As of October 22, 2008, all the bloggy jibber jabber is officially going down on our site, www.barrelhousemag.com, which you can get to by clicking here.
You'll find the same random discussions of television, books, movies, commercials, snack foods, literature, and Barrelhousey news, all incorporated into the Barrelhouse site proper.
Get on over there and check it out (scroll down to see the latest posts).
If you're a long lost contributor, let us know that you'd like to get back in the mix and we'll hook you up.
Color me confused by last night's episode of Family Guy. The plot revolves around Stewie's time machine and his and Brian's attempt to find Mort Goldman, who had inadvertently stepped into the machine, thinking it was a bathroom.
Well...the machine takes all parties to Poland on the eve of World War II. Stewie and Brian find Mort at his grandmother's Jewish wedding. Then the Nazis attack, Stewie and Brian and Mort run for their lives and mad cap parody adventures ensue, mostly from Raiders of the Lost Ark, as they try to return to the present. Along the way you have your typical topical MacFarlane jokes, like a McCain/Palin button on a Nazi uniform, Mickey Mouse and Hitler shaking hands, and Brian joking that the reason the U.S. never attacked Germany was because Germany didn't have any oil.
But anyhoo...the elephant in this episode is that most of the family members Mort is watching celebrate a wedding are going to be shipped of to concentration camps. Unless an intimate knowledge of the show's minor characters is required, and there was an episode three seasons ago devoted to Mort's family escaping the Nazis...we have to assume that many of them were rounded up and killed, no?
So it just seems odd that Mort doesn't even try to warn and/or save his family members from the Holocaust. And even weirder that Brian, the show's conscience and Seth MacFarlane's stand in (MacFarlane's real voice is basically Brian's voice), is completely silent on this issue too.
You have to wonder who thought "Jews/Time Travel/Nazis" would just be a HILARIOUS premise for an animated half hour cartoon. Maybe the South Park guys were right about Family Guy after all:
I wonder what the rest of you folks think about Sarah Palin's appearance last night on SNL? If you haven't seen it -- I realize that some of you, unlike me, have actual lives -- I would imagine it's easy enough to locate on the interwebs.
St. Mary's Today is Southern Maryland's News Weekly. The citizens of Southern Maryland face many problems, particularly too much government, too many minorities, and an abundance of vague, misleading headlines, such as my personal favorite:
Man Dead Due To Speed
If you, dear reader, guessed that the aforementioned man throttled his car off a country road and bit the farm, then you may be from Southern Maryland, the blessed land of no rotten teeth nor no doublewides exploding mysteriously in the night.
My second favorite headline is below:
Was this a dastardly plot involving a bank teller distracting her co-workers with a cooing baby, enabling her to rob the bank blind while everyone one took turns burping the toddler and making "ga ga" sounds? Did she walk up to an innocent bystander in the bank, implore him/her to hold her baby, then proceed to rob it? If you entertained either of these scenarios, good sir or madam, then you Are Not From Around Here.
No, clearly what this headline is trying to say is that the Teller was kidnapped at her home with her two children, driven to the bank in the early morning, and forced to rob the bank with her older child while the younger one was held hostage in the getaway car.
Notice, too, that the front page gives no indication whatsoever where more information on this significant event can be found inside the newspaper.
Some of you familiar with the more mainstream work of Cate Blanchett (at her hottest in this movie along with Pushing Tin) will recognize this crime as the plot of the movie Bandits, also starring Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thorton doing a Peter Gallagher impersonation.
Hopefully the Southern Maryland police are not too scornful of our nation's craven, amoral popular culture, because knowledge of Cate Blanchett's role in the movie should lead to immediate suspicion of the kidnapped woman, who probably arranged the whole thing.
Another awesome feature of this newspaper: Racist cartoons!!
Barrelhouse board member Thisbe Nissen has a story featured in this year’s Best American Mystery Stories, editied by DC’s own George Pelecanos.
Issue 1 poetry contributor Bradford Tice has a story in Best American Short Stories 2008, edited by Salman Rushdie.
Regular Growler contributor Stephanie Anderson has launched Projective Industries to produce chapbooks that are beautiful in both design and content. Seriously, I would frame these covers if it didn’t mean that the poems would be stuck behind glass too.
I came to Gary Unmarried with, yes, a fair amount of skepticism, but also with a small shimmering globule of hope. Like Gary, I'm unmarried (though, unlike Gary, I'm not unmarried due to divorce), and I'm also still grasping onto the possibly unjustified belief that Jay Mohr -- frequently criticized for his work in ... well, pretty much everything he's ever done -- actually has within him the possibility for comic greatness, or at least reasonable comic goodness.
