Monday, April 30, 2012

LA RIOTS: 20th Anniversary

LA 92'
Yesterday marked the 20th anniversary of the Los Angeles riots. April 29th, 1992. Time flies. I remember sitting there as a little kid wondering why the news was on all day and my afternoon cartoons were missing. I also wondered why my grandmother came to live with us that week and why I kept seeing fires on TV but no fire fighters doing anything about it. This was a pretty dramatic event that took place before our eyes on live television. I may have only been 6 years old but some of the vivid imagery  has stayed with me two decades later.

I wasn't going to post anything about this but the other day I talked with a 21 year old co-worker of mine and she didn't have the faintest clue what the LA Riots where. Granted, she was a baby when they took place but that little revelation left me floored. Here's a brief clip to catch all you younglings/foriegn folks up to speed:

It's so crazy seeing old footage like that, or THIS insane gun fight between Korean store owners and looters. To think this all happened in a "modern" city like Los Angeles. I've made no real reference to the racial tensions or post 1960's socio-political inequalities that had built up for decades and ultimately led to the chaos of the 92' riots. Shit was bad in the city long before this event, but on April 29, 1992...shit got worse.

Here's Slayer and Ice-T's take on the whole event: DISORDER

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Hives @ The Glasshouse, Pomona. 4-16-12.

Your New Favorite Band
Monday, April 16th was an awesome day. It was the start of my five day vacation from work. I had watched 2Pac & At The Drive-In rise from the dead the night before on my laptop (technology FTW) and prepared for my trip to San Francisco the next day. That, and I saw The Hives perform for the first time since 2008. You see, anytime one sees The Hives perform is cause for celebration.

 The Hives are like comfort food. There's really nothing fancy or complex about them. Their sound is simple and easy to digest. You can always kind of guess what you're in for when you come across this band but that's fine because they're so damn delicious it doesn't matter. They play punk infused rock 'n' roll, usually at high speeds. Song lengths are short, choruses are catchy and their fans, rabid. In the early 2000's when all the "The" bands broke big during the garage rock revival thing, The Hives were hot shit here in America as well as around the globe. The cool thing about The Hives was that they didn't try to act cool like all their American counterparts, they embraced the absurdity of their rockstar/celebrity status and they widely heralded themselves as, the greatest band on Earth. After seeing them live, even their most cynical detractors usually agree.

...And top hats for all
So they booked this special little headlining gig at The Glass House in Pomona following their performance at Coachella the previous day and before they headed up North to perform with Refused in San Francisco. Seeing The Hives twice in one week? HELL YES. Shit, it's usually years before I see these dudes play again.

The thing about The Hives is, they're excellent salesmen. They always play new songs off whatever album they're currently promoting. Right now they're trying to hype their forthcoming album, Lex Hives. Understandably they played a crap load of new material. Usually I don't like it when bands do this, especially when I've never heard any of songs before. Not so with The Hives. They could literally play the phone book and it would rule. So all the new songs sounded pretty rad (especially "Wait a Minute") but everyone went truly bonkers when they played older stuff like:

Yes, they're wearing matching tuxedos & top hats. Yes, their road crew consists of NINJAS.

Even though Pelle claimed he was sick, he and his band of Swedish rockers put on one hell of a show. Like the most fun I'd had since Clinton was in office. Jumping, singing, smiling, rocking the fuck out. It's also a nice change of pace to get hot and sweaty with girls. Like actual breathing females in the crowd. I'm used to the cold trophy girlfriends at all the metal shows I frequent, these were like flesh and blood rocker gals who were dancing and crowd surfing all night! I welcome the change of pace.

So The Hives headlining gig was amazing. It's a crying shame they don't release albums more frequently/tour The States every year. Well lucky me was about to embark on a 6 hour road trip the next day and catch The Hives opening for Refused in San Francisco later in the week. But that's for the next post...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


So I was supposed to write about my super awesome exploits from last week's vacation but alas, I got sick. Really sick. I came home from work Saturday night and fell into a 103 degree fever. I've been sick in bed shaking and sweating it out ever since.

