Click a subject and you're off.
Records I got into early country music
late in life, but even a Johnny-come-lately like myself can
recognize the thinly disguised rock 'n roll crap masquerading
as country today for what it is (though Shania Twain does
have a nice butt). County carries reissues of string bands
of the 20s and 30s, some nascent Nashville, and the peerless
Time Music Home Page Great information,
biographies, and links for old style southern music (I haven't
delved that deeply, but I get the impression that this, unfortunately,
mostly covers old-time WHITE southern music). Look up Ralph
Blizard, an 82-year-old fiddler who'll strike you dumb with
his longbow technique if ever you see him in person.
Cafe Another good source for folk, country,
and old-time tunes, lyrics, information, and the like.
World A grand source of links to blues
sites. Terrific concentration on the pre-WWII stuff.
Index If it's country, blues, "old-timey,"
or whatever, and it was committed to vinyl, it's probably listed
More terrific resources for "old-time" music
Appal Recordings The Appal Shop was started
as part of the War on Poverty program in 1969 to preserve Appalachian
folkways by training young mountain folk in media production
skills. That's just swell, of course, but if you can watch the
Appal Shop documentary Stranger with a Camera without
putting your fist through the screen, you're a better person
than I am. Sounds like it's largely populated with neo-hippies
and kids from the right side of the Appalachian railroad tracks
(for instance, the director of Stranger with a Camera).
Why mention them at all? Well, their catalog of LPs and CDs
is pretty freaking awesomethat's why I'm linking to that
part of the site rather than the home page.
Music About...Oh, you know.
Herald News on...you get the picture.
and Rhythm Yet another source of recordings
of folk, country, blues, and et cetera.
Records Yazoo drives me nuts because they've
been releasing what are essentially mix CDs of their back catalog.
Which is fine for people who need an introduction to the fine
blues, country, and et cetera music produced by this nation.
Trouble is, much of it is crap interspersed with some really
terrific performances. They push the definitions of ragtime
and blues with some of their reissues as well. Barrelhouse,
stride, and boogie-woogie are NOT the same as ragtime. I won't
entirely dismiss them, because many of their "The Complete..."
and "Best of..." sets are indispensible. Get the best
of the Memphis
Jug Band album, fer instance.
You ain't never gonna find Blind Blake or Tommy Johnson's
original 78s, so thank these krauts for preserving these and
other artists' entire oeuvres on LPs and CDs. For the completist.
Record Mart One of Chicago's, and probably
the world's, most comprehensive blues and jazz music stores.
They carry a measure of country, world, and experimental music
tooway more than most stores but they concentrate
on jazz and blues on vinyl, shellac, CD, and cassette. And damn,
they do it well.
Bussard Damn, this guy has a monstrously
large collection of 78s! Even cooler, for 50 cents a song, he'll
create a custom tape for you of old-time blues, country, string
bands, jug bands, gospel, and other types of good old music.
That qualifies for musical sainthood, in my opinion.
Talpazan A favorite kook of Fr. Dan's,
Ionel was "abducted" (by whoor rather "what"I'm
sure you can guess) as a child, and since then he has drawn
and redrawn the ship that carried him off. Very captivating
Cornell A gentle, virginal Christian Scientist
from Brooklyn who produced lyrically lovely shadow boxes. Here's
a mini-gallery of a few of them If you ever visit Chicago, stop
by the Art Institute and ask for directions to the Cornell room.
Darger Alas, Henry Darger, who spent many
lonely days in his apartment obsessing about the weather, stockpiling
bottles of Pepto Bismol, talking to himself in different voices,
and writing his magnum opus, In the Realms of the Unreal...,
a twisted account of the Vivian Girls, hermaphroditic nymphettes
who haunted Henry's dreams, and whom he both saved from evil
and subjected to myriad tortures. Accompanying this 15,000-paged
book were immense murals of the girls' adventures, traced from
coloring books and catalogs and brightly painted. Henry probably
never knew he'd become a famous outsider artist. My guess is
he'd be mortified to know how many people have accessed his
darkest and innermost fantasies. I very much gain a sense of
"there but for the grace of God go I" from Henry's
Magritte Magritte is one of those artists
whose ideas have have been soundly trampled and trammeled by
marketers and hack illustrators. That's too bad, since his work
still retains tremendous mystery and fascination for me. Personally,
I think he was the only surrealist touched by genius. While
Dali and the rest dabbled with dream imagery, Magritte placed
everyday objects side by side, never trying to draw any relationship
between them. We the viewers muddle the images together, becoming
confused at Rene's apple-faced men and fireplace locomotives,
rather than viewing them in the context of the mosaic of the
visual world. Confused? Keep looking. You'll find it.
Mainzer Cats Mary, Mother of God, NO!
