Announcing The Next Two Green Monkey Mixes

I now give you the the rules for Volume 4 and 5 of the Green Monkey Music Project.

Volume 4 will be called, What’s In A Word?

What’s In A Word? is a mix that once again has a rather simple rule to follow. All songs submitted must have a title consisting of only one word. The word can’t be a proper noun (a person’s name, a place — if it has a capital letter, it’s a no-no).

When in doubt, use the Merriam-Webster Online dictionary. If it can’t be found there, it’s not allowed. Hey, I’d love to use Neil Young’s “Powderfinger” and Yo La Tengo’s “Sugarcube”, but they’re just not words you find in a dictionary (well, this particular one, at least).

I also want to give you the rules of Volume 5, because I don’t someone missing out on Volume 4 and automatically sign up for the next volume without knowing what they are getting into. Volume 5 will require participants to be at least a little versed in music of a more international flavor.

Volume 5 is called No Speak English. Songs for this mix must have some kind of vocals in them. Whatever singing or speaking there is in the song, it can’t be in English.

I’m not doing these mixes concurrently. You can sign up for Volume 5, and once I finalize the participants, you can submit your songs, but just be aware that I’m not going to get to it until Volume 4 is published.

Volume 4 will have five participants, but with me in the mix, that only leaves four open slots. Allen L. and Anandamide expressed interest in joining the next mix, so I’m holding two openings for them at the moment.

Volume 5 will have up to five participants as well — all four slots are open.

After these two volumes, I think I’ll take a break for a couple weeks on these mixes. But fear not, there will be a nice holiday-themed mix coming up in late September!


We have our participants for Volume 4, “What’s In A Word?”!

Allen L.!

Participants, please add a comment to this post indicating your song choices (w/artist). Please provide no less than five songs, and no more than eight.

We also have our participants for Volume 5!


Volume 5 participants, please feel free to leave your choices as a comment as well. No pressure, though — like I said, I’m not starting on putting together Volume 5 until Volume 4 is published and available for download.

Thanks everyone for your participation!

The Lighter Side Of Erectile Dysfunction

As you may or may not recall, the bathroom readin’ basket at the Splotchy house typically contains stale celebrity magazines.

Along with these magazines are a few Mad Magazines from the early 70’s that I picked up at a thrift store a few years back.

I’ve been perusing the Mad Magazines more than the celeb rags lately, and am constantly confronted by the wit of Dave Berg, who had a long-running feature called “The Lighter Side Of…” In each issue Berg would explore a particular topic, to which he would devote several pages of three- and four-panel strips.

So, here’s my tribute to Dave Berg. Only the last word balloon has been changed on his original strips. Click on a strip to view a larger image.

And now, I humbly present:

How Computer Programming Pollutes The Mind

This post will probably not make sense to you. Still, I’ll soldier on.

As I had a quick lunch over at the UIC cafeteria today while picking up a schoolbook for MizSplotchy, I noticed a Studs Terkel autograph on a poster where he had also scrawled “Peace = Sanity”.

The first thought that popped into my head was, to properly indicate equality and not assignment, he should have used “==” instead of “=”.

The Interviewer Gets Interviewed

Dguzman, in answering my interview questions, also emailed some questions of her own for me, which I will now dutifully answer.

1. Music is obviously a huge part of your life; what was the first record you ever purchased?

Ack. Why are you askin’ me this? Who have you been talkin’ to?

First single (45 rpm): Styx – Mr. Roboto
First album: Michael Jackson – Thriller. I think I picked up two albums that day. The other was Business As Usual by Men At Work.

2. When and why did you make the jump from vinyl to CD?

Well, in my nuclear family (Me, mother, father, one brother), my dad and I have always been the musically-inclined ones. My dad actually has quite an extensive collection of jazz 78’s from the 1920’s and 1930’s.

As compact disc technology was gaining traction in the mid-80’s, one Christmas my dad bought a nice JVC CD player for himself, and got me the same model.

I had been through the pain, familiar to most people old enough to remember vinyl, of having terrible pops and crackles (and God forbid, skips!) mysteriously manifest themselves on my most cherished records.

The fact that CDs didn’t noticeably degrade after many plays was a big factor for me leaving the world of vinyl. As soon as I got that player I was pretty much going to pick up something on disc rather than vinyl if it was available.

I remember hearing the debates of analog (records) versus digital (CDs) but I didn’t give too much of a crap about it — I’m not an audiophile, and the CDs sounded great to me.

Since you asked about my first record purchase, I’ll tell you my first CD purchase as well. It was Phaedra by Tangerine Dream — I owned a scratchy vinyl copy that I thought I’d replace when I saw it for sale used.

3. What was your favorite subject in school/college, and why?

Hm, my film production and studies classes were the most fun. I didn’t start out as a Film major, and I actually switched schools during college due to a change in my interests.

