The Smoking Cupcake has had his usual disjointed week...

What a way to have your girlfriend wake you up for accidentally urinating on her...Has anyone else out there thought about the long-term consequences of the government's trend toward private security contractors in Iraq? The Congressional Research Service did and they uncovered some troubling ramifications that our crack, money grubbing team at the White House surely considered when employing so many of them...Have you heard about that other war we're losing?...Carnivals, and the carneys that work them, have scared the shit out of me for years..."I remember watching people sing karaoke," said Lawrence, a 5-foot-8 woman still in obvious pain. "And then the cops kicked my ass"...I think this op-ed from the Orlando Sentinel sums up my version of the Michael Vick fiasco quite succinctly...Since we're talking dogs, seems Chucky the dog had a serious problem with his owners not getting any mail yesterday (don't the owners always say "it was a freak accident?")...Pete Doherty has got to be stopped!...Neighborhood hawk provides area man with uncommon household problem...

You should check out: Dreams by The Whitest Boy Alive (many thanks to Robbie and Cassavetes)...yes, it runs out of gas toward the end, but the record cover alone make this worth repeated listens

With the recent passing of Tony Wilson, I've been immersing myself in several Factory Records related indulgences; New Order's back catalogue, late-night screenings of 24 Hour Party People, articles I've saved over the years and documentaries such as PBS's Rock 'N Roll installment "The Perfect Beat" and New Order Story. While watching the latter this afternoon over lunch, I was struck by an interview with sleeve designer (and Factory's image creator) Peter Saville...he was talking about how, due largely to his success in creating an image of the band through his grahpically stunning yet nebulous record sleeves (which were often devoid of the band's name or titles), fans could, literally, recognize a New Order album without there being a single identifying character on the front - other than one of his brilliant designs. I thought about that for a moment and realized that I knew exactly what he was talking about - I had experienced that very sensation, and I remember thinking at the time how cool it was that there was a band out there that was that fucking good and cared so little about making money that they were audacious enough to not even put their name on the covers of their records. The disc was an import copy of Touched by the Hand of God, the stop-gap single between Substance and Technique. Killer song. Serial killer sleeve, right down to the stipped down, bare-bones graphic design on the inside and back of the sleeve. Saville and New Order and Tony Wilson and the lot of them had a quality that had never been seen in popular music before and may never be seen again. Wilson called Factory an experiment in human nature - I think it was more than that. And while its impossible to put a finger on how, exactly, it was more, I think you can glean a lot from the images in Saville's work. His images are visual documents that accompany not only the music, but the ride we all took during the lifespan of Factory. And that's what makes them special; they are as much a part of the music as the people playing the instruments.

The Smoking Cupcake's recent downtime has been overloaded with the usual bombardment of trivial and seemingly inconsequential material - there is truly more out there than meets the eye. So, in an effort to periodically give you a window into what I find scary, practical, trite, comedic and absurd, I give you the inagural Outpost Trasmission:

Ever wonder what would happen if somone ground-burst a 550 kiloton nuclear warhead in your backyard? The people at the International Journal of Health Geographics did...All yea, all yea, Tony Wilson, co-founder of Factory Records, passed from cancer August 10th (I'm sure the ever-exploitative Wilson would want you to go watch 24 Hour Party People right now)... In 1983, Rev. Tom Bird allegedly murdered his wife - creepy stuff...Is anyone else tired of Amy Winehouse and her douchebag husband?...Looks like Kevin Morford definitely chose the wrong week to stop sniffing glue...Sometimes, lawnmowers suck...I've been trying to explain the military draft conundrum to people for 6 years...Something tells me Lazaro shouldn't be defending himself...

You should check out: Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 - Greatest Hits (many thanks to Mr. & Mrs. T-Bone)...this guy is so popular, he can't even go to the bathrooom in South America
The Smoking Cupcake is back in the fold and looking forward to getting on with things. 2007 has been a complicated year but with The Cupcake's birthday passing today and nothing but great things to look foward to (e.g., US Open, Labor Day, lots of free airline tickets, an impending proposal, collages, Erik Estrada events, etc.), today seems a good a day to revisit documenting my life with the written word.

To mark my return, I completed a new compilation of the songs most likely to have been drilled into my head over the last 2 months. You can find the tunestack to your left in the menu section. Want a copy? E-mail me at:

In celebration of my 33rd year, I will be sharing the evening with my closest friends throwing darts, shooting pool, talking politics, film, and music, and simply spending time with those that I love most. A great night shall be had by all, and I have already been guaranteed that year 34 will start tomorrow with more promise than any of those that came before.

Those not here will be missed. Those gone will be missed more. All, however, will be remembered.