Like the cherry to the apple.

As you may have seen back when I dug out all of my old pins that used to cover my Levi's denim jacket back in the late 80's, among other ridiculous "flair" there were two Beastie Boys appearances.


In addition to the buttons, take a look at this video from VH1's Hip-Hop Honors a few years back. If you can get past the first few minutes of Puffy Diddy P Daddy Diddy Combs, Mixmaster Mike does not disappoint and then the 2:45 mark in the video brings a performance from the Boys themselves. Hold on until old school fans'll lose your minds.

100% cotton. 100% awesome.

How could I talk about Beastie Boys shirts without mentioning the one I probably wore more than any other?

On a family vacation in 1987, I purchased a t-shirt that combined Beastie Boys style, Buckwheat, and all-around sixth-grade hilarity.

In late 1987, I was pictured in the local newspaper for some sort of award -- of course, I was wearing the shirt that would make any parent proud.

This shirt is obviously long-outgrown and long gone; but if I could ever run across one of these in an adult size, you'd better believe I'd pick it up in a heartbeat.

The new style.

Digging deep in my closet, you might find a Beastie Boys t-shirt that I wore regularly back in high school. To the left you see the "cool" kid that I was back in 1993. Cool hair. Cool beaded necklace. Cool LSU hat -- backwards, of course.

Despite the high levels of stupid in this picture, it's all balanced out by an awesome Check Your Head shirt.

While this particular shirt is cool and all, it was a pretty common shirt among early 90's Beastie Boys fans. It wasn't until several years later, 2003 or so, that I came up with my favorite Beastie Boys shirt.

Designed by the folks from Manifest Worldwide, this shirt takes a line straight from Licensed to Ill and works it into a subtle t-shirt tribute. While most people would see this shirt and wonder what in the world it means, a true Beastie Boys fan will immediately recognize the reference.

Buy your own here.

I'm not sure. I think my next Beasite Boys shirt may be this one.

I got the gun. You got the brew.

With a long day of work ahead of me, let's start things off with something simple.

Long after becoming a Beastie Boys fan back in the 80's, I got into the Kottonmouth Kings during the early part (and height) of their career. I was most of the way through my undergrad years in college when Royal Highness was released. I have to admit that I picked up this album based on hearing Suburban Life on the soundtrack from Scream 2 and I was hooked. The next Kottonmouth Kings album was solid but from there, as they started to churn out new material every 10 months or so, it all started to sound the same. Still, I kept buying their new stuff.

This takes us up to 2009's Blast From Tha Past. This compilation of old school covers by Suburban Noize artists features the Kottonmouth Kings knocking out an pretty solid version of Paul Revere. No way you'll keep from noddin' your head.

Holding out for release day.

One week from today the stars will align once again as a new Beastie Boys album hits the shelves. It's been four years since their last studio album and that one was an instrumental offering. You have to go all the way back to 2004 to find to the most recent Beasite Boys release featuring the rhymes of Ad-Rock, MCA, and Mike D.

But a new album is here. This, my friends, is worth celebrating.

On the official Beastie Boys website, The Hot Sauce Committee Part Two is already streaming in its entirety, but I'm holding on to the excitement of "release day" with everything I've got. I'll need something to distract me for the next seven days as I try to hold out on hearing the new album until I get my hands on an actual copy. So in the coming week, I'll be bringing out some of the Beastie Boys stuff from around my house and some random bits from around the internet.

Here's something to get things started. I may be holding out on the album, but not this video. The trailer and Make Some Noise video left many questions unanswered.

Not anymore.

And just in case you need a refresher...

No pies. No sledgehammers.

Record Store Day: A Week Later.

I realize Record Store Day was over a week ago. I promise that I'll let it go until next year...but not until after this one last post. You see, when I initially posted that Record Store Day was a 2/3 bust, that may have been a little bit premature.

As I mentioned, I set out looking for three things on Record Store Day and left my local store with only one of the three -- and that was a copy of something for my brother. But just over a week later, things have changed.

1. The Black Angels - Another Nice Pair (12" vinyl)

This is the one that I was able to pick up for my brother -- a much bigger Black Angels fan than I am. On one side of this 12" is the 2005 Black Angels EP.

Back in June of 2009, my brother and I were in North Carolina and found our way to a small record store. On that particular rainy night, we shopped for about a half-hour before heading out for a bite to eat at a nearby Waffle House. I left with used LPs from Kristofferson and Jerry Jeff Walker. My brother left with a copy of this EP. So technically, if I wanted to hear this EP I could as my brother has both the original and the Record Store Day vinyl.

The other side of this release is the 2008 Exit EP. Although the vinyl would be cool to have, I already have the EP on CD from pre-ordering the Black Angels album, Direction to See a Ghost.

I call this one a draw. Current score: Record Store Day 1, Me 1.

2. The Black Angels - Phosgene Nightmare (10" vinyl)

This is another one that I was looking for on behalf of my brother. No luck for me on Record Store Day but a few days ago, my brother was able to find copies of this release left on the shelves at a favorite record store in St. Louis. Besides that, he already had the tracks from this release which he had received digitally with a package pre-order of Phosphene Dream.

Again, technically I didn't end up with a copy of this one but I would easily have access to it.

Another draw in my eyes. Score? Record Store Day 2, Me 2.

