Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Fuck Off, 2008

Good fucking riddance, asshole year.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy Hanukkah, Johnnyheads!

Confession: Johnny ain't Jewish. But, since I neglected to do a Christmas post and tonight is the last night of Hanukkah, I thought I'd sneak one in under the guise of the Festival of Lights. (Sorry for misleading my Jewish readers—please don't respond with waves of Israeli air strikes.)

Oy vey! Touchy subject. There's nothing funny about the Gaza Strip. (Except for the comedy special, Mahmoud Abu-Massad: Live On The Gaza Strip! Have you seen this? It's hysterical!)

Not funny, Johnny. In very poor taste. My apologies again, to both my Jewish and Palestinian readers. Speaking of comedy specials...well, we'll get to that in a bit. But, first, how about a Christmas story to ease the tension? No? Well, too bad. Johnny's had a few too many egg nogs and he's in a storytelling mood. Many, many years ago, when Johnny was a little boy, his older brother nudged him awake at 5am on Christmas morning. "Let's go downstairs and open our presents!" he said. "Shouldn't we wait for mom and dad?" Little Johnny asked. "Won't we get in trouble?" "Nope," his brother assured him. "C'mon..." Johnny dutifully followed his big brother downstairs to the living room, where the glowing Christmas tree—barren when he went to bed hours earlier—was surrounded by presents of all sizes and shapes. His brother gathered all the gifts labeled "Johnny" and formed a big pile at Johnny's feet. "Go ahead," he said. "Open them..." Johnny quickly opened the first box—a Buck Rogers Star Fighter!—and then moved on to the next. And the next. With his brother goading him on, he opened present after present, with not a pause in between. Soon enough, Johnny had opened all his gifts. He looked over at his brother and noticed he hadn't unwrapped a single present. His brother leered at him and said, "Christmas is over!" He then got up and went back upstairs to bed. Johnny looked at the big grandfather clock in the hall. It was 5:07 am. Johnny sat amidst torn shreds of wrapping paper and piles of tainted toys, knowing his dad was going to beat the shit out of him when he woke up in a few hours.

Nice story, huh?

Well, Christmas 2008 is also over, Johnnyheads. Hanukkah, too, in a few hours. But, that doesn't mean the magic is over. Because both can live on ad infinitum, thanks to—awkward segue—A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift Of All. Have you seen this? Why the fuck not? It's absolutely brilliant. Blows Mahmoud Abu-Massad: Live On The Gaza Strip! out of the water. Stephen Colbert open-mouth kisses a bear, for chrissakes! A bear! And no, I'm not talking a-subculture-of-the-gay-community-consisting-primarily-of-large-hairy-and-usually-bearded-men bear. (Though, that might be awesome, too, in its own beautiful way.) I'm talking a bear bear. What more could you want in a Christmas Special?

If you somehow missed its 8 zillion airings on Comedy Central, you can buy the DVD here. Until then, enjoy the following clips, courtesy of Johnny himself. As you'll see, it turns out there was a little something for my Jewish readers, after all. (Sorry—nothing for the Palestinians. Please don't send intense rocket and mortar fire into my home.)

"Can I Interest You In Hanukkah?" Fuck yeah, you can.

John Legend's "Nutmeg." Even dirtier than you think.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

This Day In Johnny History...

DECEMBER 23, 1993: Johnny sees the most conflicting double-feature in history—Schindler's List followed by Mrs. Doubtfire.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Merry Christmas To The Asshole In The Santa Hat

Yes, I see you. Everyone sees you. After all, you're the only asshole on 14th Street wearing a Santa hat who's not soliciting donations for the Salvation Army. I understand your need for a hat—it's 35 degrees and sleeting. But, why not wear a wool hat like the rest of us? Why go for the Santa hat? Please don't answer that. Because I know the answer. You went for the Santa hat—just like you do every year—because you're an asshole. At work, you're the office asshole. The guy who hangs around the office later than everyone else because he has nothing better to do. At home—I'm presuming you're single and live with two other assholes on the Upper East Side—you're thought of, even amongst those assholes, as the asshole of the group. You're the guy who date-raped your friend's cousin when she came to visit him back in college, right? You wear Family Guy boxers. You love the Yankees, Halo 3 and Maroon 5.

You're an asshole.

And it would give me great pleasure to punch you in the balls.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Note From Johnny's Cleaning Lady

"Hello. Thank you so much for your generous Christmas gift. It's a pleasure to work with you. Please buy more Soft Scrub. Also, we need more quarters for laundry."