It's wrong! So very evil and wrong!!!
Ad Graveyard Even I found some of these
ads to be in poor taste. Ads that were pulled before the public
saw them or after the public cried blue murder.
Dante AKA: "The Deadliest Man Alive."
This 290-pound wrestler, punk rock band frontman, and motivational
speaker will take your worthless ass and turn you into a martial
arts millionaire. Join the Count and his deadly Black Dragon
Fighting Society as they take on all comers in the Incredibly
Strange Wrestling Federation with Brazilian jiu-jitsu and three-chord
Kim Mr. Kim claims to be a living, breathing
master of ninjitsu, the deadly art of the ninja. Okay.
The martial art of eskrima allowed the "backwards"
Filipinos to soundly trounce the heavily armed and armored men of Magellan
in 1596 by properly using freaking sticks. I want to
learn eskrima, yes.
I am not learning eskrima yet, yes, but I am
learning hapkido, yes. Hapkido incorporates throws from judo,
punches and kicks from tae kwon do, grips and arm locks from
aikido, and a grab-bag of other tricks. Distilled, it's Korean
streetfighting. The school's motto: Martial art...not
Info Info on hapkido, my martial art of
Martial Arts More on tae kwon do, hapkido,
and even more obscure Korean martial arts styles.
Martial Arts Supply Ass-kicking materials
up the yin-yang. Discover the homoerotic punching dummies
that look disturbingly like Odd Couple actor Jack Klugman.
This is definitely for serious martial arts practitioners...
and by that I mean those who don't approach martial arts from
a macho bullshit or spacy Bruce Lee manqué perspective.
Jang Master Jang was one of my hapkido
teachers. She's an excellent teacher and funny as hell besides.
Books "Don't cry, sweetheart. It isn't
the end of the world..." mommy told you. Stupid woman! OF
COURSE IT IS!!! Service all your End Time needs with this
seller of books about the Earth's final exit. Heavily Christian,
sadly, but the links page is pretty good.
Books Truly diseased tomes featuring five-fisted
tales of adventure and intrigue. Vatican Bloodbath is about the 500-year-old battle between the British royal family
and the Vatican over control of the world's drug trade. That says
it all, I think.
Amazon bought out Bibliofind. Bah! Use Bookfinder instead.
Sales in America Someone, somewhere is sitting
on a copy of Ragtime Recordings: 1897-1958 or a first
edition of Mencken's A Gang of Pecksniffs or the first
English hardcover edition of Psychopathia Sexualis. With
Book Sales in America, I WILL find these books, or kill someone
Comics Another friendly merchant acquaintance
of Fr. Dan and mine. Support this worthy purveyor of graphic narrative
Press Learn how to convert to full auto,
create landmines for your backyard, and other arts and crafts
Long-time friends and supporters of me and hundreds of
other artists and writers inside and outside of Chicago, Quimby's
provides for all your underground literary needs.
Cartoonists and Comics
Brunetti Despite the impression given by
his comics, Mr. Brunetti is one of the nicest, gentlest fellows
it's been my pleasure to meet. He's darned talented and has very
cute kitty-cats too.
Stuart Helm's site remains standing in the wake of his
trials with Kraft Foods! Come enjoy the charming, sexy, and occasionally
Ragtime Ephemeralist Mr. Chris Ware is a
pleasant young man whose activities as a lauded
cartoonist masquerade his true profession as a researcher of banjos
and ragtime music. He publishes The Rag Time Ephemeralist
on a semi-annual basis, providing a staggering amount of detailed
information on the popular music of the former part of the last
McClintock Not a cartoonist, but rather a designer and printer of high esteem. Matt is also positively goofy when
it comes to computer geekitude—but such wonderful things he creates
through it. Through experiments with Apache, he's constructed
a dandy photographic tour of his home. Visit, please, but do not
use it to chart a robbery of his cozy domicile.
Niem (rhymes with Jim) is a fine young man
who has manufactured an impressive Web site about himself, comic
art, and the easily mortified Mr. Chris Ware. Check out his museum
of constructed ACME Novelty Library models.
Progressive Ruin — Mike Sterling, comic shop manager, reviews the decline of civilization vis a vis funny books.
and Hot Sauces
UK Passionate chile and chili lovers from,
of all places, bloody England. O the shame! Lots of great recommendations
for peppers, hot sauces, recipes, and the like. Really sad pictures
of chili makers too, leading one to believe that chili-making
is not the best way to meet chicks...or guys for that matter.
Chili Links Don't just stand there! Make
Hot Sauce Catalog And she doesn't just sell
hot sauces. She also carries salsa, shakes, sprinkles, seeds,
and more! If I wasn't married, I'd track her down and kiss her.
