I’m not sure what the universe/Big Brother algorithm had in store for me, but it put this band in front of me recently and it has arrested my brain. I watched the documentary “Supersonic,” which was executive produced by both Gallagher brothers*. This along with a recent video on Brit Pop and a discovery of the band’s discography available online has sent them into my ears like it was 1995 again. I’ve realized that I largely ignored their later period, and have barely heard any of Noel Gallagher’s solo work. This re-think basically boils down to a major question:

Was Oasis great?

This is a fundamental question to ask, since the very idea of being great, “the greatest,” or anything in between seems to be at the very core of the band’s existence. Continue reading ‘Requiem for Oasis’

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My son has been asking for a dog for years, and this year we finally pulled the trigger. We adopted Bodhi, a former rescue, who is a mix of Basenji and Mini-Pinscher. He’s pretty well trained and very nice.

None of that matters. What matters is what music puns I can get out of this dog’s name.

The first was Kool Bodhi, like “Kool Moe Dee.” This one has stayed pretty steady, though my ignorance of Kool Moe Dee’s catalog limits my range.

Next we came up with Depeche Bode, which I’m very proud of. He’s a quiet dog, so he does, in fact “enjoy the silence” and finds “words are very unnecessary.”

Bodhi’s been in our lives for almost a month, and it’s only recently that I’ve finally come up with the greatest names. It took me all this time that I’m almost angry at myself.

The names are:

Bodhi Ramone and David Bodhi.

These are goldmines.

First the Bowie/Bodhi relationship allows for some easy bits, given the fact that titles like “Diamond Dogs” and “Queen Bitch”are already in the catalog. Songs like “Moonage Daydream” give me a chance to sing “I’m a mini-pinscher/I’m a little Basenji for you-u-u.” You can go crazy coming up with alter-egos and concept albums such as “The Rise and Fall of Scooby Stardust and the Spaniels From Mars.” It’s only limited by rhyming abilities.

But with the Ramones catalog so dear to my heart, I went nuts. Here now is the set-list Bodhi Ramone would play if he did, in fact, sing in a seminal dog punk band:

  • Rockaway Leash
  • Teenage You-Gotta-Pee
  • Shitzu-Kreig Bop
  • Gimme Gimme Some Treats Man
  • Beat on the Cat
  • Judy is a Pug
  • I Wanna Walk Your Boyfriend
  • Rachel is a Dog-Walker (my wife’s name subbed in for Sheena)
  • Bodhi Goes to Bite-burg
  • Walk-n-Roll Dog School
  • Highest Tails Above
  • I Wanna Lick
  • Wart Dog
  • Too Ruff To Die
  • Barking At the Moon (Sha-La-La-La)
  • The KKK Took my Rabies Away
  • I Don’t Wanna NOT Walk Around With You
  • Today Your Love, Tomorrow Your Love
  • Penhead (with refrain “Gabba-Gabba STAY!”)

Encore:

  • Now I Wanna Sniff Some Poo
  • Pet Semetary

I’m sure I missed some. I just need to pick the right dog jackets.

 

 

 

 


For some reason, I keep doing it to myself. I keep reading TheRinger. Maybe they have good art, or alluring titles (in fact, they do). But time and again, their content is a let down.

Case in point: the recent “Weezer Must Be Stopped” article. I considered doing a point-by-point take down of this thing, but then that would mean the article had points at all. Like most of TheRinger’s content, there is no clear argument being made in any way beyond its own hive-mind assumptions. For this one, you have to assume that Weezer’s later period is bad, that their cover of “Africa” is not fun, and that simple lyrics equate to bad songs. None of these things are 100% guaranteed, unless you want fall in line with these writers, which, in a way, is to fall in line with a widely-spread belief that Weezer fell apart after “Pinkerton,” which is a point SO OLD that it has been made for 20+ years, in much the same way (their songs are more pop than “honest and dark,” they come off as calculating, their lyrics have suffered). On and on and on. Continue reading ‘Why Do I Read TheRinger.com?’


I finished writing a novel. Now it’s in the early stages of deciding a lasting title, and even the genre.

That’s not saying that I don’t have genre in mind. It is definitely a mystery novel, but certain aspects of the story push the classification more toward the Cozy Mystery category. Wanna know what that is OK great:

A “cozy mystery” is a sub-genre of the mystery novel. While it still involves crime and murder, the violence and sex components are downplayed. Cozy Mysteries usually have punny titles based on the theme or characters or small town setting. A mystery set in a coffee house will have titles like “ON WHAT GROUNDS” (a real book) while others set around a crochet club have titles like “KNOT GUILTY” (also a real book). Continue reading ‘Working on the Not-So-Cozy Mystery’


I HAVE BEEN INSPIRED BY THE HIVES at least three times in my life. That’s three separate creative endeavors where I drew direct inspiration from this band. “Three times” may not sound like a lot, but compare it to the number of times you have been inspired by a band, movie or artist. I think I’ve heard most people mention an artist once at the beginning of their careers (“We heard the Beatles and said let’s start a band”) and then they move on. And even then, it’s not like those people were inspired by the Beatles to make movies, too. And write books.