Monday, December 15, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Monday, December 8, 2008

Like You've Never Owned A Van With Heart-Shaped Windows And Airbrushed Images Of A Crying Android, Topless Women And Winged Men Shooting Arrows...

Click for larger, i.e., more awesome, image.

Surely, this is the greatest means of transportation in the history of civilization, no? Isn't this what we've been building toward as a people for the last million years? The only vehicle that perhaps rivals it is the Popemobile—and only because it's bulletproof. This van—seriously, have you ever seen anything more beautiful?—is parked in Soho nearly every day. Today, I finally summoned up the courage to take its photo (I'd been reluctant to do so for fear of stealing its soul). And contrary to popular belief, if this van's a rockin, absolutely come a knockin. I guarantee they'll not only welcome you, but invite you to join them in whatever depraved activity they're engaging in. Or so I've heard...

It's like seeing my diary in airbrushed picture form.

Why so sad, Android?

Yes, her nipples are shaped like hearts. Yours aren't?

You'd like me to sip from your chalice? I'd be honored, miladies.

You were awesome in X-Men 3!

From Jersey, huh? Never would've guessed that.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

"Ow! My Freakin' Ears!"

Truth be told: I don't hate Chinese Democracy this week as much as I did last week. But, that doesn't mean I like it. And make no mistake—this is not a Guns N' Roses record, this is an Axl Rose record. (As we all know by now, Slash, Izzy and Duff left the band long ago.) Chinese Democracy sounds nothing like the G N' R you remember. Looking for some "Nightrain"? Won't find it here. "Patience"? Nope. Fuck, you'd probably settle for some "Back Off Bitch" or "Pretty Tied Up" or some other less-than-stellar track from Use Your Own Illusion I or II at this point, right? Sorry. (Side note: If you want to hear those two overstuffed albums distilled into one brilliant album, try and dig up a copy of the kickass mix tape I made back in college, Choose Your Own Illusion. Not too fucking clever.)

Granted, the sound of music--ah, The Sound of Music. Now there's an album. And a better one than Chinese Democracy, at that. Don't even pretend you don't like "Edelweiss." Confession: Johnny used to sing his own heartfelt version of "Edelweiss." The lyrics were exactly the same, with one minor change.

Anal bush, anal bush
Every morning you greet me
Small and white
Clean and bright
You look happy to meet me

I swear to God, aside from "anal bush," those are the actual lyrics. I didn't change another word. Okay, where the fuck was I? How on earth did we go down that path? Oh, right—The Sound Of Music. As I was saying, the sound of music has obviously changed since the last Guns record 17 years ago. What's funny—or rather, tragic—is Axl's been recording this record for so long that, while it doesn't sound like 1991, it also doesn't sound like today. (Whatever that sound may be. The Jonas Brothers?) It sounds like 10 years ago and that is much, much worse. In other words, Chinese Democracy sounds exactly like a Korn or Limp Bizkit album. Most of its tracks were dated well before the great Y2k panic, so one can only imagine how it sounds in 2008.

But, that's not even why I dislike it. It comes down to one simple factor. Listening to Chinese Democracy is not an enjoyable experience. It is not fun. In fact, it's a fucking drag. It feels like work. And if you think G N' R was never about fun, you are sadly mistaken. Appetite For Destruction was an absolute fucking blast, an insane thrill ride. It tore out of your speakers sounding like nothing that had come before it and nothing that's come since. These guys are fucking crazy (hey, hey), you thought. Listening to Appetite made me want to snort coke with these guys on the Strip. Down a couple liters of whiskey with Slash and Izzy at the Whisky (and maybe get into a brawl with Brett Michaels). Have a stripper inject heroin directly into my cock—fuck snorting it off her tits, that's for pussies. (As you can tell, Johnny's been around the block.) Appetite made me feel alive. Chinese Democracy depresses the shit out of me. It makes me want to kill myself, and not in a good "Enter Sandman" kinda way.

