Monday, July 20, 2009

It's time. Nixon-off 2009! PART 1!

     Boom! 2009! The year it all came together. The W.H.O. ran out of animals to name the flu after, people started hating ethnics again and North Korea has been shaking it up more than ever. (It's amazing how a little tree bark and people-meat can angry up the blood but two square meals a day seems to have that affect with some people.) It all reminds me of a golden time back when a 'less than legal' war could be justified with it's cool soundtrack and two men holding hands was still very illegal. Bible law was actual law and a jolly old fat man delivered heaps of tidings upon the good little white, right-wing girls and boys who weren't gays or communists. Tricky Dicky Nixon! 

     This past fiscal year has seen not one but TWO films idolizing this god of modern political tomfoolery as well as countless television programs to titillate our desire for iron fisted right-wing gods who aren't complete idiots or meth addicts. This of course raises the greatest question that we as a people have ever had to face besides who to root for on Iron Chef; who is the better Nixon and why?

     Hard to choose just one, I know but when you really get down to brass balls the whole dilemma almost makes you forget that little hiccup in February when a black man got elected into the White House. So in that sense it's a worth while endeavor. (I know we're all counting the days until lone warrior Palin comes back with her unique brand of baked Alaskan vengeance!)

     Who's portrayal of America's funniest prez since that gimp who ran World War Deuce makes you all tingly inside? These are questions that we all ask ourselves when we're bored or drunk. Perhaps both. I should know, I'm wasted right now. Well after countless minutes of wondering it all comes down to this! It's just oh so very exciting.  So lets get to it!

Nixon #1
     He's much funnier. I laugh my ass off every time I see that flick. That and they really get down to the 100th percent of ugly he was as a man. Every scene makes me puke a little in my mouth but that throw-up tastes like sweet American history and moldy afternoon cocktails. (The only other thing that makes me expel booze out of my nose that hard is how laughable John Denver's albums used to be, which would make Dick proud I'm sure.) 

Ugly people can smell their own kind! 

     This is a scientific fact. At school, anime conventions, the Gemini awards or any of the few social occasions that drag us out of our parent's basements and into the horrible, horrible sun. We tend to feed off of the misery of other ugly people to make ourselves feel better, (then we go see a Jason Stathom movie and get blasted back to year zero). 

     This must be the reason why Ronnie Howard directed the flick cause he's a special brand of hideous. A boy who was cute as a button, sprouts into a man who is disgusting as velcro on a fat person, manages to get decent at making movies and somehow, (money) nails a hottie spawning two of the sexiest kids since the Magic School Bus gang turned eighteen and explored breast implants. (They took Frizzle's advise and got messy.)  

     Nixon was an ugly, ugly man and the only person who can really reach down and explore the person he was under his soggy folds of fatty, liver-spotted scales is another ugly man who has managed to crawl up from the cesspool to be rich and squint back at where he sludged out of. (It's like when you're a being born and you accidentally open your eyes too early and catch the horror glimpse at that greasy, hairy, smelly beast of a monster that's just heaving uncontrollably and spitting all over you. Tip: Never give birth in Greek town to save a buck or the midwife's haggard face will scar your baby for life. Thank god I was looking forward at Madam Souvlaki and not backward at my mother's vagina!)

     This is why Frost/Nixon's Nixon was so good because for once I managed to feel bad for Quasimodo rather than huck radishes and dead fish at him. I actually felt sympathy for this lonely, lonely man and I hope you did as well. He didn't commit all those 'misunderstandings', (I won't say crimes) because he was an ignorant, conservative weirdo. It was because he couldn't get laid at da club! 

     I hope you all take a good long look at who you will or won't sleep with at a bar and realize that those you snub, could grow up to do 'regrettable', (I won't say monstrous) things in their political careers and then have movies made about them.  

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Harry Potter and the Lost Isle of Misfit Celebrities.

     What follows is a review of Half-Blood Prince and the incredible circumstances that allowed me to see the film a month before release, meet and seduce J.K. Rowling and embark on the greatest get-rich-quick adventure of my life. 


     There's an island in the South Pacific that is lost in time. A patch of remote land where according to legend all your dreams come true. Before last month I would have thought it to be nothing more than a fairy tale or some story your dad tells at a McDonalds when he's drank too much and wants to impress the teenage cashier girl. But it exists! It's out there alone and unreachable to mere mortals. Due to a sort of Earth magnet anomaly it's impossible to be found by traditional marine navigational systems. It is for this exact reason that a sort of resort was built there. Like a big luxury hotel with very few guests. Like a Motel 6 in heaven. (Oxymoron, I know.) 

     I was lucky enough to visit this Xanadu when my private yacht, the H.M.S. Boob-mobile was lost in a squall. We were somewhere west of the Philippines, offshore the tropical coast free-diving in search of the rare giant black pearl. The skies turned grey and unfriendly and the water started getting choppy but I knew we were getting close to our prize. My first mate, Mr. Otango, advised me that we should find port until the storm passed but ninety feet down and jammed in a reef I found the wreck of one of my greatest competitors. It was Dr. VanBusen's ship lying at the bottom of the merky deep. Two long, gaping holes in it's port-side hull grinned at me. It was the giant Waray-Waray deep-sea reef clam. That blue-shelled bitch had claimed another crew. What a fucking slut. But I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't happy that VanBusen was out of the picture. A retired dentist from Port Saint Lucie Florida, he was pissed at me ever since I did the nasty with his wife and daughter in a Hooters restroom during the spring break celebrations of 1997. That and I still owe him money for crowns. He had been getting his revenge by always staying two steps ahead of me in my hunt for the mammoth undersea beast. But I was about to learn the price of revenge and underpaying your crew.


Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince. Meh, it's not bad. I mean it's Harry Potter so sure it's an alright movie but I'm just disappointed in a couple of things. Granted I've never read the books, (which I'm told not having done so is a major fail) but in my opinion the flick is lacking in two very important departments. Hot chicks and violence. Simple ingredients that go into any great movie. 

     "Oh Emma Watson is smoking!" No she isn't she's like fifteen or something and when we first met her in Philosopher's Stone she was like four years old. Yeah it's a kids book and all the females in it are either children or the Golden Girls but let's get real. Rowling is rich enough she shouldn't care if a couple of them are played by some full grown chesty la-rues instead of toddlers. The age of the actor shouldn't matter, just that they understand and play their character to the best of their abilities and understanding. Imagine how good the movie would really be if Luna Lovegood was portrayed by a Heidi Montag or a Jesse Jane? Harry wouldn't mind asking her to Prof. Slughorn's xmas bash at all! Plus you'd be opening the film up to a much wider audience! Did you know that when you look up dirty pictures of Linday Lohan online, (we all do it) that some of them are screencaps from that SNL sketch where she plays a boobed out Hermione? The audience IS out there. 


     You see, AT&T outsources much of it's customer service calls to an office complex in Mubai and they were willing to pay upwards of two-hundred dollars to posses a giant black pearl for a display case in their lobby. I'm told it would be between the framed employee of the month photo and the company's regional cricket team trophy awarded to them for outstanding participation. I needed to get that pearl but being old, Jewish and from America's wang, Vanbusen was a natural seaman. When I saw his boat's carcass underwater I was so excited that the water around me got just a little bit warmer and I made for the surface. I needed my machete so I could possess my enemy's head and thusly all his strength. I also wanted his penis for personal reasons and a dead man's pubic beard can fetch a handsome price on the Beijing black market. (For some reason it's worth more than tiger there. I think enough of it makes a very fine pillow.) 

     When I surfaced I found to my horror that the local crew I had hired way back in West Papaua was looting the Boob-mobile and jumping ship! I don't speak much Indonesian so I was relying on Mr. Otanga to sort things but it turned out that dick was only from Windsor Ontario! He didn't speak French, Mandarin, Bengali, Cayuse or Modern Gutnish like he told me but he sure as shit knew how to say 'Fuck off' as he jumped in the last escape zodiac. Hindsight being what it is it does seem odd that he claimed to have killed a troupe of baboons with only a spork and his cunning but his only reference was from a Tim Hortons. Now that I remember his entire resume was printed in crayon on one of their napkins. But that didn't matter anymore. Brian Otanga's resume and the rest of my files were gone along with everything else of value. It was just me and the empty Boob-Mobile being tossed into the storm. No fuel. No food. Radar, sonar, Super Nintendo, fish finder. All were gone. I was done for. At least one of the men was nice enough to leave some poo where the blender used to be.


     Now about the violence in the movie, well there just wasn't any. I know, I know it's Harry Potter not Die Hard but did anyone really watch the last one? Ho-ly shit it was sweet! The last forty minutes was, "Let's ditch this Hogwarts bullshit and have ourselves a fucking wizard duel!" It was an orgy of magical violence that probably made J.R.R. shit in his pants. And he's dead as far as we know! (He could just be Tupac-ing it like Michael Jackson.) You can imagine how stoked I was to see what kind of mystical mayhem was in store for this next film. This is what Harry Potter has become?! It went from The Land Before Time to Lethal Weapon! But alas, the fighting was not to be had in this latest installment. Yeah there was a little wand fluttering here and some potion nonsense there, (and that scene where the mountain of underwater crack-heads try to fustigate Harry and Dumbeldore was pretty rad) but it just didn't compare to the battle royale in the last movie. 


     I don't know what exactly happened now that I think back. A flurry of wind and surf as my mighty arms gripped the steering wheel thing. I hadn't taken the time to learn too many nautical terms because that shit-head Otanga told me he 'knew all the boat crud.' I cursed the day I met that retard. I cursed mother nature for not showing any mercy to a helpless victim such as me. And I cursed that giant hard-shelled whore whose pearl I so desperately wanted. All I remember before waking up on the hot beach was being sucked into a vortex of fast water and bad vibes. It was like getting a swirly from Poseidon himself.  

     When I came to I wasn't sure how many days had passed or how much salt water I had swallowed but god damn I was glad to be on land. I mean I knew where I was in the world so I assumed it would be rotten poor-people land probably covered in trash and dead Gap factory workers but I didn't care. Little did I know where I had actually ended up. 

     There she was standing over me wearing only a smile and some caked on sand. Dame Joanne Murray Rowling! In my reckless search for fortune and glory I had been delivered by the sea to the lost island of misfit celebrities! Since I was in rough shape she agreed to show me around the place and get me all sorted out. (That and I think she caught a glimpse of my huge bulge.) I couldn't believe I was walking on a beach with the J.K. Rowling in the flesh! And what flesh it was! That woman does her Hip-Hop Abs alright. (I'm assuming the island has a Goodlife or something.)


     It's a two-hour movie written from a seven-hundred page novel of a book. I think I'm going to start reading the series not only to see if I am missing any Clockwork Orange type ultra-violence but also so I'll know whether or not to waste my coin going to see the next two movies. 

     Maybe there's a sequence where Hagrid drinks too much and rampages through the school like a madman, squashing kids under his boots like they were grapes. Or maybe for time they cut a scene where Remus Lupin and his purple-haired lady are getting it on when he inadvertently transforms into a giant dog but she just goes with it. She just goes with it. Yeah, nice. Professor Flitwick just watches. They can't see him because he's so small but he's present, watching. For some reason. I don't know why, ask J.K. Rowdy! She's the sick one here not me. 


     When we reached the main compound I learned about the other wondrous island inhabitants. Everyone was there! Tupac Shakur making more 'unreleased tracks', Michael Jackson, Walt Disney, Heath Ledger, a skinny Liza Minelli and half of J.F.K.'s brain hardwired to a Macbook playing chess against Joaquin Pheonix's sanity! It truly was an odd sort of paradise. Cobain was there but just hiding from Love. I didn't have time to ask him why half his face was missing. Apparently all I had to do was wait for a chopper covered in tin foil that arrived once a month delivering heaps of royalty checks and a team of sexy lawyers who bug Heath to come back to hollywood. (Rowling had a time share there and liked to get away from the 'hustle and bustle of being an incredibly rich and famous author of mindless kiddie drivel.' Exact words.) 

     So for the remainder of the month it was wine, woman and sun as I waited in heaven for a helicopter to take me back to the drone of civilization. But in my time there I was lucky enough to watch an early screening of Half-Blood Prince and I formed quite a few opinions about it. None of which were taken into consideration by the filmmakers to my disappointment. I never did find that giant clam but when I do I swear to god me and Rowling are going to shuck the shit out of it! Clambake on the Lost Isle of Misfit Celebrities. 


     Harry Potter needs more sexy ladies and ultra violence. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

THE LIST: Top 5ive Movies to sex to that aren't porn!

    Ever struck a dog? Peed on a bus? Flaunted your mortgage payment statement in front of a homeless dude just for giggles? There are always certain things we've done in our lives that we regret and all I hope is that just one person reading this can learn from my mistakes. I'm going to share something very personal right now so prepare to be blown away. It's about sex. Ready? Here goes. Are you sure you're ready? You had better be 'cause this is just disgusting. 

     Like ripping off a band-aid I'm just going to say it. It may sting at first but in time I'll have to accept that it was the right thing to do for everyone. And for the record this story of my awkward/horn-dog, teenage years in NO WAY represents who I am today or my now fantastic positioning and superb lovin' technique. 

     I find that many teenager's first sexual experiences happen at parties in the presence of what at the time seems like copious amounts of the devil's brew. Booze. You've just slammed three whole jazzberry coolers and tried your first hit of an oregano pinner and you're feeling real loose. Shitty pop music and a night of acting crazy in your friend's, parent's rumpus room has got you and your buddies all tuckered out. I mean it's 1:30 in the morning who wouldn't be tired, right? You settle down on the couch or whatever with that special girl you've been eye humping all night and have been in turn, eye humped. Feels pretty good doesn't it? I'll bet it does.

     Time to pop on a movie and slip into that most wonderful drunken coma. Perhaps. Or perhaps not. Hormones often make a sane man crazy and in this case, like so many other tales of adolescent stupidity, crazy is a grand understatement for what we did. 'Crazy' in this context might imply something 'fun' or 'whimsical'. What we did was just sick, on so many levels. 

Sorry about the stalling but first we need the...

     DEVIANT DISCLAIMER: People on the internet are generally and have always been perverts so I hate to dash anyone's greasy hopes but despite the apparent flare and veiled eroticism of the last couple of paragraphs this isn't some sort of underage smut-fiction article so I'm not going to go into the nitty or the gritty of what exactly happened. Sorry 50-year-old bald man from the movie 8mm who lives with his mother and wears a black rubber mask whenever CBC Kids comes on, but you had better just turn around now and head back to whatever freaky-deeky 'Love In The Time of Underaged Kids' chat forum you came from cause that's not how this story is going to go down. No apologies. No regrets. 

     What I can tell you in all my shame is that one of my first sexual experiences happened at a party, on a sofa while watching the hilarious though sexually disgusting film, 'Waiting For Guffman.' Just imagine that for a second, regardless of age. Two star-crossed lovers destined to be with each other finally get some liquor-inspired alone time and express their longing through the holiest of physical acts all the while having Eugene Levy's wrinkly leather handbag of a face staring back at them cracking jokes about foot-stools and whatever the hell else that movie is about. (Theatre?) It's a terrible memory that no one should ever have to go through themselves. Look at the cast of that movie and try not to vomit, I dare you. (Parker Posey is fine and dandy like sour candy but in no way can she make up for the rest of that film's horrible looking brood.)

     Thus the list! There are films out there that are great to bang to! Honest! I'm putting this out there so my story NEVER has to happen to anyone ever again. So here it is. JRBT's top 5ive flicks that are great to watch while doing the mess-around! (That aren't porno's cause that's just too obvious.) 

