5 Bands That Should Have Burned Out (Instead of Faded Away)

Do you ever wonder how different the legacies of The 27 Club members would've went down if they, you know, hadn't joined the club? An alternate universe where a 300 lb, balding Jim Morrison makes people shiver by commanding them to "touch him babe"(we see that you're not afraid, but we would be)? Or a completely burnt out, arthritis-ridden Hendrix, doing duets with Adam Levine or Shakira in a lame attempt to stay relevant? Let's not even fathom Mr. Cobain (though a contemporary Christian album from a sober, born-again Kurt would be hilarious). It's a hard road, because there doesn't seem to be a way for musicians to stop while they're ahead AND not stop being alive. Here are a few bands that would've benefited from death's sweet release...or at least a better retirement plan.

5. Red Hot Chili Peppers

Pictured from left to right: Kiedis, Flea, Frusciante
They showed up outta nowhere and funked us in our tight little asterisks. One could almost justify their insane heroin abuse after seeing the seemingly endless amount of energy they had. Flea thumping, Anthony dancing and spit-singing, Frusciante shredding and Chad Smith holding down the skins. They brought the always unappreciated Funk genre back to the masses. It all came to a boiling, frothy head with 91's "Blood Sugar Sex Magik". Even if they had waited until after "One Hot Minute", they could have bowed out leaving behind a strong catalog. But the thing about crippling drug addictions is, well it's not something you put in a stock portfolio. Not conducive to retirement. And while you have to give kudos to anyone that can overcome something that awful, the damage it did to their abilities coupled with the fact they were getting older was hard to ignore. Flea's diaper seems more like a necessity than a fashion statement. So they came back to recapture that soft rockin' "Under the Bridge" magic with "Scar Tissue". Soccer moms and tattooed business dads everywhere cheered. Then Kiedis found his niche making puns on the word "California" and the rest is history. When they returned to their roots with "Stadium Arcadium" it felt like an insult, their way of saying, "Sure, we can still rock. But ya know, NOT rocking is what pays our bills these days." 


Hmm... Do bands with food names have an Expiration Date? 
Hard to believe these guys have twenty years in the business.  Being the first band to give the super-low, down-tuned A-string guitars a melodic touch that set them apart from the average "doomy gloomy" act,  they were a prime example of being in the right place at the right time with the right sound. In 1994. Somehow managing to pass the exact same album as a new one over and over by adding trendy flavor of the month shit (dubstep most recently). Their inability to evolve and test new ground turned them into a novelty act.  I guess this could apply to any band that runs on angst and "the darkness", but if you're still writing songs about being misunderstood by your peers and daddy issues in your 40s, you need to try again. You missed out on something important. Like living a real life.


No...I'm pretty sure this IS Metallica.
Ok, this it's the most obvious one, but it just needs to be told over and over till the end of time. I'm actually not going to consider The Black Album the sell-out point, but I will say it should have been their swan song. They could have went out proving that they could tailor their sound to suit a broader audience while keeping the hardcore fans. My opinion is that they immediately became irrelevant when they started attacking Napster. This was a band that was practically made through bootleg cassette tapes (the file sharing method of the 1980s, for all you youngsters out there). And it's not that file sharing doesn't affect musicians income, but it sure as he'll wasn't hurting THEIRS that much. If they had just started a quieter campaign, backing the smaller artists it was really hurting instead of making themselves look like the money hungry fat cats their own songs condemned, they might have saved some face. Instead of admitting defeat and bowing out gracefully though, they made a balls to the wall documentary... about hiring a therapist to fix them. Rock on Metallica...and thanks for making the dreams of all those that wished Spinal Tap was a real band come true.

2. Alice in chains

Damning evidence that people really can change for the better.