Slash said in his autobiography (Holy shit! That guy wrote a book? Not read a book—which would be astounding—but wrote one) that he walked into the studio when recording first began back in 1994(!) to see "rows and rows of Pro Tools servers and gear. Which was a clear indication that Axl and I had very different ideas of how to do this record." Gone were the days of five musicians just playing rock and roll in a studio, with someone there to hit the record button and replenish the booze. The way Appetite was done. (And, yes, they were musicians—Slash, Izzy and Duff's influences and musical styles cannot be underestimated. They contributed as much to the Guns sound as Axl.) A lot of people describe the sound of Appetite as raw, but I don't entirely agree. Fresh, absolutely. But raw? Those songs were fully realized and complete and phenomenal. And while Use Your Illusion I and II stepped away from that sound—most of its tracks were too polished, too "produced,"—both still had a shitload of great tracks.

Chinese Democracy opens with the title track, and I'm not gonna lie to you, the first 1:30 seconds are nearly astounding. Right up through Axl's trademark wail, you think, holy fucking Christ, after all this time, after all the impossible expectations, this motherfucker is going to pull it off. Then, just as quickly—and spectacularly—it drops like a kamikaze into a warship. The track goes nowhere and it does so in a hurry. After which, Chinese Democracy can be divided into two albums, the aforementioned Limp Korn record and too many limp ballads all trying to sound like "November Rain." The first one, "Street Of Dreams," comes closest, and is probably the best song on the record. However, it pales compared to older ballads like "Don't Cry," "Estranged" or "So Fine." Still, overall, the ballads fare far better than the "industrial" stuff. "Shackler's Revenge" and "Better" are, um, worse than any single track on Appetite, G N' R Lies, and both Use Your Own Illusions. That's 50 tracks we're talking about. "Better" begins promisingly, until you get to the throwaway, grating chorus.

Now I know you better
You know I know better
Now I know you better!

Believe me, it sounds even worse than it reads. Axl had nearly 20 years to perfect it and this is what he settled on? It's almost unlistenable. As for "Shackler's Revenge," am I the only one who thinks its title sounds like an Atari game from 1983?

"If The World" and "There Was A Time" are (sort of) ballads, I suppose, but not in the classic Guns sense, i.e., piano, strings, crescendo, followed by a mind-blowing Slash guitar solo, where he's playing while standing on top of a piano alone in the fucking desert. You know exactly what I'm talking about. Oh, and both songs suck. So there goes my prior assessment that the ballads were superior.

"Catcher In The Rye," perhaps more than any other track, sounds like it could almost feel at home on one of the Use Your Own Illusions (though definitely not Choose Your Own Illusion, let alone Appetite). Reminds me of "Yesterdays." One of the better songs on the record, except for the title/chorus. Axl singing, "The catcher in the rye again..." just sounds odd and not in a good way. I don't listen to G N' R to hear Axl namedrop J.D. Salinger or Holden Caulfield. What's next? A song about Atticus Finch? Guess he's still trying to court that high school audience, just like he did back in 1987. When he was twenty-five.

"Scraped" and "Riad N' The Bedouins" sound like one, continuous, overlong bad song. They honestly sound identical. The only thing "Riad" has going for it is the cool G N' R-esque N' in its title. (Though, I suppose it could also be construed as Prince/I Would Die 4 U-esque. That would not be as cool. In fact, it might even qualify as pretty gay. Confession 2: Johnny fucking loves Prince and has been known to sing "I Wanna Be Your Lover" to many a lady.)

"Sorry" and "Madasgascar" are total snoozes. Just writing about them is making me drowsy. "Madagascar" is the track everyone's raving about? I don't get it. It just kinda plods along. There's no hook. And what's with the MLK and Cool Hand Luke excerpts? Yes, it's cool to hear "What we've got here is failure to communicate" again, though it only reminds me that this track blows compared to "Civil War."

In perhaps the greatest insult yet heaped upon Chinese Democracy, dare I say "This I Love" would not sound out of place on The Phantom Of The Opera soundtrack. Axl—God bless him—sings his heart out and should really consider sending a copy to Andrew Lloyd Webber. Slash must be rolling over in the coffin he no doubt sleeps in. (Axl on The Great White Way is not that far-fetched—one need look no further than his hammy performance in the video for "November Rain." Plus, his pal Sebastian Bach appeared on Broadway in Jekyll & Hyde back in 2000. Way to maintain all that street cred you built up with "I Remember You, " Sebastian. Hmmm, that first name isn't helping either. Could 'Sebastian' be any farther from 'Axl' on the name spectrum?)

Well, what do you know? "I.R.S." and the album-closer, "Prostitute," are actually kinda cool. Fuck, maybe this album isn't as bad as I thought. For an Axl Rose record. Because no matter what the album cover says, it's not Guns N' Fucking Roses.