Never you mind the annoying Buster Poindexter song that's
rasping through your head right now, Hothothot carries an impressive
batch of sauces, salsas, and similar napalm-flavored food.
For those who have had enough of The Man's bullshit.
Terrific collection of posters, images, and so forth from this
amazing film genre.
Morris Documentaries are my preferred cinematic
genre, and Errol Morris remains the best documentarian working
today. The Thin Blue Line, Mr. Death, and Fast, Cheap,
and Out of Control are thrilling, educational, and poetic
elegies to, in Mr. Morris' words, the fact that we're really just
a bunch of monkeys running around the planet.
PrisonerNumber 6 "I am not a
number! I am a free man!" AH-HA-HA-HA!
Operations Archive God bless the thin blue
line. More updates on crime and police business.
More crime, all the time.
and Beyond News for the boys and girls in
Formation In 1995, Mark Phillips and Cathy
O'Brien produced the searing expose Trance Formation of America,
a startling and detailed account of Cathy's life as a CIA mind-controlled
sex slave. Largely based on repressed memories, unlocked during
several hypnosis sessions conducted by Mark, this is by far the
most inventive, weirdest, and smuttiest book I've ever read (no
hyperbole intended). I won't belittle Mark and Cathyobviously
something bad happened to Cathy in her childhood; but be
prepared to swallow hard at the connection between snuff films,
cocaine deals, pedophile sex rings, Reagan, Bush, Bill and Hilary,
Sylvester Stallone, half the Nashville music scene, Detroit Tigers
manager Sparky Anderson, and Boxcar Willie.
of Prophecy Texe Marrs is an end-times freak,
but he's a entertaining end-times freak. Plenty of old-fashioned
conspiratorial vitriol about "Internationalists" and
the Illuminati who really run things WITH SATAN'S HELP. And it's
all available in book, cassette tape, and video units. It's too
bad the Clintons are gone; Texe had some truly inspired rants
about Hillary's new age demoness tendencies.
Saw a light in the sky that didn't seem quite right? Report
Icke When I first heard of David Icke, I
was impressed with his wholly original approach to conspiratorial
thought: to whit, reptilian overlords are controlling everything.
Well, it wasn't his idea, and he tends to borrow prodigiously
from the work of more original kooks. Still, his site leads to
these same, more original kooks.
Watchers After you dabble in fringe paranoid
thought for a while, you begin to have trouble discerning the
scoffers from the kooks. I haven't figured out these guys yet.
Access to a lot of batshit "proof" that guillotine golf
carts are right around the corner.
Liberty I have got to get a shortwave
radio. I'm missing out on so much. I'm desperately resisting the urge to buy up their many tape sets on the Freemasons.
Mind Control A selection of articles on
that very subject. Having trouble thinking clearly? Uh-oh.
Christian fringeoids don't have a monopoly on conspiratorial
thought. Muslim fringeoids are just as willing to believe the
Illuminati, Rothschilds, and Jews are behind it all.
Watch Yep, pay attention to the man behind
the apron, he's never up to any good. This site latches on to
anyone with any connection to Freemasonry who's committed a crime...
obviously, performed under the auspices of the Freemasons.
Brussell Mae may have been a paranoid nut,
but she was a diligent paranoid nut. Ms. Brussell indexed the
entire Warren Commission report (some 20+ volumes, not the abridged
single volume you see in the bookstores), and kept voluminous
files on anything and everything related to JFK and all conspiracies
appended thereto. The FBI took Mae seriously enough, J. Edgar
himself making reference to her in inter-Bureau correspondence.
The Mansonites and a pre-assassination John Hinckley, Jr., even
crossed her path more than once. So, did Mae accidentally stumble
over something, or does serious application of personal energies
into conspiratorial thought generate an inescapable weirdness
vortex about oneself?
Isn't Free! It sure isn't, but I'm not sure
what that has to do with all the crackpot mind control boogity-boogity
taking place on this very big page.
Control Forum Home Page More about implants
and evil mind control ultrasound laser beams. No, I don't believe
in this stuff. They got to me already.
Safety Equipment My GOD but I LOVE
lab safety equipment!
Kitty I love you, Hello Kitty!!! Even though
you stare at me with those cold, dead eyes.
Kyoto Arashiyama Orgel Museum Japanese museum
of beautiful old automata and puppets from around the world.
Soo Who or what is Siam Soo? Just about
the coolest little phonograph-powered turntable toy in the whole
damn worldthat's what/who. Check out animated gifs and detailed
accounts of this very strange little toy of yesteryear.
Aboyd sells some of the coolest and fugliest action figures
you've e'er seen. Check out the R. Lee Ermey doll.
