Monday, June 25, 2012

#571: Etc.....

Got bored with the CD's I had at work, so reverted back 2 cassette tapes again over the past week. I have a WAY wider selection of music on tape, & way more weird stuff -- but ended up playing mostly the same tried&true rock&roll oldies I've bn playing over the past year Bcos they've proven 2 B the best motivational stuff. No point doing a playlist, Bcos they're all items I've listed B4.
Think I might B in a bit of a rut, musically, & I'll B working on that. Got a stack of new-2-me CD's I haven't gotten 2, + some vinyl I haven't played yet....
Think I've DEFINITELY gotten in2 a rut here at the Back-Up Plan -- same thing happened last yr & 2 yrs ago. Always seem 2 back off a bit during the summer.
This time, tho, things R a little diffrent. I've already slowed down. Back in the winter I had ideas 4 posts all the time -- I was posting something about every day & 1/2 (take a look). But now the ideas R not popping in2 my head like they were then. & tho there's lots I'd still like 2 write about, I don't wanna get 2 the point where it's like I'm repeating myself. Might B there already....
So. I'm gonna slow down a little. But I want the dozen or so of you Regular Readers out there 2 know, I'M NOT STOPPING. I can't see NE reason I would ever stop doing this until the time comes when I can't breathe or type. & Ghod bless you all 4 reading this stuff.
But I am gonna try 2 think of some new approaches 2 freshen it up a little around here....
I still havta report on Max Barry's JENNIFER GOVERNMENT, whenever I get finished with it. It IS funny & fast-paced & worth your time if you're in2 screwball comedy or satire.
I also grabbed a copy of Mick Brown's bio on Virgin head Richard Branson, THE INSIDE STORY, so I can learn more about the early days of Virgin Records -- that would B the Mike Oldfield/Gong/Hatfield and the North/Henry Cow period, up thru Branson's adventures with the Sex Pistols. But way B4 Paula Abdul & the Rolling Stones joined the label. I'll have a report on that, 2.
Have some other things cookin, but haven't bn listening 2 much music lately outside of work, & that's bn the Same Old Stuff. But something will always nudge me enuf 2 write about it here -- something I've heard or that I'm reading, or something will push me in2 some nostalgia trip that I'll post here. (Was thinking 2nite at work -- Is Ringo's best drumming EVER on "Ticket to Ride" & "No Reply"?) I have Newspaper stuff & Air Force stuff I wanna write about & haven't gotten 2 yet, 1nce I figure out how 2 get a handle on it.... & I'm supposed 2 have a week's vacation coming up here sometime soon....
Anyway. MayB it's cos of vacation time coming up, or Bcos the weather here has run the gamut from monsoons 2 mugginess (but not hot), & my allergies have bn kickin my ass 4 the last week.... Anyway, things will probly B a little slower here. But hopefully better. Not the Same Old Stuff. More laffs.
Hope you'll check back....

Saturday, June 16, 2012

#570: Latest playlist....

Hadta back-off on the music 4 awhile at work -- loud noise was getting in the way of R customers' ability to yell at us about our boss's odd new Cash vs. Credit/Debit pay system. Some nites (the worst 1's) I hardly got NE music played at all.
But some handy homemade CASH and CREDIT/DEBIT signs have brot the complaints down 2 a dull roar (along with the dropping price of gas), so I am again cranking the music up, doing my part 4 off-the-wall rock&roll. The latest work-time playlist follows:

