Friday, February 20, 2009

New Hampshire: Old Hampshire would be disappointed...

So Quebec has been eyeing New Hampshire recently, and I'd be inclined to let them have it, except then Vermont would be all sad, and Vermont can be a serious drag when it's upset... I guess that means unless we want to get inundated with late night phone calls from the 802 begging us to keep them company and buy their syrup we'll have to keep the 'Live Free Or Die'ers around a while longer. This means I get to seemingly by chance chose three random rock acts that I've vaguely heard of and either don't particularly care for, or don't really know...

That being the case, we'll spend a little time focusing on what New Hampshire has to offer OTHER than recorded sound packaged as 'music', and then VERY little time discussing said music itself, mostly because if New Hampshire disappeared into oblivion, I'd feel bad for the estimated $1.3 million people who call the state home, most of which would be fine if it happened during working hours since they'd probably be in Massachusetts anyway, but except for the large number of souls who would cease to exist, I can't imagine such a disappearance causing a direct impact on the country by and large. So as the kids say, Sorry New Hampshire... I'm just not that in to you...

That doesn't mean there's not plenty of New Hampshire fun facts to mock at will:

- New Hampshire became the first post-colonial sovereign nation in the Americas when it broke off from Great Britain in January 1776. Live Free or Die indeed!

- New Hampshire is the only state with neither a general sales tax nor a personal income tax at either the state or local level. Live Tax Free or Die indeed!

- As of the last estimated census, residents of the state of New Hampshire identified themselves as 'white' at a rate of 96.97%. Live Minority Free or Die indeed!

- New Hampshire leads the country in per capita sales of all forms of alcohol. Live Drunk or Die indeed!

- OK. I'll stop now...

- New Hampshire's major regions are the Great North Woods, the White Mountains, the Lakes Region, the Seacoast, the Merrimack Valley, the Monadnock Region, and the Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee area. No word if any of these areas are inhabited by magical elves.

- New Hampshire was home to the rock formation called the Old Man of the Mountain, a face-like profile in Franconia Notch, until the formation fell apart in May 2003.

-The Republican Party was lead by John McCain until the old man fell apart on November 4th, 2008, thanks in part to the electoral votes of New Hampshire.

- New Hampshire was the birth place of the 14th President of the United States, Franklin Pierce. History has revealed Pierce to be one of our nation's worst Presidents due to his positive views of slavery, his secret plot to claim Cuba for the US through compromise or force, and his post-presidential support of the Confederacy before his alcoholism related death from cirrhosis.

- Still, a loaf of bread in New Hampshire is to this day known in some circles as a Pierce, due to his post-presidential ownership of the state's Dark Horse Bakery.

- Of US states with coastlines, New Hampshire's is the shortest at just 18 miles.

- What are you laughing at West Virginia? How much coast line do YOU have? Yeah... That's what I thought...

- The peak of Mount Washington, New Hampshire's highest point, is considered to have the worst weather on earth including hurricane strength winds every third day on average and holds the world's record for directly measured surface wind speed at 231 MPH. Live Windy or Die indeed!

- That's not funny. The weather conditions at Mt. Washington have claimed more than 100 lives.

- What IS funny is that in spite of these horrid conditions and confirmed deaths, people still visit...

- In 2006, New Hampshire had the lowest birth rate in the nation, confirming my prediction that within the next century New Hampshire will cease to exist.

- Only time will tell if the rest of the nation is impacted.

OK, you knew we had to get here sooner of later... The Selections-

Band: Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
Everything New Hampshire does is hard-edged, punk-fueled, and under-ground. So describes New York art-punk trio the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. Despite making a name for themselves during the under-appreciated early 90's New York jazz-punk scene. Spencer himself is a native New Hampshirite. JSBX as they sometimes known are mostly not known... Including by me. I am familiar with one JSBX tune however, the intro theme to Tony Bourdain's Travel Channel show No Reservations.

Here's one of their tunes, the first eleven seconds of which sound promising... This is Wail.





Solo Artist: GG Allin
Born Jesus Christ Allin, the story of GG's 'musical' career reads more like the biography of a serial murderer than a punk rock pioneer. Personally, my opinion of Allin is that the only thing 'pioneering' about his music is that he wasn't afraid to suck, and he did it very, very well.

Known more for his onstage antics of defecation, urination, bloodshed, and coprophagia, and lyrics covering subjects such as misogyny, pedophilia and homophobia, Allin made a name for himself despite the fact that he was a much more tragic figure than a talented one. Allin spent two years in prison after accepting a plea bargain on a charge of rape and torture of a female acquaintance, corresponded, and later received art from serial murderer John Wayne Gacy, and eventually died in his New York apartment of a heroin overdose, not long after threatening to commit onstage suicide during one of his shows. Allin is an interesting case of the varied manifestations of psychological brain damage, but was not a very talented musician. He did however once play in a band with J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. We'll all be happier listening to one of THEIR tunes...






Honorable Mention: Mandy Moore
Her tunes are catchy, she's not afraid to mock herself, and ain't nobody else from New Hampshire, so sue me. Feel free to ask for your money back at the door... Besides...

For now, Mandy's missing you like candy...





It doesn't get much harder-edged than THAT...

That's New Hampshire. Hope you enjoyed. Next up Jersey, a state with some talent...

2 comments:

phil said...

I've actually been to the top of Mt. Washington. And yes the weather was crappy.

I'm all for giving Mandy Moore the boost over the coprophagia guy, if only for her role on Entourage.

OCKerouac said...

Yeah, I considered swapping the two, but I couldn't stomach refering to GG as in any way 'honorable'...

I'll add your mountain climbing prowess to the list of things I didn't know about you... That's pretty impressive...