For a big part of my life I wanted to be an archaeologist, and that’s what I had in my mind when I went to University of Illinois in Champaign, Illinois.

When I had an Introduction to Anthropology course, I learned a couple things, neither of them part of the curriculum:

  • The first couple years of college can be enormously sucky. Big lecture hall classes, indifferent teachers, clueless TA’s. Sucky.
  • I might not want to be an archaeologist.

While I was at U of I, I took a film studies class which bowled me over, then took a film production class, which I enjoyed even more. The next semester the one lone professor they had for film production was going on sabbatical, so I decided to switch schools to Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, which had a well-established film production program.

As far as a class unrelated to my major, I had a fantabulous Shakespeare class at SIU. I had Mary Ellen Lamb for a teacher, and she was just incredible — enthusiastic, engaged, and had an excitement about the subject that was contagious. If only all teachers could be like her. Simply amazing. The world of Shakespeare really opened up for me, and it’s largely due to her.

4. How many of the 50 states have your visited? Lived in?

I have only lived in one state, Illinois.

“By thy rivers gently flowing,
Illinois, Illinois,
and thy prairies verdant growing,
–oop, sorry.

Lessee, as far as states I have visited:

I have:

  • Bought some kringle in Wisconsin.
  • Stayed at a resort in the bucolic environs of La Porte, Indiana.
  • Visited an auntie in Miami, Florida (I also saw Disneyworld/Epcot).
  • Stayed at my brother’s place when he lived in Little Five Points, a funky neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Went on my first vacation with the future MizSplotchy, driving down to New Orleans. A few years later I drove down with Bubs to help gut houses in St. Bernard’s Parish, which had been flooded by the levee breach caused by Hurricane Katrina (they still need help!).
  • Went to a few Java One conferences in San Francisco, California.
  • Stayed with some friends of MizSplotchy in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he also took a couple train rides so we could–
  • Walk around in wonder at the sights of New York, New York. I stumbled into catching a glimpse of Bruce Springsteen outside Madison Square Garden. I think he was playing a series of nights there for his 50th birthday. He’s a l’il fella.
  • Married MizSplotchy at Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada.

There’s other states (Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, Iowa, Michigan, etc.) I have been in, but I don’t really count them as I really didn’t spend any amount of time visiting them (and I really wanted to see Graceland the two times I’ve been through Memphis, goddammit!).

5. What makes a good blog post? Do you write some of them in advance and save them up for those not-so-fresh days, or do you try to just come up with things on a daily basis?

I don’t know what makes a good blog post. The more I get exposed to, the more goodness I can see. Blogs are so damned flexible, it’s great. It lends itself to a lot of personal creativity, which I really admire.

I usually come up with things on a daily basis. I feel almost a responsibility to produce something at this point, which I suppose could be interpreted as a bad place to be (the bitch goddess of content, I call it). I don’t worry about it too much, though. I see it as exercising my imagination, which is quite a lovely thing to do, I think.

The only thing I occasionally come up with in advance are my Unconnected Tuesdays post. Sometimes I save one off, because it’s a weekly feature and not tied to any current events, etc.

Thanks for the questions!

Presenting The Under 3 Mix!

Volume 3 of the Green Monkey Music Project has been completed, and is available for download!

If the participants of this mix want to discuss their own selections, please feel free to do so! I’ll put a pointer on this post if you end up posting about it on your own blog (or you could always just add comments here, I suppose).


Rules and Theme Details

The Participants Discuss Their Selections:

The Songs:

Get the mix in chunks!

Zipped file of Songs 01-08 (All of SamuraiFrog’ songs)
Zipped file of Songs 09-16 (All of J.D.’s songs)
Zipped file of Songs 17-24 (All of Distributorcap’s songs)
Zipped file of Songs 25-32 (All of Splotchy’s songs)
Zipped file of Songs 33-40 (All of Lulu’s songs)

