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Chunklet 5

Shellac

by

Burrows: Lover, FIghter, Dreamer, Writer

Introduction

by

Noser Knows

God, this issue was so long ago that just thinking about it is foggy. The big thing with this issue is that it had pages which we’d never had before.

Although I recently saw that SPIN got the jump on us by publishing an article about them, Shellac are a band like no other.  It’s not exactly the music that sets them apart, but rather their mind set.  In an age where most bands are full time jobs, complete with W-2’s and health plans, this Chicago trio have done their best to demystify the current mind set that you must tour, publicize and whore yourself to receive noteriety.  Formed with Bob Weston (Volcano Suns), Steve Albini (Big Black, Rapeman) and Todd Trainer (Breaking Circus,  Rifle Sport), Shellac should teach a lesson to all who are selling their souls in order to reach the top (wherever that might be).  After one simple phone call to their label Touch & Go, as Steve calls it ‘the only label for us’, I called the Chicago Recording Company where Steve and Bob were recording Winger’s comeback album.

How did everything start out?
Steve Albini: I should answer that one, Bob.  Shellac started informally about two and a half years ago.  Todd Trainer and I have been old friends for close to 10 years.  We’ve always wanted to play together and we found ourselves in the same town at the same time and we thought ‘Heck, let’s put on a band in the rehearsal space?! It’ll be great!!’ Then we decided that we were going to pursue it more seriously when Bob moved here from Boston.  So whenever the opportunity arose, we would get together and play and write songs.

It seems like the band has taken a much more recognizable angle.
SA: No.  Our degree of activity has been exactly the same as it always has been, it’s just that now there are records out.  That’s the only substantive difference between what Shellac is now and the way things were 9 months ago.

Well, nine months ago, I probably wouldn’t have been able to arrange an interview like this.
SA: Ahhh, what you’re talking about then is external attention on the band.

Which you don’t really care about?
SA: It means very little to us.  Not that you don’t mean anything to us, and we’re not saying you’re a dick.

Although it could be that way.
SA:  I don’t know…Bob, is he a dick?
Bob Weston: Beats me..

But getting back to what I was saying, the external attention thing, I guess that’s why you don’t send out promos or really go out there scrambling up press.
BW: I think we don’t send out promos is because why should we pay for someone else to hear our records? That’s like me buying a record for you and I don’t even know you.
SA:  This band is not our livelihood.  We have no direct interest in its commercial success.  We are in this band for the same reason we have ever been in bands.  Because it is what we do, and..

It’s fun?
SA: Yeah, but it’s more than fun.  People have an urge, a creative impulse, the same way they have a mating impulse, and so when someone picks a mate, he doesn’t just do it because it’s fun, but because he’s driven to.  That’s sort of the same way that people that are in bands formerly used to treat this.  Saying ‘I want to be in a band because I really desperately want to’.  It was never considered a viable means of making a living until fairly recently.  So we’re trying to maintain that sort of original spirit for people like us to be in rock bands.

Absolutely, it’s heretofore pretty refreshing at least for the last 5 or six years.
SA:  As far back as we’re concerned, think back in your own life, as a fan, you’ve stumbled across records and they’ve become very important to you in onw way or another because either the record was good or the band was good.  The principal at work in the release of most records is “How can we generate excitement about this record unheard so that we can sell a bunch of them before people catch on whether the band is good or not?” We’re quite content to let the records develop their own audience.  We figure if we’re a good band, and make good records, eventually people will hear them and eventually they will find their own audience.  It’s no more satisfying for us to temporarily trick a few people into buying our record who will ultimately not appreciate it.

Well, how has your audience been growing or developing? How has the attention been growing regardless of outside forces? Are you happy with the way things are going?
SA: I am.  Bob, are you?
BW: Yeah, things are fine.
SA:  We really haven’t had to contend with much on a very large scale.  Most of the stuff we have done have been directly or completely in our control, like local stuff or shows we’ve set up ourselves.  The shows we did overseas were really more of a lark.  Going to japan or Australia as a band that has no record and has no real profile is really only viable because the novelty of an American band will pique people’s interest and then you’re not being presented as some sort of manufactured commodity.  You’re just going over there and you basically have to deliver the goods.  And that was alot of fun.  Domestically, people call us pretty regularly asking us to play shows in one place or another.  Alot of the people just don’t get it.

What do you mean by ‘they don’t get it?’
SA:  We’re not particularly interested in doing things in conventional rock clubs or in music business venues.