So your band comes, rocks the ears of the world off by making a grunge that even advanced musicians can appreciate. You make like a good rock star and develop a deteriorating drug habit that forces the band into early retirement, then die before you become desperate enough to piss all over the empire you made. There's no way the band would start up again without you, the defining member, right? RIGHT?!
Wrong. Bands should be legally required to change their name under these circumstances, instead of driving their good name into the Dirt(pun pun pun!). Something catchy and appropriate like "Jerry Cantrell and The Bees' Knees"

1. The Beatles

This is a bit of a cheat, since it refers to the post-Beatles stuff.  No, I'm not a Beatles "hater" and I'm not trying to say that the solo stuff is irrelevant or bad music (especially George, who got some much deserved love and recognition outside the colossal McLennon shadow), but could you imagine (get it?) how much stronger their legacy would be? No goofy Ringo shit, no hypocritical hippy Lennon shit, no George getting sued for ripping off an old doo-wop song shit and most importantly (I can't stress this enough) no shitty ass Wings shit? If it weren't for the recorded history, if you were just to hear, say, the last album each member made without ever having heard the Beatles, would you believe for a minute that they were from "the world's greatest rock band"? Even if you can't agree with that, nothing can excuse the travesty that was "Free as a Bird" and the over-hyped Anthology set.

+Honorable Mentions: The Ones You Expected to See and Why They Didn't Make the Cut

Elvis: The overweight jumpsuit Elvis was WAY more entertaining than the pretty boy hip-grinding Elvis.

Aerosmith: They were a generic rock group then, they're a generic rock group now. The End.

Rolling Stones: They've actually managed to keep their legacy in tact, probably due to knowing what made them big and respecting their audience. Or because they're best friends with the Satan.

Saturday Morning Cartoon: Practice Run #1

Taking a Day Off

My nostalgia post will have to wait til next week. I'm catching up on real life junk and taking some time to find ways to increase readership. Please feel free to share any articles you like on your favorite social network! And catch up on any articles you may not have read yet. Tomorrow I'll be posting the first edition of my crudely hand drawn comic "Practice Run". Hope you enjoy!

In the meantime, here's a picture of our little rugkiller after a long rug killing session.

Til next time fellow readers,
Stay out of trouble.

NSFW Thursday: Bangology 101- Ask Dr. Seth C. Wadd! PhD

For today's Sex/Relationship column we have a special guest, Dr. Seth C. Wadd, PhD.  Doctor Wadd is the Director of Studies at the Center for Super Sexy Times in Intercourse, PA.* He has a PhD in "Bangology" and  over 40 years of applied experience with his wife, Satcha Wadd.

Jen from Downtownsville asks:

"Why are females so eager to give oral to the men they love and men hate to return the favor.. It like for serious has to be my birthday... And it's several women I have spoken with who have been in long term relationships with their man???"

Well, Jen, I have to say that you and your friends must be part of some crazy cult! Mrs. Wadd only requested that once, and she said that it was awful and never wanted me to do it again! So obviously women don't care much for this.

The myth of "cunnilingus" is a fairly recent one. Researchers believe it was invented as a means to make men doubt their abilities to use their ramicus-rodentia, or "ram-rod" to properly please a woman. This doubt would lead to a lack of confidence that would allow women to take over the world.

During the 70s, a slew of documentary films known as "Crotch Flicks" provided men with some great new insights as to what women wanted and expected from a sexual relationship. It seemed that women got the most pleasure from certain tasks performed in a certain order:
  1. Woman meets complete stranger, preferably someone from a service industry
  2. Woman becomes overcome with a pubescent male level of randiness
  3. Woman performs oral acts on stranger
  4. Woman engages in vigorous, extremely fast paced intercourse while screaming profanities and emulating the sounds of a dying seagull
  5. Woman in a serious relationship will request anal sex in the crudest manner possible
  6. Woman requests ejaculate be deposited on a specific body part, usually the face
This method is generally known to be the most pleasurable to the female, although etiquette dictates that they will say things like, "Gross!", "What the hell are you thinking?" or "That hurts, you asshole (or MY asshole)!" as to not be thought of as "easy". 

Some scientists tried to challenge this method, citing that "asking the female what she likes","foreplay" and "clitoral stimulation" were key to providing a woman pleasure. This was soon dismissed though, as when women were asked if we were good, they responded with "Yes." and "You're the best I've ever had." They were also continuing to have very loud, big orgasms that were in no way fake because we could tell if they were.

So this brings us to the question. Why don't men do this "cunnilingus"? Well, because we don't need to! You said that we did just fine with our tried and true method we learned from the documentaries. Right? Right?!?

