Tremendous Fucking has been lucky enough to receive an invitation to play at a benefit concert for the victims of the recent tornado in Evansville, Indiana. As the band includes an Evansville native, it seems fitting. But beyond that it's a great opportunity because a couple of the other bands – namely Murder by Death and Mock Orange – figure to bring in a crowd in the hundreds. So it's a great opportunity as well as something that figures to be an assload of fun.

Here's the rub.

Given the charitable nature of the event, a variety of religious and non-profit groups are involved with its planning. As such our participation is conditional upon cooperation with a PG-13 rule. We're billed exclusively as "TremFu" and can't refer to ourselves by our God-given name. But beyond that, we're faced with the challenge of cleaning up or radio-editing our most popular songs in a very short period of time. Somehow we must sanitize such Christian campfire sing-a-long favorites as:

  • Just Like Burt Fucking Reynolds
  • Bladow! Motherfucker!
  • Every Fucking Time
  • Lightsaber Cocksucking Blues
  • Kick in the Pussy

    Even the songs with clean titles tend to swear more than a Teamster with his dick caught in his zipper. And let's not get started on the stage banter. Help us out, loyal readers. How can we take songs like the ones listed above and substitute in words that make them acceptable to the average Evansville Christian organization?

    Just Like Kirk Fucking Cameron, bitches.


    Here is just a short list of some things I would prefer to watching Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon "act" (the term must be used loosely with them) out the life story of Johnny Cash:

    1. Run my balls up and down a cheese grater repeatedly
    2. Drink a bucket of vomit (not mine)
    3. Conduct sex education sessions at group homes for the profoundly retarded
    4. Watch Battlefield:Earth in its entirety. Twice.
    5. Memorize pi to 1500 places
    6. Get hooked on heroin and share needles with junkies at an AIDS hospice
    7. Give Ving Rhames a thorough rimjob
    8. Sit through an entire live performance of the White Stripes
    9. Go freegan
    10. Invest my life savings in General Motors


    Don't you hate being told a long, odd story without being given the information necessary to make sense of it until late in the game? I do.

    By now you've probably heard or read a thing or two about this story – an 18 year old Pennsylvania teen wanted for murdering the parents of his 14 year old girlfriend, whom he then allegedly kidnapped and took across state lines. Aside from sounding like a classic white trash soap opera, the story had a coating of weirdness on it that I just couldn't put my finger on. Then I saw this comment dropped casually at the end of a news report on the teens' capture in Indiana:

    Kaitlin Borden (sister of the 14 year old girl) told police that Ludwig (accused killer) brought her sister home early Sunday after keeping her out all night. The father summoned him back, and an argument ensued, ending in the fatal shootings. She said Ludwig called for her sister, and the two — both of whom were home-schooled and met through a home-schooling event — fled.

    Aha. Well why didn't you say that in the first place? is really keen on the idea of homeschooling and does not at all consider it to be a dangerous legal loophole that allows the possibility of complete psychopaths brainwashing their children and then sending them into the world utterly devoid of social skills except for awkward interactions with other children in the same circumstances. See the classic "Abandon the public schools, for they teach no rug braiding" piece for our passionate defense of the right to home-school.

    So let this double-homicide make clear the message of the parents who chose to home-school their kids in this situation:

  • Public schools = bad
  • Sex education = bad
  • Ready access to guns by angry teen boys = good
  • Allowing legal adult males to date 14 year old girls = good (so long as their shelves are lined with Left Behind books and PG movies)

    Excellent. As a result, two people are dead and another is on his way to a life in prison. Don't weep for Patrick Henry University, though. It will find plenty of other maladjusted kids to turn into Future Bill Frist Interns in his place.


    Those who know me are well aware of my affinity for the semi-famous "The Problem with Music" article (and its author). I find myself re-reading it periodically and never failing to get a hearty giggle out of it, and referring to someone as "100g's and three points" is one of my favorite (and undoubtedly most obscure) epithets. But the piece and its concepts have always served as an abstraction to me, never having had the experience of meeting "major label rock stars." In fact the more I got to know a few semi-major artists either personally or by repeated association, I began to question the article's merits – they didn't seem to fit its profile at all.

