Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Baffling Music I Listened To In The Days Of My Sappy Youth (Before I Discovered Punk Rock and Everything Changed For The Better) (Part 2)

My 10-year-old ears should have been sentenced to Death by Injection for making me believe I liked Unborn Child, the painfully dreadful 1974 album by Seals & Crofts, an album so abysmally awful it doesn't even have camp value. Who could forget the goofy cover art, which illustrates the visceral thrill of receiving The Gift of Abortion as personified by a blob-shaped Rainbow-Being sporting enlarged disembodied horror movie peepers? I consider it a masterpiece-- the Mona Lisa of fetus extraction portraiture.

The 11 tracks on this album are fairly straight forward, lacking any poetic florishes: Ledges is about ledges. Windflowers is about windflowers. Rachel is about a female (or about a pet which keeps running away) named Rachel. Big Mac is about eating a Big Mac (or about eating a Big Mac which keeps running away). But it was the title track, Unborn Child, which caused a mountain of controversy. This Anti-Choice Kumbaya instantly divided their fan base, dialating and evacuating the stem cell of the audience, suctioning its precious breath, terminating its life before it had a chance to be fruitful and multiply. This chart-topping track generated so much heated argument, it was later left off the band's Greatest Hits album to avoid further furor (you might say it was aborted from the collection). Although I played this album endlessley as a boy, it was some months after its release when someone patiently explained to me what the title song was actually about. That, my friends, was the day I found My Loss Of Innocence, like stumbling upon a box of Girl Scout cookies smothered in KY Jelly.

In conclusion, I should admit I still find myself singing some of their earlier classic tracks in the shower (Summer breeze/Makes me feel fine/Blowing through vaginas in my mi-i-ind..."), but I would be remiss in not mentioning some fans liked Seals & Crofts back when they weren't famous, back when they were two country-blues aficionados, long before their folksy bluegrass leanings were somewhat diluted by the pop machinery of the '70's. Me? I liked Seals & Crofts back when they were still in the womb and there was still a chance they'd be eliminated in a back-alley clothes hanger hoe-down.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

My Mind Is An Open Book, Which You May Check Out For 2 Weeks (There Will Be A Fine For Any Overdue Items)

That rat-bastard weasel Underneathica and I are in a violent mad-dash race to see who can post a write-up sooner regarding the album Jungle Rot by George Brigman. What Underneathica fails to understand is that I am far more obsessed with anti-social drug addict shut-in musicians than he is--perhaps because I am an anti-social drug addict shut-in musician myself. Michael Yonkers, Todd Tamanend any one of 'em and I start drooling all over my government-issue orange jumper. I am way more into Don't Bother Me than him. I am much more likely to be humming I'm Married, Too during a lull while stamping license plates than he would be. I hasten to add: perhaps Underneathica doesn't even have a job in the first place? It is I, with my verbally-challenged speaking skills, that allows me to be in touch emotionally, physically, spiritually and--yes, telepathically--with songs like It's Misery.

On a related note, if you find yourself writing an article about mega-popular actor/producer Tom Cruise and his long-term triumphant success in Hollywood, you might consider using the witty headline Cruise Control. Personally, I lean more towards the headline Dumb Fuck Scientology Sleazeball Buttface Sleazebag. It's got a little something sassy to it, ne c'est pas?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Beatle-Dee, Beatle-Doo

Now that the latest album from Sir Paul McCartney, Memory Almost Full is hitting the stores, it's time to revisit the ongoing Beatles Solo Album Invitational to gauge which former Beatle--dead or alive--has produced the most amount of dreadful solo albums during the last 37 years since Yoko Ono viciously broke them up. By looking at the chart, we see that Paul McCartney is still leading the pack, despite the estate of John Lennon continuing to reissue every flatulence his body ever emitted. In order for Ringo Starr to even begin catching up to these two, he'd have to begin releasing--right now!--a completed new album every six months. This would entail working with a songwriter in tandem, one more prolific than he, but sadly, Elvis Costello has already been burned by his previous musical association with McCartney ("Veronica", anyone?). Robert Pollard would be a promising alternative, and--providing he can stay sober--it would be an amusing juxtaposition to hear Pollard's fake British accent singing alongside Starr's fake American one. Meanwhile, the paltry sum of albums generated by George Harrison make him "the quiet Beatle" in more ways than one! His lackadaisical production schedule can be blamed on his Zen/Hindu/Buddhist/pothead approach to life, resulting in a why-bother-to-make-another-worthless-album-
attitude, though the actual responsibility must be placed upon his ex-wife and children who (unlike The Dragon Lady Ono) appear to have no interest in milking his legacy at all, turning their noses up at the very thought of mining the vaults for valuable excerpts of third-rate demos recorded during his brief but torrid love affair with Jeff Lynne. Instead of organizing benefits for Madonna (i.e., Shanghai Surprise), he should have been endlessly recording his every waking days in an heroic attempt to overcome what now appears to be a sure-fire victory for his arch enemy Paul McCartney.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Release Your Inner Nutter

