Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Some Of The Best Advice Is What You Know



How am I supposed to top Jeff's advice from Monday?

Exactly. Rather the tough act to follow. And - being wise beyond my years and knowing when not to try and best someone - I'm not even going to try.

Instead, I'll discuss what I know the ladies love.

Granted, there's actually little to say about going pantsless, one of my personal fortes. Either you don pants or you don't. End of story. (Side Note: Men don trousers, all three of The Unbelievables do. But we kowtow to the simple term "pants" for the sake of the masses.)

So I'll go with what the ladies really love: Dancing.

Everyone's got there own personal style, preferences, M.O., more when it comes to shaking one's booty. But I'll tell you this: It's rarely the moves that impress out there on dance floor. Just as importantly, it's getting into the groove, showing you mean it, actuating the dance in effortlessness. Calculated dancing doesn't cut the mustard. (Well it does ... but you can watch that for only so long before it becomes tedious.)

That's why I model many of my dance moves off the great Gene Gene The Dancing Machine from The Gong Show.

The video below says it all.


Hello, Ladies!

My personal guarantee is this: Ape some of these steps and you'll never lack a dance floor partner again.

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Advice Column

One of the recurring themes that come with the territory when you are a stylish gent-about-town who is also a skilled martial arts devotee and secret crime fighter who is very good at everything else too is that women tend to find you irresistible. We Unbelievables find that the ladies are never far from crime scenes, hoping to catch a glimpse of their idols (i.e. us), or showing up when we do Community-oriented deeds such as reading to blind people and taking our llamas to hospitals to provide sick people with therapy. Yes, what I am talking about is groupies. 

Rojo the llama. Not even kidding about this.


That's right - just like rock stars, movie stars and mushroom farmers, we Unbelievables have hangers-on. Little limpets, Michael calls them. Aside from the almost constant presence of the Unbelievababes, and the occasional evil-doing female such as The Double-D Dames and the Klumpmasterflash Twins, we get a lot of ardent female fans flinging themselves at us, promising all sorts of treats of the boot-knockin' variety if we will just give them the time of day. For this reason, many guys ask us just what it is about us that women love. What, they cry in their dozens, is the secret to attracting a sexy female person? What, in short, do women want? Now, we've covered this sort of topic before, but it still gets asked of us, so it bears repeating.

Clearly it's a question of finding out what they like. You find out what she likes, you'll know what she wants. And for me at least, these are the things that I know that women like. No, not like. LOVE.

Women love...

...crossing the street in miniskirts. I like that too. 

Women love the colour red.

Women love guitars. Get yourself a guitar. We have hundreds. Only Clark knows how to play one, and all he can play is "Cow-Cow Boogie". Even so, an alarming amount of women want to get him down to his BVDs at the mere sight of his gleaming red instrument. See, RED... what'd I tell you?

Women also love robots, especially ones that give them parking tickets. Go figure... I mean, you know... women, eh?

Women love "JAZZ". And big horns. Answer this ad right away and the dames will be surrounding your domicile night and day, desperate for a glimpse of your shiny instrument. What, I can't use the same innuendo-laden joke twice? 

Women love scooters. Personally I think it's the thought of riding on the back of a machine that was road-tested in near-suicidal rush-hour Rome traffic, with the scent of pasta dishes and hair oil in the air, that gets them all a-quiver.

Women love Saabs. No explanation, but there's something about a Saab that makes a woman like putty in your hand. Little tip though - the same effect can be achieved with a late-model Skoda, but please avoid the Yugos and Reliant Robins.
Any road up, that's what I've found out about women, and those tips work like a charm every time. Use them wisely, for they are like gold dust. The guys will be along later in the week to add their opinions to the discussion. At the end of this week, I assure you you'll be beating women off with a rather large stick-like object.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Business End Of A Can Of Whoop Ass

So ...

... ever wonder about Henri Petit's vantage point prior to getting his little pansy ass thumped by Clark?


Now you know.

You're welcome.


Friday, April 25, 2014

UnbelievaLand: Interrupted



Discussion is crucial to the developmental process. You can't just casually toss an idea out there in the wind and VOILA! ... it's perfect.

Rigorous testing must be put to task. Thorough R&D is crucial. The pros and cons of an idea - any idea - need to be weighed. 


