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Thom Yorke, lead singer of the band Radiohead, was explaining himself to Joe Fishstock, interviewer from a big music zine. “Bush isn’t the only criminal; he’s just one among many,” he said, squinting.

“Would Ariel Sharon be another on your list of thieves?” Joe queried.

Is he being smug? thought Yorke. Corporate American prick. Why did I agree to this bloody fucking publicity shit? Should have stayed in London. “Yeah, sure he would,” he replied, his voice quivering slightly. “Wouldn’t you say so? American dollars supply Israel with their stinkin’ weapons they use to kill innocent children.”

Fishstock bristled but didn’t show it. He looked at his notes, not Yorke, and said, “You know, I was in London covering that peace rally. All these signs saying, ‘Bush and Sharon are the real axis of evil’. I didn’t see one sign condemning any other thieves – Bin Laden, Saadam, Mugabe, take your pick. Or maybe those guys aren’t as reprehensible as Bush and Sharon, and their Jewish-American cabal…” He paused, took a sip of his Snapple drink, and burped. “Anyhow, let’s talk more about the album. “There There” is the most straightforward rock’n’roll song on the record. Is it a love song, or-”

“What the fuck,” cried Yorke, his voice shrill. “Is this a fuckin’ interview? You’re fuckin’ mad! Fuck this! You blimey Americans. Rulin’ the fuckin’ world tisn’t good enough, no noo! You got to be a little smart-ass wanker too!” He stood up in a dramatic gesture, and went to get his vintagey fake suede coat.

“And you tea-drinking fucks,” hissed Fishstock. “You’re the granddaddies of imperialism, and now you just sit there impotently. I don’t know who’s worse, you or those hypocrite French frog fucks who swill off our trough and then have the nerve to cry all the time in Le Monde about-”

Suddenly both of them went mute; their mouths moved and they gesticulated wildly, but they couldn’t utter a sound. A ghostly apparition appeared before them. It was the folk singer Laura Niro, young as she was in the 60’s. She spoke. “The two of you are mirroring each other; you’re both really pathetic. All full of your own righteousness, nothing but hot air. When we were protesting back in the day, it was real, man.”

“But Chomsky says-” Yorke began, his voice back.

“Find your own mission!” Young Laura Niro interrupted. “Chomsky’s just part of the establishment now – the tired leftist establishment of the academy…”

Ominously, the sound of a Yamaha DX-7 synth-patch crept into the background. “What’s happening?” croaked Fishstock.

“Silence!” Laura Niro commanded. “For your sin of boring, self-indulgent, empty political airmchair-debate, I sentence you both to relive the year 1983, for eternity!” She picked up her guitar and loudly strummed a Joni Mitchell-type chord on an open tuning.

The floor opened up, and Yorke and Fishstock screamed for mercy. Music from The Fine Young Cannibals arose from the depths, and they disappeared with a great schlepping sound.

