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legit random shit

 

 
older stuff

The Wind Through The Keyhole by Stephen King - A Dark Tower Novel - Completely Unweak

Legit Random/Books - 7.18.12

stephen King dark tower wind through the keyhole   book  reviews stop the weaknessBeing that I spent many drunken late nights knawing off any ear close enough to chew with praise for the Dark Tower, I will do my best here not to completely nerd out. I ended up really liking this book. Not going to rate it in the spectrum of DT books (though I will state that 4 is my favorite and that I didn't like 7 at first, but have come to accept and sort of like the ending after the 8 years since it's release).

Oh, and this will be a review for people who know King as I find it hard to believe many people will pick up this book without reading the Dark Tower. If you have no idea what the Dark Tower is, look it up, or get a bunch of booze and what have you, find a room to sit in for 72 hours straight, and I will give you the full run down on the Dark Tower and how awesome it is.

So what's up with it and why did it take me this long to read it? Most King fans will admit that intros and endings aren't always his strong suit, and this book has 3 of each (though the endings are good). It is 3 stories in one and, much like book 4, it is Roland telling his ka tet a story of his youth and then within that story Roland telling another story.

Sort of like IT, the stories run somewhat side by side - the first story starts and just as it gets good, the next story starts, and just as that one gets real good, the 3rd story starts...then they end in the opposite order. So there is a bunch of starting over right when things are getting good, which makes it hard to get into.

When you get into the second story, the book is on a roll, and while it was annoying to start over, the 3rd story picks up pretty quickly and it is pretty fucking awesome from there on out.

Here is another reason this thing was tough for me - and I am sure other Dark Tower readers can relate to this - I was fanboy excited for this book to come out, but realized as I opened to the first page that I hadn't read Dark Tower in many many years....since the last one came out in fact. So it was weird getting back into it. I went back and read some of the past books, tried to get back into the end of book 4, but was pretty lost. So I worried that I wasn't ready to get back into it all proper.

Stephen King books were some of the first books I picked up to read for fun, so his stuff goes back to when I was 11 or 12, but I didn't pick up the first Dark Tower book until the summer before the 7th and last book was released (2003). So I read all the books in a row without a break and the 7th book came out as I was finishing the 6th. If you have done that, or even if you've just read the books, you know how attached you get to the characters....so I was a little hesitant jumping back in. It was just weird, don't really know how to explain it, but I will let you know why it doesn't really matter.

Alright - these could be seen as a SPOILERS for people who want to know nothing about the book going in - but no major plot points will be given away, just the characters and broad plot points. So....first off it doesn't really matter because while this is a Dark Tower book, it is also not really and could stand on its own. Roland and his ka tet (Eddie, Susannah, Jake and Oy) are not really in the book. So if you don't have time to read all the other books again and start reading this and feel like a stranger to these characters....it doesn't really matter because they aren't really in it (though the nostalgia factor does come in big time). This book really does stand on its own and is 90% Roland telling stories from the Old World, which I love. You also get some Randall Flagg/Man in Black in here too which is nice. So the Dark Tower aspect is really, well it's what makes the story awesome because it takes place in that world, but it not about the main Dark Tower story and it doesn't (besides a few spoilers I won't tell) really progress or add much to the books.

How could have done that though? The story is written and done and in order to progress the plot etc....well it wouldn't have worked. All he could do was take you back give you the chance to read more about Roland's world. And there is a lot of classic Roland in here. Also, let me reiterate....though it starts off a little rough, when the 3 stories come together at the end it is really f-ing great. I hope I don't build up expectations too much (though I am sure they are already incredibly high) but, well, I loved the second half of this book a lot.

What I am extremely curious about is what people who have yet to read the Dark Tower will think about this? To read it in order between books 4 and 5. It is a lot like 4 in the flashback sense, and though that's my favorite, it's also the longest....so maybe this book could just be overkill and those people will hate it. Guessing most people who have read the other books will be pleased though and say....do I dare get this lame....thankee sai.

 

Reckless Road - Guns n' Roses by Marc Canter and Other GNR Books - As a Picture Book/Scrap Book: STOPS WEAKNESS, as a Normal Book - WEAK

Legit Random/Books/Unweak Music - 5.2.12

reckless road marc canter slash autobiography duff adler axl rose biography guns n roses  book  reviews stop the weaknessAlright, after reading THIS INTERVIEW with author Marc Canter I was more excited than anything for this book. This is the best interview ever for Guns n' Roses fans. He is a Canter of Canter's Deli, where GNR hung out all the time in their early years, and he took a lot of the famous early year photos....and documented their whole rise to fame starting before the beginning of GNR.

Canter is friends with both Axl and Slash (one of maybe one that falls in this group) and he gives the best insight into what happened behind the scenes with the band and any possibility of the band getting back together and what would need to go down for that to happen. This is legit the best GNR interview/book/piece of writing I've ever read.

So, yeah, as being a giant loser GNR fanboy I immediately went online and ordered this book, which was supposed to come out in the early '90s but didn't come out til 2007. After said interview it is a giant let down. Of the 350 pages, there are maybe 15 or actual writing. The rest is all pictures, set lists, and stage banter from pretty much every single show leading up to the release of Appetite. That is cool, don't get me wrong, but it's a picture book and I was expecting the most inside, unbiased account of Axl and Slash's feud and what went on behind the scenes. If you want that, just read the interview above.

SLASH AUTOBIO - this is the first GNR book I read and, while it is awesome (and I got to meet Slash and get a signed copy), it actually made me like Slash less. As Marc Canter points out, Slash plays the cool card a lot, and with Axl being crazy and vocal, it is easy for him to play it off as he is fault free in the whole demise of the band.....after reading this book you get the impression that this is not true. I still love Slash, but you really notice how he is trying to skew things in his favor in his retelling of the story. Great stories though and Slash is awesome. Read it.

WATCH YOU BLEED - THE SAGA OF GNR - this one.....well....I kind of forget it to tell the truth. If you like reading and don't mind reading many stories you've heard before in order to find out a few cool new ones - I would read this. This one is good because it's written by an unbiased, unrelated third party and tells the story of the whole band and not one member. I read the Slash book, this book and W.A.R. all in a couple month span back in 2007, and I was happy I did so....so yeah, though I don't remember loving it, I don't remember hating it, and definitely cruised through it and enjoyed it.

W.A.R. BY MICK WALL - W. Axl Rose (WAR, GET?!?!?!)....you may remember Mick Wall from his shout out in Get in the Ring, so Axl obviously hates him. This made me by this bio on Axl. Right off the bat I was surprised to find out that he used to be very close with the band and singer who wouldn't let anyone get close to them. He wrote something Axl didn't like for some reason, which he claims was truth and Axl lies (running theme with Axl/GNR), and Axl turned on him. I think it was something Axl wanted him to write (about Vince Neil maybe?) and when he didn't like the outcome, Mick Wall was the scapegoat....again, this is Wall's biased opinion but....biased opinions are awesome when you know they are biased. This book is pretty great.

DUFF and ADLER's AUTOBIOS - these have been reviewed in full on the site so I will just say, Duff's is maybe the best GNR book out there and made me like him a thousand times more and Adler's book was even more depressing than I even thought it could be.

The Tao of the Wu and The Wu Tang Manual by The RZA - Stops the Weakness and Pretty Unweak

Legit Random/Books/Unweak Music/WU TANG - 5.2.12

the tao of the wu and the wu tang manual by the rza book  reviews stop the weaknessThese books are fucking awesome. Well, The Wu Tang Manual is great, but The Tao of the Wu is what you wished The Wu Tang Manual was. The Manual is, well like an encyclopedia and the Tao of the Wu is more like The RZA's autobiography.

There has long been talk of this Wu Tang Manual but it finally came out in 2005. It is short blurbs about all things Wu, giving background on all aspects of Wu: short bios of the members, a Wu dictionary, background on films and how they work into the foundation of the group, religious beliefs, etc. While it is pretty cool, it is more something you just pick up and bounce around reading - you can read it straight through, but, well, it's like an encyclopedia and you don't need to. If you don't know much about Wu Tang, this is a great place to start, and if you do know, there is some new stuff here, or explanations of things you may not have known. It leaves something to be desired though.

That's where The Tao of the Wu comes in. This is more a straight autobiography, though not in straight chronological order, but more built around various principals of the RZA and the Wu and stories to support them. It is awesome. He tells great stories throughout his life and gets into the relationship of the group that, at least I thought, were previously unknown. From bouncing around during his childhood and growing up in the projects, to the 5 year dictatorship of bringing Wu Tang to the top, to the dark period/Bobby Digital phase that followed and finally back to his "enlightened" state.

The book is heavy on religion and could be seen as preachy which I thought would kind of sound ridiculous coming from the RZA. He is a musical genius, and I knew he was religious, but....I wasn't sure how it would sound coming from him - it doesn't sound preachy at all though and is very interesting. He knows his shit about, well, everything it seems. He references most all major religious books, seemingly with ease, and the stories he uses to reference his beliefs are very interesting. When he talks about ODB's death it is fucking sad. It is also pretty incredible how he built the group and his vision. Many familiar with the group know of the 5 year plan, but to hear him go through it in this book, how he had it all planned out and all the work he did to accomplish it....awesome.

Check this book out even if you don't like Wu Tang. There is something for everyone in here. Wu Tang is for the children.

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins and The Hunger Games Movie - Books: Unweak, Movie: I Think Unweak

Legit Random - Books / Movies - 5.1.12

hunger games trilogy books and movie  unweak book review  stop the weaknessAlright, should have posted this a while back as the movie has been out for a while and many have already seen it and probably read all the books for that matter.....but, though late to game, this is one of the first huge blockbuster books or collection of books (e.g. Da Vinci Code, Harry Potter, Twilight) that I have read, so I am thinking there's a good chance a large amount of our reader base is the same way. Therefore I will throw my thoughts out there and recommend people read these books (and see the movie too); they are pretty f-ing unweak, good story telling and you can cruise right through them.

