Columns - "Digital Block" 05.01.02


Did you hear? Dudley Moore died... again.

I dont know what it is about the media, my attention span or whatever... I hear just the other day that Dudley Moore, star of Arthur and the sequel, Arthur 2 and Im left saying

"He died AGAIN?"

I thought that fucker kicked the bucket like five years ago. I can almost swear that I heard about in on the news but no, Im wrong... Or a victim of double-think; the past changed to coincide with the current beliefs of Airstrip One/Oceanna. Exactly why it would be important to re-write history and make Dudley Moore live again only to die again just this past week is beyond my understanding.

This isnt the first "star" its been done to either!

The earliest case of something like this happening that I can remeber was 1990 or so. I was working at a grocery store as a ‘service clerk’ (I bagged groceries) when I heard over the radio that one of the guys from The Beastie Boys died in an accident that turned out to be alcohol related. I remember talking to people about how this sucked and everything... One of my bosses at the grocery store was a big Beastie Boys fan and was sort of sad for a few days after she heard about the accident. I thought this sucked and everything but found amazement in the fact that they found a replacement for him that looked strikingly familiar to the guy who just died...

Then there was Harrison Ford. You know, Han Solo!!! Well, about 2 years ago, after Harrison Ford had saved something like his second or third person from some sort of disaster, I remember seeing a press conference on Entertanment Tonight that Harrison Ford had called to announce that he was dying from an inoperable brain tumor and would be dead in about 6 weeks. Just as with the dead Beastie Boy, I didnt cry or anything but sort of acknowledged his bad-luck. I also remeber talking about this case with my fellow co-workers and others.... Then, just the other night, harrison Ford got some sorts of fucking award at the Oscars or Emmys or whatever the fuck the kids are calling that shit nowadays. As ALIVE as could be. Go fucking figure!!!!

First the Beastie Boy.

Then Harriosn Ford.

Now, Dudley More....

What the fuck is going on here? Am I nuts or what? I DISTINCTLY remembering what I thought was the truth, and I know something is definitly up because Julie even remembers the shit about that Beastie Boy guy dying... In a systematic way, history is being changed, even re-written, to acomplish some sort of task thats unknown to me. I admit, it might be aluminum foil helemt time for ol’ Shawn Abnoxious but I swear.... Dudley More died about five years ago....

Aw.... 1997/2002 whats the fucking difference anyway?




Yes. So electric. GTI. Good Times Indeed!

The weekend of Crimson Sweet! Man, really though, what a good weekend..... My weekend begins on Thursday. I work a four ten hour shift days a week so I have three days off on the weekend. Its hard as fuck doing what I do for ten hours... by the end of a day Im really looking foreword to a bath. In fact, if I dont come in from work and peel off my oil soaked clothes right away and get in the shower... Like if I come in and lay down on the floor or recline back in a chair to watch some Judge Joe Brown for a while, I stand a very good chance of leaving a ring of cutting oil around my person. Now, imagine working your ass off and then coming home and sitting down at the computer and writing about 1,800 words or so. Thats what I did today (4/15). Well, actually I came home and then went to mail my taxes. Then, after doing some household chores, I settled down for a bath. Afterwards I got all the music I had to review, began alternating listens of Walking with Thee by Clinic and and advance copy of a unreleased Radar Secret Service disc called Stop Communication. I had just got Stop Communication in the mail on this very day. With Radar Secret Service and Clinic piloting me I wrote reviews for Exterminate the Brutes, Spartas EP, and Crimson Sweet as well as what you are reading. No dinner yet and Im starving but I am also using it as a tool in my writing. I have tons of e-mail that I really have to answer...I should do some laundry... Write some stuff for The Neus Subjex...I want to sit and create dance music on MTVs Music Generator game for Playstation.... but here I am. Getting edgy and feeling nervous because theres a lot to do and I feel like Im crashing fast.

Why am I telling this to you? Im getting at a point. Hold on. Thursday I came home from work and mowed the front yard. Yeah, your front yard might be minuscule but The Social Manor, my hide-out, Sits on two acres. Hills. Eighty trees and I know because I counted them. Mowing the yard is one of the most dangerous things I do. One time, the brakes went out and I had to bail off the riding mower before it hit a tree. I rolled off of it in a sort of stunt double kinda way. I did $1500 damage to a $1800 mower. But really, this is a whole other story. Many of you haven’t met me or this would be a whole lot funnier to you, then again, maybe your one of those sadistic motherfuckers who are already laughing. Its OK. It is funny after all... One of my greatest hits, by far.

And things just didn’t get any better. I mix up the alternating of Radar Secret Service with a CD Rob Kongress of Crimson Sweet picked out for me, This Heat doing "Made Available".... Some strange shit...

Why am I telling this to you? Im getting at a point. Hold on.