Date Written: February 12, 2004
Author: Phony Millions
Average Vote: 3.5

02/19/2004 Craig Lewis (4): This was great, but I must dock you a star for your hateful and gratuitous dig at the Fine Young Cannibals. For one thing, the band didn't even form until 1984, you pig! Their first album was released in 1985. What's more, they rock. On second thought, I'm docking you two stars. Five star short gets three for philistinism and sloppy research.
02/19/2004 Craig Lewis: Oops...forgot to change my four stars to three. Um...
02/19/2004 Reuven Goldfarb (2): That's more like it.
02/19/2004 qualcomm (4): i liked the part with the arguing.
02/19/2004 Jon Matza (4): Yeah, why'd'ja have to pick on FYC? My choice for the Hades-theme would have been "(Our Love's in) Jeopardy" by the Greg Kihn Band. Also, isn't it "Nyro"? Still and all, a pleasure. 4 1/2 + 1/2 to counteract the effects of Lewis-Goldfarb's double vote.
02/19/2004 Texxx (4): 4 stars for the DX-7 reference.
02/19/2004 Jon Matza: @%$!#@* I owe you one.
02/19/2004 senator: I didn't think it was that funny. It was very long.
02/19/2004 anonymous: (): This is terrible! Nine stars!
02/19/2004 Ewan Snow: whoa.
02/19/2004 anonymous: That's it - fuck it; no more pop culture references in my shorts. And Fine Young Cannibals rocked, Lewis? Please. They epitomize wussy brit shit from the eighties.
02/19/2004 Ewan Snow (4): Though this isn't my favorite short, I'll give it an extra point for the one Lewis/Goldfarb deducted for such pedantic reasons.
02/19/2004 Ewan Snow: And everyone always thought Roland Gift was so dreamy. I never understood that.
02/19/2004 Jimson S. Sorghum: Oops, that last one was from me, not Ewan.
02/19/2004 qualcomm: huh. that's weird, cuz i've heard ewan say that very thing a number of times.
02/19/2004 Craig Lewis: "They epitomize wussy brit shit from the eighties"? Try these guys, or these guys, or these guys, or these guys -- or, especially, all of these guys (not to mention these fags). But not FYC!
02/20/2004 Will Disney: Lewis, I wish I could give your comment 5 stars.
02/20/2004 Phony Millions: I'm in Europe now, so I'm always off timewise...Point well taken, Lewis! I'm still trying to get a handle, though, on what you mean by 'rocks'. The Rolling Stones 'rock'. ACDC 'rocks'. Bad Company 'rocks'. The band of the subject of this short has been known to 'rock'. But 'FYC', as you have abbreviated with loving devotion, simply does not rock. Their music was keyboard based; they simply could not rock. I'm sorry.
02/20/2004 Dylan Danko: Whaaa! Brad needs to download the song "I'm Not the Man I Used To Be." Insert your own joke here if you want but its a great song. Also, "Blue" from the first album. In fact, The Raw and The Cooked is full of great 80's soul. Lewis, how dare you dis Haircut 100!
02/20/2004 Craig Lewis: Brad: you're right, of course. Technically, FYC don't "rock." I guess they groove (mildly). But you should check out (revisit?) that song "Blue." It's beautiful. I even think that FYC manage to transcend the ticky-tacky 80s production, and Roland Gift has such a cool voice. In any case, your short was great. P.S. Garvis (scroll down) rock.
02/20/2004 Craig Lewis: Danko: "Blue"! You beat me to it.
02/20/2004 qualcomm: danko download this "blue" for me once. awful. even worse than King Lear
02/20/2004 Dylan Danko: No I downloaded the other one I think.
02/20/2004 Craig Lewis: Feldspar: Indie Rock Rules!
02/20/2004 Dylan Danko: Oh, Snap! ...So to speak.
02/20/2004 Phony Millions: I'm going to check out these two songs, 'Blue' and 'I'm not the Man...' You know the problem was that when I was 13 - 16 I was too much of a snob/contrarian; anything that was top 40 was vetoed ahead of time. I did get into some of the Brit stuff though, one band in particular: Level 42. Anyone hip to them? I can hear Feldspar groaning. Speaking of rocking, I just listened to the first side of 'Beggar's Banquet' on a turntable in a cloud of hash in a cafe in this cool part of Copenhagen here called Christiana where everything's permitted. Contact high, nostalgia...
02/20/2004 qualcomm: there's no such thing as indie rock.
02/20/2004 qualcomm: yes. 'jigsaw puzzle' is important.
02/20/2004 Craig Lewis: Level 42's bassist had mad chops. I like that song "Running in the Family."
02/20/2004 Dylan Danko: Yeah, that band was all about Mark King.
02/20/2004 qualcomm: commenting on the bassist of an obscure 80's band. mark king?! fuck you both.
02/20/2004 Phony Millions: Totally, Lewis! The bassist was what drew me in. Feldspar, if there's no such thing as Indie rock, than what kind of music are your boys, Guided By Voices? Off to gig...