You mean like going on tour?
SA: No.  I have no problem with that, as a matter of fact I enjoy it, it’s a blast.  But if were going to do it, I’d like each show to be distinct and unique and memorable, rather than strolling into, say, Stache’s in Colombus, Ohio for the 10th time and playing in front of the same 75 drunken college students that you played for the last time.

Well, give me an example of a show that would be unconventional.
BW:  Playing at an art gallery.

That never has bands playing there?
SA: Well, any sort of a place where you could put a band and an audience where you could have a gig that would not be mundane or routine for everyone involved.  None of us are adamantly against playing conventional rock clubs.  It’s just that given a choice, we would probably prefer to play in somebody’s basement or…
BW: A loft party.
SA: We have a friend in Western Massachusetts who has a barn and we’re right now trying to figure out the feasibility of getting us and whatever audience we can attract to this guy’s farm so we can play there. I think I would enjoy playing there at least as much as playing a normal club.

So it’s just the ambiance of the event?
SA: Yeah, wouldn’t you rather go see an unusual show than a mundane one?

Oh absolutely, there’s something about the emotion and the immediacy of that type of show.
SA: Exactly, the whole point is not for monetary reward.  We’re doing it because it’s a blast.  For whatever stupid adolescent reason, we really want to do this.  So whatever the underlying reason is, we desperately want to do it because of that we’re going to make it entertaining for ourselves and the people we play in front of.

So you’re pretty goddamned pleased with how things are coming?
SA: I’m fairly content.  I mean, there’s alot of things that could have gone wrong that didn’t.

Such as?
SA: Uh, there were alot of pressures on us, even from people who were fairly close to us, suggesting that we make concessions in one way or another on how we wanted to do things.

What types of concessions?
SA: Being more open to sort of conventional promotion and exploitation.

Oh, I see what you’re saying.  In other words, setting up a day of interviews and things like that.
SA: Not just that, we’re fairly open and available for that kind of thing.

Case in point.
SA: For example, doing promotional posters for the record stores and promotional mailouts for the distributors, promo records for radio stations, having a publicist set up stuff for us as opposed to dealing with people on our own, that kind of thing.  Alot of that stuff is everyday business for a record company and people in the music business, as it were, and we just prefer to do things on a more personal level.  And some times, that means the other people we deal with have to do things in a way that they’re unaccustomed to.  And that cn be seen in two ways, it can either be a nuisance on their part as in something they have to indulge or we can impress upon them that we’re actually trying to make their lives easier by saying that they don’t have to concern themselves with us.

Could you give a background of where you all come from as far as what part of the country and how you arrived in Chicago? What bands you’ve been in along the way?
SA:  Well, I’ve known Bob for a couple of years now, but I only recently started liking him.  I’m originally from Montana, I was born a baby and I moved many places before I was a child.  When I was a child, it was in Montana.  Then I moved to Chicago to go to school, I graduated, and I stayed in Chicago because I like it here.  I have been in no bands that are significant.  I met Todd (Trainer) many years ago when he was in a band called Rifle Sport from Minneapolis.  He’s still in it.

Really? I heard they broke up.
SA: No, they still exist despite what everybody who’s not in the band will tell you.  They have been a band continuously longer than any other band in Minneapolis that I know of.  They haven’t done anything for public consumption in a while.  They did, however, play a tenth anniversary show last summer.  Anyway, Todd and I have been long time friends.  He still lives in Minneapolis which makes our rehearsals very sporadic.  Bob? Tell us a little something about you.

Yes, Bob..the silent one third of the conversation…
BW: Born and raised in Waltham, Mass, birthplace of the Lowell Textile Manufacturing empire.  They’re the ones who use up all the water power in Waltham.  That’s it.  I spent my whole life there until one year ago and I was in Volcano Suns and I met Steve when he recorded our records 3 years ago.  We got along quite well, he asked me to move back here and help him with his studio and play in his band.

How was the overseas trip?
BW: Great!!…..next question..
SA: Many beaver pelts hang on the walls of our lodge.

Was it….profitable?
BW: No.
SA:  No, we lost our asses!
BW:  But it was the cheapest Pacific Rim vacation you’ll ever go on!
SA:  That’s true.
BW:  It was a $200 per person,  3 week Pacific Rim tour complete with meal and accomodation and travel included.
SA: We spent just over $1000 and four people spent three weeks tootling around all over the Pacific Rim, eating wild food, having wild experiences and playing rock music.

