Max the Axe’s Stunt Double

#961: Christmas in the Hamster Wheel

RECORD STORE TALES #961: Christmas in the Hamster Wheel

I always wanted a hamster when I was a kid.  I used to love looking at the neat setups that other kids had in their homes.  Hamster wheels, tunnels, all kinds of neat stuff for the little guys to run around in.  I never saw them use the hamster wheels.  They seemed to sit idle near the back of the cage.  A forgotten amusement.

These days, the hamster wheel in my head is running overtime.  Is this really the second Christmas of Crap?

One thing that’s concerning to me.  The last two years have blurred together in my mind.  I used to pride myself on knowing exactly when any life event occurred.  If I could remember the life event in terms of the music I was listening to, or a movie I was into, I would always be able to pinpoint the year.  But with the last couple years being such a blur, I find I can’t tell 2021 memories from 2020 memories a lot of the time.  That’s worrying to me.  Remembering these things is important.

I feel like Jen and I haven’t been able to catch many breaks at Christmas in the last five years.  2017…she had cancer.  2018…first Christmas without her mom (also cancer).  2019 was the one where I felt like we were getting back on our feet a little.  Then the carpet got pulled from under us in 2020 for the weirdest Christmas ever.  2021 looks a little better in some ways, a little worse in others.

I haven’t been as creative this Christmas as I was in past years, including 2020.  We do what we can.  I have my annual end-of-year list that I’ll be posting on the 31st.  I have the LeBrain Train drop-in New Year’s Eve party (message me if you’d like to join the fun).  I’m still working on the Def Leppard review series (15 parts written).  I’ll also be starting a Judas Priest box set review series in the new year.  Spoiler!

Y’see, I asked my parents if they’d be willing to part with a lot of money and buy me a Priest box set.  And, my dad let the cat out of the bag.  Even if 2021 is a bit of a downer compared to past years, it’s going to be pretty awesome opening that bad boy.  A know a certain Kontrarian (Kopp) who is eager to see inside its contents.  I’ll be showing off that box set and other goods on the New Years Eve live stream.

Things I’m grateful for:

  1. Health.  Nobody in our family has had Covid (knock wood).
  2. A roof over my head.
  3. Jen
  4. Family
  5. Friends

If I were to add a 6th thing to that list it would be “thank God I’m not working retail during Covid.”  I think I would have snapped long ago.

It’s funny — we have a friend named Michael who has been on the LeBrain Train a couple of times.  (We call him Max the Axe’s stunt double.)  He is absolutely thrilled to be working at the same Record Store chain that I used to work for.  His uncle Tom used to own a branch.  So things have come full circle in the world of the Record Store.  25 years ago this Christmas was my first one managing my own store.  I had a tradition of wearing a tie every Christmas Eve.  It was something the Boss originated that I liked.  So I kept it going.

Michael tells me that retail during Covid is much better working at the Record Store than it was at Giant Tiger.  Gratefully, they will be closed Boxing Day this year.  I had to work 80% of Boxing Days over the years, and truthfully they were one of the hardest.  Stock on everything was pretty picked over by then, and of course you had people doing returns and selling boxes of CDs for store credit.  Big sales, big crowds.  Including putting up signs and taking them down at the end of the day — a very long one.

So I’m grateful for that.

Merry Christmas everybody.  See you on the other side.  And please, join me New Years Eve for a rock and roll party!  Again!*

* I’m even re-using the exact same art as last year.

 

New Year’s Eve Drop-In Party Extravangza

I haven’t stayed up til midnight on a New Year’s Eve in a dog’s age, but I did it tonight…for you!

Tonight’s drop-in special ran over three hours and we still failed to squeeze in Aaron from the KMA.  Huge apologies to my buddy Aaron.  Hopefully I’ll make it up to you next week for the ZZ Top show.

Special guests tonight were invited to drop in and read their Nigel Tufnel Top Ten lists, and each guest chose their own theme for their lists!  Guests included:

  • Dr. Kathryn Ladano – 0:17:45
  • DekeSpecial KISS report0:40:50
  • Scotty P – 0:45:30
  • Uncle Meat – 1:21:00
  • Mike’s Mom – 2:16:25
  • Michael, Max the Axe’s Stunt Double – 2:34:40

Once again sincere apologies to Aaron for not getting to him in time.

I also played some music tonight, five songs that make my skin vibrate (and don’t set off copyright strikes).  Enjoy the show

 

 

Best of 2020 Part 4: Guest Lists from Frankie and Michael

FRANKIE THE MAN OF MYSTERY

Here’s my list, for what it’s worth. Turns out I didn’t go watch many movies in theatre, but did stream a lot of content. It also seems I like watching cartoons and anime, but that’s not really a surprise. – Frank

Film and Streaming

Blood of Zeus, Netflix
Castlevania Season 3, Netflix
Dragon’s Dogma, Netflix
The Mandalorian, Disney+
1917
The Boys season 2, Prime
Bill and Ted Face the Music
Altered Carbon Season 2 Netflix
October Faction, Netflix
Bosch, Prime

Music

Testament, Titans of Creation, track “Night of the Witch”
Static-X, Project Regeneration Vol 1., track “Hollow”
Sepultura, Quadra, track “Raging Void”
Trivium, What the Dead Men Say
Five Finger Death Punch, F8, track “Scar Tissue”


MICHAEL, MAX THE AXE’S STUNT DOUBLE

Gorillaz – Song Machine
Warbringer – Weapons of Tomorrow
Lamb of God – Lamb of God
Run the Jewels – RTJ4
Poppy – I Disagree
The Chats – High Risk Behaviour
Oliver Tree – Ugly is Beautiful
King Gizzard – K.G.
Testament – Titans of Creation
Atomic Bitchwax – Scorpio

Runners Up

Flaming Lips – American Lips
Midnight – Rebirth by Blasphemy
Deep Purple – Whoosh!
Jeff Rosenstock – No Dream
Blue Oyster Cult – The Symbol Remains

 

Sunday Chuckle: Philip Anselmo meets “Lips” (GUEST SHOT)

Guest shot by Max the Axe’s Stunt Double.  Who, apparently, could also be the stunt double for Lips from Anvil.


 

 

Phil Anselmo meet and greet in Hershey, Pennsylvania. As soon as I walked up, he told me I looked like Lips from Anvil. The greatest compliment I could have ever received! After all the pictures were taken, everyone took a group shot. I quickly showed him a picture of me and Lips together. He shouted “DUDE ITS HIM AND LIPS, HE LOOKS LIKE LIPS!” That alone was worth every penny.

Sunday Chuckle: Pets Rock (Guest shot!)

This one comes courtesy of Sausagefester “Max the Axe’s Stunt Double”.

Everybody knows that Value Village is the place to go for weird T-shirts.  (Aftab Patla!)  Max’s Stunt Double was visiting the good ol’ shirt section at VV when he found this amusing Bret Michaels T-shirt.  Did you know he was sponsored by Petsmart?  Well now you do!

I can’t help but find this shirt funny.  Especially if you put a bandana on your pet!