MASHED BOO-TATOES”

*chomping noises and screams*

“Check please!”

*laugh track*

I will not rest until this is a sitcom.

Despite the relative lack of interesting characters, this cover has a lot to offer on its own. Namely, the B-movie blurbs at the top and a tarantula the size of a human head. I don’t think that snake is even trying to attack the spider. It seems more like its mouth is agape in shock. Despite the snake’s bad rap, he’s unable to stop himself from letting out an “oh shit!” at the sheer size of that thing. You also have to wonder if whoever formerly owned that skull became ensnared in the web and perished thusly, or if the spider found it in its wanderings before bringing it back home, or if the snake killed the person and is defending a prized souvenir. You have to respect an artist who doesn’t spoon-feed the audience all the answers.

I saved this for the last of the Frankie Stein offerings because I thought some might find it too gruesome and run away. Don’t be ashamed. The hand here that’s picking at this poor monster’s eye seems to be very similar to that of the speculated sea giant mentioned earlier. This is perhaps even the same scene. Having disposed of the marshmallow dragon’s ghost, the giant moves on to his next victim. I can’t help but think that if this giant had only seen the mummy’s spider brooch, he’d have relaxed a little. He could be hanging out with the creature and the random gorilla instead of committing senseless murders. Unless that creature was the same one who was in the swamp background, and that spider brooch is really the giant tarantula planning to off the mummy and his friends next. THIS POST IS GETTING TOO LONG AND ALSO STUPID.

To finish up here, let’s discuss these two sound effects records. There’s unfortunately not too much to write home about with the first. I do like the lightning in the background but that really only gets me past this first sentence. So moving on, the second album is a doozy! We have here a cemetery run by the world’s laziest employees, who don’t bother putting the tenants’ full names on their headstones. I don’t want to blame the ghosts, because they’re too darned cute. But then again, look at the grim reaper dude in front. He reads more like a sad uncle who wants to hang out with his cool nephews, popping into the photo at the last minute. I want to give him a hug, not condemn him for shoddy graveyard upkeep. Let’s just say it’s the owl’s fault.

So there you have it. Drink those beautiful colors in. Marvel at the art of twisted geniuses. These are the records you play when you want to drive your Halloween spirit through the roof while also alienating friends and loved ones. You break out Frankie Stein when you need a novelty pick-me-up and want to lose the respect of your children. You put on a record called “Night in a Graveyard” when you want to provide trick-or-treaters with appropriate background music while you hand out candy.

Just a heads up, though. One track on that record is literally just 10 minutes of a woman screaming, so don’t play it too loud. You’ll scare children and maybe get a visit from the police.

Happy Halloween!

Anxiety, Modest Mouse and Second-Hand Pot Smoke

I went to a concert on Wednesday. That alone isn’t post-worthy (especially the way I’m going to do it, without pictures.) It was an important night for me, though. After the last few years of getting steadily worse, I was able to pummel my social anxiety into submission long enough to actually have a really good time.

I don’t like referring to my issues as social anxiety, even though that seems like the easiest description. Recently, things as routine as surprise parties for other people have caused knots in my stomach. So concerts were out of the question, which is not the preferable way of letting your mind handle things when you love music.

So I turned to drugs!

It’s okay, they were from a guy wearing a collared shirt and a tie. I’d been sort of averse to the thought of being put on meds to deal with my problems. It turns out, though, that’s the wrong way to look at it. There are resources you can use to balance yourself while you overcome the issues at the root of the anxiety.

I did try a therapist briefly, and I’d recommend it before trying anything else. It did help, but I found that after the first session, I didn’t really have anything new to talk about. Yep, still nervous about driving to that restaurant because I don’t know what the parking will be like. Yes my stomach does start to hurt when I think about hanging out with a new person for the first time. Plus, I’m the kind of guy who, when asked to close my eyes and imagine a place of serenity, can’t keep from laughing for no reason other than that people don’t usually laugh when asked to do that.

Eventually I bit the bullet and went to see a psychiatrist. After giving him a half hour’s worth of embarrassing examples, he told me that obsessive thoughts seemed mostly to blame. Again, if you say that to people, a lot of them will imagine you having to wash your hands 30 times a day. But the more I thought about it, the more sense it made. My anxiety was far less when actually at whatever event I’d spend three weeks terrified of.The same way some people fixate on germs or routines, I  fixated on thinking about what terrible things could happen to me at a social occasion.

Enter Lexapro and my foray into the world of prescription drugs. I hope that I don’t end up coming off as some pill-crazed maniac who thinks they’re the only way to fix your mental health. I also hope I don’t give the impression that Lexapro is a series of tiny 20mg miracles, because that lesson to the contrary was learned in a hurry. Several days after my first dosage, I laid in bed for an entire Saturday watching 1980s wrestling. I love Dusty Rhodes, but I hate sitting still all day.

The side effects just killed any motivation that my mind or body had to stand up for anything other than going to the bathroom. I sucked it up and gave it a chance, though, and after a few weeks I noticed an improvement. I started to worry less about things that were happening in the future, which for me was about as foreign of a feeling as humanly possible.

I’ll spare you the boring details of my dose changes and skip to the part when I go and see Modest Mouse.

Right away I could see a difference, in that I didn’t feel like throwing up for three weeks when we bought the tickets. We showed up in a very tiny room with way more people than I would have previously been comfortable with, but this was Modest Mouse. I bought a shirt and prepared to not care about anything but having fun for the first time in forever.

