Was Prince a genius? Hmm, good question. Let’s talk about having 50 albums worth of unreleased music in “the vault,” and some of the crazy, before-its-time shit he did when he was alive. Giants walk among us. Or at least they used to. You might also hear me say words about things like the Ostrich Pillow®, having electricity in your house, classical composers, how signing a 100 million dollar recording contract can turn out to be the worst thing that ever happened to you, David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Madonna, suing your own fans, getting into the soup, love, jackrabbits, rattlesnakes and Aqualung. And remember: if you don’t own your masters, your masters own you.
Let me tell you about bumping in to Prince on a Minneapolis street corner, but first we’ll probably talk about, oh, I don’t know, hair removal, P.J. Harvey, record reviews, taking a writer’s word for something, Rock Steady, big mailboxes, Siskel and Ebert and where their thumbs have been, the Christgau Consumer Guide, artistic merit, Kansas vs. MC5, Brian Eno, a bunch of made-up metal band names and a little personal remembrance of Prince. Sometimes it snows in April, yo.
Maybe “hate” is too strong a word, but we’ll also go to Space Mountain, talk about wasting time, the smart way to do things, Richie Havens, literary magazines, how long “forever” is on the Internet, the answer to some people’s dreams, your AOL connection, The Knucklehead Chronicle, baby frogs, an uncaring universe, taking the small press world mainstream, playing “Stairway to Heaven” in 2016, the wisdom of the ages, cutting off your own head, ducks, rhyming children’s poems, academic poets, forks, Paris, Prague, Istanbul, Kansas and Vienna, Bukowski, Bukowski, Bukowski, the yout’ dem, butterflies, your mother, hunchbacks (not saying your mother is a hunchback, but…), bullshit detectors and puppets.
When you listen to THIS IS NOT A TEST you are not “consuming content,” 40 year old pictures, satin bell bottoms, Bob Ezrin, record stores, the roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd, Pet Sounds, insufferable twats, music floating on the breeze, ticket scalpers, being easily entertained, cardboard boxes full of cassette tapes, Wham!, technology, a girl named Pearl, being an idiot, plastic spoons, what to bring when you visit my house, political discourse, fragging, the occupy movement, chalking one up to millennial genius, pre-moistened anti-irritant towelettes, flesh hooks, the cat in the shark costume riding the robot vacuum, Fort Knox, puppets and lemonade.
Are we sure we want a cashless society? Are we sure we want to hear about Victorian-era language, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!, delivering mail, buildings made from a single tree, Fiji Mermaids, Odditoriums, teenage vampire novels, working dogs from the UK, casinos, Taco Bell, the genius of credit card companies, above ground pools, iris scans, noisy metal boxes, poodle skirts, poop, Tony Soprano, corsets, coconuts, Wall Street douchebags, jasmine blossoms, conspiracy theories, one percenters and “bros?” Are we sure about anything?
In this episode I call your parenting into question, try to be dignified, compare myself to famous explorers, scratch my head over kids who wear costumes for no reason, call you into question for letting the kids wear costumes for no reason, change diapers, witness a spoiled prick playing Minecraft, call home schooling into question, wonder out loud whether leaving home and striking out on your own is even normal, insult Americans and Canadians and Europeans, call India and China “scrappy,” blame your children’s lameness on you, talk about being a good pilgrim, racism, Hindu gods, laugh at those of you spending your lives trying to “protect” children, I “feel the Bern” and try to explain why that whole thing is a pointless joke, and I may also mention Thunderdome, reality TV, Patti and Fred “Sonic” Smith, quote Joe Strummer, insinuate that the Oscar ceremony is repetitive and idiotic, and give you a long overdue chirpwatch update. You might wonder how I can fit all of that into a 30 minute show. The answer is: I’m an expert. Don’t you try it. You’ll hurt yourself, and we wouldn’t want you to get hurt. You’re too special.
Links mentioned in the episode: 2015 Oscar ceremony wrap-up
Good is great, perfect is not, also, having the Zika virus, taking a vacation, having a stroke at work, Mat Gleason’s “Modern Art Blitz” and Internet TV shows in general, Jay Leno, join the professionals, McDonald’s mozzarella sticks, striving, astral planes, Internet millionaires and other numbskulls, rules, prog rock creeps, hurdy gurdys, confetti, swing, NASCAR, injection molding, sound engineers, ricocheting around the beat, smelling the sweat, zines, mimes, hiding in plain sight and test patterns.
Bukowski, Bukowski, Bukowski! And let us not forget civil servant weirdos, resisting the draft, spending all day in a bar, paying child support, living on a park bench, having a different kind of brain, fear of public speaking, skin magazines, TMZ, art generated by companies, critical mass, shaking your bush, the foolhardy and ultimately fruitless attempt to make Bukowski palatable to a wider audience, holiday shopping, Bob Marley, bombing churches, a Peter Tosh museum in Jamaica, Prince’s purple jacket, mausoleums, Jell-O, rust and Batman.