From what I was told, some of the shows were played with Fugazi?
SA: Yeah, we played two shows with Fugazi in Australia, and we played all the Japanese shows with Zeni Geva, an outstanding Japanese band.  The remainder of the shows we played on our own or with local support bands.

Were you playing in grocery stores and stuff like that?
SA:  One of the Fugazi shows was at a public meeting hall in Melbourne which was like a town hall that was really outstanding from the Victorian era that was totally ornate and beautiful.  The other was at a university mess hall which was really shabby.  Where I think you can get a degree in heroin abuse, if I’m not mistaken.  It’s definitely part of the course of studies.  I don’t know if you can specify that as your discipline.

Well, at least it’s well rounded there…
SA: And dressing bad, as well.  You can get a minor in it.

They obviously have nothing to do with English because it should be dressing badly.  Wouldn’t it?
SA: Uhm, dressing badly might very well mean that you have difficulty putting on your shirt.

So how did the Pacific shows come about?
SA: Heimlich, if you get on the telephone and start asking people to do stuff, you’d be amazed by how many people would say yes.

Do you think any of it had to do with the fact that all of you come from bands that are pretty recognizable?
SA: No! Absolutely not!
BW: (laughs) What do you think?!?!
SA:  Just think about it.  Of course! There’s no point in pretending that’s not going to happen.  We also don’t have to pander to it. (Bob has to hang up)

Lessee, what about the packaging for your records.  It’s pretty goddamned cool.
SA: Well, thank you.  I like the idea that despit the fact that it’s another respective fairly ordinary record, I like the fact that they’re put together individually at least.  I like knowings that whoever buys our record is getting his money’s worth. That’s all.  They’re not any more expensive than a normal record, and they’re nicer.  We’re making the point that you can do this stuff and keep it somewhat personal and keep it of high quality and still not have it be a runaway indulgent expense or anything.

How did you do the printing on the cover? By taking a brush stroke and making the letters stand out?
SA: The sleeve’re printed in clear varnish and then that acts as a resist and then when you put a water based on it, it stands out.  The actual brown stuff is root beer concentrate.

Has it become more of a muisance to be in a band now that it would have been ten years ago?
SA: Uhmmm, no, I’m doing this for exactly the same reason I always have.  I think Bob is as well.  It’s just that the climate in the mainstream has changed somewhat such that stylistically some bands in the mainstream now resemble stylistically some of the bands from the underground of a few years ago.  That doesn’t really mean anything has changed in either subcast.  Personalities that would have worked in the underground ten years ago are still working within the underground and persons who would have worked in the mainstream ten years ago are still working for the mainstream.  It’s just sometimes they share sonic similarities.

I hear you have a bet playing pool with all bands that record with you?
SA: I have a standing offer for bands that record with me as an engineer.  I will play a match of pool for my fee.  Double or nothing.  No sweat.  I’m a big man, I can handle it if I lose.  However, nobody’s ever taken me up on it.

Along with two spiffy singles on Touch and Go, Shellac will be doing a release on Chicago’s Drag City soon and will be going into the studio in March to record their debut LP.  Love ’em or hate ’em, Shellac have played by their own rules and proven that it can be done without selling your collective souls to the devil.  Libertad!

Heimlich the Bastard

Shellac – Wingwalker

 

“I don’t have much patience with the facts, and any writer is a congenital liar to begin with or he wouldn’t take up writing to begin with.”
-William Faulkner

