(Note from Brooks - this was originally begun on 29APR2005. Man, a lot has changed since then... back to the story... for those visiting for the first time, older writing is at the bottom, I have edited the titles of the fiction pieces, so you can quickly see which go together. There are some lists here, some music writing, and some emo-bullshit personal stuff... no sense in deleting it now... enjoy)
"Ry, chill out, pal, it's just a record, right?"
"See, you can't even be my friend spouting shit like that. 'Just a record'. Man, you know that isn't how I view things."
"Right, I do know, but compared to world hunger, global warming, international terrorism, and the proliferation of reality television, your musical proclivities don't really stack up."
"God you're ignorant. OF COURSE my obsessive behavior doesn't 'stack up' to real political issues, but I CAN'T DO ANYTHING ABOUT THEM. I'm no politician, I don't know DICK about the environment, but what I DO know is that I already own "The Hanging Garden" in four seperate forms NOT including singles, and that I am going to be forced to REPURCHASE the damn Pornography album again because of ONE goddamn track that I don't already own."
"Um. Wouldn't the term 'album' be inappropriate, considering that we are discussing compact discs?"
"SHUT THE FUCK UP."
"Look, Ry, I'm nearly as bad as you are about this stuff, but I don't get VIOLENT about it. Take a breath, man, get a beer, this'll keep. Hell, I'll tell you what, I'll buy the damn things and burn 'em for you, so that you can have the tracks you want without having to lay out the cash."
"Oh, so YOU can own 'em and LORD it over me for the rest of my life? I don't THINK so, bro. Nice try."
Sometimes, as alike as we are, I question our bloodline. Ryan is the single most obsessive and paranoid person that I have ever known. You should have seen him when he did drugs. Stunning.
"Whatever, Ry, just trying to alleviate the mood, here."
Ryan's rant went on for what seemed like hours. He mentioned every single band that had released a reissue in the last two years, and that is no small list. There seemed to be one band, however, that really stuck in his craw.
"... and FUCKING Camper Van Beethoven, WHAT THE FUCK!"
"They are a good band, man... I bought those."
"Right,Bender, you bought them because all you had were the mixes I gave you because you never shop anywhere but Best Buy. I, on the other hand own these records in three different formats."
"But Ryan, who made you go out and buy the CVB boxed set? I mean, you are such a completist."
"Right, I am, but that set contained an otherwise unFUCKINGavailable GODDAMN live record in it."
"Okay, so you suck it up and buy the set Ry... it isn't somehow Dave Lowery's fault that you have this completism sickness."
"no, no it isn't, but let me tell you what IS Lowery's fault..."
I interrupt this tale of rabid anger complete with flecks of foam on Ryan's Jager burnt lips to interject that David Lowery is the frontman for both CVB and Cracker. Furthermore, he is a resident of this lovely southern town that we live in, Richmond, VA. While this isn't necessary knowledge, it is key given the events of the next ten minutes. Foreshadowing, a literary device... we now return you to our regularly scheduled rant.
"... what IS Lowery's fault is that as his most recent project Cracker fades into relative obscurity, he has reconvened his superior earlier band CVB."
"Dude, I love that last CVB record, and I quite like Johnny Hickman, too."
"Right... let me finish, willya B?"
"Carry on, Ranty."
"Okay... so Lowery reconvenes CVB because Hickman is SO clearly the talent in Cracker, that he needs to relive the glory years."
"But true... so he puts the old gang together for a series of shows..."
"Which we ALL attended, incidentally..."
"OF COURSE we did. We are freaks of nature. You, yourself hadn't been out of the house away from your DVR for 8 months, but I got you to come out for that show, though I am fairly certain that it never would have happened if you couldn't have WALKED there from your apartment. Joe is even more scarce, but was so befuddled by your once-a-year emergence that he felt compelled to come along. These other two share one brain which is inexplicably controlled by you, so they do whatever you do. Christine comes along to laugh at us."
"True, carry on..."
"Anyway, the relative success of these shows gives Lowery the notion that recording would be good... and, agreed, the result was worthwhile. That is not the point though. I have no problem with the reunion. Reunion albums are usually horrible, for example that awful Temptations reunion record. Other times, it works like the Television reunion in the 90's. Nonetheless, getting the band back together is an understandable notion"
"Your problem is with the reissues."
"Exactly, Slo. In order to skim a little more cash out of the diehard fan, Lowery and his cronies re release all of the albums in the Cigarettes and Carrot Juice collection, and they add a live album which is not available separately."
"Again, Ry... you can't fault the guy for trying to make some cash off of obsessive compulsive collectors like you."
"AND I DON'T! How many of things have I gone and bought without bitching?"
"Not a single one."
"Fuck you, Jay... this is different."
"Well, Mikey... different because as he was dangling the 'Carrot Juice' on the line in front of my nose he was witholding one vital piece of information."
"What's that, Ry?"
"Here we go..."
"He neglected to let anyone know that withing SIX fucking MONTHS that he would be re-releasing EVERY SINGLE RECORD with remastered sound AND FUCKING BONUS TRACKS"
Ryan was now screaming to the point that our waitress was afraid to attend to our drinking needs.
"He neglected to KISS me before he FUCKED me in the ASS! Fucking Lowery, man... never in history has mediocrity demanded such a HIGH PRICE. And it PISSES me OFF"
"Why don't you tell him?"
"WHAT? WHAT JAY? YOU THINKING I SHOULD WRITE HIM A LITTLE NOTE?"
"No, I mean he just walked in, why don't you tell him?"
I should mention that the next 3 minutes moved in John Woo-like slow motion. A bad moon was on the rise...
"Ryan sit down."
"FUCK THAT! WHERE?"
Ryan got up and carried his 6'2" 270 pound frame over to a table where Dave was sitting with another guy. Dave looked somewhat concerned. We were too, I've never witnessed an actual assassination.
"Hey. You Dave Lowery?"
"Um, yeah, man... you a fan?"
"Oh I'm a fan all right... could you sign something for me?"
"Sure buddy, what do you have?"
Ryan sent a left cross directly to Lowery's left eye dropping him like a sack of potatoes. He continued beating him naming Lowery's transgressions as he punched.
"... that's for that STUPID fucking Status Quo song... " POW "... that's for not putting Vampire Can Mating Oven in sequential order on the rarities disc... " THWACK.
We finally pulled him off but before we got him away, Ryan got off one last blow. As he kicked Lowery in the side Ryan said...
"... and THAT... THAT is for the SHITTY cover of a GREAT Flamin' Groovies song on the FUCKING Clueless soundtrack."