dandy

#555: How to Be Annoying

GETTING MORE TALE #555: How to Be Annoying

Nobody really liked working with Dandy.  What Dandy did was decide who he liked and who he didn’t.  If he liked you, he wouldn’t annoy you repeatedly.  If he didn’t like you, then he just didn’t care – he’d do whatever he wanted, the more annoying the better.  One or two higher ranked people never saw his annoying side.  For the rest of us, he’d act like an idiot on a dime.

One of his most annoying habits was dancing at work.  He’d put on one of his favourite bands – the Dandy Warhols, or the Toilet Boys – and dance around the store.  And when he danced, his white belly would pop out from his too-tight black T-shirt – not a pretty sight.  I’ll admit I’m not the most svelte of specimens but I keep my white belly under ample amounts of shirt!  I’ll never forget the sight of him belly dancing when the Toilet Boys came on.

He also liked to embarrass other people as much as possible.  For example, when Joe Strummer died.  Customers were jumping on the Clash bandwagon, but I really didn’t know anything about the band.  I knew the hits from having heard them in the store, and there were songs that I like. I know one of the drummers (Terry Chimes) was briefly in Black Sabbath.  But I knew next to nothing else about the band members.  Due to his name (Strummer) I assumed Joe was the guitar player.  To this day I only own one Clash album (London Calling).  It just wasn’t my background.  My youth was a heady mix of British and North American classic rock and metal, and I never even bought a punk rock album until the mid-90s (Never Mind the Bollocks was my first).  Once Dandy realized I didn’t know who Joe Strummer’s was, he made sure to tell everybody.  Loudly.

“Hey get this!  We were listening to the Clash – Mike thinks Joe Strummer is the guitar player!  HAH HAH HAH!  He doesn’t even know!  HAH HAH HAH!”

But then the next day he would be nice as pie to me, and picking on somebody else.  Usually the infamous Spoogecakes.

Spoogecakes and Dandy weren’t exactly two of a kind.  She liked Lord of the Rings, Finger 11 and the Showboat soundtrack (we’ll talk about that one another day).  He liked drugs, makeup, and whatever was on-trend.  The only thing they had in common was annoying me.  Like for example, one time Spoogecakes hid my hat somewhere in the store and thought it was freaking hilarious.  I found out later on that she had a crush on me and this was an attention-getting game.  Kind of like something you’d do in grade school, annoying the girl you like for attention because you didn’t know what else to do.

It was Dandy who coined her original nickname:  the Angry Walrus.  His opinion was that she had that kind of face, and always seemed angry.  (She did definitely always seem angry.)  Apparently the name stuck immediately.  It was like a freight train that could not be stopped and I was the last one to hear about it, because I was the manager and nobody wanted to tell me.

Dandy:  “Damn, you have me scheduled to work with the Angry Walrus tonight.  That sucks.”

Me:  “Who the fuck is the ‘Angry Walrus’?”

I was so frustrated with both of them that I really didn’t even give a fuck anymore.  Thankfully I was soon transferred over to another location, and I never had to work with either again.  Thank fuck!

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#450: Beat Up in a Mascot Suit [VIDEO]

humiliation test change

GETTING MORE TALE #450: Beat Up in a Mascot Suit

Here’s something I’ve been wanting to share a long time. It’s only now that I’ve fudged it enough to hide any trademarked logos and whatnot. Caveman editing, but I never claimed to be an expert.

When I first saw this thing sitting in the store’s back room, I thought it was one of the most hilarious sights I’d ever be likely to find. For shits and giggles, I offered to wear it one Saturday afternoon, and stand on the sidewalk waving to cars. I quickly changed my mind when one of our staff attempted to dissuade me, by telling her friends to kick my CD-suited-ass. Upper management may have lost respect for me when I backed out, but I didn’t see any of them waving at cars either.

You have no defence inside the suit. Your hands and arms are limited to movement at the wrists, and you lose all peripheral vision. A gang of highschool aged Korn fans would have made short work of me!

