Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Stealth Burger Reviews: Carls' Jr. Six Dollar Burger

As the author has a hunger inside him, growing every day, he begins here a chronicle of his pursuit of that mid-century modern delicacy of LA: the hamburger. Stealth Burger Reviews will provide a snapshot of the manifold configurations of this meat-and-bread confection, and the crowded market of options in Southern California.

Carl's Jr.'s "The Six Dollar Burger®
La Cienega and Hwy 10 / 12:03 am

Any burger predicated with an italicized "The" and suffixed with an ® means business, and Carl's Jr.'s The Six Dollar Burger is no exception. Specifically, The Six Dollar Burger means $3.99 worth of business, an irony surely savored by the marketing team that dreamed it up. They definitely patted themselves on the back for that. Somebody said, "Let's call it the six dollar burger... but only charge four dollars." And the other guy waggled his finger at the first guy and said, "That's gold."

That said, they could've called it The Six Dollar Burger® and charged $12. Now that would've been a Jedi mind trick. These aren't the dollar bills you're looking for...

The first impression is good: when you only order a burger, and the bag feels like you could send it through a plate glass window, you know you will not sleep easy after the midnight drive-thru. Inside the bag, a box. Inside the box, a burger in the half-wrap that defines SoCal and makes one-handed consumption possible. The box is half process black, underscoring Carl's Jr.'s charbroiled fare, and offers two boasts: "Made with 100% Angus Beef," and a quote from the Albuquerque Journal that says, "I have since tried one of the chain's Six-Dollar Burgers and must report that I have become addicted to them." It's nice to see your burger heralded in the press, but Albequerque is where Bugs Bunny made a wrong turn. I don't know if nationwide people are going, "Whoa, the Albequerque Journal said they're good?"

But down to the nitty gritty: the first bite had some gristle, which, hey, it's hamburger. You gotta be real. Sesame seed bun, charbroiled patty, fresh cold lettuce, pickles twice as thick as a dollar menu burger. Plenty of mustard. Until the mustard, I sense the high notes and robust body of a Whopper, but the mustard put me in a whole new place. Tomatoes were a little mealy, which turned me off some. About three-quarters in, I got a bone chip, which somehow reinforced the 100% Angus claim to me. Perhaps irrationally.

All in all, I'd give it three out of five stars. But more importantly, in response to McDonald's campaign, "Are you a Dollar Menunaire?" I can honestly say, not as long as I can pay four bucks for a six-dollar burger.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Analog Jetpack offical debut today

Today marks an important musical date for me, as my first album beyond solo work is being released on The Frozen Food Section label. It feels good to see it being getting out there, as the production of it was a long process, stretching from January to June this year for recording, and right up until last month with manufacturing. Before that, the band involved a long process of writing new material and polishing older stuff. The album features three songs we wrote on as a band, including one which we never managed to play live called "Robot Garden".

The album was produced by Jerome Maffeo, drummer of Jimmie's Chicken Shack, at his Right On Recording studio in Baltimore. We're fortunate to have the hot licks of his lead guitar player in JCS, Matt Jones. And with more solos and lead guitar is Spencer Chakedis of Deep Sound Diver and The Drive-By Proposals. He's also the antifolk producer of my second and third albums. These hands lend much soul to the project.

Friends, the album is good. I think you'll like it if you manage to purloin a copy. Help us crack the 500 record sales barrier in the first week. Buy one for your momma, you daddy and you tippy-toed granny. Hook up your neighbor. Make jubilant Christmas presents for all your co-workers. Myrrh is très gauche this season, because it has consecutive rr's followed by an h. Forget that.

Buy from any of the links below. If you purchase from the Paypal link at the bottom, I personally will drop a disk in the mail for you the same day, and you will have a hot orange envelope in your hot hot hands in a matter of hours. Together, we can make dreams come true.

iTunes :: CD Baby :: Amazon

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Cornhusker prose for Big Red pink slip

Yesterday my beloved Cornhuskers finished their worst season since 1961.

