Wednesday, March 30, 2011

UPDATED Top Ten CBR-STR Rankings

Hello readers. Through the duration of the last month, the CBR-STR efforts of the "elite" athletes were relatively laughable and almost a disgrace. Still, some contenders proved resiliant and creative while others were just plain consistent and diligent. Some have even made it to the CBR-STR for the first time. Either way, it all adds up to them having good times while making "fun" out of "me", my life, my soul and my dreams.

"Chop Bust Rating" or “CBR” is a designated number between 1-100 and will be reflective of recent and/or long standing ball busting, combined with the intensity of the shit talk & skit-making-up and divided by other numbers...then multiplied by still more numbers.

The "STR" -also known as the "Shit Talk Ratio" is an hourly over daily fraction such as “24/7” which represents the bulk amount of ball busting/shit-talking/chop busting that is done weekly. The Top Ten CBR-SBR Rakings will be updated periodically. Below are the current top ten rankings.


1) Christopher "Maurice" Deprey (aka San Fransisco Cocksucker, Iron Chris Deprey) Top Attributes: Good looking, creative, musician, lunatic.
Made The Top Ten because: Although Chris slipped drastically in his consistency in his shit talking and had minimal chop bust intensity last month, he did contribute excellent, thoughtful movie plots scenarios featuring good ole ZFJ as the main characters on my FB wall. However he stopped leaving actually-mean, not-joking messages as FB comments on my profile such as “you piece of shit” and/or “fuck you” which cost him points. He also took the initiative and posted Anita Baker videos on my page, which gained him points. And, he’s planning something new I'm sure.
STR: 24/7
CBR: 93

2) Rich Tardy (aka Rich, Tardy)
Top attributes: Intelligent, band-mate, sells the sizzle, best amigo.
Made the Top Ten because: He is still consistently the most productive person in either coming up with shit to bust on about my life both in my face and/or behind my back. Rich was highly successful in his first political campaign as he took down the most votes via readers poll for the best movie skit posting on my FB wall. Yay! Rich is a key enabler of Rob Driscoll, who has been sitting at the bar late nights drawing pictures of, “supposedly” ZFJ. He also led a recent shit talking session at the bar with Eric Arena, Mick Hubis, my neighbor Scott and of course Rob and Jenni, “The Artists”.
STR: 24/7
CBR: 92

3) Recruit (Aka: Ammo, Seppulon)
Top Attributes: Very cute, brilliant, methodical, calculating
Made The Top Ten because: Wow. Just had to yell at her again because, as I’m typing this, she is tickling my fucking elbow trying to burrow into one of the pillows of my "command station" here on the couch! Damn…Refer to blog post “A few thoughts about Ammo” for background on the battles with my dog. After her defiance reached unprecedented levels of audacity, I was forced to research and find that, my dog is actually trying to out-think me! The pissing on the floor…the couch sitting…flipping her food out of her dog bowl to eat it off the floor...or to enrage me?
STR:(N/A because she can’t talk. Would be: 24/7)
CBR: 90

4) Hollywood G-Man (aka Mike Govoni)
Top Attributes: Can legally shoot me, musician, lives on his own planet, Norm.
Made the Top Ten because: Although G-Man had a generally weak month, after writing the post “Imagine, Nothing to die for. Nothing to kill for. Part I”, it reminded me of how that man destroyed my dear, sweet sport and stripped me of my innocent and honorable thoughts about life. He also contributed solid movies skits and shit talking right on my FB wall. He still does not approve of my lifestyle or existence. Hates my former band. Hates my current band. Hates my future band.
STR: 15/6
CBR: 84

5) Rob Driscoll (aka Bobby D)
Top Attributes: Painfully good looking, hip, musician, artistic.
Made the Top Ten because: He remains a strong administrative/behind the scenes player in Rich's anti-ZFJ efforts. He is enthralled with trying to make me look like shit by drawing ZFJ pictures while drinking his life away at the bar and he continues to enjoy running skits with Rich and other people right in my face. Hates my current band.
STR: 11/7
CBR: 69 :)

6) Anonymous (aka “A Face In The Crowd”)
Top Attributes: Reads ZFJ Blog, hates my current band, has decent vocabulary, plays drums?
Made The Top Ten because: Runs at the mouth via text on this very blog, that is a GOOD thing. Hides behind the “Anonymous” tag which is lame. The mystery commenteer tries to talk all assertive and shit but ends up stammering around with untruths. Read the post, “The 'Left' Side of The Scene and How to Be A 'Northampton Band'", for exciting details.
STR: *Ranking system currently unable to process this data*
Estimate: Life is consumed with hatred of my band and Eric Suher.
CBR:38

7) Jenni Sussman(aka Jennifer Sussman)
Top Attributes: Artistic, “Sneaky Mean”, Gets to hang out with Rob Driscoll a lot, Good friend.
Made The Top Ten Because: She is a key enabler in the ZFJ drawings that Rob spends his days creating and even is gracious enough to lend her art skills to bring the drawings to "life". She also doesn’t like when we listen to mixes loud and she dates Rob, for now…
STR: 8/4
CBR: 37


8) Joseph Mancuso (aka Joey Kiss)
Top Attributes: Hot, cultured, actor, attractive.
Made the Top Ten because: He still joins in AND is a major contributor to ball busting despite being overwhelmed at times with his amazing fucking life. Hates my former band. Even with a pathetic chop bust/shit talk effort last month he did contribute rock solid, consistent movie skits to my FB wall. STR is low because last month, well, I guess his life was just too good to focus on chop busting. Good for him.
STR: 0.653/0.0236 * life still too good to focus enough for higher rating*
CBR: 41

9) Kevin Ace (aka Kevin Ace Demaria)
Top Attributes: Grammar, Wrestling Analysis, Saviour, Wiffle Ball
Made The Top Ten because: Well, let’s say he crawled in to The Top Ten CBR-STR Rankings. Due in part to the paltry efforts of other competitor's chop bust initiatives last month but mostly because of his effective movie skit placements and frequent referencing of a slight lisp I may have at times. The fact that he once raised me from the depths of hell only served to slightly magnify his sub-standard chop bust/shit talk efforts.
STR: 8/3
CBR: 25

10) Matt Silberstein (aka MAtt)
Top Attributes: Facial hair, musician, music knowledge, room-mate.
Made the Top Ten because: Persists in singing Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" en route to the shower. Told me to basically pound sand when I asked to use his bass head for a show and then proceeded to use my bass cab for practice. I wrote this just to get him pissed, which I think worked… Otherwise, his CBR/STR is just in the toilet right now. URGENT REAL TIME UPDATE!!! He just busted in the front door with aggression when I asked him if he has a certain drum stool in his posession! Wow readers, FYI his ranking was literally just "14". He gained 6 points just like that again proving that, the race ain't over until it's over!
STR: 6/2
CBR: 20

Stay tuned for updates as the world class athletes featured right here on ZFJ Blog continue to battle for prestige and power in the CBR-STR Rankings!

