3/29/10

The Sucker Punch: Karaoke Juan

The Sucker Punch is an unfinished project I would always pick up whenever I was in a rut (i.e. after a break up). It would have been my first attempt at a zine, and dipshit 24 year old Rip thought it would be a good way to try and impress people (i.e. girls). Here's how I imagine I imagined it would go down:

Girl 1: "Whoa, what's this weird little magazine with a mouse in chonies on the cover"
Girl 2: "I don't know, but it says it has Street Fighter tips inside!"
Girl 1: "Holy shit. I hope I don't accidentally tear it due to how fast I want to open and look through it."
Girl 2: "Wow, this guy's really cool. Let's track him down and tickle him!"

When I was bulldozing the old version of this site, I came across a folder containing all the old Sucker Punch files, and tears of embarrassment flowed as I reread a few of the entries. It's not that their bad, so much as they read like an old diary of mine.
I'm 30 now, which is about 12 years past the ideal time for doing a zine, so I want to share the various pages of the first and only issue of Sucker Punch with you here instead. Hope you enjoy it, cause I'm fucked if I get into another rut.

Karaoke Juan
The first tequila shot was always the roughest. He needed a lime and some salt for that one. The second was taken right after the first, and therefore smoother. Juan Castellanos sat at the bar staring at his third shot of tequilla, trying to figure out which song he would do tonight. The entire restaurant was buzzing with hipsters and drunks, with doofuses buying martinis for some sluts by the jukebox and slender waitresses bringing oversized burgers out to frat boys having a birthday party. Juan looked a tad out of place in this type of environment, but he geniunely didn't seem to notice. He looked up at the Felix the Cat novelty clock on the wall and saw that is was 8:55pm. He glanced down at the small suitcase by his feet and knocked back the third shot. The next 6 seconds were highlighted by a nauseated burn that spread from his stomach to his throat. He grabbed another lime, but the feeling had passed by the time he brought it to his lips. He looked into the mirror across the bar from him and stared at himself. "You look so plain," he thought to himself in his white tee shirt and Chivas soccer cap. A buzzed smile spread across his flushed face as he anticipated the events that would transpire shortly.

"They never expect the quiet Mexican," he thought as he picked up his suitcase and casually strolled to the nearby men's room.

"Okay...okay. We wanna thank you all for coming out tonight. We do this every Saturday from 9 to 11. I recognize some of you from before and see some new faces out there, so a big 'welcome' to you all. Well, I won't keep you waiting, so we'll get the first singer out here in just a second. Again, 'welcome,'...don't forget to stop by the bar if you need a little liquid courage and I also just wanna say that the kitchen will be open 'til 10, so eat up, fuckers!"

A few people could be heard giving a courtesy clap, while one of the frat boys shouted 'ho-mo' at the mic-wielding host.

"Yes, well...anyway. Our first singer tonight is new face here at Karaoke Saturdays, so lets give him a big hand. He'll be singing, 'She's a Lady' by Mr. Tom Jones. Ladies and gents, Mr. Juan Castle...nanos? Castelaynos? ...Juan Casssa-"

An angry whisper could be heard coming from behind the mens room door.

"CAS-TE-YA-NOS, way."

"Juan Castellanos! Let's hear it for Juan, everyone."

A polite applause filled the dining area as the first few bars of 'She's a Lady' hit the P.A. system. On the 4th measure, the mens room door burst open a slightly toasted and very confident Juan Ramone Castellanos emerged. Gone were the soccer hat and blank stare, replaced by a canary yellow suit and the eye of the tiger. His head was a shiny combination of hair and stylying wax, combed into an elaborate, gravity-defying pompadour.

Don't give it to them right away, baby. Let them ask for it. No...let them beg for it.

Juan held back, just a bit, as he began his rendition of Tom Jone's ode to great women. Some of the crowd was trying to figure out what to make of the 5'4" Mexican in the electric yellow suit, and Juan didn't want to blow their minds...yet.

Well she's all you'd ever want
She's the kind they'd like to flaunt and take to dinner
Well she always knows her place
She's got style, she's got grace, she's a winner.

As the first chorus approached, Juan loosened his necktie a bit, and started with the first round of hip gyrations. A middle aged woman drinking a Long Island whooped in the back.


She's a Lady. Whoa whoa whoa, she's a Lady

He made eye contact and pointed at a waitress bringing out some mozzarella sticks while holding his hand to his heart.

Talkin' about that little Lady, and the Lady is mine.

Only half of the people in the restaurant began to clap, but everyone had their eyes on him. He closed his eyes to emphasize his passion, and turned the hip gyrations up a setting. A few beads of sweat collected on his brow. Right on time.


Well she's never in the way
Something always nice to say, Oh what a blessing.
I can leave her on her own
Knowing she's okay alone, and there's no messing.

She's a Lady. Whoa whoa whoa, she's a Lady
Talkin' about that little Lady, and the Lady is mine.

The jukebox sluts actually got off of their barstools and approached the stage. The floor manager scolded two of his waitresses for stopping to watch Juan bump and grind. An older gentleman wearing leather pants started to raise the roof with his hands. Fully aware that he had them eating from his palm, Juan lept from the stage onto a nearby table full of appreciative punk rockers, never missing a beat.

