Sunday, October 31, 2021

The Hubie Halloween Tradition


(Netflix) Every year my family gathers around the TV and watches the Adam Sandler classic Hubie Halloween on Halloween morning, and this year was no exception. In fact, this year was the best one yet - -- the movie truly gets funnier with time!

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Megan thee Stallion Chicken Sandwich (Popeye's)

(Popeye's) So, I know the chicken sandwich at Popeye's had people losing their fucking minds a few minutes back, and I cannot get that excited about it, but it is solid. As far as the "Hottie" sauce, I feel either the Popeye's I went to made a mistake or this is just not particularly hot at all. But is it "hottie?" Maybe, it is a kind of sweet, shiny, thick sauce, which are all on brand attributes for Megan, but it is more like a mild Szechuan sauce than a hot sauce or spicy bbq sauce, and considering the logo, a cartoon of Megan's famous tongue (though drawn in a way that I think misses the playfulness of her tongue sticking out-ness) on actual fire, I expected more. Still, Popeye's is better than KFC, so if you're on Stony looking for chicken, might as well give MTS some love.

Friday, October 29, 2021

Champaign ILL


(YouTubeTV, 2018-19)  In Sam Richardson's first scenes of on Veep he seemed like he was playing a two-dimensional, stock corny nerd character. However, almost immediately after that he/they proved to be amongst the funniest actors/characters I have ever seen on TV, generating IRL LsOL nearly every appearance. His earnest optimism/obliviousness to the horrors around him/ninja level comic timing was a marvel. Thus, I sought out Detroiters, his co-starring comedy series with Tim Robinson, and I for real enjoy that show more than Veep. It is a modest, honest, incredibly sincere comedy about loving your decaying rust belt city, loving the families and neighbors and classmates who make up your community when you stay at home, and loving the weird flavors of local businesses, characters, TV stations, etc. Richardson's skillset was perfect for this, and he and Robinson presented a real assed friendship. And it's funny. Though I became a devoted fan (had to buy a month worth of Comedy Central on Amazon to watch Detroiters...that was like $3.99!), I was not willing to get whatever YouTubeTV was to see his show Champaign ILL, but now it has reached other streaming services and it was worth the wait. Similar to Detroiters, if a few hours drive away, it takes a pair of interracial childhood best buddies awkwardly figuring out adulthood, but adds the twist that their third best friend became Tupac-famous after high school, and they became his entitled, living large entourage leaders, who a decade and a half later end up with nothing, living at home shellshocked by their change of fortune. Pally and Richardson are good together, but I think it would be fair to say that though Pally is always a funny, pleasant screen presence, he has a vibe of your addict friend who you can't really trust, which is a weird texture against Richardson's uber-affableness. Which leads to the twist: this10-episode series starts off wacky and jokey-decadent, then takes a sharp turn into exploring the horrors of devastating opioid addiction. Which makes this narrative very compelling, even if this doesn't showcase our stars at their funniest. That said, Curtis "Booger" Armstrong, Jay Pharoah, and especially Keith David are wonderful supporting castmates, and this has way more action and arc and twists and satisfying wrap ups than should be expected from a show that no one should have had any expectation anyone would watch. What is YouTubeTV? You go, Sam!

Adam Pally

Thursday, October 28, 2021

We've Got To Stop Talking About TMNT on CBB

(CBBWorld) Since they put all kindsa stuff up on their new subscription service I have actually not heard any new episodes of Comedy Bang Bang because I have been binging old parallel shows I missed, including the amazing mini-series Seth Morris Radio Project, and most significantly, this magnificent Sean Diston/Scott Aukerman two hander about ninja obsessive Sprague schooling Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle virgin Scott on the history of turtles, watching and drinking in a different movie or cartoon or DTV release each week. The theme song is superb, the source material is absurd, and the chemistry is great. I have actually never watched any of these movies, and perhaps never will, but grew too understand and respect the IP, was always entertained, and learned a lot of lore. The best is when guests come in and either have true Turtles history themselves (Michael Ian Black should be heard and not spoiled) or are deep, deep fans (the Orphan Black-tress became almost aroused recalling her childhood connections with the characters and could remember every sound effect in certain scenes). So good! The follow up show has them watching iconic hit movies Scott has never seen and I am only interested if I care deeply about the movie, while this one was great even with no interest whatsoever in Donatello doing machines.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021



(Stores) I like wearing shirts, but it's also kind of freeing to take a shirt off. So I also like no shirts.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Cookie Crisp

(General Mills) Kinda bad in certain ways (the crispness makes it seem kinda stale, for example), but definitely does taste pretty good in a bowl of milk. Cookies for breakfast indeed, respect for the cookie wolves, crooks, dogs, and cops who have kept this legacy alive.

