Five Easy Steps to Mosh Pit Survival

Step One:

Identify mosh pit and possible dangers. There are many genres of music that produce mosh pits, however; there are three basic styles of mosh pits, each with its own dynamic and therefore dangers.

Hard Core Mosh Pit:
Music: Loud, angry and screaming.
Consists of large skin heads with forearms the size of an average persons neck,
windmills�the act of spinning ones arms violently while running in circles to create maximum damage; and lots of raspy screaming voices, large men slamming into one another and thrashing.

Punk Mosh Pit:
Music: Fast drum beat accompanied by rebellious and/or politically charged
lyrics. Lots of crowd sing-a-longs.
Consists of many spiked and pierced individuals, plenty of arm and leg thrashing as well as synchronized jumping and finger pointing (especially middle fingers and ‘rock on’ [first and pinky fingers]).

Ska Mosh Pit:
Music: Reggae or punk beat with a horn section peppered with plenty of ‘yeahs’
‘heys’ and ‘ois’.
Consists of skanking�the act of lifting ones knees and kicking out ones legs
while thrashing arms and body to the beat; spinning, jumping and general
pushing also included.

Step Two:

Remember general mosh pit rules. These include: never let your hands get pinioned to your sides, keep your elbows out to fend off unwanted roughness, as well as to propel yourself forward through the crowd; secure a spot for your feet to prevent falling over, steer clear of anyone without a shirt on (sweaty skin heads are just no fun), and remember that shoving is always an option. Never at any rough point should you stick your tongue out, you are liable to bite it off, and never crouch or bend down, you might not come back up.

Step Three:

Courtesy might seem like a foreign concept in such an environment, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Moshers have a deep and unspoken respect for one another. So logically, if you are entering a mosh pit, remember your manners, that is: don’t be the asshole who gets rough in a ‘calm’ area, if people wanted to get pushed around they would move to a circle or ‘rough’ area; if someone falls clear a small area for them and help them up, getting trampled is no fun; if you decide you don’t like the band that is playing leave the pit, don’t shout obnoxious comments or attempt to beat up the fans, that’s just rude. First and foremost, always sing if you know the lyrics, get rough and have fun!

Step Four:

Be prepared for mosh pit phenomena. Phenomena can be defined as the events that occur uniquely within a mosh pit, or specific mosh pit style. Any and all phenomena can occur in any pit, so always be aware. The following are some common phenomena in their indigenous styles of mosh pits.

Ska Pit:
Flying Elbows! Those skanking around you will most probably be throwing their elbows back in your direction, make sure to steer clear and never stand behind a person more than five inches taller than you or you could leave the pit with a broken nose.
Spinners. If you’re standing on the edge of a circle beware of people who grab hands and spin. Eventually you’ll either get pummeled by a fly-by spinner or wind up as a catcher when the two finally let go.

Punk Pit:
Wall of Death. If you are participating in this event, remember to keep your arms up and keep up with the charging crowd and pray you don’t get trampled!
Circle Pit. A circle pit is one of the most adrenaline inducing mosh activities, while engaged in a mash of people running in a frantic circle while thrashing arms and legs and creating general havoc remember these simple rules: keep moving, when you need to exit move towards the edge and thrash your way out and remember to keep your arms up.

Hard Core Pit:
Crush! This is not an activity for the claustrophobic, if you are inclined to close contact paranoia and notice a crush coming on, leave! If you get caught in a crush of people above all else, stay on your feet. Try to flow in the direction of the crowd. Do not panic if you are lifted off the ground, step on peoples legs if you must until the crowd thins. Be aware of your surroundings, this is possibly one of the most dangerous moshes.
Crowd Surfers. If a crowd surfer is over head help with the support and shove forward with all your strength. If you intend to participate do not ask the six foot eight inch, 250 pound man who as just lifted twelve people to lift you; that’s just rude. Try not to flail, remember that you surf at your own risk and have a very good chance of falling.

Step Five

Be prepared, not stressed. A good mosher is aware, but not paranoid. As with any endeavor, practice makes perfect, so get out there and mosh as much as possible! Go to as many shows as you can, look for new experiences and try out a different scene every once in a while. Even the most dedicated punk rocker should go and experience the hard core scene, at least once or twice. Remember that moshing isn’t about disgruntled youth just being rebellious (although that’s part of it), it demands a respect for others and a dedication to music and the culture that music creates. So be open minded, look for new opportunities; have your pop culture friends come to a hard core show, and make your punk rocker buddies experience the thrill of a ska pit. Moshing was designed to bring people closer (not just physically), release pent up emotions and celebrate the inspiration that the music awakens in each person. Get out there and create some chaos!