                    #5: (For the Gentlemen)                          
Tremors - 1990
"Watch it Valentine, that thing's got a good six foot reach!" 
Well watch out for my six-inch breach! (yeah.)

     The Slippery Why: Because for some reason the ladies loooove 80's Kevin Bacon in his tight jeans and carefree attitude. (And Remo Williams was quite the catch back then too.) Couple that with the fact that two lead females, (ugh if you can even call them that) are hideous land-beasts and therefore non-threatening to your lady, well you're go-no-go for launch, friend! 

     The Slimy How: It's a feature-length movie about giant, sweaty, veiny worms! Do I really need to spell it out? If she isn't all riled up by the end of the first act just blow in her ear and softly whisper, "Mamma wanna see my grab-oid?" That ought to work. 

  #4: (For the Woman)         
Vicky Cristina Barcelona - 2008
"I'll go to your room, but you'll have to seduce me."
Ho-ly shit. 

     The Big Why: Sometimes, not often but sometimes it's the woman doing the timeless dance of seduction. I know it sounds crazy, all a girl really needs to do to get sex is say something like "Do me now." But this flick is more like a test. A test of whether or not you want some grimy punk invading your uh, personal space. So, If he's heard of it, he's a keeper and you're good to go. If he hasn't heard of it and still wants to watch it with you, he's a keeper and you're good to go. If he's only heard about it for the wrong reasons, (Scarlett and Penelope make out?! Fuckin' sweet!) or he would rather make you watch '2 Fast 2 Furious' then just shut it down. 

     The Sweet How: Well you don't really need me to tell you 'how' to make your move, just remember that if you pork during this movie it will be some of the classiest love-making of both your lives. It'll be like you're actually fucking in Barcelona. Not to mention it's already a very sexually charged film. And hey, if he can't last the whole thing no worries. Just enjoy it's charm and when Scarlett and Penelope do start to make out in the last half hour, he'll be good to go again.  

 #3 (For those delightful homosexual males) 
4 Fast 4 Furious 
or whatever the fuck it's called 
- 2009 
"I admire the body regardless of the make." 
Oh, I'll bet you do, Vin.

     The Throbbing Why: That movie is so chock full of man-on-man sexual tension that even if you don't want to slam to it, it would still be pretty hilarious to watch the not-so-hidden homo-eroticism. I mean why aren't Vin Diesel and Paul Walker making out after the first ten minutes?! Their huge engines, pulsing stick shifts. Let the games begin.

     The Macho How: You do whatever you need to do to be happy, but stay away from any church group. They're already confused enough as it is.

               #2 (Gay Woman Everywhere!)           
           Sick Girl - 2006
"It's either babes or bugs. You can't have both."
What if I find giant killer insects sexy?

     The Tender Why: An hour long horror masterwork that's just one big allegory for society's general misunderstanding and fear of lesbians. It's super funny, super gory, super well written and there is some super sweet lady-on-lady action. It's by far the shortest of the recommendations, clocking in at about an hour, but you can just toss it on right afterwards and it's still just as entertaining. Oh and Angela Bettis is wicked sexy in a very nerdy kind of way!

The Glorious How: Watch once to allow for either stimulating conversations or stimulating vaginas. Repeat as needed and PLEASE call me in the morning, I'd love to hear about it.

              #1: (For Everyone To Enjoy!)                        
Speed - 1994
"Pop quiz hot shot! We're about to have messy sex. What do you do? What do you do?"
Just don't pop your quiz in my hair. Please it would mean a lot.

     The Why: Everyone in that movie is sexy. Sandra Bullock is hot. Keanu Reeves is hot. Joe Morton is hot. Even Jeff Daniels is tolerable. But the real reason it's numero uno is that everyone, I mean everyone loves to sex it up during Speed for that killer theme music! Imagine two sweaty hours of straight-up pounding away to that score?! It would be ridiculous, you'd both feel like a couple of sex super-heroes! 

Just try, TRY and listen to this without getting turned on. I freaking dare you! no dice? How about this? Yeah. That's the spot.

     The How: Every time they say a wicked line you change positions. "There's enough C-4 here to put a hole in the world!"  During the entire time with the bus you double your bang pace. Like really go at it! Every time the movie makes you cry inject more passion and when someone you love dies, you look your partner in the eyes and tell them you can't live without them. Speed will rock your world!

     So if you're planning a romantic night in with that special someone or some-ones don't be shamed into an oversized rain coat and adult film emporium. All you really need is right there at Blockbuster!


Thursday, July 9, 2009

"What keeps you up late at night, Mr. Dillinger?"

     Eighty years ago you didn't have to jog. If you wanted to prove you were tough you didn't throw on some pre-ripped jeans, a tight, glittery "urban" t-shirt and five pounds of gel on your head. You wanted to be hard you slugged someone right in the kisser! You sucker punch them in the eye and steal their dame. Slapping a guy across the face wasn't considered 'faggy' because if a man's man eighty years ago slaps you, it fucking hurts! 

     Go and see Public Enemies and you'll realize why as a small child there was always a certain level of fear and respect at your grandpa's house. I don't care how "ghetto" or "street" teenagers pretend the burbs are, cruise by an old folks home and recognize that they grew up in the hard shit! (Never knock on Lawrence Welk's dressing room door during happy hour because he's probably sauced with Mickey Rooney and half a dozen of those sweet, 'innocent' lady dancers from his show.) 

     Notorious bad-ass Michael Mann co-wrote and directed the best new gangster picture since, I don't know, Chinatown I think. That's how good it is, I'm thinking back thirty years to find something comparable. Oh and L.A. Confidential, (not surprising that they shared a director of photography). It's the shaky, digital, docudrama style of shooting that Mann tried with Paul Cameron in 2004's collateral and perfected with veteran DP Dante Spinotti, (who worked with Mann on 95's Heat and 99's The Insider) that rose the originality of the look and overall wickedness level of the picture. It gave it a real depression-era-dry color palette with the dark, raw, gritty feel that gangster pics back in the day were notorious for and basically took that shit up a whole letter grade in my opinion.   

    Written from historical fact, the plot structure is very well put together. Seen from the two opposite sides of the law each of the main characters, Captain Jack Sparrow and Batman, have their stories intertwine tighter and tighter as they get closer to one another. Batman's sophisticated investigation techniques paired with a few violent ringers from the south, (to even the playing field against hardened killers) lead him closer to Sparrow. All the while Sparrow's desperation and loss of his gang, one by one, cause him to take on more dangerous jobs with more dangerous people and everything he does just starts to get fucked up. This goes with one of the running themes that perhaps the end doesn't justify the means as each man is inexplicably changed by the horrible things they're forced to do to try and succeed. (Although I'm told the killing of pretty boy floyd by Batman in the first act was sugar-coated from what actually happened, probably in an attempt to make the Feds not seem like complete assholes. If only they kill Channing Tatum that quickly in G.I. Joe, the summer might be saved.) 
     Neither of them are bad men at all but they're forced to do bad things out of necessity and more-so due to the decisions of men in higher positions of power. A great struggle during the depression was that lovable cross-dresser J.E. Hoover, under pressure from The Man in Washington, (as he tried to get the F.B.I. up and running)  vs. the deplorable, very quiet, super mario-esque Frank Nitti and his whole mafia thingy that he was doing. We're not really sure what he was up to, the mustache was really distracting but just sooo dang cute! (Later on Hitler ruined facial hair for everyone.) Dillinger and Purvis are ultimately caught in the middle of these two bigger men's feud. And that just stinks! 

    So amongst this eternal battle between two smart, violent men who only meet like once, but have been paired by fate to be enemies there is a freaking onslaught of supporting characters. Is it so hard for actors to get work these days that they'll take whatever single line they can get? It's hard to get into a drama when every five minutes you're thinking, "oh crazy, it's the dude from Minas Tirith!" or "As if, Giovanni Ribi-whatever is going to pop up in another star-studded historical epic?" It was seriously one after another.  

    That wasn't terrible though and I'm certainly not saying it ruined the movie, (Stephen Graham as Baby-Face Nelson was the fucking shit). Four little words were the closest thing to having the movie ruined. Diana god-damned Krall! When she struts on camera for thirty of the most annoying seconds of my life I thought someone had switched reels to Harry and the Hendersons or and episode of Fox's Alien Nose Job. I mean she's a total man-lady. If they're calling it Public enemies they should have put her on the poster. That would have had the horror nerds out of their mom's basements in droves! Who's leg did Elvis have to hump to get her that gig, anyways?  

     So, the story was engaging and good, acting was good and Johnny Depp and Christian Bale managed to play two very excellent lead characters who weren't over-the-top drunk scissor-handed pirates or constantly yelling in deep, gravelly, Batman voices, which is always nice to see. The score was very large and cinematic and the soundtrack, other than Krall was really cool. (Someone's got a hard-on for Billie Holiday I think.) And the ridiculous hotness of Marion Cottilard is for sure, going to have to take an entirely new blog post cause that lady is an amazing actress and sexy as hell!   

     It's the right ingredients for the perfect tribute to a lost time when people could be badasses without needing pecs the size of the baked hams. Super tough. I'm pretty sure men back then didn't even have to invent modern exercising until that nut Hitler started prancing around Europe with his stupid little mustachio. So you brosef greaseballs can feel free to do all the push-ups and snort all the whey powder you want, I'm taking toughness back to the real old-school. With some Newsie-style brass knuckes and hard smack upside your head. Out.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Tea For The Voyage! Exclusive Interview Part One!

     Canada and America share pretty much the same birthday weekend which is always rad. It's like as a child if you and your older, cooler bro or sis get to do the same and even though you're younger and you suck at life your parents insist that you share a party. 

     So for one glorious afternoon a summer you get to strut around with kids two years your senior and make believe you're pals in real life and it just makes you feel good, deep down. That's what the start of July feels like nowadays except instead of splitting a crappy frozen cake and some jack-ass clown two nations get to combine firework resources and blow shit up!  

      This past independence day I was lucky enough to pound some brews with three members of Canadian ska sensation, Tea For The Voyage. It was a night of frivolity at bassist Garett's home on a little lake in the Ontario back-woods. 

     A land lost in time where people still confess love by spray-painting rocks on the side of the highway and the neighbors are just a little too casual when it comes to operating a chain-saw. Canada. Drink it in.

     In case you haven't heard, Tea For The Voyage is a six-piece ska-rock-reggae bonanza that after years of playing together and honing their musical craft with their own solo junk have evolved into a tight, musical brand of funk that George Clinton would be envious of. (I'm sure He'd give his left ball dread for Tea's sick brass section). So at the lake I managed to be hanging with about half of the band and we were all feeling delightfully drunken and greasy. 

     Earlier this summer they released a new album and I blew eighty bucks on a voice recorder so the pieces were set for one of the greatest interviews anyone will ever read! After making light of a recent car-murder tragedy thingy that went down in our home town and driving a few more beers and burgs into us we decided to get down with the nitty gritty. 

     (To prelude, we're in the wilderness on a dock and all a wee bit tipsy. Friend of the band Zach T. and I have just had a lengthy discussion about whether or not lizards live wild in Canada and it got us a little distracted from the actual interview. No one seemed to mind.) 

JRBT: Have you guys ever seen a lizard in Canada? Aside from a pet store.

Garett Barr (bass): Oh I’ve seen plenty of lizards. I’ve seen a lizard so big...

JRBT: How big?

Garett: ...It would rip the head off your body and it would destroy everything that you’ve ever held dear.

JRBT: Are you talking about Godzilla?

Garett: I’m talking about all the lizards. The lizard inside each and every one of us.

JRBT: The lizard that comes out with whiskey?

Garett: The lizard within.

JRBT: The lizard within. Alec have you ever seen a real, non-figurative lizard in Canada? Besides a pet store?

Alec Donaldson (Guitar): I did once see a Gorn. On the way to work.

Garett: It was a young Gorn.

Alec: No it wasn’t young at all it was seasoned… It was a Gorn Captain actually.

JRBT: A seasoned, Captain Gorn?

Alec: Yes I think it may have been the same one that Kirk defeated.

JRBT: Good.

Alec: Episode 18 of the original series.

JRBT: Good! I’m glad. Sean, have you ever seen a lizard or a Gorn in Canada?

Sean Donldson (Drums): What’s a Gorn?

Garett: It’s from Star Trek.

Sean: How can I answer that?

JRBT: Have you ever seen a lizard cause Zach and I were talking about…

Sean: Of course I have!

JRBT: Yeah like a wild, Canadian lizard.

Sean: Yeah I’ve seen a chameleon before.

JRBT: They exist, Zach.

Zach T. (Friend-o-band): No there are no chameleons in Canada.

Sean: Yeah. Yeah. When I was in the Yukon.  Have you ever seen one in the Yukon?

JRBT: I’ve seen one in Ontario.

Sean: There are snow chameleons.

JRBT: Snow chameleons?

Sean: They only have one colour though. I don’t know if they’re special or anything.

JRBT: What colour is that?

Sean: Oh it’s, it’s just white.

Alec: It’s all they need.

Sean: It’s the only colour they need.

Alec: They could change colour if they wanted to.

Sean: But why? Green over white or something. 

JRBT: Would you Shawn, as a musician say that global warming could have a posative effect on the, ugh, Canadian Yukon Gorn? 

Alec: No no,

JRBT: Sorry the arctic Chameleon.

Alec: No it would hurt it.

Sean: Global warming? It will kill em! They’ll be white in a grassy area and the wolves will just take it down.

The Terrible Gorn

JRBT: Fucking wolves. Garett when was Tea For The Voyage founded?

Garett: Tea For The Voyage …

JRBT: Alec, when was Tea founded?

Garett: Tea For The Voyage was originally founded in the year of 1867.

Sean: That’s true.

Garett: We really were against confederation.

Alec: Wait what? 2003?

Garett: No, 1867. We were really opposed to confederation and you know what? Those bastards voted it in.

JRBT: Good that answers my question.

Alec: I think it was 2003 though, right?

JRBT: Next real band question. How many albums have you made?

Sean:  Six I think.

Alec: The deuce?

JRBT: All your albums, even the shitty ones in high school.

Sean: There were no shitty ones in high school.

JRBT: Sorry, that just came out.

Alec: Four, we did four.

Garett: The albums that we produced were, ‘Caribbean Dreams’ 2004.  'Tea For The Voyage' 2005.  'Tea For The Voyage' 2007. 'Gimmie Them Beats' 2009.

Alec: Gimmie "Dem".

JRBT: Gimmie "Dem"?

Alec: Gimmie "Dem" Beats. 

Taylor Donaldson: Trombone
(Now the interview got a little ... personal. But it's the shit die hard fans want to know!)

JRBT: What is your favorite size of boob?

Sean: H.

JRBT: That’s pretty big.

Sean: It’s whale boob.

Alec: Whale tit!

Sean: That’s the word on the street, I dunno.

JRBT: So if you met a girl out there with whale boob you’d uh…

Sean: Oh. Haha Oh. Long story short, I guess.

JRBT: Alec, what is your favorite size of boob, sub-question: Can there be a boob too big?

Alec: I guess the long and the short of that would be no. but, I’m not so big on the whales as much as like, I dunno, maybe a hippoptimus.

JRBT: So not gargantuan but, like...

Sean: Enough to grab a hold of.

Alec: If H is whale, then I would have to say W is hippo. So I would have to say W.

JRBT: W, ok size W. The question for Garett, bass player for Tea For The Voyage is what is your favorite size of boob. Singular, not both.

Garett: I kind of enjoy the little handfuls.

Alec: What would that be in terms of classification?

JRBT: In letter size.

Garett: In letter size, oh. Well. I’m not prepared. I would say like the high C I suppose? I’m a middle range man. Personally.