Track Listing
01 – Todd Rundgren – International Feel [samuraifrog]
02 – Scissor Sisters – I Can’t Decide [samuraifrog]
03 – Richard Thompson – Oops! I Did It Again (live) [samuraifrog]
04 – The Zombies – Summertime [samuraifrog]
05 – Django Reinhardt – Swing Interpretation of the First Movement in D Minor by JS Bach [samuraifrog]
06 – JoJo – Times Like These (live) [samuraifrog]
07 – Adam and the Ants – Jolly Roger [samuraifrog]
08 – David Bowie – Bombers [samuraifrog]
09 – Lindsay Lohan – Frankie & Johnny [j.d.]
10 – Shigeru Umebayashi – The Echo Game [j.d.]
11 – KT Tunstall – Hold On [j.d.]
12 – Jennifer Hudson – Love You I Do [j.d.]
13 – Kelly Clarkson – Respect [j.d.]
14 – Panic! At the Disco – The Only Difference Betweeen Martyrdom and Suicide is Press Coverage [j.d.]
15 – Meg & Dia – Monster [j.d.]
16 – Lisa Simpson and ‘Bleeding Gums’ Murphy – Jazz Man [j.d.]
17 – Eric Clapton – After Midnight [distributorcap]
18 – Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell – You’re All I Need To Get By [distributorcap]
19 – Canned Heat – Going Up The Country [distributorcap]
20 – Aretha Franklin – You Make Feel Like A Natural Woman [distributorcap]
21 – The Crystals – Then He Kissed Me [distributorcap]
22 – Joni Mitchell – Chelsea Morning [distributorcap]
23 – Jan & Dean – The Little Old Lady From Pasadena [distributorcap]
24 – The Turtles – It Ain’t Me Babe [distributorcap]
25 – Wire – It’s So Obvious [splotchy]
26 – Pere Ubu – I Will Wait [splotchy]
27 – Commodores – Machine Gun [splotchy]
28 – Bo Diddley – Mona (I Need You Baby) [splotchy]
29 – The Clean – Franz Kafka At The Zoo [splotchy]
30 – Cat Stevens – Tea For The Tillerman [splotchy]
31 – Robyn Hitchcock – My Favourite Buildings [splotchy]
32 – The Champs – Tequila [splotchy]
33 – Blue Meanies – The 4th of July [lulu]
34 – Weezer – Buddy Holly [lulu]
35 – Dead Kennedys – Too Drunk To Fuck [lulu]
36 – The Pogues – If I Should Fall From Grace With God [lulu]
37 – Supersuckers – Creepy Jackalope Eye [lulu]
38 – The Dirtbombs – Get It While You Can [lulu]
39 – Traitors – I’m So Happy When I’m Hated [lulu]
40 – Deerhoof – Dinner For Two [lulu]

Splotchy’s Contribution To The Under 3

Hi, here’s a little background on my choices for The Under 3 mix.

Wire – It’s So Obvious [0:53]
A nice, fast song off their first album, Pink Flag. And it’s under one minute! Delightful.

Pere Ubu – I Will Wait [1:47]
I finally get a Pere Ubu song on a mix! This is a nice poppy-yet-skronky song off their second album, Dub Housing.

Commodores – Machine Gun [2:41]
I had a pretty serious soul and funk awakening a year or so back, during which time I first heard this song. This is a great instrumental track off their album of the same name. Listen closely near the end — there’s a great funky riff the Beastie Boys sampled for their song “Hey Ladies”.

Bo Diddley – Mona (I Need You Baby) [2:22]
I don’t really like a lot of schmaltzy love songs, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like love songs as a rule. Take this song, for example. I can’t think of a better song expressing a sense of longing — sexual, emotional and otherwise — than this.

The Clean – Franz Kafka At The Zoo [1:58]
As I have mentioned elsewhere, I really dig this New Zealand band. While they are a great pop band, they would also play around and experiment. This is kind of a spooky-sounding song off their album Unknown Country.

Cat Stevens – Tea For The Tillerman [1:01]
I think I have Cat Steven’s Greatest Hits on vinyl, so I know “Moonshadow”, “Peace Train”, etc., but I owe my knowledge of this song, off the album of the same name, to the great BBC show Extras, by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. The song would play at the end of each episode, and it really fit the mood of the show. Thank you, Extras!

Robyn Hitchcock – My Favourite Buildings [2:50]
One of my favorites (or favourites, rather). This is off the first album I bought by the man, I Often Dream Of Trains.

The Champs – Tequila [2:11]
This is one of my all-time favorite songs. I can’t help but smile when I hear it.

Niblet Has No Comment

I recently strolled through a garden of flowers, vegetables and butterflies, accompanied by Niblet (pictured) and the wonderful dguzman.

We got to talking (dguzman and I — Niblet couldn’t be bothered), and she had the presence of mind to save our conversation for posterity.

Have a gander at it here.

We Have Two Gay Video Contest Winners!

Frank Sirmarco and SamuraiFrog have tied for first place in the Gayest Video Ever ™ contest!

It is my great honor to present each of them with The Schneider!

To collect your prize, please right-click on the image below and select “Save Image As…”.

Congratulations to you both!

In the future, there may be discussions on the web and beyond as to the gayness of this video or that video, but the fourteen people who voted over these last two days spoke for the entire Internet. Nay, they spoke for the world.

This is *the* defining moment of gay video discussion. You voters are a part of history now, and will be enshrined forever in Wikipedia (at least until they block my IP address from making edits).

I’d like to thank everyone for participating, and humbly offer a Meaningless Cherry Award to each and every one of you as a token of my appreciation.