I grew up in Nebraska, where love of football is not a mandate, it's DNA. The political discourse of Washington, DC has nothing on the tone and gravitas of football talk in the Beef State. There, football stories are not written in the inverted pyramid style of journalism, but rather, in tender passages of purple prose. Consider this jewel from today's State Paper:

We're on some cold, often unruly stretch of earth that was broken, beaten and beautified by sweat and muscle. And so it must be with our football. Not the design so much as the mindset. This program was built to plow, punish and destroy. It cannot be sweet. It must be starch. Try to flip it and prepare for the reaping.
The Brazilians play soccer with a ferocity and abandon that matches the mysterious, exotic rain forest that surrounds them and the fatalistic poverty from which they rise. The Japanese play baseball with caution and precision. Americans play basketball with flash, pride, freedom, glory and hubris. So goes our nation.
Nebraska must go its own way.

"Plow, punish and destroy." This is more Beowulf than Sports Illustrated. Methinks no one writes like that about the Florida Marlins or the Toronto Raptors.

It's tough to coach for the Big Red. In 1962, Bob Devaney turned around a 3-6-1 program to go 9-2, culminating in back-to-back national titles in 1970-71. He handed the dynasty off to Tom Osborne, who won no fewer than nine games in each of his 25 seasons and took home three titles between 1994-1997. Frank Solich had a respectable 58-19 record in the next six seasons. But current head coach Bill Callahan has only managed 22 wins in four seasons, showing feebly against ranked teams and conference foes. Countless "worst" records were bested this season. To the Husker, this is unimaginable, much less unacceptable.

Today the revered Osborne fired the fumbling Callahan, and there is great jubilation in Nebraska.

If is any indicator, it's been a long time coming: "Now is the time for Husker Nation to get squarely behind the next coach... All along, all I knew is that Bill Callahan wasn't the right fit."

Antifolk Is Dead (deconstructed).

To kick off the new blog at, I'll send out the old Hypocrisy In The Genius Room by summing up the closest thing it had to a single. "Antifolk Is Dead" is one of the more popular songs from the album, probably because it addresses an enthusiastic niche of indie music. It seems to sell lots in the UK, which has a taste for the old a/f. Antifolk, as most do not know, is a niche of solo-ish songwritery acoustic-punk artists on the Lower East Side of New York City.

After I left NYC in 2001, I wrote this some of this song in a journal in 2002. I never got around to finishing it until 2004, when I finally went to record Hypocrisy, which was intended to be an magnum antifolk opus. Here are the lyrics, footnoted et al. with complete explanation for those that have been down since day one (c. 2000, which, yes, is not day one).

To listen to the song and album, visit iTunes or CDBaby.

On the ace of avenues I played my cards where the sidewalk meets the street
1) The antifolk scene resides largely on Avenue A, where 2) the mainstay venue is the Sidewalk Café, Avenue A & 6th.

The eastern side as the raven flies where you can surf unreality
3) This is all on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, where 4) another popular open mic was Wednesdays at The Raven, Avenue A & 12th, and 5) more elaborate antifolk functions took place at Surf Reality, a rented space above Stanton and Allen.

Where every visionary is a latch-key kid and everybody's got a re-run dream
6) Everybody gets their start on the antifolk scene by playing the Sidewalk, which is booked by Lach. 7) Lach recounts his own history as a replay of Bob Dylan's experience in Greenwich Village, in which...

Of being thrown out the door by the folk-hardcore for sounding like a hillbilly
8) Bob Dylan was barred from his first gig by folk purists, who said, "You sound like a hillbilly. We want folksingers here," as told in the song, "Talking New York" on Bob Dylan's debut. In Lach's retelling, the folk purists rejected him for being too punk.

Where there ain't no strangers to the system whether it's heroin or heartbreak
9) Antifolk artist and writer Jim Flynn interviewed dozens of the homeless in Tomkins Square Park for his book, "Stranger To The System". 10) Mike iLL's antifolk opera, "The Seduction of Sarah Sahonie", featured the song, "Crack, Heroin and Heartbreak".