Alec: That’s not very creative.

JRBT: Yeah, they were talking about hippopotamuses.

Garett: Oh Ok, well we saw a greyhound today with giant nipples…

Alec: Garret got a little turned on.

JRBT: Zach, friend of the band, what is your favorite kind of boob? I mean they’re all good but we gotta choose.

Zach: Personally I’m not much of a boob man myself. I would maybe say probably around the C range. The C range would probably be what I would go for but uh. I like to uh...

JRBT: You’re not going to nail yourself to just one?

Zach: I wouldn’t nail myself, I’d like to think that a personality really counts when I’m engaging with a woman.

JRBT: This isn’t a dating interview.

Zach: O.K. OK I guess I’ve said all that I need to say.

JRBT: Fine. C. Next Question. Out of all the songs you’ve ever played over the past four albums and all your years with the band what is your favorite? Be it musically, or you have just as much fun seeing the people get down to it, what’s your favorite song to play live?

Sean: Ain’t No Prophet. By Sublime.

Garett: It’s still your favorite song?

JRBT: Well, to play, right?

Sean: Well that’s a tough one. It was good, right? We haven’t played it in a long time though. So maybe not anymore. Probably The Buttered Chicken.

Alec: Damn you stole my answer.

Sean: I’m sorry!

Alec: That one is my favorite.

Sean: I get to fuckin’ rock on that one. You know?

Alec: Good answer.

JRBT: Garett what’s your favorite song to play?

Garett: Personally I think my favorite song is, you know, we come up with a lot of covers that are fantastic like Walk Of Life for example. Good groups that don’t neccecarily have anything to do with ska music. But I think that my favorite Tea for the Voyage original to play live would have to be Catch As Catch Can. Cause I rock the hell out and people always surprise me when they say they enjoy that song even though it was one of the first we wrote when we were like teenagers and still to this day people will hear that song and say it’s one of our best and it just boggles my mind.

JRBT: Cool.

Sean: I’m gonna change my answer to one of my new songs I’m writing called Jeff pooply.

JRBT: Good! Good! Alec what would you say is your favorite song to play. Being a guitarist you do get to shred on quite a few tracks.

Alec: I guess my favorite for just rocking the fuck out as a band would be Buttered Chicken because every time we play it there’s always a couple people there who are just like, ‘holy fuck’ and just lose their shit. It’s always good cause the rest of the band, Dave and everybody never play it the same way every time and last time we played it there was fuckin’ 90’s hip-hop break-down in it and it was just good. But for guitar rocking-out I used to play this one on our second album. It was like a cover of Rondo Al Turka by Mozart and I just got to play pretty bad-ass. (The other three break into the song) That. 

JRBT: Here’s a generic blogger type question. If you could lay with any celebrity who would it be and why?

Alec: I guess I would have to say...

JRBT: Don’t say George Clooney, He’s taken. By me.

Alec: I see. I guess if we were just lying on a beach or a dock like this I would say Sean Connery because his voice could put me to sleep like just magic.

JRBT: Sean if you could lay with any celebrity who would it be? And why? And try to make it the most erotic you can.

Alec: Not about Sean Connery either. He’s taken by me.

Sean: Hmmm. I don’t know ask Garett first I’ll think of something.

JRBT: Alright Garett same question. Erotic.

Garett: Clint Eastwood.

JRBT: Why are we picking old men?

Garett: There’s just something about them.

Alec: Silver-foxes.

Garett: Technically I would say Rachel McAdams but, Clint Eastwood.

JRBT: Technically you’d say Rachel McAdams?

Garett: In a jail cell.

Alec: A jail cell?

JRBT: Did you just say you’d have sex with jail bait?

Garett: That was an attempt at a Good The Bad And The Ugly joke.

JRBT: I misheard.

Sean: What about Miley Cirus?

Alec: She is closer to your age, Sean.

Sean: Or Hillary Duff.  

JRBT: Oh god hillary duff. Now THERE is a silver fox.

Alec: She’s not a silver fox.

Sean: Miley Cirus isn’t close to my age?

Alec: She’s 18 though right?

Sean: Yeah but I’m 19.

Alec: Well there you go.

JRBT: But Hillary Duff is a fox.  Zach what famous guy or lady would you like to have sex with?

Zach: Well you know I’d like to answer that question but I’m not a member of the band, so…

JRBT: Yeah but you’re a friend of the band. You’re like a friend of PBS.

Alec: And that’s just as good.

Zach: Yeah well, I like to keep my erotic exploits to myself. You know what I mean?

JRBT: To yourself and your diary.

Zach: Yeah you know for personal reasons I’d rather not divulge that information.

JRBT: Alright well, if you could smooch any celebrity who would it be?

Zach: Ummmm…

JRBT: It’s a simple question.

Sean: Denzel Washington? 

The Elusive Silver Fox 

JRBT: Lets hear your top five musical influences in no particular order.

Alec: The Pogues, Sublime, The Police, Planet Smashers and Don Ross.

Garett: I would say Studio One reggae dub records, old 70's reggae cuts, good funkin’ soul like T.O.P. Tower Of Power and good new wave music from the eighties like The Police, Elvis Costello, all the crazy stuff that was "besides the norm" and I’m gonna go with Sublime. Straight up. They brought me into all the other stuff I listen to.

