Speaking of Daryl

My friend Chris made another comic out of one of my dumb stories. This is it. I like it a lot. The other one is fun too, but I like this one more. It’s also based on a true story. I apologize for the formatting. I don’t know how to make it better, and quite frankly I don’t care enough to take the time to figure it out right now.

Thanks for reading!

Old-Ass Mixtape Reviews, Volume 1: Beloved Songs

Howdy! I’m trying really hard to make sure I write something every day, no matter what. Right now I’m not feeling my main project, so I thought I’d try something new(ish), just to keep my brain moving. I have a bunch of old homemade mixtapes from way way back (most recently circa 2005), and I haven’t listened to most of them in well over 10 years. What I’m gonna do, from time to time, is play one of those tapes and write about it.

I plan to write while the tape is playing, ostensibly to write a real-time “first listen”-type review, but also to just force myself to write for a set period of time. I will not allow myself stop before a tape is finished, except in cases of emergency, or if the tape just goes kaput, which so far seems like a real danger with this first one. I’ll be surprised if I can make it through a single play without this tape literally (figuratively) exploding.

Readers of my old blog might recall my Old-Ass VHS Reviews there, wherein I would review an old-ass VHS tape featuring some kind of heavy metal band or bands. This’ll be similar to those. As stated above, I’ll write while listening, and then I’ll go back over it for some light editing – minimal overdubs, unlike this tape. This tape so far is like if mud made a sound.

Oh, “this tape” by the way, is called Beloved Songs. There’s no date on it, so I’m not sure when I made it, and I legitimately have no idea what’s on it. Anyhoo, here are some words about it.

Side One

1. First up is “Lay Lady Lay” by Bob Dylan. I don’t remember liking this song before Ministry covered it on their 1996 album Filth Pig, but I guess I did. A lot of people think Filth Pig is a real piece of shit, and honestly, I understand why a long-time Ministry fan might feel that way. I, however, am more of a casual fan of Ministry, and I really like Filth Pig. Especially the title track – holy shit!

2. “Immigrant Song” by Led Zeppelin, or maybe something else…no, the chorus just kicked in, it’s definitely “Immigrant Song”. Is that a chorus? I don’t really know. Anyway, this song is dope. This recording sounds like it’s playing from the bottom of a 50-gallon drum filled with muddy water, and maybe a turd is floating on top. I might have to scrap this experiment and try another tape.

3. Is this “You Could Be Mine” by Guns ‘n Roses? I think it is. It started out as something else, and then this cut in. Oh yeah, Slash’s guitar is almost cutting through the muck. Duff’s bass is definitely discernable, but Duff is a complete badass, plus bass is almost the only thing audible on this whole tape so far. The longer this song plays, the more it sounds like if the band was playing live at an amphitheater, and I was listening from someone’s back yard like half a mile away. And it was kinda windy outside.

Side note: I sat in the living room with a tape in the VCR for three Fridays in a row in hopes of catching this video on Friday Night Videos so I could record it. Life before the internet (and without cable TV) was hard. You kids have no idea. Now get off my lawn.

4. “Over the Hills and Far Away” by Led Zeppelin. This one is kinda clear. It still sounds like shit, but I could tell what it was immediately, and there was no doubt whatsoever. I fuckin love this song.

5. “Hey You” by Pink Floyd. This one is also relatively audible, especially once I remembered to turn down the bass. I can’t imagine a scenario where I’d listen to this tape ever again, but if things continue thusly, I might be able to get through it one more time for this. Holy shit! it got super loud for a sec, and then…
5a. “Nothing’s Changed Here” by Dwight Yoakam cut in during the guitar solo. Dwight is such a badass. Then after about 15 seconds…
5b. “Speak of the Devil” by Pirates of the Mississippi cut in for four lines of the chorus, and then…
5c. “Hey You” slid back in for literally 2 seconds, and then…
5d. “Where Are You Now” by Clint Black on the Big Ten Countdown on Indiana’s Country WKKG (101.5). Damn, y’all, that Bart Ellison had a smoooooth goddamn voice.

Shit, that was regular ol’ rollercoaster!

6. We now join “Monkey Business” by Skid Row already in progress. This song is so fucking good. Skid Row was so fucking good. Not just the hits, either – Skid Row was a goddamn beast from 1989’s Skid Row through 1995’s sUBHUMAN rACE. I saw them live on the sUBHUMAN rACE tour when they opened for Van Hagar (who were touring for Balance). I will never forget how immensly heavy Skid Row was that night.

Side One clicked off while I was telling you how motherfucking heavy Skid Row was, so I’mma flip it, reverse it, etc.

Side Two

1. Ooh, it’s “Fly Me Courageous” by Drivin’ N’ Cryin’! I haven’t heard this song in a long time. I think I still like it, but I can’t tell from this copy. I couldn’t even tell what it was until the volume shot up right at the refrain.

I was really into this song back when it was new, but I don’t remember ever listening to another Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ song.

2. “Brain Damage/Eclipse” by Pink Floyd. I was really into Pink Floyd for like 5 years in my early teens. It seems like that was pretty common among teenage boys back when I was one of them. I still like them a lot, but I’m less likely to put them on a mixtape these days. The tape has returned to sounding like muddy buttholes.

3. “Stranglehold” by Ted Nugent. Man, Ted Nugent is such a piece of shit. I hate myself a little bit for liking some of his songs. I saw Ted Nugent live two summers in a row (1995 and ’96, I think), with Bad Company providing support both times. I wasn’t as acutely aware of what an asshole Ted was back then, but my memories of his band’s live performance are positive. Bad Company kicked every bit of ass both years. Also, lawn seats only cost 12 bucks.