~ZFJ

Friday, March 25, 2011

About a kid who lived until the end

This past Saturday I got the news of the passing of a childhood friend. Actually, Bryan was the first friend I was conscious of in life. You know, the one you knew was an actual partner-in-crime. The one you knew you had common ground with when you were young and just learning everything, and the world was a big scary wide open place that you attacked together? That friend. Readers, we go back to pre-kindergarten days and his birthday was literally one day before mine –which we got a kick out of -and we had nicknames of Bryan “Apple” (Adams was his last name) and John St. “Orange” respectively –which we also got a kick out of. He was a “crazy” even back then –in a good way. We would ride our BMX bikes in “The Horse Trails” which were an extensive network of woods that were located behind our neighborhood –and he was fearless. I was not. The kid would fly off hills and jumps like crazy and so would I, just not as high and not with as much reckless abandon. I never rode his self-built half pipe with my bike but did so with my skateboard earning plenty of bumps and bruises in the process. He was a kid that just went for it and I learned a lot from him! He was a fellow musician, a fellow Gemini, a fellow guy who valued his friends and family in the highest regard and, a fellow “mad one”. We drifted apart in the physical-proximity sense but stayed friends for many years and managed to stay in touch even though he moved to Miami to pursue his life goals. Whenever we’d end up in the same place it was always “like yesterday” and we always shared honest, optimistic conversation based from many years of friendship and the sense of mutual origins we both had.

Bryan lived life as it should be; he was really alive. He wanted no obituary. He wanted nobody to be in sorrow for him. He was vibrant to the end. Why, even the Tribute handout that was available at his service simply had his picture with the text: “Bryan Keith Adams, June 14th – March 18th 2011”. He felt there was no birth year needed as age was never his concern, really living was his concern. A mutual friend at his service shared a story with me of his last day. Bryan, who was down to 74 pounds and could not really speak or even raise his arms, softly requested something which another mutual friend had to get very close to even hear. The request was “Corona with lime”. This was quickly provided and he was able to toast one last time with friends and family and was even able to lift his arm with dogged determination to consume a portion of the sweet beverage. His last words were a request for a “Cuban” (cigar). He then closed his eyes to this existence forever. He stayed “alive” until the very end.

Bryan’s passing struck a different chord within me. I thought back to when we met and how we hung together for so long and could not quench our thirst for life. I remember the youthful feelings of our endless search for kicks, optimism, fear, trust, growing and learning things for the first time. It’s weird having all these thoughts that go back to a time when things felt unlimited and the world was a massive, uncharted place for us to explore.

On Sunday as my young son and I played in the backyard, I watched as he ran full speed towards me, excited about all his new discoveries and having to “report” them to me. Unintentionally, my heart went back to those beautiful, innocent and na├»ve days when anything was possible. I thought of myself and Bryan as young children and all the things we were doing and were going to do. This sent me into a depression that was the likes of something I had not previously experienced. Thinking of a young man who just went out and lived, who just went and did it and who never stopped going for what he wanted, but then thinking, if I knew then what I know now; that he would only go this far. Oh the thoughts of life’s realities, they can be harsh at times. But A child does not have these thoughts because they are too busy believing –as my young son was that Sunday. They haven’t learned yet that they “can’t”. Kids are just too busy doing everything and going forward into the endless possibilities to be weighed down with these realities and, too busy in living life as it unfolds in front of them. My friend Bryan was able to live that way the whole time. R.I.P Bryan “Apple”.

We should all be too busy with that –living life. There is no time to “grow up”. There is no reason to abandon your dreams. There is no reason to settle for. There is no time to wait to become who you want to be in life. There is no point when you can stop fighting to earn the life you want. There is no point to abandon childlike optimism. This, now, is the point when we should learn everything and go forward into the endless possibilities. Now is the point to believe that we’re just at the beginning.

~ZFJ

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Working Mans Quote Trip

Sooooooooo...hello there you vibrant blog-reading types! Here I am at the daily grind, the bill payin' machine, the ole "9-5" on good Ole' St.Patricks day 2011! Bars will be filled with celebratory, sloppy, happy, self-righteous drunken people who'll be singing, reveling, drooling, passing out, involved in some grandiose scheming and proclaiming everlasting love for their "brothers" while also partaking in other generally loud and/or fun times while, "being Irish". Since I can't be involved in this type of activity at the moment -especially the grandoise scheming type thing- I decided to enlighten you with some quotes that I dig.

Why you ask?

Because I can.

Begin:

"No matter how hot she is, somebody somewhere is sick of her shit." -ZFJ

"In a closed society where everybody's guilty, the only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity."
-H.S. Thompson

"You used to be able to tell the difference between hipsters and homeless people. Now, it's between hipsters and retards. I mean, either that guy in the corner in orange safety pants holding a protest sign and wearing a top hat is mentally disabled or he is the coolest fucking guy you will ever know." -C.Klosterman

"Children are smarter than any of us. Know how I know that? I don't know one child with a full time job and children." -B.Hicks

"We walk away like strangers on the street, gone for eternity." -K.West

"May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." -G.Carlin

"Have I not destroyed my enemies if I have made friends of them?"
-A.Lincoln

"If I was scared...I would. And if I was bored...you know I would. And if I was yours...but I'm not." -A.Fire

"The room is on fire as she's fixing her hair." -T.Strokes

"If you define your personality as creative, it only means you understand what is perceived to be creative by the world at large, so you're really just following a rote creative template. That's the opposite of creativity. Everybody is wrong about everything, just about all the time."
-C.Klosterman