Monday, October 25, 2021

Pom Wonderful

( Unless you are riddled with crippling oxidants or are a millionaire it is hard to justify the insane price of this somewhat tasty (but not 31 cents an ounce tasty) beverage.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

The Cool School (edited by Glenn O'Brien)


(Library of America, 2013) As the ringmaster of the greatest assemblage of freaks, geniuses, and superstars in public access television history, Glenn O'Brien knows cool, so having him assemble a collection of essays, excerpts, lyrics, jokes, and manifestos by the ultimate A-list of jazzbos, bats, comics, punks, painters, poets, and oddball outsiders was a slam dunk. I spent a year savoring this, reading Miles' impressions of Bird one day, Lenny Bruce's catalogue of drug use a week later, Henry Miller recollections of sabotaging a posh dinner party when the mood hit me, Joyce Johnson's bad boyfriend tales of Kerouac later on, and Del CLose's hipster dictionary when I got around to it. Sad to have finished this collection, as I feel way less cool without this on my nightstand.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Those Shaggs “Philosophy Of The World”




On the driz-laden afternoon of March 9, 1969, three guitar-and-drum beating sisters from tiny Fremont, NH entered an even tinier recording studio and emerged, just a few hours later, with a dozen original rock ‘n’ roll songs on some quarter-inch tape. These twelve songs were then pressed onto one thousand long-playing records, nine hundred of which immediately vanished forever off the face of the Earth. Within a year however, no less an authority than Frank Zappa declared this album, prophetically entitled Philosophy Of The World, to be “better than the Beatles,” and a decade after that the similarly inclined visionaries in NRBQ re-pressed Philosophy briefly on their very own Red Rooster label.  


Now then, if you’ve already grabbed either of these scarcer-than-rare items, then you’re undoubtedly already a complete convert …or at least a collector with mighty deep connections and/or pockets. But for those thousands upon untold thousands of unfortunates out there who have not yet come face-to-foot with The Shaggs, why, Now’s Your Chance! For Philosophy Of The World, with all of its original 1969 mix, sequence and even cover art lovingly intact, has been made available once again courtesy of the fine folk over at Light In The Attic.  


It is, believe you me, the greatest album you may never have heard.


From its opening title track (so lyrically brilliant that there’s a knee-deep moral lesson packed into each and every stanza!) through its garage-brand benediction (“We Have A Savior”) thirty-one ear-boggling minutes later, Philosophy is absolutely brimming with the sort of decorum-be-dumped bash ‘n’ popping that such supposed heirs-to-the-genre as Half Japanese and even them Replacements couldn’t ever come within a million notes of emulating. And how could they …or anyone else for that matter? For The Shaggs, as their daddy-slash-producer-slash-drill sergeant Austin Wiggin, Jr. wrote at the time, “are real, pure, and unaffected by outside influences. Their music is  different; it is theirs alone.” Indeed.  


Sure, a cursory half-listen suggests only a trio of inept-at-best gals trying to differentiate their fingers from their toes, musically speaking that is. Yet a closer examination reveals some fiercely detailed and all-the-way-downright ingenious compositional skills beneath all of the Neanderthal strum und drumming (for example, one should hear how flawlessly Dorothy Wiggin’s lead guitar ghosts her melody lines during most every song, in true Muddy-Waters-by-way-of-Peter-Tork fashion). Dorothy’s lyrics too run raging gamuts between nervous nursery rhyming (“My Pal Foot Foot”) on the one hand hand, to blazing teen-fiery pontificating on the other (“Who Are Parents” makes J. Lennon’s post-primal Plastic Ono natterings appear pretty darn Romper Room by comparison, while “Things I Wonder” and “Why Do I Feel?” actually reel towards near B. Wilson realms of agoraphobic self-analysis). And “Sweet Thing,” with its more than touching timelessness vis-a-vis that ol’ love-gone-wrong thang, makes one wonder if the Wiggin sisters didn’t have a battered copy of Another Side Of Bob Dylan hidden under their bedroom dresser all along.  


But this / that being the Swinging Sixties – and The Shaggs playing House Band at the prestigious Fremont Town Hall for roughly the entire Nixon Presidency – there’s lotsa slap-happy, good olden rock ‘n’ roll littering Philosophy Of The World as well:  “That Little Sports Car” (the only Shaggsong, by the way, to feature the mysterious fourth Shagg, Rachel, on bass) is wholly, happily, ham-fistedly frug-worthy …despite drummist Helen Wiggin’s never-less-than Beefheartian way with a tempo lurch. Plus “What Should I Do?” would not sound one bar out of place upon your favorite Lesley Gore or even, dare I say it, Shangri-La’s platter (dig Dorothy’s put-down of some Fremont stud-about-town: “He’s a two-face, he’s a disgrace, he never wins a race” …yeah, you go grrl!).


