Mar 26, 2018

What Do New Coke, KENNA and My Old Band Fingertight Have In Common?

I was bopping around on Youtube last night and my feed suggested video of a guy doing a drum cover of my favorite Kenna song.  You probably dont know who Kenna is and this post is sort of the whole explanation of why that is.  In the related videos was a lecture by Malcolm Gladwell titled "The KENNA problem" and since I'm a fan of Malcolm's podcast Revisionist History and it was about Kenna, of course I clicked it.  It's  kind of a long video of a guy with a weird afro giving a lecture in 2003 but if you take a few minutes to watch it explains why my band Fingertight and I'm sure countless other cool bands and artists never went any further than they did.   Furthermore, if you didn't know me or my blog you would probably have never heard of my old band either... and for the same reasons you've never heard of Kenna.   This video talks about what happened.  What Gladwell describes happening to Kenna happened to my band. 



I remember seeing the Kenna video he mentions on MTV2 while we were recording the demo that got us our record deal. We all fell in love with it and kept trying to find out more about this mysterious artist known only as Kenna. We didnt know if it was a guy or a band. The video was a very cool animated short film that seemed to fit the song perfectly.  Even with some of the industry connections we had at the time, we couldn't  find anything because he never got a deal or never made a record.  After we were signed to Sony music/Columbia Records we did a showcase with the other artists on Sony at the time they were getting ready to release. as it turns out Fingertight and Kenna just so happened to be on the same label at the same time and to our surprise one of the other artists performing that night was Kenna.  It was insane to us that this guy with such an awesome song and a video on MTV2 was essentially at the same level as us a whole year and a half later.  As history would show, both our record and the amazing Kenna record never made it commercially.  We never got the mainstream push we'd expected after all the praise from within the industry. One story I've told before was how we literally had the DJ's and staff of several radio stations loving us. They wore our t-shirts. They would all go to our shows in their respective cities only to find out that we they cant play us on their stations because we did not pass the stupid blind taste test, the market testing Malcolm talks about in this Youtube video. That is why we never got the official push to national radio playlists. It was very frustrating. I never really understood fully why our song seemed to fizzle out after such admiration from people who's job it is to judge what music is good or not but this pretty much explains it.  Just like Coka cola, people were only give a sip of Kenna and my old band.  What Kenna and Fingertight had is common was that we were both hard to classify in a nice little box.   We wanted to be diverse and unique. We saw that as a strength but in a plastic instant gratification world, it ended up being our's and Kenna's downfall.  With just a quick sip no one was ever allowed to appreciate the full complexities of our music.  

Mar 7, 2018

Valerian and the Movie of a Thousand Minutes.

...You'll never get back.

Back with you again with another movie review for a movie that's been out for a while.  I remember seeing the trailer and thinking "wow this looks crazy I gotta go see it" and then never went to see it.  Finally the other night I got around to watching Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. I gotta say, it was pretty entertaining but I don't have to tell you this movie, according to the critics, kind of sucks.  All the reviews are in and they're mostly worse than the makers of this thing hoped.  Some people were into it I guess. I mean, like I eluded to before, it wasn't totally garbage but I did have some problems with it...because of course I do.
She's right there front and center on the poster. 

First of all it was just waaay too long. 2:17 is insane. Felt like 3 hours and I was just on my couch, not trapped in a movie theater with morons. Another problem was the computer generated Pearl people. Right after the space station montage were taken to the planet Mul (Mule) and are introduced to this alien race all happy and gallivanting in their C.G.I. paradise. 10 seconds in I was like "Aaaannnnd now were watching a cartoon" Over it hollywood. The next issue I had was the completely out of place and pointless Rihanna video jammed into the film. It was totally stupid and took away from the movie as a whole. We get it she's a shape-shifter but cutting this whole sequence could have brought the movie under 2 hours. One last thing that specifically bugged me was the aliens that were "fishing" for what.. people? In a place where none of them were supposed to be in a forbidden red-zone and a whole cave city with a cartoonish sign reading "NO HUMANS" or whatever. Oh which by the way is 10 feet from the entrance to a whole city center where hella people are. Again, stupid and not believable. This whole diversion from the main plot could have been removed too. Now that I'm remembering this movie more I also had issue with the 20th century school busses 600 years into the future on some far away alien world was a little ridiculous. –Unless they were built specifically to make Earth tourists feel nostalgic –or the school bus design just hasn't changed in 1000 years. (because they've kind of looked the same since the 50's if you really think about it) Other than those things and the ending being somewhat predictable I enjoyed it as a not-too-serious sci-fi adventure. It was a fun look at the future and it was neat to see all the different aliens and stuff. Although I think it could have gone even more towards a 5th Element vibe and gotten away with it. I think it would have worked better. I didn't even hate the 3 little shyster Doghan Daguis guys.