Will the idea actually work? Will there be any consequences? Could anything go wrong? Are seatbelts really necessary? Does it have to smell like ham? Could its use be grounds for termination or be considered detrimental to future employment considerations? How about accessibility for the handicapped? Could there be any detrimental or adverse reactions in the 15 to 30 minutes after it's utilization? You know ... stuff like weird side effects, sudden seizures, death and the like? Is it age appropriate?

These are just a few of the many questions we considered while putting UnbelievaLand together.

Given Clark has been all "Gung ho! Let's go!" about our latest venture - and the main instigator in whipping Jeff into a frenzy, getting him to come on board toot sweet in the process - I'll simply say thank goodness there's that much needed rational in our little trio. A "voice of reason" so to speak.

And that voice of reason? You got it, yours truly: Me. Michael. (It's not that I'm trying to be the Debbie Downer of the group ... but someone has to keep his head out of the clouds and look at things with a discerning eye.)

Usually when one of us comes up with something (or even when we do things collectively) it naturally falls on Clark, Jeff or myself to step back and analyze what we've dreamed up, give it an unbiased, third-party look to see if things are on the up and up. I mean, believe it or not, not everything we come up with is "consumer ready" and instantaneously good to go, you know. Some things take a little tweaking before they can be offered for public consumption.

And such is the case with our little brainchild
UnbelievaLand.

Let's take a look ...

While there isn't a single thing wrong with our sign ...

 

... using it for same for UnbelievaLand could be a little confusing. You've seen our Unbelieva-Base sign ... right



 

See what I mean? They're virtually identical. But that's okay. We printed up some nifty flyers defining both locales. It says:

"If you're looking for UnbelievaLand, please turn around and go back out the door you came in, turn left and head north about 10 minutes. You'll get to a similar "Charm Cleaners" sign that looks just like the one at this location. When you get there, we're sure you'll feel your excitement building.

Congratulations! You've reached UnbelievaLand!"

Brilliant! Because folks wishing to patronize UnbelievaLand will understand immediately they were simply at the wrong place to begin with.

Our foes, however, will be hopelessly lost, won't realize they're at our actual Unbelieva-Base and will attempt entry thinking we're trying to pull a fast one on them. The beauty of that is the fact we have our Unbelieva-Base lobby littered with foils which will get their goats. We're tricky that way.

But that was the least of our worries. Our R&D forced us to nix a few things we can tell you about here.

Such as our boffo Superhero Showcase Show Of Shows:

 
Sorry Jasmine, Sig and Alpert (left to right)

Little did we know DC Comics would be so stringent about their properties. We really did have a nifty song and dance extravaganza put together for everyone who came to UnbelievaLand to enjoy, but The Powers That Be got wind of it somehow and put the KY-bosh on the production. (Here's hoping central casting will find something for the players we originally hired post haste. Good luck on future gigs, guys!)

Then there was Horrorland ...

The criminal element doesn't like to talk about this place.

We meant for this to be an educational attraction, both exciting and information on why criminal "activity" is a bad thing. But once the legal department representing our arch enemies found out we wanted to enlighten what their "bad guy ways" were all about, it opened the floodgates of all sorts of cease and desist orders. (Stupid bad guy lawyers ... stupid legal process ...)

Speaking of stupid legal stuff ...


Come on ... what's not to like ... ?!? 
Then there was the free copy of the Alka-Seltzer Song Book pegged to be given out with every sale of peanut, popcorn, candied apple, frozen banana and Churro. (And! We'd already gotten the blessing of the Alka-Seltzer people to do so!) Blame those gluten-free Bozos for tossing water on that dream. (It would have made a terrific souvenir ...)

Bet you didn't know singing helps relieve a tummy ache, too ...

These are just a few of the little niggling things we've had to deal with prior to cutting the ribbon and letting the masses in on the wonders that will eventually be UnbelievaLand. But, for the time being, that inaugural shindig is on temporary hold.

That's okay, though. Remember: We're The Unbelievables

Stuff like this has a way of working itself out. So don't worry ... we're on it. (Plus, you know, we have Jeff testing out the rides for safety and stuff. Doesn't that make you feel good?)