If quirky were a rich and creamy sandwich spread, The Mules would be the 800-pound man too obese to leave his bed, thus earning a tough love visit from Dr. Phil. Every catchy musical phrase making a linear path to the chorus (exhibit A: Straight As Vs Drill) gets sideswiped by angular zig-zags upending what should have been the song's original intent (zany, thy name is Plenty Warning). Someday, there is sure to be a movie about the life and times of The Violent Femmes and--because of songs like Here To Help--these asses are going to be on the producer's A-List (my advice to the band: don't be in the sequel, showing Le Femmes old and bloated, touring long after their supernova faded from the underground zeitgeist, still singing the hits of their sexually-frustrated 20's thirty years after the fact: leave that to The Wrens).

Friday, June 15, 2007

My Love Affair With Lavender Diamond Is As Volatile And Passionate As The Central Love Affair In Reds (And Is Almost As Dull)

Me (a.k.a. Diane Keaton): Your theories on the worker's struggles are quite interesting to me.
Lavender Diamond (a.k.a. Warren Beatty): Thank you. Here's my latest written piece, entitled When You Wake For Certain.
Me: It's brilliant! I love you! I will never sleep with Jack Nicholson again!
[The romance blossoms; seasons change]
Lavender Diamond: Here's a new piece I've come up with. I'm calling it Dance Until It's Tomorrow.
Me: Dance Until It's Tomorrow??? What, did Kate Bush burrow into your ass and force you at gunpoint to come up with this crap? Get out of this house! I never want to see you again!
[Many months come and go. Our paths cross once again in the snowy streets of Petrograd.]
Me: I just heard Oh No and it opened my eyes to all the qualities that made me fall in love with you in the first place. It's so powerful, yet full of delicate passion.
Lavender Diamond: If you like that one, wait till you hear My Shadow Is A Monday.
Me: Jesus fucking christ on a Q-Tip--did I hear that right?? My Shadow Is A Monday??? You're more pretentious than all of Tori Amos' fictional selves combined! Take your music and serenade me never again!
[After a separation of almost a year, Lavender Diamond and I attempt to reconnect]
Lavender Diamond: I always want to be with you. I've written this quasi-Christian ditty for you entitled Side Of The Lord.
Me: Ugh. It stinks like a pickled jar of Natalie Merchant. I hate you. Drop dead.
[Lavender Diamond dies of Typhus.]

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Baffling Music I Listened To In The Days Of My Sappy Youth (Before I Discovered Punk Rock and Everything Changed For The Better) (Part 1)

First in a series.
Religion and I never got along, even during my tenure as a pre-pubescent squirt, yet I found myself drawn towards hippy-dippy retellings of The Bible. Sadly, like millions of record-collecting dullards of the '70's, this meant owning the original motion picture soundtrack to Godspell (purchased at a thrift strore, I recall). The faux-funky gospel-tinged stylings of Light Of The World were somewhat alluring to my white-bread suburban ear canals, while All For The Best seemed, at the time, to be an absolute ovation-rendering showstopper. I was convinced it was The Most Perfect Foot-Tapping Showtune Ever Written. I never quite understood what Beautiful City was about...I still don't. I also seem to remember thinking All Good Gifts was telegraphing some important messages about...Thanksgiving??? Perhaps it was advising us to be nice to snails, being grateful for the foods we toss out after eating too much...? I never had a clue. Back then, the lyrics of By My Side seemed so deep and earnest. Today, it gives me the same painful shudder I experience upon hearing certain tracks by R.E.M. (circa Green). I was in the 4th grade and a total know-nothing. Please forgive me.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Only Bush I'd Fondle Passionately Is My Own

To those of you in Albania who embraced George W. Bush with a frenzy of physical affection during his visit to your country this week, may I suggest that since you love him so much, you might take him off our hands and install him as your own president? Because his unending stupidity and skull-numbing isolationism is driving us Americans out of our fucking minds. Thank you.

PS: You have to take Laura Bush too. They are a package deal. Don't worry, you'll enjoy having her around. She's as much of an annoying ding-dong as he is.

PPS: You are not allowed to take Dick Cheney. We hope to one day conduct studies on his evil energies so as to formulate a synthetic version which can be distributed in pill form.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Knight In White Satin

If the fan-tabulous Wayne Cochran (thanks to songs like Somebody's Been Cuttin' In On My Groove, Get Down With It and Goin' Back To Miami) is known as the "white James Brown", does that make Pearl Jam (when covering one of his least exciting tracks Last Kiss) "the translucent Wayne Cochran?" