Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Whatever happened to my Rock N' Roll....and my Easy Listening, for that matter?!!!!

I've spoken at length in the past about how, in the places that I hang out, most of the music that's played is Rock N' Roll/Pop Music from the 70's through the 90's, more or less, regardless of the age group of the bar patrons at that particular time and place.  It's strange how, in a bar full of people of different ages, from their early-20's to mid-40's, they all love the same music, whether it be Guns N' Roses, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Soundgarden, or whathaveyou.  I'll be dj-ing, and 22-year-old girls want me to play more Motley Crue and Depeche Mode....and they weren't even BORN yet when a lot of these bands' songs were originally released, for Christ's sake!

Which begs the question: is music itself becoming something archaic...something antiquated...something that's purely vintage in quality, like a really expensive red wine, or a roughed up pair of Beatle Boots?!!  

Is it nothing but pure nostalgia?  If so, that's sad.  Because that would imply that it's merely, as Leonard Cohen sang, "A shining artifact of the past."  FUCK that!  What about NOW?!

Day-in and day-out, I hear from people that they miss the sound of Loud Rock N' Roll, and they wonder where the hell it went.  And that is a REALLY good question.  I mean, seriously, I usually dj at least twice a week, in the dark Rock N' Roll dives in New York's East Village and Lower East Side, and the only modern bands I can think of that I play with any regularity are my band (the Dirty Pearls, if you live under a rock), my friends' bands, and....bands like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, A Perfect Circle, Queens of the Stone Age, HIM, etc.  Other than that, it's like, my favorite Rock N' Roll bands from the 60's, 70's, 80's, & 90's.  Go figure.  Am I part of the problem?  Is it a problem at all?

I know why it is.  Generally, nobody's buying recorded music anymore, so, no new bands are being marketed (or shoved down the American Public's throats) anymore.  The Music Industry and all its money basically disappeared up its own asshole, due to blind greed, and an overwhelming lack of quality in the music ("product") it generated. 

So, with few exceptions, in order for Rock N' Roll fans to get their rocks off when they go out, the classics have to suffice.  The funniest thing about is that younger Rock N' Roll fans were RAISED on that music by their PARENTS of all people.  So much for Rock N' Roll being "rebellious music."  But that's ok.  Hell, my band has parents bringing their kids to our shows, and for that matter, some people bringing their parents....and that's pretty cool, if you ask me.

But, someone needs to carry the torch for Rock N' Roll, and define the time we're in NOW, don't you think?  

These are open questions; ones of continuous discussion for some time in my case.

What do YOU think?

Thanks for your time!

Marty E.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"I said, 'EXCUSE ME!'" or "The Trials & Tribulations of Dealing with People with no Spacial Awareness or Social Intelligence": PART 1

If you're going to live in New York City, you have to adjust the the fact that there are over least 8 million people here (more, if you count commuters from the likes of New Jersey) eating, drinking, sleeping, traveling, and, most of all, LIVING on top of (and underneath) one another.  That's simply a fact of life here, and if you can't deal with it....there's plenty of space in Kansas, Dorothy!

That being said, I cannot overstate the importance of  being aware of your surroundings in this all times, if possible.  Not only might this prevent you from getting hurt, killed, or ripped off....but it also increases your level of common courtesy, out and about in the world, which makes it easier for EVERYONE to live here, day to day.

At any given moment, you have your personal space, and other people have theirs.  When I'm out in the world, I want to get to where I'm going and do what I do, and I'd like to do that without your personal space intersecting with (with notable exceptions, hahahaha) or invading mine.  In order for that to happen, one must be alert, observant, and at least mildly empathetic (and this is even possible while blasting an Ipod in your ears if you're reasonably sharp.  Trust me).  I call it "Spacial Awareness".  I'm not sure if I made the term up or not....but who the hell cares?

The problem is that many, many people who cross my path don't have it at all....which surprises me, considering the amount of people who have been here for a lot longer than I have, many of which were born and raised here.

So, I'm going to describe some scenarios that happen to me, sometimes on a daily basis, in which people's lack of Spacial Awareness colors my day with various shades of red....from the mildly annoying to the astronomically infuriating!