I went to the doctor yesterday and was told I have a nasty bacterial infection along with slight bronchitis. They gave me some antibiotics, super powered cough syrup and for shits and giggles, two shots in the ass. I wish I just making that last part up but, I'm not. Also, not having health insurance, had to pay the whole visit out of pocket. I'm forbidden from working until Thursday, and since I was on vacation all last week, April is going to be a VERY costly month for me =/

The only good thing that has come from this whole ordeal is USA shows a shit load of Law & Order: SVU episodes. I caught a marathon on Sunday and am watching another today. Watching this show with a fever is like watching in super HD 3D. It's even more dramatic and intense then normal. Stabler and Benson FTW.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Back home!

I've been on vacation this past week. Since Monday, I've seen The Hives perform twice, took a drive up to San Francisco, fell in love with the Bay's clean air & dirty streets, spent more money on shopping with my GF than I should have, survived REFUSED's reunion concert, drove back home and somehow ended up at professional kickboxing match last night. It was a blast.

wish I stayed here!
Now I'm headed back to work. A total bummer because I've got to shave. I'll be crying manly tears in the bathroom right now for sure. Here's a rad clip of The Hives tearing things up because I've had them stuck in my head all week. I'll have more about my Swedish Invasion/SF trip next post.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Coachella 2012: Refused/At The Drive-In....Tupac!

Refused/At The Drive-In/2pac...back from the dead!

Back in January I lost my shit when Refused and At The Drive-In announced their were reuniting for this years Coachella festival. Two bands with two seminal albums I've listened to on end for the past 10+ years. Well, reality intervened and I decided not to bankrupt myself just to buy a ticket. It's cool though, I'm seeing Refused in San Francisco this week! Hopefully At The Drive-In stay together long enough to play more shows as well.

Here's footage from their reunions:

Ah, the power of the internet. Godbless Youtube.

Oh yeah...Tupac Shakur's holographic ghost made an appearance during Dr. Dre & Snoop Dog's headlining set last night, Obi-Wan style. I was watching the live stream on Youtube last night, exhausted from a long day at work and just about leap out of bed when Mr. Makaveli himself appeared onstage some 15 years after his death (murder =/ )

Wish I could have gone but glad I saved my cash. Especially since I'm taking that road trip to SF tomorrow! I'll be on a little vacation this week, see you folks when I return on Friday.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Black Dahlia Murder & Nile @ The House of Blues, Hollywood. 4/5/12.

Shrines to Madness
The Black Dahlia Murder are one of my favorite bands around. They played an awesome show last week that I was luckily enough to attend (got someone to cover my shift at work just in time!). I've written about them SEVERAL times on this here blog in the past so feel free to catch up if needed.
Anyways, about the concert. We arrived late and missed the opening band Hour of Penance and caught the last two songs from Skeletonwitch. This bummed me out because I've never seen Hour of Penance before and since they're from Italy, they don't frequent the United States so often. Skeletonwitch is also an amazingly fun live act and wished I could have seen more from them.

Luckily Nile came out and made everything just peachy. You might remember them from January's Crunch Time installment. They made the best of their brief 40 minute set, pretty much playing at least one track from each of their albums. Of course the highlight of their set was "Sarcophagus." Like I said in that Crunch Time post that song is RIDICULOUSLY heavy. Can't wait for Nile to come back and headline on their own.

The Black Dahlia Murder came out and the place went nuts. Again. Like usual. Happens all the time man. I wish all my favorite bands could be as huge/successful as these guys. 10 years ago (FUCK I'm getting old) there was only a handful of people, myself included, stoked to watch them opening for Arch Enemy and Hate Eternal at The Troubadour...these days they headline/sell out The House of Blues! In fact, I've seen BDM and Nile tour together before. In 2004, Dahlia went on before Nile when they supported King Diamond. Now Nile goes on before them! I'm getting all nostalgic for bands I still

Either way, Black Dahlia Murder slayed. They played a lot of newer stuff off Ritual and the crowd of perpetual teenagers ate it up. Their setlist consisted of songs from their last 3 albums aka the "Shannon Lucas Era." I don't blame them though, he's arguably the best thing to ever happen to this band and will be featured in my DrumTHRONE series in the near future. They ended the night with "Unhallowed/Funeral Thirst" of their debut album for us old timers. It was awesome...or "cray" or whatever kids say nowadays.

