Brian Yaeger:

PRB '08 Top '10

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1. Even if as The Unknown Bowler (aka, TUB. What, no Crocket?), just pleased I got to bowl this year.
2. More pix of Justin, sans pants.
3. Dude-shopping w/ Justin. Or should I say, Pardner shopping, since it was for Western wear.
4. Being in the girls room as they tried on their new get-ups.
5. Joe Dana's reaction to my accordion shirt. I thought PRB stood for Polka Rock Bowling.
6. I didn't distinctly hear a "no" from Julie Wanda. I think we're engaged.
7. Though it wasn't PRB-related, seeing my long lost crush from 17 years ago who now lives in Vegas and has a family w/ 2 kids. Being thankful for not having any kids that I know about.
8. New cocktail: double espresso vodka + Coke. Think Coke Blak with booze.
9. Ruining the singer from American Steel's near-300 by foisting my bucket o' beer on him. Those guys were cool.
10. All that stuff that Vicky Pepper and I did in the room while Ms. Jen & Tink went to fetch something and came back half-expecting to catch Vicky Pepper and I in the act of doing something, but instead found us chatting all nonchalantly. Mmmmaybe.

Feet Don't Fail Me Now

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How did I become one of those people who never goes to see and hear live music? That's not who I am. It wasn't that long ago that going out 3-4 nights a week was the norm. I used to peruse the listings and map out my week accordingly. Older and stodgier but not dead yet, I had plans to go out a couple nights ago with my ex and heading out to a club seemed like a good way to hang out but have some external stimuli if the conversation well ran dry.

Sitting on the floor by my seldom-used TV and DVD player (a fairly recent purchase, wrought by the fact that it's hard to rent videos anymore and it was only forty bucks) because there's no room on my cluttered couch, I saw a pair of DVDs waiting for me to pop them in and, uh, watch them. Tink gave them to me who-knows-how-long-ago to review for, but I didn't know they were DVDs when I got them. I guess Kung Fu Records started recording and releasing bands' shows as concert DVDs. For no good reason, I put the Dance Hall Crashers one in before the Bouncing Souls disc.

Sandwiched between two of my favorite artists on my first of three large CD racks, Dakah Hip Hop Orchestra and Charlie Daniels Band, are four DHC discs. The first two I bought. The second two are ones I kept from all the freebies I received when I was on everyone's promo list. The mid-90s was the beginning of 3rd Wave Ska's ascent into the mainstream. The first time I saw DHC was at the Palace, back when it was called the Palace and they could pack it. Their horn section was already gone. Tim Armstrong, who played with them in between OpIvy and Rancid, was already gone. Basically, they were just a pop-ska band with sticky-sweet tunes and tandem chick singers. The Scandanavian one, Karine or Katrina or something, was the bouncy, hyper, sexy one and even Elyse, the chubby one, was cute. Their shows were fun because you jumped up and down a lot. If there was room, as was the case at all such ska shows, you skanked. Throughout the 90s, I went to hundreds of shows and the measure of how good the punk or ska show was, was how big a puddle I made when I rung out my shirt afterward.

Watching the DVD, I see how much each has changed. To be fair, I think it's stupid to watch a show on DVD, more or less so than produce it in the first place. What's the point of Kung Fu putting out this "The Show Must Go Off" series? If you've seen the band, it's a million times better live. If you haven't, it's hardly at all a substitute for the real thing. Confined to the tiny TV screen, the band member's moves seem mechanical and the songs are flat. Worse, all the shots of the audience are just the front (they didn't use that fun glass ball with the stabilized camera in it like in that Motley Crue vid) and often capture them just standing there not moving or singing along. I keep seeing one girl holding a sign, but they never show what it says. I am surprised how I still know all the words, though. I can't believe DHC are still around. And filling the HOB at that.

I really need, need, need to go see more shows. I'm the same age as the folks in DHC or younger (they started in 1989 I think) and they still put on shows, so I should still be going to them. Not theirs, per se, because I've seen them about 4 times and watching this DVD I can tell you it hasn't changed much and I doubt that even if I had seen this set back in my heyday, the resulting puddle would've been that big. I don't even need puddles anymore. I just want to be really into some bands out there. Indie 103.1 is a great station, but I realize they haven't turned me onto anything in a huge way. They play Matisyahu, but I actually saw him before they ever played him on the air. They just started playing Gogol Bordello's "Start Wearing Purple," but I saw them a couple years ago, too. Hey, check me out. I'm still ahead of the game sometimes. If anyone knows of a good gig coming up, lemme know. I'd rather see them live now for cheap than watch the DVD in a decade from now.