Weather Report -- Badia/Boogie Woogie Waltz (live).
Sparks -- Eaten by the Monster of Love.
Keane -- Somewhere Only We Know, This is the Last Time, Bend and Break, Your Eyes Open.
Badfinger -- In the Meantime/Some Other Time, Meanwhile Back at the Ranch/Should I Smoke?, No Matter What, Baby Blue, The Name of the Game, Rock of All Ages.
Fleetwood Mac -- Monday Morning (studio), You Make Loving Fun, Silver Springs, Over My Head, Sara, Love in Store, Tusk, Landslide, The Chain, Gypsy, Go Insane (live), Gold Dust Woman, World Turning, Everywhere, Sisters of the Moon, Paper Doll, Say You Will, Peacekeeper, Murrow Turning Over in His Grave.
Bread -- Look What You've Done, Why Do You Keep Me Waiting?, It Don't Matter to Me, Let Your Love Go, Too Much Love, He's a Good Lad, Take Comfort, Truckin', Mother Freedom, Down on My Knees, Everything I Own.
Sly -- Thank You etc., I Wanna Take You Higher, Dance to the Music, Everyday People.
Madness -- One Step Beyond, Embarrassment, Our House.
Left Banke -- She May Call You Up Tonight.
Kansas -- What's On My Mind, Miracles Out of Nowhere, Questions of My Childhood.
Doobie Brothers -- Neal's Fandango, Take Me in Your Arms.
Pete Townshend -- Rough Boys, Give Blood, Jools and Jim, My Baby Gives it Away, Misunderstood, A Little is Enough, Now and Then, Slit Skirts, Empty Glass.
Nektar -- Fidgety Queen.
Rush -- Force Ten, Time Stand Still.
The Jam -- Strange Town, Eton Rifles, That's Entertainment, Funeral Pyre.
Jethro Tull -- Teacher, Skating Away on the Thin Ice of the New Day.
The Wackers -- I Hardly Know Her Name.
Buffalo Springfield -- Mr. Soul, Bluebird, On the Way Home, Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing, Rock and Roll Woman, Go and Say Goodbye.
Rolling Stones -- Street Fighting Man, Tumbling Dice, Happy.
Lovin' Spoonful -- Do You Believe in Magic?, You Didn't Have to be So Nice, Summer in the City, Darling be Home Soon.
Caravan -- Memory Lain/Hugh/Headloss, Be All Right, A Hunting We Shall Go....
Five Man Electrical Band -- Signs, Absolutely Right.
Florence + The Machine -- Shake it Out.
Mamas and the Papas -- California Dreamin', Dedicated to the One I Love, 12:30, Creeque Alley.
Modern English -- I Melt With You, After the Snow, Carry Me Down, Tables Turning, Someone's Calling.
Bangles -- Hero Takes a Fall, Going Down to Liverpool, Manic Monday, If She Knew What She Wants, Walk Like an Egyptian, Walking Down Your Street, Following, Hazy Shade of Winter, Be With You, I'll Set You Free (remix), Everything I Wanted, Where Were You When I Needed You?
Tommy James and the Shondells -- I Think We're Alone Now, Mirage, Baby Baby I Can't Take it No More, Mony Mony, Sweet Cherry Wine, Ball of Fire.
Cars -- Bye Bye Love, Moving in Stereo, All Mixed Up, Dangerous Type.
Church -- Reptile.
Elton John -- Teacher I Need You, Elderberry Wine, Have Mercy on the Criminal.
Vertical Horizon -- Everything You Want.
INXS -- What You Need, New Sensation, The One Thing, Disappear, Mystify, This Time, The Gift, Bitter Tears, Don't Change.

All this is in addition 2 the usual Phil Spector, Bare Naked Ladies & Motown oldies I've bn playing lately.
Comments? Well, there've been a few. 1 guy was pretty happy 2 hear Bread again. A Regular said he hadn't heard Tull's "Skating Away" in years. Kansas seems 2 go over pretty well 4 some reason -- it was a good period, & those 3 trax from LEFTOVERTURE haven't bn overplayed by radio 2 much.
I'll note that Pete Townshend's "Misunderstood' is hilarious -- & his "My Baby Gives it Away" coulda bn funnier. Bread's B-side "Why Do You Keep Me Waiting?" isn't bad -- their rockingness is still very much underrated.
Feel like I'm sorta getting in2 a rut. Gotta play Caravan's massive, riffing live "For Richard" some nite & see if that brings NE response. Gotta toss in some Pink Floyd -- I haven't heard "High Hopes" in quite awhile, or "When the Tigers Broke Free." Maybe I can fish something else weird outta the CD pile & inflict it on the unsuspecting public. More soon....