"The sluggard burieth his hand in the dish; It wearieth him to bring it again to his mouth." -B.Proverb

"Noted AND appreciated." -ZFJ

"I have a theory that the truth is never told during the nine-to-five hours." -H.S. Thompson

"Human beings, vegetables, or comic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible player." - A.Einstein

"For me, life is writing and I can do it anywhere. It doesn't matter where I am. I listen. I write. I live." -M.J. Keenan

"My optimism wears heavy boots and is loud." -H.Rollins

"One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor." -G.Carlin

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."
-A.Einstein

"Though you pound a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain, Yet his folly will not depart from him." -B.Proverb

"Your Mother." -Everyone (especially ZFJ)

"Two great European narcotics, alcohol and Christianity." -F.Nietzche

“Question: Do you know how old I’ll be by the time I learn how to play the piano? Answer: The same age you will be if you don’t.”
-J.Cameron

"The true man wants two things: danger and play. For that reason he wants woman, as the most dangerous plaything." -F.Nietzche

"Nobody really cares what YOU need." -ZFJ

"The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit."
-Somerset Maugham

"You can tell German wine from vinegar by the label." -M.Twain

"You've got to be honest; if you can fake that, you've got it made." -G.Burns

"Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room." -W.Churchill

"Hollywood is a place where they'll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul." -M.Monroe

"As our enemies have found we can reason like men, so now let us show them we can fight like men also." -T.Jefferson

"Every man dies. Not every man really lives." -W.Wallace

"Nothing brings people together more, then mutual hatred." -H.Rollins

"I've been on a calendar, but I've never been on time." -M.Monroe

"Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?" -G.Carlin

Fin.

There. That could possibly be the best blog ever written. But, can I really call it possibly the "best"? Yes, I just did that. I hope these quotes save your life, make you "happy", give you that reason to live you've been searching for or cause you to take approximately 7:43:17 out of your day to read them. There are so many more but you already hate me for writing this post so I shall hold back.

Cheers

~ZFJ

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The "left" side of the scene and how to be a "Northampton Band"

I live in such a great little town called Northampton, MA. In case you don't know about "us", check this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northampton,_Massachusetts



Truly, I love Northampton. It’s a great little town with great restaurants, plenty of active music venues, a sense of community and interesting, cool, fashionable, forward thinking and cultured people. Then town is welcoming and looks cool, is usually fun destination and, has a lot of musicians that live here. It doesn't currently have a lot of great music though. While traveling through Craigslist today at work like you were, I came across a post in the “Musicians” community reading something to the effect of “are The Fantasies the best band from Northampton?” Of course I’m going to read that. While their song was pretty cool and catchy, they sounded exactly like I thought they would. It’s not a bad thing to have a “brand”, even if it’s a town. Meaning, I see their name, hear the song, I feel their submliminal sentiment that they are a “Northampton band”, I agree and think, “yeah. It all adds up.”

Problem is, you want it to move you. I want it to move me. C’mon anybody, everybody…would somebody do something new and exciting please? Would you make us want to leave our fucking houses for you please?? You know what I mean…come on! Just fly off the fucking handle for a minute! Don’t be scared or try to fit "the Mold"…anyway, I’m not ripping on The Fantasies because, again, their song is cool and I like how they come out on CL with some assertiveness and shit. Hopefully Northampton can see more of this type of stuff in the near future. I admit, I want to be blown away by a band. I want to be so impressed at how nasty they are that my blood boils. For now, out here in Northampton , it’s just primarily scattered, status quo and self indulgent music, in my opinion, rather than anything really that compelling or on fire.

We have scores of the “amazing” musician types out here forming random bands, playing The Elevens and The Basement…maybe playing at The Ironhorse? Oh yeah, another thing, people can stop trashing IHEG. You most likely don’t really know what you’re talking about. Their shows are exciting and if you just stop fucking whining for a minute about Eric S and just work with the guy things end up pretty cool)? …I digress. The “Northampton Bands” have witty, ironic names. The musicians dress trendy, they have quirky, clever banter, they may watch films many people have never heard of, they may listen to music within un-admitted parameters of “culture” and/or parameters of obscurity. They also do listen to really good music. I love it. I really prefer this environment and it’s “living” nature. But so much is missing…The overall sincerity, the overall authenticity? Sure we want to belong and be “cool”. We want to be accepted but the world awaits your music!...wait a second…WOW! The new Strokes album is really good…second listen in progress. Many people out here would not admit to liking The Strokes for example. They’re (The Strokes) too mainstream to be “cool” out here regardless of how good their music is. Anyway, I digress once again. Thankfully a very small number of bands and/or artists around here actually have some manner of vision and something real to say. Just not enough of them.


I hate to generalize but many of us either overtly or covertly acknowledge and know what a “Northampton Band” is. It’s a folky-indie-ironic-shoegazing-musical-collaboration-with-a few-moderately-to-well-known-local-musicians-with trendy-clothes-often-exchanging-instruments-on-stage-and also-using-vintage-instruments-while-playing-technically-good-music-that-often-times-I-like-and-more-often-times-I-don’t-but-they-won’t-even-be-a fucking-band-in-six-months-so-who-cares-but-then-they-come-back-with-another-mixture-of-musicians-destined-to-be perceived as yet, another “Northampton Band”. Or they just sound like a revival of something that has been done and is being done to death. Lame.

I’m not trashing the many great people I’ve met in my time of residing here–some of whom are in “Northampton Bands”–I love them. I’m talking about the closed up people hiding behind their pretense and faking it. Out here we are on the “left side” of the “scene” where things are all love and kindness, not really though. Here, things are perceived as “amazing” and we have a notable wealth of “amazing” and talented musicians –maybe we do? We just don’t have an “amazing” amount of real artists right now. And nobody sticks to their guns. And nobody tries. And nobody cares but we still walk around as if we’re some enchanted artists who are just flowing in our art…but no, not really. We’re just trying to be accepted and everybody’s doing it so…forget about when the going gets tough. We don’t even come out of the bubble because we know it could get tough. Our friends will still come out for a few weeks more, but in fewer numbers soon…they’ll get bored like we do. We quit and just hype the next collaboration for a few months to feel fulfilled and alive. But we never had to stop. If we really mean what we are projecting we could drop the pretense just create, and stand by it. I admit, I just want to be moved by music. Bjork once said “Unless you feel like you would die without it you’re faking it.” Clear?