*Dr. Wadd's opinions are not shared or endorsed by Semper Fye. We actually don't even think he's a real doctor. When we asked to see some credentials, he held up a page from a Doogie Howser coloring book that had "I'm a Dokter" scribbled in crayon on it. Also, The Center for Super Sexy Times is in a basement with a dingy stained mattress on the floor. It smelled awful.

The Future Started Yesterday - Stereo Reform: Review

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The Future Started Yesterday

Stereo Reform


OK. I'm going to attempt to be as objective as possible here, which is going to be difficult considering I've known Lead Singer/Bass Player Neil Turner for a good 20 years now. We cut our musical teeth together, so I'm pretty knowledgeable on his influences and styles. First up, a brief history on the band, courtesy of their website.

"Hailing from Greenville, SC, Stereo Reform is a fusion of the creative talents of Neil Turner on bass, keys, and lead vocals, and Will Evans on guitar, keys, and backup vocals. With the 2008 release of their first album, Robots of Evolution, Stereo Reform introduced the world to their signature sound, “Dance-a-Funk-a-Rock-a-Tronic.” A true synthesis of genres, Dance-a-Funk-a-Rock-a-Tronic takes the loosely definable “rock” sound and blends dance, funk, and pop into the mix. In addition to Robots of Evolution,Stereo Reform has also recorded two demos, The Whitestone Session and Party Light 25. In April of 2012, Stereo Reform teamed up with Bravo Ocean and Triangle Sound Studios (owned by acclaimed producer Tricky Stewart) to record their newest album, The Future Started Yesterday, which is set to release on May 13, 2013. Stereo Reform is currently playing clubs and music halls throughout the southeast, and is also looking to make an impact on the festival circuit." 

Their first album, Robots of Evolution, was a good showcase of the funk-rock skills they'd been perfecting at the time, with solid tracks and instrumentation. But it lacked some of the studio finesse that I'm personally so keen on. This is not to say the material itself isn't excellent, but it failed to capture the kinetic energy on display in their shows. The band was pushing for something fresh, but the engineers that worked on it may have forgotten to douche. 

With The Future, those issues have not only been addressed, but pushed the band's sound into the stratosphere. The engineering and sound quality is like the great Lebowski's rug, tying the whole room together. The funk-rock sound is more of the skeleton of the work this time around, providing the supports for the shimmery, synth-pop skin and the muscle of the Discotheque that courses between them.

Instrumentation-wise, the focus is on the whole rather than the individual, with the guitar, bass, drums and even the vocals are incorporated seamlessly into the mix, supporting each other rather than trying to show off. The synths accomplish the impossible task of feeling organic while retaining the raw edge needed to stimulate the ears.

The song writing and structure is as top-notch as to be expected, mostly keeping with a format to ensure maximum dance-ability. Lyrically, the focus is on various stages of the timeline in life and love, foregoing the political message in favor of a more spiritual one that actually better suits the fluid and ethereal sound of the tracks.

The Future Started Yesterday is actually the perfect description of the album itself. It pays homage to the old styles of yesteryear while embracing current technologies in a non-exploitative manner, giving it a timeless feel that's uncommon in the Pop landscape. I think it's safe to say that Stereo Reform's future itself has arrived. 

The Real Problem with Gay Marriage

I like to think of myself as a moderate in terms of politics. I don't think I really had a choice considering I grew up in the buckle of the Bible Belt, while also being exposed to tons of liberal civil rights issues via my mom's workplace. So I've seen more than my share of extremist views on both sides of the fence, and I like to think I understand the reasoning behind their thinking. But when it comes to gay rights, I'm way over in left field, squinting to make out the faces of my conservative peers. Even if it's something you don't agree with morally, they are still human beings just like the rest of us.

Marriage is one of the few things that separates us from the rest of the animals. Monogamy itself is very rare among all that lives because it goes against the "survive and repopulate" scheme that's got us to where we are today. As humans though, we came to adopt the position that in order to survive, we need to find that one person we can share our thoughts, hopes, defeats and victories with. In order to raise a child successfully, we decided that the Mother and Father should be present to ensure "proper" social integration (which I think is BS for a few reasons, that I hope to rant about in the future). To prevent releasing savage beast-people into our peaceful society.