So, while it may be all too easy to file this album alongside your Wild Man Fischer or even Smoking Catapillar rekkids (personally, I place The Shaggs somewhere between Sun Ra and Dino, Desi & Billy), it simply cannot be denied that Philosophy Of The World is one of the greatest musical, uh, curiosities to ever be created by man or even beast. And I for one am glad that this true, off-blue cultural treasure is FINALLY getting the chance it’s so long deserved to make a lasting and loving imprint upon what remains of our socio-musical consciousness.  


So God Bless those Wiggins then, and Please grab at least two copies of their album immediately, won’t you?

Only Murders in the Building

(Hulu, 2021) When I saw the trailer for this, with its New York as the 4th character, pseudo dry, not quite funny vibe, I thought this was going to be bad. But Steve Martin was in The Jerk and plays banjo well and writes funny jokes and had that white suit, and Martin Short was Ed Grimley and Clifford, and I didn't not watch Wizards of Waverly Place, so you know, I was still going to give this a chance.  And it turned out to be very, very good. So to summarize. Thought it bad. It good. There were a lot of genuinely impressive things (the deaf character's perspective, Nathan Lane's emergence as a non-annoying, impressive actor, Short going from over the top caricature to genuine human), but bottom line is, show good, avoid spoilers, enjoy.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Willie Nelson "Spirit"

(Universal, 1996) Nelson established himself as one of the greatest songwriters in American history with a suite of songs with the perfect country/countrypolitan/pop balance of sincerity and emotion with of cleverness, wordplay, and fun gimmickry. He has been able to draw upon that skillset often, and has alternately carved out a niche as an interpreter of the Great American Songbook and the work of other songwriters. But to put out an album in the mid-90s of thirteen moving, low key, gimmick free, beautiful songs was truly a singular achievement, while also adding to the tens of thousands of brushstrokes on the masterpiece of his career. Certainly as a whole this is one of his best albums, and he likely has over a hundred albums, so that ain't small taters.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

PigOut Pigless Pork RInds Nacho Cheese


( DEFINITELY better than Trader Joe's fake pork rinds, but I'm not sure why you have to add Nacho  Cheese flavor to pork flavor. For centuries pork has been enough, and that should apply even when the pork is made out of high-oleic expeller pressed sunflower oil, pea grits, and rice.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Cinnamon Toast Crunch

 (General Mills) Of canonized cereals (not considering short-lived atrocities like Drumstick ice cream cereal) this is the worst one. The combination of the right angles and the borderline obscene amount of sugar and "cinnamon" coating these health hazards makes these seem not only jagged and gritty, but also equally awful in taste. And though their mascot can never surpass Apple Jacks ill conceived Rastafarian cinnamon stick Cinna Mon in the bad idea category, Cin-emoji is a godawful mistake that was greenlit by someone trying to get fired.

Super Boxers by Ron Wilson

(Marvel, 1983) This terrible graphic novel is one of the worst comics ever made. It's weird because Ron Wilson was so good drawing the Thing and giving life to those stories but so bad at this one. John Byrne is credited with scripting but I don't know what that means in this case, and it is not good whatever he did. Ecchh. 

Sunday, October 17, 2021

The Beach Boys "All Summer Long"

(Capitol, 1964) I think the Beach Boys totally faked their wacky blooper/improv outtake tracks. I think they are scripted and those dudes were not even as mildly funny as they pretend to be here. But I also don't know shit, and could probably easily find a book where someone analyzed every second of every BB sesh and could give a definitive answer, and I won't find that book,  so I  don't know shit and I'm lazy. Awesome record, BTW.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

White Castle Onion Rings

(White Castle) The definitely err on the batter side of batter-to-onion ratio, and it is not iunusual for them to be fried a bit harder than perfection, but that just adds to the bite and crispness, and these are a generally solid side. They come in two sizes, and the larger one is called "Sack."

Friday, October 15, 2021

Marvel Monsterbus Vol. 1

(Marvel, 2017) This is a telephone book-sized behemoth about telephone factory sized behemoths. Jack Kirby drew monsters and spacemen and time travelers and huge bugs better than anyone so 800 pages of them is barely enough! I got a damaged copy for almost nothing but this would be worth $80 easy, but maybe not $150, so get it from an $80 place and not a $150 place.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Zappa "Zoot Allures"

(Warner Brothers 1976) I am not sure it is possible to appreciate the musicality and innovation and talent of Zappa if you don't think he is funny. I dig that people really appreciate the music, but his humor's unfunny, arrogant, unpleasant tone turns me off and I just can't get past it. 