Right on, Bill.  If anybody ever really understood, it was you.  Why the inclusion of a quote from (ahem) Faulkner? I dunno.  It just felt right at the time.  Anyways, how’s everyone doing in Chunk-land? Needless to say, Heim, Noser and I thoroughly enjoyed our holidays, and hopefully you kiddies did too.  Now, on to business.  Make it your business, incidentally, to see Alex Chilton if he’s performing in your vicinity.  Word has it that he’ll be doing some shows in the mid-west pretty soon, so make this a priority, kay? Having seen Chilton twice in the past, I was well aware of his, um,,unpredictable live shows.  Alex was notorious for sampling libera”lly from a 50’s grab bag – O-hits, slouching through,Soul Deep and,The Letter, showing an occasional glimmer of brilliance and barking fuhrer-like commands to a beleaguered and tired soundman.  Chilton’s recent show at the 40 Watt should be counted as a glaring exception.  Accompanied by an extremely tight rhythm section (didn’t get the names, sorry) Alex was the closest thing to,cool this town has seen in a while.  Ever since his (semi) comeback in 1985 via the EP,Fuedalist Tarts, Chilton has been experimenting with kinda neo-soul, New Orleans R&B pop that refers more to Stax/Volt than Bell&Stephens, but damn if it ain’t invigorating just to see the guy giving a damn.  It’s pretty much a given that Chilton looks back on his days in Big Star with a little disdain, so, at this point, I’m willing to hear most anything he does at least once.  There w3ere a few obvious areas he covered (the “High Priest” material, the “Fuedalist” material, some R&B nuggets) some not so obvious (“Fuck! He’s doing Big Star stuff?”), but damned if he didn’t come off semi-inspired! The only (pseudo)low point was the cheesy encore of,Volare, sort of his equivalent (these days at least) of,Freebird, but hell, maybe I’m nitpicking.  Okay, I am nitpicking.  Fuck it.  And fuck you.  Anyways, this boy was struck dumb by the sheer “Rock Star”-ishness of the whole evening, and, hell, a little idolatry is good for you once in a while.

Oh, yeah, Heimie, as we call him,round the compound, suggested I throw in a top 10 list of shit I’m listening to, so out of fear of him giving me chest noogies, here goes:

1.  Supreme Dicks
The Unexamined Life (Homestead)
Sorta Palace Brothers-ish, but more poppy, if that’s possible.  Lou Barlow makes an appearance.

2.  The Soft Boys
A Can Of Bees (Rykodisc)
Very cool, very British, very,pop.  Hitch don’t write,em like this no more.

3.  Beach Boys
Pet Sounds (Capitol)
One of the best American pop albums ever. Period.

4. Kevn Kinney
Down Out Law (Mammoth)
Closest thing we’ve got to Nick Drake in the South.

5.  Tara Key
Bourbon County (Homestead)
Kind of a country Liz Phair.  Really.

6. Rolling Stones
Exile on Main Street (Columbia)
Yeah, I’m revisionist.  Watcha gonna do, punk?

7.  Hank Williams
I Won’t Be Home No More (Polydor)
Damn near perfect compilation.  Part 8 of a series.  Hank is more punk rock than you’ll ever be.

8.  Uncle Tupelo
LIVE IN LA
Veers more towards the acoustic stuff, but still pretty harrowing., Thanks to Bryan for this ‘un.

Yeah, yeah, that’s only 8, but fuck it.  These are in heavy rotation at mi casa, and there ain’t much else I bothered listening to this week.  Oh, shit, it’s 6:00, time for ‘Cilla to give me my rubdown.  I must depart for now, but I hope to hear from all of you little bastards in Chunk-land soon.

-(Mr.) John Burrows

(editor’s note: It was later found out that (Mr.) Burrows was baked out of his skull when he wrote this.  That explains a lot.)

Howdy, one and all, and welcome to this, the fifth issue of Chunklet.  I know it seems to have been a while since that last issue, but since we have neither deadlines nor paychecks that derives from this, we’ll go at any damn pace we feel like!’It feels as if I have a lot of territory to cover, so ‘ere goes…

ISSUE #1:  In honor of the showcased band in this issue, Shellac, we have taken the plunge and devoted quite a bit of attention to the packaging for this, our fifth Chunklet.  As can readily be seen, the covers/envelopes have been hand made (well, hand stamped, actually) and designed to give it that personal touch.  Much in line with what is said by Steve, it’s amazing what can be done with a small amount of money and some creativity.

I’m pretty sure that the ‘CHUNKLET’ stamp that is used on the front will be the same one that will be gracing T-shirts in town any day now.  The shirts will be running about three or four bucks, and will be available through the Chunklet network of nefarious goons.  Unfortunately, my original Chunklet t-shirt idea will have to wait, but don’t worry, it’ll be done sooner or later.

ISSUE #2: Being our eternally musical illiterate, Noser the Nosarian has shuffled many of her more taxing questions my way.  Between you and me, I’m a bit worried about that gal, she stays up all night staring at a computer screen, forever lost in the Cybernet quagmire.  As I’ve heard it said before, this whole Cybernet bit can be discounted as nothing more than high-class Dungeons and Dragons.  Might I digress.  Anyway, Noser barely removes her eyes away from the screen except to scrape the hardened drool from her lips, guzzle a six pack of Yoo-Hoo and flip her ‘Best Of Lionel Ritchie’ tape over.  As she has said, “I’m caught in the 80’s and I don’t want to leave. ” So judging by the following letter, it’s a wise thing that she kept with the computer and left the music to me.  For what deluded reason, I dunno.