My three projects were a sketch comedy show, a weekly music article for Tripwire.com/Fader.com called “The Greatest Song At This Moment” and a film script. That’s three projects in three different genres, and as I realize this is starting to say more about me than about the power of the band itself, I will protect myself by twisting around to simply say that the Hives are awesome. I’ve seen them live, I own all their albums, I’ve preached the word and tried to convert others. I’ve written reviews and shared other reviews about them. They inspire fun and I feel they deserve respect.

For all this awesomeness, they have never achieved some lofty title of Greatest Band In the World, never really broke out of that early-2000’s garage-band-upswing pseudo-genre. The best this gets them is that when the movie “Boyhood” wanted to show just how early 2000’s a scene was, it played “Hate to Say I Told You So.” Since the Hives have not (yet) reached that upper echelon, they will likely not receive the greatest complement bestowed upon any band: a comprehensive song-by-song ranking by Vulture.com.

Fortunately for them and all of us, I’m here to do the work. I tried to follow the rules set forth from previous Vulture ranking articles where I am limited this to official releases and no live stuff. Basically, if you can get it on iTunes or if the band put it out on their official YouTube page, I’m counting it. If not, I’m not (sorry “Sounds Like Sushi” and “Oh, No! When” How?” EP’s). I’m also writing this in September 2018, so if you’re reading this after the Hives release their concept/soundtrack album for a new James Bond movie, I didn’t forget, I just don’t live in the future.

I’m also mimicking Vulture’s style, where I will interrupt the list with editorial asides, history lessons, and general thoughts about the band. However, I am breaking ranks with Vulture by presenting this list in a way that does not cause your phone to crash.
Lastly, these songs have been very scientifically chosen and ranked. These are not subjective decisions. These are stone cold facts where there is no room for debate. You can set your watch by these rankings and be correct at all times. I achieved this brand of hard science by going to Hives Manor, where I studied under Randy Fitzsimmons. Then I listened to all of the Hives major-release catalog. Then went back to Hives Manor, then back home again. I listened to the songs in a variety of ways – as albums, then shuffled, then back again – all the while making notes. Each song got assigned to an initial category: “Love,” “Low Love,” “Strong Like,” “Like,” “Low Like,” and “Leave.” Once I had all the songs in these generally categories, I tried to rank them within each category. This was achieved by making a playlist on my iPhone for each category, giving each list two or three full listens, and then making some picks.

This, unfortunately, is where science fails but my heart prevails. Some of the choices were clear, while others (mostly in the middle) were very muddy. After a while I would just assign a song a rank of, say, 5 for its category because it felt like a 5, and then used that as my North Star for the rest of the surrounding songs. Like a right-wing governor setting the record for executions, I know I am right because I know I’m right.
I’ll publish all my notes in my full report. Which is right here. You’re welcome and yours truly, HPM: Continue reading ‘Ranking All 87 Hives Songs’


I bought into the hype, the news coverage, the coverage of the spoiler in the other coverage and all that stuff. I went to a comic shop and bought the special, first-print, non-alternate cover of “Batman #50,” aka the “Batman and Catwoman’s Wedding Issue.” And I bought the one before it, #49.

So first thing, about buying the one before it, I was foolish. Despite my (I think) higher-than-the-average-person knowledge of Batman things, I am below average compared to active comic book fans. I think. And I’m out of practice, because I somehow, foolishly, stupidly thought that the events of “Batman #49” would immediately line up to the events of “Batman #50.” They don’t. Of course they don’t. This is modern comic book storytelling, where the events of “Batman #49” get followed up by “Catwoman #31,” then “Justice League: Batman’s Cowl #6” and on and on. This will relate in a moment. Continue reading ‘Batman’s Wedding’


Alternative title: People Ranking “Solo” as the Worst Star Wars Movie Are Insane.

The release of “Solo: a Star Wars Story” has been a weird one for “Star Wars” movies. It hasn’t set the world on fire, so many have been quick to blame everything and declare it the worst entry. I’ve heard some actual fan reaction from people directly, but even that has been hampered with statistics and box office returns. It should be noted that none of these people I’ve spoken to have any vested interest in those box office returns. It’s more just the way our world works now. Everything is seen in terms of how money justifies existence.

That almost makes sense in terms of “Star Wars,” as they have been so synonymous with box office success that when one doesn’t make a zillion dollars, it does, I suppose, qualify as “news.” The films have also reached a level of their own film genre, as one of my friends has pointed out. Each “Star Wars” movie can only be measured against previous “Star Wars” movies. All other comparisons are irrelevant. Still, I’m going to try. Continue reading ‘Solo: a Star Wars Thoughts’