Monday, June 11, 2012

#569: Writing to feel alive

Ah, these Pacific Northwest winters, when the torrential rains & the gloomy, gray, cold, overcast weather sometimes continues in2 mid-June. Like this year. Mon was sunny & in the low 70s, but 9+ months of the year this is no place 4 folks who R prone 2 B depressed.
Last year R local Classic Rock radio station KZOK briefly ran this commercial:
"Wow, Summer in Seattle! What is it -- 58? 62? It's killin' me! And the HUMIDITY?! THAT'S a REAL killer...."
On Fri morn it was in the low 40s & FOGGY here. What's up with that?
Some days when it's overcast & gloomy, sometimes plugging-in & setting-up the CD player -- let alone trying 2 decide what New Stuff 2 play -- is just 2 damn much work.
So instead I read. A lot. Sometimes I re-read old stuff I've had around 4 years. Anything that might help wake me up, remind me that not EVERYTHING is gray & gloomy & overcast. Something with some LIFE 2 it.
I 1st found writing with some real LIFE in it thru music criticism -- in the writings of Lester Bangs, Charles M. Young, Robert Christgau's CONSUMER GUIDES, Dave Marsh, Vince Aletti (he shoulda written more), John Mendelssohn, Chuck Eddy, Chip Stern's great biting jazz reviews, Rafi Zabor, Vic Garbarini, Jill Blardinelli, Dave DiMartino, Bill Flanagan, Matt Resnicoff, & a few others. Humor, Attitude, rage, confusion, depression even -- these folks weren't afraid 2 let it all out -- vividly.
Looking back, some science-fiction -- the 1st stuff I ever read religiously -- had lotsa vivid life 2 it. The poetry & mood of early George R.R. Martin (B4 he got famous writing huge fantasy novels), the late poet Roger Zelazny, early Samuel R. Delany (before 1970), Harlan Ellison's howls of pain & indignation, Frederik Pohl's GATEWAY & others, Kim Stanley Robinson's hilarious ESCAPE FROM KATHMANDU, Ray Bradbury's MARTIAN CHRONICLES, Robert Silverberg's DYING INSIDE, THE BOOK OF SKULLS, & others. Lew Shiner's GLIMPSES. Gael Baudino's GOSSAMER AXE.
In horror, Kathe Koja's SKIN & mosta her other novels rang the bell 4 me. Jack Ketchum. James Ellroy. Peter Straub's KOKO and THE THROAT. Stephen King's IT and THE STAND.
And some carefully-observed general-non-fiction can do the job 2 -- pointing out what's going on in all of its silliness or pain or confusion -- mosta John McPhee's work, Tim Cahill, Hunter S. Thompson's THE GREAT SHARK HUNT and FEAR AND LOATHING ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL '72.
& more: Richard Di Lello's hilarious THE LONGEST COCKTAIL PARTY. Rob Sheffield's LOVE IS A MIX TAPE. Ian MacDonald's REVOLUTION IN THE HEAD. Jon Savage's ENGLAND'S DREAMING.
I wish I could find more books like these -- stuff that sez in a clear, loud voice: This is what life is all about, what it's like -- it's not all cloudy and overcast and rainy and cold. This is what life was like B4 you forgot about it or got too old 2 remember how 2 feel. This is what life is like 4 people who R Still Awake. So Wake Up.
At nite I read music blogs. Some nites I update this 1. Some days I even play music. What I do here -- & the books I read & the music I listen 2 so that I want 2 write about them here -- is what keeps me going. My job just pays the bills.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

#568: "There Will Come Soft Rains"

