Saturday, October 30, 2004

I had my first run in with university Police down here today for the heinous crime of playing baseball. Or actually, for watching baseball. There are some baseball fields out behind the FAR residence halls and I got a invite to go play some ball around 4:30 so I walked over there, sketchbook in hand. I'm not an athlete, I'd rather draw the sport. So The game didn't last long, because at 5:00 we were informed that the field was closed and we were "asked" to leave via a woman with a megaphone whose message was almost inaudible. While the rest of the criminals decided to hop the fence to get out of the field, I chose to walk with another hooligan through one of the many (I counted four on the way in) open gates. Our little gang of evil doers met in the parking lot to decide what was going to happen next. The crowd began to break up, and finally the remaining members of the party decided it was time to seek shelter from the icy wind. Just as we were going to leave the open parking lot we heard a call from behind us. "Don't be leaving now that I'm here!" A figure in the distance cried out. "You got me out here, now you need to stay!" Soon, as the husky fellow worked his way towards us, we could see it was a member of the local Police department. He seemed angry, but that may have just been the large pole that was lodged in his backside. He demanded we take out our ids and a member of our group asked what we had done. He became furious and repeated the question "Do you want to take it there?" several times, until the young student apologized and complied with his request. He proceeded to ramble that we could be hauled off to jail for what we had done. Officer Friendly was under the impression that we had gone to great lengths to break our way into the maximum security fortress that is the baseball field, and you know, not just walked through the open gate. He told us that we would all be facing jail time and expulsion from school for walking onto an open field and playing America's Pastime. I found the situation a tad ridiculous, we had simply been playing baseball, would have rather we had been shooting heroin or off drinking somewhere? For a college with an extremely high assault rate, it's good to see the local cops not wasting their time with a bunch of kids looking to have good clean fun. Someone else in the group found it to be equally stupid and when the cop caught a glimpse of a smile, he went off. "Do you find humor in this situation?" "No, officer, I'm not laughing." "I didn't ask you if you were laughing. I asked if you found humor." You can't win with these guys. Luckily his better half showed up and proceeded to tell us where we could go to enjoy America's Sport, but that wasn't until after the cop made a snap about us kids and our parents paying for our college education. And all that for what? Enjoying a nice fall day with the crack of the bat and the smell of fresh cut grass. Sheesh.

Friday, October 22, 2004

As promised, the return of the Oxygen Destroyers!

Part 1

It was 2008. Rock and roll was officially declared dead. Communism was on the rise. Unemployment was at an all time high. The man was in full force, selling albums at the outrageous price of $25.63. Even noble causes like iTunes were co-opted, and mp3s became punishable by death. The world was in a dark tunnel and there seemed to be no light at the end.

That's where the world was wrong.

Eight weeks after the untimely death of all the members of the famed rock group, the Oxygen Destroyers, several punk teenagers hopped the fence into Holy Carmel cemetery and made there way to the rock group's grave. When alive, the Oxygen Destroyers had been supporters of the drug Derbisol, and it had become a ritual to local music fans to “spray up" while standing atop their plots. On this fateful night, a storm was brewing.

Upon reaching the tomb, the teenagers scrabbled atop the sarcophagus and took out their cans of Derb. As the fates would have it (oh, those crazy fates!), just as the Derbisol was exposed, the tomb was struck by lightning. The electricity charged the Derbisol, which, in some unexplained scientific phenomenon, somehow transferred the life of the teens into the world's most popular rock group. That's right, the Oxygen Destroyers were alive.

When asked about the other side, bassist Marty Sweeney is quick to comment.

"It sucked. So, I died, what, like three days before the rest of the group, right? And first off, those asses don't even notice, but who cares. Anyway, there is this clause in our contract that says I can't go into the afterlife without the rest of the band. So I die and I end up on the banks of the River Styx. Where I have to stay for three days. No people, no TV, no music, just me and the creepy boatman. And all that guy did was play tiddlywinks. It was so annoying. If I had to spend one more day there, I would have killed him. I swear to God.

"So then, finally, after the three most excruciatingly painful days of my life, the rest of the band kicks the bucket. And so we finally pay the boatman and board the boat, and I'm freaking out. I don't think I've ever been so happy. So we start crossing the river, right? And what happens? That jackass Brian shoves me out of the boat! And doesn't even say anything! So, of course, the band doesn't notice, you know, I'm only the bassist. Now, the thing you gotta understand is that the river Styx isn't made of water. It's this really thick soul residue, like pudding. It's really freaking hard to get out of.

"So, I'm stuck in the ‘water,' and I'm yelling for help, but no one hears me. Not even that jackass boatman. I tell you, when I die again, that guy is getting a fist/brick sandwich. Point of this story is that I never got to see the afterlife. I spent the 8 weeks we were dead stuck in the river Styx."

