Out now on Checkers Records Collective, the new LP by JCM, "The Fall of Bryan Metro".

Listen To This Now!!!!

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

2019 DIY Street Fair Preview

Hey all, Metro here. I had to leave the house by the beach for a bit and head back to Michigan because the "Wings Project" had gotten out of hand when Trent and co. got back from South Africa all with mono and numerous Saudi house guests. I am due back sometime after 9/27/19. Thankfully, this weekend is the annual DIY Street Fair. The annual Ferndale DIY Street Fair says that summer's almost gone. As stated above, it takes place in downtown Ferndale (I know, I know), and I have covered it in person for the past few years and usually had a pretty good time. It features music, arts/crafts, and food. I think Hip in Detroit has an unlimited pass for the food trucks, but I might be wrong. As for the music, it is the same typical bands that always play totally safe music along with 4% of bands that actually applied. Whenever I picture the Fest geezers looking through the applications (if they do at all) it makes me think of the scene at the beginning of Animal House when Flounder and Amadeus are invited to pledge at the popular frat and when they arrive they are herded to a group of losers in a corner away from the popular clique. Hey, 4% of bands that make the cut.....this is you; a perfect microcosm of the local music scene. The nights are usually headlined by has-beens or never-were's, but more on that in a bit.

As for the artisan/food aspect, by all means support your local artists and foodies. They spent a pretty penny during the application process to ensure a spot at the Fair. At the very least, check out what they have to offer and grab some business cards if cash is tight. God knows that none of the music acts don't make any money off of this and even if they did they usually don't support other artists but if you have been following along you already knew that.

As always, I like to preview the music acts. I vaguely remember seeing a schedule posted or at least a list of all the acts that I sent to a friend whose reaction was, "Jesus ouch", but I went to the FB event page and couldn't find one. It could be there, but I am not wasting my time. Instead I wasted my time going to the actual DIY Fair website which was a disaster. The "Music" page consisted of a photo slideshow for each act with zero description. Who are these people my neighbor Roger would ask if he saw it. It took me five god damn minutes to scroll through it multiple times, jotting down as quickly as possible and still I don't even know if all the bands that are playing were on it. So if I leave your band out, I'm sorry. The web designer is a total asshole and needs to go back to community college. So here's the format: Band Name, whether I think they are a Hit, Minor Hit, Miss, or Minor Miss, and a brief blurb. If you want the schedule, well, do it yourself.

Music Acts-
Citizen Smile- Miss. Total Miss. Just a bunch of thin-skinned goofs who can't take a joke. Oh, the music? Boring pop. Next

Detroit Party Marching Band- Miss. A bunch of band geeks who stepped into the real world and instantly wished that high school lasted six years. Most of them could benefit from playing a pop-up at a Planet Fitness.

JR JR- Miss. Hard Miss. They changed their name but the apathy remains the same. Had a minor record deal with a major label (haha) that obviously went nowhere and are now playing at street fairs. I find it hilarious that despite changing their name, they still require that the old name Dale.....(eh, I'm not falling for it) in all their press pieces. They are one of the headliners so they fall into the "never-were" category. Plus the fat one mean mugged me at a Detroit Music Awards (he was by himself) and I mouthed, "What are you going to do?", and then borrowed a drink from the bar.

The Gories- Minor Hit.The other headliner. This one in the has-been categorie. They were a staple in the Detroit garage rock scene and members had success after with the Ditrbombs and Margaret "The Titty Master" Dollrod. I'm glad they were able to get Danny Dollrod to reconstruct himself after volunteering to turn himself to dust and act as the pitcher's mound at the Jack White sandlot game this summer.

The High Strung- Minor Hit. They've been around forever so Vegas odds say if you've seen one show of theirs, you're good to go. Serviceable rock

The Beggars- Hit. One of my favorite local acts with a bunch of good dudes who "get it" and always deliver. Plus they love wrestling, Rambo, and fun with no drama or politicking.

Siamese- Minor Hit. One of the local acts that absolutely HAS to play every Fest ( dead heat with Tart). It really starts to become a turn-off. Part of the "Touring but its Really a Vacation" club. As for the music, the song I sampled had a good New Wave vibe and I had no problem with it.

Ian Lamb- Hit. There are about 500 Ian Lambs on Youtube so this stressed me out but I managed to track him down. Good voice and seems like a good, no frills, dude, although his wife bears a resemblance to the Incredible Aquatic Abby Ropp.

Stone Clover- Hit. Well done/produced Irish-tinged rock. Zero problem with this. May have even liked it.

Brother Hallow- Minor Hit. It was fine for what it was. The song I sampled was from some derelict Ferndale Front Porch thing. They were okay but missed being a total hit because of the trombone which stressed me out.

The Dropout- Minor Miss. Wasn't my thing. Trying too hard to be The Cure in the video I sampled. I did find it funny that most of their videos were labeled "The Basement or Living Room Tapes" so...

Alluvial Fans- Minor Miss. The band and groove were good but the drummer is not a singer.

After Dark Amusement Park- Minor Hit. The song I sampled was good. Standard high-tempo rock that wasn't bad. Lost points for the clip being from the black hole that is Smalls.

Algebra Mothers- Hit. I guess they have been around since the day I was born. I liked it and even sought out some of their other stuff. See, that's the benefit on non-slideshow previews. Strange that its the first I've heard of them. A few tracks reminded me of a heavier Richard Hell.

The True Blue- Miss. Bored me. I lasted 40 seconds (insert joke here). I can't believe how vanilla this was despite having an Asian singer.

Reuther- Miss. Emo puss-mist rock. Lost even more points for having one of those lame-ass videos of them walking around a city making them part of the "Touring, but Really a Vacation" Club.

The Doozers- Miss. This was rough to get through. The music was Talking Heads-esque but one of those songs you always skip. The video stunk too.

Billy Brandt and the Sugarees- Minor Hit. Basic bluesy rock by a bunch of geezers. Completely serviceable. The Fair crowd should like it. Decent background music.

Well that's it for the DIY preview. Oh, I almost forgot. There are also afterparties at the not in any way cliquey Loving Touch. A JCM side project played a DIY afterparty the year Electric Six headlined. It was the show cut short because Valentine had a "sore throat" but most likely using his mouth to focus on raising funds for that year's Kickstarter. (That was a shameless Kickstarter joke and in no way implies sucking dick, so bite me). Or maybe it was because they didn't get their requested performance fee. Who knows? Anyway, back to this year. I went to the official DIY site so I could preview the afterparties (I'm not going to any other sites. I have my limits), and they didn't even have any info up (as of this writing)! Hahahaha, the week of the Fair. No info. Ferndale Hustles Harder. Of course we should expect the usual undercard acts like The Handgrenades or Ryan Allen and His Extra Wives. Also keep an eye open for afterparties at Outer Limits, Ghost Light, Ant Hall, or Kell'y none of which are in Ferndale but are probably pissed being left off the Ferndale DIY Street Fair. That's all for now. Everybody have fun, be safe, and enjoy those parking tickets. Bye bye!

From the Iceman Commeth,
Bryan Metro

Monday, September 16, 2019

September 27th, 2019

"Trust me, this won't hurt."

Amy says this to me as she attempts a deep tissue massage on my shoulder because my shoulder has locked up because I have spent the past two days passed out on the lounge chair at the pool at the house by the beach on Xanax and my shoulder has locked up.
   "Ow," I attempt to mutter because it does hurt and I look over at Matt, who is on the lounge chair next to me, and he is watching intently, maybe even giggling, and I see he has a hard-on which is a real turn-off. There aren't that many of us out at the pool today. Trent, Scott, Oakley, and Finn are all in Romania meeting with Trent's father and working on something called the "Wings Project" and when I clicked on the folder on the house computer it asked for a password and there was an index card next to the house computer that said, "Password = 9/27/19," so I punched it in and it worked and I turned off the computer after I saw the file was empty.

Today, there aren't many out by the pool. There's me, Amy who is massaging me because my shoulder has locked up, Matt, Matt's hard-on, Trent Dilfer the former NFL quarterback, Alexis who is a high end prostitute, Phil who is Alexis' dealer and pimp but otherwise has no record of employment, Carlos the pool guy who is just on his break, and some geek that nobody knows and insists on being called "Freddy Kruger" but actually looks like Pee Wee Herman.

Out of nowhere Trent Dilfer decides that it would be funny to dunk Carlos the pool guy into the pool. Before any of us could warn or stop him, Carlos splish splashes (takin' a bath) into the pool which, everybody but Trent Dilfer knows, is possessed and has a taste for blood. Immediately, the pool becomes self-aware, sentient, and spools of white tendrils resembling a spiderweb engulf Carlos, but instead of ensnaring him, they cut right through him like melted butter, severing him into about 14 separate pieces which are then sucked into the pool's elaborate filtering system that was installed via request from Trent's father by some stud named Justin who insisted the pool be drained (there was an earthquake that day) and wore full military body armor because he heard the rumors (Wings Project: 9/27/19). A jet of blood shoots out into the pool from the pool's filtering system but nobody bothers to move because it is quickly sucked back into the pool's elaborate filtering system and somebody asks, "Okay, who is calling the Company (the word was stressed ominously) this time and telling them we lost another one?"