02/20/2004 Dylan Danko: Brad, you're making me jealous! I'm sitting in a fluorescently lit office space full of cardboard boxes! Have some consideration for the working man.
02/20/2004 Phony Millions: Feldspar, that's why I mentioned the Stones I had just heard, to kind of mitigate it a little...
02/20/2004 qualcomm: danko: i bet those burglars would have left 'the raw and the cooked' smashed on the turntable along with 'escape'
02/20/2004 qualcomm: i know people call gbv indie, but so many other completely different things are also called indie that the phrase is meaningless. all it means is that they're not on a major label, and what does that tell you about their music. in my opinion, gbv is just rock.
02/20/2004 Dylan Danko: You continue to display your ignorance, Feldspar. FYC were the anti-Journey.
02/20/2004 qualcomm: (by the way, i am also off to gig... with a swingin' little rhythm section i call microsoft office, featuring powerpoint on alto fucking presentation.)
02/20/2004 Dylan Danko: When you say "jig saw puzzle" are talking about the Flesh For Lulu song?
02/20/2004 qualcomm: i have no idea who FFL is.
02/20/2004 Dylan Danko: Figures!
02/20/2004 qualcomm: such a myriad of obscure and useless bands you two brooklyners are into! you have musical satyriasis, hopping from the loving arms of one band to the next, never finding satisfaction, unable, from simple overexposure, to draw distinctions any coarser than an angstrom, incapable of making sound value judgments. i pity you, and the music on which you pour your tepid affection.
02/20/2004 Jon Matza: Flesh For Fantasy? Sweet Idol tune, brother.
02/20/2004 Ewan Snow: Lewis' and Danko's fan-boy relationship with 80's pop music is really neat! By the way, do you guys still have all your Star Wars action figures in their original packaging? I hope your comic books have been stored in plastic bags! You know what I always did with my FYC albums? I'd buy doubles. One I'd save for my collection, so that people could see it on the shelf and would know about my important relationship with the band. And the other I'd hold onto so I could sell it later when the price went up! See, I'm an even more important fan than you guys and I have really relevant knowledge and opinions about a whole host of crappy bands that relate to me and my taste in crappy 80’s music. Let me tell you all about them at mind-numbing length...
02/20/2004 qualcomm: ha. five stars!
02/20/2004 Jon Matza: I disagree with you all!
02/20/2004 qualcomm: no you don't, matza. i seen the FYC at your home.
02/20/2004 Jon Matza: Not about that, brother. About the other thing.
02/20/2004 Dylan Danko: As opposed to forming a political opinion at far to late an age based on factors having nothing to do with music and then finding a band to fit. And then never wavering from this ill-formed theory. You can't intellectualize the music, man! It's about the heart and the soul. Things you lack! ...Except when our tastes coincide.
02/20/2004 Dylan Danko: And Ewan, I resent the implication that Lewis is gay for me. He's just gay.
02/20/2004 Ewan Snow: Danko, who are you talking to? What are you talking about?
02/20/2004 qualcomm: what are you talking about? political? that's your worst theory yet. (and your sperm count is low.)
02/20/2004 qualcomm: i assume you're saying i have some axe to grind about over-produced music, so i sought out the muddy and inept recordings of gbv and pavement to fit that philosophy?
02/20/2004 Ewan Snow: I didn't imply that, Danko.
02/20/2004 Dylan Danko: Yes political. And what do mean about my cum-count?
You and Snow first heard the term punk when it was used to describe Nirvana.
02/20/2004 qualcomm: dude, he was talking to me, i think. hey disney, put some feature in that indicates who's talking to whom.
02/20/2004 qualcomm: oh, are we going to play the 'i was punk before you' game now?
02/20/2004 Dylan Danko: Punk is a state of mind, man!
02/20/2004 qualcomm: was i right about the sperm count? cuz i was just fishing.
02/20/2004 Will Disney: Feldspar: There's a feature for handling that. It's an old feature. See this comment, or Shakespeare for details - equally well written.
02/20/2004 Dylan Danko: I got a few illegit's in the mother country so I think I'm ok.
02/20/2004 Will Disney: Why would Dylan even know his sperm count?
02/20/2004 Ewan Snow: By taste?
02/20/2004 Ewan Snow: Dylan's “when did you hear punk” challenge is the classical example of fan-boy solipsism. “I heard that band live in ’79.” “Are you kidding? You’re so lame! They’d already sold out by then! I heard them in ’78, before they learned to play their instruments!” One wonders how a band can survive without your authentic and early fandom.