One slow evening, I decided to take a break and use the time constructively. I wanted to try on that suit! I went into the back room while leaving Dandy in charge of the register. In the back, working a night shift on our web sales, was Wiseman, who offered to take some pictures and video of the suit.

This is what happened. The events were not staged. I never wore it again!

Enjoy.

Top Stats of 2014

Here’s the same boring blah blah that everybody is posting — site stats! The best part of site stats are the Top Commenters of 2014, so I’ve saved them for last.  There are also the Top Search Terms of 2014, which hold a few real WTFs…

  • The busiest day of 2014 at mikeladano.com was July 16th with 1,490 views. The most popular post that day was GUEST CONCERT REVIEW: Queen + Adam Lambert 7/13/2014 (by Boppin).
  • In 2014, there were 430 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 1,344 posts.

Top Ten Posts of 2014 by hits

  1. REVIEW: Trailer Park Boys – Season 8 (Netflix) – 4,593 hits
  2. GUEST CONCERT REVIEW: Queen + Adam Lambert 7/13/2014 – 1,420 hits
  3. Editorial: Paul Stanley’s voice problems – 1,253 hits
  4. REVIEW: Van Halen – Zero (1976) – 1,215 hits
  5. REVIEW: KISS – The Ritz On Fire (2013) – 1,014 hits
  6. REVIEW: Deep Purple – Machine Head (40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition, vinyl, In Concert ’72 vinyl) – 895 hits
  7. REVIEW: KISS – Carnival Of Souls (The Final Sessions) (1997) – 811 hits
  8. REVIEW: KISS – Creatures of the Night (1982, 1985, 1997 editions) – 671 hits
  9. Pre-Ordered: KISS 40 (Japanese with bonus track) – 645 hits
  10. REVIEW: Helix – half-ALIVE (1998) – 586 hits

Top Videos of 2014


Top Ten Search Terms of 2014

  1. trailer park boys season 8 review – 70 hits
  2. alice cooper old school review – 62 hits
  3. 69porn – 49 hits
  4. greatest kiss – 48 hits
  5. lp ts com musica we re gonna make – 40 hits
  6. dale sherman kissfaq – 39 hits
  7. how many iron maiden action figures did todd mcdarlane toys make ? – 39 hits
  8. farrel mitchner – 38 hits
  9. van halen zero – 38 hits
  10. boobsy animation whores wearing glasses acquire screwed hardcore – 31 hits

And lastly…

Top 5 commenters of 2014*

  1. keepsmealive – 1116 Comments
  2. Heavy Metal Overload – 749 Comments
  3. Sarca – 631 Comments
  4. 1537 – 471 Comments
  5. Jon Wilmenius – 436 Comments

 * NOTE: I believe that Deke would have made the Top 5 again this year, but his comments were split into two because he stopped commenting as a “visitor” when he started Arena Rock – Thunder Bay and Beyond.

Regardless, all six of the above (Arena Rock included) are excellent sites that have supported me, and I support in turn.  I recommend that you check each one of them out.  Aaron and James at keepsmealive write mostly about music, and music related anecdotes.  Their site goes back to 2007 and there is plenty of content there.  Scott, our Heavy Metal OverloRd, always has something interesting to check out in his Buying Round-Ups and reviews.  If you like music, books, video games and coffee (who doesn’t), then you need to check out Sarca at Caught Me Gaming.  She is also the founder of the #cupfacecrew.  If you like quirky music reviews with Lego re-enactments, then the fine 1537 is the site for you.  Joe’s photography is just as interesting as his writing.  Then for everything in the Swedish and world hard rock scenes, Jon Wilmenius runs e-tainment news and reviews.  I swear to God, I had no idea Sweden had so many rock bands!  His annual Sweden Rock Festival reviews are always a treat.  And finally there’s our favourite hoser, Deke, over at Arena Rock – Thunder Bay and Beyond (1979 – and on).  It is exactly what it sounds like: stories and reviews straight out of the Canadian tundra.  Deke puts humour into every thing he writes, so you gotta check ’em!

Happy New Year to you, and keep on rockin’ in the free world!