Warning: Author is not in any way responsible for any injuries and/or emotional scarring due to the moshing activities listed. The aforementioned description and advice is the result of the author’s personal moshing experience and is subject to interpretation and change.

Wasted Words 4: Halloween Edition

Recommended Download: Originally performed by the Misfits, but AFI did it better. AFIHalloween

Bonfires burning bright.
Pumpkin faces in the night.
I remember Halloween.

Dead cats hanging from poles.
Little dead are out in droves.
I remember Halloween.

Halloween is upon us. Bonfires, trick or treating, costumes, caramel apples, popcorn balls, and most of all, haunted houses. Ever since I was a kid I have loved Halloween. My Mom, my brother, and I would go together to pick out the perfect pumpkin. Then we would go home and carve the scariest jack-o’-lantern we could think of. My brothers, my cousins, and I would get dressed up every year and go trick or treating together. We’d do our best to hit all the neighborhoods and we always remembered the best houses and tried to hit them again. One year, a house was giving out Pepsis. At the end of our journey and we were thirsty again, we went back for seconds. Every year as we finished our rounds, we would head to my Grandmothers house. She never had many trick-or-treaters where she lived, so she would always have plenty of candy left. She always made popcorn balls as well and would always have plenty of them waiting for us. I was always proud of my costumes too, thinking that I had the coolest one. Of course, I never failed to see several other kids out with the same one. I remember Superman was one of my favorites. But looking at costumes these days compared to the ones they made back then, a lot has changed. Back then they were made out of that cheap, plastic-like material that was guaranteed to be ripped by the time your evening was over. Oh, and don’t dare stand next to anything putting out some heat, cuz it won’t hold up. Those things were fire hazards! The silly little plastic masks that barely covered your face. They were held on by an elastic string, that almost always broke by the end of the night. We would re-attatch it, only for it to snap off the next time the mask was removed. Cheap trash those costumes were, but it didn’t seem to matter. It didn’t hamper the fun of trick-or-treating one bit. It was just part of it all.

Brown leafed vertigo.
Where skeletal life is known.
I remember Halloween.

This day anything goes.
Burning bodies hanging from poles.
I remember Halloween.

My costumes throughout the years have changed quite a bit. Superman, Batman, Rambo, and GI Joe were my choices as a young child. As I aged, so did my choices in costumes. One of my favorites was in fifth grade when I went as Freddie Kruger. I had the mask, the hat, and we even found a sweater that looked like the one that he wore in the movie. The glove was pretty expensive and hard to find at the time, so my Mother bought a pair of gloves and made some “blades” to go on the fingertips. I loved my costume and wore it proudly. My youngest brother wasn’t quite as thrilled though. He would scream bloody murder at the site of me in that mask. I swear I didn’t do it on purpose though. Good times! Even at the age of 16 and a junior in high school, I went trick-or-treating. My girlfriend at the time, my friend Eric, and I got together and went out for the evening. Eric and I went to Wal Mart and got some blue Dickies work pants and shirts, and we were gonna be prison inmates. We bought toy metal handcuffs and some chains, so our hands and feet would be in shackles. Then we tied white bandannas around our heads, Tupac style. It was pretty damn hard walking around all night in those shackles, but it was well worth it. Later that night the shackles came off and we went to a haunted house on the Ball Stat University campus. It was pretty cool, because usually in my town there isn’t many haunted houses, if there’s any at all. They usually have one at the children’s museum, but it’s geared more towards children. If we wanted good haunted houses, we had to travel to Indianapolis. There’s one called Necropolis that’s in an old power plant. All year round it’s actually Dark Armies Paintball, but during the Halloween season, they convert it to a haunted house. The thing is freaking huge too! The coolest part I remember is walking into this pitch black room, and the walls were covered in glow in the dark hockey masks. It looked like they were all just hanging there, and there must’ve been hundreds of them. But then, three or four of them would start moving and coming towards you. Freaky shit, it was.

Candy apples and razor blades.
Little dead are soon in graves.
I remember Halloween.

This day anything goes.
Burning bodies hanging from poles
I remember Halloween.