So. What are the big arguments against Gay Marriage? And how valid are they? Let's look at a few. And once again, this is for entertainment purposes only. I have no idea what the hell I'm talking about in real life.

3. Gay People Can't Reproduce, and if They Do End Up with A Child Somehow It Will Be Evil.

Says who? Well, obviously reproduction is difficult, and the basis for believing that homosexuality is wrong or unnatural (which is ANOTHER issue that deserves further ranting). But there are obviously plenty of alternatives for this now. This goes along with the whole "Homosexuality is a Choice" argument I suppose. But that just makes even less sense. Tons of gay people come from traditional, religious families.  Yet they still "chose" to be gay. So why can't a child from a homosexual couple "choose" to be straight?

 The main point Bible-thumpers keep trying to "bash" (get it?) into our heads is that being gay is a sin, and makes you incapable of having the moral compass to properly raise a kid. OK, fine. Let's run with that. Let's go ahead and pass legislation that says anyone who knowingly commits a sin should be sterilized and turn in any existing children to the state. Or better yet, the Catholic church! The simple fact is, according to the Good Book, EVERYONE sins. And even if you are basing it off the fact that homosexuals are not or can not (B.S.) be Christians, then you need to go after ALL of the non-Christian community. You can't just single out the sins you think are gross. Homosexuals are just as capable of having a moral compass as anyone else. And if it comes to a choice between placing a child in the hands of the government or ANY caring couple that only wants to provide a stable, loving environment, then sign me up for the couple. Every time.

2. People should not have their tax dollars used to support something they believe is wrong. 

Yeah! I agree! We shouldn't have to pay taxes for ANYTHING we don't agree with! Each year, we should all receive a checklist with all the various things our money goes towards. And we can pick and choose what we want to support! The government is always going to do something that someone doesn't agree with somewhere. It's kinda the thing that makes this country so great. We have the ability to believe in whatever we want, and our government (for the most part) is there to help ensure that. I'm pretty anti-war for the most part, but I'm also pro-social programs. In a perfect world, we'd all get whatever we wanted all the time. In the real world, you have to SHARE and make sure everyone gets a turn, ok? If not, we'll all end up in time out and ice-cream coneless.

1. It Will Subvert the Sacred Institution of Marriage!

Here is the dumbest argument of them all. I mean, Scary Movie 5 dumb. Do you know what's REALLY subverted the sacred institution of marriage? Everyone else. Divorce rates have steadily increased year after year. I don't know statistics, but it seems like first-time marriages are considered nothing more than a practice run for people. Christians are just as likely, if not more likely in some cases, to go through divorce as anyone else. So why are we saying gay people will fail at it, or mess it up more, when it's already pretty screwed up to begin with? I think they at least deserve a chance to suck at it as much as the rest of us.

What I think it boils down to, the REAL problem with gay marriage, is we're afraid they're going to make US look bad by doing it better. With them fighting so hard to be able to do something that we basically take for granted, I'd be willing to bet they can.

5 Films I Love to Hate (Because Other People Love Them)

Some movies are good. Some are bad. Some are so bad they're good. But these are films that people genuinely love despite the fact they're just awful. These people are like a kid with ageusia, singing the praises of a turd they thought was candy just because the wrapper said "Chock-A-Lot".

5. The Boondock Saints

No, it's not a feminine hygiene product. It's a "movie".

There's only one word that can sum this one up: Why? Boondock Saints sits firmly on the throne of  90's Tarantino poser flicks.  If this movie was a person, it'd be that guy who horse laughs at all of his terrible, Andrew Dice Clay-esque jokes and rambles on about all the "extreme" things he does with his "bros". When someone tells me this is one of their favorites, I just silently judge them and move them to my internal "acquaintance" list. If this hadn't inspired the exceptional "Overnight", about director Troy Duffy's meteoric crash to chumpsville, it would probably rank higher.