Dear Noser the Great,

Why do so many people like ‘one-hit-wonder’ bands like Radiohead, Belly and Cranberries? Please enlighten me, I am confused.

Luv,

Musically Confused

Well, Musically Confused, until last week I was trying to come up with that one clever rejoinder to your answer, but I believe the following anecdote will sate your curiosity.

Upon their recent stop at the 40 Watt on the whirlwind tour with Cracker, MTV darlings Counting Crows found enough time to snarf summathat Italian grub at the local pizza joint, Rocky’s.  Although we can easily assume it was the vegetarian plate that he was eating, their effeminate, dreadlocked lead singer (who I believe was in Nelson), was eating on the outside verandah at the eatery with, what I can only assume was Rolling Stone, gulp, journalists.  After myself and a couple chums finished eating inside, we quickly snuck out, avoiding our buxom waitress and made our way outdoors.  On a bet, of nothing more than one thin five cent piece, taken down from the ludicrous price of five bucks, I thought it would be a hoot to make this corporate whore look like a complete bozo.  At the risk of a salvo of hate mail flooding our box, which we love by the way, here’s a direct transcript of our brief, yet inane, conversation. (For you cynical readers, there ARE witnesses!)

Heimlich The Bastard:  (in awe) Um, uh, you’re the guy from Counting Crows, aren’t you?

Rasta Geek (Counting Crows):  Uh hunh…

HTB: Well, um, you guys rock! I’ve seen all of your videos!

RG: Yeah?

HTB: You guys rock!

RG:  Thanks.

HTB:  (taken aback by awe) I’m going to be in the front row of your show tonight.  I bought my ticket three weeks ago…

RG: Yeah…

HTB: (apprehensive, but awed) Um, gee, uh, could you do like a really big favor for me?

RG:  Sure.

HTB:  Could you play, er, one of your songs for me? It would really mean a lot…

RG: Yeah, which one?

HTB: Um, could you play that song, uh, ‘Jeremy?’

RG:  (leering) The Pearl Jam song?

HTB:  (bewildered) What?!?! That’s not you?

RG:  Nuh uh

HTB:  (still in awe) Well, anyways you guys still rock…(raise fist in solidarity)…um, rock hard, man!

RG:  Yeah, okay.

As you can see, Musically Confused, we at Chunklet have absolute contempt for corporate inbreeding and all of its pathetic offspring.  As with all musical cliques that the majors love to cash in on, bands like you have mentioned, along with countless others, are nothing more than pawns in the giant spread sheet for these ogres.  Furthermore, it has been proven that jumping to a major label serves little, if no, purpose.

ISSUE #7: Coincidentally, this brings me to our second hate mail scroll.  Although it was received on the eve of the release of issue #4, there just wasn’t time or (more importantly) room for the following.  Just so you know, this guy’s angst is directed at issue #3’s ‘CountPointerCount’ where a fellow Chunk and I gave sound bites at six local bands chosen at random by an outside source.

Chunklet,

U2! U2! I am so sick of U2 being mentioned when talking about my band.  Aren’t there any other great, ground breaking bands with capivating (sic) frontmen that you could compare us to? Just wondering.

Tommy

Trinket

P.S.  I drive around in a Buick ’83 Regal with Meatloaf blaring on the 8-track, so don’t go telling me about some lack of knowlege(sic) regarding rock, you geek.

Although my counter part made the incorrect reference to U2 in his critique of your lousy band, I personally would cringe at the thought.  I have no personal beef with you Tommy, but when I think of bands that have broken ground, I usually look towards groups like Cheap Trick, Thin Lizzy, MC5, Syd Barrett, Mahavishnu Orchestra, on and on and on and on (by the way, Meatloaf ain’t rock).  However, if you want to discuss NEW ground that is being broken, let’s face the facts.  U2 did break ground, albeit ten years ago.  Unfortunately, that ground has now been trampled flat thanks to their late-80’s ascension to fame, similar to that of Led Zeppelin’s in the 70’s.  Now, I don’t think U2 are monumental by any means, but as far as your, uh, band is concerned, I would rather describe Trinket as organic matter spewing from a cow’s bottom.  Lord knows I could get into some serious Trinket-bashing, but I don’t have the time nor the interest.  Let’s just say that the band will never be mentioned in the confines of this journal ever again.  By the way, if you’ll read issue #4, you’ll find out that I am not a geek, rather a dork.  Get with the program, mack! Sheesh!