After the pool digests Carlos and resumes its normal blue, inviting, color and reflecting the sun (although sometimes it doesn't reflect the sun), I head to the house, pass by Mr. Zip Zip whose claim to fame is that he worked at the Tower Records in West Hollywood, and Mr. Zip Zip has a Talking Heads record on and David Byrne is singing, "And as things fell apart, nobody paid much attention." Mr. Zip Zip looks to be passed out but isn't and asks, "Did you see me in the crowd on today's Good Morning America?"  I lie and tell him "Yes" even though I know Good Morning America is taped in New York and he's been on the couch all day.
   "I wanted to make sure I was on the September 11th episode," he continues despite it being September 16th, but not September 27th yet.
   "I understand," I tell him, "Why not, makes sense."
  "Stop making sense," he laughs as the Talking Heads mixtape is on to the next song and David Byrne is singing, "IIII"," and "No need to worry, everything's under control," and "You're being taken for a ride again," even though the original lyrics were "We're being taken for a ride again," and this unnerves me and I push back the panic with another Xanax and wonder where to put the human skull I bought from some Mexican in Westwood, or the valley, and make my way to the house computer. Mr. Zip Zip, whose real name is K. Pete calls out from the living room, "We're being taken for a ride again", even though the song has ended and David Byrne is now singing, "We're on a road to nowhere," and "There's a city in my mind," and "But we can't say what we've seen," and "The future is certain, give us time to work it out," and "Here we go," and "Time is on our side," and "I don't care," and "Ha", and "And its alright" and "Would you like to come along and help me sing this song and its alright," (Trust me, this won't hurt), and then I hear Mr. Zip Zip change the tape and "Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five" by Paul McCartney and Wings plays and Paul starts singing "No one left alive in 1985 will ever do," and I think back to the horrific plane crash in 1998 where everybody died, but I didn't have to take another Xanax because I didn't know any of them.

Jump cut to the house computer and the password remains "9/27/19" and the "Band on the Run" folder remains empty. I'm bored so I decide to apply for next year's Hamtramck Music Fest and as I click on the link I hear Amy's voice in my head saying, "Trust me, this won't hurt." Here are some shots of the application.

After submitting my application I click off the house computer as Mr. Zip Zip sings along with Paul McCartney from the living room, "Out of college, money spent. See no future, pay no rent. All the money's gone; nowhere to go," and I reply singing along, "But oh that magic feeling, nowhere to go," and I think back to David Byrne singing, "We're on a road to nowhere," and Paul starts singing, "Pick up the bags, get in the limousine. Soon we'll be away from here. Step on the gas, wipe that tear away," and then John Lennon starts singing "One, two, three, four, five, six, seven," and I wander out back to the pool (Mr. Zip Zip has officially fallen asleep) and Matt is on the phone with Trent who is no longer in Romania and is now in South Africa and Trent is yelling at Matt to change all the passwords at the house to "9/27/19" even though the current passwords are "9/27/19" already and all the "Wings Project" folders are empty anyway, and Matt no longer has a hard-on. Matt, who has been on phone duty, tells Trent that the Company is opening an investigation into the house and pool and the four disappearances, even though the real total would be seven-ish, and they will be over on September 27th, 2019, and Trent freaks out and tells him to change all the passwords again. I volunteer to change the passwords and say "Okay" and this seems to calm Matt down. After changing the passwords to 9/27/19 I head back outside, and Kentucky Pete has shut off the tape player and switched on MTV and Morrissey is singing "What difference does it make and the devil will find work for idle hands to do" and I think back of making out with Christopher at the Michigan/Canadian border in 2002 because I was in that soft bi-sexual phase, and it Was a phase, because who wasn't making out with everybody at the turn of the century and all men have secrets and I catch a glimpse of myself in the kitchen window and I'm looking very old tonight as Morrissey sings "You won't see me anymore", and Matt has disappeared and I hear noises from behind the garage so I decide to check it out expecting another dead migrant, and I find Amy jabbing a syringe into the back of her knee and she is saying, "Trust me, this won't hurt," over and over and I just walk away knowing I've been lied to, as Morrissey sings from the house, "I'm too tired. I'm so sick and tired, and I'm feeling very sick and ill today," and that I have been lied to. The wind picks up and the trees are active and I hear whispering in the wind saying, "He's oh so healthy in his body and his mind" but the tree on the opposite side of the yard is whispering, "She's not there." The tree offered no apology so why should I care and I walk back into the house. Mr. Zip Zip has vanished and I click on the house computer, plug in the password "9/27/19" and access the empty "Wings Project" file and leave a message, "But its too late to say you're sorry, how would I know, why should I care." And then I receive an instant message from Trent saying that on September 27th, 2019 I need to tell everyone, "Don't bother." (He left out the "please"), and I reply, "You're a wonderful person, but you have problems," and he replies, "How do you make an Asian blind? Give him a joint hahahaha," and I click off.

From the Iceman Commeth,
Bryan Metro

*Writer's Note- Aside from the HMF application this is a work of fiction and nobody has to worry about anything. Trust me, this won't hurt, as Amy would say.*

*Postscript- I stumbled upon a good cause that benefits overseas military risking their lives. If you are in the Troy area I implore you to donate to benefit those who are out there putting their necks on the line to protect our freedoms, including freedom of speech. They postponed their careers and lives to do this, instead of quitting their job, complaining, and begging for money. Here is the link: Support those that sacrifice

Monday, September 9, 2019

The Spirit Animal and a List!

and its a story that might bore you but you don't have to listen

Hey all, Metro here. The tone of the Lavender Blog has shifted this year with more introspective posts, fiction, and restraint (a dirty word), and less poking fun at the local scene, poking fun at local idiots, and less poking fun at (or exposing) local Fests, venues, bookers, and Kickstarters (aside from that last post; I had to). Trust me, if there was anything to poke fun at I would. I even tried with the Labor Day Fest preview. The reality is, as I have stated before, that I don't have anything to write about anymore as the best local journalist in town. So the posts have become more personal (and bloated), and the hits have taken a hit because of it, even though I make no money off of this site. And so it continues, and its a story that might bore you

I am a firm believer in the "Spirit Animal". If you are an artist in any medium, you have your influences. That goes for anybody from John Lennon to the recently divorced Ryan Allen. I am no exception and I wear my influences on my sleeve. If I was an artist or, even worse, a muralist my Spirit Animal would be somebody from Mad Magazine like Don Martin or Sergio Aragones. If I were a director it would have to be the cold, cynical Stanley Kubrick or the pop culture riffing Quinten Tarantino. In terms of music, as far as guitar playing, Johnny Thunders, and songwriting, it would have to be somebody witty, yet cynical like a Warren Zevon, Elvis Costello, Ted Bundy, or Bobby McFerrin. In terms of wrestling many would say CM Punk, but I lean towards Andy Kaufman. Acting? I would go with early 80's Chevy Chase or Peter Sellers. However, I consider myself a writer first and foremost so that is where my Spirit Animals roam the most. I am an avid reader of actual hard copy books and not the internet bullshit and also a book collector (signed copies and First Editions turn me on) although I have had to give away/donate most of them due to money issues, but I admit to being influenced by these Spirit Animals. Good god, this is turning into a Jeff Milo post (not an influence, thank god!). So after you contemplate your Spirit Animals, here are mine: Bret Easton Ellis (About 70%), Hunter S. Thompson (25%), and Stephen King (5%). I have been fortunate to have met Thompson while in New York with my sister. He was very sweet and let her sit on his lap and signed the Vegas book that sits next to me to this day in the bedroom office at the JCMsTown Compound. Every now and then I have dreams where a voice tells me "Trust me, this won't hurt", but I actually think its that damn ghost from Pennsylvania.
I met Ellis, also in New York, at a signing at the Barnes and Noble in Union Square. He was very cool as well, very chill (Xanax?), and we talked about movie adaptations and alcohol.

I've never met King, although I think we would get along as long as we didn't talk politics. Anyway, its time for a list! Here, the criteria: All rankings are based on personal preference rather than literary achievement. Title, the edition I used to have but gave away, brief blurb, favorite sequence, and influence on JCM. Got it? Who cares

                                         Metro Ranks the Works of Bret Easton Ellis

8. Imperial Bedrooms- (1st Ed., signed)- Ellis' most recent, and likely last book of fiction is also his shortest. It is a return to the world of his debut novel Less Than Zero with the characters as adults. It is also a noir and clearly a mirror of the troubles getting The Informers film made. Yes, it's slight, but it has its moments.
Favorite Sequence- The opening, which blurs fiction and reality where the characters are aware a movie has been made about them (Less Than Zero 1987). Okay, also the "kennel" sequence where a boy and girl are rented and abused, a likely tame version of what really happens in Hollywood, much like the orgy scene in Eyes Wide Shut.
JCM Influences- None as of this writing.
"They made a movie about us."

7. Less Than Zero- (Paperback signed by Ellis along with John Doe and Exene Cervenka from the band X, a small victory)- Ellis' debut novel took the literary world by storm with its bleak, depressing, honest take on the youth of the 1980's. It was a shock to the system during a period where nobody had anything to worry about other than the Cold War, the nuclear arms race, and the AIDS epidemic. Its bleakness depresses me but there are enough witty sequences that foreshadow later works to come.
Favorite Sequence- The opening where Clay, the narrator, returns to LA that establishes the tone (emptiness) of the novel. Okay, maybe the snuff film also. "I wonder if he's for sale..."
JCM Influences- Song title "People Are Afraid to Merge", nominated for a Detroit Music Award.
"I don't want to care. If I care about things, it'll just be worse, it'll just be another thing to worry about. Its less painful if I don't care."