I just hope some more of us "amazing" musicians get something going that is just super-hot in any way–any genre-and then just stand by it for awhile. Extend your vision past Northampton MA. Show the Eastern Seaboard your music, show the USA, show the world and stop thinking of your music in terms of “Northampton”. I think it’s sad that, in the “new" music industry we are in the midst of, more people don’t realize the massive opportunities that exist, we don't realize that it is a "level playing field" for the open, honest, passionate and “on fire” songwriters and bands. But first you’ll need to get past the haze of comfort that sleeps with you here and reach out past your friends opinions. I, for one, would love to hear it if you do.

~ZFJ

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My first taste of war, instant gratification and I don't remember the world

Friends, I’m sorry I missed “Pi Day”, the weekend just wore me out. Check out http://handmademonstertime.blogspot.com
for Mia & Jenni's Monsters.


The preparation that goes into making a record is intense and this past weekend, I knew I had to prepare for more than just drum tracking. Let me take you back in time for a moment first…to a time when things were different, a time when it all began...

Back at Zeuss’s recording studio some time ago, I witnessed the real life work of a man known as Dance King, or Anthony Minalga –if you will. I remember that day like it was yesterday. We were tracking drums and Anthony was in the control room with us between takes. I was sitting on the couch listening and we all were having a good time, talking, relaxing…but one of us was scheming. I was in the middle of conversation with Zeuss and kind of took notice of Anthony moving a chair in to position near the side of the couch, to sit I thought? He mumbled to himself as he stood up on the chair…something about having to check the Acoustic Panel that was on the wall above my head. I did have a quick thought as to why HE needed to check that panel? I turn around to the reality of an ass in my face and heard unsavory slap-cracking of a huge fart in my face. I exploded off the couch, hit the floor and checked my forehead a couple times for blood. This was to be my first taste of war. He “ripped” on me two more times that day and has also attempted/accomplished this hundreds more times in the various musical endeavors we’re both involved in. The preparation that goes into farting on an unsuspecting victim’s face is intense.

I was attacked again on Saturday. He got me even though I had prepared to defend this. Now dear readers, I just wanted to get really good drum tracks and live my life a little bit on this studio day and I was really focused on helping to kick the forthcoming Swillmerchants record off to a good start. Dance King just wanted to fart in my face. And he accomplished his mission even though I waited, on guard, all day. It happened around 4:42 PM. I had set a chair up in the middle of the floor and was listening to a recent drum take. He started walking around the room –almost pacing- and with a laser focused look in his eye –as if his life suddenly had meaning all at once. He tried to swoop in a couple times but I fended off the advances with well placed karate kicks. I judged the intensity of the attacks to be decoys…More lurking around my position transpired…I see him go down stairs and I say to Rich and Rob (the “cool” kids), “ I know exactly what he’s doing. He’s going downstairs, doing yoga and bends and shit to try and brew up a huge fart for me.” *laughter* I turn as if in a dream, to see Dance King running towards my position like a soldier about to dive on top of a grenade threatening his comrades…he side-stepped my defense, leaped in the air and flew towards my face sideways, I swear he was glowing…and as he flew by my face I heard: “craaack-a-slap-craaaack-ffstpppubble-slap/slap/slap-craaaack-…foof..slap!!!.”. How could this have happened –AGAIN??? All I did was visualize how he would never get me with this today. I trained and studied. I even used “The Secret” to visualize positive results. Why, most of my very soul went into preparing my mind and spirit to defend this but in the end, I couldn’t save the day. At least we did get some awesome drum tracks done. I did also fart on him three times and he hasn’t returned any of my texts since Saturday.

Readers, my point of all this, other than to expose yet another psychopathic lunatic in our midst, is to highlight that we all love instant gratification and we all have our own definitions of it. Uncomplicated laughs delivered via the fart, the burp, the slip, the slap, the hard fall, the vomit and the trip are my preference. See, I helped others to a good time when Anthony pulled his attack in the studio. He in turn was made a “good time” of when he was farted on.

One day my friend Dru and I were having beers with Rich before we all went out. I’m on the couch and Dru comes up with a “competition” for me. He says, “Hey, try to catch all three of these bottle caps. I bet you can’t do it.” I’m thinking of how easily I will be able to do this because of my coordination and natural athletic ability but he had other thoughts. “I’ll show him” I think to myself and then say…”oh yeah??? Throw them.” He does. I lunge for the bottle caps but my inertia is harshly interrupted by Dru’s ass. My face rendezvous-ed with it conveniently just at the moment he ripped a loud slappy fart. Coincidence? No. Instant gratification for him and others watching this display? Yes.

In continuing, why does your friend try to trip you when you walk by? Because, if you fall, he and other people will laugh hard so why not at least try? Instant Gratification for him if it works. If your friend falls down your stairs this Winter and you revel in it still to this day? Instant Gratification for me. Because it just plain feels good to have fun at someone else’s expense (right Mick? :) ). Instant Gratification.

When your manager at the Pizza place where you work, who’s a ball buster and thinks he’s all hard working and shit, comes charging real fast around the corner one day onto the freshly mopped floor of the grinder prep area, slipping violently and falling hard with a “SLAP!” on to the unforgiving floor and in the process spills the pizza sauce. Red faced, confused and, pissed he tries to get up, too hastily… he slips again, begins to lose composure and goes ballistic with swears and unfocused rage. You’re around the corner holding in a belly laugh –Instant Gratification.

When the assistant manager is pissed at the Fry-O-Lator cook and begins to verbally assault the employee with commandments and over-authoritive-chewing-out in red-faced frustration for the cook’s lack of performance and lack of dedication, another employee sets up a chair behind the manager, calls the manager’s name and, as the manager turns around, the employee plants a sharp, crackling fart on him. Instant Gratification!

When a singer is immersed in a mix and leaning forward towards the mixing board, the mischievous guitarist sets up a chair behind him…the singer remains in total concentration…guitarist climbs on the chair and pulls down his trousers, bends over aiming his bare ass towards the back of the singers head and says “Hey Keith”, singer turns around quickly in his chair with his face literally landing in the guitarists' ass crack to enjoy a slapper. Instant gratification.