In the meantime? You can always don a pair of Kickin' Jeans (The Unbelievables endorse those, you know) and pretend you're strolling through our soon-to-be opened Camisole Heights get-away.


Go on ... close your eyes and keep dreaming ... it's almost as if you're right there, about to step off the Unbelieva-Tram, care-free, wind-blown hair swooshed from your face at the just-concluded 85 mph ride, ready enter through the front gates of UnbelievaLand ...

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Thrills And Spills

Yes folks, it is true. Clark's revelation of our upcoming theme park UNBELIEVALAND in Camisole Heights is not pure fantasy but a really real reality, and it's opening soon! I myself have been heavily involved in designing and testing the rides. Here is a short film of me working on a zipline-style ride, that in its finished state, will be based on our fleeting early-80s dalliance with delivering boxes of chocs to starving damsels in distress.



Here's the test footage...

video



and here's what we used to do with those choccies...





Now imagine it with all the bells and whistles you'd expect at Six Flags or Alton Towers, and you might be somewhat near to what the finished ride will be like. Looking forward to seeing you all there. Right guys?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Coming soon: UnbelievaLand!

One thing that many of our adoring fans from all over the world are always requesting is a tour of the Unbelieva-base. For obvious reasons, we simply can't honor those requests. However, we've come up with something we think you'll enjoy even more: our own theme park, UnbelievaLand! Located in Camisole Heights, Nevada, a nearby suburb of Stiletto Flats, the park will have a number of features that are sure to appeal to Unbelievables fans of all ages! Let's take a sneaky peak, shall we? 

A sign just like the one outside of the real Unbelieva-base greets you at the front gate. An ideal location for photo oportunities.

The Unbelieva-Tram will bring you from the parking lot to the front gate. Unlike your standard amusement park tram, this one does 85 mph and features bullet-proof tires, front-mounted machine guns and the can convert into a submarine. It's also outfitted with ejector seats, so when the driver says keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle, you'd better do it.

One of our techs will show you how to operate one of our actual computers. Calculate complex math equations! Conduct searches and print out the results! Send electronic mail! Dial into a web of other computers located all over the whole wide world and exchange information!

The small fry will love climbing into the Henri Petit ball pit and just going crazy. Go ahead, kids kick those balls. Grab 'em, smash 'em, throw 'em around. It's okay!

Take a look at some of our sweet rides in the Unbelieva-garage!

Take a look at some of our sweet threads in the Unbelieva-Closet!

The crew of our private jet will demonstrate a few of the amazing features of this incredible plane. You can even kick back in one of the seats and watch some case videos (be kind, please rewind).

One of the best features of the park is that will be functional enough to actually serve as an auxiliary base of operations and we plan on being there frequently to conduct actual Unbelievables business. One thing we will definitely be doing there is conducting our initial searches for prospective interns, as seen here. 

There's so much more to this Sexiest Place On Earth (that slogan has yet to be officially approved). I'll leave it to the fellas to highlight some aspects I may have missed.

Friday, April 18, 2014

More Villainy

Just to let you know, there's a new entry in Villains Row - and it's all about these lovely ladies...


The Double-D Dames!!!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Villains Row



It's come to The Unbelievables' attention our followers would like a "showcase" of some of the villains we come up against.

So being the giving and stylish fellows we are (It's our nature!), we've added a new page to the site. 

See the tabs at the top of this page? (What?!? You didn't know there were clickable tabs up there? If not, you certainly haven't been paying much attention to our blog, have you?) You'll notice there's a brand new tab thrown into the mix: Villains Row.

From time to time - and specifically this week as introduction to this new feature - Clark, Jeff and I will be "highlighting" our adversaries.

First up? Our most recent tormenter Negative Charge who unceremoniously shut the lights out on us last week.

Check the page periodically from here on out. We'll include bios, tidbits, tales and snippets on those we've countered previously as well as some surprises here and there. 

Plus, as new information comes forth on some rival or another, the page will be updated ... or in the event there's information The Unbelievables feel you need to know about somebody planning monkey business.

Please enjoy!