6. The Informers- (Beer stained 1st Edition paperback)- This collection of short stories was released after American Psycho as a publishing buffer as he worked on Glamorama (a decade). The tone goes back to the apathy of youth (and some adults), and most of the stories were written during the Less Than Zero years. The bleakness is still there but there are some funny sequences also such as the spoiled rich kid, bored, having to go identify the body of his father who died in a small plane crash. He described him as looking like Darth Vader without his mask, a joke I stole for whenever I comment on Pitbull's FB (I'm also blocked).
Favorite Sequence- "Discovering Japan" along with "Secrets of Summer" where it is revealed that there are actual vampires in LA, and not just in the movie biz.
JCM Influences- Staggering. The main character in the "Discovering Japan" chapter is named Bryan Metro, a pen name I borrowed and used to shape the ebb and flow of the local music scene for over a decade. Also the vampires in "Secrets of Summer" influenced the JCM hit "Vampires", nominated for a Detroit Music Award. Also a fun story. After a night of madness in a hotel I can't remember with me and founding member -XX, I got lost, smoked a ciggy, remembered the room (311 because of the band) and trying to sleep with a Mexican girl who looked a lot like Lorenza Izzo, Eli Roth's wife/actrress. After a brutal wake up call (I believe I said "Come and get me, asshole") me and -XX went to a coney island and had a boring breakfast and agreed to meet for a matinee of the Informers movie which came out that week. I remember waking up in the car to a storm and -XX pounding on the glass. He had already seen the movie. I slept through it all in the car. He left and I went in to see the next showing. It was just okay.
"Heading straight into darkness."

5. The Rules of Attraction- (1st Edition hardcover + First Edition Paperback signed, but given away as a gift)- Ellis' second novel is a slice of life, semi-autobiographical look into college life at an affluent New England Liberal Arts college in the 80's. It mostly revolves around three characters, Sean (Patrick Bateman's brother), Paul, and Lauren who are all unreliable narrators who are always drunk, using drugs, or fucking. One of my good friends said, "This was my college life," which depressed me because I went to Wayne State. Thanks dad! (although I made up for it those first few years at the hotel).
Favorite Sequence- The dinner scene with Paul and Richard ("My name's not Richard, its DICK") and their mothers. High comedy, and well represented in Roger Avary's film adaptation. The Richard/Dick character was used as my avatar for the Webvomit/Five Three Dial Tone local blogs for years for those that remember those glory days. Oh, also the bathtub suicide sequence.
JCM Influences- Large. The Richard avatar mentioned above. JCM guitarist's stage name is Peter the Freshman, an alias for an alias. Also song titles "Dress To Get Screwed Party" and "End of the World", both nominated for Detroit Music Awards. "Deal with it. Rock and Roll."

4. White- (1st Edition)- This is Ellis' first non-fiction book. It is half memoir and half social commentary. I highly recommend it, especially if you have a brain that can handle others' opinions. The memoir aspects deal with movies, the writing process, and being gay, and the social commentary deals with the insane absurdity of social media in 2018/19.
Favorite Sequence- The thought process when writing American Psycho. Also, any commentary on how people can be so stupid and ill-informed on social media. Something I can relate to.
JCM Influences- The shift in tone on the Lavender Blog starting in 2018.

3. Lunar Park- (2 First Editions, one signed)- This is Ellis' foray into horror. It begins with a meta look into the writing process (and book tours) for previous books that is obviously over the top fiction with a hint of truth (something I have borrowed). The main character is Ellis himself, and the actual novel is a Stephen King-esque haunted house (haunted person) experience, along with a sad commentary on father/son relationships (Ellis has no children). I have a Terby somewhere in the basement and it has yet to claw at my door.
Favorite Sequence- The Halloween Party which actually was a mirror of my Apartment Going Away Party substituting the garage with the laundry room but with the same purpose (thanks E First for a White Christmas!) and the expected chastising the next day. The police I think were called. Also, I enjoy the chapter of The Writer's latest novel "Teenage Pussy", whose first title was "Holy Shit!"
JCM Influences- Tons. "Holy Shit!" was the original title of my debut screenplay "Piss Bag". Band collaborators Mitchell Allen and Kentucky Pete take their stage names from this book (although Mitchell Allen appears in Rules of Attraction also). JCM song title "Never Never Land", nominated for a Detroit Music Award.
"Look how black the sky is, the Writer said. I made it that way."

2. Glamorama- (1st Edition Hard Cover, Beer stained trade paperback)- Ellis' longest novel took a decade to finish, and at times can seem bloated, but it is an excellent satire of the 1990's celebrity worship. It starts with the vapid Victor Ward/Johnson planning to open a club and merges into a terrorist thriller. It is common knowledge that Ben Stiller ripped off the "models as terrorists" premise for Zoolander. The novel includes name dropping every celeb from the 90's, horrific violence, a gratuitous MMF sex scene, and there is a film crew to film it all. Two actually. Give up on what is real and just enjoy the ride (my next tattoo).
Favorite Sequence- The opening at the club, the ride on the QE2, and the "Band on the Run" project plane crash.
JCM Influences- Victor Johnson is an alias that has contributed here and is currently filed as a person of interest in Detroit Circuit Court. JCM song title "Palakon", nominated for a Detroit Music Award. "The better you look, the more you see."

1. American Psycho- (1st Edition + 1st Edition signed Yowie Wowie!)- Ellis' most popular, notorious book is also his best. Yes, the movie is totally quotable but most of the best sequences are left out. This is The Writer at his peak (at the time) of social commentary, New York in the late 80's. The Writer pokes fun at what and who he despises and what he is becoming. Despite the gore and sex, it is actually a comedy, something the critics/protesters never understood (most not even read it) (sound familiar?). The book is far better than the movie, which is still good and directed by a female.
Favorite Sequence- Those that were left out of the movie that were so over the top it is hilarious. Bateman catching a rat, starving it, drugging a prostitute, inserting a habitrail into her vagina and letting the rat loose, eventually devouring her stomach. Or there's the infamous sequence when Bateman steals a urinal cake and has it covered in chocolate and gives it to his fiancé. "Its so minty!" Possibly when he stabs a child in the Central Park Zoo because one of the penguins in the penguin exhibit reminded him of a co-worker (McDermott, Van Patten?) and said he was a doctor but didn't really do anything.
JCM Influences- Aside from the fake racism/misogyny ("De black man is de debil"), surprisingly none. Although the JCM had a brief side project, Ugly Diamonds, that had a single called "American Psycho" that is actually really good. Look it up, although it was not nominated for a Detroit Music Award. It's pretty good, well until the rapping part starts lazily rapping about drugs, trying too hard to be cool, and missing the point, but whatever.
"Yabba dabba doo"

Well, that's it for the Spirit Animal post. If you have any interest I highly recommend everything. Hope you enjoyed it! I really don't have anything else to write about so till we meet again, you know where to find me; in Lunar Park.

Bye Bye,
Bryan Metro

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Yet Another Electric Six Cash Scam

Okay, this is getting out of control.
Hey all, Metro here. You know its really the end of summer, not because of Labor Day, but because Electric Six has another Kickstarter scam out there. Last week a friend alerted me to it (I've been blocked for years for having an opinion), and it took me days to muster up the mental fortitude to actually click on the page. By the way, there is no way I am posting the link here. Its a waste of time even though I have increased the curiousity factor more with this post. This year's cash scam comes after they made a point to say last year's cash scam would be their last cash scam. Of course, my first thought was, as always, "Okay, where is the money really going this time?" Did the bug-eyed keyboard player who doesn't understand the word "NO" have a relapse? Did the slack faced dude from Smalls that looks like he had a stroke or at the very least, mentally retarded, actually have a stroke? Did the Johnny Headband twerp need additional hair plugs? Did Valentine notice that his fat wife was getting even girthier and though, "Oh no, not another kid!"? Will the guy nobody knows or cares about get a cut of the loot? Is this for John Nash's Weight Watchers program because lets be honest here, the dude is reaching Ricky Rat levels of corpse found in a river bloat. I'm just sayin'. Actually they all are. Group Bloat!

Nahhhh, the truth is this band hasn't had a good album since their 3rd which was a decade ago, and I have no clue how many they have had since then. I've sampled some of them (Sucks COCK!), and was disappointed. This is just a case of middle-aged men living off of one album, scamming their fans out of their hard earned money to fund their annual European vacation, oh I mean tour. They could care less about the people that contribute. Their last record bombed and, and bombed bad, and I don't even remember its name so Google is your friend, and they need a cash influx. It is all sad, but I can't decide if its about the people (scientific term: Idiots) donating or the band just abandoning pride. Probably both. Lets do a little history lesson... *Some of this is from a previous post on this charade*

2013- Absolute Treasure- Raised $62,760- Reward: A live DVD. The JCM recorded a live dvd of our first show for free thanks to our friends at Rock N Rummage. It was gritty, sloppy, and real. Where did this money go?

2014- Mimicry and Memories- Raised $64,977- Reward: A two disc set. JCM made every CD in a basement or guest room, funded by ourselves. Where did this money go?

2015- Roulette Stars- Raised $63,243- Reward: Another dvd, plus a cd based on donation amount. Starting to get old. Where did this money go?

2016- You're Welcome- Raised $77,000 (not a typo). Reward: 2 cd's. Where did this money go?

2017- Electric Sixmas/Chillout- Raised $66,587- Reward: 2 cd's. Where did this money go?

2018- Live in Liverpool- Raised $77,173- Reward: A dvd. Supposedly their last Kickstarter and a total slap in the face to any schlomo who donated. Oh, and where did the money go?

Since 2013, Electric Six has raised $411,740 in money from Kickstarter campaigns. All for 8 cd's and 3 dvd's. (Just a heads up, JCM has 8 CD/EP's and 3 dvd's). All of the bonuses had next to zero cost: personal belongings, cd track selections, cover song requests. One of favorite quotes from their page, "Its costly to put this project together, simply put. We have studio costs and similar costs for recording and mixing the record as well. Many of the reward packages involve costs as well (t-shirts, posters, books, etc) and then there's the manufacture of the CD's themselves".
You know what, shut the fuck up. This entire debacle is a slap in the face of every local artist who busts their ass, using their own funds and resources from Sisters of Sunshine Vapor to Caveman Woodman to everybody not able to hop on a Fest. All that money, free money, to a band that hasn't been relevant in years and needs extra money because they keep popping out kids, or buying cheap suits, being a drunk, or even worse a sanctimonious former drunk. Well fuck that. All of the above (number-wise) are actual facts and the rest, opinion (those are still legal right?). I really hate to rain on this year's cash scam publicly funded European vacation but I have a few more paragraphs...