This year, it’s my turn as a parent to show my daughter the joys of Halloween. She’s two years old this year and it’s the first year she will really understand what is going on. We got her a costume several weeks ago. Spongebob Squarepants was her choice. We went and picked out three pumpkins to carve. One for her, one for my girlfriend, and one for myself. Then we all three pitched in to carve them. Well, I cut the tops off and my girlfriend cleaned them out. I drew the faces on and carved them. She got the messy job and I got the fun stuff. It just works out that way. They’re sitting in front of our house with candles in them, and every night I got out with my daughter and we light them together. Seeing the smile appear on her face as those pumpkins begin to glow, it just makes it all worth it. I can only imagine it’s the same feeling my Mother had watching me as a child. Come October 31, we’ll all get dressed up and go trick-or-treating together. We’ll walk for miles and miles, going door to door with bags in hand. Trick-or-Treat, we’ll say at each stop. We’ll get way too much candy and end up throwing the majority of it away in a few weeks. Most of all we’ll have fun spending time with each other. But if we happen to make a few memories along the way, well that’s okay too.

Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m out. Happy Halloween.

Zack is Right, You are Wrong Vol. 1

Sup, sup everyone? This is the first installment of my new column. I’ve been kicking around names for awhile. Originally I was just going to go with Nightly Shaded with a Pinch of Gaming, but then I realized that it sucked. So instead, I’ve settled on ” Zack is Right, You are Wrong”. That’s right, my opinion is law. Trust me. Gaming is like a seventh sense to me. When I’m not in class or doing something on the ole’ computer here, I’m gaming.

Lately, my gaming has consisted of a lot of Madden 2004 and Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. These are two of the great games that have recently been released. However, no matter how much I may love them, they will not be the center of this column. No, the point of my column will be to review a game that is new, a game that is old, and some new releases on the horizon.

Again, I love video games. I’ve been hooked since I’ve been like two years old. Back in the day I played great games like Joust, Mickey Mousecapade, and Mike Tyson’s Punch Out. Now, you don’t get games like that these days, but once in awhile you get some gems. Thus I will come to the first part of the column, a game of old that you just can’t go wrong with.

Chrono Trigger.

Chrono Trigger is an AWESOME game. After a year of looking for Final Fantasy Chronicles, I ran into it at my buddy’s used game store. Boy oh boy, was I thrilled! I loved Chrono Trigger back on SNES and everything is preserved on PSX. But there are two things which would alter the original 9.0 scoring that it gets from me. First off, Akira Toriyama draws the sexiest cutscenes ever. They enhance the game up at least a half point. However, there is a bad part… the loading times for EVERYTHING. Upwards to seven seconds everytime you go to a new screen or try to go to your menu… This, sadly, brings it back down at least a half point. So, the final rating of this game is 9.0. What a great game… If you see Final Fantasy Chronicles, get it. It’s a collector’s item and only a small number of copies were released in the States.

Final thoughts on Chrono Trigger: This is one of the best games of all time. You need it.

Well, we’ve seen an old game that I definitely love, now let’s take a look at a new game. This game just came out on Monday night, actually. It’s the continuation of the popular series of Smackdown!

Smackdown! Here Comes the Pain

Now, I’ve gotten into the game only a little bit so far, but I promised a review. It’s more in depth than any other Smackdown game. The grappling system has been revised and split into four categories. Quick moves, Power moves, Submission moves, and Signature moves. The initial grapple is to chose which one of these categories you want to choose a move from. Then you are put into one of a few different animations from test of strength to hand shake to pick your move in typical THQ game fashion.

The season mode already looks a lot more promising than Smackdown 4’s mode. Instead of having to wander around the arena aimlessly looking for people to talk to, you are given a choice of places to go and if people are there or not. Sometimes they are there, sometimes they are not. This is good though, I don’t have to go through the entire arena just to find Test wandering around again to give me a one liner wishing me luck. No, everything has a point now and that makes me happy.

Also in the season, you have the choice to build a superstars attributes up from 1’s across the board. The attributes are great. They are strength, submission, endurance, technique, and speed. Unlike the other Smackdown games, they do not conform to different move styles and the damage they do, but to how much damage your moves do, how long you hold a submission on, how much beating you can take, how easy it is to counter moves, and how fast the wrestler moves around the ring. Like an RPG, you gain experience each week and it goes towards attribute points. Very innovative, especially for when you make CAWs and want to build them from the ground up.

I haven’t touched the CAW mode yet, I’m saving it for next week’s column, but so far, I like this game a lot. It’s gone back to the roots of using L2 to reverse strikes and R2 to reverse grapples, giving it somewhat of a hybrid feel between No Mercy and Smackdown. The wrestlers are beautifully rendered, and Lita looks great. The first thing I unlocked in the Smackdown Mall was Lita’s loading screens. They make me a happy, happy man.