    That changed on Monday. The skies parted and angels showed me the true meaning of The Problem with Music.

    My band opened for The Sex Slaves. You may know them by name only, as the darlings of various low-brow music rags over the past few months. The latest Next Big Thing, the next Band that will Save Rock and Roll, the latest Keepin' it Real punk rockers, etcetera. If you have not yet been exposed to these individuals, let the following serve as a reference point:


    Now pull up a seat as I chronicle how this band showed me the way.

    Chapter I – Contact
    It is not hard to talk Tremendous Fucking into playing a show, especially when the bill includes Indianapolis' incomparable You Will Die and new Bloomington rockers Violins. Oh, and this nationally-recognized act known as The Sex Slaves. Mind you, we know nothing about this band aside from their photos (which look like 3 men fired out of cannons into a Hot Topic) and weak-ass mp3s from the interweb. Oh, and we know they're from New York, the only place west of London that could spawn an unholy scenester fashion-rock nightmare this appalling.

    Chapter II – Initial Exposure
    Being the punctual fellow I am, I arrived at the venue at 10 PM as the booking fellow had requested. The Sex Slaves were already there, with their large touring bus (foreshadowing) unpacked and their 10-foot long merchandise table laden with t-shirts, stickers, bandanas, and the like occupying the space where bands store their equipment in this venue. I politely pointed out that 3 other bands needed to put 3 drumkits, a mess of cabinets, and assorted other musical equipment somewhere. They moved their giant merchandise table over about 6 inches. Thanks. They also have a lot of really, really sketchy looking women with them. Def Leppard t-shirts, pot bellies, tight pants, and makeup that appears to have been applied with a butterknife.

    Chapter III – The Bar is Set
    Violins proceed to surprise everyone in the place with just how good they are and You Will Die administer what can only be described as a precision audio colonic that leaves everyone feeling 10 pounds lighter.

    Chapter IV – Their True Form Revealed
    The Sex Slaves wheel out the most asinine stage setup I have ever seen short of an Iron Maiden concert. Their drummer sits behind a $6,000+ DW custom kit, wrapped in chrome to match his giant rack system (note to the musically ignorant: drum racks are the surest sign of impending suckage from a band). The monstrous guitar and bass cabinets feature chrome covers over each individual speaker – like the sort of covers you see on the speakers found lining the trunk of a bottomed-out Tercel with little tires and tinted windows. Yes, it was truly asinine. Several of my astute colleagues pointed out, "This band better kick a whole lot of ass to make up for all this shit…."


    Chapter V – Le Piece de Resistance
    The band unfurls a giant banner featuring their name, cartoon drawings of skulls, and a bold proclamation of their Sam Ash endorsement. I briefly consider going outside and unfurling an "ABANDON HOPE, ALL YE WHO ENTER HERE" banner but I decline.


    Chapter VI – All Hope Obliterated
    The band opens their set by melodically singing their name over and over ("We aaaaare the Seeeeeex Slaaaaaaves!"). This was a sign of things to come, as each song included their name at least twice – a level of self-referential lyricism not seen since the days of 1980s rappers. The rest of their songs cover such topics as enjoying whiskey ("Thank God for Jack Daniels!") and an affinity for partying. Their stage banter comes directly out of This is Spinal Tap. "Bloomington crowds are the greatest!" and so on. I can only describe it as Tenacious D or Spinal Tap if Tenacious D and Spinal Tap were not kidding. And believe me, this band was in nothing but bitter earnest. Their stage show, which they self-proclaimed as "infamous" consisted of nothing more than lots of swearing (note: declaring that "we don't write songs about making love, we write songs about fucking!" has little impact when one plays before a band called Tremendous Fucking) and every hackneyed hair band cliche on earth, from uncomfortably lurching around in their tight pants to holding out their guitars while fat girls pretended to play them with their tongues. Oh, and their shirts were off about 8 seconds into the first track – revealing some very new-looking tattoos. They were, as I said with no hint of irony and a full understanding of the statement's implications, a less entertaining version of Ratt.