Well she knows what I'm about,
She can take what I dish out, and that's not easy.
Well she knows me through and through,
She knows just what to do, and how to please me.

She's a Lady. Whoa whoa whoa, she's a Lady
Talkin' about that little Lady, and the Lady is mine

The song entered it's break and Juan quickly surveyed the room as he whipped his jacket off and started groovin' to the band. Most people were on their feet, trying to keep their eyes on him. The karaoke host that had introduced him, who had surely seen a million singers come before, was bobbing his head with a smile on his face. Juan jumped off of his table and began thrusting his pelvis at some Asian girls that had began to shriek with delight. A man covered in tattoos thrust a shot of whiskey in Juan's direction, which was promptly yanked away from him and dranken. It burned his mouth, but he could barely feel it as he planted a sizable kiss on a flattered, redheaded waitress. The crowd erupted.

Yeah yeah yeah, She's a Lady
Listen to me baby, She's a Lady
Whoa whoa whoa, She's a Lady
And the Lady is mine

Juan closed out his number with his patented crotch-thrust-into-the-splits move and danced around with several buzzed women. A man eating buffalo wings had to restrain his wife from removing her underwear so she could throw them towards the gyrating Hispanic. As the music began to die down, Juan received a standing ovation, shortly followed by a second. Now that the music was gone, he was having a hard time making eye contact with the crowd members. He smiled sheepishly as the clapping continued, and made his way back to the men's room. An attractive woman wearing a purple wig grabbed his arm on the way, but he smiled and pulled away.

"Just give me a second, baby. I'll be out in two shakes of a lambs tail."

Juan was putting his Chivas cap back on when he heard the next song begin playing. Some hack was doing Madonna's 'Lucky Star.' Juan looked at himself in the mirror and winked before unlocking the bathroom window. He noticed a napkin with a telephone number written in lipstick being slid underneath the bathroom door as he quietly climbed outside. Part of him screamed to stay and party with his adoring new fans, but he knew he'd never do anything like that. When he was belting out a Tom Jones classic, or some early Prince or Rick James, he was able to control entire buildings. But when he was just Juan, he really didn't have much to say. They loved him for what he gave them, and didn't want to ruin the magic by revealing how plain he was outside of his 'zone.' His fading buzz told him that he was cheating himself by not trying harder to make friends, but
the thought passed as his bus drove up. Juan Castellanos found an empty seat towards the back and slouched in it. He quietly whistled 'She's a Lady' the whole trip home, quiet enough to not disturb the other passengers.

3/25/10

Snakes

The FPU song writing process:

1. Gather as many members of the crew as possible. This can be a daunting task, as at any given moment, a sizable fraction of us are a) under house arrest b) in rehab or c) on hallucinagenics and are too scared to leave the house.

2. Trip to the liquor store.

3. Drink all the beer. Does anyone have more beer money? If yes, repeat step 2. If no, proceed to the next step.

4. Ahhh, the poetic magic of transforming our hopes and dreams into words that will express our emotions and ideas to the world. This would be a manageable process if we weren't so backwards on Coors Light and/or Tecate.

The end results tend to be pretty dope, but the process makes it difficult to collectively focus on a central theme or idea. Now, this may come accross as a bunch of drunks with microphones, but that's like concentrating on my finger when I'm pointing at the moon. We are like shamans, intoxicating ourselves in an effort to bring on mad visions that we record for spiritual posterity. Which brings me to today's track.

The Snake Song

Around the middle of Natural Born Killers, Mickey and Mallory stumble onto an old Native-American guy and his grandson, and old dude recalls a parable about a woman and a snake. If you saw it, you remember as being one of the coolest parts of the movie, if you missed it, here it is:



When you want top shelf lyrical content, there is a short list of local emcees. The Snake Gods smiled on me, as my first two choices not only agreed, but went fang-deep on this fucker.
Idegad, who also cooked up the epic beat, is just about as dangerous as an emcee/musician/human being can get. His verse is dense with lyrical gems, and gets better every time I hear it (we all performed this at a house party a few weeks back and I totally stepped on his verse. Sorry, Id. I gotta cut down on stage drinking).
MCLB is, hands down, my favorite area emcee. The guy is possessed, and working with him always brings out a rare competetiveness in me. And while it's just about impossible to top him, trying to brings out my freshest work.

Not only a rare example of an From Parts Unknown song with a central theme, but a pretty ill little posse cut, if I do say so myself. PLEASE STOP FUCKING WITH SNAKES!

The Snake Song
(Right-click and choose "Save Link As")

3/24/10

Japanese Buzzsaw

I may not be the most prolific artist, but I'm very proud that some of my stuff can double as a throwable, ninja weapon. The lion's face is from a Japanese pro-wrestling company, but I figured anyone who saw it would A) not recognize it, or B) give a shit about international copyright laws.
The design was orignally intended for a Rip Sexington t-shirt design for selling at rap shows, but I had new spray paint color (Better Times / that reddish purple) I wanted to try out, and decided to paint up a buzzsaw I had lying around. It's currently hanging near my bed, so any burglars foolish enough to break into Sexington Manor are gonna catch a face full of flyin' lion fury.



Mysterious fact: The buzzsaws have a hole in the center, and I used a certain old school trading card series to cover them on the back. The only way to reveal this card is to remove the buzzsaw, which presumably would only occur in a dire emergency. More on this later.