Brian Hurley's thoughts on the subject:

"Oh, man, the afterlife kicks ass. I got to rock out with Elvis and ? at the same time! How crazy is that? What? No, no, no. I did not push Marty into the River Styx! He's just really bitter that he fell in and missed rock heaven! No, no, I'm not going to take this. This interview is over! Over!"

Now the members of the ODs were living again, but would they play music? The answer of course, was yes. "Oh, yeah, Heaven totally gave us a new outlook on music. We decided to get back together for the sake of rock and roll, not to make money or score chicks, just to rock. So the minute we had life in our bodies the Oxygen Destroyers were together again. Except for Sweeney. We had to ‘convince' him."

With a new mission to rock, the Oxygen Destroyers regrouped with the original line up, Maciej on vocals and guitar, Katie on lead guitar, Marty on bass, and Joe on drums. Kevin "the Beatmixer" Altier and Brian, the third guitarist, were immediately given their walking papers. They would go on to semi-stardom, along with Kiefer Madness drummer Nic White in the folk-rock band, Irish Sports Page.

Now that the lineup was set, the next item on the ODs' agenda was recording. They went into the studio with famed rock producer Bruce Dickinson and almost immediately walked right out.

"The guy was a toy factory to the nth degree," says Katie. "He kept trying to get us to use the damned cow bell. You know, Bruce, sometimes a cowbell just doesn't work. You got a fever? Yeah, I got one too, and its only prescription is kicking your ass!"

It was clear to the ODs at this point that things between them and JIVE! Records just weren't working out. They quickly broke their contract and headed back to their first home, D or N records.
"D or N wasn't interested in the glam, the glitz, or the gore," says Joe. "They wanted us to rock, and we were more than willing to grant their wish. They let us make the record we wanted to make."

The ODs decided to self-produce their first post-mortem full length, Return from the Grave, and recording began immediately. The sessions lasted less than a week, with the band rocking through several tracks a night. With the record recorded, the artwork was finished and the album was put out, and the Oxygen Destroyers headed out on tour.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

So I finished my paper on autobiographical comic books and caught a ride out to "town" to watch horror/romantic comedy, Shaun of the Dead. I don't think I've had that much fun at a movie since... well, since I saw Sky Captain a couple weeks ago. But forget about that, this movie is brilliant. Not everyone can pull of the romantic comedy set in zombie onslaught, but these guys pull it off. It's funny, disgusting, shocking and heart warming all at the same time. You feel for the characters, and the movie is able to change it's emotions like no other. Plus they use words like "engaged" and "twat." You can't beat that with a cricket bat.
Oh, zombie humor.
We then spent the entire car ride home, the walk home, and even a little bit of time in the dorms, discussing just how we are going to prep for the inevitable zombie attacks (We live right next to a cemetery, it's coming, we know it). I decided that my weapon (we only got to pick one) would be a razor sharp sense of humor, ie. the ability to dish out one liners like Bruce Campell. Seeing how this isn't a weapon, I picked pipe with a curve joint thing on it to catch the zombies in the face. That is, until Blanco blew our minds with his idea. You take a metal baseball bad and weld a curved axe blade on it. So you can crack heads and decapitate all at the same time. We are now more ready than we'll ever be. The question is...
Are you?
Not to take away from Shaun, I just wanted to post that I got my drawing portfolio back (it's our idea of a midterm) and I got the highest grade in the class, a 96. I guess I'm one of the best students in that class, which is not bad for a kid who only took 1 art class in high school. In your faces, Ms. Hickey and Ms. Senese.

Friday, October 15, 2004

I've been at the U of I here for quite some time now, and I really haven't posted on this thing. Maybe the new stlyish look will help with that. I doubt it. But I digress...

U of I is rocking. I tell you, Art School is the beans. I love how I went through 4 years of high school and on a daily basis I use nothing of what I learned. I thouht that being self-taught was going to be a problem at art school, but so far I'm adapting quite well. Charcole rocks the house. Design class is still crappy, but we're moving into 3d now, so hopefully it'll pick up.

The party scene has been okay so far, last weekend being the clear winner. Since I got down here, I was looking for my "groove" and frat parties just ain't it. But last Friday I ended up at an indie dance party via Itunes and on Saturday a house party with the same dancing folks, and both nights were quite enjoyable. I hope this weekend works out as well, I've got a barn dance tonight and tomorrow night... well, we'll see.

In the meantime, between the giant gaps on this blog, everyone should be checking out Rocket Grande: We are So Monk. Walk around, check it out, gimme feedback, it's all good.

Oh, and while the music scene does suck down here, there are several indie rock kids with large Itunes libraries in my dorm, so that keeps me happy.
"Grave" news, music fans! The Oxygen Destroyers have reformed! More details to come!

Sunday, October 10, 2004

O College! (Literary device...)

How I love you! I spend weeks in disbelief that college is all it is cracked up to be, and then, in just one weekend, you redeem yourself!

O College!