Feb 27, 2018

McDrivethru Misadventures

I pull into the drive thru and order a number 7 and a sausage mcmuffin (don't judge). I see my order on the screen is way wrong, and while he's asking me if it looks correct he exits out of the screen and starts telling me to pull forward. I was like no, that's not correct. I saw that my order was like $18 and I saw that he charged me for 2 number seven meals. I corrected him and pulled forward. I get there and he's got another employee helping him change the order.  'ok sorry, that will be $16...'  then I was like no it was just one meal and a mcmuffin. He says sorry and calls his coworker over again. They push some buttons. The window opens up and he says "OK sorry, that will be $14...."  I'm like "for a number 7 and a mcmuffin?" he repeats the order 'that was 2 number 7 meals and a....' I cut him off "no! Just ONE meal and a mcmuffin" he gets help yet again and finally he gets it right.

What the hell was he changing each time? Just take off one of the meals.  This is not the first time I've had drive thru workers think that I wanted two of something I'm ordering. Am I mumbling? I try to speak clearly at these things. I don't get it. I try to avoid drive thrus as much as possible.


Feb 6, 2018

The Cloverfield Paradox, Paradox.

There will be SPOILERS.. but I dont know if you can spoil this turd. 

I think the only reason I was excited about the original Cloverfield movie is because I was still in full-on LOST obsession mode at that time.  Obsessing over the Slusho website and looking for easter eggs and JJ Abrams clues to the LOST universe.  Being honest after the Lost hangover Cloverfield was a shitty found-footage movie with no actual story. It's just people running around scared and shit blowing up with an allusion to some kind of monster that's from somewhere.  Nothing is explained. Go figure.  

Then years and years later this movie 10 Cloverfield Lane comes out.  Mild residual Lost tingles drew me to this one.  It was actually a pretty good psychological thriller. John Goodman does a great job.  But it didnt have to be part of Cloverfield to be good.  If anything it brings it down to the level of the first movie.  It doesnt help explaining the questions from the first movie in any way either... or if it does it didnt matter and no one cared. 



Now with the help of the Superbowl this new movie Cloverfield Paradox comes out of nowhere straight to Netflix.  Of course I watched it hoping for some kind of conclusion to the mysteries from the previous movies and at the very least a decent space movie.  I kinda got neither.  This movie is like Event Horizon with no scary parts and no clear narrative on why the crazy shit is happening.   For example in Event Horizon you know that there is a sentient evil that's taking the crew's fears and manifesting them to torture them.  You understand that the ship opened a gateway to hell and that's the reason for these experiences that happen.  In Paradox it's clear that they merged with another universe and the stupid impossible science doesnt even matter.   Jensen being there is about the only thing that makes sense.  The worms inside dude (the worms period really), the whole arm thing, the water suddenly filling the airlock, the magnetic wall... the friggin monster that is the namesake of this entire supposed series' existence has no logical reason for being on Earth.  If they had said firing the energy cannon could cause random fluctuations into different universes then maybe.  But there were incidents that clearly seemed like they happened to specifically prevent the crew from their plan to start the cannon again to course-correct so to speak.  Was the ship alive and aware of their plans and was actively trying to stop them?  Because that is how it felt. And didnt make any fucking sense.  That Chris O'Dowd guy is in it too. Who's a comedy actor and his parts are comedy but this isn't a comedy which adds to the shittiness and overall lack of believability.


What the fuck was the point of the weird plot line with the husband and the little girl?  This felt like a side story crammed into the main story just as a way to show an underground bunker like in part 2 of this trilogy.  If it felt like they tacked the Cloverfield name on a movie that was already written, it's because it was.  I read an article that says exactly that.  And with Paradox it was so haphazard and shitty that they pulled a Superbowl Surprise so there would be no bad reviews before it was released. 
I really wanted this to be good.  It had the potential to be. It's an interesting idea but they fucked it up.

Dont watch this. 