I will start off by going through my thoughts on movie, which are mainly based on reading the book(s) at the same time. The movie is probably pretty fantastic, but having finished the book only a few days before seeing the movie made the it difficult to watch. I know what you're thinking - duh, books are always better than the movies, but this is somewhat different as movies often fuck with the plot in order to fit it all into a 2 hour movie. This actually isn't the case here as the movie doesn't cut or change much of the plot, but what it does do is cut out all the conflicting emotions and back story being told through the narrator: Katniss, the girl who offers herself up to the Hunger Games in place of her sister. I don't know how the director/producer/whomever thought they could make this film without a narrator.

Watching this movie sans narrator had me constantly wondering if there was any way my fellow movie goers, the ones who had not read the book at least, were able to pick up on any of the underlying emotions and also think about all of the thoughts going on in Katniss' mind that were just completely left out of the film. It made it hard to focus on the movie as its own thing, to say the least.

When I read the book, though typically a slow reader I cruised through it and thought that was due to a) it being written for a young adult audience and b) it just being all action and no elaborate descriptions. Though point B is true, which makes the movie's interpretation of setting cool, there is more to it; it is all plot moving action and the underlying thoughts/emotions of Katniss. There is too much going on in Katniss' head for actors to be able to display it through their acting...and that's for good actors, which this movie has a few (the girl playing Katniss being one of them), but there are also a bunch of awful ones, like the actors playing the 2 guys that make up the Twilight esque love triangle (I also feel like this love triangle was included for the sole purpose of recreating the Twilight screaming teenybopper hype). There were plenty of scenes in the movie with no dialogue where narrating could have easily been added and it would have benefited greatly.

So yeah, I sat there throughout thinking about how much was left out in terms of the main characters thoughts and also wondering if it was possible that non-reader movie goers were able to pick up on the major emotions/themes they did try to portray...because I didn't think it would be possible. It seems like it didn't matter though and my biggest problem was reading the book and seeing the movie right after - I saw the movie with 3 people, one who'd never read any of the books and 2 others who read them a while back, and they all really like the movie.

So....what is great about these books and the movie - they are a little violence heavy for a typical children's book (could have made a sweet, dark R-rated non teenybopper movie) but at the same time it is written for kids so the themes/imagery are blatant and it's an easy read. That last part doesn't seem all that positive, but here are my thoughts - when was the last time you read a book well below your "reading level"? And I mean one that tries to get the reader thinking and not a fun bestseller read. Probably never, or very rarely, right? Think back to the books you read in middle school - for me this one is a lot like The Giver, if anyone remembers that book. I would actually like to go back and read that one now, but my point is....it was kind of enjoyable to have the thought provoking symbolism be so blatant. It kind of got you thinking about these themes that you have been over many times before, but almost through the eyes of the intended audience. They are so far from groundbreaking and original and so in your face, that you either a) are completely turned off by how stupid it is, or b) you treat them like they are groundbreaking. It depends on how you want to go about it, but knowing it's a book for kids made me treat it completely different. Not to mention you could read through these things in a couple hours.

Alright, this is way too long, so lets just move onto the trilogy as a whole. The first book is great. The second book starts off slow, but otherwise ends up being just as good as the first. And the last one is the weakest for sure, but finishes the story and is a decent read. Oh yeah, the thing that pissed me off the most is how they made Woody Harrelson's character, well, not a drunk. He is awesome in it, but in the book he is a fall down, fucked up drunk, and they just brighten him up and completely change him which hurts the story.

11/22/63 by Stephen King - Stops the Weakness

Legit Random / Books - 3.19.12

stephen king 11/22/63 unweak book review  stop the weaknessThis book is the perfect book for non-King fans. Or people who think they won't like King. And for King fans, well, it's just fucking sick. This is about a time traveler going back in time to save JFK. Check out the dust cover or whateverthefuckitscalled and you will get a good idea of what happens....but it doesn't matter.

This book, like Under the Dome (which is another completely unweak new King book), was originally planned years ago. 8 years after the Kennedy assasination in fact, but he shelved it as the research was more than he was willing to deal with. And this book is well researched. We all know the basics of what went down but I had never really researched what Lee Harvey Oswald was like, his family background, how he was a fucking pussy of a man who beat his wife and well, maybe some of those are poetic license, but not much of it.

Most non-horror fan King books - Shawshank, The Body (aka Stand by Me), and others that I maybe I could remember if I weren't so fucking hungover I thought my head was about to explode - are short stories, so not a whole lot to recommend there. Here is a full out King book for everyone. My friend's dad read it and he had never read King as he worried about the fantasy bullshit. I have been racking my brain trying to find a good recommendation and am really coming up short, because while there is some fantasy (it is about time travel afterall) and there is some standard King brutality, though not a ton, there is a lot of history here which separates this from other books. It is very difficult to explain.

But Dark Tower fans will be happy to see some continuity, and other King fans will be happy to see Derry, Maine circa 1958 play a role along with a nod to Bev and Richie playing by the waterpipes. This is nothing new as any Maine set story usually refers to the horrors that happened in Castle Rock but.....well, let me stop writing and go work on my suicide plan, or just go vomit, or.....as will really happen, just get showered and go to work and pray for the day to be done.

Oh, here's a treat - if you read the book and want to know King's original ending, you can read it HERE.

SPACE CASE!!! - Do You Know How Often People Get Hit by Subways?

Legit Random - 3.15.12

drunken rant from an airplane on reclining seats and a way to get free drinks stop the weaknessDo you know how often people get hit by subways in NY? Supposedly, and who knows how much statistical data this is based on, but.....I guess twice a week. This came to our attention when one of our friends left STW headquarters and made their way back to Manhattan and BAM, his train hit someone. Not just, oh train is delayed because of train traffic ahead, and he later finds out someone was hit. This was a person getting hit right at his car so he saw the dudes popped off head right out his window. He said it was horribly traumatic and took a couple days to shake as you may have guessed.

Supposedly 4 people were hit by trains that weekend, and we found this reddit article about it, which enlightened us about the deadly subways (or stupid people, mainly stupid people we are guessing) in NY. We learned a few new terms, Space Case and Screw Driver being the 2 main ones, and when I asked my friend if he knew what a Space Case was he replied that he didn't until the police came running up to his train yellling SPACE CASE, SPACE CASE....which prompted him to go home and google it.

So what is a Space Case you ask? Well, let me bring you to my next story from this past weekend.....We were out in Bushwick at the Morgan Ave stop and when we come back from eating there are 4 firetrucks and a bunch of police cars and they weren't letting us down there. Nosiree. There were some foreigners standing around and they were nice and chatty but, well, being drunk and an idiot, it just seemed too easy to fuck with them. "What's going on?", they ask. "Space case, totally a Space Case", I reply in a jovial mood voice. They both start laughing, "ha ha ha, space case, space case", until they wonder, wait, " what's a space case?" "Oh, that's when you get hit by a train and your head pops off", I reply in the most deadpan serious tone.

That is not exactly right, but it's pretty close. Let me give you the EMT's description from the Reddit link above:

EMT with the FDNY here. It happens all the time - especially in Manhattan. There's your classic hit and splatter, which sounds like what happened here. Then there's your "space case" which is where they get wedged in between the subway car and the platform. Usually it's because they dropped something on the tracks, jumped down, and didn't realize how high the platform actually is. So they try to get up on the platform, and they can't, and the train winds up coming and depending on how big the space is will either cut them in half or wedge them between the car and platform. Then, you have your "screw driver" which is the same as the space case, except the top half of the body stays in the same direction, and the waist/legs twist around and around as the subway car pulls the body down the side of the platform. This is actually a scenario that is practiced jointly between EMS and Fire at the academy - they have a fake subway track at the FDNY Academy on Randall's Island that they mimic this with.

So yeah....it turns out the subway was closed this past weekend due to someone getting hit by the train, which is depressing. Like most people, he jumped down, underestimated how tall the platforms actually are and couldn't get back up. Can you imagine dying because you were either a) too lazy to go back upstairs and over to the other side or b) didn't want to pay the $2 to go up and back down or c) were just too drunk that you thought it was a smart idea. Happens a lot. I guess back in the early 1900's people used to cross all the time as the trains were slower and people were used to dodging trolley cars....then so many people started getting hit that warnings had to be put up all over the place. Still 2 people a week? Never would have guessed that. Also heard that back in the day people used to get hit so much they used to just prop the bodies up in the space in between the tracks if someone got hit during rush hour, then remove the bodies after rush hour. People need to get to work, am I right? Does anyone know where the stereotype of NY people being in a rush came from?

Oh, and just so we can do a good deed and not just give you new terms like Space Case, Screw Driver and the classic hit and splatter to throw around....if you do find yourself down on the tracks and stuck, walk to the end of the platform, into the tunnel (you know, the spot where when the train stops it won't be on top of you space casing you) and wave your hands and the train operator will get someone to help you.

Oh and then there is weird shit like THIS DEAD BABY IN A STROLLER THING which turned out not to be true. It was just a doll. Oh that L train, what a wacky fucking place.

 

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson - Stops the Weakness

Legit Random / Books - 2.13.12

steve jobs autobiography unweak book review  stop the weaknessThis shit leaked so early, and has been out for so long, I don't really know why I am reviewing it except for the fact that you guys love to read my drivel. Well I am sorry to disappoint - I can't write a review for this really because it will sound too lame. I really loved it.

Regardless of how I perceive(d) Steve Jobs, he is an extremely interesting subject. He is completely fucked up and weird and, well, I don't need to go into his accomplishments. Not since Doctor Dealer (see review at bottom of the page) have I read a bio where you are interested in each stage of the person's life...usually early and late life are pretty boring, while the middle years are where the story's at. Not the case here as I found it interesting from start to beginning. He arguably went out at the top of his career so, though he was almost 60 when he died, you still wonder what he could have created had he had more time. It focuses on his various businesses and technology, so if business and tech don't interest you, I guess you could find this boring, but....well, I don't know, I think it's pretty fantastic.