Of course, the real question is, will we still be listening to Chinese Democracy 20 years from now, like Appetite For Destruction? Not a chance. Granted, Appetite is arguably the best debut album of all time. (Along with, in my humble but correct opinion, an entirely different type of album—Pete Yorn's Music For The Morning After. Yorn gets extra points for being such a dreamboat. But, loses serious points for failing to live up to his debut's brilliance. But, that's another post.)

Regardless, good for W. Axl Rose for finally having the balls to release Chinese Democracy. After all the money (a rumored $14 million), all the hype ("Biggest Release Ever!"), and all the ink spilled about it (see Spanish Johnny's recent review, titled "Ow! My Freakin' Ears!"), he released it knowing full well it could never live up to the expectations. And you know what? It doesn't.

Spanish Johnny is the noted author of government-issued STD pamphlets ("Going, Going, Gonorrhea" and "Chlamydia: Bad, But Not As Bad As You Think") and the syndicated dog column, Life Is Ruff. He resides in New York's Upper West Side under a bridge in Riverside Park.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008

15 Things Johnny Is Thankful For

Cheez-Its (America's #1 cheese-flavored snack cracker)

Johnny's New Favorite Drink—Red Bull, Jameson's, ground-up Viagra and the tears of a homeless man—also known as "A Wailing Leprechaun"

The recent descent of my Hitler-esque undescended testicle (you have the hands of an artist, Dr. Silvershein...)

A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift Of All!

Mega Superior Gold's successful gender reassignment surgery—he/she is much happier

That George Lucas isn't making any more Star Wars films

The creepy old guy in the park who repeatedly asks me, "Would you like to wrestle in the grass?" (Duh. Of course.)

Paul Rudd (boing!)

My magnificent cock and, to a slightly lesser degree, my exquisite balls

Chocolate Peanut Butter Haagen Dazs (the ice cream equivalent of bathing in the light of God while an angel suckles on your balls)

That I no longer have to gently caress the rim of my asshole every morning with Preparation H to help alleviate the enormous discomfort caused by a hemorrhoid the size of a kiwi

For, which informed me that Thanksgiving is an American Christian tradition dating back to the year 1623, when Plymouth Plantation Governor William Bradford proclaimed: "All ye Pilgrims with your wives and little ones, do gather at the Meeting House, on the hill... there to listen to the pastor, and render Thanksgiving to the Almighty God for all His blessings." In your face, Jews, Muslims and Hindus!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Funniest Goddamn Movie Of The Year

Believe me, I'm as surprised as you are. Role Models caught me completely off guard. It's got everything you could want in a movie: Paul Rudd—perhaps the most underrated comic actor out there; Stiffler (!), for crying out loud; McLovin from Superbad as a Dungeons & Dragons-obsessed, cape-wearing geek; a 10-year old, foul-mouthed black kid who repeatedly calls Paul Rudd Ben Affleck; and the tall electronics store manager chick from The 40 Year-Old Virgin, spouting unbelievably funny lines like, "I used to suck his cock for drugs." Plus, it culminates with the four guys participating in a live-action role-playing battle royale dressed in Kiss gear, as members of the newly-founded nation of Kiss-My-Anthia. What's that? You're going to see the film right this very second and will read the rest of my review after you return? That's fine. Do yourself a favor: Forgo the soda fountain and try a White Cherry Icee—you'll find it incredibly refreshing.

Welcome back. How'd you like the Icee? Incredibly refreshing, right? Now, I don't know if Role Models was under promoted or what, but this is a film people should be talking more about. It's funnier than anything that's come out of the overextended Apatow factory this year (You Don't Mess With The Zohan, Forgetting Sarah Marshall). Way funnier. And, dare I say, it's funnier than Tropic Thunder, which Johnny loved.