So I come home and spend three hours picking up fallen branches and mowing. That would put it at about 7:30 PM. I come inside, bathe and fall asleep on the living room floor despite wanting to wake up to go to a ‘Dance Party’ that members of a new local band I am really interested in called The Not are putting on. The Not are made up of Mike "Microbe" Swen, one of my buds who fronts Zero Crag. him and his better half, Amy Lyn started a last minute band with two other ladies named Chaz (who I last remember played with a Cincinnati local called Hemline) and Tarin-Shit Up. The weird thing is that Microbe, Amy and Tarin are all recent additions to the Cincy scene by way of Florida. In fact, Chaz had spent some ample time squatting in Florida so its sort of like The Not are a Florida band in Cincinnati. The Not formed one day when there needed to be an opening band for a hardcore show at a Cincinnati basement venue called The Laundry Room. Zero Crag were asked to play but we couldn’t, so Mike got Chaz, Amy and Tarin together and formed The Not. They got a five song set together in under a week and played their first show. They had so much time that they decided to keep it up and quickly planned a show in Chaz and Tarins vacant apartment that they both just moved out of.

The got local destructos The Gazelles, who had just been banned from playing a upcoming show with The Dictators because they couldn’t behave themselves during a Mooney Suzuki show, as a follow up.... this was happening Thursday night but being the old man I am, after that bath I fell asleep and missed it. After all, im coming up on thirty this year. Im beginning to get some silver (not gray) up there (you know, in my hair) so dont act too suprised. I feel bad because I felt like I let a family member, The Microbe who Im teammates with in Zero Crag down. But a big weekend was coming up.

Friday was next. Friday ment an appearance of Zero Crag at a local establishment called The Comet. Microbe was sick. Well, really, he still had pneumonia in his left lung a couple of days later but who is keeping score.

Zero Crag were slated to play with a local band, The Cybermen. The Cybermen were somewhat legends in some eyes. They had been around, and were considered punk veterans in Cincinnati. We played first and played a rather good show. We played a strange set made up mostly of newer, un-recorded songs. The set was a real test for me personally because we were playing a new song called "Thinking in Hungarian" which I wanted to strike from the set because it was so new and I was shaky on it. No dice though, Andy really wanted to do it so I bit the bullet and did it. Being in a band isn’t just about what YOU want to do. What many fail to realize is that being in a band means you are not one but all your fellow band mates. You do what you do and get the job done.

Mike, who had boasted about not breaking a guitar string in something like six months broke a guitar string about 2/3 through the set. He donned a back-up provided by Andy for the remainder of the set while Jon Blackburn, a member of The Gazelles with Andy, had took Mikes Guitar and began replacing the string just in case Mikes back up guitar fizzed out or broke a string....

Andy then, just before another new powerhouse song called Anthem for The United Moons of Jupiter broke his snare. Andy wanted to strike Moons of Jupiter from the set because he relies on his snare heavily on the song but I wouldn’t let him. Anthem for The United moons of Jupiter is one of my favorite songs. Telling the tale of a moon based population of Jupiter declaring independence and creating their own state, this song was very important to me.... It was, after all, their anthem.

Andy did as the unit. Jon joined the unit. Mike continued the units presence. I, well, I maintained the units presence too.

We finished with a good set. We played what we wanted to and there was no cops, there wasn’t a banning of us from The Comet or anything. It all worked out. It ended up being a late night and I needed all I had for the next day....

Saturday. April 13th.

Crimson Sweet were to play at Shake It records at 7pm. What was supposed to happen this day and what actually happened is two different things. Here what was supposed to happen:

The Gazelles. The Socials and Crimson Sweet live at The Laundry Room.

Then the Laundry room closed the week before. In a scramble to see what I could do for Crimson Sweet, I threw out several possibilities as drags for Crimson Sweet. I knew a couple of people booking venues of different sizes so I was looking to see if I could get Crimson Sweet on one of those shows, if not The Gazelles AND The Socials.

Shake It records came through first allowing an in store appearance at 7PM. Then later, an associate named Gabe who I call the Lion Cub said there was room for Crimson Sweet at a show he was doing. He had a show set up in an ‘alternative lifestyles" bar called Shirleys. Gabe was part of The Art Fag productions team. The Art Fag boys have been kicking up some dust in Cincinnati over the recent months....

I went to bat for Crimson Sweet because they are important to me. They are like brothers and sisters. Even though it didn’t work out for The Gazelles and The Socials, it still worked out for Crimson Sweet. Even better than imagined really....

Along with Josh and Zach, the guys behind The Laundry Room, $50 dollars was presented to Crimson Sweet in the name of The Laundry Room. The money came from a fund that other bands, including The Gazelles, and Zero Crag had donated to get a decent PA for The Laundry Room.

One show, turned into two shows for Crimson Sweet. They played a place called Shirleys that night and really floored everyone watching. They were even given some gas money.... Along with the Shake It Records appearance, it all worked out.

I went to bat for Crimson Sweet. Shake It, Gabe and Art Fag Productions came through.... Even the guys from The Gazelles who flyered the fuck out of things and let things spread by word of mouth (yuck). Josh and Zach. Everything worked out for the best. Actions of selflessness. Indeed, Things in Cincinnati are becoming more networked and closer in delivery. This weekend was jammed packed full of action. Too much to do, too little time. But it all got done. The important fronts were met and accomplished.

That is my point.