Classic Typewriter Page I can't begin to
express the beauty of some of these machines. As a sign of my
ever-aging existence, I recall hammering out school papers and
such on my Dad's old nonelectric. How many of you out there can
say that? I now own an Underwood Portable Noiseless from the 20s,
but after tappity-tapping for five minutes I realized I've lost my typing muscles. Alas.
Chicago A team of meddling kids who hunt
down gh-gh-ghosts in the Chicagoland area. I don't believe in
ghosts myself, but the site's creators frequent Bachelor's Grove
CemeteryIllinois' allegedly most haunted placewhich
is only a mile from where I grew up and a repository of fondly
remembered, young ghostchaser memories. Check out their assorted
photos of mysterious mists and weird glowing orbs.
of Talking Boards A very cool display of
"talking boards," including the most famous one of them
all, the Ouija Board. Lots of Ouija legend and lore too.
Grove The most haunted place in Illinois,
if not the world, if you choose to believe the hype. It was just
"the Grove" to me as I grew up in the southwest burbs.
These nice people are trying to restore it, after years of grave-desecrating
idiots came with beer and Ouija boards by night and left graffiti,
smashed headstones, and animal "sacrifices."
Special Friends and Other Enlightened Beings
Alamo Still my favorite evangelist after
all these years, Tony produces incredibly virulent tracts against
the pope and anybody else who doesn't agree with him. Tony went
to jail for a while for tax evasion, but did that stop him from
locking horns with ANTICHRIST? No ma'am. Jesus cookie eaters of
sensitive disposition should consider themselves warned.
Chick I can't hate Jack, especially after
he's provided me with so many chuckles and chills all these years.
At heart, I know he really cares about us all. Naturally, that
doesn't make him any less of a bigoted lunatic.
Chick Museum Chick probably has more scoffers
than Bible-bangers as fans, as testified by this online museum.
The guy who runs it also sells a lot of Chick's more obscure stuff.
These three numbers keep a lot of Christians hopping mad.
I've always bought into the argument that it stands for Nero,
but why take any chances? Visit this site and you'll have 666
lore coming out your ears, but fortunately not on your head.
AM A new age group (they don't like to be
called a cult) that's lingered for 70+ years. They haven't become
any less odd. The Precious Moments-style icons make me especially
Books and Publishing A great repository
of Old Catholic (pre-Vatican II) propaganda. Before the guitar
masses and euphemistic name changes (CONFESSION
became, tra-la-la, reconciliation, for instance), Roman
Catholicism was once a pretty terrifying religion. Gone are the
days of psychotic nuns weaving tales of a bloodthirsty God's vengeance,
and priests who sermonized until flames shot from their mouths.
Look up Tan's best book, HELL. It is truly diseased.
Truth The best kind of truth, according
to them. Buddies with TAN Publishing, they'll direct you to books
and other media that will soon make you a right-thinking Papist.
Hahlbohm's Inspired Art Danny paints purty,
gauzy pictures of Jesus and other inspirational Christian subjects.
Sallman Warner Sallman's Head of Christ
(or Clairol Jesus, as I like to call it) is the most reproduced
image in history. Moreso even than Chairman Mao. These folks have
a large trove of Warner's art. I think I'll pay them a visit.
Great selection of kitschy Jesus materials.
Christ Superstore Who would have thought
you'd become a whore? He came to save us from our sins, so why
the hell shouldn't he have his own action figure?
Study Bible Jesus was way-cool...but let's
not forget the rest of the Good Book and all the violence, sex,
and foreskin surgery that fills its pages. A nice little resource,
especially if you're a church reviewer.
I bet Ganesha and Jesus hang out together. I'm no Hindoo,
but Lord Ganesha appeals to me on many levels. The elephant head
is just the tip of the iceberg. Imagine my surprise when I learned
he's the patron of writers.
House A local no-kill kitty shelter for
which I sometimes perform volunteer work. Help these hapless fatties
live pleasant lives. Most of them are so mentally and physically
screwed up, it's unlikely anyone will adopt them. I know I should
be more concerned about humans, but I can't help it. I love cats
Without Borders Sends doctors and money
to hotspots across the world without a thought to politics.
Cross The Red Cross stepped up to the plate
9/11. They could still use the help. Donate blood and money. If
it doesn't go straight to the victims of September 11, don't be
a prick and complain about it. There's folks just as, if not more,
deserving of charity than the residents of Manhattan. Can you
afford to live in Manhattan? Even now?
I'll say it because the ACLU won't: Most people in this
country don't deserve the Bill of Rights. No, sir, they don't,
because they are brain-dead morons who would trade their Freedom
of Speech and Religion for a carton of cigarettes. It wouldn't
matter if the government crucified people along the highways for
practicing non-Christian religions or making the faux pas of suggesting
Dubya might be an idiot. As long as these bastards get their cable
TV and regular fill-ups, they'll keep mum. Not that they have
anything worthwhile or challenging to offer otherwise. I support
the ACLU because loudmouths like me would rather not be
crucified in along the highways, thank you, especially since we're
wasting our lives trying to save your worthless asses from the
gulags and gas chambers.