My hopes were low because while I dug the character of Stiffler (who didn't?), I honestly can't recall anything else funny that Seann William Scott's been in. Plus, he spells Sean with two n's and, for some bizarre reason, that upsets me. (Though, not as much as the spelling of Cleveland Indians shortstop, Jhonny Peralta. Spanish Jhonny don't like.) I also wasn't too crazy about the director, David Wain—formerly of the MTV sketch comedy show, The State (which I thought was hysterical when it aired back in the mid-90s; not sure how it holds up) and recently of shittiness like the Comedy Central sketch comedy show, Stella, and a lame film entitled The Ten. (Of all the dumb improv group names—"The Groundlings," "The Upright Citizens Brigade," um, "The State," and this doozy from when I was in college, "My Mother's Fleabag"—"Stella" has got to be the dumbest. No matter how funny and clever and subversive its founding members think the name is, it's pointless and annoying if no one outside your little group knows what it means. Fuck, maybe Dumb Improv Group Names deserves its very own post.) In hindsight, I should've cut him some slack, because he also directed the hilarious Wet Hot American Summer and was wise enough to surround himself with other cast members of The State as co-stars and co-writers of Role Models. That sageness was also demonstrated in who he chose not to hire: former State cast member Michael Ian Black—the unfunny talking head who always seems to be on VH1's Biggest Douchebags Ever, I mean, Best Week Ever, when he's not shilling lemon-lime soft drinks. Still, the main reason I should've cut David Wain some slack is because he put Paul Rudd in a leading role. Did I mention how much of a comedic boner this guy gives me? I can barely type right now my laptop is sticking up at such an angle.

So I've talked about pretty much everything except the film itself. Which is too bad because I don't feel like writing anymore. The premise is simple: Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott work for Minotaur, a Red Bull-type beverage company, traveling from high school to high school giving anti-drug talks ("Say yes to Minotaur and no to drugs!"), during which Stiffler is dressed as, yep, a minotaur. They lose their shit one day and are sentenced to 150 hours community service, reluctantly becoming big brothers to McLovin and the black kid (sounds like a 70s TV show, "Next week on McLovin And The Black Kid..."). The tall chick, Jane Lynch, as a recovering cocaine addict, runs the Big Brother center. Needless to say, while what takes place is not entirely unexpected, the laughs are. So, yes, maybe Role Models sticks to convention, but so the fuck what? The writing and performances are so sharp, you won't care. Plus, no one goes to a comedy expecting—and hoping—to see a reinvention of the genre. No, you go to laugh. And, trust me, this movie will make you laugh. Perhaps no scene more so than when McLovin urges Paul Rudd—leaving a voicemail to his estranged girlfriend (Elizabeth Banks, who thankfully takes zero shits in this film)—to say he misses her "whispering eye." Which he then gleefully tells him means "vagina" in the world of D&D. Genius.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Too Awesome To Ignore

Oh, Sarah, how I'll miss your comely lips and the incendiary, ignorant
words that come out of them while—figuratively speaking—turkeys
are slaughtered behind you.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Those Knuckleheads Are At It Again!

The wacky jihadis are back! In a recently-released propaganda video, Al Qaeda's top deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, labeled President-elect Obama a "house Negro" who would continue President Bush's "campaign against Islam."

Those nuts! I mean, talk about a backhanded compliment... Tell us how you really feel! Who knows what crazy shenanigans and hijacks, I mean hijinks, they have planned!?!

No, this post was worth getting Johnny on the FBI's watchlist.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Bigamists Help Preserve Sanctity Of Marriage


Let me get this, ahem, straight: If I'm a Mormon guy, I can marry as many of

my pre-teen cousins as I like, as long as they're not dudes? And I can marry

my half-sisters, too? Sign me up!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Munch Away, Ladies!

Barbara and Robin Levine-Ritterman leaving New Haven City Hall yesterday with the first marriage license issued to a same-sex couple in Connecticut. Yummy!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Zack And Miri Make A Really Shitty Movie

I don't care for Kevin Smith. Contrary to popular belief, this guy's about as edgy as an episode of Two And A Half Men. Accordingly, I entered the theater to see his latest opus, Zack And Miri Make A Porno, with impossibly low expectations.

Which were more than met.

Let me back up. Why would Johnny go see a film by a filmmaker he so dislikes? Johnny had an afternoon to kill, and it was either Zack And Miri or High School Musical 3. And, let's face it, it'd be hard to justify seeing HSM3 a fourth time. Plus, this film stars super-hot Elizabeth Banks and has the word porno in its title.

There's no lack of reasons why this movie doesn't work. Too predictable. Too safe. Trying oh-so-hard to be edgy ("Look at me! I just put the word 'taint' in my script!"). But, it really comes down to what every movie's success or failure comes down to: writing and acting. Lazy is too kind a word to describe the script—the two adult films within the film are titled Star Whores and Swallow My Cockuccino. Brilliant. Writer-Director Smith must've spent a whole 10 seconds coming up with those. And the performances are, for the most part, pitiful. I expected so much more from real-life porn actress, Katie Morgan, star of Handjobs 9, Interracial Cum Junkies 3 and I Cream On Jeannie (now that's a porn title!).