My favorite one happens all the time.  For example, I will attempt to walk into a deli to buy myself an iced coffee and a newspaper, when, much to my chagrin, I find some jackoff standing in the doorway, in MY WAY, for no evident reason.  And, an even BIGGER mystery to me, is WHY the said JACKOFF won't MOVE!!!  So....what do I do?  Well, I'll look the pinwang in the EYE, and, in my deepest, gruffest voice (and those of you who know me know damn well how great I am at this), I bark, "EXCUSE me!!!"  More often than not, they get startled, and quickly scamper to the side, allowing me to squeeze through and get on with my day.  Each and every time, under my breath, I mutter, "That's a NICE way of saying, 'Get the FUCK out of my WAY!'"  This is always worth a chuckle or two if I have a friend with me, ahahahaha....

Another ignoramus whom I find particularly titillating, is the dipfuck who's walking 5-steps ahead of you on the sidewalk who, for no apparent reason, decides to suddenly stop in his tracks.  Consequently, the asshat in question comes damn close to wreaking havoc on the entire progression of pedestrian traffic on that particular block, when you come close to plowing right into him and toppling him and God knows who else, over like dominoes.  The best part?  If you do happen to run smack dab into the guy, or even brush against him a little, bit, the numbskull will look at YOU as if YOU did something wrong and were invading HIS personal space!!!  Tourists are famous for this move.  That's why some clever guy decided to give them THEIR OWN LANE.

There are other nincompoops that are similar to the "sidewalk stallers", but are possibly even more irritating.  Let's say I'm walking into the Subway Station, and there are perhaps 6 or 7 other people also doing so.  The train we all want to take is in the station, and about to leave, so everyone runs to try to make the train.  There's always at least ONE genius who, once he gets ON the train, suddenly, again, just STOPS in his TRACKS, right on the inside of the train doors.....once again, risking a human avalanche, or at least keeping those behind him from getting on the train before the doors close, and the train takes off.  And, what inspirational words to I have for the ASSCLOWN in question?  "Hey, Dude!  No WORRIES, Man!  None of US wanted to get on the train TOO, ya know?  We just wanted to accompany YOUR dumb ass to make sure YOU got on ok.  That's fucking AWESOME!!!"  Or something to that effect.  This particular dipshit has never prevented me from getting on the train, but he has afforded me many a chorus of laughs at his expense.  Hopefully, it was a lesson well-learned, but....sadly, probably not.  What a fucking idiot!

Speaking of Subway Trains....this maybe isn't THAT big of a deal...but you've seen this before, and it annoys me enough that I MUST remark on it.  I get on the train and it's a bit crowded.  The train is moving, and I always want to hold onto what ever pole or bars or whatever is put there to hold onto to prevent me from falling down (and don't even get me STARTED about the fucking multitudes of MORONS who DON'T use them and have almost "bitten it" right before my eyes).   Well, so I reach for the nearest pole (shut up, I know what you're thinking, but I have a much better joke coming up), and some complete Shit-For-Brains is LEANING on it.....which, not only isn't really maintaining much stability to the fool in question,  no one ELSE can use it to stabilize themselves either?  The best part?  99% of the time, the guy is leaning his ASS against it!  I've never actually said this, but one of these days, I'm going to: "Dude, listen....we can all tell by looking at you how badly you want a POLE in your ass....but can't you at least WAIT until you get OFF the fucking TRAIN?!!!   THANKS!!!!"  Ahahahahahahaha.....

I could go on....about people, who....when you're waiting in line, and the line moves, they just stay in one place, and refuse to MOVE the fuck UP....(try just walking past them....that usually wakes them up)....and many other people who lack common courtesy in every-day life, but I'm trying to keep this as short as I can, ok?

Now, stay the hell out of my way, and I'll stay out of yours!

Thanks for reading!

Marty E.

PS-On an unrelated note, there's another idiot that really burns me that I NEED to tell you about, right NOW....just to get it OFF my CHEST, ok?