Friday, April 11, 2014

A Re-Volting Development Chapter 3 (or: "And Then There Was Light")


Facts:

  • The Unbelievables are comrades in arms and good buddies
  • We're fearless defenders of the common good
  • We're upstanding (and stylish!) citizens (... duh ...)
  • We're nestled securely as the number one "go-to" establishments for the public in beautiful Stiletto Flats, Nevada
  • Additionally, The Unbelievables are one of the Top 10 revenue generators in the state. You probably wouldn't have guessed that. We donate a lot of our income (reward money for ousting bad guys and the like) to the betterment of the state. (It's public record. Go ahead ... look it up.)

With facts such as these embedded in absolute certitude, is there any doubt I had a plan going forward to deal with Negative Charge and his nefarious plans? Of course not ... and here's how that went down:

So ... talking to the guys "in secret" while we were in the clutches of Negative Charge? Well ... let's just say I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt he was listening in. What kind of super villain would he be, regardless of his polite proclivities, if he wasn't eavesdropping on our conversation?

What Charge didn't realize, however, was the "key" to our little powwow, when Jeff chided me: "You're better than that." Nothing like a little dissension in the ranks to help convince an unsuspecting evil doing nemesis (and a new one at that) something wasn't going quite right. Gets'em every time.

With our little huddle complete and a nod of acknowledgment to each other (even though the guys really didn't know what I was up to), Clark called out to Charge: "Hokay ... we're done here."

Our nemesis visibly lit up with anticipation - something not so easily done when you have a computer monitor for a head.


 Is Negative Charge visibly lit with anticipation here?
Or is he just pretending to use his hands as futuristic ray guns?

Clark added: "We'd like to admit to defeat, Charge. You've obviously caught us with our pants down, so to speak ..."

"In Michael's case, that's truer than you'll ever know," Jeff chimed in.

I continued: "What say we head over to our Unbelieva-Base and I'll introduce you to the spoils of your victory?"

"Capital idea!" Charge beamed enthusiastically.

So, with his minions in tow, we traipsed over to our digs.
And the first location I led Charge and his posse to? Well ... this room:
 

Clark and Jeff caught the clue and began volunteering information.

"Yep ... here it is. Our fabulous central control room. This is where we get it done," Jeff gushed proudly.

Negative Charge was stunned. He did a complete 360 turn in order to take the entire room in.

Clark picked up from there: "Being a super villain, you have one yourself, don't you? Where you monitor your enemies and plan evil doings and stuff, right?"

Charge was disgusted.
"What the ... ?!?? What the hell is this?!?" He began pointing at stuff. "Is that the skeleton of an old stereo monitor?!? And why is it in front of a toilet? Wait ... why is there a toilet in here? Better question: Why is the lid UP?!? All these panels should be covered for safety! There's wiring all over the place ... and in the vicinity of water, too! For Pete's sake - there are cobwebs in ever corner of the room! Don't you guys ever clean ... ?!? This place is a shambles! This isn't a control room ... it's a pigsty! You guys are slobs! You aren't worth the effort! Come on Kevin! Bob ... let's go! Ted, who said you could sit down?!? Let's get out of here ..."

And, just like that, Negative Charge was out of our hair. (No one ever said he was the sharpest tool in the shed.)


  Negative Charge's "groupies" aren't exactly members of Mensa, either ...

"Good job, Michael." Clark congratulated me when Charge stormed out. "Jeff and I never doubted you for a moment. We knew you had matters in hand ..."

"Uh, huh," I responded. "I thought he'd never leave. I'm taking my pants off ..."

Jeff suddenly got animated: "Hey, guys! Let's celebrate another Unbelievables' win! I know it's not Tuesday ... but who's up for some whipped potatoes ... ?!??"

Side Note: 10 minutes after Negative Charge and his companions left, our power came back on ... you know, because he's a considerate and polite super villain ...