Jan 26, 2018

I Hereby Welcome Our Robot Overlords


There's been a lot of talk recently about robots and machines taking away jobs from humans.  And as Artificial Intelligence gets better and better, it's threatening even more occupations people depend on.   I feel like it's headed in one or two directions. And where else do you look if you want to get a sense of what's coming?  Science fiction of course.  


Much of science fiction is set in the future and a good portion of future-set sci-fi is essentially a future where  humans are advanced and exploring space. A new chapter void of currency. It's a time where computers and robots do all of the menial labor.  With the concept that "the machines do the work so you have more time to enjoy life" seems like utopia. But this only makes sense if the people who used to do the work are taken care of. This is a very socialist idea that directly conflicts with capitalist business models of today.  Yet, this seems to end up being the answer for many very intelligent sci-fi writers for the past century.




 The latter imagined fate for humanity is usually the dystopian future where ego and/or greed has ruined everything.  

There is a third consequence that pops up in future-based sci-fi that could end up happening even if we go the route of letting droids flip burgers that needs to be discussed here. When the burger flipping robots realize they're better off making other robots to flip the burgers. This is of course The Matrix scenario for our fate. Where we just become flesh batteries for the new race of self-aware A.I. machines.  The other future where everyone is happy and taken care of sounds nice to me.... as long as the robots don’t wise-up which is why we need to be very careful about A.I.  

Ultimately getting to this point will definitely be a struggle but I feel like if we don't start thinking this way, we're going to end up in the Thunder Dome sooner than we'd like.  I'd rather be in the Holodeck having adventures. The real option to avoid all of this is to stop being greedy ego-maniac assholes. This will really solve a lot of our problems and ensure a better future.   

Dec 4, 2017

Cooking with Kirk. Holiday Eggnog Waffles Edition.

Oprah. Loves. Bread...  and I love waffles!  ...and eggnog!

Ok, first of all, let me start with whole my deal with waffles.  At some point in history it was decided that all waffles at restaurants and all retail-sold waffle makers would be of the thick, bready, Belgian waffle variety. A sub-par choice compared to the thinner more traditional flat, round and crispy waffle. It's like the thinner superior waffles ended up being the BetaMax of waffles and Belgian, the inferior VHS.  And whenever you see waffles on the menu, with a very few exceptions its really waffle–singular.  One fucking thick, stupid waffle for $7.00.  And if it's part of a breakfast combo, as it is with pancakes or french toast, they charge $12.00 and there's no potatoes or toast.  Pancake/French-toast/Waffle is NOT a substitution for toast.  Toast is how you eat your over-easy eggs.  So when I do order an extra side of toast don't bring my food,  say "your toast will be right up" and then NEVER COME BACK.  I cant eat my eggs without the toast lady.  I can't be alone on this?  


Knowing my passion for waffles my lovely Girlfriend got me a traditional thin waffle iron.  I've been using it and experimenting with recipes ever since.  I've got a pretty decent recipe down but every once in a while I mess around and try new things.  Since it's the holidays and we have a fresh 1/2 gallon carton of eggnog  in the fridge I decided to use it to make waffles.  Eggnog, like waffles is one of my favorite things in the whole world.  

 I hate that you can only get it during this time of the year.   One time on summer break from high school some friends and I were all talking about how we all loved eggnog and then were all like "dude why cant you get eggnog at any other time other than Christmas time?"  So we found a recipe in an old cookbook and made it. I thought It was kinda eggy but my drinkin' friends put half a bottle of Moe's stepdad's whiskey in it and decided it was the best eggnog they'd ever had.   I've heard some places have Easter Eggnog in the Springtime.  I have not yet seen this with mine own eyes.

Homer has the right idea here. Stockpile the stuff! 

Back to the waffles.  I basically just subbed out the milk for eggnog and added some nutmeg and a little cinnamon for that holiday spice.   I topped them with real maple syrup and a little slice of cranberry sauce.  Hella good!  

Here's my secret recipe:

DISCLAIMER: 
I make this without any measuring cups or spoons every time so I'm not really sure of the exact amounts of shit.

Start with more than a cup of flour. Not quite 2 cups. 

About a tablespoon and half of sugar. Like a palm full. 

About 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder. (not soda) 

A couple shakes of nutmeg and cinnamon. (this is to boost the eggnog flavor. I usually don't add this)

Kinda whisk that together.  

Just one egg.  (I've seen recipes that beat the whites separately until thick then fold them in but fuck that shit. Seems like too much work for a damn waffle. We're not changing a tire on the star track millennium enterprise here) 

Like...  a tablespoon veg oil.  I just eyeball it and pour it in. 
I've started experimenting with adding more oil and about some corn starch but I didn't for this.

