SHANK READING CLUB 2006 The Mobtown Shank Reading Club this year will be about revisiting some classics and seeing if they hold up. And the twist is that they're all graphic novels. If you've never really gotten into comics or jumped in late, this would be a good chance to get into some great titles and tear them apart!
We've got the year planned out, so drop in when you want, or go for the whole ride:
---------------------------------------------- If the Shank was a print publication, this
would be the free CD that comes with it each week. Most of these
MP3s (and WAY more) can be found by going through the "LINKS" section
on the left, but what the hell...
Click on the song to play, or just right click on the song title, and save.
Shank Obligatory Record Evaluation Section by Jayinbmore
Welcome to Night Of The Living Dead S.O.R.E.S. For the last two months we've been trapped in Rockville, MD with nothing but a copy of Twin Infinitives by Royal Trux, and that album is over a decade old and no one wants to listen to it anyway - hence no reviews. However, here we are to make up lost time.
THINKING OF YOU by FREAKWATER There's no better way to start than with Thinking of You, the latest from Freakwater (who we are bummed beyond reason to have missed when they played here back in early November). The Freakwater story runs thus: The two little girls who sang "In The Highways" in "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?" reach high-school age and decide that momma's cookin' and clean livin' below the Mason-Dixon ain't all it's cracked up to be and rush north to the Big City (in this case Chicago) to persue dreams of stardom and the high life. Although they fail at stardom, they discover the joys and pains of booze, pills, sex, and everything else that comes with a life of slightly ill-repute. They then write and sing song after song filled with the truest lyrics ever to describe that pain and joy. They set those lyrics to the traditional country and folk music they grew up singing, but with an edge that comes from exposure to punk rock (although maybe it's just a result of the life they describe in their songs). In 2005 they release Thinking of You, their starkest work yet (every lyric is quotable, especially "Buckets Of Oil", a song protesting the Iraq War that turns the "American Oil Addiction" metaphor into a drunk's lament) and it's proclaimed "Best Album of the Year" in the Mobtown Shank. (I'll leave it to you, dear reader, to figure out which parts in the above I made up. Hint: The "Best Album of the Year" part isn't one of them.)
THE MODERN SOUNDS OF THE KNITTERS by THE KNITTERS Continuing our "Have A Very Rootsy Festivus" theme, we have The Modern Sounds Of The Knitters, by, suprisingly, the Knitters. It's required by the Record Critic Code of Ethics that I say the following: The Knitters are basically X with a little help from Dave Alvin of the Blasters, and as such sound more or less like the constituent parts but with an emphasis on Alvin's side of the family (more Americana, less punk). Everything you'd expect from this gaggle of aging, genre-hopping, LA scenesters is here - especially vocalist Exene's cavilier attitude toward singing in key. Despite these reservations, the band does it's country-rock-western-swing thing with skill and style, and all of the tunes are listenable. "Try Anymore (We Don't Even...)" is a great duet between John Doe and Exene about what a bummer growing old together can be (I thought they were divorced?). Cynics might find the band's reworking of a few old X tunes a reason to call them "lazy has beens", but the transformations are generally successful and help make this a perfect record for your next over-30's-punks-only party.
HEY (S)HOMOS!!! Lately, I can't stop thinking about THE TERPS !!! AND NOW I THINK I KNOW WHY!!!! It's been part of my culture for MOST OF MY LIFE!! When I weigh it all up - I DO LIKE THE TERPS!! I've had my times without it being accessible. I've lived in two communities which didn't have the Terps. I was ok with that but when I recently went to stay with my friend (yes, the Bright Eyes guy) he found me poor company - all I wanted to do was watch the Terps AND RIP IT AND FORGIT IT!!!. Anyway, here's the reasons why I like the Terps:
1. Watching The Terps happens live: For a few years when I was a kid we lived in a car (My dad called it "Car Sweet Car"). So I suppose you could say we were part of the "car culture". We didn't have the Terps. The first Challenger launch was coming up and my Dad wanted to see it LIVE! There wasn't room for Mom to come because we were in the process of remodeling the backseat. I was small - but my Dad took me. So we travelled 30 miles in our house to a church in South Dakoto which had a tv, and I SAW THE TERPS!! My Dad was so excited - and so was I, as I alternated between being excited and wishing we lived in a house. We travelled back 30 miles afterward and it became one of the best adventures of my life. Later when I was falling asleep in the trunk, it was the memory of the Terps that helped me to not get too pissed off. I've seen other significant historical events live too. I remember seeing a reporter putting on a gas mask. That really helps to shape my compassion.