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Re-Volting Development chapter 2

When Jeff sent us this picture:
We were deeply concerned. That looks like some scary stuff. Michael and I went right down to Join Jeff at the A-1 Kwik Kwality Sparky Corp. Inc. and Co. Ltd. We were greeted at the front door by this fellow
 
wearing a computer monitor on his head. He was very excited to see us. "OhmyGod, The Unbelievables! You guys, they showed up! My plan worked!", he screamed to some guys in an office behind him, the guys being shocked in the above photo. He ushered us inside and offered us seats and soft drinks. We weren't there for a social visit and wanted to know what this was all about. "What's this all about?", Michael asked. "Oh! Well, see, I'm a super villain and this is my base of operations. I am... Negative Charge, the master of electricity! And you, The Unbelievables, are my prisoners!" "Uh huh", I answered. "And who are those guys and why were you shocking them?" "Ah, my minions! They do my evil bidding!" One of the guys spoke up. "Hi. I'm Kevin. We work here and he's our supervisor. Sometimes he duct tapes tasers to his hands and zaps us. He says it makes us work faster. It's kind of annoying." "Why do you put up with it?",Michael asked. "Well, the pay is decent and the  benefits package is top-notch. It's actually not a bad work environment, aside from the tasing." One of the others chimed in, "We wear jeans on Fridays and sometimes there are mini-muffins in the breakroom. Hey guys, I'm Bob and that's Ted", introducing the entire staff. Ted waved but continued working at his computer. "Enough talk!", Negative Charge butted in. "My turn! I am in charge here! I control the electricity, I control these minions, I control the distribution of baked goods here in the office, and now...NOW, I control you, The Unbelievables. He raised his hands menacingly towards us and Jeff said, "Please don't tase us." He said, "Give me one reason why I shouldn't?" and I said "Because we don't like that and would appreciate it if you didn't do it." He seemed taken aback, and said, "Oh. Well, all right then" and lowered his hands un-menacingly. "Hey!", the guy named Kevin yelled and Negative Charge said, "Silence!". Jeff said, "Thank you. And since we're asking for favors, could we please have our electricty back at our secret headquarters? We have all kinds of important computers and other crime-fighting gizmos that we can't operate without it. I mentioned that there was almost a full gallon of butter pecan ice cream in the freezer that was at serious risk of melting. "Oh", said Negative Charge. "I'm sorry but I can't do that. This is my first go as a super villain and it would look really bad for me if I just gave you back your power. I mean, I set up here in Stiletto Flats for the express purpose of engaging you, The Unbelievables. If I cave right in just because it would just wreck my credibility. I mean, I just got this helmet to fit properly", as he pointed to the monitor on his head. "Nothing personal, you understand." "Of course", Michael said. "Do you mind if I talk to the boys for a second?" "Oh, by all means!" Michael huddled us all together and whispered, "My research is about to pay off. I think I have just the thing to send this evil yet thoroughly considerate and polite ne'er do well a message. Let's 'light him up', guys. Commence 'Operation: Blackout'". We didn't say anything and Michael said, "What?". Jeff shook his head sadly and said, "You're better than that." 
But anyway, we did Michael's plan, which he will tell you about next! 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A Re-Volting Development

Many apologies, folks, for the lateness of this post. We would have been posting yesterday, were it not for the fact that yesterday here in Stiletto Flats, Nevada, we were out of juice. No power. The electricity was not forthcoming.

Now for a while Michael (the resident 'boffin' of the group) has been trying to build a self-contained off-grid power backup system, involving solar, wind, wave motion and more solar, thermal heat pumps and geodesic domes. He'll occasionally hole up in his workshop and can be heard tinkering around and occasionally shouting when he hurts himself, all the while listening to the strains of Mantovani, which he says helps him to think straight. The other day I poked my head round the door while he was at the donut shop gathering, ahem, supplies, and snapped a picture of what I saw.



Anyhoo, so yesterday the power went out and Michael's jimmy-rigging did not kick in, so naturally I went outside to check if it was just us or the whole neighborhood. Darn the luck. Everyone else was still on, from Marissa's Home For Wayward Showgirls to Vincent Tran's House O'Pho. So, Clark checked the fuse box. Nope, he says. Everything looks kosher. So, admitting defeat, we decided to call in the pros. 

We tried every electrician's number in the Stiletto Flats phonebook. To be honest, there were only three. No answer, too busy, closed for vacation, you know the story. Until on the back of the book I see a full-page glossy ad for "A-1 Kwik Kwality Sparky Corp. Inc. and Co. Ltd." Sounded legit. No working phone number, but an address. I thought I'd pay them a call.


When I got there, this was the scene that presented itself to me.