Or workin' 'til close in 50 shows in 50 nights in 50 states
11) Philly antifolkist Adam Brodsky set a Guiness World Record by playing shows in all 50 states in 50 consecutive nights.

And antifolk music is dead
I stood by the foot of the bed and I watched it go
No, no, no, I said antifolk music is dead
And as soon as it was cutting edge I should've known

When there's trouble in the country and the soil rains down like you're one foot in the grave
12) Paleface's debut album on Polydor features his signature song, "Trouble In The Country", which he later renamed "Say What You Want" and included on his Multibean Bootleg album. 13) Brer Brian's self-released, Man With The Artichoke Heart, includes the song "Soil Rains Down". 14) Beck's album One Foot In The Grave is an antifolk classic, as is his harmonica stomp, "One Foot In The Grave", from the album Stereopathetic Soulmanure.

And four score lightnings hit the sky, you're bound to drive out of range
15) Diane Cluck sings "Four score lightnings hit the sky / and that's 80 if you multiply" on her keyboard-centric debut. 16) The title track of Ani DiFranco's sixth album, "Out Of Range", is a classic expression of solo antifolk.

When the bad faces come and your lucky number nine is going east with the wind
17) Grey Revell's song "The Bad Faces" includes the lyrics, "Oh, I feel the bad faces coming". 18) The Moldy Peaches' debut includes the song "Lucky Number Nine". 19) Jeffrey Lewis' song "East River" includes the lyrics, "Three, two, first avenue / Going east with the wind / Across the FDR to the east river / Fall right in."

And you don't even wanna be a rock star anymore, grab these words:
20) Major Matt Mason's song "Rockstar" features the lyrics, "I don't wanna be a rock star anymore", while 21) Prewar Yardsale's song "Weird" includes the line, "Grab these words".


So let's all be beautiful and let's all be bulletproof
22) A Lach piano ballad pleads, "Let's be beautiful," and 23) a Joie Dead Blonde Girlfriend acoustic-punk song boasts, "I'm bulletproof, yeah yeah, bulletproof..."

And when I finally get back to that smoke-filled room I'll see the setting sun with you
24) My song "Finally Get Back / Na Na Na" from Brooklyn Demos is about walking back to Brooklyn from the Sidewalk's interminable open mic. 25) Turner Cody sings on his album This Springtime, And Others, "I see the setting sun / I see the setting sun..."

'Cause antifolk music is dead -- it floated up to balloon heaven and I watched it go
26) Antifolk producer Spencer Chakedis recorded dozens of antifolk projects at his Brooklyn (and formerly Jersey City) studio.


There it is for the record. For posterity. And you know how I feel about posterity.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

All-Ages Acoustic Madness with Tucker Booth the Starfish Learning Center. It's my impression that this is the kind of venue that Ian MacKaye requires for a live show with his act, The Evens. Indeed, the show Tucker's pulled me aboard for is an all-ages show at an alternative learning center. And while it's not a kids' show, I had to design the flyer as such. 'Cause if there are kids there, dancing will be compulsory, if not, indeed, irresistible. Hope to see you in Hermosa Beach on December 1st!

iLike me, if you will.

For our listeners far and wide who span the depth and breadths of social networking, iLike me here:

iLike Rob Getzschman

Yes, "iLike" me, as in the verb, "add me to your iLike list". Like "MySpace" me, "Facebook" me, "friend" me or "comment" me. All websites are verbs now! So Google yourselves, YouTube your friends, and I'll Flickr you my pics so you can Twitter us about anything and everything. So totally, I'll MillionDollarHomepage you later and we can eBay the wreckage when the big ship goes down. Let's get it on!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Analog Jetpack floppy disk debut!!

Analog Jetpack's debut And How They Flew will be released officially on November 27th in a limited-edition floppy disk packaging. Produced by Jerome Maffeo of Right On Recording in Baltimore, the album features Rob Getzschman, Dan Ryan and Robby Sahm of Le Loup, Matt Jones of Jimmie's Chicken Shack and Spencer Chakedis of Deep Sound Diver, trading licks on lead guitars.

Buy copies of the album at iTunes | CD Baby | Amazon !!