    Chapter VII – Rallying
    Stunned, we took the stage after them and, with no false modesty, proceeded to blow them off the stage. Which wasn't hard, mind you.

    Chapter VIII – Albini's Moral
    The band received exactly $75 for their "performance" that night. The only reason they even received that much was that the local bands deferred their share of the door to the two out-of-town bands. So let's review this quickly. They drive around the country in a big touring vehicle, play in tiny clubs on $20,000+ worth of equipment and enough amplification to fill the Meadowlands, have more logoed merchandise than Larry the Cable Guy, and make about $100 a night. And we can only imagine how much they pissed away recording their album.

    I wonder if they realize that the money they've been advanced by various concerns wasn't a gift. I wonder if they realize that it costs them more to drive their van around than they're making at their shows. I wonder if they realize that their equipment and stage schtick, best suited for the main stage on a Bon Jovi tour, are so well-worn that they're never going to get there.

    To close in the words of "The Problem with Music": some of your friends are probably already this fucked. Well, that would be true if I had any friends this stupid.

    POSTSCRIPT: The Sex Slaves were actually fairly nice guys on a personal level and it pains me to have to point out what a complete joke they are – a joke that neither they nor their Camaro-&-crimped-bangs fans seem to get. Their general decency (egos aside) just inspired pity, because it is highly unlikely that they have any idea how fucked they really are.

    2005 Dion Rayford Award Runner-up, Or: Man's Best Friend.

    Earlier we told you about the's 2005 Dion Rayford Award winner – the winners were two kids who broke into an Arby's while drunk to cook food. This year we'd like to also congratulate a runner-up for the award, given "for going above and beyond the call of duty to enjoy alcohol or low-priced Mexican food."

    According to reports, a man was purchasing a burrito from a 7-11 at 2:30 in the morning. All fine and good. This man did not have enough money with him for the purchase, so he went to his car to get some cash. At this point another man in the store tried to purchase the first guy's burrito. When guy #1 returned from his car to see another man trying to poach his tasty late-night snack a fight broke out.

    This happens more than you would imagine (though less than I'd like). You might say "But the 7-11 is full of burritos." We would call you a relativist and a moral coward, but this level of heroism isn't what we reward around here. What is important is that the first guy's 75 pound pit bull, who was waiting in the car, instinctively jumped out of the car and attacked the second man who was trying to steal the burrito.

    Pets make great companions, and can often do neat tricks and whatnot. But to see an animal escape a car in order to defend his master's burrito purchases on instinct alone (initial reports say the the man's girlfriend did not let the dog loose) brings a tear to my eye. We could all use that kind of companion in our lives.

    Pit Bull, honors you with a 2005 Dion Rayford Runner-up award. You may very well be put down for this, but it will be for an honorable and virtuous act. We should all get to have such noble ends in our lives. We'll keep track, and if the word comes down that you will be killed for defending your master's right to purchase and eat the burrito he heated up in a 7-11 microwave at 2:30am, we'll create an email writing campaign to save you. God bless.

    And for the next great political debates…

    In the wake of Hurricane Katrina devastating New Orleans, rapper Kanye West voiced the opinion that perhaps George Bush's failure to act in a timely manner was the result of latent racism in the White House. This great civil rights commentator raised the question all of us were thinking. And, if I can recall correctly, he placed the complicated issues at hand into a vernacular the world would understand.

    It would seem that 50 Cent takes issue with Mr. West's claim. Mr. Cent proclaimed that in his expert opinion "I think people responded to it the best way they can." He added that: "What KANYE WEST was saying, I don't know where that came from." Who knows where these, the great new pundits of our day, will go next?

    The sky really is the limit.