Wednesday, August 17, 2005


I love commercials. I simply can’t help myself. Commercials to me are the true artistic vignettes of modern society – they are one act plays that warn against the danger of feminine itch and the attest to the glory of the flip-top head. Unfortunately, fast food commercials tend to disappoint. You’d think all the money we flabby assed drive-thru types generate would provide enough scratch for them to muster up a legitimate marketing blitz, but that ain’t usually the case.

But on the horizon there is a new flaxen-haired paramour of the lustful chow hound. He is… the Ranch Tooth. Not since Quizno’s unleashed those slack-jawed, zombified hamsters on the airwaves have I been so enamored with a restaurant advertising hook.

I feel for you, simple everyman, as your Ranch Tooth vexes you at every turn. I understand your woe, and your desire for what is essentially a sandwich slathered in dressing. And yet, I envy you. Were it that I too had a comically oversized anthropomorphic molar in a Stetson to whisper Raaaaaaaaaaaaanch to me, why then I too could face this cold, cruel world with head held high and belly full. But no… alas, I have only my beer tooth the keep me company.

In short, the Ranch Tooth beats the hell outta those Burger King commercials where the thrash band in rooster helmets sing about the social revolution afforded by chicken fries.

Ah, who the hell am I kidding? I fully embrace “one kingdom under chicken fries.”

Mid-Week MP3

With school back in session for most of America’s youth, I thought I’d do one for the little ones. And what do they want? Well, I am of the opinion that kids love the ska. As such, this week’s track is from contemporary ska maven Chris Murray.

Formerly lead singer of Canadian ska outfit King Apparatus, Murray relocated to Los Angeles and started his solo work after the 1994 demise of the band. He focused on a soft, lo-fi sound that placed a special emphasis on his unique songwriting talents. His first solo outing, The 4-track Adventures of Venice Shoreline Chris, showcased this unique artist in a genre sometimes called “campfire ska.”

LA life seems to be agreeing with Chris, as his gig as host of Bluebeat Lounge at the Knitting Factory and a string of local and regional shows with his Chris Murray Combo mot assuredly attests. Chris and the Combo currently reside on LA’s own Asian Man Records -- a label owned and operated by Mike Park (of Skankin’ Pickle fame). Asian Man is a label with the unique view of exclusively supporting bands that are “anti-racist, anti-sexist and anti-prejudice.” Asian Man has also released tracks and albums from the likes of Big D and the Kids Table, The Toasters, and Screeching Weasel. Chris's albums and the works of many other fantastic acts are available for purchase through the Asian Man Web site.

1modernboy humbly requests that you use these MP3s solely as a means of evaluation. If you like what you hear, please buy records, CDs, t-shirts, or other merchandise to support this band/artist and his/her/their label-mates. Seeing them live probably wouldn’t be a bad idea either.
Should the features artist, or the related label or distributor take issue with my inclusion of the song file, please don’t hesitate to contact me, so that the offending file can be removed.

Chris Murray -- Rock Steady