Friday Thoughts

Some Friday thoughts:

May your coffee stay hot, but your demeanor cool

May your boss keep a liberal distance

May the phone not ring, and the breakroom not stink

May the copier not offer any resistance

Here’s to another, week under the belt

And at 5PM the traffic not vociferous

For there’s beer in the fridge, or soda or tea

If there’s anything better I can’t think of it

The week’s been a shit, this much I know

There’s no other words I can say

But the garage door is up, the wife’s filled me cup

Christ, thank God it’s Friday – J. “Hub” McHenry

I’m pretty much out of words today. It’s been a pretty terrible week all around. People arguing about guns, people mourning yet another large group of innocent lives taken by the hand of a lunatic, and we lost an American treasure in Tom Petty. I woke up this morning feeling like shit. Achy, stomach sour, and just a general feeling of malaise. But goddammit, it’s Friday and I’m not going to let a little ick in the gut ruin that. My oldest is coming home for the weekend and I took Monday off so I’m happy about that. I’ve also got lots of music to indulge in over the weekend(which you’ll hear about I’m sure.)

So despite the shit storm yet another week in 2017 has brought us I’m going to try and appreciate what I’ve got and who I’ve got to enjoy it with. Time is limited on this rock. How limited? Well, we don’t really know. We’ve just gotta enjoy each one like it could end tomorrow. Let ’em know you love ’em. Take care of yourself. Savor that cup of coffee. Indulge in a piece of cheesecake. Get outside and breathe in that fresh air. Throw the ball with your kids. Watch a movie someone wants to watch, even though you may not want to. Take time to read that book you’ve been meaning to read. Make yourself as well-rounded of a human being as you can. Shove as much knowledge into your head as you can before your skull blows open. Even then, keep shoveling it in. You don’t have to love your neighbor, but at least wave at ’em when you cross paths, you jerk.

And most of all my lovelies, Happy F*****g Friday.

 

Ode To A Friday

From the 4th grade up to 9th grade my favorite day of the week was Friday. That’s not all together odd, really. I mean, I’m sure there were LOTS of people whose favorite day of the week was Friday. For me it started around 3pm when we’d get all of our graded tests and homework assignments from our teacher. Leafing through and looking for that “Great Job!” written in red ink, or even a sticker next to the handwritten message. A clown sticker? Balloon sticker? Oh boy! A “scratch ‘n sniff” sticker! When you got those you know the teacher thought highly of you. They didn’t waste scratch ‘n sniffs on just anybody(especially that Skaggs kid…jerk.)

It was a Friday process. Gathering of the week’s evidence of a job well done(or not) from the teacher so you could bring it home and impress mom and dad with your knowledge of Indiana History, the multiplication tables, and your unique ability to speak when not spoken to(no scratch ‘n sniff for that.) That ritual meant for the next two days it was sleeping in, watching cartoons, playing with action figures, and whatever else the parents had in store. Friday night, though, that was the best spot of the weekend because you were the furthest point from another week. It was the dead zone where you were still in the past week, but over with all that schoolin’ nonsense. Friday night was like the Switzerland of the weekend. It was neutral territory where you were both winding down and winding up(as an adult that only happens after a Benadryl/coffee chaser.)

priazzoFriday night for me was cleaning up my bedroom and making camp on my bunk bed. Only light on in the room was my desk lamp. I had whatever new cassette tape I’d bought playing in my GE boombox, and I was setting up whatever crazy battle I’d thought of for my arsenal of Star Wars or GI Joe action figures(this was up to 6th grade, after that it was sitting in my bedroom attempting to learn AC/DC and CCR songs on my newly acquired acoustic guitar.) Once we bought a VCR, Friday nights were going and getting pizza with my parents and then heading to Video World and renting some movies. In the 7th grade I’d discovered the syndicated radio show ‘Metal Shop’. This was hosted by a guy that sounded like your typical radio DJ, except with a little added grit, like a guy that ate cigarette butts and gargled with Jack Daniels and shards of glass. He’d play all the latest rock and metal and have bands on the show to interview. It was aired every Friday night on 95.3 WAOR out of Niles, MI. If I had my stereo at just the right spot in the living room I could get it in. That spot was usually on the floor next to the coffee table. I’d go from ‘Metal Shop’ to Late Night With David Letterman. This was how I’d end my Friday evenings. Occasionally a Jeno’s frozen pizza was part of that late Friday ritual(unless there was leftover pizza from dinner.)

For me, for a good few years, this was how I wanted Friday night to be. Sure, I’d have friends come over and stay but we never deviated from the Friday ritual. Friends that would come over looked forward to this Hubner Friday party. Pizza, movies, hair metal cassettes overplayed, and an arsenal of Kenner and Hasbro toys to create the perfect imaginary world crisis with. The older I got it was more Friday Night Videos, horror films, and a plethora of music to soundtrack quiet conversations about that cute girl in Industrial Arts and how we should form a band and kill it at the Talent Show. Regardless of the interests and whether we were at a PG level or a PG-13, all of this took place at home. The most important decisions of adolescence took place surrounded by those four walls I called home. Whether we were cracking cue balls in the basement over a game of Nine Ball with “The Four Horsemen” blasting through tinny speakers, or it was just me cultivating a plan to ask some girl to the movies in my dimly lit bedroom, my home was where things were clearer and more evident.

moviesI don’t know why I never had the desire to head out with a friend to the arcade or roller skating rink; or catch a movie and stalk the downtown streets in search of trouble or girls to feel awkward around. Maybe it’s that my parents made home a place you wanted to be. There wasn’t conflict or strife. There wasn’t any nagging about the music I listened to, the movies I watched, or the magazines I brought home from the newsstand. We didn’t argue about my grades or “that attitude, mister!”. I felt safe and comfortable in those four walls. I felt closer to who I really was there, with my parents and brother, than anywhere else. I feel lucky that I had that experience because I know a lot of folks didn’t feel the same about their homes. I suppose that’s why that house in the Pines was the hangout headquarters for most of my adolescence for me and my friends. Blanket forts, late night movie hangs, Lip sync concerts in the basement to Prince and Ratt, billiard games, forest adventures, and lots and lots of shady horror flicks were all part of the home experience in my youth. Friday nights were the opening games to those times. It was the gatekeeper to the weekend.

