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Entry date: 1-3-2024 – Sleeping is Weird – Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,


Over the last month or so, I’ve started doing this weird thing where I wake up in the middle of the night and I’m wide awake. Maybe I hit the bathroom and took a leak or the dogs are crying, so I get woken up and then, whammo, I’m awake for hours. It sucks buttermilk.


Last night I fell asleep a little after 8pm. A dog was whining a little after midnight, so I got up and let him (Bentley) out to get a drink of water. Then another dog needed to go out (Bailey, this time), and by the time I got back to bed, I knew I was just going to be laying there for a while. Finally, around 3AM, I got back to sleep and slept another four hours.


I guess I should count my lucky stars that I got about eight hours of sleep. That’s a good amount, right? It seems to be enough to help me feel pretty wide-awake right now.


What did I do for the two hours or so I was up? I read nonsense on my phone and played multiple hands of gin rummy against the animals in the game. I have the level set to hardest, so I don’t win every game. Sometimes I go a long time without winning and I get a little peeved. Those little bastard animals are always sticking me with the goddamn queen of spades.




I am ashamed to say it is the third day of the year and I have yet to shower in 2024. I’m gross. My hair sofa king greasy and I itch. I bet you’re glad a shared this little morsel of information. Nothing is too shocking for ergonomic mischief.


I will be showering after I finish typing. I can’t take it any longer.




Today’s record is Scumdogs of the Universe by Gwar.


My buddy Matt got this for me back in 1989 or 1990. He had won a CD player at a work function and sold it to me for $20. Then for the next holiday or birthday, he got me Scumdogs of the Universe on CD.


At the time, I was only familiar with the name of the band. I don’t think I had heard much, if any, of their music, but was curious about them. A lot of people I knew seemed to be into them and I would see their t-shirts on the regular around town.


I was a little puzzled by the gift, to be honest, but Matt often steered me in good directions, at least musically, so I plopped it in the CD tray and pushed play. I got such a kick out of watching the little tray slide in when you pushed play. This was back in the day where CD players were still kinda new, so the little automations that we take for granted now seemed kind of nifty and neat.


It’s very possible I could be making this up, but I might have shot some hoops on my nerf basketball hoop while listening to the CD for the first time. I did that a lot back then. My little studio apartment on 7th Ave and Earll was kind a perfect for shooting nerf baskets. It was not uncommon for me to crank up some music and then fine tune my shot.


The first song on the record I really fell in love with was “Horror of Yig.” It’s kind of in the middle of the CD and I think it kicks off side B of the vinyl. It has bagpipes and as I shared with my buddy, Hoss, on social media today, I think it might be the best use of bagpipes ever.


Overall, the record is just heavy and fun. There are big, crunchy guitars throughout and the east coast hardcore vibe is swirling around in the background at all times. The lyrics are fucking great, too. Especially on the song, “Slaughterama.” That song cracked me up that first day listening to the CD and still does today. Dave Brockie (RIP) was a great lyricist, and his delivery was spot on throughout Scumdogs.


A few years later, during the early days of Hillbilly Devilspeak, we played a show at Hollywood Alley with a great band called Kepone. I didn’t realize until that night that Michael Bishop, the super cool and friendly bassist/singer of Kepone was also Beefcake the Mighty in Gwar. When my buddy, Jx, told me that, I was a little taken aback and didn’t know if I was cool enough to keep hanging out with him.


That was one of the first moments I remember kind of looking at one of the dudes in a band we opened for like, “Whoa!”


Over the years, I’ve continued to enjoy Scumdogs of the Universe. I don’t dust it off that often but it always puts a smile on my face and makes me want to play heavy music. I did end up seeing Gwar once at Electric Ballroom. I think it was already Electric Ballroom by then, but I guess it could have still been After the Gold Rush. Either way, it was a fun show, and they played a lot of Scumdogs at that show. I got a little pink juice on my shirt that night, too.

Listen! Here! Now!




See you tomorrow.

This would have been Hillbilly's fourth show, I think. Maybe even the third. Super fun night and it was the night I met my friend, Brew.

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It was something else. They were very strange people but super nice.


Wow! I bet that Karen Black show was killer!

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