Eggnog.  I usually use milk, sometimes if I'm out of milk, I've used water or sour cream or cool whip or vanilla ice cream...Ive even mixed up powdered coffee creamer into some hot water and used that but this time of course, I used straight up eggnog. 
– I pour and mix, and pour and mix until its about the thickness of waffle batter. 


I usually add about half a cap of vanilla extract but I didn't this time because of the nog. 

–Mix until mixed.

Makes about 4 waffles.  FYI: As I mentioned before I have a proper, thin waffle maker. Not a stupid thick belgian waffle maker. Amount of waffles may vary. 

TIP: I've seen people suggest having the oven on low, and put them in the oven as you're making them so they aren't soggy when
you're done with the batch.  I don't do this because if I dont eat them one at a time while I'm cooking them, I'll just throw them in a freezer bag for later.   Just pop them in the toaster like Eggos.  But home-made fucking rad Eggos. 



 Ok nerds, that's it.  Nog and Waffle and waffle and nog until your colon falls out!  Marry Chrustmus.



Nov 29, 2017

A PSA About How To Drive Properly

Back in 2010 I read an article about lawmakers in Colorado passing a law called the "Left Lane Law" to get people to stop driving in the passing lane. Before it went into effect the police were pulling people over to tell them about the law, and most of the people they talked to said they were driving in the passing lane in order to slow down traffic. The cops were like, "uh, not your job asshole.”  This is still a big problem in California and I’m sure bad in other places as well. 

Highway 80 through Berkeley.  SUCKS!

I can say confidently that I'm an experienced commute driver. Having traversed one of the top 5 worst commutes in the country for a large portion of my adult life. I have seen first-hand on a near daily basis how this  type of driving creates more traffic and accidents. It is stupid and unsafe.  When people say, as the CO. police said, that they do it on purpose to control the speed of traffic… this one of my biggest pet peeves and I've literally argued with people on the internet over.  These assholes  think they're doing the world a service by intentionally impeding traffic.  "I'm going the speed limit and they should too"  Said with the furious footdownedness of a coupon cutting soccer mom.

In heavy commutes its pretty cut-throat and if you're in the left lane, you should be going as fast as possible. That's just how it is. If you're going 80 someone will be trying to go 85 behind you. Get over if you can, you not always can.. but... if it's 4:00 on a tuesday and you're lollygagging at 65 in the left lane, or worse trying to prove a point people will tailgate you and try to pass you on the right and get angry. This is unsafe, creates congestion and back-ups. it's a chain reaction. 

Here is a really good article breaking down how different states handle the left lane and the impact hanging out there in the way can have.  digitaltrends.com/cars/left-lane-driving-discipline

Another thing that pisses me off is scared drivers. If you get freaked out by traffic or high speeds you need not have a driver's license. When people wont pass a semi truck or bus, or when people drive 100 miles slower in a tunnel. Or people who cant figure out how to merge onto the highway. Or people who hesitate to change lanes. Don’t even get me started on parking lots. 

In most places (like where I live in Humboldt) this will never really factor in, but in a major commute area or in a large city this shit doesn’t fly. Put your grown-up pants on or call an Uber. If you are scared of driving, please don’t for everyone's sake. 

If you're a scared driver, just google "scared drivers" and see a list of great articles and videos geared to help people like you figure your shit out.  

Also this time of year many people who rarely drive in stressful situation, or at all, are out there shopping and traveling and parking. Be aware of idiot inexperienced scared stupid shit-head drivers from Halloween to New Year's Eve. Speaking of New Year's Eve, watch out for drunkies this time of year as well.  Just don't drink and drive. or just be like me and don't drink. 


This has been you Kirknoggins Public Service Announcement.



Nov 9, 2017

The Dot Com Era Has Ended

Sorry folks if you didnt notice already, I let www.kirknoggins.com domain expire.  Not that any of you had it bookmarked or even knew it was a dot com.  It was just one more thing to pay for that I felt like I didnt need.  So if you're bookmarking or using a shortcut, remap it back to kirknoggins.blogspot.com just like the good ol' days. 


Also...fancy new header image.  

PYMHM lite: I Invented Twitter.

Yup, that's what I said. 