While this isn’t a full review, it is enough to tell you nay-sayers to go buy the damn game, if not at least rent it. It’ll be worth the cash. I’m giving it an initial score of 7.5 due to me not playing with the CAW yet.

Now, we’ve taken a look at gaming from the past and present, so let’s take a look at the horizon for video gaming. I’m looking forward to one thing. Being released on Wednesday is Monster Rancher 4 for the PS2. Now, I am a huge fan of the Monster Rancher series. Those are just some plain fun games. The sad thing is that I’m one of the only people who think that (out of people I know). Not many people will give it a chance because they think it’s just another stupid Japanese kid game that they ported to the States. Well, those people are wrong, obviously. Monster Rancher 4 is going to be great and will be on the review block next week.

Welp, I’m gonna wrap this article up as I want to play some Smackdown before I go to bed. To summarize what you’ve read, Chrono Trigger is awesome and scores a 9 .0. Smackdown 5 has amazing promise so far and due to a lack of me checking everything out yet, gets a 7.5. This score will likely change by the next article, because I plan on playing a whole hell of a lot more. Keep your eye out for Monster Rancher 4, coming out in stores everywhere Wednesday morning.

So there you have it kiddies, I am right about everything you have read in this article. If you think I am wrong, take a look at the title of the article and remind yourself.

Latez,
Zack the Mack Macomber

Confessions of a music snob

For those of you who don’t know me (i.e. most of you) I am a complete and utter (and perhaps simply self proclaimed) music elitist. I scoff upon hearing “I listen to the radio.” There are some bands in my collection that nobody, save me and a lucky few, have ever even heard of.
Musically speaking…
Pretentious? You bet!
Elitist? Abso-fuckin’-loutely
Snob? You better believe it Buck-o!
Usually, when turning on the radio I cringe at the musical diarrhea that comes cascading out of the speakers. I mean for god sakes how the hell did a harpy like Avril Levigne get a record deal? Why is it that every song on “alternative radio” sounds like everyone is doing a really bad Eddie Vedder impression?
However, way deep in my persona, there lies a deep dark secret.
I…
I kind of like some of this shit.
Yes, dear readers. Every so often there comes along a few songs which make me sing along. These songs I will think about, and hum to myself. These are the songs I will download off Kazaa and then hide in a secret folder so I can listen to them while nobody else is around, so my ruse will not be found out.
Why go through all this trouble?
I have a reputation to keep up!
So now, in an unprecedented move on my part, I will share with my adoring public (I’m kidding) my picks for the best songs on alternative radio these days, and if you haven’t given them a listen, I highly recommend you check out.
3 Doors Down- “Here without you”
Yes, they wrote that stupid Superman song. But the combination of the beautiful melodies, complimented with the poignant lyrics makes this song one that I enjoy when it’s raining outside and I haven’t changed out of my p.j.’s. Maybe it’s the emo bitch inside of me which finds this song as delightful as I do, but I don’t care. Once the chorus hits, it sends a chill up my spine which makes me want to run towards a tall skinny tattooed man in a bus station and share a sweet kiss. (I am delusional, I understand that, and I move on..)
Fuel- “Falls on me”
I was a fan of Fuel back in the 7th grade when “Shimmer” came out. I had not heard anything new from them in quite a long time, until there I was sweeping the floors at work when this song came on the radio. I have no idea what it is I like about this song. I guess I like the guy’s voice. Maybe it’s the hook the chorus has. Maybe its just nostalgia for days gone by, but whenever I hear this song, I am glad it got put into the rotation.
Audioslave
Any song by Audioslave is good. I downloaded the entire album onto my computer, and I must say I’m not exactly that embarrassed to listen to them in company. Why do I like Audioslave? Well let me break it down for you. Soundgarden= Good. Rage Against The Machine= Good. Soundgarden+ Rage Against The Machine= Awesome!
That’s it. I’m a tad embarrassed, but hey, I had to get it out somehow.
Until next week
X’s and O’s my kiddies!

Wulfgang Unleashes the Beast!

Wulfgang Unleashes the Beast!

Ever since early 2003, Wulfgang has been putting blood, sweat, and tears into their forthcoming album, Unleash the Beast. After six solid months in the studio, the much-anticipated album was unleashed in stores across the South Eastern United States. At the same time of the release, the band also launched their independent label, Midnite Records.

The lead off track, “Walls of Insanity” is a true head-banging anthem about frustration and uncertainty. JoAnna Brooks (lead singer) sings her lyrics with intensity, which perfects the melody nicely. The guitar riffs are right online with the pounding bass, which compliments the mood. The rhythm of the song just grabs your attention right off the bat. It’s no wonder why this is one of the band’s favorite tunes on the album.