I couldn’t have kept myself from “dancing” if I wanted to, but the more important thing is that I didn’t care. This despite me looking like one of those novelty birds bobbing up and down drinking from a glass of water. That meant I was free to enjoy some of my favorite songs, like Never-Ending Math Equation and Bury Me With It. In between, Isaac Brock chatted with the crowd, who had no idea what he was saying because of his lisp. It didn’t even matter. When you’re going crazy to music you love with that much pot smoke wafting around, coherence isn’t a priority.

Here’s a video that I didn’t take. I was somewhere in there and didn’t faint!

It was a great set, too. When they played Doin’ The Coackroach I could have backflipped. When their three-song encore included A Different City, I could have wept. When they busted out Dance Hall and The Good Times Are Killing Me, I couldn’t do anything but flail around and be thankful that everyone else was too engrossed by the band to see me.

During the song I Came As A Rat, there was one girl who started crowd-surfing. It was just such a cool moment that I’m sure millions of people look at as routine, but I’d never imagined I could be at a concert, so close to people, experiencing something like that. And I swear to you, it looked like she got dropped on her head no less than three times. I kept seeing her feet fly into the air, but then she’d just pop back up seconds later. Then, people I guess got tired of carrying her around so they just heaved her and took out a group of fans like bowling pins. A++

Because Caitlin and I are both secretly 70 years old, we were not prepared for standing up in one spot upwards of four hours. By the end of the night, my neck hurt, my back hurt, my ears were ringing and I couldn’t have been happier. It was the kind of satisfied exhaustion I imagine you might get from climbing a mountain, if listening to music was at all like that. I’m allowed to make that analogy because some stupid joke about climbing the mountain of my anxiety.

The experience was an important one, because it showed me that I can  do the sorts of things I always imagined were beyond my reach. In fact, I am probably going to see another one of my favorite artists, Astronautalis, in a month. The floodgates have opened!

I went to a concert, and I reached a turning point in my life. Sometimes all it takes is a willingness to accept that you need help. And a band you’re desperate enough to see.

Four days later my ears are still ringing, and it’s better than my stomach hurting.

Music, Music, Everywhere!

Don’t be alarmed. Whenever you see music being talked about on this site, it’s going to be very basic. I’m not a big fan of long-winded paragraphs where all you learn is that the reviewer owns a thesaurus and would be a terrible person to hang out with.

I have come to you today bearing wonderful news. To start with, one of the greatest albums of all time has been officially re-released. It is an album with half the songs named after ghosts. It is The Unicorns – Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone?

Again, this is not a music critic’s blog. I could just type “I ENJOY THESE SOUNDS” and you’d get the same amount of actual information about any given band or song. But that isn’t going to stop me from expounding the virtues of The Unicorns. They’re weird and wacky, and their one and only full-length album shows it off as perfectly as possible. Here’s a little sample, just to give some context.

If you don’t like that, the only explanation is that you accidentally listened to a different song. That’s how convinced I am that they’re universally appealing. Unfortunately, after this album they broke up. Never to be heard from again! Until recently when the aforementioned re-release happened and they started booking shows amidst a rumored new album.

Aaaaahh!

Only the also-rumored Faith No More reunion/new material-making could top that, and it’d be a really close call. Everything about WWCOHWWG is perfect, from the album art, to the catchy-creepy beats, to the lines “I lift weights, but I don’t sweat. I go for a swim, but I don’t get wet.” They even start with the song “I Don’t Wanna Die” and end with “Ready to Die.” That’s textbook story-telling! Wonderful beginnings and closures!

So yes, this album gets this site’s first official Best Thing Award

award

Now, I promised this wouldn’t go on and on, so here is the second part of this post. My main man Yoni Wolf of the band WHY? announced a new project today. Even if you don’t know who he is (you should, and I’m going to make sure you do), the concept of the album should intrigue you. It’s an EP he produced with his ex-girlfriend. He provides the beats, she provides the uncomfortable lyrics.

Yoni’s opus with WHY? is generally considered to be the album Alopecia. It’s a crazed whirlwind of hip-hop indie perfection. Ugh, that sentence was too close to a stupid elitist review. Okay, it’s an album that sounds like an English major smashing his own heart like a pinata. It’s painful, but intricate and pleasing to the ears. There, that’s better.

What excites me about this new EP is that, like, ALL of Yoni’s songs on Alopecia are about the crumbling of his relationship with this girl. And now, we get to hear her side. After years of connecting with WHY’s music and memorizing Yoni’s lyrics, it’s going to be insane hearing him produce the beats behind the long-awaited response. I fully expect it to be as awkward as it is musically-sound. Here’s the first song released:

I personally love it. And maybe I was wrong. Maybe it’s not as interesting if you haven’t listened to Yoni over the span of three albums. If that’s the case, I suggest you do yourself a favor and at least give WHY? a listen. I admit I love words probably a little more than the average person, but the stories that unfold from his music are just plain entertaining. It takes a special kind of artist to frame his pains and heartaches around jerking off in an art museum bathroom. That’s honesty and truth, folks.

You know what, Yoni? You’ve earned this.

award2Please listen to this music. This post took me three hours longer than I thought it would and I need to be able to sleep tonight.