Part 277.5: Klassik Kwote – The Dandy Douche Strikes Back

RECORD STORE TALES Part 277.5:
Klassik Kwote – The Dandy Douche Strikes Back

SIXTY SIXI’m a pretty big Led Zeppelin fan, having bought all their albums more than once (and at least once more) over the years.  When this Robert Plant CD came out in November 2003, it was high on my radar.  I didn’t own any Plant solo albums (beyond The Honeydrippers), but wanted something of his in my collection.  This compilation of hits and rarities was perfect for my needs.

I was listening to it in the store one afternoon when Dandy sauntered in.  Always eager to criticize my musical selections on any given day, he had this to say about Robert Plant’s Sixty Six to Timbuktu:

“I was talking to my dad about why Led Zeppelin sucked,” he said.  “Now I know.  It’s not Led Zeppelin that sucked, it was just Robert Plant all along.”

Thoughts?  Weigh in below with a comment!

IMG_20140316_161250

Part 218: Liquor and Whores

RECORD STORE TALES Part 218:  Liquor and Whores

The year:  Early 2004.

A new original TV show was starting to make waves in Canada.  I hadn’t caught wind of it yet — I didn’t have cable back then — but our destinies would soon intertwine.  The catalyst was my old childhood and highschool friend, Scott.

Scott remembers the story much like I do.  He used to come into my store every Wednesday to visit and check out new arrivals.  He had just become addicted to this new TV show in question, and was spreading the word.  According to Scott:

“I was trying to get everybody into that show…90% success rate by the way.”

That doesn’t surprise me at all.  Because when you’re talking about a show as Canadian, as original, and as funny as Trailer Park Boys, the series sells itself.  Scott figured I would be an easy convert.  “I just knew you were a Rush fan,” he tells me.  It was the Rush connection that initially caught my attention.

Scott was talking to me at the front counter.  “Have you heard of Trailer Park Boys?” he asked me that day.  I hadn’t.  “It’s hilarious,” Scott continued.  “You have to see this guy Bubbles.  In the best episode, he meets Alex Lifeson from Rush.  He gets to go on stage with Rush, play guitar with Alex, and everything.  He’s actually a pretty good musician.”

Going into more detail, Scott explained:  “Do you remember that band, Sandbox?”  I did.  “Bubbles is played by a guy from that band.  He’s got these big thick glasses, always swearing…Bubbles is the best!”

I had seen Sandbox eight years earlier, opening for Barenaked Ladies actually.  I was really impressed by their show and their single “Curious”, so I picked up their album.  In fact I think their ambitious second album, 1997’s A Murder in the Glee Club, is among the finest albums our country has to offer.  Their lead vocalist was a guy named Paul Murray, nephew of Anne.

Wanna see what Bubbles would look like with a shaved head?  Watch this.

So I was in.  As soon as the first box set came into inventory, I bought it, without seeing a single episode.  Dandy ratted me out for buying two DVDs in one week (which was against the rules at the time), but once I got the discs home, I put on the first season.  I was hooked by the second episode.

Now that the boys are coming back for an 8th season on SwearNet, it’s never too late to get yourself hooked on this incredible show.  After all, if Axl Rose, Sebastian Bach, and Alex Lifeson are all fans, aren’t you curious what you’re missing?

See Guns N’ Roses play “Liquor and Whores” with Bubbles on vocals & guitar

Liquor and whoresSAM_0436
Liquor and whores
Cigarettes and dope and mustard and bologna
Liquor and whores

I went down
Drinkin’ at the legion
I met a girl she was nice
She was pretty and pleasing

She said “Hey boy
We should do some marrying”
I said sure but before we do
There’s something that you should know

I like
Liquor and whores
Liquor and whores
Cigarettes and dope and mustard and bologna
Liquor and whores…

Then one night down at the legion
She walked in, I was drunk on gin
Dancin with a lady friend
She said hey boy, You’d better fly the fuck home
I said no cause five little words I coulda
Swore I said to you

I like
Liquor and whores
Liquor and whores
Cigarettes and dope and mustard and bologna
Liquor and whores…

Part 213: A Dandy Douche In Need is a Dandy Douche Indeed

RECORD STORE TALES Part 213:
A Dandy Douche In Need is a Dandy Douche Indeed

While digging through old papers, hard drives, and photos for this blog, I ran across some interesting journal entries.  I had forgotten this myself, but the handful of entries flooded back the memories.  They are regarding Dandy, a person about whom I have very little positive to say.  He brought me never-ending grief.