But, the main reason Zack And Miri doesn't work, the main reason it's such a piece of shit is due actual piece of shit that Zack (Seth Rogen, displaying incredible range, playing another version of...himself) finds floating in the toilet.

(SPOILER ALERT!) Elizabeth Banks's shit, to be precise. And since I don't think there's any other way to say it, I'm just going to spit it out: Elizabeth Banks takes three shits in this film.


What the fuck?

Just when this country was starting to get back on its feet, when hope was renewed, when anything seemed possible, Kevin Smith releases a film featuring mega-hottie Elizabeth Banks taking not one, not two, but three (!) shits. This is not why I go to the movies. If I wanted to see hot girls shit in a movie, I'd rent Hot Girls Shit: The Movie. Again.

Movies are about fantasy and escape, right? In my fantasy world, women do not defecate. In fact, each of their assholes has been cauterized and covered with a tiny gold star. Miladies are wonderful, delicate flowers who do not shit.

Apparently, Kevin Smith and I have differing views regarding film's role in today's society. His film opens and closes with Elizabeth Banks on the toilet, evacuating her bowels, sandwiched around a third shit. Now, I'm no fool. I know what the auteur in Smith is attempting. "I write about real life, man! And in real life, women shit! Every fucking day. I'm just telling it like it is. I'm Kevin Smith and women shit in my movies. A lot."

Once, maybe, I can sort of get past. But twice? Three times milady?

C'mon, dude.

And that's not counting the aforesaid Katie Morgan, star of Hot Blondes Rock My Cock, Cunt Hunt and Black Dicks In White Chicks 3 (not as good as the original, but better than the second), shitting on a dude's face. Since it's the face of one of the obnoxious d-bags from Clerks, it's actually okay. Still, that's four female shits in the film. Which has to be some sort of record, provided we're not counting Four Female Shits: The Film.

Of course, Kevin Smith isn't the first director to showcase his hot female lead defecating. I went blind for two full days after seeing Demi Moore on the toilet in Indecent Proposal. Remember that scene? Woody Harrelson casually talking to DM making a BM, like they're sitting on the porch sipping lemonade or something. And let's not forget Sandra Bullock getting a bout of uncontrollable diarrhea in Two Weeks Notice—a film that gave me diarrhea of the eyes. (Thank you, Bob Odenkirk!)

Hollywood, take note: No one wants to see this. Get your—you guessed it—shit together and make the picture shows safe again for Johnny.

Thank you and God bless America.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

In Your Face, Whitey!


America: Not As Racist As We Thought


Once You Vote Black, You Never Go Back


Patrick Dempsey Reveals Secret To His Dreamy Hair

Want the same wavy, stylishly-ruffled look that McDreamy sports on "Grey's Anatomy"? Well, guys, I'm happy to tell you it's a lot easier than you think. First, start with a bit of length over the forehead to allow for lift when dry. Next, cut to fit the size and shape of your head. Then simply work a Gel Mousse or Styling Cream Gelle through wet or dry hair for shine, style support and frizz control. Or, if your hair is curly, begin by combing a puff of Straightening Balm through damp hair and blow dry to relax curl for a wavy effect. For a wet look, comb or brush a puff of Foaming Pomade or Styling Cream through hair. Voila! Now you're ready for Seattle Grace Hospital. Paging Dr. Hottie!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Rock The Vote, Yo!

As a sign of both my increasing influence and the looming apocalypse, the fine folks at Rock The Vote have asked Johnny to urge his readers to get out there today and, well, vote—in rocking fashion, if possible.

So what are you waiting for? Get dressed and head to your nearest polling place. Unless you're planning on voting for Senator McCain. Then don't bother. Go listen to a Hank Williams, Jr. record or kill some puppies. Or kill Hank Williams, Jr.'s puppies. Do whatever it is you people normally do.

Just know that a vote for McCain is a vote for no more Johnny. Not because I'll voluntarily leave the country or kill myself like I hilariously threatened yesterday. No, it's because I fear that due to my criticism of Senator McCain and his hot, albeit cunty, imbecilic running mate ("Hasta La Vulva," "Mother. Fucker," "Is Sarah Palin The Antichrist?"), McCain's first act as president might very well be to deport dear old Johnny.