Airplanes, Reclining Seats and Free Drinks - Drunken Weak and Unweak Ranting

Legit Random - 1.17.12

drunken rant from an airplane on reclining seats and a way to get free drinks stop the weaknessUnless you are in first class, seats should not fucking recline. For Christ sake. You are crammed in like fucking sardines no matter what and it's only nice for you if the person in front of you doesn't put their seat back - and it completely sucks if the person in front of you reclines and you don't want to. So basically some jerkoff puts their seat back, and it's the fucking domino effect and everyone has to put their seat back and everyone is in the same shitty situation as they were when they first sat down.

I did come up with an awesome new trick though. I flew down to Florida (the worst state in the fucking union) first class and thoroughly enjoyed the pre take off drinks and constant refills....even when some Real Housewife of fucking New Jersey's 2 year old kicked over mommy's glass of red wine all over me. So waiting to take off on my return flight and sitting a few rows back from first class, I got jealous and a light bulb went off above my head. A dim one but a lightbulb none the less. When the stewardess came by I grabbed her (not literally) and said, "I get so nervous flying can you please get me a glass of read wine ASAP." She did. And didn't charge me. So take that first class motherfuckers. And....post take off when I asked for 2 full bottles of red wine I just looked like I was nervous and not that I wanted to drink myself to sleep so I could wake up at JFK. I did feel slightly bad when she tried to give me a glass and I said I would just drink them from the little bottles....she was sincerely concerned and said the glass may help relax me. I wanted to say well, if I actually had anything close to resembling a fear of flying, I am sure the xanax and multiple glasses of wine, would probably calm me down regardless of drinking it from glass. Maybe I will edit this thing before I post it but if you read this shit you should know that isn't our style.

Everybody Loves Our Town (An Oral History of Grunge) by Mark Yarm - Stops the Weakness

Legit Random/Books - 12.19.11

everybody loves our town oral history of grunge by mark yarm stop the weakness review It took me so long to review this book because it is that incredible. I know I have been saying that a lot, but this book is probably better than Duff's book and I have equal love for Guns and Seattle music. In fact, one of the most interesting things here is how this book, which I bought at the same time as the Duff and Adler books, is connected to Guns n' Roses. Duff was heavily involved and is featured in the beginning of this book a lot. Really cool.

And that brings me to what makes this book the best - I have read countless books/articles/interviews on Guns N' Roses, Nirvana and other Seattle bands and I did not expect this book to tell me anything new on those subjects.....but it did. I learned so much new stuff, and since it is an oral history book, you hear it straight from the mouths of people who were there. And you get to hear multiple sides of stories and get to decide for yourself who you believe.

Being obsessive with Nirvana, and also a huge Alice in Chains fan, it was very depressing and interesting to read about the final days/years of Kurt and Layne's lives and their respective bands.

If you don't trust me, Time magazine put this book on their top 10 list, which shocked me. I didn't think this book would get mainstream attention - only love from big fans. This book is truly the companion to Please Kill Me - if you love that book, you will love this one, even if you don't know shit about the scene going in. I wasn't big into punk when I read Please Kill Me back in 1999/2000, but it converted me. I think this book will do the same for people who don't know shit about the Seattle scene. Having the Seattle scene explode during my formative music years, I can now see how awesome Please Kill Me must have been for people who were very into/attached to that scene. This tells everything and is really incredible.

I won't go no anymore because you will read this or not....but, like most music books, this made me break out related albums I haven't listened to in forever. So here it goes, some awesome music from Seattle:

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's So Easy and Other Lies by Duff the King of Beers Rose Mckagan

Legit Random/Books - 12.7.11

autobiography duff mckagan reviews stop the weaknessDuff's book is my favorite of all the GNR books and I have read 5 in the past few years including, Slash, Steven and Duff's autobiographies. Slash's book is great, but it actually made me like him a little less as he seemed to have something to prove when telling his story, just like Steven did (see below for a review of Adler's book). Duff, who I always thought was the dumbest one in the band, comes across as extremely intelligent. His writing is fantastic - engaging and extremely funny - and you don't read this just for the stories/facts about GNR. Duff is a real person more than a rockstar.

Maybe it all goes back to his Seattle roots, his punk rock roots, his big family who were all close and brought up with lesson of the Great Depression in mind....but he truly seems to have always wanted the a normal life with a white picket fence etc. How fucking boring you may be thinking, but throw in playing in punk bands since age 11, moving to LA with no money, realizing that with the help of cocaine and valium he could drink for days on end until finally his pancreas exploded and....well yeah, it is not boring at all. Duff never realized why his body was falling apart and found out it was due to dehydration...and his response was something along the lines of, I never drank water, that just filled up precious space in my stomach that would be better served by vodka.

Duff has kids now and a real family, he went to school for finance/accounting post GNR, and recently started up a hedge fund for musicians/celebrities that don't know the first thing about managing their money. When he first got interested in figuring out his finances in the early/mid 90s he decided to invest a small $100k in various Seattle companies - Starbucks, Microsoft etc. I wish I had put a "small" $100k in those companies in the mid '90s.

The best thing about this book was how Duff truly was punk rock. I knew he was from Seattle but didn't know he was really part of that scene. Slash and Adler talk about meeting Duff for the first time and thinking he was odd, but I never knew Duff thought those guys were lame and into cheesey music that he wanted nothing to do with. He grew up with the founders of Sub Pop and was embarrassed when his friends from Seattle came through LA and he had to tell him he was in a band called Guns N Roses. People always try to nail down Guns and who really made their sound, but honestly it was every single one of them and couldn't have been done without each of them. Izzy said that when Steven was kicked out of the band, GNR went from being a hard rock band to a metal band as Steven provided the necessary swing. Duff provide legitmacy and raw punk rock. Izzy brought the laid back coolness and Slash the hard riffs and ridiculous soloing. And Axl....the manicness. The love and the rage.

Check this book out as you will get a completely different side than all the other 4 GNR books I have read. This is an awesome GNR story, and though Duff was drinking bottles of vodka a day for a long time, it seems like the clearest most level headed account of what went on in the band....then again, with this band you really need to read everyone's side to get the full story.

My Appetite for Destruction by Steven Adler - Unweak in Conjunction with Other GNR Books

Legit Random/Books - 12.7.11

steven adler autobiography reviews stop the weaknessThis book is fucked up and depressing. If you want to read it for the sideshow ridiculous rockstar factor, you will get that, but not in the way most rockstar books basically glorify their wild drug induced days - you mainly get the sad, depressing part. On the other hand, if you want to read this for info on Gun n' Roses, well it is best to look elsewhere first as well, because you leave this book feeling badly how distorted Adler's version of the truth is even though he wants you to believe he fully realizes his role in what transpired with GNR. Reading this book in conjunction with Duff's autobiography, Slash's autobiography and other GNR books, such as Mick Wall's Axl Rose bio, makes this a very interesting read.

Duff McKagan wrote in his autobiography, "Steven once said to me, 'you know, all I want in life is to make enough money one day so I can have a bag of good weed and a big ball of crack around - all the time.'...'We'll never make that kind of money,' I said. And besides, I thought to myself, if we ever do, you'll look back at that dream as nothing more than a teenage joke." (pg 85) Later goes on to say, "And it turned out Steven hadn't been joking about wanting nothing more in life than a bag of good weed and a big ball of crack - except now, with more than enough money to realize his dream, he added heroin to the mix." (pg 148) This sums up Steven and his book. He never grew up. Duff said that Steven seemed to always be trying to block out his horribly difficult childhood, and that seems to be the truth. He was kicked out of his house by age 11 and reveals for the first time that he was molested by various people around that age that he hung out with to smoke weed. These event seemingly left him stuck as a child forever.

Steven was overly trusting and naive, and truly never lost his childhood dream of sex, drugs and rock n roll. He uses this book to tell the world how he is rehabilitating himself and to show how he is taking responsibility for his actions, but it doesn't seem real. I fully think he was taken advantage of, regardless of peoples' intentions, but at the same time he goes on for page after page talking about how every day he was completely fucked up on drugs....only to then say he was dead sober during all the major events that led to his downfall with GNR. His falling on his face during Farm Aid while getting to his drum riser and his inability to play Civil War in the studio for example. He believes that Duff and Slash turned their back on him selfishly, not because of his drug use....but then spends the other surrounding pages talking about how drugs came before everything and everyone in his life.

The middle of the book, when Guns are at their high point, is the best. You feel his excitement and believe his side of the story, but post Guns it is completely depressing. Smoking crack in bed for days on end, in a dark room in Las Vegas, where you could barely see the glow of the TV through the cloud of smoke. His watches only cartoons all his life it seems. He would get as giddy as tween before running out onstage. He really seems to be stuck in the mind of an 11 year old, wanting nothing more than sex, drugs and rock and roll, and it is depressing as fuck to read about an 11 year old with millions of dollars for drugs trying to deal with all the drama involved with GNR.

5Pointz and 360 iPhone App - Unweak

Places/Random - 12.6.11

5 pointz long island city stop the weaknessAlright, so 5pointz has been around forever and I am sure many people will be too cool for school, but we just made it out to 5Pointz for the first time this past weekend. And it was sweet. For those of you that don't know, 5Pointz is one of the largest outdoor graffiti parks, the "Graffiti Mecca" if you will, as their website (http://5ptz.com/graff/) puts it. It's located in Long Island City, Queens, and you can see it from the BQE and the 7 train.

The place is forever changing, and inside studios are rented out to various artists. It is really amazing all the work here, but also odd how frequently things are painted over etc. If you go to the PHOTOS PAGE you can see many more photos, but if you go to the website you can arrange tours of the place and I think we may have to set one of those up. A few things to point out - first off you better go quick if you haven't yet as there are plans to turn the building into condos, and also, the famous fire escape, which was right where the 5POINTZ is written in the above picture, collapsed a couple years back. I have seen pictures of 5Pointz before but had never been, so I was looking all over for this fire escape only to leave thinking we missed a big part.