I could go on but what I'm saying is that I've not only learned a lot from watching the Terps (way more than I've indicated here), but it is also part of my CULTURE!!! I have also watched Survivor (though i'm not sure if it is meant to be a comedy or a drama). When are we going to get some reports on what is happening with THE TERPS?
ALSO: There was an episode of ABC'S According to Jim which had Jim on trial for murder using the defense that his jeans made him do it. Huh? I mean it wasn't a brilliant script, but it was an argument that balanced on the fact that some dickhead used a word or phrase in two different senses in the argument. In logic it's called "the fallacy of equivocation" but in TV land it's simply called RATINGS!!!! I think it was "sweeps week" and they didn't have a good SHARK SCRIPT! Anyway, watching it made me feel like I was losing my mind. Kind of like when I think about the apple pies for a dollar at MacDonalds. HOWEVER, I have to give the show credit for creatively setting forward the "genetic argument" AND for promptly demolishing it with an argument about pants. While most of the people I work with are DICKS, they all had seen the show and we had a GREAT discussion the next day. Interestingly, despite having different worldviews, we all agreed that our behavior and choices are not just consequences of our pants. As much as we agreed that we cannot blame our pants for what we do wrong, we all agreed even more enthusiastically that we hate our lives. It was one of the weirdest discussions I've ever had with people I hate and it occurred because we were NOT TALKING ABOUT THE TERPS!!! Also, WE DID NOT TALK ABOUT A GIRL WHO BORROWED MY CAR FOR EIGHT MONTHS!!!
I WANNA RIP IT!!! FEAR THE TURTLE !!!! RRRRRRRRRRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP IIIIIIIITTTTTTTTTT!!!!!
------------------------------------------------------ My name is Neil Tobias. This column is all about playing in a
rock band and LIFTING WEIGHTS!! I also have Hepatitis C . I am new in
town so please excuse me if I don't pronounce all your counties
correctly. I will always however PRONOUNCE THE TRUTH CORRECTLY!
----------------------------------------------------------- WARNING: I
make no guarantees about these pages (just like they were presented to
me), so if you are in a fishtank/cubicle environment and reading this,
you may want to hold off on clicking on them.
What? If people can see Jesus in toast or a tree stump, or the holy virgin in a window screen, it feels wholly appropriate somehow that the #1 seach that "baby jesus" returns on Google is to a butt plug. This ties in with a theory I've had about the devout for a long time...
So, I finally had a few minutes to sit back and relax this week. I was going to watch a little TV, a funny sitcom combo of Earl and The Office.
Unfortunately, our local affiliate pre-empted broadcast of the office to air a locally produced show on kids and drugs.
I got through 3 minutes before I couldn't take how bad it was and I turned it off. It left me with the desire to do drugs.
Instead, I started scouring blogs looking for free MP3s of the non-Christian variety. This lead me to start thinking about how each musical genre seems to have it's own defining drug.
GENRE DRUG Punk Heroin Folk/Neo-Folk Marijuana Pyschedelic Rock LSD Heavy Metal/Hair Metal Cocaine Country Music Vicodin/Coors Light/Whisky Hip-Hop/Rap Crack Techno/Electronica Ecstasy Britpop Speed Christian Rock Jesus