And we can't have that, can we? So rise up, people! Be heard! Make a difference! Vote for the black guy!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Take My Life, Please

From the front page of today's New York Times:

PETERBOROUGH, N.H. — Somewhere in a corner of northeastern Ohio, just five days before the presidential election that more than a few pundits have declared he will lose, Senator John McCain sat in the back of his campaign bus telling his favorite Henny Youngman jokes. No one laughed harder than he did. “It was one after another — ‘Take my wife, please,’ ” said Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican and one of Mr. McCain’s closest friends.


That's even scarier than my Halloween story. (Fuck you again, Dad.)

If Johnny wakes up Wednesday and finds out this tottering old man has been elected president, Canada won't cut it. (Too many Canadians.)

No, it's goodbye world for Johnny.

Hasta luego, Johnnyheads.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween, Johnnyheads

Wanna hear a scaaaaaaaaaaaaaary story? Beware, kids, this one will chill you to the bone. Once upon a time there was a little boy named Johnny. Every October, Johnny would count the days to Halloween, putting great thought and care into each year's costume—even though he never deviated from the core group of Dracula, Bum, Han Solo, or Indiana Jones (read a riveting post about my Indy and Han Solo costumes here.)

As soon as he got home from school on the 31st, Johnny—along with his asshole brother, his best friend Brendan (who would become a pariah after getting diagnosed with lice in fifth grade) and his fully out-of-the-closet seven-year old neighbor, Tommy (the annual princess costume was a pretty clear sign)—would hit the neighborhood. "Trick or treat!" Johnny would excitedly announce at each house, as he held out his candy bag (in actuality, a pillowcase), thrilled every time he received his favorite candy bar in the whole wide world, Baby Ruth.

And every year, when Johnny arrived home afterward, his father would be waiting by the door. He'd ask him to dump out the contents of his candy bag. Then—I wish I was kidding—he would confiscate all of the Baby Ruths. Not because they were full of sugar or razor blades or cyanide. No, that old bastard took them because he also loved them. He loved those Baby Ruths more than he loved his little Johnny. He took all of them, every single fucking Baby Ruth, even the fun size ones.

Fuck you, Dad.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I've Seen Rock And Roll Future And Its Name Is Ryan Adams

Am I anointing Ryan Adams—whose new album, Cardinology, drops Tuesday—the next Bruce Springsteen? God, no. They are remarkably different artists. But, there are striking similarities—thus my borrowing Jon Landau's famously prophetic 1974 quote. For those unfamiliar, Landau, now Bruce’s manager, was a music critic for The Real Paper, a Boston
alternative weekly, when he wrote, “I’ve seen rock and roll future and its name is Bruce Springsteen.” Columbia Records plucked the line from his review and plastered it just about every place they could, starting the hype that would lead to Bruce’s simultaneous appearance on the covers of Time and Newsweek in October 1975—the first artist ever to do so. You can read the review in its entirety here. (After you read my lengthy, self-indulgent post.)

Like Springsteen, Ryan Adams is a prolific songwriter. You get the feeling these two could write a song over a bowl of cereal. Bruce’s would be about the oats farmer facing foreclosure; Ryan’s would feature a broken-hearted guy drowning his sorrow in his un-Lucky Charms. Actually, prolific doesn't begin to describe the output of these two—despite the fact that Adams hates that label. "Writing songs is what I do," he said derisively/defensively in a recent interview. The difference is Springsteen keeps a lot of those tracks in the vaults while Adams, for the most part, does the opposite. In a 35-year recording career, Springsteen has released only 14 original studio albums. Adams, including records with alt-country pioneer, Whiskeytown, has released 13 (!) original studio albums in 13 years.

Whiskeytown, circa 1998

That's not to say Adams releases every single song he records. Nonetheless, like Springsteen, an incredible amount of Adams's unreleased material has made its way to fans via bootlegs and Internet machines. Some truly mind-blowing stuff—including a track so ass-kicking, the world's angriest and most unrestrained blog was named after it, Mega Superior Gold.

