Literally, since about April, every time I have been in a craptastic mood, and thought that there was no way that I could possibly feel better no matter how much I knew I would if I just found a way to let it go, I have somehow found myself laughing out loud to The Best Show on WFMU.***
Totally derailed despite my brain’s downhill route. I mean come on, Twenty Ten was kind of intense, am I right? Song 56.
Let’s flash back, to several years ago, during the magical Reckless holiday known as “Inventory Day” where we close the store and scan EVERYTHING in it. It’s a real treat. Anyway, one of the dudes put on a CD called “Rock, Rot or Rule”. And we all laughed our asses off. I am right now trying to wrap my head around explaining this to someone who has never heard what I am talking about. But it is so hard to make sense out of the whole thing…which is also one of the best parts. Basically, the CD is an excerpt from a radio show, from New Jersey, where a guy named Tom is interviewing a guy named Ronald Thomas Clontle about his new book, “Rock, Rot or Rule” which is a guide to rock bands and is the “ultimate argument settler” deciding with finality, whether a band rocks, rots or rules. And there is no rhyme or reason to it. And actual people call in, and they are p i s s e d. For example, over the statement that, Madness “Rules” because they invented Ska. I’d try to explain it, but you should just listen instead.
Now flash forward to this past year. It is now, quite recently, one of my jobs at the old record store to do the advertising. And Record Store Day is fast approaching. And I have no idea what to do. I come up with some ideas, but they suck, and I know it. I mean who cares really? Oh shit…suddenly I do! What the what?! But then like a shooting star out of nowhere, Matt shows me last year’s ad and it blows my whole mind apart. I have no idea how it came about but it is a half page ad, black and white, and is simply a paragraph about why record stores matter, just like farmer’s markets, written by none other than Chicago’s own Steve Albini. I would try to explain it but, like Rock, Rot or Rule, you should just check it out for yourself. All I will say is it contains not only a reference to Tomatillos but also Boney M.
Anyway, a short list is made of all the people we know, or people we know that know other people and Matt and I get more and more weirdly pumped about making this a yearly tradition**. This is like the best idea we’ve ever had! Or so it seems. Riding high, I type up a charming ass email and send it out into the ether. Aaaaand…crickets. Ok, well technically, I got one “I’d love to but I can’t.” Now the clock is ticking here people, and I’ve got nothing. At work, I mention this fact and another casual impromptu brain storming session goes down. And a lot of the same names are mentioned. Thanks fellas, I have tried them already.
But then a voice from the peanut gallery says, “Oh! I know. You should ask the guys from the Best Show.” And all the dudes get really excited about this, so I smile too. Although I have no freaking idea what they are talking about. They just keep spouting off nonsense to one another and laughing harder and harder. Finally one of them tells me that there is a show and they all listen to it on the internet, called the Best Show on WFMU and that the host is one of the guys on that comedy CD we listened to and that the other one from it is the drummer from Superchunk. What? Seriously? So I Google it and it turns out they weren’t yanking my chain. But one thing becomes blatantly obvious to me, they should have been the very first people we asked.
So today, while standing in Best Buy trying to exchange the stellar, yet Blu-Ray copy of “Darkness on the Edge of Town” box set I received for Christmas I started laughing like a moron. The gentleman helping me has no idea who the Boss is, but does mention that instead of getting the regular DVD version, I could simply buy a Blu-Ray player, and he does know where those are. At least he didn’t try to sell me an espresso machine?*
*I have already gone down in the Record Store Dork’s Hall of Fame for that one. But, I swear, my little lame peanuts, all I did was ask them. Nicely.
**Next year I’m gunning for Fred Armisen. Hopefully, I will do so through legit channels. But if not, I knew I snapping a picture of him hosting karaoke at Lounge Ax more than ten years ago dressed as Hitler would come in handy one day. Wait…what?
***Sweet Jesus. Try to be nice to yourself this year. And if you need a vacation, may I recommend Newbridge?****
****Can I just remind everyone real quick of who was passing around burned copies of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” back when it was technically canceled? Record store nerds just know stuff. And mark my words I don’t doubt that these dudes have some serious shit planned for next year so get on board already.
*****Holy shit. This one’s for the FOT. I don’t actually have to call in to ask Tom if can have a podcast. That rule is only for famous people, right?