Human Right I like guns. I like guns very
much. They're tons of fun to shoot, and I believe that in many
cases they can save your life. I don't believe in hunting, however,
and I sure as shit don't want everyone to be able to
walk around with loaded guns. This guy disagrees, and has manufactured
a stupefying collection of pro-gun images. I find the images
hilarious. You might not. Just letting you know.
and Bear Arms It's difficult to be a person
who enjoys shooting guns, but doesn't want to affiliate himself
with people who think you need assault rifles to "red mist"
prairie dogs. Well, they run many interesting articles on this
site about the right to bear arms, but I don't subscribe to
EVERYTHING they believe. At least they're not selling those
shirts showing Hitler giving the Nazi salute, underscored with
the message "Everyone in Favor of Gun Control, Raise Your
with Guns Pro-gun ownership sites are
always terrifyingly thorough. Information overload bears down
on you like a train full of bricks. This site is no exception.
RetroCrush I like this guy's style. He honors all of his adolescent
female celebrity crushes by gathering together an impressive collection
of cheesecake shots of dames like Barbara Eden, Tina Louise, that
blonde girl on Lost in Space, and others. Good lord, I
thought I was alone in my fixation on Elizabeth Montgomery.
Chan Alisa likes to design, create, and
wear CosPlay (costume play) costumes based on her favorite anime
characters, many of them cat women, schoolgirls, or simply scantily
clad space vixens. You go right ahead, Alisa.
Clement Stone A very normal yet very odd
man who passed on at the age of 101, I plan to cover Mr. Stone's
career at length at some point. His company, Combined Insurance,
idiotically chose to remove his bio from their Web site, probably
at the behest of some "forward-thinking" marketing manager.
Here's a page he shares with Napoleon Hill, his coauthor on Success
through a Positive Mental Attitude. Tom Frank once described
my work as coverage of "the horror of the normal." This
book pretty much encapsulates how the normal can indeed be horrific.
Bronner He was nuttier than a Waldorf salad,
but he made (and his company still makes) great soap. Too bad
his heirs have stopped reproducing the All-One-God-Faith rant
on the labels.
Lyman Mel Lyman is a favorite weirdo of
mine. Not only did he play jug band music he also formed his own
religion and declared himself God. This site provides a huge selection
of reproductions of Lyman's writings and media appearances. Check
out the rest of this guy's site for assorted eclectica on banjos
It's the only thing that can save us. The only trouble
is, who understands what the hell it means?
Ha ha! Forget those technocratic fools! Only Neo-Tech can
save us, though it's 10 times more perplexing. Come! Your Frankenstein
awaits! Nothing can stop Neo-Tech! Nothing!
Sollog knows all! And he'll sell you the books and CD-ROMS
that tell you all he knows!
Music Digest An online magazine about delicately
beautiful old music machinery. Player pianos, automata, self-playing
instruments, and plenty more.
West Breathtaking old machines that literally
played musical instruments like guitars and banjos...and they're
still building and restoring them!
Ah, the Telharmonium. The first true electronic instrument,
it filled a building and transmitted beautiful music across phone
lines...in 1892. Find out the rest of the sad story here.
Bird and His Bowl of Fire Sorta local fellow made good by blending old violin jazz with modern pop senisibilities. He played at our wedding reception too, so nyah-nyah.
Jack Melody and His Young Turks LJM can
be treacle in spots, but his homage to Kurt Weill, musette bands,
string band music, and so on has my respect.
Might Be Giants I still like them. That
and Sebastian Yes, I like wimpy Scottish
twee bands. Up yours. The band's official site.
You, Black Emperor! By far, my favorite
group these days. You will experience a change in consciousness
if you listen to them for too long. Sorry to use the critical
crutch of describing a group as being like a mixture of other
groups, but GSYBE! is what would happen if Ennio Morricone directed
the Kronos Quartet and hired the Shadows to play along with
all the effects pedals turned on...uh... while "on acid."
Waits The eternal, nocturnal, and infernal
Mr. Tom Waits.
More Scots. Moody and loud. I recommend Come on Die
Young and Ten Rapid.
Jake Austen continues to create the only rock 'n roll
and comics rag worth reading. No, truly, every other rock and
comics zine is garbage. Literal garbage. The kind of garbage
garbagemen pick up and dump in landfills with more garbage.
While you're there, stop by the fearsome Goblins subsite for
the best in modern masked music.
Glass The official site of the world's
best-known minimalist composer. If you haven't already, give
him a listen. I assure you it's not just the same three notes
played ad infinitum.
