To Open Up The Sky’s Veins
If they made a “Freaks & Geeks” style television program about my high school years (1993-97) I’m certain this would be the theme song. It seems to capture whatever that time was about (confusion, apathy, Windows ’95). I’d also find Spacehog’s “In The Meantime” acceptable.
Potential plot lines for this program: getting my very first job at Taco Bell and nearly choking to death during my first shift after accidentally inhaling a straw wrapper; the hellish term I spent in summer school trying to pass algebra; all the bonkers stuff that happened during senior prank week (never-ending fire alarms, live mice dumped on our lunch table, a six foot cardboard cut-out of Gumby burned in effigy); various mortifications in attempted dating.
Oh, and there’s gotta be an episode that covers the shock, the grief, the utter despondence that hit my school the day Oasis cancelled the only show they were playing in the area that year. You would have thought another fucking space shuttle blew up. Oh, Noel!
Photobombing Hockey Moms: The Best Of JG2Land 2008
Another lean year, but hey, it was the first. I had no idea what was going on. Nobody did. It was 2008! Justin Bieber hadn’t even been invented yet!
Restricted Words, Phrases, & Names During Meal Time
Crazy-Ass Dream: Curly Audition
Unsolicited Review of The Nine Leaked Guns N’ Roses Songs
Corey Feldman Has Issues (With Michael Jackson)
Fake George McFly Speaks!
Unsolicited Dark Knight Review
Steak & Ale: 1966-2008
Four Very Useless Photoshops
“I Want Him To Sound Like Truman Capote.”
Crazy-Ass Dream: Nirvana Kiddie Concert
Indiana Jones & The Oh Man, They Taste Like Old Cocoa Puffs
Sarah Palin Shoots Chewbacca’s Father Just To Watch Him Die
Uncensored Pictures Of Hot Steamy Greasers
Halloween ’92: Epic Fail
Commenting Upon Various Time Magazine Covers
“Speak Of This Not.”
RELATED: Best of ’09 / Best of ’10 / Best of ’11 / Best of ’12 / Best of ’13
Taco Bell Feeds The Beat (With Grade F Meat)
I don’t know how this slipped by me in years past, but apparently my old employer Taco Bell has this annual program called “Feed The Beat” wherein the burrito conglomerate awards “free food and marketing support to America’s up-and-coming rock acts.” What the suits do is pick a load of bands their kids tell them are cool, gives ’em all $500 “Taco Bell Bucks” for use at any TB location (ostensibly to be used while out touring), and features said bands on FeedTheBeat.com. Quoteth Chief Marketing Officer David Ovens (ironic name alert!):
Our Feed the Beat bands have been showcased via our partnerships with MTV and ESPN, as we work hard to highlight their talent and music. Whether helping to extend the spotlight on their nominations for Video Music Awards, getting them to play at the VMAs, or creating live concerts and soundtrack opportunities during the X Games, the work never stops in support of our bands.”
Okay, great. I’m glad the people who gave the world the Crunch Wrap Supreme are supporting independent rock. Browsing through their list of 2009 “Feed The Beat” winners, though, it’s pretty obvious Taco Bell has a different definition of “up-and-coming” than most people. F’r instance, the Bouncing Souls. They’ve been “up-and-coming” for about fifteen years now. If they couldn’t score a spot on the VMAs at the height of “I Like Your Mom’s” popularity (circa ’94), all the gorditas in the world won’t help them now. Same goes for Less Than Jake, who started their journey together as a band in 1992. I was thirteen years old then. I’m thirty now. That’s a sobering fact nary a ska horn can soften.
The mighty Taco Bell is also throwing a bone to the All-American Rejects, despite the fact that band already has an MTV Video Music Award (not to mention a couple platinum albums and general sales that probably rival TB’s yearly profits). Perhaps the Mexican food giant is concerned about the dwindling weight of Rejects singer Tyson Ritter. Ritter’s been looking rather gaunt lately, even for him, so maybe half a grand’s worth of pintos n’ cheese will do him some good. We’d hate to lose another star to malnutrition. The meat at Taco Bell might be Grade F, but the lettuce and tomatoes are fresh and vitamin-enriched.
To be fair, Taco Bell is helping plenty of bands I’ve never heard of with hilarious names that sound like they were made up specifically to scam a fast food company out of $500. Brian Bonz & The Dot Hongs, Dr. Dog, Jet Lag Gemini, Secret Secret Dino Club, Foxy Shazam, Ha Ha Tonka, We All Have Hooks For Hands, Cross Canadan Ragweed…you know, I wish I had known about this program earlier. I totally would have created a fake band for free dog meat and the opportunity to visit the X Games. My band would have been called Combustible Baby Mustache, and we woulda been an Eastern European ghost core revival act. With banjos. Yeah.
I guess I’m a little jealous people out there are getting free Santa Fe chalupas just for being in a band. Hey Taco Bell, how about helping out some of America’s up-and-coming writers? Byron Crawford and I gotta eat, too, son!
The Taco Bell Dog: 1994-2009
Gidget, the adorable chihuahua who was granted the voice of the guy from “Reno 911!” in the late nineties to help sell various Taco Bell products, died Tuesday at the ripe old age of fifteen. To think, most humans are just starting to really enjoy the pleasures of masturbation and driving with a learner’s permit at that age. For dogs, fifteen is like having one foot in the grave. Did Gidget even remember making all those Taco Bell ads? I doubt it.
I worked at Taco Bell when Gidget was introduced, and I can’t even tell you how many middle aged women and children she delighted by pretending to demand gorditas in Spanish. A certain segment of the American population just went nuts for that dog. One of the most frenzied nights of my entire TB career was the eve we rolled out the talking Gidget plushies. My mom still has hers, encased in glass behind a myriad of high security bank vault lasers.
I too have held on to my Gidget paraphernalia, including a work shirt emblazoned with her disembodied head and a word bubble featuring that hilarious catchphrase, “Yo quiero Taco Bell!” I guess there are just too many memories attached to let it go. Sigh. Those really were simpler times back then. Animals didn’t have to be all ironic on YouTube to make us happy. All they had to do was be cute, semi-bilingual, and make witty remarks about Godzilla from time to time. God, how I wish I could turn back the clock.
Rest in peace, Gidget. Say hi to Morris the Cat for me.
The Border’s In Order
While perusing YouTube yesterday, I came across this classic Taco Bell ad:
I had completely forgotten that guy with the ridiculous hair even existed. I was sort of obsessed with him when M.C. Hammer first came out. Like, how could anyone have a backup dancer with hair that distracting? It’s almost an eyesore. Is any of it real? How does does that guy sleep at night? Literally, does he sleep standing up?
Well, anyway, I forgot that guy existed and that he was in this commercial. He seems pretty cool. I didn’t realize he had magical pants like his boss. Did everyone who rolled with Hammer back in the day have crazy pants? Man, to spend a day in that posse.
Also, I wonder if Hair Guy came up with that awesome slogan he says. “‘Cause the Border’s in order!” That’s right up there with Terrence Tate’s “condense the nonsense.” I want desperately to believe those four words were of his own creation, if only to justify his presence on Earth beyond that hair.
Okay, I just watched the clip again, and if you look real hard, you can see that, in addition to the vertical nightmare, Hair Guy also has a pony tail. Two feet of hair and and pony tail? Now that’s truly out tha daw.