Heads On Sticks & Ventriloquists

The prodigious writings of a tortured genius.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Current State of Music

I'm feeling like sharing with you all. With the current state of popular musics, I find it harder and harder to be really affected by anything that I can buy in a store. Much more interesting music is being made by local and unsigned artists than most other folks. So I want to rep some unsigned/unknown bands that you may care about or not care about. Feel free to post any others in the comments section that need recognitions.

Hey Hey - www.myspace.com/heyheyphilly
A very zany musical concotion of jammy synthy weirdo instrumentals. It's kinda like funk stuff but then it's also like metal, but then again it could just be punk. I'm not too certain to tell you the truth. Great dudes, great tunes, great live.

We Are The Seahorses - www.myspace.com/wearetheseahorses
Possibly the scariest band in America. Intensely catchy and fun to listen to. They either write epic synth pop with mega hooks or evil dance shits with mega hooks. Kinda like G.G. Allen except not so mean. Kinda like The Unicorns, except naked.

The Neighborhood Choir - www.myspace.com/theneighborhoodchoir
My pals Bennet, Dan, Paul, and Parker play these songs, written mainly by Ben (I could be wrong, I don't know). Very mellow space-folk. The thing is, it's pretty much better than anything you can find raved about on hipster reviews sites. If something cool doesn't happen to this group then I'm not quite sure what to say.

Algernon Cadwallader - www.myspace.com/algernoncadwallader
Remember Braid? Remember Cap'n Jazz? Remember Owen or perhaps The Promise Ring? These guys bring that ish back, and in such a fucking good way. All those jingly jangly guitar plucks rolling over each other. I'm very psyched to see what these guys pull out next.

On Display - www.myspace.com/ondisplayband
Ska is dead. Duh. That's why someone had to exhume and ressurect its rotting corpse. Extremely catchy and fun and suuuuuper gay. Ignore all the ties that would lead me to hype this band, they are actually good... bitch.

Strike.Fire.Fall - www.myspace.com/strikefirefall
Okay, so these guys are actually signed to Takeover Records, but more recognition (from this massively popular blog) won't be so bad. I used to be in Boy Scouts with their singer Sean (who is an Eagle Scout, very nerdy) who was in my favorite local band of all time, Parkview. When he went to college he started this pop rock group and it sounds nice. And they're signed, so life is sweet.

The Love Triangle - www.myspace.com/handicapclickclacks

This is the band of my former housemate, Dylan and his two other buds. Again, I'm not hyping these guys because of the connection, they are actually really, really good (I can't help that I'm surrounded by very talented folks). Anyway, don't take my word for it, just see what Devendra Banhart has to say!

Ponytail - www.myspace.com/jreamteam
Weirdos. Coolies. Niiiiice. Crazy freak out jams. And I mean JAMMMMZ.

And so, learn about and support these artists. The End!

Monday, October 30, 2006


Friday, October 27, 2006


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Photo Adventure

Joey added a new theme to his blog. Check it out!


Monday, October 23, 2006

Various Videotape Recordings For An Assasin


Hello [omitted]. By now you should have recieved half of your payment. You will recieve the other half upon completion. You must get to the General Mills Apple Orchard outside Seattle, WA. This is where your targets reside. They are known colloquially as "Apple" -- a portly, oafish man, costumed in green -- and "Cinna-Man" -- a gawkish and lanky man, costumed in pumpkin orange. Unfortunately they have deleted all archived photographs of themselves... you'll know when you see them.

Take them out as swiftly as possible. [omitted] Keep it clean. I'm hoping this will blow over.

Best of luck.



It's been long since our last meeting, and I thank you for your excellent work. No one even noticed that Apple and Cinna-Man were missing. I've erased as much of their past as possible.

I now have a size-able hit lined up for you. This will pay more, however the profile is higher. Take a look at the following image.

From left to right their names are Quienno, Wendell, and Bob. The Columbians want them dead for fucking them over in '82 and going public with their delicious cereal, containing traces of pure cocaine. The cocaine is "disguised" as cinnamon swirls... the taste you can see, rather. In this picture they are shovelling down keys of blow, freshly stolen from a raided go-fast boat.

This is also an inside job. Wendell, the oldest one in the middle, has a struck a deal with the furious Columbians, hoping to save his own neck. He'll give them a cut of the cereal sales, if they can "off" the other two. This way everyone takes in a greater profit.

I've included a round trip plane ticket to Florence, Italy, where they currently are vacationing. Make sure Quienno and Bob do not return.