One of the slower songs you’ll hear on the album is “For what it’s worth.” It almost sounds like early Metallica, somewhat similar to Metallica’s, “Unforgiven.” This song is great because you can feel a deafening emotion about turning your back on your loved ones to a bitter loneliness.

There are lots of other good songs. “Selfish Needs” talks about how a girl will do what she wants, even though someone who looks up to her feels hurt. The drums definitely keep the tempo going fast paced and unlike some other songs on the album, there are background vocals on the track. “Forever in my Heart” was a song inspired by all families with missing children. This is about a child who was kidnapped, wondering if he or she will ever be found and reunited with their parents. In addition to these, there are seven other songs on the album.

Throughout Unleash the Beast, the vocals are on key, the guitar solos are sweet, and everything lines up. The blend of hard late 80’s rock with dark interpersonal lyrics truly makes this album unique. I think it’s great, however I don’t dig every track on the album. Although some of the songs sound similar, Unleash the Beast is big step forward for this Indy band, Wulfgang. With this said, I give this album three stars. For more information about Wulfgang, visit www.wulfgang.com

The Gut: World Series

The evil empire versus the small ball Marlins. Right now the Marlins have a three games to two lead on the New York Yankees and Mets, Red Sox, and Marlins fans around the country are celebrating. David beat Goliath, the Pats beat the Rams and James “Buster” Douglas beat “Iron” Mike Tyson so why cant the fish win?
You want to know my “gut” feeling on this series, well I cant tell you that because I really don’t know. Here is what I do know, the Marlins have to go into the heart of NYC and take one of two games from the Yanks. Game 6’s starters are scheduled to be either Mark Redman or Dontrelle Willis for the Marlins and Andy Pettitte for the Yanks.
Pettitte is a match made in heaven for the Yanks. Him being left handed and having one of the best pick off moves in the game really slows the small ball attack of the Marlins down. Plus in game two they couldn’t hit him to even get on base. Andy throws a nasty cutter that the fish couldn’t seem to figure out and by the time he was taken out the Yankees were already up 6-0. Willis is the better fit for the Marlins but with him not even being old enough to have some of that champagne if they win the game experience and nerves come into play. Redman didn’t even make it out of the 5th inning in game two. By everything I have written it sounds like the Yanks have game 6 in the bag. Which brings up an interesting question, with only Jeff Connine on the Marlins from their series win in 98 (and even he left and came back) can they win game 7 in Yankee stadium? Can the Yankees really be one loss away from losing the World Series and be in this good of a position? Have I just given up all hope of anyone beating the Yankees after what happened in the Boston series? Are the Marlins really the best team in baseball or even good? Well as Chris Berman says “that’s why they play the game”

Wasted Words 3

Recommended download: Because fat chicks need love too…NOFX Hotdog in the Hallway

*sarcasm on*Wow, such a huge response! Thanks guys! Those Halloween emails are just flying in here. I’ve received so many, I can’t decide which ones to use.*sarcasm off* That’s cool if no one wants to send anything. I just thought it would be fun for us all to share a little something. Apparently not everyone shares my love of Halloween. Those who do, you still have time to send something in. This week, I did something I don’t usually do. I bought a book. But not just one book, I bought two books. I don’t know why, but I just don’t care for reading much. It takes a lot to keep me interested, and most books just can’t handle that task. First one I bought was Lita: A Less Traveled R.O.A.D. For those who don’t know, this is Lita of the WWE. I figured, I own every other WWE book, with the exception of Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler. For the most part, they’ve all been interesting, so I thought I would check this one out. I’m 20 chapters into it and it’s been pretty interesting so far. According to the book, Lita was really involved in the punk scene when she was younger. She allowed bands to sleep at her apartment while they were in town for a show, and she associated with bands such as 7 Seconds and Avail. I’ve just reached the part in the book where she’s becoming a wrestler, so nothing groundbreaking about her career yet. The other book I bought, but have yet to read any of yet, is Dude, Where’s My Country? by Michael Moore. I’m sure it’ll be a good read as well. I saw a show on Ball State University campus on Friday, with four local bands. One band was Oblique, which if you read any of my past columns, you already know I’m high up on these guys. Another band that was there that really caught my attention was Losing September, from Northern Indiana. They describe themselves as an alternative rock band, but a lot of their stuff had an emo sound to it. I ordered the new Anti-Flag album, The Terror State Sunday evening. I wanted to order it to ensure that I got the original cover art rather than the blacked out version. As a plus, ordering it from Interpunk.com, you get a free Anti-Flag patch. I’ll let you know how the album is next week. Maybe I’ll bust out a review of it. Also out this week, Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros Streetcore and the Punk Goes Acoustic compilation has FINALLY been released. Those should both be great albums.