I have contacted the IRS, and as a musician (haha), I know the costs of recording, producing, dvd'ing these things. Sure not at the level of E6, but its not that bad. The IRS told me that a 1099-K form must be filed with every crowd sourcing gimmick over $20,000. The form is provided once the threshold has been met according to my mole at Kickstarter. I also plan on filing a 3949-A form to the IRS requesting they look into this campaign along with previous campaigns dating back to 2013. Its a win-win for everybody because if they actually paid income tax on all of them, well wonderful, good for them getting away with scamming losers out of thousands every year. But if they didn't....then my job here is done. We'll never know, so who cares?

This is all pathetic and makes me ill. The songs on this year's cd have already been recorded, probably by failed E6 member Zach Shipps, probably on the cheap, and are mostly outtakes anyway so the $30+k "stretch goal" must be for those production costs. Okay, that was a joke. A joke like the constant scams. A joke like this band. By the way, none of these campaigns have exceeded 800 backers. Something fishy there too. Don't get ahead of yourselves, I am in NO WAY insinuating tax evasion/money laundering here. Just a little fishy. The title of the campaign "Bite Me" and verbiage on the info page (pic below) seem like a veiled jab at me, the only person around here that calls them out on this.

There are so many worthy causes and charities out there that your disposable income could go to instead of a bunch of middle age fat ass has-been's in a band that is disposable. Now let me tell you how I really think.

From the Iceman Commeth,
Bryan Metro

Monday, September 2, 2019

Exclusive Hamtramck Labor Day Fest Coverage!!

Hey all, Metro here with my exclusive coverage of this year's Hamtramck Labor Day Fest. Stay tuned for after the coverage for my exclusive interview with Harrison Fooooord.

Hahahahahaha! Let's start out by being serious for a moment. Nique Love Rhodes and the NLR Experience weren't going to draw anybody anyway at the Fest so it was no big loss. But this is completely unprofessional on so many levels. Yes, I understand......shit happens, Murphy's Law and all that, but look at the time this message was posted on social media: 5:57pm. Their set time was 6pm.....once again, 6pm. Of course it was entirely possible they notified the Fest hours in advance, and it is also entirely possible they just posted this apology three minutes before their set time. We'll never know. The band has obviously already moved on and the Ham Labor Fest social media isn't exactly the best.
Or maybe they are just complete idiots. They did a show in Toronto the night before, and we all know they didn't stay in Toronto-proper on a Friday night after probably making $30 that night. Still being serious here. Also, how can one not anticipate traffic on Labor Day Weekend! Also, what were they doing at the Windsor border when Toronto to Hamtramck is a little under four hours when going through Sarnia. Plus there would be less holiday traffic and would avoid the Windsor border process. Let's hypothesize that check out was a generous noon and put traffic back-up at an hour, nahhh give it an hour and a half. Still would have made it in time. Or maybe they're....just....not.....smart.
What about all the people who came to the Fest for the NLR Experience? Hahahaha, okay, no longer being serious. How about this for all the conspiracy nuts out there. What if they messaged Stefanie Cox, or some other artist who played earlier that day (or vice versa) and were told not to bother because nobody was there (more on that in a minute)? Just tossing it out there. I'm shooting fish in a barrel here, but any of the above are realistic options. Or maybe they're just incompetent. Oddly enough, their social media tag line is "One with the music. One with the people. Spread love. Vibrate higher. Positive vibes only. God is great! Google Maps is better, and don't forget alarm clocks!"

Well that's it for my 2019 Hamtramck Labor Day Fest Exclusive coverage. Unfortunately, I couldn't attend in person this year due to the sinus infection from hell (actually true, and a better excuse than traffic). This bummed me out because I've covered it in person the past two years and actually had a good time. All the artisans put a lot of elbow grease into their art and food, and while the booking of the musical acts is lacking, not many come for the music. Many times the past two years I have seen 0 to 8 people at a stage. That's JCM numbers. I'll spare you the Kimball photo from 2017 or was it 18? Nahhh, no I won't.

Maybe all the band boosters also got caught in traffic. Maybe the entirety of the traffic to begin with were people trying to get to the Fest? We will never know. Btw, this act shifted to Arts, Beats, and Eats for this year (more in a second). I remember my parents taking me to the Labor Day Fest for many years and it was always hopping (although I don't remember a single musical act or if there were any at all). One friend who attended this year said it was the lowest attendance they had ever seen, which sucks because I was also told that Arts, Beats, and Eats was actually overcrowded and parking was a nightmare despite the music lineup being the weakest I have ever seen, aside from a few local acts. Also had the Polish Cowards pulling double duty zzzzzz. Update, the wrestling thing (a great idea btw) and the Canoe Races drew a decent crowd. Cool. I would love to return to the Hamtramck Labor Day Fest next year but the fear is creeping in that its days are numbered, but hey, so are all of ours right?! So remember- One with the music. One with the people. Spread love. Vibrate more. Positive vibes only. God is great! Google Maps is better. Don't forget alarm clocks. And most importantly, follow the buzzards.

*Postscript- Stay tuned later this week for another dissection of a Kickstarter scam. If you are longtime Constant Readers, you know what this means. If you are new, I'll be sure to fill you in.

From the Iceman Commeth,
Bryan Metro

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Metro At The Movies

Hey all, Metro here wishing everyone a great, safe Labor Day weekend no matter what you do. If you haven't read it yet, here is my Hamtramck Labor Day Fest preview:  Ham Labor Day Walters Fest

One laid back thing to do is to go to the movies. As longtime Constant Readers know, I am a huge jerk, I mean movie buff. I used to do a yearly "Best Of" list that was actually well received. I stopped a few years ago because I didn't get to the cinema that much, mostly because of the lack of originality (hey lets make sensory horror a thing; A Quiet Place, Bird Box along with the deluge of comic book movies) along with actual filmmaking risks, which is actually a fair parallel to the current local music scene. My theater experiences quickly dried up after Trump was elected, but not because of Trump himself (well, in a way, kind of), but how the film/entertainment industry reacted. They couldn't deal/comprehend it and they made a serious, concerted effort to appeal to as many demographics as possible (many of who don't even care about movies and their representation in them). Movies became a checklist of race, sexuality, and (contrived) message, and that just bummed me out, or maybe just bored me. I lamented to the hardbody at the bikini bar, "What happened to sex scenes in movies?" one night drunk at the bikini bar. Movies had become less about art and genuine personal expression and more about inclusion and "participation awards" with Marvel/Disney being the biggest offenders. I remember watching the first Tom Holland/Marvel acquired Spiderman movie, which was okay, and became distracted by how they tried to shoehorn in every sex and race possible despite it not actually making a difference in the film. Yes, I know this is a very "YT Male" take on it, but I always try to be fair. I believe, whoever produces, or delivers, or is most qualified should get the gig. This applies to every occupation from film, sports, CVS. That's what frustrates me when people (usually uninformed non-sports fans) complain about Colin Kaepernick not having a job. If he was "lights out", aka "good", he'd be on a team right now, but he's not "lights out good", and decided to make himself a pariah despite the fact that he is just not that good. Another example of the participation award take. Look at his last season's stats. Fucking stunk.

I digress. The tirade above rambled, but set the tone for my latest movie review. "Once Upon A Time in Hollywood" probably will be my favorite movie of the year, with John Wick 3 in second, which by the way had a "non-binary" (whatever that means) actor as the lead villain and I didn't have a problem with it because the actor was great in the part. See, that's how it works. This had been my most anticipated movie this year (besides My Shameful Secret Pt. 3). We even used similar themes as the gimmick for our final show last year; the death of the 60's. I was the Zodiac, Peter the Freshman was Brian Jones, Asian Bass Player Wang was Bruce Lee (duhhh), and E First was a post-murder Sharon Tate. We loosely tried to tie in the end of the band version of JCM with the end of the 60's. We also covered a Pixies song. Don't flip out over the photo. She wanted to and it was fully performance art and probably the edgiest thing done by a local band in five years. Good lord, it must be 2019 if I have to add that disclaimer.

                                                     (Minor Spoilers Ahead)
The first time I saw "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" I didn't care for it. I felt that DiCaprio didn't even need to be in it. It felt empty. But I realized that I felt the same way about Pulp Fiction after I first saw it. So I saw it a second time and loved it. I got it. I appreciated it as cinema as art. Everything about it showed a love for a bygone era, from the soundtrack, to the production design (an Oscar lock), the wardrobe, the performances, and the attention to 1969 Hollywood even though it was an alternate reality Tarantino film ala Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained. I came to appreciate that there was no real plot, and it was more like a few days in the life of these characters, which if you think about it, is very risky. I loved that there were no politics in it, or even worse, a message for everybody in 2019. It actually reminded me a lot of Taxi Driver, which was written by Paul Schrader who has since gone off the rails and signed up with the Trump Derangement Syndrome Club, in that it is a snapshot of these character's lives with a gory climax. One can argue that Travis Bickle is a more layered character than Rick Dalton or Cliff Booth, and you would be right, but that's the point. The film is meant to be a dreamlike snapshot (thanks Rawsonville) into these people's lives. DiCaprio is great (as usual) as the alcoholic failed actor, Rick Dalton, with his pride, and a certain sadness, keeping him going. The real star of the film is Brad Pitt as failed stuntman, possible wife killer, Cliff Booth. His performance is very laid back, even casual, but the character (and actor) exudes star power. I would say that he is the biggest lock for Best Supporting Actor since Heath Ledger was killed, I mean died. The rest of the cast is spot on, as expected in a Tarantino film, especially the Manson girls highlighted by the magnetic Margaret Qualley as "Pussycat" who I'd love to survive into the 70's and use her real name Amelia and run into the Nice Guys. Al Pacino was good in his few scenes as a caricature of a movie producer (but aren't they all) although not as good as Saul Rubinek in True Romance, another great take on L.A. and the movie business, though not directed (but written) by Tarantino. The few moments I spent with Tarantino regulars "The Gang" like Michael Madsen basically reprising his Budd character from Kill Bill, Zoe Bell being Zoe Bell, Tim Roth whose scenes were cut and did not appear in the film, and Bruce Dern were fun. The best scene in the film is when Cliff/Pitt visits the Manson family at the Spahn ranch. This scene had a very ominous sense of dread and bordered on becoming a thriller or even horror, which by the way I would love to see a Tarantino take on that genre for his last film instead of wasting his time with boring Star Trek. Bret Ellis had a good take on the end of that scene where the Manson girls (and their cucks) mocked Cliff as he was leaving in that they represented millennials (the irony) throwing shade at the "evil white male" which happens more than you realize. No spoilers on the climax, but it delivers with both tension and humor, and by the time the credits roll one can have the sense that there is still more to come in this story, but we don't get to see it.