Good luck.


Good to be working with you again, [omitted]. Hopefully your extended vacation has been going well. I heard Wendell has been lining your pockets these past few years. Very nice. This next job comes from a secretive agent known only as "Chip". He has been in the organized crime business for quite some time and he wants out. In order to do so, he must get rid of the "higher-ups". Observe this image:

"Chip" is the dog in the red sweater. He is hiring us to get rid of "Cookie Crook", his boss and owner. The man in the background is Officer Crumb, head of the Boston PD narcotics unit. Chip has given us a time and a date for their next planned heist. If all goes according to plan, Chip will break off from Cookie Crook, exposing him to you.

The job will take place at the Museum of Baked Goods (ironically owned and operated by our good friend Wendell) on 12th Street in Boston. More instructions await you there.


[omitted], I know we've had a falling out since I last hired you. It is unfortunate that Officer Crumb spotted you and you had to kill him as well. I simply felt that this action came with the territory, and I did not want to pay you for the added hit.

So, to make amends, I'm prepared to pay you double your normal rate, for just a single kill. I've been hired by three young entrepeneurs to help them "expand their business". I cannot reveal their identities.

They have a particular grudge against one Coco the Monkey. Apparently he is to reckless with their beloved "Krispy" franchise, wildly pouring large amounts of chocolate over their rice bits and passing it off as his own product. Instead of suing for copyright infringement, they want him dead.

You'll be travelling to Perth, Australia for this one. Again I've included a round trip ticket. I'm not sure where exactly he's based there, but rumor has it you can bribe the locals easily and this ape holds a notorious reputation there.

Best of luck, if you choose this mission.


Sunday, October 22, 2006


Friday, October 20, 2006

Tiddlywinks of News

News part one:

I've been writing a solo electronic/MIDI-ish album for the past 2 or 3 months and I recently finished it, under the moniker Big Dinosaur. The album is totally instrumental (I can't sing well), and I'm pleased with how it turned out. It's no "2112", if ya know what I'm sayin'. It's called "It's All Going To Be Okay, Have Some Lunch"; the title and some album content was inspired by a story a friend told me. Anywho, click the image/link below for more on that.
This is what happens when someone has very little else to do.

Click and Download

Download the whole album here.

News part two:

For reasons of pure nostalgia, my friends and I are re-releasing a giant media project we created throughout high school. It was called "The Bill Benz Show" (even though I doubt I contributed the most videos), and was met with general enthusiasm as we sold it to our friends and strangers (we actually sold hundreds of copies of each episode). Much of it was sketch comedy and so forth. Also much of it is absolute trash, looking back on it. But, there are parts that we still feel like looking back on.

This summer we -- Me, Jon Katz, and Mike Chen -- conducted several interviews on the background and production of the show, which was started almost 6 years ago and ended about 4 years ago. Much has changed since then, but with the advent of YouTube, we were willing to revisit these old vids. So stay tuned, you may like what you see*.

Here's a short little promo Jon threw together to get the world psyched for the return of the BBS.

*You will not.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

On a More Serious Note...


Mark Foley -- molested, drunk, and confused -- sent kids e-mails asking them about their penises and so forth. This has been the news for the past 2 weeks? I know this is a funny thing to attack the Republicans with, especially since they did it to you during the good ol' days.

But... WHO FUCKING CARES?! Pedophiles exist, yes. Sometimes in office, apparently. But this is not news. This is like a silly tabloid. No wonder you clowns have such a hard time getting into office! There are more important issues that it seems like just about every lefty has given up on. Do you know how many soliders have died in Iraq this month? Seventy! Fucking seventy!! Maybe if Mark Foley molested seventy kids it could be different. But, Jesus, c'mon!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

You Know David Elsewhere?!

Everyone likes to bring up their celebrity connections whenever they can. It's gratifying to be linked in some way to a figure in the world that is so ... celebrated. For instance, I once hung out with some kids who were cousins with Milla Jovovich. I went to school where Chris Matthews went. I live with Joe Stak. It's these relationships that always come up when someone talks about a celebrity encounter.

What I think is cooler though, is being friends with a really minor celebrity; not that I am or anything. I bet this very thing happened to Eli Whitney, famous for inventing the cotton gin. I imagine the following conversation probably happened...

Tobias: "Oh dear, I wish 'twasn't so hard to separate the cotton seeds from the cotton fluffs."

Humphrey: "So I hear."

Jules: "Well, my good sirs, I happen to know a man with the solution to this predicament."

Tobias: "Who praytell do you speak of?"

