Oct 23, 2014

Primus's Chocolate Factory

Primus has a new record!  Primus and the Chocolate Factory With the Fungi Ensemble.  

I was excited when I saw this announced.  But apprehensive, because the last several albums from this group have been somewhat of a let down.   I guess I've been waiting 20 years for Seas of Cheese part two and have been starting to realize that its probably never going to happen.  Then I found out that it was a studio version of their New Year's Eve 2013 show at The Fox Theater in Oakland. A  cover album of the 1971 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie soundtrack.   Now I'm really on the fence. I didnt go to that show or hear anything about it.  It's classic songs from a classic movie that Tim Burton already fucked up once.  Now let's see what Primus can do with these songs.  But this isn't 1990's Primus, well, it is if you consider that it's the same lineup reunited... but it's coming from a Primus whose recent stuff has been lackluster.  So here we go...

While this is unmistakably Primusesqe, this could have easily been called Les Claypool and the Fungi Ensemble because to me it doesn't feel like the band Primus.   If you want to call it Primus I'd say it's done in the style of all of my least favorite Primus songs.  I fell asleep both times trying to listen to it.  The songs are classic but this reimagining does little justice to the originals. Same could be said about  the buildup of it being the classic Primus lineup of Les and Larry rejoining with Herb. Like I said before it feels like a Les Claypool side project. 

Every other song is the same Oompa Loompa song with different lyrics.  It never peaks with something incredible or unexpected. The whole thing is the same repetitive drone with Claypool talk singing very well known lyrics but with less of the melody were all used to. Tim's drumming, a staple in the Primus sound that made them famous, and a big part of the promotion, is almost non-existent in this record.  

What I see here is a lot of hype and promotional extras such as Wonka themed everything,  hidden golden tickets and candy bars for what is essentially a mediocre, boring cover album. I'm hoping to see what these three do after spending some time writing together again. (If they even do that) But I'm not getting my hopes up.  

"Primus Sucks" is getting less and less sarcastic. 

Oct 11, 2014

PYMHM The Almost Dead Hooker Story.

Post You Might Have Missed from Aug 23, 2007

In a conversation about gross jobs, Dog Groomer came up. Only because you have to "express" dogs anal glands. My dog was having problems back there and the vet suggested I try to do it myself. Armed with rubber gloves and a roll of paper towels I went for it. I won’t go into the details but it was one of the most disturbing moments in my life. Definitely a top five. That got me thinking about what would be on my top 5 most disturbing moments. It’s tough because I don’t gross out that easily. But strangely, ketchup and bleeding open wounds gross me out to no end. One thing for sure that makes the list is my almost dead hooker incident.

I've told the story quite a few times but there’s no better place than here to put it down in sans serif for all of you to read.

The Almost Dead Hooker - by Kirk Shelton.
Based on true events.

When my band was on tour we saw many things and met many people. There were a small group of people we would travel with and get to know throughout the tour. Band members, tour managers, techs, roadies, etc. One of the types of people you never really talk to or get to know are the truck drivers. If you’re on a bigger tour the headliners have a full 18 wheeler truck that they cart around their equipment, stage, lighting and everything else you get when you have a real tour budget. Mudvayne was nominated for a Grammy, they were one of those bands.

We first became aware of Mudvaynes truck driver in Allentown PA. The venue’s loading dock was down a side alley and we were pretty impressed with the skill it took to get that huge trailer down in there. We saw him kind of wipe the sweat from his brow as he hopped out of the cab.  He looked at us with a face of pride and relief. We looked back and gave him a thumbs up to his good driving skills. We said something like "damn man good job, I don’t think I could get my car in that spot" All the while thinking to ourselves that he probably does stuff like that all the time and it was probably not that big of a deal to him. Later as we started moving our gear into the club we began to have loading issues of our own. This place was the most unorganized club we'd ever played. load on was a pain in the ass, and loading off down roped off corridors, down stairs and through a sea of sweaty, drunk, self-riotous Mudvayne fans wasn’t a walk in the park either.

As we finally settle down and cool off from being so frustrated at the loading situation we see the truck driver walking away from his truck with a duffel bag. Before our encounter earlier we wouldn’t have noticed but now we kinda knew this dude. He told us he was off the tour and going to work for some other better paying tour. Well that sucks, we all thought to ourselves. Right about then a new driver gets dropped off by a taxi and starts to check over the truck. We walk over to him and make a point to casually introduce ourselves since we had just gained a new respect for truckers. He had a little rougher, unshaven, leathery, unkempt appearance than the last guy but what the hell, he was a trucker. That’s how truckers are supposed to look right?  He hopped into the cab and after he gets settled he starts to pull out of the alley to get on the road for the next stop on the tour. As he pulled out we started to hear this loud scraping tearing metal sound and suddenly our images of seemingly magical skilled masters of the fine art of maneuvering 70 feet of steel and rubber were fading like this new driver’s blurry, blue prison tattoos. As if he didn’t hear what we were hearing he kept pulling forward. We went around to look and we saw his truck inch by inch ripping the steel framed canvas awning from the front of the club right out of the concrete wall. He finally realized what it was and stopped. Not before there was hunks of stucco and painted plaster coating the sidewalk and the hood of his semi. Welcome to the tour!