Monday, October 11, 2021

( This is a wild, distinct, strong flavor, falling halfway between the sublime pickled jalepeno and the over the top cherry bbq on the Great Lakes awesome scale. Very accurate, so if you dig buffalo wings this will do the trick.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

( This is not my g to, but it is great. Parm and ranch seem like they would be  lot, and the distinct, authentic parmesan profile is strong and takes precedent, and trhese are great. Still, some of their more subtle flavors are stronger.

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Great Lakes Michigan Cherry BBQ Potato Chips.

 (  The mark of a great snack company is that you even have serious respect for the ones you don't like. This one is too sweet, and just too much in the flavor department, but I'll be darned if that ain't a solid, real cherry flavor. Impressive. But get the Pickled Jalepeno instead. Regular BBQ is also solid.

Friday, October 8, 2021

Great Laskes Pickled Jalepeno Potato Chips

( This is the best one they make, not too hot, not too bland, and throwing in the pickled with the pepper...I would pick  a peck of these any day of the week!

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Great Lakes Potato Chips


( These are just very, very good. I will Midwest pride all over these chips even if they ain't from Chicago. Just the right kettle-y crispness, never too much or too little seasoning on any flavor, and the original chip is just a god damn good fine potato chip. Not a greater chip than Lake Michigan is a great lake, but Erie and Ontario ain't got nothing on these.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Miles Davis s/t

 (UA, 1971) For genius jazzsters who took the LP format pretty seriously a comp/best of seems like a cheat, and a double cheat is reissue of two 50s Blue Note comps presented as a big double LP with a 70s looking cover. But this is just the coolest fucking music ever recorded and it's hard to gripe about anything listening to this.

Monday, October 4, 2021

Kibo Chickpea Chips

( Sure. These are fine. If tortillas are made of corn, tortilla chips made of beans isn't an aberration and these taste fine. Not sure how beans are a huge step up from corn, it's not like it's replacing pork rinds, and it's not like there's enough protein in tortilla chips to put you over the top, but sure. These are fine.

Rotary Connection "Dinner Music"

(Cadet, 1970) Obviously it is good that Minnie Ripperton made those solo records, and obviously we would have lost her no matter what path her career took, but if we can have multiple Spiderverse/What If?/Bill & Ted/Back to the Future alternate reality fantasies, I can wish I lived in a world where one of the best bands Chicago ever produced had the longest, most successful career of any group from this fine city, and Charles Stepney was using Grammys for paperweights to hold down his notes for his Rock N Roll Hall of Fame induction speech while fanning himself with millions of dollars in cash.

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Stevie Wonder presents Syreeta

(Motown, 1974) This is a really good record, but it is all over the place, with the rousing 70s-style anthemic "I'm Going Left" kicking it off, and other stuff sounding like Bacharach, or vaudeville reggae (?), or (fittingly) Motown. Most impressive is that none of this sounds like signature Stevie, though he wrote or co-wrote with Wright (Syreeta's last name, possibly suggesting a punny twist to the Left/Right lyrics of the opening track), produced everything and sings backup throughout. Everything showcases her clear, expressive, sexy, distinct voice. The album culminates in the majestic "Universal Sound of the World," which is closest to recognizable Stevie (in ambitious dreamer mode), but mostly this album showcases a woman with a marvelous voice that transcended, inspired, and gave flight to her then ex-husband's magical talents.

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Jimi Hendrix "Hendrix In The West"

(Reprise, 1972) In the Kicks issue of Ugly Things some genius troll superhero wrote an incredibly passionate defense of the cobbled together post-death Hendrix studio Frankenstein-parts albums, while going as far as to denigrate all the actual musicians in his living bands as hacks who needed to be replaced with studio musicians. That was clearly a powerful article because listening to this more"legit" cash in cash grab live collection I can't stop questioning the band's skills, and while a lot of this is amazing, especially "Voodoo Chile," featuring the reviled (by at least one person, and maybe only one person) Noel on bass, some (like the Sgt. Pepper fragment) seem kinda sub-par as far as making it onto an album like this. But hey, keep them coming! If they had holograms back then this LP woulda toured!

Friday, October 1, 2021

Hound Dog Taylor and the HouseRockers


(Alligator, 1971) "Damn it's Bluesy in here" does not do this justice...GOD DAMN it's Bluesy in here!