Wow, Ray Bradbury died. He was 91. Bradbury's THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES (1950) was the 1st science-fiction book I remember reading, turned-on 2 it by my old writer friend Barry Anderson, when both of us were in 6th grade way back in early 1971.
Barry was a sucker 4 Bradbury's "Usher II," a sorta rewrite of Poe's "Fall of the House of Usher" -- 1 of 2-dozen short stories collected 2 make-up MARTIAN CHRONICLES. Barry was a big horror fan.
I was more drawn to Bradbury's great, chilling, haunting handling of mood -- the Martian boats whistling across the barren, dead seas in "The Off Season," the wind roaring over the dead hills & mountains in "The Long Years," the eerie re-creation of small-town 1920's middle-America in "The Third Expedition," the mysterious, haunting return of "The Martian," the dead Martian cities destroyed by Man in "And the Moon Be Still as Bright," the truck driver & the Martian who seem 2 meet -- but maybe not! -- in "Night Meeting." The bleak ending of "The Million Year Picnic." And so much more....
Bradbury was a master at conjuring-up haunting detail in empty, deserted, eerie settings. His Mars seemed like a kind of chessboard -- lots of delicate, fragile old Martian cities, now falling 2 ruins; mysterious, fragile old Martian survivors, lurking around the fringes of human settlements, maybe only a handful of them left alive by the time the Earth colonists start arriving in earnest on a now-empty planet.
But tho the book is full of moody eeriness, there's a lot more going on there. There's even comedy -- like the silly off-the-wall ending 2 "Off Season," and an entire story that's 1 big romantic farce about the last man & woman on Mars, "The Silent Towns."
There was some bitterness in there, 2. Bradbury was pretty direct about how people could mess up such a gorgeous, haunting, pristine setting -- like the drunken astronauts who make 2 much noise & dump beer bottles in2 the Martian canals in "And the Moon Be Still as Bright," & the fate that befalls some of them later in that story.
But Bradbury was also clear that the only REAL aliens R your fellow humans. Like the old doctor who re-creates his own family in "The Long Years" -- & the reason WHY he does it. Or the old couple who hope their dead son has returned in "The Martian." Or Walter Gripp, who just wanted to enjoy the peace & quiet of an empty world in "The Silent Towns."
I've read summa Bradbury's other works. FAHRENHEIT 451 has its unforgettable scenes, & the short story "The Fog Horn" is nearly as great for mood & eerieness as the CHRONICLES. I tried 2 read DANDELION WINE a couple times -- a 1920s teenage summer treated like its own world -- but couldn't get much past the 1st 50 pgs. SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES made a better movie than a book. There's also a short piece called "Dark Ferris" that scared the CRAP outta me when I was a kid -- but the last time I re-read it, it seemed like no big deal.
But MARTIAN CHRONICLES is unforgettable. Even if the 1st chapter or 2 R kinda dull & confusing. 1nce you get in2 the heart of the book, you can't break loose -- it'll stay with you 4ever. If you haven't ever read it, pick it up. It's only 180 pages, you can finish it in a couple hours.
It's 2 bad Ray never wrote a sequel....