This is the guy who Mudvayne is depending on to get their gear from town to town!? 

Jump a week, five towns and five shows later. We had just played El Paso, Texas which borders Juarez, Mexico. A big group of guys from the other bands and crew went over to Juarez. Juarez is where members of another band we had toured with went and came back with tales of the "Farmacia", pain medication abuse and drunken gun shooting. ahh México es bueno. So now we’re further east of El Paso, playing a show in another border town. McAllen Texas, which is pretty much Mexico. English was the second language there. For some reason, as I was hanging out at the merch table, explaining to the Mexicans that we can’t accept Pesos for T-shirts, I start having a conversation with the crazy truck driver who now had been with us for a week without incident. Half paying attention to him as he just keeps rambling on about stuff he mentions that he just got out of prison like 5 years prior. He tells me how he used to run meth and cocaine for the Hells Angels in the 80's and got busted. At this point I realize this dude is totally out of his mind, but being naive like I was I gave him the benefit of the doubt and didn’t fully give up on this guy. There had to be something good and noble left in him. After all he had a pretty decent trucking gig for a pretty big band. Right?


A couple days later we find ourselves in Las Vegas. The buzz was hot in the air about Mudvayne heading south to Mexico to play some huge rock festival. But the tour is coming to an end. One more show in LA and we head home, Mudvayne to Mexico. We got to Vegas early and while Mudvayne had a ton of gear to set up we were just waiting around. Hanging out backstage and in the loading dock with the other band and some of the crew. It was early afternoon, which was practically morning for us. We were comparing how sleeping is tough on the road. V-Shape Mind, the other band on the tour, was still in a van and got hotel rooms. We were in a tour bus but it was a pretty crappy tour bus with little to no amenities, while Mudvayne and their crew had new top of the line Prevost busses with DVD players and stuff in each bunk. At this point crazy trucker jumps in on the conversation and says "you have trouble sleepin? ‘cuz I got some pills for that when we were south of the border" I tried to end the conversation and said "no I sleep pretty good.. Sometimes I oversleep" then he quickly countered excitedly, "well, I got pills for that too!!  Wake you right up!" I’m thinking this guy is a complete nut, but again, rolling with it. He overheard us talking about the cool stuff Mudvayne has in their bus and says "hey you should see what I got in my cab". I was curious and interested since I’d never really been in a real big rig before.  So I followed him to the front of his truck which was backed into the loading zone. I didn’t realize it at the time but I was the only one to follow him. The group of dudes I was talking with seemed to conveniently disappear.

"Hop on up" he kind of chokes out with a voice reminiscent of a pack of Camel Non-Filters. I climb up and sit in the well weathered driver seat. I bask briefly thinking it was kind of cool sitting up there. Then he says to take a look. I look around in front of me and to the passenger seat and don’t see anything unusual. Just another worn out seat and a slightly more complicated dashboard than I’m used too. But nothing I didn’t expect. I look at him like "what am I supposed to be seeing here?"

He then points behind me toward his sleeper cab. "oh yea, his bunk" I looked around at eye level for some kind of cool TV or video game set up. Seeing nothing I was about to look back at him ... then I saw it.

As my eyes moved down, to about the level of my knees. With only the dim daylight shining through the windshield into the unlit sleeper cab, behind the driver seat, on a shitty foam mattress the width of the cab, I saw a woman. She was completely nude laying on her back half covered at the waist by a dirty blanket. She had the physique of a holocaust victim. Very emaciated and greyish. It might have been the lighting but she looked like a dead body you’d see on CSI. As I take in all of these observations all within a few glances I realize she isn’t moving. Instantly I freak and think "oh my god she is dead!!!! This guy has a dead hooker in his truck oh my god, holy shit!!!" I think I even squeaked out a little girl scream. Then as I'm about to jump and run as fast as I can, she moves. Slightly like when you’re about to gasp for air. She doesn’t wake up but inhales quickly. Her whole body shudders violently, yet still unconscious she gasps for air in a breathy, but fast 'eeeghhhhh' then a second later she does it again.

I think to myself. “What the holy hell am I looking at? What the fuck?” Then I exclaim to the truck driver out loud "What the fuck man?!!" as I stare in shock and awe. He then replies... "You can have her man, go for it, she aint gonna wake up for a good 2 or 3 hours...."  Back into my inner monologue “Holy shit this is a hooker?” Instantly visions of all those truck stop prostitutes stumbling between semis I’d seen while on tour for the past year and a half surfaced in my memory. He continues "...yea, she won’t wake up, I gave her some of those pills I got in Mexico. You can do whatever you want to her and she won’t wake up"

UGH........completely disgusted, freaked out and slightly frightened I slunk out of the seat while saying as politely as I could “uhh no thanks man I'm cool" then once on pavement I walked as fast as I could back to the stage door. I saw the group I had been talking to before and said "dude that guy is fucked, he has an almost dead hooker passed out in his cab!" then I gave a brief recount of what had just happened.

They all laughed jokingly asking "so how was she?" laughing more as they said "why do you think we didn’t go over there, that dude is fucking nasty man" Thanks for the warning assholes.

I don’t think I’ve been the same ever since.

Oct 1, 2014

I'm In a Band

Some of you know I play rock n roll drums.  Here's my punk rock band. 

were called Dead Drift.

We're playing tonight