I remember that there was a fire downtown, and he lived near (or below?) the unit that ignited.  He lost everything in the fire due to water damage.  He couldn’t even go in to get his clothes, it was taped off.  For whatever reason (and I really cannot remember my thoughts to this day), I — me!? — organized a relief fund for him.

I remember Jonathan asking me why I wanted to help him.  I wish I knew what I told Jon.  My motivations are lost to me now.   I think part of the reason I did this was ignorance.  I didn’t know about half the shit he pulled, until after he quit his job at the record store.  If I had known then what I know now, would I have organized a relief fund?

I’ll let the unedited journals speak for themselves.  Only the names have been changed.

Date: 2004/05/18 19:43

I’m putting a collection together to help [Dandy] out after his fire. He had to buy clothes just to come to work today. So far I’ve collected $50, and by Thursday I hope to buy him some sweet gift certificates to replace his clothes and anything else essential he may need. I expect I’ll be able to get about $200 or so by Thursday afternoon. At least I certainly hope so.

You know, I’m not heartless. I can’t forgive [Dandy] for what he did…but that was nothing compared to this tragedy. I think anybody who couldn’t understand my doing this is really, really heartless. I don’t know how someone could feel that way about another person.

Date: 2004/05/19 10:31

Just sold one of my Zeppelin CDs [I had another version of it] and threw the proceeds into the [Dandy] fund.

Date: 2004/05/19 14:02

OK, Julie just stepped up to bat and gave $25 to [Dandy] via PayPal.

Date: 2004/05/20 21:36

Relief fund is now done, and I beat my goal.  I collected $220 for him.  Unfortunately, [someone] accidentally sent HIM an email that should have been sent to me, so he knows about it, there will be no surprise.

It’s actually kind of uncomfortable to read my younger self’s words with the years between us now.  It is what it is: LeBrain in the raw!

GOODY

REVIEW: Johnny Cash – American IV: The Man Comes Around (with DVD, 2003)

For Lara, and Rob.
CASH FRONT

JOHNNY CASH – American IV:  The Man Comes Around (2003 American)

I have published over 300 reviews here at mikeladano.com (use the search button on the top right to look up anything you want).  Yet, I still hadn’t got around to Johnny Cash!  That’s strange, because Johnny Cash is very special to me.

Everybody “says” they love Johnny Cash.  Many of them jumped on board when he died and became “cool” again.  Take Dandy, for example, a trend chaser who inked Johnny’s face on his arm a few months after he died.  But hey, if you’re on board now, that’s cool.  There’s plenty of room for everyone.

Johnny Cash was my first concert.  In Canada in the early 1980’s, Johnny had an endorsement deal with Canada Trust, where my dad worked.  Their brand new ATM machines were called Johnny Cash machines, and my dad even had some promotional Johnny Cash bills, a cool marketing gimmick.  He went to see Johnny, his idol, when Johnny came to town.  The first night of a two-nighter, my dad met him.  On the second night, he brought me along (I didn’t get to meet him).  Johnny modified his original concert opening by saying, “I’m Johnny Cash, 24 hour money machine” (in reference to the ATMs).  I still remember June kicking off her shoes!

The Man Comes Around is my favourite of the American Recordings, helmed by Rick Rubin.  It was also the last one released in Johnny’s lifetime.  It is, all at once, extremely powerful, morose, joyful, and catchy.  All filtered through Johnny’s unmistakable baritone, worn and weary but no less strong and expressive.  Like other American albums, it is a mixture of originals and covers, oldies and more recent fare.

