by Jeff Hahne
By Chris Faraone, Boston's Weekly Dig
Every time I hit the road for this type of trip I’m reminded of Bloodsport — my favorite Jean-Claude Van Damme film that is also reputed for catapulting Forest Whitaker’s career into the Oscar realm. The movie begins with fighters from around the world practicing with their masters before traveling to Kumite (pronounced Koo-mi-tay) — an underground marital arts Olympics in which there are only three ways to defeat opponents: 1 – to throw him off the mat; 2 – to make him say the local equivalent to “uncle;” or 3 – to straight up murder him.
My favorite characters in Bloodsport are as follows: the Latin kickboxing guy who gets ready by pulverizing sparring partners; the guy who also played Ogre in Revenge of the Nerds who I believe prepares by eating bricks in a biker bar; the African fighter whose training entails climbing trees and retrieving coconuts; and of course, Jean-Claude Van Damme’s character, Frank Dux, who readies himself by going down to MTV Spring Break and violating unwilling co-eds.
Right now, around the country, other writers, bloggers and journalists are bracing for cold-blooded South by Southwest combat. There’s a Texan who’s sticking a card that says “press” in his cowboy hat. In Hawaii, there’s a reporter going for one last surf before throwing on a lei to hang his press pass on. In San Francisco, there’s a gay reporter looking for his pencil and, in Alaska, there’s a journalist whose laptop is wholly made of ice cubes and whale blubber. Lastly, in Boston, there’s a freelancer who got a cavity search by airport security because he stunk like booze and trees.
The terminal scene en route to SXSW is always an alt-culture spectacle. Sure, there’s one guy in a cowboy suit (big stupid hat and Wrangler denim), but for the most part my plane is packed with curiously unshaven non-taxpayers and shameless hipster singer-songwriters. From the looks of it — besides Cowboy Roy with his snakeskin boots and me and my Adidas — everybody on this flight is wearing Chucks. I’m assimilating though; I recently got a tattoo and I’ve already found that it lends me significant access ("Nice ink!" two of my tatted brethren have already exclaimed).
I promised to deliver a blog by noon today, but that’s difficult since I just arrived in Austin. As a substitute, I intended to spend this entire dispatch lambasting my co-flyers. However, I don’t really hate these people enough to torture them on first sight — except for the guy sitting in front of me reading a USA Today article about Larry the Cable Guy’s remarkable weight loss — so you’ll have to wait for my arrival for the torment. All I have to offer now is the story of my routine in-flight dump, during which I renewed my membership to the Mile Low Club.
I can also give you a quick preview of the week to come: Tonight, I’m going to Ron Jeremy’s birthday bash, where Boston’s premier live rap outfit turned Long Beach transplants, Audible Mainframe, will be rocking following a screening of the hedgehog’s latest fuck flick. I’m actually from the same block in Queens as Jeremy — for real — and I’m very much looking forward to the opportunity to compare schlongs.
For you indie rockers and “I listen to everything but rap and country” motherfuckers, I promise to not ignore you all together. On Thursday, I’ll be surprising an old high school friend who currently fronts an LA outfit signed to Arista called Low vs. Diamond. His name is Luke, and the last time I saw homeboy we were bent on hallucinogens and freestyling in the basement radio station at our prep school. Now that he’s a rocker and I’m a hardcore rap critic with a reputation for packing large firearms, I’m sure our blue blazer pasts are equally embarrassing.
Lastly, I’ll be chilling with hip-hop’s best and most hyped. Among the MCs and rap personalities down in Austin — that I know of so far — are Moe Pope (Boston), Headnodic (Oakland), Bun B (Houston), DJ Special Blend (Boston), Bisc 1 (Brooklyn), Dizzee Rascal (UK), 7L&Esoteric (Boston), Statik Selektah (The Bronx), Termanology (Lawrence), Del the Funky Homosapien (Oakland), DJ Frank White (Boston), DJ JayCeeOh (Boston/Cali/NYC), Buckshot (Brooklyn), Sean Price (Brooklyn), Kidz in the Hall (not sure where they’re from, but I know they went to UPENN), Percee P (The Bronx), Schwayze (Malibu), Zion I & Living Legends (Oakland), C-Rayz Walz (The Bronx), Time Machine (Rhode Island and some other places), The Cunninlyguists (Kentucky), A-Trak (MTL), Pete Rock (Westchester), Diplo (Hipsterville), Grayskul (Seattle), The Clipse (Virginia), Mac Lethal (Kansas City), Talib Kweli (Brooklyn) and Lyrics Born (Bay Area).
Before signing off, I want to forever ban the idiom “wardrobe malfunction” from pop culture’s vocabulary — especially when and if it applies to Justin Timberlake. It wasn’t funny when we got to see Janet Jackson’s surgically manipulated nipple, and it’s even less hysterical now. Some dick on CNN this morning snuck it into a report about how Timberlake presented Madonna with her undeserved Rock and Roll Hall of Fame trophy, and it was deplorable. From now on, the episode that went down between that barely post-pubescent puke and Miss Jackson will forever be referred to as “The Day That Chris Faraone Masturbated Like a Monkey.”