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

#567: Class of '77

Just in time 4 Graduation....
As a newspaper reporter, I went 2 a lotta highschool graduation ceremonies over the years, & I always hadda good time. I always found the ceremonies refreshingly positive & full of hope 4 the future.
But I barely remember my OWN graduation. I don't remember who spoke or what was said. I DO remember sitting 4 3 HOURS in a 95-degree gymnasium packed full of parents & friends as the 450+ members of R graduating class stepped up 2 get R diplomas.
At 1st I didn't even want 2 go. Didn't plan 2 attend. It was all part of that Senior Pictures in suit&tie/class ring/send-out-invitations/artificial BS that I was rebelling against in my Senior year. Who cared?
Turns out somebody did: My Mother ORDERED me 2 attend, saying something along the lines of "I didn't put up with 12 years of crap in order to have nothing to show for it...." (?) Ghod bless her....
I remember what I did that NITE, tho -- stayed out all nite 4 the 1st time EVER, not getting home til around 5 am with the sun just starting 2 peek over the mountains 2 the east of Boise -- Xpecting 2 arrive home with the front door locked & me shut out of the house 4 Bing an idiot.
But the front porch lite was on, the front door was unlocked, & I tiptoed in2 the house, fell in2 bed & passed out, & nobody ever said a word later about me staying out 2 late. MayB Bcos I was such a social non-starter that my parents mighta thot I was never gonna move outta the house....
Didn't get drunk that nite 2 celebrate -- that happened years later, instead. Mostly just hung around with friends & acted young & stupid. Enjoyed the fact that nobody bothered us, that I wouldn't havta B back in class again on Monday. The good old days.
I wasn't Xactly living a Social Life on the cutting edge back then (or now). & since I was in Idaho, my musical listening habits weren't Xactly on the cutting edge either. I was still listening 2 Beatles & Moody Blues & Kansas & Queen & Boston & Yes & ELP & Elton. Mighta tossed-in some Pink Floyd 4 Xtra weirdness now & then. My discovery of off-the-wall British prog, English folk-rock, German synthesizer weirdness & so on was a few months away. Late '77 & in2 '78 was really when my ears started opening.
Tho I'd heard there was a Punk Rock Revolution going on in England, it seemed just like something else 2 throw-up at -- like Disco, at the time. Guys piercing their noses & ears & spitting at each other while they barely played their guitars didn't sound like something that'd work 4 me, as I leaned more toward musical complexity & "writing mood music."
In Idaho, I don't think we ever even heard NE "New Wave" on the radio until possibly the Police's "Roxanne" (ugh), & Joe Jackson's "Is She Really Going Out With Him?" (cute, catchy, funny). I was aware there was some1 called Elvis Costello, some allegedly clever little guitar-slinging dweeb -- but I never heard him on the radio. (It was YEARS B4 I heard "What's So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding?" -- which shoulda bn a HUGE hit....)
I was still listening 2 radio then. & resisting some of it pretty heavily. The BIG record of '77 was Fleetwood Mac's RUMOURS, & tho I'd loved "Go Your Own Way" & adored the heavy drama of "The Chain," & enjoyed a couple of their earlier hits (nice gtr intro & vocals 2 "Rhiannon," the gently rocking "Over My Head"), they seemed awfully inconsistent judging by their singles -- "Dreams" was mush, & "Don't Stop" was deadly boring.
But I remember driving down Boise's Depot Hill in the fall of '77, a beautiful sunny fall afternoon, going 2 see my highschool sweetheart at her new home at Boise State University, & Mac's "You Make Loving Fun" came out of the car radio. & I wasn't impressed until the gorgeous airy vocals of the chorus came on, pouring outta the speakers like musical sunshine, & I was immediately hooked, totally sucked in. I went out & bought the album the next day.
& found it just as inconsistent as the singles were. A band with this much talent & occasional brilliance couldn't even put 2gether a consistent full-side with no dead spots? The good stuff was really good ("Gold Dust Woman" & "Songbird" were nice little bonuses I hadn't heard previously), but the weak stuff was really bad ("Don't Stop," "Dreams," "Second Hand News," which has grown on me a little).
What I didn't know was that 1 of the best songs -- Stevie Nicks's "Silver Springs" -- was left OFF the album & escaped as the B-side 2 "Go Your Own Way"....
Even at the time, I could hear that these were not the cutting-edge sounds of '77 -- 2 mainstream, tho really good at its best. It wasn't until I started working at the record store in May of '79 that I'd hear a lot of what was getting people Xcited elsewhere, what I was reading about in the rock press.
I didn't hear the Sex Pistols' great "God Save the Queen" 'til '79, & in 3 years at the record store I never saw anybody buy or ask 4 a Pistols album. We couldn't give away The Clash, either. U2's great 1st album BOY got bought by all the record-store employees, & maybe 2 "normal" customers.
I never heard NEthing by The Ramones until I went & saw ROCK AND ROLL HIGH SCHOOL, mainly on the recommendation of my co-workers that it was hilarious. & it was worth it all 4 the soundtrack (which included another of my heroes, Todd Rundgren) -- & 2 hear The Ramones do "I Just Want to Have Something to Do," still my favorite of their songs.
35 years later, it's amazing how much more open things R musically now -- at least in terms of the ways you can hear new stuff. In '77, if it wasn't on the radio, about all you had was your friends' word-of-mouth & the hope that your local record store people knew what was going on. At least we have more options now. But I'm sure there's Good Stuff out there now that I'm not hearing -- & I'm sure there was Good Stuff back then that I STILL haven't heard....

Friday, June 1, 2012

#566: Reads-a-lot

I'm usually juggling at least 2 books at a time. Lately it's been more like 1/2adozen, mosta them music-related. Here's a few bites....

Clinton Heylin, editor -- THE DA CAPO BOOK OF ROCK AND ROLL WRITING (1992).
Miles Davis and Quincy Troupe -- MILES: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY (1989).
Max Barry -- JENNIFER GOVERNMENT (2003).
Bret Easton Ellis -- AMERICAN PSYCHO (1991).