I walk into the pizzeria, and get myself a slice....and I can't seem to find the seasonings! pepper...the RED pepper....and sometimes I want Parmesan fucking cheese, ok?  Where the hell ARE they?!!!  I look around....and some lardass is sitting at a table....and they're all there....suspiciously close to his PLATE.  "Hey Man.....I REALIZE that YOU are SO much more SPECIAL than the other 500 people who get a slice here EVERY fucking DAY.  I REALIZE that the SEASONINGS....the CONDIMENTS, if you will, are STRICTLY for YOUR use....hell, no one else would EVER even WANT to use THOSE!  We ALL REALIZE that YOUR three fucking dollars are GREENER than the REST of ours! But would you fucking MIND if I BORROWED them for a MINUTE?!!!"  I mean, seriously, why can't these crankjobs just sprinkle the shit on their slice up at the counter, as soon as they get it, and then SIT their ass down, and enjoy?!!  That's what those of us with good SENSE do!!!

OK....enough of my ranting!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

It's a long way to the top of you wanna Rock N' Roll & eat too....Part 1: My Days as a Temp

When I moved my crazy ass to New York City 10 years ago, I really didn't have a plan whatsoever; no apartment, no job, no band, and I knew maybe four people here. All I had was a few earthly possessions, a few grand rolled up in my sock, and a committed determination to make something of myself.

The first things always being first, I knew that I was going to have to get a roof over my head (which I documented some of in a previous entry and will more in the future) and find a way to support myself and the fulfillment of my dreams.

My good friend Alfredo, who was kind enough to let me crash on his floor in Bay Ridge for a week or two while I got my sea legs, suggested that I apply at some Temp Agencies, like the ones advertised in the back of Backstage (a magazine for aspiring actors and actresses). So, I typed up a decent resume, and faxed it to about 10 of these places.

Within a few days, I'd had interviews with three of them, and made a good enough impression, I suppose, because I started getting work within a week or so.

Life is about pros and cons, as we all know.

The pros w/ making your way this were that the pay was relatively good, and most of the assignments lasted for weeks or months. If you were reliable, you could pay your rent and get by. The work itself wasn't difficult at all, and sometimes was all but nonexistent.

The cons? Tthe 9 to 5 work schedule wasn't exactly conducive to Rocking and/or Rolling, and....well, because I've always been a man to enjoy his late nights out, waking up and going to work was often....well, to put it as appropriately as I can, a fucking NIGHTMARE. Also, I wasn't allowed to show up for work in jeans, t-shirts, biker boots, long, loose hair, and fucking way. I had to tie my hair back, and put on a white dress shirt, dress pants (I drew the line at khakis though....fuck THAT shit) and black wingtip shoes. Yeah, I looked as fucking ridiculous as I felt.

But what made me feel even more ridiculous was the people I did the actual work for. Granted, my bosses at my first assignment, which was the New York branch of a French pharmaceutical company, were pretty cool, none judgmental, and took the time to realize that I was an intelligent guy who just happened to be a recent Midwestern transplant, struggling to make his way. But that lasted maybe about six weeks.

My next job was for some Chinese company, which again, did pharmaceuticals, if I remember correctly. I walked into that job, and without even saying hello, or even taking the time to introduce herself, some crusty old Chinese executive hag handed me 5 pamphlets of some sort, and coldly told me to make 10 copies of each. I felt like she was looking down her nose at me, and didn't respect me in the least. I was so pissed off and degraded, that I just about walked the fuck out....but, again, I needed the money, and had nowhere else to do so at the time, so...I made her fucking copies. Your welcome, Bitch!!!