4. Natural Born Killers

This is what happens when you work at Cheers for too long.
I'll give it this much: it took me about 3 days to finally decide I hated it after watching it. This movie should be stuck in one of those chair-ride dealies and called a train wreck simulator. Only an idiot would buy the two leads as the anti-heroes Stone wants them to be. Yes, Oliver, news media saturates the medium with blood and guts because that's what people want. No, Oliver, that doesn't mean they are responsible for making  serial killers. The movie's execution ends up contradicting it's own moral, feeling like a wholesale of violence instead of a valid critique of it. You know you got problems when Quentin Tarantino (the writer) distances himself from it.

3. The Hangover

That's not how roofies work. Not even close.
I was late to seeing this, as I don't hit the theaters very often, so by the time I actually did see it I did so on a toilet in anticipation of all the shit-inducing laughter I was told to expect. It never happened.  The whole thing just felt flat. The characters were unlikable, the plot was implausible (and not in a zany way) and the humor was tired.  Galifianakis and Helms are usually hilarious, but here they're subdued to make way for all the original zingers like getting blackout drunk and marrying a stripper in Vegas. How people enjoyed this enough to warrant 2 sequels just baffles the hell out of me.

2. The Sixth Sense

And the call was coming from inside the bloody hook in the ribbon that was holding her head on until this very night right behind you!
I'm a prideful person (for good reason, too!) so I've always taken great joy in the fact that I spotted M. Night's hackery as soon as it hit the mainstream with this film. People just kept droning on and on about how he was the next Hitchcock. They defended him dud after dud. It wasn't until Lady in the Water that they finally started coming around to what I'd been saying all along: "This guy doesn't know what the hell he's doing." I especially hate this movie because it started the novel trend of using a twist ending to carry a whole film. If you're only watching a movie to get to the ending, you're not doing it right. And if you still think this is good, you need to go back and watch it again. It has no replay value, the acting is laughable in some spots, and the twist doesn't even really make sense if you think about it for more than a minute. 

1. Forrest Gump

Like a box of chocolates: processed, over-sweetened and cliched
This movie almost makes me angry just thinking about it. Just the whole white-washing of developmental disabilities generally shown in Hollywood pisses me off. The only honest look I've seen on the subject was in Tropic Thunder.

The people who got so offended by this REALLY missed the point of it. Even though it's pretty crude, it's a pretty honest critique of how mentally disabled people are seen in the industry. "Never go full-retard" is basically saying, "we can have a mentally handicapped person, but not TOO handicapped". You know, they still have to have traits "normal" people can relate to. Rain Man has a "quirky" condition that makes life hard for him, but that's ok because he's a GENIUS with numbers! Ol' Forrest ain't that bright, but that's ok because he KNOWS what love is and can run like a cheetah! It seems like the feel good message of Forrest Gump boils down to, "You can accomplish anything you put your mind to, even if your mind isn't capable of doing it! Coincidence and Destiny will fill in the blanks for you." And this is certainly just me being too sensitive perhaps, but after seeing the very real challenges that people with cognitive impairments deal with on a daily basis and then seeing Hollywood basically twist it whichever way will fill the most seats kinda disgusts me. And that's all I have to say about that. I'll let the professionals tell you the rest.

Schedule of Content

So here is a quick overview of what I'm going to try to post each week. As this is a "free-time" hobby, it probably won't be exact, but I'm guessing I won't have a legion of followers to upset anyways. So, here goes...

Mondays: Entertainment

This will cover pop-culture and things of that sort. Music, movies, TV, art etc. This doesn't include any reviews I might do.

Tuesdays: Political/Social Issues

Self explanatory. I'll be stabbing hot-button subjects, hopefully inviting civil and intelligent discussion in the comments section. 

Wednesdays: WildCard!!!

Just whatever tickles my fancy. Maybe I can use this day for requests too if readership grows.

Thursdays: Relationships/Sex

Also hoping to expand this to a Q and A column if possible. 

Fridays: Memories/Nostalgia

Each month, I'll be remembering someone close to me that's passed on. Then I'll be ranting on about how great the good ol' days were, like a 30-something should be.

Saturdays: Comics/Cartoons

I'll TRY to post an original, hand-drawn comic strip each week.

Sundays: Religion

This will probably be just a short quote or verse with a quick personal reflection attached. I'll try my best to cover different belief sets.

And that's it for now. Thank you to the few who have been reading. I hope you spread the word if you enjoy it and would love to see some comments!