Of course, its 2019 so some critics have problems with it.
"It was too white!"- Lazy, and pandering to a demographic that wouldn't see it to begin with.
"Margot Robbie had hardly any dialogue!"- I also reject that hypothesis. Her scene in the movie theater is among the best I've ever seen with zero dialogue. It was all physical acting, the expressions, the reactions to the other patrons' reactions, the sheer joy, and the tragedy of how the real story ends. No dialogue needed but an amazing performance. Just another example of the current media checking off those checkboxes.
"They mocked Bruce Lee"- No not really. He was portrayed as a star and his friendly contest with Cliff was actually a draw, and the purpose of the scene was to establish Cliff as somebody not to take lightly, which plays into the film's climax. Of course people were bitching that Bruce Lee was the only person of color in the movie, actual complaints, which actually reinforces my earlier take. Take a minute to go back and read it.

At the end of the day, if you like cinema and not force fed politics and 3rd place ribbons, I highly recommend this film. See it on the big screen as meant to be and I'll see you in hell. Also bonus for no Jimmy Doom failed actor references in this post. He wishes.

From the Iceman Commeth,
Bryan Metro

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

2019 Hamtramck Labor Day Fest Preview

I woke up at 4 today, but in the afternoon so it was cool, a small victory, and yet I am in an introspective, melancholy mood even after yesterday, which was rewarding, and yet...I am still on edge. Yesterday, I promised myself to stay off the internet the entire day and I succeeded, a small victory, and instead tried to get high off of ibuprofen. Regarding the internet, the constant negative articles, posts, and memes had really begun to bring me down and I thought it would be a good idea to stay away for a day. So there I was, sitting at the pool at the house by the beach, bored out of my mind. The ibuprofen didn't get me high and just gave me a stomach ache so I ask Matt to grab me a beer and he gives me a Michelob Ultra because Matt is an asshole. I take out my notebook to work on ideas. I contemplate writing a book even though I have already written one despite it not being published yet. The publishing house based out of Chicago stopped calling months ago to check on the status (it was finished around 2014) and I think I need to find another publishing house willing to take it on. The new book would be non-fiction and would cover the Detroit music scene from 2010 to 2020, and would be an oral history consisting mostly of me since I have been in the trenches and dive bars the entire time. I would include everything, all the stories, the feuds, the bands, the girls I wanted to fuck but never did because they were dating somebody who was in a different band, and most of it would be fiction of course, the hook up with Marcie at a Blowout after her date, the singer from Sunshine Vapor passed out at the bar, the tryst with Lightning Leah in the bathroom at Polish Village Café, the accident with Michael Mars from Marco Polio, but I decided to scrap the idea when I realized it would sell better than the fiction book I had already written so after crying I asked Judy on updates on what I had been missing on the internet and of course she gave me the worst: the woman who had been torn in two in Texas that the police are calling a suicide, the stock market, politics (which totally bores me), the premature baby found in a lunchbox in a Walmart (I had to pop another ibuprofen, this time a liquid gel), the rich wife who vanished, the poor wife in jail, Ryan Allen's divorce which caused me to question the last five years of boring interviews where he stressed how marriage and children have affected him as a person and his music and if I was just being lied to, or even worse, he really believed it, fires in the Amazon, an op-ed on your self esteem when your nightmares aren't scary enough, and the chef who poisoned an entire restaurant just for fun (I had already saw the story on yesterday's Patty Winters Show). At this point I threw the laptop into the pool at the house by the beach and it lands next to an unmarked video tape and nobody cared and somebody (I think Trent) says, "I think something very bad is going to happen and there is nothing we can do about it." Trent and I decide to go to the movies and that was my day without internet.

Jump cut to today where Scott has procured another laptop. "It used to belong to Wes Craven," he brags and I shrug it off as not a big deal but am secretly impressed. I click the laptop on dreading what will be on today's timeline. The screensaver is a photo of a topless Jamie Lee Curtis from "Trading Places", a small victory, and I begin to question if Scott (who works in Hollywood) got Wes Craven confused with John Carpenter even though neither of them worked on "Trading Places". The 1983 film was directed by John Landis so the laptop could very well be his and I am already stressed out. I click to check Messenger. The usual: "Did you hear about the breakup?, Are you coming to my improv show? (spare me), When can we meet?, Midsommar really let me down, Don't you think Iggy Pop's solo career kinda is not good? Where were you?, When did all my friends become so puss whipped? (Searching the room for Cally and Superbomb guy), Check out my new song! ('It was fantastic,' my reply, a lie), What's your take on this?" The last one was from The Kid (K.P.), and it was the lineup for this year's Hamtramck Labor Day Fest. I could picture him grinning, brewing some stout, salivating, knowing I would have to preview this. I message him back, "I will have the preview up Tuesday!" (despite an appointment with my legal team), followed by, "When can we meet?", a small victory.

Everybody at the pool (today its just me, Trent, Scott, Judy, Amy, and Matt) is startled by the arrival of Mexican Jim, the groundskeeper who is actually Puerto Rican, who has stopped by to work on the hedges and probably steal a beer. I glance back at the Labor Day Fest lineup and a wave of fear and depression washes over me and I look at the billboard that can be seen from the house by the beach, and it has been changed, altered, and now says, ominously, "This Again?" without any context (the flip side says "Lucky to Be Alive", not a question). Somebody has covered the billboard in Christmas lights, even though its August, summer in the city, and the talk at the pool turns to the increased amount of deer spotted on the property and how they all got in and Trent gets bored so he goes to spray Mexican Jim with the garden hose and everybody laughs and high fives.

Hey all, Metro here! The Hamtramck Labor Day Fest has been an institution in the area for years. 40 to be exact. Same age as me. Whoa, creepy right? Not really. I have previewed and covered it in person for the past two years. While attending, I've always had a good to great time. The food is good, the families are happy, many vendors selling original creations (aside from that one year when T-Shirt guy was selling shirts with "borrowed" images). I have never ventured into the carny area mainly because I always have a drink in my hand. I always make it a point to also be near the police, who are always polite and I respect, despite them not knowing about the death threats made against me. The only bummer I've ever had there is when somebody stole my nachos. I would like to cover this year's Fest in person, and who knows, maybe I will, but my only concern is that the retards suing me realize that their case is ridiculous because of the pain in the ass that is (sigh, all caps) FREEDOM OF SPEECH, and are embarrassed, an embarrassment to add to all the others I've posted here, and they decide to carry out the threats of physical violence posted publicly that I covered in previous posts.. So, its up in the air right now. However, I can and will do a music preview (opinions are still legal right?). As far as food and vendors go, support local artisans ya dummies. There is also a parade (I think but not sure), along with the canoe races where a bunch of cliquey derelicts run around with makeshift canoes trying to determine who gets tetanus first. The kids love it though. As for my music preview, per usual, I will list the performer and sample their music, and then have an opinion (those are still legal right?). Oh, here's the flier so I don't have to waste time on posting stage and set-times....

Holy smokes! No Caveman Woodman!?? Then again he could just do a pop-up show with Drizzle Eyes Bam Bam from inside the dunk tank (which I would actually watch) and (you're welcome for the idea). By the way Caveman and Slack Face have a new single out and it is pretty decent and catchy despite ripping off Love's "Little Red Book". It was produced by has been/never was Zach Shipps and the cover designed by TJ "Dance and Fuck" Gretch (though don't hold it against them). The record is released on Outer Limits Records which doesn't even have an official record website, just the venue website store,  and only around four "artists" (all typical cliquey and boring). Woodman isn't even listed as of this writing. I thought he was with Jett Plastic Records, or maybe this is the new fad. I hope it didn't have to do with money issues regarding the production of the records, but who knows.  Another question is will failed actor Jimmy Doom still be in the canoe races despite being sacked from Kelly's? Yowie wowie, so many questions! Also, how could they leave out the obvious "Dancing With the Mayor" contest where the person with the most votes wins tickets to a future Raconteurs show and the person with the least votes is forced to walk home from Hamtramck but not allowed to get started until the sun goes down. Ominous and spooky.
Also, thanks to the anon commenter who suggested they put me in the dunk tank. It would draw a helluva lot more than some of these bands. I wouldn't even go for the "cheap heat" of just taunting the crowd. I would just read previous blog posts. Okay, I might include a few zingers like this dialogue to a nine year old, "Ha, you missed. Total failure. Your mother should have doubled down on the black guy!" At this point, the dunk tank breaks all previous donation records. I am a business genius.

 Anyway, here is the music preview. It is in no particular order. Look at the flier for specifics.