When a bass player gets a little too cocky in rehearsal because he knows a song so well, “I will play it with my eyes closed” he says. The bass player does indeed rock the song with his eyes closed. However, the clever guitarist knew how to bring this bass player down to Earth. He took initiative and climbed up on a nearby amp, pulled his dick out and was putting it almost on the bass player’s shoulder while he rocked the song-with his eyes closed. The bass player never knew this was happening but the rest of the band did. Instant gratification –for them.

Muscle bound menace strutting around in the gym when he stumbles on the part of the floor that inclines a little. He jerks around quickly as if to 1) Kick the ass of the twerp who tripped him and/or 2) Let the floor know it will get it’s ass kicked if it tries that shit again. Instant gratification.

When a guitarist is sitting in a booth at Packards, three to a side, and then he stands up to point his ass towards the other guitarist’ face to slap out a loud fart causing the victim to flail back in his seat a bit and the rest of the table to explode with laughter. Instant Gratification. Meanwhile, at the end of the table, the leprechaun danced and spoke of Star Wars love beads in a strange accent??? (really happened and that’s the only reason it was mentioned). The recent victim sits, with a glare of contempt, no, ...Hatred toward the other guitarist. He swivels quickly, raises his clenched fist and smashes down on his assailants' shoulder with the look of a man who was forced to kill or be killed on the battlefield. When someone gets farted on, that is hilarious already. When the victim flips their lid, losing their composure resulting in physical, primal and convincing violence on the assailant, now that is sidesplitting. (Thanks Matt & Rob). Instant Gratification.

I do have plans to make all this into a documentary someday called “Instant Gratification”. Additional ideas for fart "set-ups" are appreciated. As for the time you just spent out of your life reading this, unfortunately you can never get it back.

~ZFJ

Friday, March 11, 2011

The CT Conspiracy and the New Era

Hello readers. It’s been a hectic and crazy week full of realizations and that kind of shit but I just had to write to you about something I realized just this morning. Now, those who know good ole ZFJ know that I have a bit of “distaste” for the way people drive at times. I think the way people drive is a reflection of the way they live. I understand that people will just be inconsiderate, confused, flustered, going fast, going slow and whatever else on the road and that I just have to deal with it. I of course, am an electrifying driver who looks out for the other guy and follows my mothers sage advice of; “Just pretend that the other person does not know what they’re doing”. This has saved my life many times –including this morning.

This morning while driving down King St. in Northampton, I realized that this “wild” theory that I have been compelled to develop is actually true: Connecticut drivers are out to get me. This theory developed over time through what I percieved as coincidence, a very consistent coincidence albeit, but too consistent too ignore. This morning proved without a shadow of a doubt that my car has a “target” on it, invisible to me, but one that CT drivers attack with zeal. The first attack came from a Dunkin Donuts parking lot. I was driving down the road, heavy rain pouring–which leads to even more confusion and indecision with most drivers as it is, listening to “Sea Of Madness” by Iron Maiden and I see a Nissan Maxima lying in wait for me. There were no other cars in the immediate vicinity but as I approach and got literally 10 feet from this vehicle, it pulls out, slowly...methodically?, cutting me off and causing me to hit the brakes assertively and swerve a bit. Naturally, my skill level prevented any altercations but as I composed myself, I looked at the license plate to see: it was a CT driver. After cutting me off, the driver proceeded to go down King St at 15 MPH in an nearly successful attempt to strip me of my sanity. I did rise above this trauma and tried to put it behind me.

The next attack came from a late model Maroon Minivan on Interstate 91 South. I spent a bit of time in the passing lane due to the invalids driving like shit in the cruising lane and me wanting to go a bit faster. I’m going around 77 MPH and listening to “Wild Side” by Motley Crue and this minivan is aggressively driving on my tail and almost in my trunk with erratic urgency in it’s movements. 77 MPH is just not fast enough for entitled/important people. I got annoyed and moved to the invalid lane only to glance ahead and see: CT Plates on the minivan. Rather than give chase and investigate these "coincidences" I just let the lunatic proceed down the highway and watched as it pulled similar tactics to other drivers in the passing lane. I chocked it up to, just a complete asshole who happens to drive like a fucking inconsiderate piece of shit, who also happens to reside in CT. However, the next attack would confirm my darkest nightmares.

I pulled off the highway in Holyoke into the ridiculous line of traffic, waiting like war-time refugees in line for food rations, to begin the process of "turning left onto Whitney Ave". I’m listening to “Sub-Zero Fun” by Autolux and enjoying it while reflecting on the recent attempts on my life by the two CT drivers when I see a white Toyota Venza (a car I like quite a bit) veering into my lane from the other direction. My heart jumped as this car literally missed the side of my car by maybe 2-3 feet (in the car that seems like 2-3 inches!)and I saw the white/blue-ish CT license plate like teeth as it barreled towards my position. After running through my entire swear repertoire and making up some new ones, I calmed down and shuddered with fear. Why are the drivers from the state of CT after me??? What could I have done to earn their hatred?? Is it all of the residents of this state or just a very organized group of them who are determined to take me out??? Again, why?? Even still, one of their members consistently attacks my Facebook page with Anita Baker videos and other propaganda to taint my good name and sanity (he currently has the #1 ranking on the post of UPDATED: CBR-STR Rankings). I have no answers but only this question: “Why do Connecticut drivers drive so horribly and why have they targeted my life?”

In other news, Swillmerchants are finally hitting the studio to begin tracking drums for our forthcoming album. The writing so far has been very open and collaborative and feels of personal “evolutions” as the members of the band have really been at crossroads in life with relatively big changes going on. Still, we create our music and I can feel that it is truly reflective of where our lives are "at" and going, making me confident that it is “real”. Wednesday we got together and rehearsed the four songs that we will start with and I just feel so optimisitc and confident about what we are embarking on. This record should be “special” so, wish us luck -or bad luck (as I’m sure some of you will :) )as we “begin”. I’m sure I’ll write about the recording of the record soon but in the meantime, here’s some shameless promotion of us via YouTube video. It’s a fan video with rather explosive/distorted audio at times but still gets the point across!

Cheers.