02/20/2004 Dylan Danko: First of all it was a joke and second of all it was a statement of fact not a challenge.
02/20/2004 Craig Lewis: You guys are all ignorant sluts! First of all, I'm not gay. I'm bi. Secondly, it's a bit rich getting lectures in musical taste from Feldspar, who loves that unlistenable GBV/slacker rock/Pavement crud -- guitar rock! fascinating! that's not an utterly exhausted idiom! -- and Snow, the Only-One-Genre-Is-The-True-Music jazz fascist poseur! Oh, Ewan, your taste is so elevated! Can I get a list of literary recommendations, with accompanying discography, for, like, the Total Snow Aesthetic Immersion? (Cuddle up with Notes From Underground... and pop Monk's Underground on the stereo! Wheee!) Also, please don't confuse me with Danko. I don't spend my time downloading the latest power-pop, and I have no idea what hell he's on about RE: punk. See, it's funny, I like GOOD music, no matter what era it's from, what style it is, etc. And Feldspar: my tastes are actually a lot less obscure than yours...wait, why am I arguing with you clowns? You don't know the first fucking thing about music! I cum on all your tits!
02/20/2004 qualcomm: you know so much about music and yet you characterize pavement and gbv as guitar-rock. you don't know what the fuck you're talking about. does either band take guitar hero wank solos, like say, neil schon or whatever the fuck his name is from your boys Journey? now they're guitar-rock, see.
02/20/2004 Dylan Danko: Lewis, just because you're gay doesn't mean you have to turn on me. The punk thing was a well worn joke and you love good power pop too. I just want to know if Feldy and Snow have every enjoyed songs that have generally been deemed crappy or cheesey? Songs you hate to love.
02/20/2004 qualcomm: course i have. i just don't like to air my dirty laundry.
02/20/2004 Dylan Danko: Even cheesier than that one?
02/20/2004 Jimson S. Sorghum: Teehee.
02/20/2004 Dylan Danko: I agree wholeheartedly with Jimson.
02/20/2004 qualcomm: kick em when they're up, kick em all arooouuunnd
02/20/2004 Texxx: Isn't this the Latest Controversy? What's takin'?
02/20/2004 Jimson S. Sorghum: You've got your dirty little fingers in everybody's....
02/20/2004 Craig Lewis: Feldspar: your pedantry is tiresome, and you've failed to answer my charges. (In fact, you've proven my point.) These labels -- "guitar rock," etc. -- mean nothing, of course. (I would have called them "indie rock," but in an earlier, insufferably pedantic post, you rejected that label.) Music is music is music; your favorite bands, by my lights, make bad music. Satisfied? My larger point is that both you and Ewan, I strongly suspect, have EXTREMELY NARROW taste. Those of us who have open minds, and aren't so entrenched in some kooky idea of what's cool, have rather broader taste. In any case, we were having a perfectly nice conversation about Level 42, before you picked a fight that you're morally incapable of winning. P.S. Dirty Laundry is ok; The Boys of Summer is GREAT.
02/20/2004 Texxx: I heard Disney likes that crappy new remake of 'Boys of Summer,' not the original.
02/20/2004 Will Disney: No - this isn't the latest controversy. The latest controversy should draw blood.
02/20/2004 Ewan Snow: Lewis: Hmmm, I'm the poseur? It seems to me the tastes you accuse me of faking are dramitically less trendy than yours. 80's retro is trendy, no? Your apartment is full of carefully posed kitsh crap, no? You personality is carefully constructed to impress moderately intelligent hipsters like yourself, no? As a minor point of correction, I don't only listen to one genre. As you don't know me, you'll have to take my word on this. You have an open mind? That's the excuse people always give when their mind is full of shit. More importantly, my criticism was not so much about the specific music or taste as about your pedantic obsession with minutia as evidenced by the comments on this short. And that's right, you DO know something about music, being a music critic, which as everybody knows is the world's most useless profession. Do me a favor, go hang your poseur hipster self by the trendy key chain you wear around your neck and spare us your endless comments, which amusingly are written in the same spastic lisp with which you speak.
02/20/2004 Dylan Danko: I think it just did, Disney.