Here's a pretty good indication of the sitcom's current status in the universe of American television: there are no prime-time sitcoms on Tuesday nights. None. This isn't a baseball/debate abnormality, either, since the Phils had the day off and the two presidential candidates don't square off until tonight (Wednesday). Even when I expanded the search to include basic cable, the only sitcom I could find last night was a circa-2005 episode of Reba.*
Visited my buddy in Nashville this past weekend, and got to see some great live music, including the Carolina Chocolate Drops, who are revitalizing traditional African American string band music, which was very popular in the pre-World War II era, but is now incorrectly perceived as the sole domain of white mountain folk from the South.
The CCDs spiced up their already impressive show with a version of Blu Cantrell's Hit 'Em Up Style, which unfortunatley is not featured on their website(s), as well as some spontaneous hootenany-ing.
However, here is an embedded clip from them in concert, it features 18 songs, and Hit Em Up Style is #17. You can get to it by pressing FF about 17 times, which is kind of annoying, or you can set aside about 3 hours of your day and listen to all 18songs...it's worth it! (Or just go here, and click on #17...lazy bastards!)
The CCDs opened for Old Crow Medicine Show, another traditional string band that really rocked the old Ryman Auditorium...leading to a young woman getting into a heated argument with security guards before being kicked out for standing on the church pews.
I couldn't figure out how to embed it, but here is a video of Old Crow doing an awesome cover of Wagon Wheel, an awesome song with an even more awesome history:
Wagon Wheel" is a song composed of two different parts. The chorus for the song comes from a Bob Dylan outtake from the soundtrack for the film Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. Although never officially released, the Dylan song was released on a bootleg and is usually named after the chorus and its refrain of "Rock Me Mama." Although Dylan left the song an unfinished sketch, Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show wrote verses for the song around Dylan's original chorus. Secor's additional lyrics transformed "Rock Me Mama" into "Wagon Wheel." Secor has stated the song is partially autobiographical. The song has become extremely popular since its inclusion on Old Crow Medicine Show's major label debut, "O.C.M.S." in 2004, although the song appeared in earlier form on the now out of print "Troubles and Up and Down the Road" EP in 2001.
What can I say: I'm a sucker for idiotic projects. So this week, in part to retain some semblance of sanity while fighting off both a flu and a giant stack of student papers, I've decided to, each evening, tune into one new (to me) sitcom, and report back to all those loyal readers in Barrelhouseland about what I find.
I would buy all of the ad time on Fox News and just show this video over and over and over:
I recently saw a clip where 80+% of Fox News viewers thought McCain won the last debate. That's an astonishing number, and a dangerous one, but not because their viewers skew conservative. I'd feel just as strongly that it was worrisome if a channel had a viewership that felt the opposite. When a group of people gets all their news from the same source, and that source feeds a strong bias, and those people repeat that bias into a feedback loop, it hurts that population by preventing new viewpoints and new solutions.
But I'm being too serious. Really, I just want you to watch the video again. Because no matter what your political idealogy, "I hope you hit a whale on your way to France" is an amazingly funny line.
Tilt has just announced its forthcoming chapbooks and the list includes two Barrelhouse contributors: Issue Three contributor Jeanpaul Ferro and Issue Four contributor Sarah Sloat. More info as it becomes available.
Issue Three Illustrated Story artist Warren Craghead has a new free book out—Seed Toss, Rough Cut —available from his website. Warren did an amazing job adapting "Only Child" by Erin Pringle, by far the creepiest illustrated story we've published thus far.
Barrelhouse contributor (and owner of the dingy living room in which Barrelhouse was more or less conceived) Steve Kistulentz is the featured poet this week over at No Tell Motel, owned and operated by Barrelhouse buddy Reb Livingston.
The title of today's poem -- which will also appear in 2008's Best New Poets -- pretty much says it all: The David Lee Roth Fuck Poem with Language Taken from Van Halen I, 1984, and The First Letter of the Apostle Paul to the Church at Corinth.
Check it out, today and every day this week.
In fact, you should pretty much check out No Tell every day, since, amazingly, they put up new poetry goodness every single business day. Every day!
Colby Hartburg has produced this nice little segment on the Barrelhouse Issue 7 release party and the Pink Line Project starring our own Aaron Pease as the Man with the Mustache and Barrelhouse board member Philippa Hughes as Skates with cameos by the DC Rollergirls as The Gang and Cory Oberndorfer as The Cat.
Okay. I made up those names, but Cory does get billed as the man, the myth, the inspiration. We had a lot of fun that night and we hope you did too if you came out. If you missed it, this will give you a glimpse.
Look, I know I've been saying for weeks now that I'm going to stop watching 90210: The New Class, then each week here I am, once again, not only watching the show but sharing my thoughts on the show with the world (or at least the very limited part of the world that reads this blog). But this time I mean it! No mas! I've got a pile of books to read, I've got old episodes of The Wire on DVD, I've started downloading This American Life's weekly podcast -- there are so many things I could be doing instead of watching this interminable program, which serves only to make me nostalgic for the original 90210, which in turn makes me feel very, very old.