Sean: Bach, Sublime, Buddy Rich, Reggae Music, Stuart Copeland, David Garibaldi was fuckin’ sweet. Tower Of Power.

JRBT: Would you say that was your favorite concert of all time?

Sean: Well, you know. Skatellites was pretty good too.

JRBT: Garett, favorite concert of all time?

Garett: It’s a tie for me and it’s cliché because we’re a ska reggae band and I go see a lot of stuff but it’s between The Skatellites and The Whalers but I’m probably leaning more towards The Whalers because my favorite bassist of all time happened to be playing with them that tour and it was spectacular.

JRBT: Excellent. Alec, favorite concert or concerts you’ve ever seen?

Alec: Hmmm… I did enjoy both of those shows. They were fantastic. I also did enjoy seeing Catch-22 several years ago when I was rather mangled out of my skull. They were good. I did enjoy, at a younger age seeing Natalie MacMaster and The Mahones. They were a very entertaining band. We played with them last summer and they were very good. They’re still good.

JRBT: Out of all the bands that you have played with, opened for and had open for you, who were your favorites to play with or even just hang out with?

Sean: Team Rocket. When we were in Guelph on a tour we played with a couple bands in a basement where there was toilet water coming down from a crack in their basement, which was nice and Team Rocket came out and they played and they were just these two crazy people.

JRBT: Garett same question.

Garett: Clock Strikes for me..

Alec: Oh yeah

Garett: Because we played with them and they really had a similar integrity and idea of music. The same idea that we have which is really hard to find with other bands because you play with a lot of people who come from a different background or whatever, they don’t listen to the same stuff. Clock Strikes was the same kind of band that even though they play one specific style, we play ska, they play punk and reggae, they were really wicked at being people who listen to anything but that kind of music. They all grew up on punk and we all grew up on ska but right now almost none of us listen to the brand of music we play today. We listen to a lot of rock or classical or anything, just crazy stuff. But yeah they’re really just bad-ass guys who have a wicked mentality and it sucks they broke up.

Alec: Yeah they were probably my favorite dudes to chill with. And they were really, really good to hang out with loud, but good. I do like them, they’re my favorites. 

JRBT: Good. Good. Good.

     Well that was the end of the greatest interview of my life. We then proceeded to pound more beers, watch Independence Day on the tube and drunkenly gawk at how cool Robert Loggia is. I guess we do have a weird thing for old men. 

Check out tracks from Tea's latest album on Myspace!


(cause it's awesome).

And Keep your eyes open for Tea For The Voyage! Exclusive Interview Part Two!  Coming soon!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Year One: A Milestone.

     It's like, when you're in the hospital after hours upon hours of uncertainty and concern weighing down on your chest like a stone. You pace back and forth in waiting room after waiting room. Being shuffled around as swells of patients enter, are treated and leave to other wings. Sometimes you wonder if they're simply moving you around because nobody wants to tell you the truth. No one has the heart to break yours. The white sterile hallways only add to the anxiousness. Complications they say. Complications in child-birth. No father can bear to hear that. After what seems like an eternity in limbo the nurse finally enters and you try your hardest not to scream and yell. You have so many questions. Your hands shake and sweat but she smiles,"Everything is fine." You would drop to your knees and sob right there if not for the inconceivable need to see your new baby daughter. 

     The beauty of her smiling face is beyond any words written by any poet in any book. It's glorious. You finally weep as you see this brand new life. You get to be the one to greet her. To say hello for the very first time. A brand new person in this world that you helped make with your dick. Your big cave-man dick. It actually came through and shot it's pregger juice all up in your lady-friend. You haven't gotten her name yet but you're not going to ask now. That would just ruin this fleeting, beautiful moment that few people will ever get to experience. A moment between father and daughter. 

     The doctor tells you that it's just a little gas but you know she's smiling. She's smiling with you. You name her Dawn. You're so choked up with this little miracle you almost drop her but not completely. Phew! Close one but she's fine. Two miracles in one day. Three if you count the fact that the doctor wasn't looking just then. She's your pretty little miracle girl. Her mother saw but no one is listening to her because she's Russian or doped up or something. You don't know.  Seeing little Dawn and holding her in your arms makes you thank god that five months ago you met her sixteen-year-old mother in that bus depot restroom and in your passion, (passion is one word for it) you laid the first biological steps for the greatest moment of both your lives. Well your life, she won't really remember. You're pretty sure she's really drugged up cause now she's drooling and eating Jell-o. Perfectly awe-inspiring, miracle, blueberry gelatin. 

     Today is the best day of your life. You get to tell everyone that you're not a homosexual because you've made a baby and that's what straight people do. They make babies with their gigantic, erect penises. Now you're holding the proof in your arms. That little adorable proof. Today is the day your father will finally respect you again and you can re-join the rugby team. The best day of your life. Filled with love all around.

     This is how you feel when you see the movie Year One. Words can't describe. Only feelings of immense joy and spiritual satisfaction. Like you've been saved. It's the same feeling of happiness when you can tell all your buddies that you're not a fairy. You're not bent. Happy. 

     Year One. Best. Movie. Ever. Certainly not gay. because that would be really gay.  

"Hold me closer, Tiny Dancer,
Count the headlights on the highway,
Lay me down in sheets of linen,
You had a busy day today." 
- Sir Elton John 

The Bus Depot