Jules: "Perhaps you've heard the name of the great inventor, Eli Whitney. He is a dear friend of mine."

Humphrey: "Eli Whats-it-whos-ah?"

Jules: "That's right, Eli Whitney! My beloved compatriot!"

Tobias: "What is this man's business in the cotton industry?"

Jules: "He invented the cotton gin, of course! My friend... he invented the cotton-fucking-gin."

Tobias: "And what does an elixer of cotton have to do with this?"

Humphrey: "The cotton whats-it-a-gin-a-ma-call-it?"

Jules: "It effortlessly removes the seed from the cotton plant. A machine... that my dear friend invented."

Tobias: "You don't say and..."

Jules: "Yes. It was invented by my friend, whom I know on a personal level."

Tobias: "This will surely be harmful to my slave trade."

That conversation really happened. Now, let's take a look at the modern equivalent of Eli Whitney: David Elsewhere (YouTube him, you'll know who I'm talking about). The following conversation has most likely happened somewhere in America.

Jay: "Man, I'm trying to take break dancing lessons. That shit is hard man!"

Allison: "Haha. Like pop and lock and all that?"

Danny: "Heh, funny story. I actually know David Elsewhere."

Jay: "Who?"

Danny: "David Elsewhere, man. He's a friend of mine. ... Probably the best pop and locker in the world."

Allison: "Never heard of him."

Danny: "You know. The kid that does that robot dance in the orange sweater in videos all over the internet."

Jay & Allison: "Ohhhhhh."

Danny: "Yeah, I know him."

Jay: "You know David Elsewhere?"

Allison: "Haha, that's crazy. Weird."

Danny: "Yeah, we're friends."

Jay: "Cool. So, anyway, my dance instructor is like this real hardcore dude."

Allison: "Like really into it?"

Jay: "I feel like he was a drill instructor or something, y'know?"

Danny: "Yeah. You should take lessons from my friend David Elsewhere."

Jay: "Ha ha. I guess I should."

Allison: (hitting Jay on the shoulder) "Yeah I'm sure he'd be just as good."

Danny: "Ha. I doubt it. No one is as good as that guy. I keep telling him and he's all like, 'Aw, c'mon. No.' He's so modest."

Allison: "...Yeah."

Jay: "So, this instructor dude -- Ace -- that's his name. Can you fucking believe that? Ace! Anyway, Ace has us doing those wall sit things where you are in a sitting position and hold it against a wall until you can't take it anymore. But he won't let us stop."

Allison: "Hahaha."

Jay: "And I'm like, to myself, man I just came here to learn how to break dance, I'm not signing up for Iraq or anything!"

Danny: "Well, I mean, you gotta be in shape though. My boy, David Elsewhere, he works out a ton every day. That's partly why he's such a good dancer."

Jay: "Oh..."

Allison: "Yeah... wow. ...Cool."

Danny: "Perhaps you've seen his new iPod commercial? He's one of those dancing sillhouettes."

Allison: "We get it, Dan, you know the guy."

Jay: "We don't give a shit about David Elsewhere, okay?"

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Various Nuances of Ovaltine World

The children came scampering into the kitchen, hooting with jocularity. Mother -- white, upper-middle class, perfect -- turned to greet them with a smile. Not just a smile, she's double fisting two glacially fogged glasses of murmuring malted chocolate drink.

"More Ovaltine, please!!!" was the muscular cry from the little league team.

"Oh, you kids," Mom says, shaking her head, orthodontically boasting.

Mom was not unprepared -- no, never will she ever be; she swings her soft, sexual, mauve-sweatered body to the side, revealing fourteen more glasses of delicious Ovaltine.

"Drink up, my cherubs, drink," Mom says, joyously cackling to her absent God.


Bobby slouches in his desk, distracting himself by flicking his pencil against an empty notebook.

"It's not that hard, Bobby" Mr. Weintraub says, peering down his spectacles.

"I'm just thinking," Bobby says, frustrated.

Mr. Weintraub perilously swings a pointer against the math problem on the board, "If I have one quarter gallon of Ovaltine and add a half gallon of Ovaltine, how much Ovaltine do I have?"

Bobby grabs a tuft of his hair, holding back tears. He hates math, he was never good at it. He can feel the heat coming from his classmates, crawling up the back of his neck deep into the nerve endings of his spinal column. He chokes a bit, stifling the welling sadness.

"Three quarters of a gallon of Ovaltine, Mr. Weintraub!" shouts Alice McDermott from the middle of the room.