Stephanie Cox- I'm guessing this is what the Constant Readers who crave the artist profiles came for. Cox is polarizing to me on social media. She is one of "those activists" who don't really have an original thought but instead just re-posts links and memes. Every now and then she has a good post about real issues but then capsizes it by posting anti-white posts from fringe websites like Blacknews.com or Chunk.com. I'm pretty sure she despises me, but not enough to sue, so I tip my cap for that. As far as the music goes, it is decent, serviceable soul. I think we would be friends if I wasn't white.

Danny D- I believe he's that Rod Stewart impersonator. The menopause cases reversed that night will be epic, I can tell you that!

The Polish Muslims- I always get the Polish Muslims confused with the Kielbasa Kings. Not because of the music, but because one of them pulled out of a show because of unfounded internet complaining because that's what happens in 2019, a bunch of bitches complaining (and by "bitches" I mean all demographics; hell I'm complaining right now!). I'll pass because I don't care much for geezer cowards.

The Kielbasa Kings- This is the band that is not the Polish Muslims and yet is still a pass.

High Strung- Totally serviceable, yet generic, hard rock who have been around forever and that one dude wrote "Bird Box" which was a sorta-hit and is probably secretly planning to tell his bandmates he is taking a leave once the next book is greenlit, the poor bastards.

The Paybacks- Total local geezer rock. I've been keeping tabs for years and they've never had a song that engaged me once. I would put Wendy Case in the Danny Dollrod "Turning Into Dust" Hall of Fame.

Sheefy McFly- Decent local hip hop artist who moonlights as a muralist that forgets his permit. That was a pretty interesting story at the beginning of the year but the buzz is dying down so Labor Fest for the save.

Carolyn Striho Group- Easily the most overrated artist on the Fest, and maybe Detroit. Cares less about the music and more about accolades, like pointless DMA's in as many categories as possible. In 11 years covering the local scene I have not heard her name mentioned once. Cliquey, clique, clique, clique.

International Bigtime Wrestling- This is actually scheduled the same time as Striho at the same stage so I don't know how this will play out. The main event is Mysterious Movado vs. Kongo Kong (who will do an indy show for a bag of chips). Movado once tried to sell me one of his masks (overpriced), and is related to somebody who wants to kill me that used to work at Smalls (duhh). I told Movado I needed to hit the atm and never returned haha. The Malcolm Monroe family is also advertised so if you follow local wrestling you already know who's going over in the matches.

Pancho Villa's Skull- Fun, good, punk/mariachi mash-up. I dig it.

Brenda- I am not searching the internet for this artist. However, I am very intrigued. Who is this Brenda? Is it a band? Is she solo? If its a band, are they all guys? If its a female, is she a hardbody that can't really sing, like Chrissy Criss before she let herself go? Is she a fatty patty who actually has a good voice like the Drinkard Sisters? Would I fuck Brenda? Would she coach me in songwriting? Who is Brenda? I'm really curious and may actually check out this set. Who knows, I may even hit it off with Brenda, followed by the secret affair because she is possibly dating the bass player (is there a bass player?), and then the plane ride to London, the plane ride to Italy, the surprisingly good drugs in Germany, the train to Romania, the foursome with the students in Romania, the sunset in Amsterdam, the visit to the doctor, the results being the best case scenario, the flight back to the U.S., but to L.A. and not Detroit, the songwriting workshop we both signed up for and I didn't show up once, the abortion, the inevitable goodbye complete with fake tears on my end. Who is Brenda? I want to know.

*Writer's Note- This is the part of the post where Metro gets bored and phones it in.*

Easy Action- Hahahaha, the song I sampled (Friend of Rock and Roll) sounded like something Trey Parker and Matt Stone would have used in the Orgazmo soundtrack, but without the irony. I did laugh a lot sooooo

Unreal Being- Couldn't find shit. Way to go!!

Johnny Salvage- Serviceable rock. It wasn't bad.

Mike Hurtt- Some geezer. I was bored.

Whoa whoa whoa, wait a minute here. I just saw that one of the sponsors for the Labor Day Fest is the Hamtramck Public Schools. Which means Hamtramck Music Fest donates all profits to Hamtramck Public Schools (where's this year's "wish list" btw?) and Hamtramck Public Schools "sponsor" the Labor Day Fest. They even have their own stage!! Looks like Mrs. Walters successfully got back from Colombia with all the cash intact. Okay, back to the preview.

Yowes O'Gowrie- 14 views on the YouTube video I sampled (Reynardine). This has to be the biggest Velvet Underground and Nico rip off I have ever heard. It wasn't bad though, so go figure. Yowie Wowie!

Sold Only as Curio- Too many cooks in the band to make something so dull. Also the most pretentious band name on the Fest. Pass.

The Stools- High energy young dudes. I didn't have an issue.

75 Days of Sun- I turned it off as soon as the horns started. Pass.

Dirty Copper- That was the nickname for my underwear in college. The band is about the same. Somebody please tell the drummer to get on the same page. Awful.

Cruising the Barrio- Not sure if this is a DJ thing and I really don't care. They did come in 2nd place for most pretentious band name at the Fest.

Croy and the Boys- Generic country rock. Bored.

Virginia Violet and the Rays- Ugh, more horns. The casual festival-goer is going to be so annoyed. I think they ripped off around thirty songs in the one song I sampled.

The Strains- Basic hard rock. The song I sampled wasn't bad. It was actually good. Go figure.

Asher Perkins- Generic DJ shit. It wasn't good. It was shit.

Nique Love Rhodes- Not really my thing, but polished and well done. I'm not sure how it will go over in HamTown because it is very black sounding.

Milk Bath- I couldn't confirm the act because there are multiple "Milk Baths" out there which actually cause a small panic attack. The video I selected featured a bunch of lesbians in the shower so at least it was aesthetically pleasing and helped ebb the panic attack even though the song sucked.

Vvisionss- I despise bands that use the stupid gimmicks with their name that went out of style in 2009. Because of this I didn't even bother and just will offer that they suck.

Toeheads- The clip I saw wasn't bad. In your face rock in the style of Bantam Rooster. I didn't have a problem with it.

The Devious Ones- Joan Jett rip offs but not bad. Noticing lots of heavier bands booked for this year's Fest. Interesting to see how they go over (if anybody stops by the stage).

Vespre- 80's inspired pop sung by somebody who desperately needs conditioner.

Midas- More metal/hard rock. I actually liked this. It reminded me a little of Deep Purple making babies with Judas Priest.

Paint Thinner- The band was decent and had a groove, but the singer sucked. Worse than me.

Moonwalks- The song I sampled seemed like they were learning it as they went along, but it wasn't bad despite the singer's outdated Brian Jones fetish.

Icey Dicey- Took too long to find anything to review. Get bent.

Duane D313- I didn't know what to make of this. It was like a mash-up of Whitney Houston and the soundtrack to Streets of Rage 2, but I didn't hate it.

Market- I am NOT searching the internet for a band called Market.  They need to be in the market for a more accessible name.

Wiccans- Holy shit, we have a Meat Shack sighting! Word is, the band refuses to play until Meat Shack consumes two Hot and Ready's. Other than that, I was bored. Generic, droney, drivel.

Bastardous- Green Day/Blink 182 wanabees. It wasn't bad, just derivative and made for a Labor Day Fest.

Feelings- Ah yes, feelings. The antithesis of what I have for this act.

Shadow Show- Another female fronted band that has yet to master their instruments or even keep in time.

Sick Smile- The song I sampled (Explanation) was really bad and sounded like a Chili Peppers d-side, or maybe the band Live, and it dragged on and bored me. Another band who takes themselves too seriously.

That's it for the band previews. Sorry, no Martha Reeves this year. At this point the Fest should just concentrate on the families having fun and scrap the music. My niece has no interest in seeing some asshole DJ or failed geezer rock act "playing a new one we wrote". Just bring in all cover bands so at least people can dance and enjoy music that they know. I don't really picture my dad saying, from the Great Beyond, "I want to be your aura and you need to take me to the Shadow Show set at this year's Hamtramck Labor Day Fest because I need to hear them do..."

*Postscript*- I had fun with this one. I finally retuned to riffing on local acts and fests, and I also overindulged on some fiction at the beginning. For longtime Constant Readers, the opening served as a prequel to my fiction novel "The Invisible People" which would set the events that follow in 2019 and not 2009, when initially written. As for the Fest, the process was painful and boring as expected. I don't know how many posts I have left, but I do have one ready to go next week (pop culture). Until then, everybody have a fun, safe Labor Day! I love and appreciate you. Just let me in.

From the Iceman Commeth,
Bryan Metro

Monday, August 19, 2019

An Occurance At CVS Pharmacy

*Writer's note- The following is a mash up of facts and fiction. Its up to the (Constant) Reader to figure it out. The best, and really only, option is to believe whatever you want- BM*

Hey all Metro here. As many longtime readers know, I used to work a second job at CVS while managing a four diamond hotel. Fun fact- both jobs were contacted by so so sad doofuses trying to get me fired because of what I wrote on this blog, the typical "He made fun of me on the internet waaaaa" type stuff, despite the fact that this blog was my third job, and one that didn't pay. The hotel suspended me to placate the anonymous whiner and my staff was told I was out because of "allergies", a small victory. Luckily I intercepted the call to CVS that week because Stan, the manager, was closing up the pharmacy area. I answer the call...."Hello, thank you for calling CVS, this is Outrageous Dave (the "Outrageous" was mumbled), how can I assist you?" The voice (female; white) replied, "May I speak to a manager regarding an employee there?" My initial thought that it was regarding Goosh Goosh, the Indian cashier who treated everybody like shit, but I decided to play it safe and put her on hold so I could check to see if Stan is still fucking up the pharmacy receipts (he was, the stupid bastard), so I run back to the phone and attempted a ridiculous, and ill-advised, Aussie accent.
   "Hello, this is Stan. I am the manager. How may I assist you?"
   "One of your employees, Robert, or maybe goes by Bryan, is a racist and misogynist and because of this I am boycotting CVS because of it!"
I took a few seconds to consider this with my first thought being what she would look like after walking around Hamtramck down the wrong street at the wrong time, but I got back in character...
   "Oh my. I am truly sorry that you feel that way darling (A small victory; I was drunk). We will evaluate him and ensure he is removed from his position."
Her reply, "Good." Then *click* and I never heard from anyone again regarding this which unfortunately means I still had a second job at CVS. The only other complaints were about four and all involved my attitude, and from in store customers. The common response was they would keep me off the registers. Maybe sometimes, "allergies".