As I continue thru my Motown Phase....
Gerri Hirshey's NOWHERE TO RUN unfortunately opens on maybe the weakest section of the book -- as Screamin' Jay Hawkins opens 4 the Rolling Stones, & the kids in the audience think that when Jay performs his most famous song, "I Put a Spell On You," that Jay's ripping-off the Stones. Or Creedence. Or Kiss.
But 1nce she gets rolling, Hirshey has some involving, beautifully-detailed chapters on/interviews with Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Martha Reeves, Mary Wells, the Four Tops, Mary Wilson of the Supremes, Atlantic Records head Ahmet Ertegun, producer Jerry Wexler, & many more. Tough 2 put down, Xcept 4 the arrival of....
WHERE DID OUR LOVE GO? focuses a little more on the fall of Motown, which is what I wanted it 4. George's narrative is detailed & riveting from the point where Motown head Berry Gordy sets up his "production line" in 1963, harnessing the songwriting & production talents of Smokey Robinson, Barrett Strong, Norman Whitfield, Holland-Dozier-Holland, Ashford & Simpson, etc., & making stars outta the Supremes, Four Tops, Temptations, Miracles, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, etc.
Lotsa great behind-the-scenes info, including lotsa detail about the Funk Brothers studio band that played on many of Motown's '60s hits. I didn't know that both legendary bassist James Jamerson & great drummer Benny Benjamin succumbed 2 drug & alcohol problems. But the book also paints a clear picture of the great times at Motown -- when so much was happening & it was such a cool place 2 B that all these folks just hung around the studios even when they weren't getting paid! Includes a lengthy discography with songwriting & production credits, pop & soul chart-placings, etc. Only complaint: At 200 pgs, it coulda bn TWICE as long....
THE DA CAPO BOOK is a huge collection of (mostly) rock criticism, & there's some great stuff here: Most of Jules Siegel's close-up view of the Beach Boys' 1966-67 SMILE sessions, "Goodbye Surfing, Hello God!"; Richard Goldstein's Xcellent June 1967 demolition job on SGT. PEPPER; & Tom Wolfe's "First Tycoon of Teen," a vivid portrait of Phil Spector in the mid-'60s. Steve Albini's "Eyewitness Record Reviews" is a hysterical collection of opinions on albums he produced. Frank Zappa's Congressional testimony about the Parents' Music Resource Center is classic sarcasm. & Allen Ravenstine's "Music Lessons" is an involving, vivid, apparently-fictionalized look at the early days of Pere Ubu. & there's LOTS more....
MILES is pretty funny in places. Vivid recollections of his mid-'60s development of jazz-rock, & it reads just as if Miles is sitting in the chair across from you & telling you just how it was. He doesn't hold back much. As a result, much of the book is -- as an old friend of mine 1nce described an Eddie Murphy performance -- "A necklace made out of the word muhrfuhr." Every great jazz musician is a muhrfuhr. Every great band is "a real MF." When some1 does Miles wrong they're a real MF. When some1 impresses Miles, he thinks they're a real MF. You get the idea.
This book made me laff out loud. But it ain't all funny. Miles talks about his 5-year retirement -- seems that being 1 of the most respected jazzmen in the world, earning 1/2amillion $$$ a year, driving his Lambo, & sleeping with as many women as he wanted wasn't ENUF. His knee-jerk mistrust of white people bugs me 2.
Note 2 Miles fans: There is plenty of detail about his mid-'60s albums, & about IN A SILENT WAY, BITCHES BREW, LIVE EVIL -- & about the other guys who played on those albums. Not enuf about ON THE CORNER, nothing about GET UP WITH IT. Miles sez the critics buried JACK JOHNSON -- hmmm, not Bob Christgau, who gave the album an A+ & chose JACK JOHNSON as the best album of 1971....
Ah well, good 4 laffs. But we don't learn much about what drove & apparently tormented this man.... Oh, & the discography is hash.
JENNIFER GOVERNMENT is about a weird & wacky future in which EVERYONE works 4 some corporation, & takes the last name of that company. (In that future, my name'd B Tad Blogger. Or maybe Tad Google. Tad Microsoft?) NEway, in this future, a couple nefarious mid-level mgrs at a certain shoe company (which shall not B divulged here, this is FICTION) hatch a plan 2 drive up the price of their already-astronomically-priced latest pair of flashy tennishoes -- by murdering a random dozen teens who cough up enuf $$$ 2 buy them. Special police agent Jennifer Government is there when the killing starts, but can only track down the Bad Guys if she can get funding from the victims' families.... This book is clever, fast-moving, laff-out-loud funny, pretty outrageous in places. & tho it's a comedy, you'll care about these characters....
I stopped in PSYCHO right after that chapter-long review of Genesis's 1980s output, which followed immediately after bad guy Patrick Bateman's most recent murder. I might get back 2 it, but you gotta B a big fan of yuppies or Wall Street-related details 2 B able 2 get thru it without skimming....

All week at work I've played Xactly 2 songs: Weather Report's amazing live "Boogie Woogie Waltz" & Sparks' great, silly "Eaten by the Monster of Love." Not sure what people think of "Monster," but the Weather Report piece is PERFECT 4 rush hour or when it's busy. Only responses I've gotten so far R 1 Regular who thot I was playing "scary old man music"; 1 younger guy who thot it sounded pretty trippin'; & 1 guy who asked if the sounds were coming from a movie I was watching Bhind the counter....