Some Kind of Monster, a documentary “about the hardships, struggles, and frustrations Metallica experienced while creating St. Anger.” Let’s just hope it’s a hell of a lot more interesting than the album itself.

Blink 182, who have a new album on the way, will be playing several club dates with each show costing only one dollar. The Dollabill Tour starts in Boston, MA on November 6 and wraps up on November 21 in San Diego, CA. The Kinison and Bubba Sparxxx will join them as well. Tickets will be on sale exclusively at MTV.com. One dollar for a show, who can beat that? I’m glad to see them returning to the smaller venues as well. I always enjoy shows more at smaller venues rather than the larger ones. Their new album will rock, by the way, regardless of what the shit talkers say.

Judges have stooped to rapping their decisions in court. Now I know the American judicial system is a fucking joke.

The Used are heading back into the studio in December to work on their new album. They’re once again working with John Feldmann of Goldfinger, which is a good thing. Their debut album is one of my favorites, and I think they make a great combination. The new album is expected in early 2004, and they should be teaming up with Janes Addiction for a winter tour. I’m not a big Janes Addiction fan, but I’d definitely like to see The Used live again. They were great at Warped.

You know, I was thinking the other day and something occurred to me. Every music site I go to, every message board (including our own) I see this “anti-MTV attitude.” While I don’t like every show on MTV or every video they play, I find it odd and ironic that it’s become a trend to hate MTV because it’s considered trendy. Hating MTV seems to be the “cool” thing to do these days. Am I the only one who doesn’t get this? Probably. But if you turn on MTV or MTV2, they’re actually playing some better videos. Bands like Thursday, Thrice, AFI, Poison The Well, Shadows Fall, and Rancid have found their way onto MTV and what’s really wrong with that? I enjoy seeing those bands on MTV as opposed to Justin Timberlake, Jay Z, or even Metallica. Now granted, once the next “cool” thing comes along, these bands are likely to be replaced with other videos, but all good things must come to an end. Right?

Until next time, I’m out. Peace.

Minesweeper!

Ooh, what a pretty bunch of blocks! Shall I click one of those?! *CLICK! Several blocks disappear!* WHOA! Let’s make more blocks disappear! *CLICK! Some more blocks disappear* Yeah! I’m winning! I’m the greatest. Player. Of the greatest. Game. Ever!!! *CLICK! BOOM! You lose! Retry?* I LOST?! This game sucks! Worst. Game. Ever! *Throws computer out of the window*.

A message from one of our sponsors? Yeah that’s the ticket.

Anyway… I just read that there’s a film festival somewhere in California, and they wanted to show a couple of films representing a decade, and one of the films they picked for the 1970’s is Star Wars. And guess what? Ole’ George Lucas wouldn’t let them show it unless it’s the special edition. Not the original one.

What kinda bull is that?

I remember Star Wars fondly. I was a late comer to the Star Wars saga – hey I wasn’t even born when it came out – but I saw it at a young age, and I thought it was the greatest thing to flicker at me from the tube. And I watched it again during the summer, and it’s still one frickin’ great movie. I got that original VHS tape set. Glad as hell that I did too.

Everyone in America knows Star Wars. Luke Skywalker, acted with horrible talent by Mark Hamill is still awesome. When bad acting is awesome, it gotta be something special, and good ol’ Luke is one of those. And we have the bad ass villain. Darth Vader stole the whole screen whenever he is on, with his awesome voice and corny as hell but still bad ass dialogue (“your lack of faith disturbs me.” aw, that was awesome).

And now good old George went and re-did the trilogy in a special edition extravanza. Fans complained, moaned and bitched. And cheered at the same time. Sure, there’s some bull in there – Han Solo shot first, not Greedo, dammit – but hey, it’s a nice touch, ya know? As long as we keep our old movies, the new ones can’t hurt. Right? Right? WRONG!

Now George is trying to erase all memories of the original trilogy. You want the originals on DVDs? Dream on, the closest thing you’ll get is the special editions – Greedo shoots first and all.

And man, that blows ass. If old George releases a uber-DVD set that includes the original AND the enhanced edition, that’d be just sooo sweet. Hell, if he releases the originals and the special editions in separate DVDs, I’ll buy them both. I’m sure many people will do that. So why not? I mean it means more $$$ for our George there!

