Party Naked in 2014
Music is my religion and I’m going to see the Pope in February. That being said, had my sperm-donor (dad) not had asthma, or my uncle on my mom’s side, or my grandfather on my mom’s side also had not had asthma I might have taken a different spiritual path altogether. Yes, music is in my genes (dad was a stage performer in musicals in his youth, mom plays violin and piano, grandfather was an opera singer in Europe, etc.) but it wasn’t my first love. Baseball gave me my first hard-on. Not music, not tits, not even the vagina diagram in Matt’s old Sex Ed textbook. As a kid growing up in the 80’s watching baseball, Ozzie Smith was GOD. He was an underdog like me. He didn’t hit for power, but he was fast, stole bases, was a terrific defensive infielder and he hustled. He was (to me) a realistic manifestation of what I believed I could be on the baseball diamond when I grew up. He was a winner, and his teammates and his city loved him. Plus, he was black*. And since deep down I’ve always wished I were just a bit, it didn’t hurt.
*I joke all the time that I’m half, which aside from being incredibly insulting to black people, I’m convinced is the case on some meta level that I can’t fully explain to you. Seriously though, I think it has to do with the fact that I grew up with the beginning of hip hop, have always hated white entitlement, I grew up in Santa Ana with a dominantly Hispanic demographic and saw first-hand (only the tip of the iceberg I’m sure) the struggles of daily life for a marginalized subset of people. Plus I love Jazz/Blues/Soul/R&B/Hip Hop, never dug Mariachi and I got a big dick. Do the math.
I played little league up until age 10. Up until that age I tried to play like Ozzie. I wasn’t the coach’s kid. I never hit a home run. I didn’t pitch or play one of the power corners. I played shortstop, a little second base and filled in the gaps as needed in the outfield (which in little league sucks on par with how it must feel to play outfield for the Mets). Shortstop was my position though. I really want to sat that I was 9 when my team was the Cardinals. I felt very lucky to be able to be the team’s shortstop just like Ozzie was. I felt even luckier when I got my Cardinals uniform before the season began and I had been assigned the number 1. The following is a list of things that Ozzie Smith and Mike Apathy had in common in the 80’s:
- Played for the Cardinals
- Played Shortstop
- Wore the #1
- Not as big or strong as the other teammates
- Had to hustle more than the rest to stay relevant
- Was black**
**I can’t dance worth a shit though, so I’ve always had a hard time talking my way out of that one…I usually just whip my dick out and start playing drums or something…seems to do the trick. Also, I truly hope these jokes don’t translate offensively. My love of Black Culture stems from the lack of having a culture of my own, if you don’t count blind consumerism. And unlike those who would deny it and keep waving the same ‘Murica banner until they’re blue in the face, I’ll own it. That’s all the explaining I’m going to be doing. Thank you, drive thru.
Everything sounds pretty bitchin, yeah? Well, you’re wrong. What happened next wasn’t bitchin at all, not by a long-shot…unbitchin.
Asthma went and fucked everything up for me, so mom took me out when I was still a wee lad. Now keep the following in mind… Even at the young age of 9 I was aware enough that Baseball players got plenty of ass, which had been my plan ya feel m?. I was supposed to get drafted out of Santa Ana North East Little League straight into the Majors and be a better SS than Honus Wagner right off the schneid. I had shirtless, war-painted 12 year-olds with spears tell me, “Sucks to your ass-marr.” then drop rocks on fat kids with glasses. I needed a new passion. After accidentally watching Tommy Seebach’s Apache on Public Access Television one day with my Uncle Boomer I realized that rock stardom is where all the real ass is at, so I talked my grandma into buying me a guitar on my 10th birthday. The first song I ever learned how to play was The Troggs’ Wild Thing. The rest is a blur…which is probably a direct result of all the drugs.
My point is this: When asthma took me out of baseball I shifted all my focus toward learning how to play that sumbitch guitar. 24 years later, aside from Marilyn, music has been the love of my life…punk rock, hardcore, doom, sludge, indie, hip hop, drum & bass, house, classical, you name it.