Real, full-on PRB Top 10

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PRB Top 10 (in chron order)

1. Hitting the ground running. No sooner than we check in late Friday night than I good’n’loaded and before I know it, it’s time for steak’n’eggs b-fast at 4:30 a.m. en route to catching a little shut-eye (shh, don’t tell anyone I wussed out).
2. Jacuzzi tub. Those fucknuts at Sam’s Town may have given our room away with two beds (it’s no secret I love and lust for Sandra and Justin, but ever since Comrade Daly became Mecha-Justin when he sleeps, no way am I sharing a bed with them) and the night manager, “Dick,” was “happy to provide me with a roll-away,” so I was happy to insist they give us a suite and then some*. Not only was this suite on the inside overlooking the atrium and Ram’s Head Bar inside Sam’s, but it had a tub with jets. My punk-ass, hard-as-fuck self even sprinkled the bath crystals in there.
3. Bowling. No, we didn’t make it into the Top 32. Somehow we didn’t even make the Top 88 this year (wha…?). But it was fun nonetheless. I was striking up a storm, but for some reason, I couldn’t pick up a spare to save my life. Top score: 170.
4. Hofbrauhaus. Seven of us took a cab ride all the way to Munich and feasted at the replica of the Hofbrauhaus. Big Kev and I were the only ones man enough for the liter of lager, and Comrade Justin and I were the only ones man enough for the sausage platter (oh wait, that can be misconstrued). Good, authentic saurkraut and an Oompa band? Hell’syeah.
5. TOM MOTHERFUCKIN’ JONES. That’s right punks. I didn’t get to see the Swingin’ Utters. Didn’t mind not seeing the Briefs again. Had no interest in seeing Pennywise. And you couldn’t even heard Flock of Goo Goo behind that glass case at Roxy. So 4 of us headed to the MGM for THIRD ROW seats for TJ, “The Voice.” Was I the only one singing the chorus “You bitch, you slut, you whore” during “Delilah”? SFW!
6. Wheel of Fortune Progressive. I hate Vegas, gambling in particular. But when I’d had enough of the Vince Neil Wannabe show at Roxy (dude, you’re wearing cheetah print pants and matching cowboy hat and you’re singing a Van Morrison song?? Um.) I went and plunked a bill in the no-armed bandit (you just hit a button that says “spin” now) and multiplied my pot by 150%. Too bad I started with only $10. We hit a few more banks of W.O.F. slots, but fortunately for me although I lost on the penny one, I recouped it all and then some on the dollar one. Still, it was enough for some more drinks and…
7. More 4:something a.m. steak’n’eggs. I’m drawing a blank on who we ended up sitting with, but I know that John Cusack lookin’ dude was there. Afterwards, it was up to our new room, where I’d have a real bed.
8. Sleep in late. No second-round bowling? No problem. Woke up at a leisurely time, got my morning coffee and carrot cake (they were out of everything like bagels and cinnamon rolls).
9. Laser Vag. I went down to the alley to make sure Epitaph won again. In the process, I got my PBR (not PRB, Pabst Blue Ribbon) button back from that biter Jason Stabile and was then treated to discovering why they call Jen (Jennitalia), “Laser Vag.” When she pulled everything down right there in the alley, though, she revealed that she’s gotta go in for “one more session.” Anyway—as much as I hate Vegas, sometimes ya gotta love it.
10. *Steak. No, not $3.99 steak’n’eggs, but actual, proper steak. It seems the night clerk who helped us when we checked in disliked her supervisor and manager as much as we did, so she hooked us up with a bunch of vouchers, which we blew at Billy Bob’s Steakhouse. Filet Mignon! Considering we brought our own wine and just paid a corkage fee, we escaped on the cheap for such a fine meal.

Honorable Mention. “Pupee.” I don’t know how it came up (possibly discussing Laser Vag’s revelation, but on the drive home Justin coined an awesome word, “Pupee,” which is of course a pube toupee. Too bad the word already exists as “mirkin.” But I like pupee better.

Can’t wait for PRB 07.