Here's BDM playing "Necropolis": enjoy!

*I knew their bass player Bart was sitting out this tour so I wasn't worried when I saw the buff dude from Despised Icon (R.I.P.) filling in for him on stage. I wasn't expecting to see Bart standing around the sound board after the show chilling with the old singer from The Faceless. Please don't retire Bart. You have a cool name and always make me laugh on Black Dahlia DVDs.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Movie Review: 21 Jump Street

pleasantly surprised

I initially cringed at the idea of remaking 21 Jump Street. Growing up in the early 90's, I remember watching reruns on TV after my early morning cartoons had ended. I know it's cheesy as hell, but I loved that show and still know all the words to the theme song. Anyways, I was kind of pissed Hollywood was going to mess with my cherished childhood memories. Luckily, this movie isn't all that bad. In fact I laughed quite a bit.

Here are the two reasons I feel the new 21 Jump Street reboot works. Vile Nostalgia and Channing Tatum.

Here at Jim's Fear, I like to classify Vile Nostalgia as getting all misty eyed/longing for things that you previously hated or something that makes no sense at all. My previous post about Paula Abdul is a perfect example. Anyways, 21 Jump Street's big gag is that two police officers who graduated high school in 2005 are out of touch cave men when they head back to campus as undercover cops in 2012.
OMG! Nostaliga for Slim Shady = LULZ
This sounds pretty asinine when you think about it. Like that South Park episode ("Prehistoric Ice Man") with the dude from 1996 who gets frozen for three years and can't handle the cruel future world of....1999. Shit JUST happened man! Although this seems lame at first, once the two protagonists actually set foot in high school again you see just how funny and real it all is. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum's characters are relics from a pre-iPhone era. The high school students of today are more tech savvy, socially aware and intellectual than the neanderthals of the the 2000's. Obama's been their president since they were kids, they instant stream their music/porn and don't even bother downloading it. One of my favorite parts of the movie is when they're strolling the high school parking lot on their first day and fail at trying to identify all the familiar social cliques.

The other great thing about 21 Jump Street is Mr. (secret gay icon himself) Channing Tatum. Never thought I'd be praising this dude's acting chops but I gotta say, he had me laughing. Jonah Hill basically plays the same neurotic character he does in all his comedies but Tatum's timing and delivery of certain lines ("FUCK SCIENCE!") were flat out hilarious. The whole movie is insanely tongue in cheek. I'm talking flat out campy, complete with cameos from the original 21 Jump Street cast (Johhny Depp, Peter DeLuise, Holly Robinson Peete, and even a brief shout out to Dustin Nguygen) so it kind of amazed me that in a movie so wholeheartedly absurd as this, Channing Tatum's character was the only person I believed was real. Kudos man. "AP Chemistry Bitch."

I'd recommend this to anyone who likes goofy ass buddy pictures or people who suffer from Vile Nostalgia, even if it's for Y2K, like myself.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Vile Nostalgia: Paula Abdul

I don't watch American Idol or any of those shows. I know Paula Abdul is famous for being an emotional nutcase on reality programs these days but when I was a young lad I remember hearing her songs on the radio/tape player while sitting in my mom's car, or watching her on MTV at my cousin's house. I don't think I particularly cared for her tunes but I was totally stoked on the "Opposites Attract" video with the cartoon cat. That was awesome! Either way I kind of forgot about Paula Abdul's music for oh, about 20+ years...

Then I heard J Cole's song "Work Out" while closing one night. That's how I learn about all the stuff kids like these days, from the shitty boombox at work. Anyways, the dude straight up copies the hook from Paula Abdul's hit, um, "Straight Up."

It was THEN that the nostalgia wave hit me like a ton of bricks. All those songs I forgot about for two decades suddenly became lost friends I wanted, nay, needed to reacquaint myself with. I've been hitting the youtube pretty hard in search of lost Abdul classics.