Twitter is in the news literally on a daily basis now and it got me thinking about something I did way back in 2006. It was a year after finally ditching Myspace blogs and creating the 'Noggins on blogger.com.  After picking up steam jotting down my nonsense stories and reviews about things I felt like I needed a way to post shorter stupid quick thoughts I had.  A mini-blog of sorts so that I didn't have to create a whole new blog post just for a short number of words.  I got some help form Jimbo and built the code within the confines of Blogger and put it in the side bar.  I called it the Mininoggins.  It didnt last very long because it was essentially a second blogger account I'd have to access to post and check on.  I thought of it though... sharing thoughts in a limited amount of text.  In the years after I ditched it, Twitter has become a media juggernaut.  It's even the chosen platform of our Cheeto-in-Chief to address the nation. 

But just know, it was my idea.  I haven't seen one crumb of acknowledgment or royalty from it.

Here's a screenshot of the original noggin from 2010.  Pardon the crude language and mention of Google Buzz.   Google Buzz was an early Google attempt at social media.  It ended up being what we know now as Google Plus.

See the mininoggins.  click here.

Oct 25, 2017

A Poignant PYMHM RE: The Shallow Entertainment Industry

All of the press about Harvey Weinstein lately and the #MeToo social media campaign got me thinking of a post I did 10 years ago that highlights some of this same attitude that was, had been for a long time, and still is prevalent in not only the entertainment business but all aspects of society.  I wrote about a friend who had just gotten a blast of ugly reality from a supposed music industry big-wig.  So here's this Post You Might Have Missed from the early days of the Kirknoggins way back in  2007. 

 I mention my now defunct but still existing Music Industry rant blog called BOYCOTT THE MUSIC INDUSTRY.  I was still pretty bitter about my then band Fingertight's short-lived success and all the crap I saw first hand when being on the inside of the machine. There's still some good stuff there if you feel like checking it out. 

"you must be EXTREMELY attractive" 

Originally published: Jul 11, 2007


One of the ugliest men in show business sang the lyrics "What would you do if i sang out of tune, would you stand up and walk out on me?" Back then? Maybe.  People had a much higher standard of music. Now days it wouldn't matter because to have a popular song, he'd already be good enough looking and have such rad dance moves that his lyrics and voice wouldn't matter. On top of that he'd be lip syncing or singing under prerecorded backing vocal tracks.

My point is, today, vocal, instrumental and lyrical talent doesn't matter. Is all about the image. The pre-packaged product.

The reason I bring this up is because a friend of mine was looking to start an all-female rock band and posted an ad online. In my Boycott The Music Industry blog I posted one of the responses from a guy from an "Established L.A. based entertainment company" . It encapsulates one of the things that are very wrong with music industry today.

After he name drops a handfull of major networks, film companies and magazines, (of course no record companies. After all this was an ad for a musical group right?) He then proceeds to ooze slime with every keystroke. Here are some excerpts;
  • "The only pre-requisite is that you must be EXTREMELY attractive, a beautiful face and Magnificent body, as this is the current wave in all areas of the entertainment industry." He carefully follows this statement with assurance to her that this isn't for any X-rated or Adult work. Also note that none of the 'pre-requisites' are musical ability.
  • "If you are a female actress, model, vocalist, musician, or dancer, and you feel you meet our pre-requisite and standards, and you are interested, please e-mail Photos (at least one head shot and one body shot, although a few of each would be preferred)" Is there a casting couch involved?
  • the fact is that business is business, and there is a reason why there are no new Aretha Franklins and Mellissa Ethridges bursting on to the scene. Even people that talented would not get record deals today, but there are many young ladies with a fraction of Aretha's voice, signing multi-million dollar deals, because of their face and body. And because you're a fucking douche bag perpetuating this kind of attitude in the music industry.
  • I cannot change society, or what the masses at large want, the reason labels look for beauty, is because it sells, and it sells because that is what people want.
Who else wants to punch this guy in the throat? What is the most fucked up is that he's right. This is the sad state of the music industry. It may not 100% reflect what the masses want tho. But even if that is what the masses want... the masses are stupid by design. They've been conditioned. if you don't give them a choice of real talent they will pick the good looking hack.


Look back to the 70's ... Real song writers with great songs making hits that become classics. Many of them were UGLY by today's standards! But it didn't matter. it was good music by talented people.

The industry is insulting us by giving us vacuous celebrity with nothing to offer but eye candy thinking thats all we will accept. There's room for heart throbs but don't confuse pretty faces with talented artists.

Douche bags like this need to be stabbed in the crotch by robot scorpions.