~ZFJ









Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Imagine, Nothing to die for. Nothing to kill for. Part I

The other day I caught some WWE Pro “Wrestling” on TV and it seemed more like a circus than a wrestling show to me! I watched these pretty boys parade out to explosions with bad Nu-Metal music blaring and then what transpired was more like dancing and carousing than wrestling…it was nothing but showboating, running at the mouth, flying around and flipping all over the ring –hokum! I watched in horror as young women were exploited on TV wearing bathing suits –if that. I saw lights, money, greed, endorsements, corporations, big business, evil and, sorrow. Names like “John Cena”, “Triple H”, “The Miz” and even an executive named “Mr. MacMahon” showed up to run their mouth on the show. Shit, at times it even seemed like they were acting. That’s not wrestling to me. That’s a rock and roll show. That’s show business. That’s Babylonian Society. But, my dear readers, it wasn’t always like that. It was once a pure and honest sport teeming with honor. Back in my day, it was in fact, glorious.


Back in my day it was about wrestling. It was about winning at all costs. It was about honor and submitting your opponent –another man- to your whims. Back then, we really got into it! Oh man!...from grappling, locking up and grinding it out to flurries of fists and in and out of different holds –every now and then you got so into it that you got aroused-Not that there’s anything wrong with that…it could be a pickup truck you’re grappling and rubbing against and the same fucking thing could happen dammit!... it’s perfectly normal! But, I digress…back in my day it was about wrestling. Not the glamour, not the fashion, not the scantily clad women or the endorsements. Not the drugs and backroom deals or putting some up-and-comer over. We worked hard to submit another man to OUR whims.

I was known as the “Phenom”. Largely due to my electrifying eating prowess and the fact that I could endure seemingly endless amounts of pain while fighting to win a match. I would withstand shin-bends and various other locks and holds for hours or days straight. For example, one match against Ole’ Steam Kettle (a great, grinding style wrestler with a physique shaped like a loaf of bread!)...he had me in a reverse German vice lock for a week straight. It was one of the most challenging matches I ever had but…I got out of it and won the match by way of a belly to belly suplex. (Archive #6,578B) That night we had a crowd of 1,500 fans and we just never quit. We busted our butts night after night to help build Pro Wrestling into a respected and honorable sport. We had names like “Knuckles McGuirk”, “Mangler Malone”, “Jack The Crippler” and “Ole’ Steam Kettle”, my nemesis, to name just a few. We would have given our very lives for that beautiful sport…and some nights, it seemed like we tried. Inevitably it grew, quite rapidly in fact, due to the amazing level of excitement it generated. Major companies got involved and poured money into it and arenas soon were filled with tens of thousands of fans…us veterans didn’t like it but, hey, it’s a paycheck and I was making $50 dollars per bout at this stage of my career. The World League, as it was called then, began to bring in younger, better looking “talent” –if you could call it that. These rookies were getting $1,000 per bout at a minimum and us “old guys” didn’t understand it. Hey, I was a wrestler not a businessman. One day, the GM called me in and told me that I had been scheduled to fight a kid named “Hollywood G-Man”. After I finished laughing at his name the GM told me to listen well because my job depended on it. He told me that I was supposed to “put him over” because I was an established big name in the sport and Hollywood was on the way up the ratings. He said he had “a shit ton” of endorsement money riding on this and I was “passing the torch” to the next generation. They wanted me to throw the fight in order to promote the legacy of another wrestler??? My heart sank into the depths of hell and I dutifully prepared for my opponent on Friday: Hollywood G-Man. I would do anything for my sport.

The match carried on and holds were exchanged, fists thrown, leg locks applied, got turned on once, blood spilled and we battled down to G Man on the business end of a figure four leg-lock. G Man got up wincing in pain –which I enjoyed greatly and continued to apply…it was then I realized that I wasn’t going to put this guy over. I was going to crush his will and return my sport to the battlefield of honor it once was. G Man propped himself up and whispered discreetly, “hey, you’re supposed to let up on this…you need to let me get up”. Now readers, this “throwing-a-match” thing, being all new to me, I guess I just didn’t know the protocol too well. I said “Sorry pal. Welcome to The World League”. I applied more intense pressure with righteous determination. Hollywood G Man flopped over in pain and carefully reached into the waistband of his wrestling tights. He then lunged forward and flung his arm towards me…dust billowed forth…and suddenly there was no light…I was blinded. In my panic I released the leg-lock, tried to stand and feel my way blindly around the ring but it was too late. The flurry of fists –inaccurate as they were, took their toll. The leg drop eventually sent me to a “loss” and subsequently, shot G Man into stardom. I lost more than the match on this day. I tried to wrestle after that but I just didn’t have the same passion for it. Before even a year passed, I had walked away from my beloved sport.

Four years later, there I am bagging groceries at the supermarket –part time job. I wanted full time but I had to “get up to speed” with the bagging first. When a young gentleman in a suit approached me and said “The League Grand Master would like to talk with you.” So I went. When I arrived at the Complex, I found myself gazing around a luxurious office, with Bengal Tigers adorned with diamond collars, pretty women, a private Jacuzzi, a dog that seemed like a Mutt, 3 trampolines, leather furniture and piles of money on the mahogany desk dimly lit by only a single light fixture above it. The chair slowly turned around and I stood face to face with G Man, the man who showed me all the wrong things about my sport and life itself. He got right to the point. He acknowledged that I didn’t like him but that HE respected me and, back then, well he was just a guy trying to make it in the “business” like anyone else. He told me that he was currently the reigning 9 time World Champion and he had made so much money from his endorsement deals and business sense that he purchased The World League with the financial backing of a man known as “The Dillionaire”. Readers, let me explain The Dillionaire in one word”; MONEY. G Man explained how had changed the league name to “B.S.B” or, “Blood, Sweat and Beers” for short, and secured billions of dollars in investment money and endorsements. He explained how he was a winner. It all sounded like hokum to me but, I listened anyway. He told me how big the sport had gotten in my absence and that their recent pay-per-view drew 500 million viewers worldwide. I had never heard of such a wonder! He told me that the sky is the limit. He continued to tell me of the return to passion through new warriors named “Rich Brewski”, “Joey Kiss”, “Chris Stud”, “The Walrus”, “Mike Dick”, “”Brian Malone”, “Saturday Night Nico”, “Jason The Sensation”, “Lipps Lipinski” and himself, of course. All sissy names in my opinion…He said he needed me to believe again. He said he needed me to help build the sport bigger than earth could hold. He said he needed my passion to burn again and to join him and rule The Universe hand in hand. He said to me, “Imagine. Nothing to die for. Nothing to kill for.” I felt the fire burning once again…I was back. He produced a contract with many pages and three withered attorneys emerged from the sultry shadows of the room to assist me in signing my new contract as color analyst for the B.S.B Wrestling League. I questioned why the name “Hollywood G Man” was listed in places where my name seemed like it should be (anywhere involving revenue or assets)? The attorneys explained that “I shouldn’t worry about that” so I didn’t. Hey, I was a wrestling –analyst- not a businessman.