5pointz panorama from the rear of the building stop the weakness

Lastly, the panoramics in this post were taken with a cool iPhone App called 360 Panorama. It is sweet. I am not big into iPhone Apps, so for it to be included here means it is either a) very sweet, or b) equivalent of my dad telling me how wild technology is these days and asking if I know how to "do the texting". Here is THE LINK for that app. enjoy.

panorama manhattan from queens

 

NEW Beavis & Butthead - UNWEAKNESS!!!!!!

Legit Random - 11.16.11

new beavis and butthead is awesome unweak stops the weaknessIf you are like me and grew up on Beavis and Butthead, then you probably met the news of new episodes with equal amounts of joy and worry. Don't worry, nothing sucks about the new Beavis and Butthead (new episodes are on Thurs nights). For real....it is true to the original and maybe even funnier.

The funnier comment could just be that I worried it would suck, so it therefore exceeded my expectations....but, minus the videos, it seems like nothing's changed. Instead of watching music videos, they watch the shows MTV airs instead - Jersey Shore and that show about knocked up teenagers. It's weird...people have been making jokes/comments about MTV not playing music for over 10 years now, thus you don't really give it much thought anymore...but if you do think about it, they really, really don't play music anymore. Maybe at some point in the wee hours they will run a video or two, but they don't even have TRL anymore. MTV2 probably doesn't even play music anymore.

Oh well, enough rambling about MTV - check out the Vice interview with Mike Judge while you're at it. It is funny.

Vintage Colored Hockey Game/Bar Hats - Found a Place to Buy Them - Stop the Weakness

Legit Random - 11.11.11

Some readers out there have sent emails asking about the green Whalers hat that is pictured on the site often....and we are here to help by providing a place to buy the real deal vintage ones.

If you grew up in the 90s you probably remember how popular bar hats were, and if you were a real geek about it, you may remember the colored hockey bar hats by The Game. The legit ones that were the best hats and for some reason only made for a short, short time frame....before they started making white versions only, andsome ghetto colored versions that had cardboard brims and were just shitty. Not sure why they ever stopped making the colored ones, but the new versions fit like shit. nhl colored bar hats by the game vintage 90s legit place to buy them stop the weakness

I won't get into the geekery of how to tell the difference between the good fitting ones and the bad ones, but I will say that I found a guy who has an incredible collection and sells them (see picture). Not only does he sell from his collection, he trades them and constantly seems to find new ones to add. It is crazy because I searched for these things for years and could never find them through ebay and other like outlets. Anyway, these can be expensive, but well worth it if you were as into these hats as many people we know were...including ourselves.

The picture above is from a year or two ago and in the couple of weeks we traded emails he added a black Flyers hat and a blue Rangers hat....so I am sure it has changed some since then. It's not really worth going into describing these hats anymore because only the people who know what they are will be willing to pay $80 and up for a hat (I think the North Stars go for $400) but to show how old they are and the limited amount of time they were made, these hats were made when the Devils still had green in their colors, before the Whalers added navy, when the North Stars still existed and various other things.

So if you are interested in these hats, send us an email (tweak@stoptheweakness.com) and we will put you in touch with the person who sells them.

Occupy Weak Street - Weak and Gross and Most Importantly Stupid

Legit Random - 11.8.11

occupy wall street gross tents stop the weaknessWe aren't ones to really get political around here, but we found ourselves down by Wall St this past weekend and had to walk by Zuccotti Park to check it out.....and it turned out to be pretty much what we expected. Gross like a Phish lot but with less people and maybe less purpose. At least I didn't have to witness any barefoot 2 year olds running around at the hand of their parents, though they were probably there and just tough to see because of the tents.

I won't get into a whole debate about reform and our banking system, but I will state just how stupid I think Occupy Wall St is. First off, these people are supposed to represent 99% of the US population and in the largest city in our country there were, to use the example again, less people than who show up for a Phish concert. Most of them seemed (i.e. were) homeless, crazy or both and were just there for the free food and shelter. The rest of them thought they were John Lennon and sang Imagine, or their own Imagine, on repeat....there were no John Lennons there, I can tell you that much (though a bunch of legit artists, and ones we love, like Jeff Mangum, have played down there).

So, some favorite quotes from the day? Beyond the, "destroy the Fed" chants, and other like comments where the person doesn't seem to know what their sign/statement/chant means, let alone the consequences....I like the guy who climbed the 20 ft statue and said he wouldn't come down until Bloomberg resigned. I don't want to be doing any pot/kettle black calling with my ignorance, but I thought Bloomberg has been pretty good to the OWS peoples. Not really sure what this guy's mission was...I don't think he did either as he climbed up at 6am and gave up around 11am for no real reason.

Next I liked this interaction between a group of foreign tourist and some OWSers. The OWS were standing/picketing/chanting on top of a wall in front of a sign that read something like the 10 Commandments of OWS. The top what-they-stand-for bullet point had to do with putting the Glass Steagall Act back in place. The tourists asked the OWSers a) what their feelings were on the Glass Steagall Act and why it was so important to reinstitute.....to which the OWSers said, I don't know what that is; and b) do all OWSers believe in the beliefs outlined on the sign they stood behind......to which the OWSers said, I don't know what that sign means, I didn't write it.

Other quick quotes involved one lady talking about how she came down from Boston and had to be here as this was the absolute best possible use of her time ever. I would probably kill myself if taking part in OWS sit-in was my greatest accomplishment.

There was a lot of other funny shit, but I have rambled on long enough. I do feel there are issue that need to be corrected as well...don't think I am just a pro Wall St person spewing hate for hates purpose....in fact, that is what is so annoying about this stupid OWS thing - people seemingly going off about topics they don't know about. Look at the disgusting pictures....I have an idea for a job, get a job with the city cleaning up all the garbage you leave behind. There are so many cops down there and extra city employees to keep order, which they are doing a very good job of from what I witnessed, it does not seem like an effective use of tax dollars.

I will leave you with these pictures....a street nearby was all blocked off by police and we thought it was for OWS....turns out this was way cooler and the police cars were for Gotham City and the filming of the new Batman...way more exciting.

OWS occupy wall street tents signs grossness weakness stop it gotham city police car filming of new movie stop the weakness

3 Music Books: My Appetite for Destruction by Steven Adler, It's So Easy and Other Lies by Duff the King of Beers Rose Mckagan, and Everybody Loves Our Town - An Oral History of Grunge

Legit Random/Books - 10.26.11

steven adler autobiography duff mckagan and everybody loves our town reviews stop the weaknessThis section may as well turn into all books which is fine. I don't know how I missed it's release but my sister called me up day of bragging about the new book she just picked up. This is the same sister who has a nice signed copy of Slash's book (one of the 2 per person copies I was able to buy) that I waited in line for hours to get....though there was no thought in my direction when Duff's book was released. Just a bragging text about the new book she purchased. Anyway, I got to meet Slash, which was sweet, so I got over it, went online, noticed I missed a chance to meet Duff and buy his book, got a little sad, regrouped, made sure the book was out in stores and my sister didn't get it through some pre-order bullshit, saw that Steven Adler also released an autiobiography, got perplexed by how that happened without me noticing, and headed to Barnes & Noble in Union Sq.

So after navigating the 30 floors of this bookstore I made it to the music section and walked out with 3 books. I was really only intending to buy one, maybe two, but I saw Steven Adler's book and also this oral history of grunge book, Everybody Loves Our Town, that I had been waiting to be released. Even though I have read an unnecessary amount on each of these subjects, the fanboy in me took over and I am in the middle of 4 books currently (as I ditched my determination to finish the book I was already reading before starting any of these).

So the (not so) quick rundown: The books are pretty much exactly what you would expect, except maybe for Duff if you don't know much about him. Duff was always way fucked up when in Guns and pretty much anytime you saw him he wasn't making that much sense. He didn't seem to have that much going on in his head, but I guess that's what drinking a liter of vodka a day on top of handfuls of valiums and mounds of coke will do. He actually is pretty intelligent and his writing is interesting. He went to college for accounting and just started a hedge fund to help musicians manage their money. I haven't read enough to make this determination but I hear he tames some stuff down in case his kids read it some day. The stories are great so far. Adler's book on the other hand is, well, a little dumb and depressing. He really is just all about girls and drugs and stuff. Duff even says in his book, I didn't think Steven was serious when he said all he wants in life is a good bag of weed and a nice rock of crack....but he was, and now with the money we had he through heroin in the mix too. Many people have seen Adler on Celebrity Rehab and know it is depressing. He is pretty true to himself though and I really don't mean for this to be talking shit on him.

Lastly the grunge book - it is sweet. Just like Please Kill Me, this goes through interviews with all the people on the scene and get into the details. It is great. I have only read bits and pieces but I am hoping this will be a definitive book on the subject, sort of like Please Kill Me is for the origins of punk.

Sorry this is too long. Check these books out.

Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis - Expectedly Lame, but Also Pretty Unweak

Legit Random/Books - 9.21.11

anthony kiedis scar tissue unweak stop the weaknessOk, why do I say this is lame? Because the RHCP are kind of lame. Their connection with mother earth and all that hippydippy shit is a little too much for me to handle sometimes - and Anthony Kiedis is one of the biggest culprits......though if you have ever listened to John Frusciante, who I love, he can be pretty brutal talking about the spirits that move him and create music with him. So yes, if you can't stand that part of the RHCP, then don't read this. Every description of every girl, and there are a lot of girls, is tough to stomach.

So what is good about this, what did I learn? I had always thought he'd been sober since Hillel died. I never knew that he was constantly relapsing all through the 90s. Also, this book doesn't read like Slash's book or Nikki Sixx's books, and I think that has to do with the headiness of Anthony Kiedis, but even when Slash and Nikki Sixx relapse it doesn't seem like a big deal, it isn't depressing, it glorifies it. As you get to the end of this book you realize that this was written to cope with his drug addiction. It's not a funny, hahaha, I was SO fucked up back then.....he gives you a look into the depths and not a pretty look. In the beginning you get the glorification, but I don't think you will find a junkie who won't enjoy telling those stories. Their youth. When they got into it all. Yes, it is conflicting, where it took them, what it lead to, but you wouldn't get into the horrible bad times if there weren't times that were so fun and good. As you get through this though, the bad times get real depressing especially if you know anyone who's gone through this or if you have yourself.