The Midwest Apogee of Shawn Abnoxious Part VII

The Antithetical Fix. Life around The Broken Things Jerry’s van once again. Another Socials stop. This time just after another show. We played in a Barn. It was cold. Sharp, short. Sentences. Cold. Makes, thinking difficult. The task done, the assault over. On this night I used the photocopied picture of jaws and tapped it to my amplifier. Teeth. Viciousness. Duct-tape. Jerry played in his underwear. People said we (The Socials) were loud and obnoxious. They said that was a compliment, they dont know how true they are. Stay Real. Before the set Jerry thought it wise to warm up my strings as much as possible. I turned my amp up all the way. I race my hand up and down the neck of the shark in an attempt to warm the strings. Musical masturbation. Sharks, well, most breeds anyway, dont like the cold. Mine included. Mine included. The crowd seems impressed with Misfits covers. Sheep. Danzig. What a guy! If I met him I would ignore him.

After all, a good blank white wall somewhere needs a good looking at! I declare our set to be a all-Misfits routine. I make as much noise with my bass while singing, in a very monotone way, "Teenagers from Mars". As expected some laugh but I just get sick. Adrenaline coursing thru my veins. I start to hack and cough... Jerry asked if I am allright. I tell him yes and continue. This Barn show, when its like 20 degrees out, show. Its a show. Officially. We packed up our equipment, took it somewhere at least 30 feet away from our practice space, played and returned out equipment to our practice space, so yes, it was a show. A difficult show. One not made from design to be easy. Maybe Brandon is learning. He, Brandon, masterminded this show. Yep, he’s learning allright. Difficult. Difficulty. Yes, life is about struggle....

In the van. Jerry’s radio.

Ray. De. Oh..... OH. well, actually it was a "CD Player" or thats what the newspapers said it was, or thats what the instructional book said. The "radio" was yet an option, it was designed for the play and amusement of Compact disc. Disc that have been compact into nice..neat...packages....thats able to be played on what is called a "Compact Disc player" but really, arent we all just players in this game anyways? Players of a game where you never know the score. To be SAFE I always assume im losing this game. that way im not going to become prideful and boast.

After so-long thinking something like I am loosing at this "game" I am a "player" of , it becomes comfortable being a loser. I find comfort in it. I find reverence in the fact that I CAN LIVE WITH LOSING. Its the winners who have the REAL problems. Its much easier, and funner to lose at something and MOVE ON.

Like I said, Jerry’s van.... his compact disc player. And we get into the van and crank up the heater. Apparently some sort of strange force willed itself just in maybe my presence, like I have some sorts of fucking magnetic waves of some shit, and his Compact Disc Player refuses to eject the current flavor being listened to for another selection. it stopped working. It broke.

Were on our way "home" now. Feeling better, feeling warmer... Just wanting to listen to music but the damn compact Disc player broke... in coming times this would be something that would rear its head at other times I was sitting in the co-pilots chair. Jerry became visibly upset. The Compact Disc is logged into the player where it cant be listened to or ejected and replaced. The Radio wasn’t even working because the Compact Disc function could not be completed to begin another function. One time this very same problem occurred while driving to Kent Ohio to play another Socials show.. it was snowing out and the van was slipping and sliding all over the road but we still made it to the show in record time, despite the snow. we listened to the Citizens band, or CB as its referred to, for the majority of the trip... Anyway, for this particular tale of broken we were returning from a Brandon Show... The Compact Disc Player Malfunctions and Jerry is visibly upset.... He keeps trying to fix the problem by pressing certain buttons over and over and detaching the face of the compact Disc player and re-attaching the face of the  Compact Disc player(cool as shit!) thats originally designed to deter thieves from stealing his car stereo system... here is Jerry who has reverted to mechanical Voodoo. Turning stuff off and turning it on and hoping it fixes itself. Mechanical Voodoo is a fucking crazy concept but even more crazier is that sometimes it fucking works! Something brakes. Turn it off. Turn it back on. Walla! Presto. It works. Jerry was doing his mechanical voodoo. he was visibly upset. Mechanical Voodoo. I was enjoying the show. However, mechanical voodoo wasn’t doing it THIS time... "Jerry" I Said, extending my hand to protect his Compact Disc player from even more of his Molestation and Voodoo, "Lets just roll with it and enjoy the Mess. Lets enjoy the broken". It was only when Jerry did this and Me and Him And Julie reverted back to talking about what we did like and did not like about our performance, that several miles down the road Jerry gave another try at the Compact Disc player and it worked.

It was only until we learned to live with the Broken. Learned to deal, to exist simultaneously with the Mess, that we were allowed cooperation. High-hopes on this goodship Lollipop isn’t going to save it from a barrage of ground to Air Missles. That sound is a lock on our position. Im ready to die for this mission... This apogee is not the end, only the end of the start. I see that now. Its clear.

You just read the third installment of Digital Block by Shawn Abnoxious. This installment encompassed two freshly written pieces with the third being an unreleased part of The Midwest Apogee of Shawn Abnoxious.

Aluminum Foil helmets block mind-control waves. Choose your own Adventure.

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