3. Justin Townes Earle - Move Over Mama (7" vinyl)

While the Black Angels releases would have just been gravy, this Justin Townes Earle 45 was the one thing I wanted for myself on Record Store Day. Unfortunately, as I mentioned last week, my local store received a total of zero copies of this.

However, patience is a virtue. Visiting St. Louis, not only did my brother round out his Black Angels wish list, but he also grabbed one of two remaining copies of the Justin Townes Earle 45. Paybacks I suppose for my efforts a week earlier.

I realize this may seem like a lot of hype over a two song 45 record, but over the past few years, Justin Townes Earle has become one of my favorite performers and I would certainly go out of my way to purchase anything he puts out. This one was a bit tough for me though. I was seeing copies on eBay selling for anywhere from $20 to $50 (although those prices have come down somewhat in the days since). Considering one of the two songs is straight off his most recent album, I wasn't about to pay that price for the one other song (although it is a pretty awesome Springsteen cover). Luckily, in the end, I paid store price for this one -- roughly six bucks.

I win this round. Final score: Record Store Day 2, Me 3.

Next April we battle again.

Cardboard breakfast.

What looks like Cap'n Crunch but tastes like cardboard?

Cap'n Crunch Crunch Treasures. That's what.

As a lifelong connoisseur of Cap'n Crunch in its various forms, I couldn't have been more disappointed in this garbage. While Peanut Butter Crunch is by far my favorite, I have always enjoyed a change of pace with the classic Cap'n Crunch, Crunchberries, and even the occasional holiday themed Crunch variations. Coming off the retro packaging of Cap'n Crunch products from last year, I was intrigued by Crunch Treasures when I saw the option of buying a small box for a measly buck.

Crunch Treasures is marketed as a less-sugary version of the classic Cap'n Crunch. The cereal itself is shaped differently -- in fact, if this is even possible, the pieces are sharper in your mouth than the classic variation. Upon first bite, I realized that this indeed tastes exactly like what is advertised -- Cap'n Crunch with "1/2 the sugar of regular Cap'n Crunch."

Translation? A bland mess in your mouth that slightly resembles a breakfast classic.

This just in. Sugary cereals are not meant to be healthy. This is no different than sugar-free Kool-Aid. Low-calorie Oreos. If you take sugar away from a sugary cereal, you're left with nothing.

In the future, I'll save my money and just chew on a piece of paper.

Tally ho.

Time to fill in some blanks created by the Beastie Boys trailer that went public a few weeks ago...

Still some blanks to be filled.

Record Store Day fame.

What do you get when you show up for Record Store Day right when the doors open? You get yourself pictured in a local online magazine basking in your music nerd glory.

The guy in the blue hat? Yours truly.

Record Store Day a 2/3 bust.

I'm pretty sure Record Store Day is one of my favorite days of the year, and at the same time, a day that I loathe. I love the idea of limited edition releases being made available in support of the nearly-extinct record store. But I hate crowds. Combine the two and you've got Record Store Day.
Arriving at my local record store this morning exactly one minute after they opened their doors, I was met with shoulder-to-shoulder music snobs like myself searching for their short list of items available at that moment for the first time. My list this morning included three things -- a 7" from Justin Townes Earle and 10" and 12" releases from the Black Angels. Looking for the Black Angels for my brother, my plan was to buy copies for myself as well if they'd allow me more than one.

Standing on my tip-toes to see over the mass of people between me and the wall of Record Store Day releases, I quickly spotted the Black Angels 12". Good for my brother. Then I heard one of the store employees say something to another customer about "one copy per customer." Bad for me.

With the store owner nearby, I decided to save myself a headache and just asked if he had copies of either of the other two releases I was looking for. He did not. Bad for my brother. Bad for me. Apparently, as the store owner said, the "powers that be" only allowed him a select stock of merchandise with no rhyme nor reason to what he was provided.

That's all I needed to hear as I headed to the check-out line. It was time to get the hell out of there as quickly as I had come in. Total shopping time: nine minutes.

You win this year, Record Store Day.

A crossover blog.

I suppose this blog could be compared to the crossover episodes that used to be commonplace among prime time sitcoms. You know what I mean. Like the time Boss Hogg and Rosco showed up at Mel's Diner on Alice.

I don't often mix the various websites and blogs that I am a part of, however, this being the closest thing that I have to a "personal blog," I feel like I need to break the norm and mention something really cool from my other (more successful) blog.

For anyone who may not know and/or anyone who has never visited my other blog, I am a dedicated fan of Fred Rogers and as a parent and educator have come to gain a deep appreciation for his life's work. My other blog, which I spend significantly more time on than on this one, is dedicated to the remembrance and recognition of "all things Mister Rogers."

About a month ago, I had the privilege of visiting the original filming location of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood in Pittsburgh and was treated to an up-close look at many of the original pieces from the Neighborhood of Make-Believe set.

If you were like me -- one of the countless kids who grew up watching Mister Rogers' Neighborhood -- I'd like to point you in the direction of some recent posts on my other blog full of pictures detailing these awesome pieces of pop culture history.

Ready to be served.

I hate to come back after a few weeks away with a simple video link, but this is quite possibly the most awesome thing I've seen since the discovery of Andy D.