What else....oh, I learned that Chad, who never seemed to fit in the band really, well never really did. He is like an LA 80s metal man and not all heady like the rest of them and didn't hang out all that much. I also love One Hot Minute and think it's kind of annoying how they gloss over it as a bad time for the band, though I guess it was a dark period, so what are they going to say, they loved the fucking record? I think that album destroys any of the 3 after it. Alright, I've rambled on long enough.

33 1/3 Books - They S a D, Except for the Chocolate and Cheese One

Legit Random/Books / wEEn - 9.13.11

33 1/3 books chocolate and cheese double nickel on the dime pretty hate machine unweak stop the weaknessSorry guys, haven't put shit up in a while but my girlfriend bought me this 33 1/3 book for Chocolate and Cheese (by Ween) the other day for me to read whilst being sick. It was one of those fiegned excitement, oh yeah, thank you, I can't wait.....and the reason I saw that is that I first bought the book about Double Nickle on the Dime, which is about the Minutemen's album and it was some random jerkoff writing his thought and experiences with the album and didn't give any facts. Ok, I know what you fuckers are thinking, what the fuck do you think this stupid STOPTHEWEAKNESS site is....but though I ramble and can be a little long winded, I am not writing a 200 page book on one album.

So I thought, ok maybe I will try another one and went with one of my all time favorite albums, Pretty Hate Machine, by....and I am sick of writing these "bys" because you should know who these are by (NIN) unless it is "by Ween" which any Ween fan will see the humor in. Anyway, same bullshit. Hey, maybe I just need to read a little deeper but what I got out of the first half was fuck Dylan and Eric, we were the trenchcoat mafia way before those motherfuckers shot up Columbine, and they just gave all this shit a bad name.

So....I get home and my girlfriend hands me the 33 1/3 book for Chocolate & Cheese (by Ween) and right off the bat they talk about interviewing Aaron, Mickey, Andrew Weiss, Pat & Greg Frey and the whole inner cirlce that the Ween fanatics, who Deaner once described to MTv saying, "Our fans are the biggest losers in the whole world", all know and love. It is the perfect book. You get to learn about pre-C&C, during C&C and post C&C and it is fantastic. Very very cool stuff.

The series is up to at least 80 albums/books and there have to be other good ones in there, so.....just read a few pages first to make sure you don't get some stupid guy rambling for 200 pages about how this album changed his life. I am the most longwinded individual in the world and don't think I could come close to doing that.

Dear Diary - A Vice Book by Lesley Arfin - Maybe I am a 12 Year Old Girl but Unweak in My Book

Legit Random/Books - 8.29.11

dear diary a vice book by lesley arfin stop the weaknessI don't know if I am the intended audience for this book, but I liked it. If I were less secure with my masculinity or lack thereof I may have felt slightly awkward reading a book called Dear Diary with pink pages throughout on the subway to work each day, but what can you do. This book is brought to you by Vice, so...well first off if you know Vice well you may already be familiar with the Dear Diary columns, but if not and you just know Vice then you can guess the style and content - not very PC and about sex and drugs...and some rock and roll too. Lesley Arfin, who grew up in Long Island, graduated college in 2001 (or 2002?) and then moved to the city, takes entries from her diary starting in 5th or 6th grade going all the way up to present day (book was released in 2007) and adds commentary along the way, giving background and her current thoughts/feelings about the entries.

The book is a little annoying early on as the entries are mainly all, I like this boy but he likes that girl, I like that boy but he likes this girl, and so on, but as it works her way through more serious boy issues, parent issues, drug experimentation, heroin addiction, recovery and everything in between it....well there are a lot of different things packed in here. As Lesley states throughout, she feels she needs to tell this story as true as possible even if it paints some people she loves in a bad light as there may be some girl somewhere going through something similar. Alright, so I am a guy and older than Lesley when she published this book, so maybe I didn't need this book to help get me through my teenage angst and drama, but I found it very useful to learn what teenage girls are thinking thereby providing great ways to manipulate and pickup 15 year old girls. JK JK LOLLERZ!!!!! Seriously though, even though I may be a different sex/age there are still a lot of issues in here that are interesting to anyone of any age/sex. Her commentaries are funny and she is completely honest, which is refreshing for a book that is supposed to teach life lessons. For example, she will tell girls to get drunk when having sex for the first couple times, which she acknowledges may be frowned upon advice but that is the way she feels.

At the end of the day, if you enjoy talking to your friends about their issues (relationships, drugs, friendships) and helping people work through their problems or vice versa (yes I realize how lame that sounds after writing it down) then I think you'd like this book. It also provides an awesome trip down '90s memory lane too. There is also a forward by Chloe Sevigny that I thought was interesting as she grew up in the town next to me and used to babysit a couple of my friends.....so you kind of get a look into her life at that point when she was babysitting my friends. What else....the packagine of this book is cool. The hardcover version (pictured above) has a flap with a lock on it which is magnetized and sort of locks down on the front cover. So yeah, I will end this here, very cool packaging.

Sleep No More - A Tweak and Unweak

Misc - 8.24.11

sleep no more manhattan punchdrunkI don't want to say too much about this because I think your experience will be enhanced by the less you know. It is a free for all and it is a must see. It has been described as an interactive play and it tells the story of Macbeth, though I will need to go back again (and again probably) to get that part, in a Hitchcock type setting. This is way more about the emotions the different rooms create, which is mainly terror/fright/suspense, than any sort of plot. Or maybe that was just my experience. It's like a haunted house. They recommend that you go off on your own and not to stay in groups, and while I thought they were full of shit, I think we all separated after 5 mins and we were in there for 3 hours.

There are 4-5 floors in this fake hotel, which occupies the spot of old clubs at 27th and 11th, and there are tons of rooms on each floor. You are free and encouraged to search through and touch everything, but everyone has to wear the eyes wide shut mask in the pictures below and no one is allowed to talk. There are workers in the corner of every room and they will reprimand or move you if the actors are about to enter the room and need your space. I got talked to on more than one occasion but that only means I was having more fun than others. It was very cool. No cameras are allowed and there are bathrooms in there but they are creepy as fuck and you aren't sure if they are actually bathrooms you are to use or if some crazy actor is going to pop out any second. I snapped these pictures in one of these bathrooms. Oh yeah, there is a really cool bar too and you can leave the "play" and go back to the bar at any point (if you can find it) and go back in after having a drink or 2 to calm your nerves. Drinks are recommended to take the edge off. I kept a tab open. It was a blast.

sleep no more punchdrunk manhattan stop the weakness

Alright, I feel like I have told too much. They have extended this 3 times already and currently it is scheduled to stop in October...so go to the link here and try to buy a ticket if you can find a night that isn't sold out. You could go to this thing many, many times and have an awesome and different experience every time. I want to go back and check it out. Oh yeah and if the $80 price tag seems too steep...it is not. It is worth every cent. Oh yeah, the website - check it out: Website for Sleep No More.

 

Snuff by Chuck Palahniuk - Quick, Easy, Enjoyable, Unweak

Legit Random/Books - 7.20.11

snuff by chuck palahniuk unweak stop the weaknessFor those of you that don't know Chuck Palahniuk, he is the one who wrote Fight Club and Choke. Snuff is his most recent book and I found a copy on sale in a bookstore in Boston and picked it up. Palahniuk submits stories to Vice every once in a while and I actually think part of this book was in their most recent fiction issue, but I remember not loving whatever I read then. Anyway, this is a pretty great summer book. Or really anytime book I guess. It is a quick read, under 200 pages, and it is entertaining the whole way through. With a name like Snuff, it is obviously about porn and a death, and if the details throughout the book are fact, it provides an interesting look into the porn world.

The book is about a porn star going for a gang bang world record - 600 guys - and is told from the point of view of 3 of the guys and the porn stars assistant. This book won't win any awards, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it.

The Catcher in the Rye - STW

Legit Random/Books - 7.13.11

the catcher in the rye stops the weaknessHow have I made it this far in life without reading this book? I do not know. And for a while I did not care as I had just reserved it to my group of classic things that I missed out on and moved on from. You know when you are told something is so incredible by so many people over and over that finally you feel that you don't need to check it out for yourself and would be better off finding something different you hadn't heard about a million times? You may not know about that actually, but I work that way with some things and this book was one of them. Boy am I happy that I dug into this bag of tricks and pulled this book out because, as most everyone in the world already knows, this book has stopped weakness forever.

I won't get into an analysis here, but the language in this book is my favorite. The best book since A Clockwork Orange, which I read some 12 years ago, where the narrative itself is enough for me. I could read Holden Caulfield ramble on about any subject and be thoroughly amused, just like Alex in A Clockwork Orange. This is a book I will find myself picking up and reading random chapters from here and there. I can't believe I just picked this one up. I can't believe this book was not taught at my high school considering a lot of the garbage we read.

So why did I read this? I was talking to someone who said it was their favorite book and I once again admitted I had never read it and said person wondered if they would feel the same way about the book if they read it at this age. I went for it and I think the answer is yes. This type of book is nothing knew. Holden is like a young Henry Chinaski from Bukowski's books - or you could just say from Ham On Rye which tell the story of Hank's youth and is also one of my favorite books - though he is from a different socioeconomic background. He is also like Ferdinand, Louis-Ferdinand Celine's alter-ego in Death on the Installment Plan and Journey to the End of the Night. Again, two of my favorites. Or even Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol. Black comedy. This may just sound like name dropping books, but my point is....well, 2 things: 1) this isn't anything all that new and 2) you should read those books if you haven't. With regards to this being nothing new - that is just to point out how incredible this book is. Having read many books like it, this one still stands out and is absolutely fantastic. It is short and you wish it went on forever. Once I finished it I went back to page one and started going through it again. So to my friend who wondered if he would like this book had he picked it up today - I would say yes, most definitely, or maybe I just have the maturity of a 16 year old.