4. “Traveling Riverside Blues” by Led Zeppelin. My discovery of Led Zeppelin coincided with the release of their box set in 1990, when I was 13. That’s a pretty perfect age for a dude to get into Led Zeppelin. Anyhoo, the box set included 2 previously unreleased songs, and this was one of them. Like the bulk of early Zeppelin, this is mostly just an amped-up cover of an old blues song, but I still dig it. I do prefer their middle period, though, especially Side Two of IV and the entirety of Houses of the Holy. I remember seeing the video for this on MTV at my aunt Connie’s house once. That was pretty exciting. I saw the video for “Sweet Child o’ Mine” once there, too. I’m getting of track, though.

5. HOLY SHIT! A live rendition of “Jesus Was Way Cool” by King Missile! I’m hoping future tapes have little surprises like this hidden inside. I feel like this must’ve been recorded off “Brave New World” on Rock 92 FM.

“If you were blind, or lame
You simply went up to Jesus
Or, well I guess if you were lame, Jesus would probably go up to you
Because it’s difficult, if you’re lame, to go up to Jesus”

And that’s the end. That was a fun little excursion. Look for another one sometime soon. Don’t look too hard, because I make no promises, but I’m gonna try to try. Thanks for reading! If you like what you read, why not tell a friend?

Don’t forget to follow Clockwise Circle Pit on Instagram and Facebook. I’m on Twitter too, even though I hate it, because it’s much easier to talk shit to Donald Trump and his kids (and Ted Cruz) there. So, y’know, follow me there if you want, but I don’t really use it for updates or anything.

Shit From An Old Notebook (with Apologies to the Minutemen)

This blog is the natural extension of an old school cut and paste ‘zine I started working on when I still lived in Austin. My homeboy Jimmy, from back in the day, advised that I just do it online, because it would be cheaper and easier, and in standard Jimmy vs. Joel fashion, I ignored his arguments and instead spent the better part of 5 years putting together 2 issues of Doppelgänger! (A Zine With Some Stuff in It). I’m fairly pleased with the first issue (though some of it strikes me as a little embarassing now), and I’m mostly satisfied with Issue #2, but not long after I made that one, I started to get happier, and the need to cut and paste my troubles away began to dissipate. I started the layout for issue #3 about 7 or 8 years ago, and it remains unfinished to this day, in a box labelled “Zine Stuff”, stashed in my closet next to a box full of old VHS tapes that I simply cannot bear to part with.

Long story short, Jimmy was ultimately right, as he often is, but at the time, old school was the only way. I needed the tactile element of creation at that point. Twelve years later, I still enjoy the tactile element, but I’m much more aware of the necessity of getting it out there while there’s still time.  It’s later than you think, friends.

At some point in the past week or so, it occurred to me that in addition to providing you with fresh, cutting-edge content (ha!), I could also use this space to reprint stuff from my old ‘zines/notebooks. If nothing else, it’ll keep the blog active. The title of this post, by the way, is stolen from a song by the Minutemen. You should listen to them.

You might be asking, Joel, what the hell is the point of all this? That’s almost always a fair question when you’re talking to me. The point is, here’s some shit from an old notebook (and Issue #2 of Doppelgänger!), edited slightly for clarity (date unknown, but sometime pre-2008):

Here’s something to think about: how fucking funny would it be if professional wrestling, circa 1980’s, was absolutely and totally real? Like, f’rinstance, what if Dusty Rhodes really wore that wristband, vest, tights, and kneeboot ensemble, all black with yellow polka-dots, all the time? What if the Ultimate Warrior, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, and “Macho Man” Randy Savage really talked like that, all the time? Just imagine if Koko B. Ware, George “The Animal” Steele, “Ravishing” Rick Rude, Hulk Hogan, Mr. Perfect, the Honky-Tonk Man, and the Bushwackers were all completely and utterly real…

One step further now: imagine if you regular life was like professional wrestling, circa 1980’s. Like if your actual life was in danger at all times because of a grudge between you and a guy who wears a mask and a gold sequined robe. Or if, for some reason, you and your cousin (each of you with a fondness for leather and spikes) had a feud with two pig-farming brothers who lived down the road, and your day were peppered with the risk of cheap shots from brass knuckles, handfuls of sand, and other “foreign objects”. Or if your life-long best friend suddenly took off his pink fringed vest to reveal a t-shirt emblazoned with a picture of himself with his new best friend…

And of course: everyone would have their own theme song, and some people would have managers and/or bodyguards, but other than our running fueds, we’d live the lives that we normally lead. For example, “Dangerous Dave” Jackson of St. Louis, Missouri might drive to work every day at the Anheuser-Busch brewery every day while listening to a song about being a true American patriot. Meanwhile, his arch-nemesis, a filthy-rich trust fund socialite from Massachusetts named Phineas Vanderbilt, a.k.a. “Mr. Moneybags”, would sit at mahogany desk and count his money while listening to a song about how rich and powerful he is, his bodyguard Rufus ever vigilant over his left shoulder…

So to repeat my original question: how fucking funny would it be if professional wrestling, circa 1980’s, was absolutely and totally real? Now that I have these images in my mind, I can’t imagine anything funnier.

That’s that. For the record, I can imagine funnier things now, but this scenario still cracks me up. There’ll certainly be further installments of “Shit From an Old Notebook” in the days and weeks to come. I hope you enjoy them, and I hope you’ll visit again soon. In the meantime, find me on facebook and instagram @clockwisecircle. And tell your friends, won’t you?