After two hours of paperwork, G Man summoned for his assistant (a petite, submissive Asian boy) to bring someone to the office. A few minutes later I was introduced to Kevin Ace Demaria who was to be my play-by-play analyst and, I felt like my life had just begun.

To be continued.

~ZFJ

Friday, March 4, 2011

The dismantling and dissection of "Cool", PART I

Hello Readers.

14.29% of a fortnight ago, the band fellas and I hung out and reviewed new material for the new album. We progressed into watching YouTube stuff and partied because we’re cool. Work suffered yesterday. I am truly blessed with having friends that are really “cool” and usually winning. Well, I was looking to get some sleep for the first time this week but they decided to hang out way past my healthy, self-imposed curfew. “Cool” people call the shots. Bobby D actually cracked a few fresh beers well after I had announced that I would be retreating to drift into sweet sleep. Bob is “cool”. This attack on my well being caused Mr. Tardy to roar in laughter and, you guessed it! He went on to enjoy yet another fresh beer with Bobby D!!! Or two?...can’t quite remember. But wow, they are painfully cool (I flatter them in hopes of not having my lunch-money-tax rate increased). Truly, I am tired as I write this post but, rather than get beat up, I figured it was better to join in and be accepted into the party they had started. Neighbors were invited over and we had a real hoot of a time. Currently, I can’t keep my eyes open but, that’s better than taking an ass whipping from “cool” kids.

Here’s a glimpse of what it’s like talking to a “cool” person:

ZFJ: “Hey man. I need to go to sleep, get the f*ck out of my house.”
Bob D: “Haha! Nope! I just opened a fresh beer.”
Rich: “hahahahaha”
Bob D: “hahahahahahaaa”
ZFJ: “Okay man, that’s cool”
Bob D: “Hahaaa…I think I’ll open another fresh beer!!”
Rich: “hahahahahaha”

And so on, and so forth.

Bob D, seeking approval from Rich, increased the intensity of his chop-busting, sleep depriving tactics to attempt to prolong the favorable feelings of earning Rich’s approval and therefore, his acceptance. Bobby at that moment was “cool” and felt important.

So, what is “cool”? We commonly use the word to describe a person, place, event or thing that is favorable to us. In the previous example of a conversation with “cool” people, “cool” is used to describe agreement –agreement based on fear of an ass whipping. Or, am I using the term “ass whipping” as a replacement for “lose their approval and therefore, the feeling of acceptance I so desire” in the statement? Most humans have in common that we seek acceptance, to feel important and feel loved. We want to be “cool”. Some people will lie, cheat, steal or even pretend to be someone or something they’re not in order to fit in and gain the approval of their peer group. The fashion, music and other specifics change from group to group but the principle is the same. People want to be “cool”.

In conclusion, it seems like “cool” is based in the opinions of others and to be “cool” is to have favorable opinions from others. What is really “cool” is when you don’t give a fuck (I’m not even going to reference Charlie Sheen here). To further enforce how cool it is when you do not care if you have the favorable opinions of others, the artists who’s videos are displayed below are cool because they know they are. They are rare people, "cooler" than you or I, who don’t need you to validate their "coolness" ...and, they don't need your shit. But, they are different brands of “cool”. One of them just brings forth what is in their soul and the other seems to be on a mission of some type. Therefore, I think one of them is “cooler” than the other. Maybe it's just due to the genres??? I’ll let you be the judge.

One more thing, how long did it take for you to get annoyed at the use of “cool” in this post?

~ZFJ







Wednesday, March 2, 2011

How to think and be nasty

Hello readers. It is a grand day in the life of good ole ZFJ! Mostly because of my realization that there is another human being in the world with a positive mental attitude similar to my own...this feels simply wonderful! I've often felt stranded and isolated thinking that no one person is even close to my capacity for being "nasty". Just knowing that there are people out there who are not only bad-ass, but can also help our society as a whole to not be so lame through their awesome-ness, is warming to me in such a cold, unforgiving winter. So, to help you through your hum-drum, boring day I have listed some quotes for you to, hopefully, improve your mental attitude. They are from my future friend and mentor(hopefully), Mr. Charlie Sheen.


"I am on a drug. It's called 'Charlie Sheen!' It's not available because if you try it once you will die. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body. Too much?"

"You're dealing with a vatican assassin. Sorry. I'm a high priest vatican assassin warlock."

"I don't know. All these words just sound cool together. They come from my grand wizard master."

"Ambien, hello, Ambien. The devil's aspirin. Anyone? Ambien? Sometimes sleep is for infants. I don't sleep. I wait. When I can't sleep I don't fight it. I just figure that there's a higher calling."

"I'm comin' for you, Warner Bros. Just let me catch my breath first. I am a peaceful man with bad intentions."

"It's perfect. It's awesome. Every day is just filled with just wins. All we do is put wins in the record books. We win so radically in our underwear before our first cup of coffee, it's scary. People say it's lonely at the top, but I sure like the view."

"I'm bi-winning."

"The only thing I’m addicted to right now is winning.”

"C’mon bro, I won best picture at 20. I wasn’t even trying. I wasn’t even warm."

"Winning."

"Tons. They're going to put it on the scale and be like, a little more, a little more. Add some gold, all your toupees. Bingo! I'm here to collect, and they're going to lose."

"You borrow my brain for five seconds and just be like dude, can't handle it, unplug this bastard. It fires in a way that is, I don't know, maybe not from this terrestrial realm. When you've got tiger blood and Adonis DNA, it's like, get with the program dude."

"Winning."

“What’s not to love? Especially when you see how I party, it was epic. The run I was on made Sinatra, Flynn, Jagger, Richards and all of them look like droopy-eyed armless children.”