I'll let the others tell you what the meaning of all this was, and how we got our power back on. Meantime, ciao.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Rasputin rewound

As we tried and tried to make sense of this mystery, which I originally thought went no further than "Michael went to a record store", we were getting more and more frustrated as clues refused to reveal themselves. That's when I noticed the backward facing 'N' in the Rasputin logo. "Of course!", I yelled. "The true meaning of a song and its lyrics can't be found until it's played backwards!". Jeff then told me to stop yelling because he had gone to bed. I didn't have to worry about disturbing Michael because it was Tuesday and he was with his nude badmitton league, which always seemed to run late, presumably because everyone was incapacitated by giggles anytime someone said 'shuttlecock'.
At any rate, I went to Michael's room with the Boney M record "Rasputin", put it on Michael's turntable and manually spun the disc in reverse...

No deirrac he woh smahs a saw ti
Enihcam evol tsetaerg s'aissur
NITUPSAR AR AR
Egon saw yllaer taht tac a saw ereht
Neeuq Naissur eht fo revoL

Erised dluow nemow
Rehcaet fo dnik eht saw osla eh tub
Erif dna ycatsce fo lluf
Rehcaerp a ekil elbib eht hcaerp dluoc eh
Raed ylevol a hcus saw eh skcihc
Raef htiw dna rorret htiw mih ta dekool elpoep tsom
Wolg gnimalf a seye sih ni ,gnorts dna gib saw eh
Oga gnol Aissur ni nam niatrec a devil ereht

Okay, so the devil pops up in the last (first) line and there's a couple references to saws and evil but most of it sounds like haunted cats in heat. Total dead end. I guess if there's any kind of nefarious plot, it would be that the Russians, via Rasputin Music in San Francisco and Boney M, wanted Michael's turntable broken because that's the end result.
Oops.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Ra Ra Rasputin

We've been busy analyzing Michael's record store findings (and listening to his excellent purchases) and discovered something interesting. With a few tweaks, the lyrics to the song "Rasputin" by 70s disco stompers Boney M make for shocking reading. I present to you the lyrics, accompanied by my line-for-line alterations.




"Rasputin"

There lived a certain man in Russia long ago 
There was a record store in San Francisco
He was big and strong, in his eyes a flaming glow 
It was big and strong and it had the eyes of Rasputin on the bag which were all glowey and flaming (I know that doesn't fit but you get the gist)
Most people looked at him with terror and with fear
Most other record stores looked at them with fear
But to Moscow chicks he was such a lovely dear
But to record buyers they were pretty neat, y'hear
He could preach the bible like a preacher
They could sell that vinyl like a mofo
Full of ecstacy and fire
... umm...
But he also was the kind of teacher
Women would desire
(That bit is not really relevant...)

RA RA RASPUTIN
Lover of the Russian queen
Lover of the record buying public
There was a cat that really was gone
There was a pretty cool store
RA RA RASPUTIN
Russia's greatest love machine
San Fran's greatest record store
It was a shame how he carried on
They were way better than the others

He ruled the Russian land and never mind the Czar
They ruled the Bay Area , never mind the rest of Cali
But the kasachok he danced really wunderbar
And people danced up and down the aisles in delight
In all affairs of state he was the man to please
7", 12", LP's, 45's, EP's
But he was real great when he had a girl to squeeze
Not forgetting CD's and those superb DVDs
For the queen he was no wheeler dealer
For your cold hard cash they'd do you a great deal, yeah
Though she'd heard the things he'd done
Although you know just what they've done
She believed he was a holy healer
You'll be yelling 'DJ Spin That Wheel, Yeah'
Who would heal her son
You'll have so much fun

[Spoken:]
But when his drinking and lusting and his hunger
But when their desire to thwart all competitors
for power became known to more and more people,
became known to more and more record collectors,
the demands to do something about this outrageous
the cries of "Help! We're losing money hand over fist!" from the likes of Aron's, Wherehouse and Tower Records 
man became louder and louder.
became louder and louder, and then quieter.

"This man's just got to go!" declared his enemies
"Rasputin's got to be stopped!" declared their enemies
But the ladies begged "Don't you try to do it, please"
But the record buyers said "You've got no chance, sorry!"
No doubt this Rasputin had lots of hidden charms
For they knew of Rasputin's not so hidden charms
Though he was a brute they just fell into his arms
... ummm.... I got nothing for this one, sorry
Then one night some men of higher standing
Set a trap, they're not to blame
"Come to visit us" they kept demanding
And he really came
Nope, can't do anything with those lines


[Spoken:] Oh, those Russians...