Bowie in Berlin, A New Career in a New Town by Thomas Jerome Seabrook - Term Paper Unweak

Legit Random/Books - 6.22.11

bowie in berlin by thomas seabrook stoptheweakness unweak term paperI read this a month or so ago, but didn't get a review up for various reasons....so here it is. The subject matter this focuses on - Bowie's time spent in Berlin recording his Berlin Trilogy (Low, "Heroes", Lodger) as well as Iggy Pop's The Idiot and Lust for Life, what led to it, and what went down during it - is so cool. Bowie was a madman before heading to Berlin doing so much coke, eating nothing, and generally in a tweaked out state of paranoia. Coke paranoia sounds so fucked. He was also dabbling in black magic and was, well, just generally a madman. He work ethic in the studio is intense and he just bangs out new experimental records left and right....right before going to Berlin though, he was not in a good spot at all. The tales this book tells is awesome. Hearing about these albums, especially Iggy Pop's The Idiot, and about Brian Eno's role in it all and how Bowie had a lot more influence on the sound than you might believe....incredible stories. Bowie also surrounded himself with some of the most badass experimental musicians of the era and these albums couldn't have been made with out them. If this stuff sounds up your alley, you have to read this. It is an in depth analysis of this short part of Bowies career.

No for my only complaint....it reads like a term paper. It is an analysis. Everything is pulled from old interviews and there was no access to the people involved...it really reads as if I were asked to write a 300 page analysis on Bowies Berlin period for a course in college. It is a little...well...it reads like a term paper, that says it all. If you are obsessed with music and Bowie/Eno/Pop in particular...this is right up your alley. It's unweak. Get it.

Random Subway Shit - Kids Skateboarding, Jesus Playing Guitar Like a Piano and More Stupid Train Ads

Legit Random - 5.20.11

hiv aids ad on new york subway stop the weaknessWe have said it before and here it is again....the ads on the subway are the worst thing ever. I think these are all done by the state too, and they seem to be tailored by subway (I will have to do more research on this fact/guess, but the ads definitely change subway by subway, and it is not in the most subtle PC way), so it really doesn't speak highly for the state's/city's perception of its people. I couldn't get a good full picture of this ad without looking like a complete creep, so I will fill in the blanks in case you can't figure it out. It says, IF YOU GET HIV YOU ARE MORE LIKELY TO GET OSTEOPOROSIS EVEN WHEN YOU TAKE HIV MEDS......IT'S NEVER JUST HIV ALWAYS WEAR A CONDOM......and yes, there is the NYC logo in the bottom right.

You know....I didn't know this fact, I guess it is somewhat interesting, but what is the point of this ad? I don't see this and go, holy shit, OSTEOPOROSIS?!?!?!?!?! I knew you could get HIV from not wearing a condom, but OSTEOPOROSIS? The thought of a deadly virus without a cure wasn't enough to get me to wear a condom, but now that I know my bones will get weak too.....convinced. done. Thank you NYC for this ad because otherwise I would have been screwed. I mean, I am guessing the point is that people are no longer scared of HIV because of the meds out there and people like Magic Johnson have had it for almost 20 years (maybe more) while showing little to no sign.....but instead maybe they should put up ads that have Magic Johnson swimming threw money like Scrooge McDuck with a slogan that says, YOU AREN'T MAGIC JOHNSON WITH ENOUGH MONEY TO BUY ALL THE NEW DRUGS AS THE COME OUT. THERE IS STILL NO CURE. AS OF NOW YOU ARE STILL GUARANTEED TO DIE, EVEN IF YOU MAY LIVE A LITTLE LONGER THAN WAS THE CASE 20 YEARS AGO. Maybe it's just me, but HIV still scares the shit out of me way more than Osteoporosis.

After that, here are some videos of some random subway sightings. First up I was walking out of the subway by the Bank of America building in Bryant Park and some kid stopped me, wait here, wait here, as I stood there for a second all confused......then some young kid comes flying down the stairwell on his skateboard. One guy didn't heed the warning and came this close to having the trucks, along with the weight of the skateboarder on top of them, smash him in the face. I should have filmed from below, but it is not really that the tricks or anything were that cool. Just a random scene of youngsters having a bit of fun.

 

Lastly, and I am not sure if I have seen this guy before, but I came across this Jesus looking fellow playing his Ibanez shredder like a piano. Again, nothing all that original, but it amused me for the 45 seconds I was waiting for the train:

 

DMX – The Unweakest/Best/Most Complete Criminal Record, Possibly Ever...

Legit Random - 3.31.11

DMXI couldn’t resist, D, if you or any of your “boyz” read this, I bought like all your albums, love Belly, it was my understanding I was injesting you the first time I took Robitussin. I would listen to “Where the Hood At” on repeat if I wasn't such a pussy…love you. Anyway, below is the greatest “rap sheet” ever.

In 1999, DMX was arrested on, but later cleared of, charges of a stabbing at a tour stop in Boston; he was also cleared of an assault charge in his hometown of Yonkers.

In the summer of 1999, DMX and his wife were arrested and charged with animal cruelty and possession of drugs and weapons after his manager-uncle was accidentally shot at a hotel in New Jersey. Eventually, DMX successfully plea-bargained his sentence down to fines, probation, and community service.

He was arrested again in March 2000 for aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, speeding, failure to signal, driving without a license, failure to notify the DMV of an address change, and possession of marijuana on New York State Route 33 in Cheektowaga, New York, following a concert in Buffalo, New York. His failure to appear at his subsequent court date in Cheektowaga on March 21 led to the issue of a warrant for his arrest. He later turned himself in, plead guilty to a reduced charge of driving without a license, and was sentenced to 15 days in jail and fined $400 (a harsh penalty for a multi-million record selling artist).

Since beginning his life as a public figure, DMX's multiple arrests have been for offenses including: animal cruelty, reckless driving, unlicensed driving, drug possession, and identity falsification. In 1999, when officers of the Fort Lee Police Department executed a search of his home, DMX promptly surrendered himself on weapons charges.

In 2001 for driving without a license and possession of marijuana. His appeal to reduce the 2001 sentence was denied; rather, he was charged with assault for allegedly throwing objects at prison guards. DMX entered rehab to treat his addiction to drugs in 2002.

In June 2004, he was arrested at the John F. Kennedy International Airport on charges of cocaine possession, criminal impersonation, criminal possession of a weapon, criminal mischief, menacing, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol while claiming to be a federal agent and attempting to carjack a vehicle (my Fav, still don’t understand why he was posing as an FBI agent). He was given a conditional discharge on December 8, 2004, but plead guilty on October 25, 2005, to violating parole.

On November 18, 2005, DMX was sentenced to 70 days in jail for violating his parole; the lateness charge added a 10-day extension to the original 60-day sentence. DMX was released from jail for good behavior early on December 30, 2005.

On December 30, 2008, DMX had pleaded guilty to charges of drug possession, theft, and animal cruelty and was sentenced to 90 days in jail on January 31, 2009. On May 22, 2009, DMX entered a plea agreement/change of plea, pleading guilty to attempted aggravated assault. DMX was released from jail early on July 6, 2010, after serving four out of six months for violating drug probation.

On July 27, 2010, DMX turned himself in to Los Angeles Metropolitan Court for a reckless driving charge he received in 2002, and was sent to Jail for 90 days. On November 19, 2010, DMX was again arrested in Maricopa County, Arizona for allegedly violating his parole by using drugs. He is now serving a full year term for the crime.

On December 20, 2010, DMX was moved to the Mental Health Unit of the Arizona State Prison…

I should have been in this video:

 

Tulip Tree Presents - Mondo Instante 6 - Sounds Real Unweak

Legit Random / Website - 3.29.11

mondo instante tulip tree presents stop the weakness unweak

This site, www.tuliptreepresents.com, is pretty unweak if I do say so myself. I came across this project they do called Mondo Instante and was rather intrigued. Simple really......you say you want to do it, they pick a time and date, and at that time you shoot a picture wherever you happen to be. They have readers from all across the world I believe, so it is pretty cool. Here, check out the site and you can check out past Mondo Instantes...1 through 5 to be exact.

Now the rest of the site is pretty cool as well. It is just a group art collective basically, bringing people together and posting various forms of art. The people/person who runs the show is a big Clash fan too and there is a lot of good Clash info. I am a big Clash fan, but not obsessive like I am with other bands, so there was a lot of new stuff/pictures I didn't know about/hadn't seen....not just on their site, but also in the associated/sites we like links section. So yeah, check out and sign up for Mondo Instante and read the site if it strikes your fancy. Definitely a good find in my book.

Oh yeah, here is one of my favorite pictures from the site....it's by the creator of the site I believe too.

mondo instante tulip tree presents stop the weakness unweak

Just Kids by Patti Smith - Pretty Much Stops the Weakness

Legit Random/Books - 3.16.11

patti smith just kids stops the weakness review unweakThis has been reviewed on here already but this book is so good I need to throw in my 2 cents. I read a ton of music books and this is unlike any I have read before. Before getting into it, I must point out too that I almost stopped reading this because I couldn't stand it. Patti Smith is a poet and in the beginning it seems horribly pretenious - over the top language to make sure you know she is a poet and an artist. Thank god I didn't stop reading because this feeling fades and it turns into a wonderful story. This brings me to the reason this book is different from most music books and why this is a must read: this book reads like fiction and is way more about the story than the facts.