Things really haven’t changed. Friday is still my favorite day of the week. No papers to bring home to show to mom and dad. Instead I clock out at 2pm and I enter Friday’s dead zone a little sooner. My wife and I have created a Friday experience not unlike my parents did for me, as our kids are pretty content with hanging out in their own little universes contained in their bedrooms. It’s the long wind down to whatever the rest of the weekend brings. Vinyl is spun, beers are enjoyed, and conversations about the week are had.

I’m sure in a couple of years when I have all teenagers in the house it might not be as cozy and relaxed on Friday nights as it is now, so I’ll enjoy it while it lasts. I’ll take those lazy Fridays as they come.

But hey, there’s always Saturday.

 

Friday, I’ve missed thee….

Finally, Friday is here. It’s been far too long. After groceries, running kids here and there, renting videos, and picking up pizzas, my ass is finally in my chair next to my records spinning BoC’s ‘Geodaddi’ that I just picked up.

You know, they say home is where the heart is(who are they, and who makes them experts?), and I tend to agree with that generalized statement. Home is indeed where the heart is; it’s also where my vinyl is, and where my fridge is which is where my beer lives. I can remember thinking as a kid and teen “Why doesn’t grandpa ever come over to visit? He never leaves his house? Why do we have to always go see him instead of the other way around?” Well, I get it now, grandpa. I get it.photo (12)

It’s All About The Pumpkins

Why hello Friday night. It’s great to see you again. How long has it been? Probably a week, at least.

I’m sitting on the couch with a tasty brew and one of the most iconic horror movie themes playing through the speakers. Death Waltz has done it again with their reissue of the Halloween II soundtrack. It’s filled with John Carpenter’s creepy Prophet-10 and Prophet-5 synth sounds and even The Chordettes “Mr. Sandman”. I know that song singularly because of this film.

As far as horror film sequels go, this one was pretty stellar, turning Michael Myers and Dr. Loomis into legends of horror movie lore. This all just goes along with my whole “I love fall” theme going on here this week.

The Shiner Oktoberfest Ale I picked up is going quite nicely with this evening’s events. Well, if sitting on your ass and listening to John Carpenter while teen girls giggle in another room is considered “events”, that is.

TGIF, bitches!!

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New Music, New Brew…Friday Night!

photo (5)After an extremely long week Friday evening feels pretty damn good.  Groceries are bought and put away and there is beer in the freezer becoming extremely cold.  One of the local liquor stores has recently improved their craft beer selection tremendously.  I was overwhelmed at all the different varieties.  I think I started going into a panic attack once I saw twelve varieties of O’Grady’s Rotten Stein IPA and 8 varieties of Dirty Sanchez’ Holy Sock Stout.  After borrowing a paper sack from the counter and breathing into it for a couple minutes I calmed down.  I ended up with Boulevard Brewing Company’s Bully! Porter.  If you like porters, you’d love this.  Dark, complex, with a nice finish.  No “sandpaper on the tongue” roughness with this stuff.  And for $7.99 for a six-pack, you can’t beat it.

In the midst of grocery shopping I stopped to pick up a couple records from my local brick n’ mortar.  Baths’ Cerulean and and LCD Soundsystem’s Losing My Edge 12 in single.  If you’ve never listened to Baths you need to check them/him out.  Thanks to a fellow music lover, as well as cinema junkie and Stephen Malkmus worshiper Greg Locke over at Zecatalist.com for steering me in their general direction. Baths is Will Wiesenfeld and he makes electronic music that isn’t the typical electronic music.  If you’re familiar with Flying Lotus, Four Tet, and Modeselektor you have a starting point.  It’s that blippy, glitchy kind of electronic music snaps and crackles out of the speakers.  Every nuance and detail is put into graphic focus.  But it’s not just music, he’s a real songwriter.  He sings most of the time in a falsetto that hovers over the mix, creating this ghostly narrative that gives the songs an emotional heft.  The ‘electronic’ name tag doesn’t do him justice.  The truncated beats and blippy, almost hallucinogenic synth lines are merely the vehicle Wiesenfeld uses to deliver his personal songs to our ears.  Baths reminds me of artists like Youth Lagoon and that bands mastermind Trevor Powers.  It’s one guy telling extremely personal tales through technology.  Though they may not sound much alike, they’re both kindred spirits in my eyes.  Another artist that comes to mind is Mark Linkous.  His Sparklehorse records were at times lo fi sounding, but there were so many details to dig into.  He created his own world on his records and told his own broken, drugged-out stories through acoustic guitar, blasts of electric guitar, and his sometimes distorted/sometimes clear as a bell whisper of a voice.  He laid the groundwork for guys like Powers and Wiesenfeld.

So that’s what’s going on here.  That, and baling rain water out of my basement window.  F**k yeah, hello Friday.

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