I like the idea of themed Top 8s, and since I had a fricking blast as per usual in Lost Wages for Punk Rock Bowling, I am now sporting an all PRB crew on my MySpace profile. My peeps were depleted this year (due to financial reasons, or being in Ireland...) and not everyone on my bowling squad seems to have a profile (that I know about, but actually, Big Kev must b/c he subscribes to my blog I found out), so this is sort of a mishmash of my squad, some of the lovelies I hung out with (I'm including Jason Stabile because that little bitch bit me like a girl), and of course the legend that entertained me in a way Pennywise never could and not even Flock of Goo Goo achieves, Sir Tom Jones.

See y'all next year.

Bayshore-Wed, Nov 30

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Hey Bowlfliers, It's "Quartermania" @ Bayshore this (and every) Wed. It's my first night after the semester's over so I'm in a bowling mood. The stats:
Location: Pico & 4th in Santa Monica
Time: 9:00 pm sharp (I will get there at 8 to get a ticket. Yes, it's that popular)
Price: $5 cover + 25 cents for everything else (per game, shoes, Cokes, coffee, popcorn) (ie: 3 games and a shoe rental if nec'y will run you $6)
Diner: Yes, and pretty good, too.
Bar: Yes, good quality for a bowling bar.
Freeway accessible: One minute off the 10 Fwy. Take 4th St exit which is the last exit on the 10 West before PCH.
Occulator's cell: 310-339-7245. Please give me an accurate headcount since I have to shell out the cover in advance and I don't want to lose $15..

1. Ordering rusty nails at every bar and having every bartender know how to make it. There IS something good about Vegas.
2. Ordering Frangelico on the rocks as a nightcap and discovering what a tasty treat that is. Like drinking a cookie. Unfortunately, I passed out drinking it at only 4:30 in the morning.
3. Still on the drinking tip—getting a bunch of those booklets with all the coupons from the concierge upon check-in and thereby getting plenty of free drinks (as well as a free scoop of ice cream and an official Mold Coast deck of cards). If that guy was gay, I shoulda really flirted with him to get more drink tix. (In fact, I even left with one in my pocket and Joe, if you’re reading this, I meant to give it to you as I passed you on my way out at 4:30 a.m. while you were still at the bar to make up for drinking your purple everclear soda that I gave you thereby depriving you of your en route-to-Vegas beverage).
4. Lucky’s twin turkeys, resulting in…
5. Placing 15th. It’s not 7th, but it’s better than a kick in the teeth. Barflies’ Bad News Bowlers are here to stay.
6. I’m not sure which is better, the fact that Tink grabbed by package, or the fact that she couldn’t tell I wasn’t still stuffing a pair of Volcom socks. (Oh sick, I just remembered giving those socks to Smokey and he didn’t even mind.)
7. Being serenaded by Lauren even if my idea of opera is Bohemian Rhapsody or Tommy or any 12-minute song by Meatloaf.
8. First I blow it with the girl in the elevator who invited me back to her room because evidently I can’t take a hint. Then I blow it with the girl on the Strip after I clotheslined her and all she did was smile. Then having the wherewithal to not blow it on the ladies who were even more forthcoming about what my chances would be. And by ladies, I mean the “of the night” variety. But encountering them as a result of Justin’s chivalry (he opened the door) was fun. Then watching him giggle himself to death every time he spotted their “business cards” littered all over the Strip (“Te he he. Porn.”) made everything better.
9. I’m gonna put bunking with Justin’ & Sandra here, but I’m a little miffed or at least perplexed that we didn’t get .99 cent breakfasts at 4 a.m., which we totally coulda done with those 2-4-1 coupons on the $1.99 b-fasts between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. I’m having visions of going down there with Justin if he sleepwalked (slept walk?) just so he could do his Darth Vader imitation using his sleep apnea breathing apparatus.
10. On the way to Vegas, my flight was delayed nearly three hours and because they said there’d be turbulence, they didn’t hand out peanuts, they literally threw them down the aisle during take off so they’d slide down (real classy, Southwest). On the way back, I slept through my 6:55 a.m.-8 a.m. flight from take off to landing (stupid work not being off for Prez’ Day). In between was general, genuine fun & frivolity, and PRB on the whole ought to count as a Top 10 item.

Brian's first entry

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First entry? Hasn't Brian been listed as a contributor for years? Hasn't he been a Bad News Bowler for, like, a while now, right? Well, yeah. But now I'm official. Now I'm doing the Movable Type thing. So welcome me to the neighborhood, tater tots! The Occulator has landed.