That being said, two of mine and Marilyn’s all time favorite punk bands, Propagandhi and The Lawrence Arms* are both playing in L.A. in February ’14. I gotta say man, that’s a pretty BITCHIN way for us to kick this bitch off. For one, Propagandhi was one of the bands we bonded over back in the day when we used to date as teenagers. Driving around aimlessly, smoking cigarettes and blasting Haille Sellasse Up Your Ass (jump ahead to the 2:28 mark, this live version is hot as tits) on the stereo, yelling “Fuck Religion!” over and over at the top of our lungs, thinking we were being rebellious. 2014 looks to be a year of second chances for Octopus Mike. Seeing Propagandhi with the woman I love and watching her freak the fuck out for an hour and a half while I protect her from sweaty dickfaces starting circle pits is our equivalent of Leonardo DiCaprio winning an Oscar: This wasn’t supposed to happen, so Im’a enjoy the shit out it.
And in conclusion, The Lawrence Arms, which seem to be our current favorite band anyway, are releasing their first new LP since Oh! Calcutta! back in 2006. Here’s a vid of the lead single You Are Here, from the new album Metripole, coming out in January.
Can you guys tell I ran out of steam writing this article at around the half-way point? I didn’t sleep too well last night…not at all really. I need more goddamn dopamine. Ahhhhhh, fuck it. This ain’t no disco. I’m gonna salvage this bitch. Watch me…
Mike Apathy’s 2013 Best New Music List (in no particular order)
- Sundowner – Neon Fiction *Chris from Lawrence Arms’ acoustic side-project…haunting whiskey-soaked nostalgia, etc.
- Pissed Jeans – Honeys *The Melvins + My War-era Black Flag + unironic song titles outlining the soul-sucking minutiae of adult male life = Hardcore for dads who drive Hyundai’s and make $40k a year.
- T86A & DJ TROXX – Summer Zombies *I wrote this track under my T86A alias back in January. My buddy TROXX mixed and mastered it. I samples the “Heyyyyy heeyyyyy heyyyyyyya” vocal line from Stereo MC’s Connected, chopped it and what not…my mom liked it.
- Evol Intent – Throwback Thursday Remasters *These bastards remastered just about every classic track they released in the 2000’s. Updating my DJ performance files for FREE is where it’s at. Nobody does it better than these guys. They ARE American D&B in my opinion, no disrespect to Dieselboy (although that reminds me…….)
- Dieselboy – Beyond the Black Bassline *Simply put, this is the newest, freshest, best D&B currently being produced. Terrific track selection.
- Russian Circles – Memorial *Doomy, stoney instrumental post-hardcore, kind of Isis-like.
- Daft Punk – Random Access Memories *I just want to get an IROC Camaro, a bag of drugs and drive down the coast with a couple of ditsy blondes while playing this cassette tape in the tape deck over and over.
- The Lawrence Arms – You Are Here *Only song I’ve heard off the new record, but if it’s any indicator of what’s on deck, this could be better than the old stuff…I like what I’m hearing A LOT.
- The Great Gatsby: Music From Baz Lurmahnn’s Film – Soundtrack *Skanky jazz to drink martinis and act bored to next to all your anorexic, trust-fund, existential crisis-having hipster acquaintances.
- Black Sabbath – 13 *Tommy Iommi’s low-end and Satan make my girly parts tingle.
- Pistol Annies – Annie Up *Shit-kicking music my girl got me into…I dig this record. They’re taking country back to badass territory where it belongs…pretty cool to see three talented women make what almost feels like a guy’s country album.
That’s all I got fuckbags. My resolution for 2014 is to refine my writing a little more…more coherency…more focus…more hard-hitting pieces on relevant social and political issues…ahem…less apathy. I got meds now, so I got a fighter’s chance.
To wrap this up, I wanna say I hope your 2014 is better than your 2013 was. Get fucked up tonight and take off all of your clothes. Quote me on it, I don’t care. Shit happens when you party naked. Remember that.
P.S. – I totally forgot how my rambling was going to tie into my opening paragraph where I talk about His Popeness. The analogy I was constructing was that Chris Hannah from Propagandhi is as close to a divine being on this Earth as the Pope is. The man’s intelligent, has convictions, might be the most gifted and creative punk rock guitarist I’ve ever heard, and most importantly, is all kinds of sexy. Best believe I’ll be throwing him a pair of my boxer briefs while he’s onstage in February….just like he likes…
Octopus Mike Apathy, Esq.