The most well-known song on American IV was “Hurt”, the Nine Inch Nails cover.  It is remarkable by being so different, yet true to the spirit of the original.  I prefer Johnny’s take on it to Trent’s, truthfully.  “Hurt” is only one of many remarkable covers on this album.  Johnny and Fiona Apple tend “Bridge Over Troubled Water”, with quiet mellotron in the background.

My favourite song is Sting’s “I Hung My Head”.  I couldn’t believe the credits when I read that (having skipped Sting’s Mercury Falling album).  I thought for certain this had to be a new Cash original.  Lyrically, I was convinced this tragic tale came from the mind of the Man in Black, but I was wrong.  It’s a spellbinding song, painting a clear picture, and Johnny’s delivery is perfect.

“In My Life” is the favourite of Mrs. LeBrain.  She’s a huge Beatles fan.  We selected this song for the signing of the register at our wedding.  I received kudos on the musical selection from Tom Morwood and Jen’s Uncle Rick, who loved the Johnny.  While very different from the Beatles version, I think I can safely say I like both equally.

I’m not too keen on the Depeche Mode cover (“Personal Jesus”), but I don’t like Depeche Mode much.  I know some who think the cover is brilliant, so we’ll go with that.  Johnny and Rubin tranform the song into a dark acoustic stomp.

Other highlights include the classic “Sam Hall”, which Johnny also performed on his 1965 album, Johnny Cash Sings Ballads of the True West.  I love Johnny’s energetic delivery on this traditional.  We enjoyed this one at the record store, a lot.  “Danny Boy” is another from 1965 (Orange Blossom Special) that Johnny takes a second crack at.  This time it’s a more intimate affair without the backing vocals.  Johnny compensates with his rich storyteller’s voice, each flaw telling a story of its own.

Elsewhere, I love “Desperado”.  And that’s interesting because like the Dude, I hate the fuckin’ Eagles.

The album closes with “We’ll Meet Again”, the Vera Lynn classic.  I always think of Kubrick (Dr. Strangelove) when I hear this song.  So for me, I can hear a sly wink in “We’ll Meet Again”, a hint of humour, as if Johnny knew this would be the last song on the last album released in his lifetime.

HURTBut it’s not really the last song.  On my wishlist is the vinyl edition, which had two bonus tracks: Marty Robbins’ “Big Iron” (another personal favourite) and an exclusive version of “Wichita Lineman”.

My copy of the album came with a bonus DVD.  Nothing to get excited about, it’s just the music video for “Hurt”.  Granted that’s a great video, but the DVD is less special in 2013 than it was in 2003.  Now, everybody Youtubes.

Wow, I just used “Youtube” as a verb.

Anyway.  5/5 stars!

Part 193: Dandy Douche 3 – Scary Carrie

Dandy 2

RECORD STORE TALES Part 193:  Dandy Douche 3 – Scary Carrie

Dandy Douche had two girlfriends simultaneously.  The one he really liked was a long distance thing in Toronto, and he had a local one too.  She worked at the mall at a music store there.  Both knew of the other, and supposedly accepted the situation.  He was really mean to the local one too, and dubbed her “Scary Carrie”, because she was clingy and did “annoying” things like make him lunch to bring to work.

Dandy moaned about Scary Carrie a lot. One afternoon at work, while he was complaining about Scary Carrie, this father came in with a little kid.  He was a boy about 3.  The little boy heard Dandy talking about “Scary Carrie” and started running around the store chanting “Scary Carrie!  Scary Carrie!”  Except he couldn’t say his “R’s” and it came came out as “Scawwie Cawwie!  Scawwie Cawwie!”

It was pretty hilarious at the time.

Whether Scary Carrie was as frightening as this dinosaur remains unknown.

I mean, this dinosaur is so scary, he took the dude’s gun away and the dude took off. That’s scary.

Part 183: Klassic Kwotes X!