Still, it’s one thing to write prolifically (see Johnny, Spanish), it’s another thing to do it well, let alone brilliantly (see Springsteen, Bruce and Adams, Ryan). And it's yet another thing altogether to do it across multiple genres and styles. Springsteen—as comfortable with a Fender Telecaster as he is with a Takamine 12-Stringer—drifts effortlessly from rock to folk to country to what can only be described as hootenanny (if we’re acknowledging 2006’s cover album, The Seeger Sessions—which we're not). Adams, too, defies classification, in addition to convention. He has no problem straddling genres—as well as eras—ranging timelessly between rock, punk, folk, country, alt-country, even 70s Dead-esque jams and 80s Brit-pop. And while I still firmly believe that Bruce Springsteen is the best songwriter the world has ever known (in your face, Falco!), in some ways, I find Ryan Adams's songwriting more affecting—as if he's speaking directly to me. Maybe it's because we're almost the same age. Or maybe it's because he writes about women and relationships in a way that seems like he’s pulling the words and thoughts right out of my fucking head. Regardless, Ryan Adams sounds just like how I feel.

Well, everybody wants to go on forever
I just wanna burn up hard and bright
I just wanna be your firecracker
And maybe be your baby tonight
Maybe be your baby tonight

Those lyrics are from "Firecracker" from 2001's Gold, Adams's breakthrough album as a solo artist. Forgive my self-absorption for a moment, but as a twentysomething about to turn 30, those words had a profound effect on me. The song—the entire album, actually—was much more relevant and personal to my 29-year old self than say, "Glory Days" was to my seventh-grade self. As much as I loved that track back in 1984, its lyrics obviously meant something far different to me than to a laid-off Ford plant assembly line worker.


"Firecracker's" standout line, 'I just wanna burn up hard and bright,' really hits home when you think about the fact that Adams was abusing a shitload of hardcore drugs at the time and seemed like a sure candidate to soon join Kurt Cobain. We're not talking pills or booze. We're talking snorting heroin with coke, daily. Oh, plus pills and booze. The drug abuse was totally unlike Bruce and, at the risk of losing whatever limited credibility I have, totally cool and kickass in my book.

But, while it no doubt improved his songwriting and enhanced his myth, it turned his stage performances into wildly inconsistent hit or miss affairs. Brilliant and amiable one night, incoherent and petulant the next. (Famous side story: As you've no doubt noticed, Ryan Adams has a name eerily similar to noted 80s Canadian puss-rocker, Bryan Adams—he of the bad skin and even worse power ballads. Early in his solo career, more than a few concertgoers—including an indignant friend I took to a 2004 show featuring the aforementioned incoherent and petulant Adams—would yell out "Summer Of '69" between songs just to get a rise out of him. And, it almost always did—to the point of him hurling obscenities back at the audience and sulking/walking off stage more than once.) That, perhaps more than anything, is what separates Adams from Springsteen. In nearly 40 years of performing, I'll guarantee you Bruce has never, ever had an off night. Not once.

Today, Adams is two-years sober (that's cool, too...I guess) and it absolutely shows in his current tour. He and his backing band, the Cardinals, are playing fucking spectacular shows (available for download here). Jaw-dropping, vibrant, tight sets. And while the performances are no longer hit or miss, Adams—God bless him—is still more than capable of being an enormous prick onstage. Relentlessly condescending to his audience. Refusing to play a song if someone yells it out. Etc. And you know what? In some bizarre and twisted way, it makes me like him even more. You know those girls who always go for the asshole guys? Turns out, Johnny's one of those girls.

The supremely talented and bespectacled Cardinals

Five essential tracks to get you started:

Houses On The Hill

Gimme A Sign

Dear Chicago

Love Is Hell

Beautiful Sorta

Like what you hear? Then buy it here, you cheap fucks.

One last note: If the extraordinary music and rampant drug use weren't awesome enough to earn your respect, Ryan Adams also bangs really, really hot women. Here's a sampling:

And this guy thinks love is hell? Please.

One more one last note: After many years and many disappointments, Johnny finally found a worthy successor to the Kiss poster he had hanging in his
bedroom back in 1981. You know the one—the Gustav Klimt masterpiece depicting a couple sharing a kiss against a bronze background. So fucking badass! Take that, mom and dad! Johnny kids, of course. The Kiss poster stapled above
my bed featured all four band members' faces on a black background, each backlit in a different, surprisingly gay pastel color. And the worthy successor is actually not one solitary poster, but a whole fucking boatload from Ryan Adams & The Cardinals 2007 tour. Read 'em and weep, losers. Or rather, look at them and weep. You can check out the whole batch here. Provided you're done reading my post. Which you are. I can't believe you read the whole thing! That shit means the world to Johnny. All you Johnnyheads out there know that, right? To quote pockmarked 80s Canadian rocker, Bryan Adams, "Everything I do...I do it for you."