EPIC violin solo @ 2:57 mark! How awesome is it that nearly all the 1988 outfits in this video can be purchased at American Apparel stores in 2012?

Fucking KEANU REEVES REPRESENT! Johnny Utah doing his best James Dean in this clip. How awesome is that? Also makes me want to go back to the Griffith Park Observatory. It's such a rad place. Amazing views and you actually learn stuff.

finally, the greatest music video of all time (well, I embellish...just a tad):

post-Roger Rabbit, pre-Space Jam human cartoon awesomeness. I think I watched this video 2.7 million times as a kid. I'm doing a half assed version of their dance routine in my chair as I type this.

MFW listening to 80's era Paula Abdul
So there it is. Paula Abdul, you have special place in my vile, nostalgia filled heart.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Awesome Photo (7)

Here we see music legend Elton John getting freaky with actor/model/former male stripper Channing Tatum during some type of fundraiser event in NYC last week. We're supposed to believe this stunt was meant to generate hype, awareness and money for a worthy cause folks...and is not just a continuation of Elton and Channing's usual Saturday nights. You decide.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Crunch Time: Megadeth

...take no SHIT
*Welcome to the latest edition of Crunch Time, where I swoon over some of my favorite HEAVY riffs.*

This months issue of Decibel inducts Megadeth's seminal thrash masterwork, Rust In Peace into the annals of their Hall of Fame. I've also been on a bit of a thrash metal kick since I started jamming with a buddy of mine last month. Needless to say, I've been itching for another Crunch Time installment. This one is long overdue. You can't talk about epic guitar riffs without including Dave Mustaine. In his prime, the man was the epitome of heavy metal bad-assery. A true maniac in every sense of the word. Despite his massive drug habit/addictions and penchant for, you know, being out of his gourde insane, Mustaine is easily one of the greatest riff masters EVER. Of course his crowning achievement is Rust In Peace. Riffs for fucking days on this album. It was like pulling teeth trying to narrow the list for this post but I finally managed to make my choice. At the end of the day, it had to be "Take No Prisoners."

Which riff? The whole damn song man! From the buzz saw by way of hornets nest intro riff, to the start stop neck snapper near the 50 second mark, this song is just pure frenzied adrenaline. I can't even imagine the amount of speedballs in Mustaine's system when he wrote this tune. I don't care that he's a cranky old Evangelical Christian/Conservative Republican now. The fact that he survived and made it to his 50's is a miracle (so maybe he IS right about that Jesus stuff huh? haha). He could go down in infamy Michael Jackson style and start sodomizing special Olympians for all I care. Dave's repertoire of epic riffs in Metallica and his brain child Megadeth is un-fucking-touchable. End of story.

*Bonus Clip*
"Take No Prisoners" LIVE in 1990 (Clash of The Titans tour w/ Slayer!!!!!)

If I could go back in time there's only two things I'd want to do. Stop Gavrilo Princip from killing Archduke Franz Ferdinand and starting WWI (which ultimately led to WWII and the Cold War). The other? BE AT THIS SHOW!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Lottery fever

one day
This past Friday, everyone at work was in the throes of lottery fever. I'm not a huge lottery buff, but sometimes I'll buy a ticket if I'm eating lunch with my girlfriend at this little Hawaiian BBQ place that has become famous (locally) for selling big lotto winners. Anyways, this was the biggest jackpot in the nation's history, something insane like $650+ I guess the hysteria was a little warranted. Nobody in California won the huge mega Oprah prize money but there was about 23 winning tickets of smaller jackpots. You know, meager amounts between the $200,000 range. Small fries ya know?

YEAH RIGHT. And guess what, one of those winning tickets was purchased down the street from where I live. At the news stand in the mall right next to my eye doctor and where I pay my phone bill. It's the place I buy gum and chapstick from. Ohhh what a cruel mistress fate can be. Fuck it, next time I do my monthly AT&T tithing and coming back home with some damn lottery tickets!

So, I'm curious...what would you folks do if you won the lottery? Oh lets make it a cool $100,000,000 sum. That's after taxes of course. I know for sure I'd be celebrating like THIS.