RECORD STORE TALES Part 183:  Klassic Kwotes X – The Final Chapter

Finally the Klassic Kwotes well has run dry.  Enjoy Part X, for now this feature will be put on ice.  I have a new feature that I’ll be starting really soon.  Until then, here’s the final 10 quotes from the Record Store days…

FLOYD

1. It boggled my mind that people would expect a cheap used CD of a good album to just sit there.  So it always made me wonder what people were thinking when they’d say, “What do you mean that used copy of Dark Side of the Moon isn’t here anymore?  It was here last week!”

2. “I really want a job.  It doesn’t have to be at your store, I just want a job.  Can you tell me how to get one?”  Real phone call.

3. Dandy sometimes has his own stalker types.  One day Dandy brought a tattoo magazine to work.  His stalker kid saw it on the counter and proclaimed: “Nice!  Who’s sick tatty book?” 

4. Generic but frequent question:  “Do you have any European trance techno jungle DJ mix discs?”  Then, when you’d ask for a title or name to give you something to look up, they’d never know the name of a song or an artist.

5. “I just want one song on this CD.  Can I just buy a blank CD, and you burn it for me?

6. “Do you have any of those complication albums?”  Compilation albums.

9. “I have a CD to sell here.  One slight problem, not a big deal.  The front cover is for one CD, and the back cover is from a different CD.  Oh, and the disc inside isn’t either of those.  Can you take it?”

10.  “Do you guys buy used CD cases?  Like the plastic shells?”  No!  Nobody does!  They just throw them out!

This guy is hilarious.

NEXT TIME ON RECORD STORE TALES…

Alan Cross!

Part 159: The Return of Dandydouche – Dandy Deuce!

One of the most popular stories of 2012 was the tale of  “Aerodouche Dandy”.  So, in light of that, how about a sequel?

RECORD STORE TALES Part 159:  Dandydouche 2 – Dandy Deuce!

We had several CD players in our store that allowed our customers to listen to anything they wanted, before buying.  It was a pretty cool innovation by the chain owner.  Other stores had “listening posts” where you could listen to one of a select few new releases, but at the time nobody else would let you listen to anything you wanted in the store.  As cool and helpeful as that sounds, it was also an invitation for abuse.

Many times, I’d put up to 50 discs on for somebody who purchased nothing, but we couldn’t cut them off.  We couldn’t say no.  You could spend over an hour serving a customer, retrieving discs and filing them when they were done, all for naught.

Record store guys have a sixth sense though.  We’d pick up the signals.  For example, when Kid Rock had a huge hit with “Picture” (a duet with Sheryl Crow), a lot of older people used to come in and listen to it, to see if they would like the rest of the Kid Rock CD.  Predictably they didn’t, and it wasn’t out on Sheryl’s album yet.  I knew they weren’t going to buy the Kid Rock CD, and most didn’t.  That’s one example.

One thing Douchebag Dandy would do is purposely put the wrong CD in the player.  I know of one instance where he substituted a lady’s chosen disc with Iron Bitchface.  Iron Bitchface was a local “outsider music” project that Dandy hung out with.  He had been known to jump onstage with them, and was always seen in public as a lookalike pairing with their singer, K-Rot.

Iron Bitchface was, by their own admission, people who could not play music.  They created a lot of noise and recorded it, and split it up into tracks.  I grabbed a T-shirt because I liked their logo, but it was completely unlistenable.  In fact our store-play copy had a massive skip in it that nobody even noticed.  That’s how bad it was.

Anyway, this time Dandy was working, a lady was in listening to every Harry Connick Jr. album we had, and not buying anything.  After a dozen or so listens, Dandy swapped out her last CD for Iron Bitchface.  She immediately took off her headphones.  “I think the CD player is broken,” I’m told she said.

Dandy sauntered over to check.  “Nope.  It’s working fine.”

“Really?  Whatever I’m hearing isn’t music!”

Dandy opened up the player.  “Nope.  This is the disc you picked out.”

“Well you can take it off, that’s nothing but garbage!  Who could listen to that?” she said.

Dandy found this tremendously funny, and laughed and boasted about it after.  Even though she wasn’t buying anything, that’s still just a douchebag move!  Apropos for a Douchebag Dandy!