"That's right, Alice. Three quarters of a gallon of Ovaltine," Mr. Weintraub says, sighing towards Bobby.

Bobby, red in the eyes, glares back at Alice, all perfect and angelic. He takes a smooth swig of chilled Ovaltine to calm his nerves. He won't let her forget this; soon the whole school will know who he is.


"Bring in the defendant!" cried the Judge, batting his desk with the gavel.

A man in an orange jumpsuit, restrained at his ankles and wrists is lead to a modest chair in front of a meticulously polished mahogany desk. He glances up at the judge, ashamed, and quickly looks back at his feet.

"Quentin J. Peterson, how do you plead to unlawful possession of purple stuff?"

Quentin doesn't answer, he keeps staring at the floor.

"Mr. Peterson?" the Judge booms in his direction.

Quentin plays with his thumbs. He wonders to himself, what kind of world is this? How can he live in a world in which lactose-intolerance is accepted and a man is judged upon what beverages he consumes.

"C'mon, Quent. We don't have all day, c'mon," his lawyer, William chimes in. William looks busy, and his mind is not in the room. He adjusts his tie abruptly and begins to pour a court-provided pitcher of Ovaltine into his glass.

Quentin suddenly lashes forth. The pitcher of sweet, rich, and malty Ovaltine spills throughout the courtroom. William falls back with surprise.

The baliff draws his weapon, "Stop right there!"

From his jumpsuit pocket, Quentin pulls a juicebox containing some sort of non-Ovaltine drink.

"Mr. Peterson, stop this instant!" the Judge screams.

It's already too late, Quentin has begun to spray concentrated purple fluid into his mouth and all over his face, rapturously squeezing the laminated cardboard box. A whizzing crack is heard in the cavernous courtroom as the baliff fires a slug directly into Quentin's chest. He reels back, blood and purple stuff spray off his contorting body, twinkling in the fluorescent lights. Another shot, this one striking him in the shoulder, spinning him on his feet like a top.

Quentin comes to a fall in a puddle of Ovaltine, slowly mixing with purple drink from his juicebox. He gasps for air, but can only take in suffocating gulps of frothy, ambrosial Ovaltine. His vision blurs as Ovaltine soaks into his left eye, pressed against the cool courtroom floor. This is what he gets. This is what we all get... in Ovaltine World.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

What the hell is a Rokushin?

Seijin Noborikawa.

Who is he?

This is who he is:

(He's the one with the sanshin.)

My housemate Paulie showed me some of Mr. Noborikawa's music the other day, and I was all like "what is this?"

And he was all like, "Yo, this is... um... some Japanese guy."

And I was like "THIS IS DA BOMB!"

And he was like "YEAAAH!"

Then we had a contest where we pulled down our pants and wiggled our hips so that our penises made windmill motions, while giving each other high fives and giggling.

This story may or may not be true.

Anyway. This guy, Seijin, is great! I have no idea anything about him, what the songs are called, what instruments he's playing, or what the hell he's saying. But it makes me so happy.

It's the happiest music ever. He could be singing about oppressing peasants and I wouldn't care. This music is joyous.

Here's what I do know about him:

1. He's 75 or 76.
2. He likes to let the girlies sing.
3. He sometimes says this: "Ho-wooo!" and "Hup!"

Thanks, Paul. If you read this, try and find Seijin's album "Spiritual Unity".

Monday, October 09, 2006

Dead Garfield

In my ongoing pursuit to openly criticize the newspaper comics page, I would like to discuss, for a moment, "Garfield". Obviously the strip is not that funny and many other bloggers have tackled this critter in more depth. I just feel the need to get out my own opinions.

First of all, can we talk about how high this cat is all the time?

Look at this bitch! Probably the most commercialized syndicated cartoon character. There's something to respect about Bill Watterson, who kept "Calvin & Hobbes" from ever having become a commodity (all those shirts and bumper stickers are actually illegal).

Anyway, a popular suggestion amongst comic critics is that "Garfield" becomes way funnier if you remove anything that the cat ever says. Instead of a comic about a fat, sarcastic cat, it becomes a comic about a crazy cat owner.

Therefore this:

...would become this:

Get it? Much funnier.

Well, instead of removing the caption at the end, I suggest adding another panel to the end of every "Garfield" strip. Do not remove any of Garfield's little thought bubbles, but simply add a final panel of Garfield stabbed to death, lying in a pool of his own blood. This would suggest that Jon finally lost it and killed Garfield. An example?

Get the picture? Here's a few more...