Jump cut/flash cut to three weeks later and I'm back at the hotel and the head housekeeper Puma brings a bag of coke from a guest room of somebody in a wedding party. She gave it to the co-manager, Wintergreen, as I observed and seethed. Wintergreen said he was going to take it to security so I logged off my Marvel Ultimate Alliance game on my work computer and said with a pinch of menace, "That's going nowhere. It's time to roam."
We spent the next three hours inspecting every room in the hotel for more scores and if a room was particularly trashed I just left a post-it note saying "I'll see you in hell" (I had a bunch for various purposes) and then just radioed housekeeping to come clean up the mess, haha. Then I realized I had the late shift at CVS that night so I had to split.

By the time I get to CVS the coke had worn off so before I clocked in I bought a six pack of either Bell's or Beck's (does CVS even sell that?) and the cashier didn't see me stash it in the cooler and I am a total mess and I came out and said "I'll go fill the cooler", come out 20 minutes later, mildly drunk, and went to working totes/stocking. I chuckle to myself as I put items in the wrong places: Pregnancy tests in the toy aisle, replacing a tier of salsa with weight loss pills, and Ragu in the Fem hygiene aisle, a personal favorite. I also took a few to write in all the notebooks in the stationary section with ominous phrases like, "Not now, soon", "Waste of Time", "Hamtramck Music Fest 2020", "What is your dad doing right now?", "Every day is another day lost (In some notebooks I added the postscript of 'dummy'," In some I just said "dummy" and I was bored and the coke has worn off and maybe the beer too so I go back to fill the cooler and get a refresh. Its almost closing time so Goosh Goosh (the lazy bitch) cashier is cut which leaves me and Nick the manager as the only employees remaining. The store is quiet and in the movies this is when something bad happens.

I start the close down process which basically means I see what scratch off tickets I can borrow tonight as Nick, the manager, is on the phone with his wife (two kids; works at CVS haha). I suddenly hear Nick yelling, "Lock the door! Lock the door!" Naturally I was going to do it anyway so I lock the door as some skinny white guy races to the door with Nick (270lbs but a total spud) in pursuit. Nick and the perp are wrestling on the ground completely violating company policies and Nick blows out his knee so the perp goes back to the door. I'm still standing against the wall and mumble, "I just work here. You figure it out." After the fact, I realized he could have stabbed or shot me, but the experience would have been empty on his end. The scab finally figured out how to unlock the door and took off running. Nick, a total failure, went to call the cops. After relocking the doors I told him I was going to top off the cooler. Upon returning, completely drunk, the cops had arrived. They were bored making their boring reports. Despite my toxic intoxication I stopped the cops when I realized the derelict had left his car. There was my car, Nick's car, the cop car, and the amateur's car. The cops ran the plate and it was a mile over and I agreed to ride with them (the irony; a small victory) while Nick was tied up with corporate. We were suspended for interacting with the criminal and I eventually just stopped showing up for work. The cops found the queer hiding in the bushes a few houses down from his house, maybe a garden, the stupid bastard. I confirmed this is the guy who didn't kill me but was stealing condoms, and that was that. Nobody got shot (thankfully the thief was white). I had one of my "I'll see you in hell" post-its ready to go, but I kept it because I knew I had to go grocery shopping the next day so instead I drove to the bikini bar where I flirted with the staff asking what books they're currently reading.

I used a generic CVS PUBLIC DOMAIN photo here partly because I don't have any photos from when I was there and the girl 2nd from the left is a total doff. Okay, far right girl maybe, a probably especially after I hit the cooler. If anybody in the photo sees this and would like it removed, per the blog policy please contact me and I will gladly remove it even though it is PUBLIC DOMAIN! By the way I could write a 600 page book, half fiction half fact,  about my experiences in retail and hospitality but I have to wait out the statute of limitations. One of my favorites is when I worked at Target and had a bad day I borrowed my manager's name badge (we had a slight resemblance) and I went to another Target in my red and khaki and spent an hour pretending I worked there (none of the employees noticed) and whenever a "guest" would ask me to look for something in the back I said "Okie Dokie" and went to a different department, not returning. Now and then I would peek to see if they were still waiting.

From the Iceman Commeth,
Bryan Metro

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Woodstock in the D..August Potpourri

Hey all, Metro here. At least now I know where all the hits are coming from. Man, the archives are really heating up but that's a story for another day. This week's post is less fiction and more LiveJournal with me throwing darts at everything I've jotted down, but on their own didn't warrant a full post (well the Epstein thing could have). Let me preface this week's tirade by saying I have, or at least believe, that I have accomplished everything I've wanted to in life: The failed marriage with the bonus of no kids, no kids, college because it was expected, meeting Hunter, meeting Bret, meeting Sky (although one regret would be not doffing her), the blog, the attention, the week in the hospital (work was told "exhaustion"), the travelling: L.A., New York, New Orleans, Florida, Haunted America, Hawaii (Mauna Kea, above the clouds, on top of the world, the heavens), the Edge of the World (band HQ), the Detroit Music Award, the year 2009 when JCM/Lavender Blog (legal purposes) were the only band/blog everybody talked about, the subsequent years where it was still on everybody's radar, the rumors, the late period resurgence exposing the Ben's Encore Charity, the Blowouts, the lawsuits, the successful Final Show/retirement, the book (its finished and waiting to be published), and cats, lots of cats.

It's a decent resume, if you have low expectations, and I am a master in low expectations, and am fine with it as it is. Now that I'm 40 (yikes), I've reached the point where anything else is a bonus. I don't really have any goals and the freedom of the lack of goals is a wave of catharsis. The lone side effect of this is that since I no longer have a real personality, some semblance of character, any, I have become a conduit for any type of emotion I encounter. If its negative, call me done for the day. If its positive then I am good to go. For example, last year I made a wrong decision on a vet procedure and the cat Cheeto, passed. I have never lived that down. This past week I made the right call with another cat, Iggy, and he is doing better and it filled me with so much joy with a side order of redemption (but not all) that I was genuinely happy for at least a few hours. This is why I try not to watch the news (unless its to see what Channel 7's Ann Marie is wearing), or the Patty Winters Show (today's topic was suits that have the ability to compress and kill you), and definitely why I'm staying off the internet more and more. Everything is just so depressing and the media feeds on it because negativity sells, trust me I know (though have never made a dime from it). Okay lets get to the talking points. This is becoming a Jeff Milo post, thus boring iz bored. Time to slide....

"I tried to marry my own mythos and it failed."

And I'm sitting at the pool at the house by the beach and Katrina is telling me this and I'm nodding even though I can't relate, and its been a quiet day and I am thankfully apathetic (I had read a boring sports article that bored me) but still concerned and there aren't that many over today because people are staying away because of the incident with the Indian electrician.
Yesterday, the power went out at the house by the beach and everybody was suitably stressed, so we called the company (ominous, I know) who then sent out Emu, who probably failed medical school, and like a goof, goes to work. He ends up getting himself tangled in the power lines and gets a jolt and fell into the pool with a taste for blood which became activated and closed the electronic cover (at least EMU fixed the power, a small victory), and we could hear Emu's screams from beneath the pool cover even though the power lines should have killed him. Afterward, after the usual call was made, Scott insisted that he witnessed the power lines "come alive" and actually guided Emu into the pool.

Today, there aren't many out by the pool. There's me, Trent (asleep), Amy, Scott, Matt, Oakley, Spencer who fixes computers, Carl who I've never met, Katrina who has an art gallery and just got out of prison, Victor Johnson the model, and one of the former members of the Funky Bunch.
   "Everyone needs love and acceptance, but sometimes you need something more real! Like real love and real acceptance," Katrina, still on a roll. I shudder when I click open the house laptop and the first thing that pops up on my timeline is the Metro Times annual "Best of Detroit" winners. I pass the laptop to Victor...

Hey all, Victor Johnson here. Now we all know that the Metro Times sucks and probably will be out of business, at least in print, within a year. The writing staff are complete biased idiots looking for clickbait, the anemic hard copy is peppered with constant ads about pot despite the fact that most pot users don't read the Metro Times. The lead editor is a hack who couldn't even cut it at MotorCityRocks.com (remember that?) and will probably be replaced in a few months. They managed to ruin the most noteworthy music festival in the state in Blowout, and they just had their Best of Detroit issue which was completely click bait on their website where you had to click each category (the food section had to be at least 200) to see the winner, but the winner usually isn't the winner because its all predicated on advertising. It always has been, I admit, and I will also admit that Doofus DeVito did make a smart call by having you click on each item to get to the next page peppered with ads that generate revenue, unlike this site which generates zero revenue, but it was never about money, it was chaos. The list is ridiculous and mostly bought and paid for by a sinking ship desperate for money and I understand that. This is America after all unless when its not. I would post the link to the Best of Detroit winners (haha) but its just click-bait ad bullshit. Seek out a print issue instead; if you can find one anymore. Handing the laptop back to Metro...