It just sucks that George is trying to change film history. He’s trying to do something that is impossible – Star Wars is a huge part of many of our childhood, and it’s not going away anytime soon. I bet you that as soon as George dies, the studio’ll release the originals. Just you wait.

If you still have the old VHS tapes, or the laserdisc version (you lucky dog!), clutch on it. Cuz it’s not gonna be re-released anytime soon.

Raven out.

Open Mic w/ Bear Frazer: Numero Tres!

OPEN MIC W/ BEAR FRAZER

Here I am, back once again, and rockin’ the open mic, like usual. While I got the mic, I wanna say that there has been such a lack of leaders out in the world today. I mean, what ever happened to the leaders who kept things real, who had nothing to hide from the world? What ever happened to the leaders who cared about individuals and the problems they endure, better yet, what happened to leaders trying to help them through it? What happened to leaders who weren’t afraid to speak their mind, who weren’t afraid to say words that got others thinking? Seems to me, most of these leaders were over run by jerks with fake plastic smiles. Well, all I gotta say is that I’m still here. Some jerk with a fake plastic smile didn’t over run me, for here I am still standing. And since I have yet to have been knocked down, I am officially gonna pronounce myself as the Voice of the People. I will lead this new revolution! BOO YA! And with that said, read on!

Since I was just talking about things that are fake and disturbing, let me talk about the Jerry Springer Show. Back in 1998, this show used to be the sweetest thing on television, no joke. It was controversial, diverse, believable, and there were sexy strippers on the show. Oh god, has that changed! Nowadays, every time my remote stops on the show, I see the biggest pieces of white trash with three teeth talking about how they cheated on their spouse. It’s like the producers of the show go to Uglyland, find the fattest slobs on earth, dress them like red necks, and give them some sort of scenario where they cheated on their wives. What makes it even more stupid is that the people stutter and stop in mid sentence. It’s like watching the Beverly Hillbillies on crack, although I’ve never done crack. Bottom line is this: I get stupider every time I watch the Jerry Springer Show.

Over fall break, I had a lot of time off. I went to my parent’s house in Virginia and there wasn’t really too much to do. So, what did I do? I watched MTV … a little too much MTV. I got re-addicted to the Wade Robson Project. I’ve been watching this show for the past month and I am always impressed with the dance moves the dancers pull of, for real. I remember the first dancer I saw on the show, Tyler Banks. I knew from the second I saw him that he was going to win, I swear to God. Literally, dancing is such a skill and talent, it’s amazing, and those who can do it, especially to choreography have got a gift. But, after the finale was over, a new show appeared on MTV … Camp Jim. Camp Jim is a reality show where cheerleaders are chosen to go to Camp Jim for two weeks and work on their cheerleading skills. I always liked cheerleading because of two reasons. One reason is because it promotes school spirit and secondly, for the females! Boo Ya! I like this show because it actually reveals the little skill cheerleading requires. All it seems like is jumping, synchronizing your arms, and having pep. Finally, a show that proves us males right (just for the record, I like the skill of cheerleading)! Also, Jim is a funny dude. The show is cool (but not as cool as Seinfeld), so check it out.

The biggest buzz right now has to be about Napster. After being shut down two years ago, some would never have thought that the file-sharing service would open up again. Well, surprise-surprise, it’s coming back on October 29th. This is how Napster 2.0 will work: songs will cost 99 cents a download, an album will cost $9.95, and for a monthly fee, you can download unlimited songs for $9.95. The music quality is supposed to be incredible and the download time should be quick. I think that this is a great idea, no joke. I mean, there have been so many lawsuits going on by these media companies suing old ladies and little girls for downloading a song, and it will only continue. My advice to anyone wanting to download music is to register with Napster and take the monthly fee, so this way, you can download as many songs as you want and not get sued. For anyone who wants to download a song, check out “This Time” by Depswa.

I want to publicly thank OutKast, Dave Matthews, Limp Bizkit, and Ludachris for knocking Hillary Duff’s, Metamorphous, out of the number one slot of the Billboard 200! You all have made me a very happy man!

The band, Prodigy, who is known best for their songs, “Breathe,” and “Smack My Bitch Up,” have pushed back their latest album. Their newest album, Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned is still being worked on. The planned released date is unsure, although the band expects it out in May 2004.