Oh, those record salesmen...


Of course a lot of this is open to interpretation but I think you can see that this is fairly damning stuff. Hopefully as the investigation continues, Clark will uncover more about the truth behind Rasputin and their records.

And what gives with this sign?




Now - sing along, everybody!


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

He Spins Me Right 'Round, Baby, Right 'Round



This past weekend I was in San Francisco.

While touring the city (and much to my delight), I stumbled across a nifty record store during my meanderings: Rasputin Music & Movies. It was "The Last Great Record Store" so proclaimed its bi-line proudly.

And of course, record collector that I am, I ventured in. I was immediately surprised by the size of the place - half a block deep and about the same in width with no less than 5 stories (Five! Stories!) of CDs, vinyl and DVD collectible goodness and of every genre imaginable.

It was the records I was most interested in, however. I ate the place up for the better part of an hour. I gleefully flipped through platters and platters of delicious vinyl encased neatly in clear poly sleeves. I was in heaven. I could have spent hours in the place without problem. Thus engaged, time spent would have gone by in a blink of an eye.
 

And in fact, that's just what happened. I spied the time and of a sudden I needed to be on my way. (But not without a small take. 3 pieces of vinyl just shy of $9.00. The trio included a couple Shriekback singles and a Stan Ridgway rarity, all in outstanding condition.)

Paid for and packaged, I jested with the checkout person who rang up my purchases and exited the store with a big, fat, sappy smile on my face.

And then? Monday morning? Something dawned on me:

Taking the records out of their bag, I looked at the colorfully vibrant Rasputin Music carry-all with more than a bit of interest.


On both sides of the bag the mysterious, mad Rasputin eyed me sternly. That's when I realized his gaze was electifyingly intense.


His look bore to my very core. He was glaring with laser-focused eyes. I pulled away from them (no easy task) long enough to scan the entire bag ... and I was transfixed by what I saw:

An endearing image of a black and white French Bulldog being cradled by Raspy complimented with an old hand-cranked record machine. "The Last Great Record Store" the bag proclaimed. 


Plus, Rasputin Music is accommodating to a fault, too:



We pay cash," Raspy offers, "for your CDs, DVDs, games, LPs, videos and books." Plus ... they offer trade in for your old stuff.

Flip the bag over and even more interesting (and curious) tales are told. 




Flames lick around the again steely stare of Rasputin, this time adorned with angelic wings and boasting 40 years of service in the business.

But ... here's the really interesting thing: Take a look at the top of the bag:



What ... !??? "Bullets" ... ?!? "Poison" ... ?!? What do those have to do with music ... ?!?

And beneath Rasputin? Markers and tombstones of record stores gone by the wayside: Aron's ... Music Land ... Moby Disc ... Wherehouse ... Record Finder ... Tower Records!

And yet another curious thing. That proclamation:


Wow. Really ... ??? Don't you find that a bit odd?

I mean ... is it actually a respectful nod of condolence and remembrance to those long-gone shops? Or does Rasputin Music have something to do with their demise ... ?!?

Think about it. Outside the occasional mom and pop record shop, vinyl stores have gone the way of the dinosaur over the years. Of late, however, vinyl has made an incredible resurgence. A huge resurgence, much to the delight of the collector.




And there's more. Not only has there been a definitive resurgence, but profitability of new vinyl - with its limited pressings, claims of rare recordings, "lost" versions of classics, hard-to-find alternate recording takes and more - has skyrocketed. To the benefit of those few record stores still plugging away ... just like Rasputin Music.

Is something sinister at work here? How does a 5 story store make it in the world today? Why the tip of the hat to the record shops of old? What the hell is the deal with the "poison" and "bullets" verbiage on the shop's bag? Why Rasputin - with his hypnotic gaze - as the "spokesman" for the business?



I informed Clark and Jeff of my findings immediately and we got right to work delving into the above questions. What did we find? Sinister doings? Coincidence? Wool being pulled over the public's eyes? Something else entirely?



You won't believe what the The Unbelievables found out ...