Bryars Another minimalist who works with
tape loops. Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet will either
inspire you to greatness or send you screaming out the window.
An old favorite of mine, known for their musical sound
collages and, more infamously, for their role as the fuckee
in a ridiculous lawsuit leveled at them by U2's lawyers. I tell
you, it made me ashamed to be Irish.
Blake By far my favorite guitarist of
all time, Find reissues of his 78s on the Document
John Hurt Nobody sounded like Mississippi
John Hurt, blessed as he was with a bubbly and flawless guitar
style that sounded both jubilant and melancholy. Probably
my favorite American musician. Maybe my favorite musician
Smith "Mistah SmithHe dead."
Syndicate I can't say that I love
their music, but it delights me that this band provides the
spooky music for most of America's haunted houses. I never
would have imagined such a specialized field, and yet... why
not? Cool name and Flash too.
Hasbrouck John is a Chicago fingerpicker
with his own idiosyncratic style. John Fahey meets Charley Patton for coffee.
Noden Eric is another Chicago fingerstyle
guitarist who concentrates on American roots music, playing
everything from ragtime blues to boogie woogie. He was my
very first guitar teacher and is a nice fellow besides.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission, to be precise.
Find out what toys are putting out children's eyes or setting
Parents of Murdered Children. I have to watch my mouth
here. I have plenty of sympathy for anyone who loses a child,
and since I've never had a kid, I can't conceive of the grief
involved or what it can make ordinarily sane people do. Still,
POMC treats murdered kids like beatific bulletproof shields.
They run a parole blocking program, conducting letter-writing
campaigns to keep murderous pedophiles from getting out any
sooner, simply because said murderers went to weekly Bible study.
Who can argue with that? Not me. However, POMC also runs the
"Murder Is NOT Entertainment" program, organizing
protests against TV shows, movies, plays, books, murder mystery
parties, and similar entertainment forms incorporating "murder."
Why? Because such activities make the parents of dead children
uncomfortable. You see, it's NOT censorship if you HURT more
than everybody else. Go ahead, call me a swine.
and Lamb.org Pretty typically thin-skinned
parent action group site, but I like their annual Dirty Dozen
list of violent toys. I've gotta say, you have to stretch the
definition of "violent" pretty far to consider some
of these toys catalysts for future Columbines. If anything,
this site made me want Grand Theft Auto even
Colon See the biggest colon in the world
when it comes to your town. You can crawl through it and pretend
you're post-digestive matter!
Mind Control Stories When the human id
is allowed to roam free, the results can be horrifying and hilarious
by turns. It's amazing how many geeks acquire mind control powers
just before cheerleading practice, isn't it?
Something is seriously wrong with the Japanese.
Wear I see nothing wrong with finding grown
women dressed as schoolgirls arousing. Spending several hundred
bucks here so you can enact elaborate scenarios involving caning
a woman dressed as a schoolgirl while you're dressed as a headmaster,
however, is a little odd. Arousing, but odd.
To be specific, the Archaeology, Astronautics, and SETI
Research Association. A big name for wholly unoriginal folks still
trading on Erik Von Daniken's crackpot notion that aliens visited
Earth many thousands of years ago, built the pyramids and Nazca
lines, and probably inseminated a bunch of monkeys with geniusboy
sperm, thereby making us second cousins to the Greys. QUACK, I
of Mire Erik Von Daniken has been discredited
hundreds of times, yet he persists with his daffy theories about
"ancient astronauts." It's not just bad science, kids;
it diminishes most of early humanity's greatest achievements.
He's a good entertainer if nothing else, so go enjoy the dancing
Jazz, and Early Recordings
Ragtime Ephemeralist Chris gets a double
listing on the page because (1) this is the best damn site on
ragtime music out there and (2) he's kin.
Joplin When I was a wee lad, I had a 45
of Marvin Hamlisch's sugary treatment of Joplin's "The Entertainer."
I marched about my room whenever I played it, oblivious to how
asinine I looked or how uncool ragtime was. Ditto when I was twenty,
spending many nights listening to Josh Rifkin's recordings in
the dark, gently moved by the sweet whispers of Joplin's "Solace,"
and terrified of discovery in such a poofy pursuit by my record-collecting
buddies. Now I'm 33, own about fifty ragtime records and CDs,
and the world can kiss my beautiful green Irish ass. Plenty of
recordings available from the Mecca of ragtime history, Sedalia,
MO. Friendly and efficient staff too.
Ragtime Orchestra If these supreme musicians
ever come through your town with their presentation of musical
scores played before a movie screen showing silent films, swallow
your hipster pride and go see them. You'll be pleasantly surprised.