The funniest place I worked at...(you're going to LOVE this)....was at a non-profit organization....of the Methodist Church....that sent missionaries around the world, evidently, to feed the hungry or whatever, and spread the word of God. Hell, even the Temp Agency I get that job through called them, "The God Squad." Holy FUCK, I wasn't a sore thumb in THAT place, as much as I was an amputated fucking leg. The first guy I worked for there was alright...but, he was looking for someone to be his "permanent" assistant...and didn't waste any time asking me if I was interested in doing that, and if I was a, "good Methodist." no. The second guy I worked for was way cooler...but, I remember one week, his secretary, whom I was helping out, told me that morning that I might not have a job there after the end of that day. Since I still had a big Excel project to finish, I told her that if I didn't get to stay for at least the rest of that week, that I was leaving immediately. I wound up staying for another two weeks. Hahahahahaha. But what I really hated about that place was the bitch who signed my time card every week, which, I might add, she did reluctantly. She clearly hated my guts; for what reason, I don't know....maybe it was my appearance! But for someone who ran a faith-based, humanitarian organization, that struck me as being rather odd.  Hell, I doubt that old battleaxe ever got laid in her LIFE!!!  She would bitch at me for working "too many hours" which was "too expensive", etc. I was thinking, "Look, bitch, no one is FORCING you to get temps to work here, ok?!" But I acted respectful because I needed the money....even though that old bag, of ALL people, had no right to look down her nose at me! It still kind of pisses me off to this day, hahahahaha. I should add that I got food poisoning from the spinach soup I had in the God Squad's cafeteria for lunch. That was a whole fuckload of fun!

I have a million stories like these.

That all being said, I knew that I wasn't going to be able to afford any drumsticks, beers, or to even EXIST here, I was going to have to bite the bullet. I wasn't working these jobs w/ aspirations of becoming the world's most asskicking office worker, for Christ's sake....I was doing it to support myself while working on my music , making myself known, and having as much fun as I could. I justified the shit that I had to put up with by telling myself that it was ALL for ROCK N' ROLL....and looking back, I was absolutely right. Life, especially in New York City, is about doing what you have to do to survive and get to where you need to be. If you work hard enough, and do what needs to be done (and if you're any good at what you do), you get your rewards, with a little luck....and a few stories to tell on top of it!

Thanks for reading!

Marty E.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A question of relationships, trust, and other random bullshit in the human condition

First off, what IS a "relationship", anyway?  

You hear it all the time...."I WANT a relationship."  "Are we IN a relationship?"  "I DON'T want a relationship....I HATE relationships!"  Etc.  That last one, you've probably heard me say a million times.

But, the fact of the matter is, if you hang out with someone more than once or twice, then there's something going on, ie, you're RELATING with each other.  The very NATURE of what, in fact, that relationship means might come into question,'s still a relationship.  The definition of the word "relationship", the way it's usually discussed, is widely taken out of context.  It's a little bit silly, of you ask me.  But, as much as I rag on relationships, the way most people define them....I think relationships, in terms of the way I look at them, are good.  Ok?

(Favorite David Lee Roth quote from the late 80's: "Old Van Halen makes you want to have a drink, dance, and fuck.  New Van Halen makes you want to have a milk shake, drive a Nissan, and have a RELATIONSHIP!"  Hahahahaha!!!)

That all being said, you also hear a lot of statements involving how important "trust" is in a relationship.  I think what most people mean when speaking in terms of "trust" is, exclusivity.  That's how most people roll, and that's fine....God bless, and good luck.  We all know how difficult that is in this town, but it can be done, if that's what you both want...with each other.

But, really....what is FAR more important to me than this "ownership" that people impose upon each other, is whether or not I can trust someone to be A GOOD FRIEND.  Can I trust someone with a secret, or to listen objectively to a problem I might have - even if they can't necessarily offer advice - but just to lend an ear or a shoulder?  Can I trust that person not to freak out with a vengeance over the slightest trouble, to pick their battles wisely, and to deal with problems rationally?  Can I trust that person to look for the best in me, and not always assume the worst, right off the bat? Can I trust someone to understand that my life is haphazard at best, and fucking insane, a lot of the time?  Can I trust someone to keep our "pillow talk" where it belongs, which is BETWEEN US? Can I trust someone to maintain some semblance of self-control, even when they're angry with that they don't get unnecessarily cruel and hateful?  Can I go out for drinks with that person without it turning into some inane fight every time?  Can I trust a person to listen to me tell them about something really awesome that that happened to me, without them getting indignant or jealous?  

I hope that the answer to all these questions, from now on, is a resounding, "YES." 

I don't think that's asking too you?

The Cure-"Trust"