The Source Awards was just recently held in Miami. 50 Cent took home two of the biggest awards of the night, including Single of the Year for Males for “In Da Club,” and the Album of the Year for Get Rich or Die Tryin’. Other winners were Nelly, who won the Male Artist of the Year Award and Lil’ Kim who nabbed the Female Artist of the Year Award. However, the most appealing thing to me happened when Ja Rule got booed … twice. His first jeering came when he didn’t accept the Rap/R&B Award for ” Thug Lovin’” (although he says he was getting ready for his performance backstage) and the second one came at the end of his performance. I mean, Ja Rule has rap skills, but he totally lost his street credibility when he sold out and collaborated on several pop songs. It’s like every song he did for three years straight was a pop song, and he should have expected the hardcore rap fans to be distraught by this. And P.S., the songs Ja Rule did with Ashanti and J’Lo sound the same practically … he said almost the same shit. Come on!

And on a final note, Blink 182’s new album comes out on November 18th and it won’t be called Use Your Erection I and II. Instead, the album will be … untitled. What, did you expect me to say more about this?

I hope you enjoyed this issue of Open Mic and if you didn’t, well … I really don’t care. Later.

The Gut: week off

Do you know what I like about writing for this site? I like the fact that I can write about anything I want. I like the fact that I can voice my opinion and then send the link to all of my friends and they tell me how good of a writer I am. I don’t really believe that but it’s nice to hear. This weeks article is going to be a little different than the rest of what I have wrote because I have a few things that need to be said.
The first thing I would like to say is congratulations to the New York Jets for their first win of the season. They proved me wrong and blew out the Buffalo Bills 31-3. As much as I love bashing them every week I have a lot of respect for the things that Vinny Testeverde has done in his career. He is one of nine quarterbacks with over 40,000 yards passing and one of the truly classy guys left in the world of sports.
The next thing I would like to address is the up coming World Series. The New York Yankees against the Florida Marlins. I’m not going to break this series down with analysis of pitching match-ups or a position-by-position break down. Instead I’m going to talk about why sports are great and why I hate them all at the same time.
Let me first put to bed a rumor that has been circulated throughout my group of friends and that I fed by me since the beginning of time. I do not hate the Yankees. I hate Yankee fans. Yes that means you reading this article. Let me explain why. As many of you know I have a roommate named Joe. Joe is a “die hard Yankee fan” and when Aaron Boone hit his game winning homerun in the 11th inning of game seven I heard Joe scream like a little bitch with a scraped knee. Then he got on the phone and I swear I haven’t heard that many “whoooooooooooo’s” since the last time I went to Madison Square Garden to see the WWF.
So he runs down the stairs and says “Fucking Aaron Boone!!!” and he plops down on the couch next to me and says “where did he come from again?” I looked at him and said “Cincinnati, I have to go now so I can stop my friend Aaron from attempting suicide”. He then sent me messages over aim “whooooooooing” and telling me how much he loved Aaron Boone.
What is my problem with this? Where did he come from?!?!?!?! Are you serious? Come on, you all don’t have to be a sports freak like me but take a little interest in your team. Boone comes from one of baseballs greatest family’s. His dad Bob was a catcher in the majors for years and his brother Brett is the second basemen for the Mariners. Now for all you Yankee fans they are in Seattle not the Marlins who are in Florida. I know that can be confusing because they both start with the letter M so I just thought I would clarify it for you.
Why am I coming down so hard on Yankee fans you ask? Am I jealous of their tradition of excellence? Maybe. Is it because I’m still pissed off from when we traded them Robin Ventura for David Justice. No, I wish we had a smart GM who would have gotten rid of that waste of life Zeile and put Ventura at first. This would have gotten rid of Zeile and made the Mo Vaughn (shudder) trade never happen. It’s because I know too many Yankee fans that are also Lakers fans and Cowboys fans. It’s because there are too many of them who when you ask them why they are Yankees fans they say because they are the best. It’s because not enough of them say because my first real child hood memory is about watching the game with their parents… watching the ball go under Bill Buckner’s legs and jumping up and down on the bed like I did with my mom when I was 6. I don’t remember much about my dad but I do remember the phone call we had when he promised me as a life long Yankees fan that he would be a Mets fan… for me. For all of the kids 10 and under who are Yankees fans I hope the Yanks win for you guys so you can have fond memories like I do. And to all of the Yankees fans that I’m talking about, the ones who read this article and said “man he’s just jealous, Aaron Boone came from the Reds?” People like Joe who said before game 7, “we’re gonna sweep the marlins, they suck”. Kiss off. Maybe my boy Mike had the right idea last year. Maybe deep down we are all going to be Marlins fans this October. Good luck Pudge, you have always been one of my favorites and I would love to see you get that ring.