Cool domain name; I'm glad a collector of Edison cylinders
got it. If it hasn't struck you the way it has me, we're the first
generation who can hear the words and music of people who died
a century ago. Appreciate that fact by purchasing this fellow's
Acetates, and Weird Records Pretty specialized.
Acetates are records that people used to cut at home, amusements
parks, etc. with stone age recording equipment. I have one record
of a very young child shrieking nursery rhymes at the top of his
lungs. The owner of this site has similar failed experiments.
Check out the drunk home jazz band.
Hot Jazz Not just a great resource on the
other greatest music ever performedjazz of the 20sthis
site provides downloadable music you can hear using RealPlayer.
Not just snippets, but entire songs. Not sure of the legality
of it all, but who cares?
Records Old, old, OLD recordings. Bert Williams,
Fred Van Eps, Vess Ossman, and other ragtime geniuses.
Records Extremely dorky "mouldy fig"
jazz by paunchy white guys with beards. Some gems among the slop,
Gracyk Even though he frequently outbids
me on ebay, I can't begrudge Tim Gracyk his wins. The man is a
researcher and archivist of the first stripe. Fascinating Web
page with a friendly tone toward beginning 78 and Victrola collectors.
Times The best magazine ever published, bar
none. Fight me on this one.
101 What's with the yarmulkes? Before reviewing
a synagogue service for the Chicago Journal, I consulted
this site for a little background info on the Chosen People and
Dictionary Where would the Romanist Fr.
Dan Kelly be without this little number? Nowhere! That's where!
A handy reference.
Words Word geeks like myself will enjoy
this site and its extremely informative listserv.
Superior translation engine that leaves Babelfish in the
Movements From freaky hippie cults to middle-of-the-road
Methodists, garner the basic details on the faiths of a good chunk
of the world's religions.
Encyclopedia Learn everything there is to
know about the Romanist Church
I am jealous of few people in this world, but this guy
is one of them. More toy robots than I'll ever be able to own
or afford in this lifetime. Why, I feel positively SEXY looking
Robots and Rayguns Cry havoc! and let loose
the robots and rayguns of war!!!
Books On the eighth day, God created robots,
and he saw that it was good.
Site Metropolis is one of those rare
silent films that hasn't aged badly. Still awe-inspiring with
its portrayal of a dystopic, Expressionistic future, it remains
fresh and exciting even today (though the acting may seem a little
overwrought and corny). Great dissection of the film's many versions
and behind-the scenes information. Lots of great pictures of Brigid
Helm, the sexiest robot ever to grace the screen.
World Awesome collection of articles and
links to sites about the subject of robots and androids and who's
building them. I interviewed the man who runs this site. He is
building a real-life android called Valerie, who will watch your
kids, cook for you, guard the house, and make human workers obsolete.
He coughed a lot, and told me he was worried that he might be
assassinated by Luddites. Um, okay, I said.
Robots Sells antique robot toys and similar
thingies. Beautiful collection. If I suddenly come into a great
inheritance or win the lottery, I'll probably squander it all
Museum Personally, I'm against shipwrecks.
I love to read about them though; especially if they involve Great
Lakes ships like the Edmund Fitzgerald (yes, the one from
the Gordon Lightfoot song).
(and Big-) Town Newspapers
Star I used to deliver this newspaper
as a lad. Now I skim it to see if any of my high school bullies
are in jail yet.
Haven Tribune The wife comes from
this carbuncle on Lake Michigan's southeast side.
Journal Maine hometown paper of my friend Pat. Find out about wandering moose and what
the heck recidivist criminal Long-Neck John is up to lately.
Online Mondo Nippon: disturbing Japanese
Details on what's happening in Tokyo as of late.
F. Martin Guitars Finally bought my own
Martin, a D-15 14-fret Dreadnought, and I'm as happy as a pig
dipped in chocolate. Know this: The difference between
the sound of a $100 student model guitar and a $700 Martin is
the difference between the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and a
quadriplegic playing kazoo on a street corner. I'll even forgive
them for the $15,000 "Eric Clapton" model.
Banjo Home Page A refined style of banjo
picking created to assuage the delicate sentiments of parlor
players who might otherwise be loath to play a musical instrument
descended from plantation "darkies." Some nice tunes
came of it, however.
A compendium of contemporary string bands. I could do without
the period costumes, but most of these folks make pretty good
Strings And that's it. Need a string for
your oud or saz? Here's the place to go.
Instruments Very cool site for a very cool
store that stocks all manners of rare instruments.
Cluck's Online Warehouse Another online
source of rare to not-so-rare folk instruments.
Cafe I'll always prefer the guitar, but
there's something positively swanky about mandolins.
Mandolin Page See? Swanky.
in the Morning Instruments Any bizarre instrument
in the world is just an e-mail away. Bagpipes? Got 'em. Dijeridoos?