02/20/2004 qualcomm: oh, now i get it, lewis: music is for listening, not to bulwark some lame pose of mine! i get it now! it doesn't matter what genre it fits into, only that it's good! you have shown me the way. crank up the crosby, i'm a new fucking man. you would have called them indie rock? you did call them indie rock, in an earlier post, you cunt. then you backed off, just like you're now backing off the guitar-rock charge. if you're going to hold yourself up as an authority on music, a pedant if you will, at least make a well-supported argument that you can stick to. because, see, anyone can just say, so-and-so makes bad music. and the fact that you've published on this topic lends your opinion no more weight than anything else on this thread. if it did, then john pareles would be your god.
02/20/2004 anonymous: I thought prostitution was the world's most useless profession. Or is that the world's oldest profession?
02/20/2004 Craig Lewis: This is getting ugly. I have an appointment to rush off to -- have to meet a fellow useless mediocrity -- so I can't respond at length now. I promise I will later. Let me just make the following points. 1.) I agree with Ewan's statement about music criticism. Which is why, if you look into the matter, you'll discover I've published very few articles in my life. I don't go to concerts. Don't interview bands. I'm not into it. I'm writing a book about Benjamin Franklin now. I am not claiming, nor would I ever, that the fact that I've made money by writing dopey articles makes me an authority on music. 2.) I don't think my mind is full of shit, and I know my apartment isn't full of kitsch artifacts. 3.) Can I remind Ewan that he doesn't know me either? 4.) I'll write more later. See ya!
02/20/2004 Dylan Danko: Ewan, your comment about 80's music being trendy betrays your ignorance. The 80's music trend/nostalgia has been around a while and, I think, centers around shit like "Safety Dance" etc. But even if you want to dispute that, this was never an argument about defending 80's music per se. The point of it was to defend GOOD music from the commonly held "hip" misconception that: 1. If it came from the 80's it has to be crap 2. If it's mainstream and poppy it has to be crap 3. If it doesn't have irony laden street cred it has to be crap.
By the way, I enjoy the fake "Museum Shop" pieces so tastefully displayed on your wall.
02/20/2004 qualcomm: by the way, lewis, i don't actually want a well-crafted analysis of why you dislike those bands, not here, anyway. because then i'd have to go through all the trouble of crafting a well-crafted rebuttal. these arguments are best resolved through what i call "spoken word". perhaps over beers, at ewan's home, tonight?
02/20/2004 Dylan Danko: Yes! We can admire the artifacts!
02/20/2004 Craig Lewis: Hi again. Feldspar, I agree about the no well-crafted response. And I can't make it tonight for beers, although I appreciate the invite. Anyhow...Ewan: I cannot but be impressed with the dexterity with which you extended a lively discussion of musical/aesthetic tastes into a larger critique of my entire persona, my apartment, my accessorizing -- even my speech impediment! No matter. I understand the real intent of your hurtful words. You mean to apologize for your years-long persecution of me (and my lifestyle). I accept.
02/20/2004 Jon Matza: The funny thing is that somewhere around 12:05:26 PM - before things took such a contentious turn - I was going to make some crack to the effect of, "now this is what acmeshorts is all about - learning and sharing!" In any case, I hope you're proud of yourself for inciting all this rancor, Evans.
02/21/2004 Phony Millions: Shit i missed this whole thing! It sucks being in another time zone.
02/23/2004 scoop: You guys are all ass holes. The Pixies are the greatest band ever. End of controversy. Will, on to the next one!
02/24/2004 Dylan Danko: No Scoop, it's the Throwing Muses.
02/24/2004 scoop: I am going to respond to that only to say that it does not dignify a response. Here it comes: It doesn't dignify a response!!
05/22/2004 TheBuyer (5): I am a music geek too, Brad, walk tall.
05/22/2004 TheBuyer: Yay, that was the most useless music discussion I have even seen ever in the history of everything. Anytime someone tries to defend The FYC you know it's gonna be pointless to talk to them about quality.
07/28/2004 TheBuyer: man, I really was drinking heavily this spring...
07/28/2004 Mr. Pony: I knew there was something different about you!
12/24/2004 Shane Mahoney (1): I fail to see how this piece addresses the pressing issue of how we are moving forward in our application of the North American ideal of preservation and the stewardship of our vital natural rezources.
12/24/2004 Phony Millions: Go suck your own dick and learn how to spell while you're at it.