After two Xanax I discover that there was a thing called "Woodstock in the D" this past weekend. I'm guessing this was a last minute thing due to everybody pulling out of the main Woodstock anniversary thing and I guess Canned Heat was booked (played the original, okay cool) but nobody else of note. You know a fest is doomed when Woodman doesn't even pop up. The only other selling point was that an act was going to use a drum set used at the actual Woodstock. Hee hee. I would include a link but its already happened, or did it, who cares, sigh shrug whatever. This is a satire site but that was not satire. It really happened. The ticket price was $55 (??!) and I seriously need to know if anybody went. It was in Wixom, a beehive of activity.

Next up is the deluge of Jeffrey Epstein articles. I know I am late to the party on this but it was calculated, on purpose (same thing? haha), as with everything here is, even though I predicted it in a fiction post on July 9th, but I wanted to gauge (an underrated adult film star) the level of coverage. I honestly think this is a big story involving all sides and parties, and not a prediction but a spoiler, it is a big story that will be forgotten in a month. There are hundreds of conspiracy theories out there (my favorite being on yesterday's Patty Winters Show where it was suggested that Epstein was switched out and replaced by Anthony Bourdain which would have been an immaculate preservation, and Patty actually had a bowl of pasta hooked up to an electrical devise trying to get the real scoop, and I first thought it was a joke but then I saw a shot of a child in the audience crying and then realized it wasn't). I'm not going to delve into the various theories but I will say this is a watershed moment of public opinion where people start to question the media and the quality of the sources. I understand its been around with the tinfoil 9/11 theories, but this one is pretty tough to ignore or will people be okay with "Okay goodbye, good riddance, case closed." Does the story get larger (spoiler: No), but if it does, will it cue up another mass shooting to take over the story of the week? I know I'm being cynical but.....

Trent closes the laptop and says, "You're being too serious. Lighten up, plus dad is in Pakistan this week." I chuckle (it was forced) and we slap high five and he probably did me a favor. At this point, I'm near tears and ask, "What do you think happens next?" His reply behind a knowing grin, "A Bonus", the only time I think I've seen Trent optimistic in my life, and then, after I've calmed down, he adds, "I think something very bad is going to happen and there is nothing we can do about it," a typical jab that I laugh off, but not really, and we high five, and then he walks away but not before I see him put his big toe in the pool

*Writers note*- This will be the last post on the Lavender Blog for the near future, or at all. I really don't have anything to write about. All of the plaintiffs have been advised to not post anything public which is absurd because of the whole freedom of speech thing and some things have been deleted (Why? Regret? Whoops? Oh man you really posted that? Where did all the money go? Did we remember to pay taxes? How many people did we get fired? How many businesses threatened? How could we have been so stupid? Why didn't the modelling career take off? Why can I never open up the treasure chest in my fish bowl? Who am I? Should I endanger my kids? Should I quit this job too? If we are right then why have we been told to be silent? What time does she get home because I don't want an episode like last week. What is the name of Harry Potter's quidich team?). Everything has gone private which is hilarious because isn't everybody an activist these days? Why not let your voice be heard? Radio silence, as if they realized they were wrong to begin with. Somebody come up with something fun for Halloween. I had a great idea for a costume but I forgot what it was. Thanks for reading. Oh, here's a pic of me and Sky and the missed opportunity!

From the Iceman Commeth,
Bryan Metro

Monday, August 5, 2019

A Sunday With Outrageous Dave!

*Writer's Note- The following was written Friday and revised/edited on Sunday. In between there were three more mass shootings in the U.S. which is deplorable and the Lavender Blog has only positive energy going out to the families of the victims/injured. Naturally my timeline was polluted with the typical responses of people ragging on people offering prayers (when did this become a thing? Never mind) and saying people should do more while doing jack shit themselves, and there were also a few that had to make it about themselves like, "I refuse to let the threat of being shot prevent me from seeing some shitty band in Ann Arbor," along with about 20 other "I's". I have to stress that "Outrageous Dave" is a character, blatantly over the top crude, but hopefully entertaining. I also have to note that about 40% of this post is taken from social media posts from other people that popped up on the timeline. Thanks for reading. -BM*

Hey everybody, its Outrageous Dave! Many new readers may not know me. My last post was regarding a massacre at a Kiss tribute show at the Token Lounge launched by some type of cult and included sex, severed heads, and the Ace Frehley actor spontaneously combusting on stage, and the post had to be taken down because it was too excessive, and more importantly, that the incident never happened. Since Metro is working on other stuff I am back to fill in and since I don't follow the local scene (who does anymore?), I'll just tell you about Sunday.....

and the car is parked but I don't leave just yet because I'm suffering from a major panic episode and the lot at Meijer is packed which sends a chill that washes over me like a harsh wave in the Pacific Ocean, and I try to ward it off by watching a guy pushing a cart with a heavy box in it and one wheel keeps getting stuck, sending him in circles but then the sticky wheel would change because this is the game that moves and the effect was incredible when the cart eventually tipped over and nobody helped him (haha) and all of this theater relieved some of my stress, paranoia, and tension and I was stuffing my face with the popcorn that appeared out of nowhere and started calling him names like Rubber Johnny, Purple Head, Lil Boy, Shine Head, Piss Boy, Potato, Joan the Moan, Mrs. Swithers, Faggot, and Rubber Johnny, though the windows were up and he couldn't hear me.

After watching the derelict a few seconds longer struggling to get the heavy box back in the cart I exited the car and just focused on the ground until I got to the dork with the cart and offered him a dollar. He looked at me, sweating, and said, "That is Outrageous!", and I ignored him and started singing a King Crimson song while still dangling the dollar out. Once the song ended (I forgot the last verse, a small victory for cart guy), I laid the dollar on top of the box he was still messing with, and the dollar already had "I'll see you in hell" written on it (all my special dollars do; I have a collection), and then I finally spoke, saying, "The effect was incredible", followed by a verbal "
I'll see you in hell" and then there was this guy lying on his back on the sidewalk outside the entrance just looking up at the sky smoking a cigarette. I was going to do the dollar gag but I realized he worked here so I just maced him but not long, just enough to confuse him. A little further down the sidewalk was a young man with a mohawk driving an Amigo scooter with his girlfriend on his lap. I decided they were safe and mumbled something lame like "Far Out". I love my Costco!

I have my checklist, although its not a shopping list, and I make my way to the international food aisle and started acting confused until an employee, some doofus, wearing a uniform two sizes too big, surprisingly white, asks if I need help. I shrugged off the irony of his question and he continued using his best Gregory Peck impersonation, "When someone dies, you're allowed to be happy about it. People freak out and act like you're not supposed to speak ill of the dead but I don't buy it Whether its an intractably bigoted politician or a family member who abused you and never apologized or otherwise sought forgiveness, it is okay to feel some elation at their passing. When I die, there will be a handful of people that are glad for one reason or another (I'm thinking "We're gonna need more hands"). I expect them to say their piece; it's okay," and the Walmart employee just looks at me confused after his abstract tirade and I soak it in, consider asking his opinion on those killed in the multiple mass shootings over the weekend and whether anybody was elated when they found out who was killed, but instead say, "I can't wait until your time's up because you are OUT of my preferred taco seasoning and I will see you in hell!" I considered offering him a dollar but just left the international foods aisle and didn't bother to get a substitute seasoning.

I make my way to the frozen food section which really stresses me out because it is my least favorite section in supermarkets and it was way too early in the shopping experience but since I don't intend to buy anything here it was okay. I saw some dumpy guy (as expected) filling the ice cream cooler and I stand near him but never ask for help. "Can I help you?" he asks me (a small victory) and I reply, "How much does it cost to produce 1000 vinyl records that maybe 25 people will listen to and 5 will actually pay for?" He cleared his throat and that was when I noticed the haircut and well-maintained goatee and I immediately regret starting this entire exchange and I sulked away, completely frustrated with myself after he replied, "Ask Caveman Woodman."

I move to the dollar/clearance section next because I may actually buy something here and security is now following me, tracking me, even though I have every camera in this Kroger mapped out including all the blindspots. I quickly flip the script and head to the produce department doubling down that there will be enough fatty's to hide me, even though there are more cameras there. Security continues to follow me most likely because of complaints regarding the nose bleed that probably started in the parking lot and the fact I have done nothing to correct, or even disguise. I focus in on a total hardbody putting out vegetables and make my move but am interrupted by the manager on duty at this Busch's and he asks if I need any help. After ignoring my reply (it was "lettuce"), he then says, "Two of my closest friends are in the psych ward." I don't know how to interpret this so I panic and ask him if Olivia Jean is worth it to destroy a marriage and then comment on how fucking old she looks in the Night Owl video and then I give him one of the dollars and jog over to the hardbody, and she is a hardbody but her tits seem too big, and the only thing I can tell her is, "I don't know if its a good thing or not, but I voted for two guys I played hockey with regardless of their party hahahaha.!" She looks at me as if I was handicapped and rolled her eyes like she's heard it before and finally said, "You are in the wrong department," and I took this as a warning so a grabbed a head of lettuce and made a break to the checkouts, but not before mumbling "I'll see you in hell", and once at the checkouts I noticed the ponce from the international aisle bagging. I caught a glimpse of an automatic firearm tucked in his pants which would explain the exaggerated clothing. I bought my lettuce and immediately fled the store. I threw the lettuce in the trash can (haha) and went to the car which was still running (whoops). The man with the cart was gone but the cart was still there, tipped. After the car, I ran back to the Farmer Jack just in time to hear the guy from the international foods aisle yell, "This is a statement" and that was when I brained him with my signed Jack White baseball bat and then I followed that up by macing him until one of his eyes actually dissolved and the entire staff, along with the customers, let out a raucous cheer, and there were high fives everywhere, and I decided it was time to leave when the cart attendants took the creep/co-worker into the stockroom where I heard

Outrageous Dave!