Got 'em. And so forth
Miner This dude has a dandy selection of
rare and bizarre stringed instruments. The harp guitars are particularly
Instruments in Philadelphia The next time
I'm in Philly, I'm stopping by Vintage Instruments. The next time
I have $3,000 to spend, I'm buying something at Vintage
Market Music, Inc. The word ukulele
(and yes, there is an apostrophe at the beginning) means
jumping flea because of the player's fleet-fingered
movements. Learn that and more here.
Defense Protect your your high-definition
television set, DVD player, and family's precious white flesh
from the merciless subhuman hordes that swarm this world like
knife-wielding bacilli. Or so you'd think from this site.
Not the lame movie starring the liver-lipped Angelina Jolie.
The Foxfire Project has taken college and high school kids into
the Appalachian hills, seeking to catalog and publish the customs,
arts, crafts, folk tales, and whatnot of mountain people. Not
much is going on at the site, but this gives me an opportunity
to recommend picking up any of the books in the series (now in
its third(?) printing) Learn how to build banjos, log cabins,
moonshine stills, and so on and so forth. You should be able to
find them in any worthwhile bookstore or on Amazon.com.
Defense Museum Back during the Cold War,
a band of white-helmeted men and women were standing by to help
you survive atomic fallout, floods, tornadoes, and everything
else that could be thrown at the U.S.though a special accent
was placed on the possibility of an attack by an outside nation.
It was an entirely civilian operation. The Civil Defense has since
been taken over by FEMA, putting another nail in the coffin of
American citizen preparedness. "Oh, the government will take
care of everything," people thought, "Besides, no one
will ever attack the United States."
Emery RIP, Ms. Emery. Carla
wrote the Encyclopedia of Country Living, a BIG book on
growing and preparing food down on the farm. A fun resource, which
I highly recommend. Carla also distrusted hypnotists and wrote
a book on that very subject too.
Most-Viewed Content Find out what the most
uploaded and e-mailed news photos and stories are on Yahoo!. Most
often they involve tits and ass. An interesting little Rorschach
test of the American consciousness.
A daily selection of links to weird and wonderful sites.
Stop in regularly; there's always something thrilling and new
A fine site that not only provides synopses, but also assessments
of the amount of truth in each story. Stop by and read your old
favorites, while discovering thrilling newcomers to the urban
Legends Not as good as Snopes.com, but hey...more
Happy My good friend Donna Kossy started
a zine devoted to the collection and analysis of weird books;
this is the electronic version of said zine. This is also the
site for Donna's Book Happy book catalog, wherein Donna finds
bizarre books you never dared dream existed, then happily sells
them to you.
Stephen is a Web designer and computer geek in the Lone
Star State. Plenty of stuff for the slashdotter and more. I also
find his site tremendously calming and easy on the eyes.
Whitechapel Club I wanted to write something
about this obscure 1800s Chicago newsmen's club, but a Loyola
professor beat me to the punch. Find out about the group's preoccupation
with death imagery, merciless ridicule of visiting speakers, and
sick (for the nineteenth century) sense of humor. I'm considering
restarting the club. Anyone interested in joining?
Lovecraft When I was 18, I worked for a
man and his wife who ran a science fiction book-selling business
out of their home. One of the cooler jobs in my young life, it
came at a time when I was an inveterate Lovecraft reader. As a
result, half of my wages went toward buying everything Arkham
House put out. The man scoffed, saying that every 18-year-old
boy loved Lovecraft, and that my tastes would progress to far
richer and more meaningful authors. Well, he was right. Still,
a few months back I picked up my old copy of The Dunwich Horror
and Others. Whaddyaknow? The Man from Providence was indeed
an unchallenging read, but still a delightful one. Kids: don't
believe everything you're told.
Mencken If you don't know who H.L. Mencken
was, there's still hope for you if you peruse this excellent repository
of Menckeniana. Recommendation: no book shelf is complete without,
at the very least, a copy of Mencken's Chrestomathy.
Serling Serling was a writer before he was
a showman: and what a writer! Sure, you'll always remember him
as the host of The Twilight Zone, but he
wrote some of the finest stories that ever graced a TV screen.
I could go on about how he was a modern Aesop, how influential
TZ was on American culture (right up there with The
Wizard of Oz, I'll bet), how he raised the cultural bar for
the science fiction and horror genres, how he viewed TV as an
exciting new media to educate and inform the masses rather than
as a commercial pipeline, the shit he went through with censors,
advertisers, producers, and others to put his vision in millions
of American homes... Oh, I'll let you see for yourself.
Frank A radio persona whose program Joe
Frank in the Dark provided funny and creepy spoken word thrills
on NPR and elsewhere. Joe's official site is finally up and running
and offers, gasp! Old shows on CD!