When reading a non-fiction music book, it doesn't grab you like this book does. Patti and Robert are like characters in your favorite novel and it really is all about their story. When I buy a music book I will usually flip through to the height of the artist's career and read a few passages. I did this here and was lost. I didn't recognize a lot of the names, places, events, etc. I am no expert on Patti Smith, but I know a decent amount about the NY scene she was a part of and I expected to recognize something. This turned me off, but after finishing it.....it is just completely different. As I said, this isn't about the facts, but very much about Patti and Robert's story - the details of her life, career, etc, which are typically the focus of a biography/autobiography, are really secondary here. Don't get me wrong, you get to know Patti Smith more than you ever could from reading in depth details about all aspects of her career and life, but as I said you can't pick this book up in the middle and read. Start from beginning like you would with any novel and read. Don't get turned off because it gets way better and you won't be able to put it down. The story is heartbreaking, but at the same time.....well just read it. It's not even 300 pages.

Under the Dome by Stephen King - Real Unweak

Legit Random/Books - 2.16.11

stephen king under the dome unweak to the maxAlright, so I finally got into this book and read it.....and it was pretty awesome. I was sitting there last night after finishing the 1,060th something page trying to remember when I first picked this book up. It was sometime at the beginning of 2010 and I kept picking it up and then putting it back down in favor of another book (see reviews below). That is a common issue with Stephen King - his beginnings and endings can be a little weak, but the middle storytelling is fantastic. Also, the longer the book, the longer the book drags in the beginning. This book really only took about 100 pages though, which is pretty much where I kept putting the book on hold until a couple weeks ago. I am really happy I finally sucked it up and pushed forward though because this book is sick, pretty much classic King.

So, yeah....if you like Stephen King I would definitely go pick this up....and if you don't like him, you probably shouldn't read this, because it is a standard good vs. evil fantasy/science fiction/horror. i.e. this isn't a story like The Body (aka Stand By Me), Shawshank, or the Green Mile that non-King fans can get into. This is like Needful Things, or The Stand. Focused on a small town in Maine, an invisible Dome comes down on the town trapping everyone inside, and it turns into a battle of good vs. evil with a huge cast of characters. I don't want to give anything away, but there is an aspect to this book that is slightly different than most King books, and I realize that is kind of an annoyingly broad comment...but I kind of have to say it as I am not sure how I feel about it and think most King fans would agree. I should also point out that I am a very big King fan, so I am extremely biased and don't believe his writing is trash at all. So if you do.....well...this probably isn't for you. The other issue with King's books is that the endings can be kind of weak. There is a huge build up, which is what he does best, and then they kind of fizzle out at the end. This happens here, but the ending is actually not that stereotypical, which leaves the reader both satisfied and unsatisfied....i.e. you kind of want it to turn out how you'd expect, but then you are happy that it was a little different.

Overall, pick this up if you are into the long Stephen King dramas like The Stand, It, Needful Things, etc. I won't mention Dark Tower here because that is a huge conversation in itself, but this book is right up there for me. King actually first attempted to write this book back in the late 70s but the task was too much to handle, so he put it down until 2007. He also wanted this book to be non-stop action/thriller....sort of like the Nine Inch Nails album Broken, except instead of a short blast of rage, he wanted it to be a long blast of rage. As I said, it takes you a little while to get into the book, which is expected when there are as many characters as in this book, but after it gets going he succeeds. I cruised through the other 1,000 pages in no time, especially considering that I only really read it on the subway to and from work. Alright, enough rambling, pick it up. Question is, what to read next....

Bloody Fatty Lard Advertisements on the Subway - FUCKING WEAK

Legit Random - 2.15.11

lard ad gross weak Have you guys seen these ads on the subway? They are fucking disgusting. Ok, I get it, people eat too much sugar, getting diabetes and turning into fat fucks, but do we really need to have these ads with bloody fat exploding out of soda cans greeting us as we get on the train every morning? Seriously. Enough already. It's like the anti-smoking ads that were put up in every place that sells cigarettes. Unnecessary. Grossly unnecessary.
blood fat ads on the subway
lard ads on the subway

Just Kids by Patti Smith - Really Unweak It Almost Stops Weakness

Legit Random/Books - 1.18.11

patti smith just kids really unweak For me to say that Patti Smith’s, Just Kids, is an amazing book would be redundant. It was a New York Times bestseller, and people more significant than me, like a Johnny Depp, have lauded Patti for her story.

In 1989 Robert Mapplethorpe died from AIDS. Before he died, he asked Patti Smith to tell their story. (1)

My knowledge of Patti Smith is small. I’ve read Please Kill Me, by Legs McNeil, that largely incorporates her into Punk Rock History. I do love listening to Horses, but more for the energy it puts off than the poetry (It is the best version of Gloria I know, and I have a grandmother named Gloria). And mainly I thought she is so cool because she was married to MC5 drummer, Fred “Sonic” Smith. And I had no knowledge of Robert Mapplethorpe. The book is good because Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe define what it means to live for the sake of art in the most romantic sense. They suffer disease, hygiene, and hunger, all to follow their creative interests. Patti intelligently tells their story, losing me at times with her references to artists like Rimbaud, disgusting me with stories of lice, and humorously being able to note exactly what they were wearing at very distinct instances of their lives. My main draw, her music, is not touched on until the end, and seems a small part in the struggle of their journey. When she does get there, she makes you realize why you always wanted to be a rock star with quotes like the one below:

We imagined ourselves the Sons of Liberty with a mission to preserve, protect, and project the revolutionary spirit of rock and roll. We feared that the music which had given us sustenance was in danger of spiritual starvation. We feared it losing its sense of purpose, we feared it falling into fattened hands, we feared it floundering in a mire spectacle, finance, and vapid technical complexity. We would call forth in our minds the image of Paul Revere, riding through the American night, petitioning the people to wake up, to take arms. We too could take up arms, the arms of our generation, the electric guitar and the microphone.

Patti Smith treated rock ‘n’ roll as a vehicle to express her wild side (Robert and her continuously say that she was a bad girl trying to be good, and he was a good boy trying to be bad). And she never felt entitled to it. She worked hard make sure her performance was going to impress the crowd. We need more of this today.

This book is unweak because it tells the story of two people doing exactly what they want to be doing. And any person can relate to that as long as their head isn’t too far up their own ass.

(1) Editor Note (fakery): In 1993 the No Alternative compilation was released to benefit AIDS relief and Patti Smith contributed a solo acapella song, Memorial Tribute, recorded at NY summerstage that she dedicated to Robert Mapplethorpe. Introducing the song she said she wrote the song shortly before his death. This album came out at the height of the alternative music craze and features many of the alternative staples - Soundgarden, Beastie Boys, Breeders, Uncle Tupelo, Pavement, Smashing Pumpkins, Bob Mould, Urge Overkill, Soul Asylum, Goo Goo Dolls, Matthew Sweet and Nirvana, amongst others. This was in fact the last official Nirvana release before Kurt Cobain's death (I think). The Nirvana track, Verse Chorus Verse (aka Sappy) was a hidden track on the cd, back when hidden tracks were all the craze. This compilation is one of the best around and I still listen to it to this day. Funny because when this album came out I had no idea who Uncle Tupelo (pre-Wilco Jeff Tweedy band) were and it wasn't until over a decade later that I realized I had been listening to them all these years. Not a huge thing to me though to tell you the truth as I am not a huge Wilco fan. Alright, I will stop stealing this post and end it here. If you have never heard the No Alternative album, pick it up if you can still find it anywhere.

Life by Keith Richards - Stops the Weakness

Legit Random/Books - 1.16.11

keith richards life stops the weakness autobiographyReading Keith Richards' Life stops the weakness. It is still on the New York Times Best Sellers list and it deserves to be. I remember reading an email from Bob Lefsetz (industry blogger who sends daily emails and knows a ton but rants a little too much about people not moving with technology) about how overhyped and stupid this book was but, as I said in my parentheses, I just disagree with him often when technology and/or old acts are involved. Here is an excerpt from his 10/30/10 email about the book: "Have you ever seen such a scorched earth publicity campaign? The mainstream media is fawning over this like Keef knows the location of Bin Laden, when all we really get is he did drugs and is pissed at Mick Jagger. Who doesn't know that? Do they really expect casual Stones fans to pick up this book? No, this is for the hard core. And how big is that core? How many people want to hear the ancient exploits of a soon to be septuagenarian? It would be one thing if he'd written the book in the seventies, but to hear these stories now is like watching another video of the Jets' triumph over the Colts in Super Bowl III. We get it, the AFL was underrated. NEXT!"I could rant on about Bob Lefsetz for pages, so I will stop myself dead in my tracks, but his emails can be fairly interesting/entertaining, and informative so sign up for his mailing list if you feel so inclined: http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/. As I was saying, I had no doubts about this book, it is Keith Richards afterall and you probably know a handfull of infamous tales already that would make buying this book worth it. Who wants to hear the ancient exploits of a soon to be septuagenarian? I do. And I think there are plenty of others who would really like this books as well.

The best part about this book is his voice. Keith Richards is a funny guy. It is great to hear the stories from his point of view, and he doesn't hold anything back, apologize, or try to paint himself in any sort of light. That was my one issue with Slash's book. He seemed to have a purpose in writing the book and his tone seemed a little forced at times. I loved that book, don't get me wrong, and I read it a few years ago so I can't give any examples or really even explain myself any better, but I just remember their being some slight issues with that. Very slight though. Anyway, this book is the tops. Can you imagine Richards' writing this book back in the seventies? That sounds so stupid. I don't really picture a 1970s Keith writing his autobiography. Thinking about it a little more, that actually sounds interesting because it would have been ridiculous....but this way he looks back on everything with a lot of time since the 70s so he is somewhat removed when telling the story.

Alright, this has already gotten way longer than I had intended. This book is good and does not seem like some cheap shit product thrown out there to make money. It is interesting to hear him talk about his relationship with Mick Jagger, his view on Brian Jones, which is actually pretty much the same harsh story told in Up and Down With the Rolling Stones (a great book about the Stones by their former friend/roadie/drug supplier), the recording of their albums and how that progressed and his times in Jamaica. I meant to include quotes, but I don't have the book with me. Maybe I will do that when I get the book back in a couple weeks. This stops the weakness. Buy it. Read it.