ISSUE #6: Since it has come to my attention, I’d like for it to be known that the inclusion of local luminary Syd Straw in ‘Chicks I’d Do Because I’m Gay’ (issue #4) was not intended to harm.  We at the Chunklet compound like to have fun rather than make enemies, unless they’re in Trinket.  So let it be known that nobody who writes for Chunklet thinks nasty thoughts about the Golden Palamino.  In fact, we think anybody who sings with Peter Holsapple is pretty damn spesh.  ‘Nuff said.

ISSUE #4: I think I would be lax in my duties if I didn’t mention what local shows (what few there have been) have rocked my world since the last issue two months ago.  ‘Ere we go – Unrest and Stereolab at the Somber Reptile, Crain at the 40 Watt, Girls Vs. Boys and Jawbox at the Masquerade,  the Woggles at Jim Stacey’s house on New Year’s Eve, Pegboy at the Shoebox and the Masquerade, the Martians/Harvey Milk single party at the 40 Watt,  Seam at the 40 Watt and Midtown Music Hall and any show that wasn’t too Grateful Dead-ish (or LOUD!!!) that I’ve seen at Frijolero’s.

Sucked? “Hate Metal” night with headliners radio: Tahiti at Frijolero’s, Joe Henry at the 40 Watt, Mekons when they headlined along with Seam, and the rarely lousy Jad Fair at the Shoebox.

Missed? Lady Finger at the Shoebox, Rocket From The Crypt at the Midtown Music Hall, Unrest/Versus/Slant 6 there too, can’t forget Scrawl, ditto for Unsane on New Year’s Eve, Tar and Arcwelder at the Lounge Ax in Chicago Man or Astroman? and (I’m not kidding) Cheap Trick in Alabama and the Devil Dogs and New Bomb Turks in Enger, Germany….Hey! We’re allowed to dream, ain’t we?!?!?!

ISSUE #5: After receiving a rather cool letter citing the need for Chunklet to do some record reviews and the like, I thought it’d be interesting to see what my fellow Chunks and myself (not including Noser, of course) have been listening to while watching TV, driving to work, sitting in the tub with no water in it, oh well, you get the picture.  So for what it’s worth, here’s my list of audio gems (in no particular order):

Martians – (demo) From the session that the Harvey Milk split came from. Damn, these freshman can tear it up!

Slumberjack – (demo) – Chris Slumberjack gave me this the night of the Jawbox/GVSB gig in Atlanta, and I can’t thank him enough.  I can’t wait to see what happens to them!

The Makers – debut LP (Estrus) – Pretty much a textbook definition of sloppy garage tuneage, masterminded by the Mummies, of course, but I was captivated throughout the record.  Worthy of yr bux.

The Smears – 6 song EP (Hell Yeah) – Three anti-riot grrrls delve into rock trash with lyrics bent on sexual intercourse.  I’m pitchin’ a tent.

Steve Martin – everything (Warner Brothers) – As a kid, Steve was my only cool friend, or for that matter, my only friend.  He was the dork who never got the ladies, but always came out looking swell.  Oh, he’ll also piss you dry because he’s that hilarious.

National Lampoon – That’s Not Funny LP – Once I hit high school and hung out with those kids that Mom warned me about, I was turned onto this filthy hilarity.  With members of the Not Ready For Prime Time Players (SNL’s original cast), this is as raunchy as a beer soaked evening with your pals but ten times as funny.

Gumball – new, untitled LP (Sony) – I can’t describe how much these stoners motivate me to shake my hiney.  Received through nefarious scumbags, hee hee!

Working Holidays Singles Club – (Simple Machines) – Where else can you get Superchunk, Tsunami, Jonny Cohen, Eggs, Codeine, Jawbox, Crain, Scrawl, Bratmobile, Crackerbash, Coctails, Caterpillar, My Dad Is Dead and Lungfish to arrive in your mailbox every month for a year? Nowhere.  And don’t mention Sub Pop, either!

In addition to all of this rather hard to find material, I’ve kept my ear to – Big Star (!!!), Man or Astroman?, the Sonics, Tar, Bitch Magnet, Gastr’ del Sol, the Muffs, the Mummies, Shellac, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Yo La Tengo, the list could literally go on forever, but if you’re that interested, write me and we’ll talk.