"I have a 10,000-year-old brain and the boogers of a 7-year-old. That's how I describe myself."

"Winning."

“I’m tired of pretending I’m not a total bitchin’ rock star from Mars.”

In conclusion, I hope you people can learn how to win and have a positive mental attitude from this -or, at least start to think properly and start winning. Furthermore, I hope you can learn to be nasty in life by internalizing these powerful "life lessons". Please keep these sensible quotes handy so next time you feel normal and boring, you just read them again and be enlightened and excited for what you have to strive for. I know I will.

~ZFJ

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

New directors, My Oscars and the irresistable force

As my friend, and emerging artist, Jenni Sussman would say, “Rob, turn it down.” Please take a look at some of her work: http://Jennifersussman.blogspot.com



Hello readers. Last week I was forced to post a blog named “UPDATED: CBR-STR Rankings” in efforts to exorcise some "demons" and bring to light some actual lunatics living by our sides day-to-day. It backfired pretty resoundingly. Now, for approximately five days I have dealt with these cretans posting comments of movie plots with me cast as the main character in them all over my beloved Facebook page. Real cool. Since I see there is no end to this, I have chosen a few of my favorites from this pack of dullards petty offerings and, have posted them below. I have also created a poll (located at the very bottom of this page) which will humiliate them and serve as my own personal “Oscars” -for revenge. The winning point getter will earn themself ten (10) very real CBR points that they will have to deal with on the next Rankings update.

Here are the finalists:

Kevin Ace Demaria with, Madonna’s Blonde Ambition World Tour!!!

“ From the rain of Japan through threats of arrest for public indecency in Canada, this documentary follows John St. Onge on his 1990 'Blond Ambition' concert tour. Filmed in black and white, with the concert pieces in glittering MTV color, it is an intimate look at the work of the music performer, from a prayer circle with the dancers before each performance to bed games with the dance troupe afterwards. Though much of the film is a paean to self-love and self-aggrandizement, we are permitted to see St. Onge at his worst as well as his best. Just when the audience is on the verge of giving up the flamboyant bassist as a bad job, he displays a sudden attack of sensitivity, such as his protective attitude towards a timid homosexual in his troupe. Among the many celebrities who poke their heads into the proceedings are Warren Beatty and Matt Silberstein, who makes the fatal error of coming backstage to tell St. Onge that he thinks he's "neat."

Hollywood G-Man with, Vision Quest!

“I was in the room here one day... watchin' the Mexican channel on TV. I don't know nothin' about John St. Onge. I'm watchin' what this guy can do with a ball and his feet. Next thing I know, he jumps in the air and flips into a somersault and kicks the ball in - upside down and backwards... the goddamn goalie never knew what the fuck hit him. John St.Onge gets excited and rips off his jersey and starts running around the stadium waving it around his head. Everybody’s screaming in Spanish. I'm here, sitting alone in my room, and I start crying. That's right, I start crying. Because another human being, a species that I happen to belong to, could kick a ball, and lift himself, and the rest of us sad-assed human beings, up to a better place to be, if only for a minute... let me tell ya, kid - it was pretty goddamned glorious. It ain't the six minutes... it's what happens in that six minutes."

Rich Tardy with, What About Bob? (Votes will have to be cast under the "Roadhouse" tab because I realized that the response for What About Bob? was unfortunately electrifying. Can't change the poll now) !!

"When Dr. Leo Marvin, a New York psychiatrist with a huge ego, goes on vacation to Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire, he leaves his new patient, john st onge, on his own with a copy of his new and well-publicized book Baby Steps. john has a good work ethic and treats people well, but suffers from multiple phobias and is divorced from his first wife because they could not agree on being fans of Neil Diamond. Dr. Carswell Fensterwald, john's former psychiatrist, refers john to Dr. Marvin. Although in a conversaton with Dr. Marvin he says he is taking a hiatus from medicine, in actuality Dr. Fensterwald is driven to the brink of a nervous breakdown from treating john."

Joseph Mancuso with Gleaming The Cube!

“John St. Onge is a slacker at heart. The only thing he really cares about is skateboarding; trivial things like doing his homework and making the grade in school have little meaning to him. But when his adopted Vietnamese brother turns up dead after discovering an error in the shipping records at his place of work, St. Onge begins to suspect something more. Refusing to accept the police's theory of suicide, St. Onge launches his own investigation, determined to uncover the truth of what really happened to his brother.”

Christopher Deprey with, Weekend At Bernies!!!

“Two young men are trying to make their way in a corporation. One on charm, the other on hard work. When they go to the president (John St.Onge) with a serious financial error on a printout, he pretends to be thrilled and invites them to his beach house for the weekend. He actually plans on having them killed. St.Onge is also fooling around with the girlfriend of his mafia partner. When the partner has St.Onge killed, the boys end up having to pretend St.Onge is still alive as the frustrated hit man tries time and time again to complete the job."

Demetrios Kanavaros with, Milk!

“Upon moving to San Francisco from New York City in 1972, forty year old John St. Onge gains focus in his life as a gay activist in the city's Castro district. Gay rights activism turns to political activism as St. Onge decides he can be a more effective voice for the gay community as a politician, elected or not. Through several elections and losses both for a city seat and a state assembly seat, St. Onge becomes the first openly gay man in the United States to be elected to political office when he wins a San Francisco supervisor seat in 1977. His many political battlefronts include one with the national anti-gay Save the Children crusade, led and fronted by singer Matt Silbersteing. Closer to home, St. Onge has a continuing struggle with his fellow supervisor, Rich Tardy, a staunch social conservative."


Readers, I just don’t need this shit. This is what drives a normal, sane person to madness. Real life lunatics with nothing better to do with their time than come up with this horseshit…Well, anyway. “Recruit” (Ammo, my dog) is making her way up the leader board on the CBR-STR…Because, four times tonight, including the time I just came downstairs to write this, I hear the scurrying feet, fleeing back to the kitchen from the couch...broken protocol again. She has also pissed on the kitchen floor two times because it’s too cold for her to go outside I guess, and she doesn’t also doesn't “prefer” to go outside. It’s like the movie “300”. I am a skilled warrior but alas, I am fighting an irresistible force.

Polls are open and is at the bottom of this page. May the most clever dullard win!

~ZFJ

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