Anthony Jeselnik: Shakespeare - The Unweakest Comedy Album in While

Comedy - 12.28.10

Anthony Jeselnik: ShakespeareSo basically I think there’s a lack of good comedy writers with good timing these days, which is why I chose to do write up on Jeselnik. Without good writing and good timing, you get shit. It’s what really separated Hedburg from everyone else, tons of his jokes literally don’t work if the timing is off by a fraction. So got this album and finally heard something worth listening to start to finish.

The CD is awesome, if you're not easily offended (lame) and at least kind of like standup, I can't really see anyone not appreaciating this one. The guys is just dry as shit. For those with doubts, all the important issues including dead babies, racism, abortion, rape, retarded people, aids, herpes, pedophilia and suicide are all thoroughly covered if you were worried about the quality of the content. I put a link to an alright clip cause I couldn’t really find any good youtube clips, you really need to actually listen to the CD to get the good jokes. Anyway, check it out.

SHAKESPEARE CLIP

Whores - An Oral Biography of Perry Farrell and Jane's Addiction by Brendan Mullen - Really Really Unweak

Legit Random / Books - 11.3.10

Jane's Addiction Whores BiographyThis book is rad. I read it a few years ago, but then picked it up off my bookshelf just as something to read for a little bit and haven't been able to put it down. I have pretty much read the whole thing again.

Maybe you have to be a Jane's fan to like it but I don't think so. It is an oral history book of Jane's Addiction just like Please Kill Me, i.e. it is told by the people who were there, in chopped up interviews all spliced together to tell a story. I am always amazed at how these piece these things together into a coherent story. Is stuff taken out of context to make the story better just like the reality tv shows....I am sure a little bit, but not really. I love these books because you get different sides of the same story from multiple people. It is especially good with a book like this or Please Kill Me where there are lots of drugs involved because everyone remembers stuff differently. Though that is how history goes regardless of drugs. One of my favorite quotes is from Dave Navarro who was doing a lot of dope during his time with Jane's, and he said, "my memory of recording Ritual lasts about five minutes. In my head, we spent five minutes in the studio." At this point Dave was doing 5 or 6 grams of heroin a day - approx $700. I put an awesome clip at the bottom of the recording of Three Days, which is not only the best Jane's Addiction song but one of the best songs ever recorded. Anyway this song, which is their Stairway to Heaven, their Estranged, was recorded in one take with all the guys playing it live. If not one take it was something absurd like two takes. I think this too was the only song recorded with all the members present as the band hated each other and would record their parts separately.

This band is famous for hating each other. It's weird because I am not sure they ever really liked each other. Perry likes to dominate people and play mind games to show his superiority. He would constantly talk shit on the other members during the show. Shows would erupt into brawls onstage. Throw in the red wine, coke and heroin on top of the hate and, well, it seems like every show was a spectacle.

Anyway, read this book if you have any interest in Jane's Addiction or early 90s alternative music. It is an easy fun read and tough to put down. The beginning of the book may be a little boring if you aren't into the band, so maybe skip some sections if you don't get into it right away. I am really pumped that I got to see the original Jane's lineup back in 2009. Somehow they got Eric Avery to play with them again (Jane's had reunited many times since their break up post the first Lollapolooza in '91, but never with Avery on bass). It is not that apparent but Eric Avery is the backbone of this band. This reunion was short lived and I am not sure the 4 of them will ever play together again. I mean, anything is possible, but these guys really don't get along and it took Eric Avery almost 20 years to give it another shot.

If you want to check out a cool project, pick up a copy of Deconstruction. It is a Dave Navarro and Eric Avery album that they did with Rick Rubin post Jane's. It is a little out there, but cool nonetheless. Eric Avery's bass playing is a lot like Joy Division, and this album shows that his singing is as well. Gibby Haynes makes a guest appearance too. A side note, Rick Rubin came by one of Jane's early shows and tried to get Dave and Steve Perkins to quit Jane's either for Danzig's solo band or some other band. Alright, that is enough of the fun facts.

 

Mr. Nice by Howard Marks - Really Unweak

Legit Random / Books - 10.28.10

mr nice howard marksWhen I read a book I like I usually get sucked in and end up reading the authors whole collection or at least the majority of it. Same kind of goes for nonfiction topics as well. For example I think I read 3 guns n roses books in a row after Slash released his autobiography (which I got signed by Slash by the way after standing in line for a few hours in astor place). Now that also had to do with 3 GNR books being released in a row basically, Slash's autobiography, an Axl bio by Mick Wall and a third about the full band.....can't remember by whom....but still. Sorry, I will get to the point.....

So I just read Doctor Dealer about the yuppie drug/coke ring started by a Penn student and loved it. One of my favorite books in a while. Therefore, as described above, I wanted more. That was the only book on Larry Lavin, so my girlfriend gave me this book, Mr Nice, as it is about a drug smuggler as well. Is it as good as Dr Dealer? No. But it is pretty fantastic. It is about an Oxford grad turned international drug smuggler. It is an autobiography so you have everything that comes with that, good (ie his side of the story and voice) and bad (ie his side of the story and voice).

As I usually do when reading books by the same author or on similar topics, I will compare this to the other book, Doctor Dealer, and tell why I didn't like it as much. It is fantastic don't get me wrong, but being an autobiography, his character development isn't as good as Dr Dealer which was written by the Blackhawk Down writer. I don't have the book in front of me, so I am not sure if Howard Marks (aka Mr. Nice) had someone help him write it. Either way it is awesome. It may not have the build up story like Dr Dealer - Dr Dealer is written like a novel with a clear climax etc - but it is an autobiography, so that isn't exactly how it should go. Howard Marks, who goes by many names in the books, constantly changing passports etc, is extremely personable, smart and funny, so his narrative is great. The stories are absurd. He often worked with this IRA member, Jim McCann, who is....well, he is a character. It is hard to believe that he is real. He is my favorite part of the book by far.

Anyway, pick up this book and give it a shot. It is not as good of a read as Doctor Dealer, so I would read that first, but I would definitely follow up with this book and check it out. Oh, I guess that is my other thing. Doctor Dealer is takes place in Philly and I lived there for a bit and know the city well, so that part made the book cool. This book takes place mostly in the UK and throughout Europe, so I couldn't relate to it as much. I think if your situation is reversed and you know those parts better, you may prefer this book. Alright, I'm out, done. This book is great, read it.

 

MediaStorm - Really Unweak

Legit Random / Websites - 9.26.10

mediastorm awesome websiteWhile this site may not be for everyone, it should be. I actually came across this site when I was looking for a job out of college. I played one story and right away knew this was something I wanted to be involved with. Simultaneously, they knew right away that I was someone they did not want to be involved with. Whatever, I think it's clear who came out on top. Bitterness aside, many of the stories on the site are amazing and really worth checking out.

So here's the background. Originally founded in 1994 at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, MediaStorm relaunched in March of 2005 with a focus on creating cinematic narratives for distribution across a variety of platforms. Basically, the site tells awesome, visually stunning stories. The journalists and photo journalists really go above and beyond. None of the stories, at least of the ones I have watched, are thrown together. You can really tell that time was spent with the subject(s) of each story. The photos truly are professional. Some are straight picture stories, kind of slide show with music and writing, some are straight video stories, but all seem to be on another level in terms of quality.

If you've never been to the site, a good recommendation for a story to start with is The Ninth Floor. In summary: "In the 1970s, New York artist Joe Smith rented an apartment overlooking Fifth Avenue. In the years that followed, the rooms became a black hole of drug addiction, hopelessness, and squandered dreams. A chance meeting with one of the residents drew photojournalist Jessica Dimmock to the apartment, where she embarked on an almost three-year journey into the lives of those living there. Focusing on three individuals, Dimmock watches and listens as the young people on the ninth floor fall into despair, then reflect on their choices and yearn for more."

Doctor Dealer by Mark Bowden - Stops the Weakness

Legit Random - 9.14.10

Doctor Dealer Mark Bowden Larry LavinCoke selling dentists, what could be better to read about. This is one of my new favorite books. I loved it and Larry Lavin, the focus of the novel. Larry came from a middle class family in Mass and made his way to Exeter and then Penn where he started selling weed. Weed turned to coke as partying preferences shifted and his customers had more money. Larry got straight A's and was able to juggle school, partying and a huge drug ring, which would be labeled the yuppie drug ring as Larry was a dentist and there were other dentists, stock brokers and the likes mixed up in it.

This book is a great read. Written by the author of Blackhawk Down, it reads like fiction. Some of the stuff is so unbelievable it seems like fiction. Who knows, some could be fiction. On the other hand these seem like people you could know. That seems to be what pissed everyone off too. These weren't the lowest society had to offer, these were well respected people....sort of. At the beginning you might think how stupid, how could he do this, how could his wife stay with him etc etc but there is Tony Soprano syndrome to an extent. He is supposed to be a criminal, bad guy, but you like him. You feel bad for his wife. The scale of this thing is absurd too. Reading about how this was put together and orchestrated is fascinating.

Is this review awful? Just read it. For real. If you like Philadelphia, cocaine, dentists, dickhead bitter FBI agents, stacks of money, Penn, Exeter, boarding school, things that are funny, things that are intense, things that are sad, Virginia Beach, boats, lanky geeks who are cool, Atlantic City, stories of crime, taping stacks of money to your legs and flying to Florida and sweating through the whole stacks, rip off chucky cheese places, 80s cocaine stories, south Florida cocaine stories, locked in an apartment doing cocaine for days stories, freebasing stories, hooker stories, love stories, the main line, mainlining, hot tubs, time machines, just kidding no time machines, actually yes time machines because the book itself is sort of a time machine, making money, running a business, making charts that estimate your net worth, buying a seat on the Philadelphia stock exchange just for fun, running from the law, the press and your parents, if your name's Michael Diamond, if your name's Clarence, breaking down so much coke that everything in the apartment is caked in it and your whole body is numb, thinking you can outsmart the FBI, drilling teeth, south Philly, center city, west Philly...that sort of stuff....then this book is for you. I loved this book. The characters are built up and the story is put together perfectly.

 
older stuff