ISSUE #3: It appears as if the Chunklet Center for Intense Nose Bleeding has an empty mailbox almost 99.9% of the time.  Such being the case, we beg of you to get on the ball, pick up a pen, write us a letter, put it in an envelope, mail it to us, and await our reply.  Oh, don’t forget to stamp the envelope.

and finally, ISSUE #8: Keep on the look out, the next issue will have a contest where you can win prizes beyond your wildest dreams…providing your dreams can be bought for under ten bucks.  Until then, Happy Presidents Day!

Heimlich the Bastard

Well, it’s time for Noser to clean up her act.  Someone on the Chunklet staff sent their mother a copy of issue #4 and said mother was horribly offended.  Apparently it hasn’t dawned on Heimlich that this is unsuitable reading material for adults.  Our generation seems to like to hear the basic truth in basic terms about everything.  We are not yuppies with our two car garage and white picket fence.  Most of us have been introduced to the ugly world at a tender, young age.  Someone pushed drugs on me in fifth grade and another attempted to have sex with me when I was in first grade (I didn’t even know what it was).  With that said, here is the new sanitized Noser.  I’ll leave it up to you, the reader, to decide if you like it better.

Dear Noser,

I’m having trouble sleeping at night.  I don’t feel I’m realizing my whole potential as a human being.  What can I do?

Sleepless in Athens

Sleepless,

Overcome your fears.  Say affirmations at bedtime and always – always- educate yourself.  Exercise your brain.  Take a class, read a book, volunteer.

Ah, this sucks!  I can’t be Ann Landers or Dr. Joyce.  Forget it.  I must be me – Noser the gross and disgusting.

Dear Noser,

I recently received a panty liner in the mail.  At the risk of sounding ignorant, what is its purpose and what can I do with it?

Nigel Morphine

Nigel,

The purpose of a panty liner is to line a women’s underwear during the period of time known as ovulation, which is when a woman is fertile.  To facilitate fertility, a woman’s body secretes a lubricant which can get on her underwear – keep in mind, I learned all this at a Catholic school.  If you’ve ever shopped for women’s underwear, you know how expensive that can be.  So why ruin good underwear just because your body wants to reproduce? As to what you can do with the panty liner, take it with you when you go out to pick up chicks.  Throw it on the floor and then act like you just saw it, pick it up, scream Who dropped this? The girls who say I did are the ones to avoid.

Dear Noser,

Why are you supposed educated Americans so stupid?

Confused in Vancouver

(This question was paraphrased because Noser didn’t understand the big words and Heimlich had to interpret)

Dear Vancouver,

We stupid huh? Face it, Americans are posers.  We like to think we are educated and worldly when actually we don’t have a clue.  As long as we have full bellies and some money in the bank, we’re OK.  But that’s what I love about this country.  All I have to worry about are my most basic animal needs and I fit in.  I don’t watch the news coz it depresses me and I don’t read the paper coz my hands get all inky.  Most of my friends are the same way.  CNN or Supermarket Sweep? I’ll take the Sweep.

Dear Noser,

My first exposure to blatant, animal sexuality came via Prince’s Let’s Pretend We’re Married (on 1999).  The line I sincerely want to fuck the taste out of your mouth fell on my innocent 12 year old ears, and it changed me.  I wonder if, in the repressed, PC 90’s, I have a place in the, uh, sexual arena.  In other words, I feel at odds with the opposite sex at times, and I’m wondering if it could be tied back to my exposure to Prince at so young an age? By the way, I really dug that song.

John Itchy & Scratchy Burrows

John,

Being that I know you, I know you are lying.  You are the most sexually repressed being I’ve ever met.  More than any PC asshole I know.  I say the word naked and you blush to the roots of your hair.  Your problem, John, is with you, not women or song lyrics.  You want to do what the songs say, but you are afraid.  You need self confidence.  My suggestion to you is to start looking at yourself in the mirror naked (oops, that word) until you can do it without laughing or being embarrassed.  Feel sexy and comfortable with yourself and other people will notice.  I promise.

So there you have it.  You decide.  Send your question and comments to me, I’ll go with the majority.  Either the foul mouthed, gross Noser or the Noser Heimlich’s mom would’ve wanted.  In the immortal words of Stone Temple Pilots – I GOTTA BE ME – I JUST GOTTA BE ME!!!

Noser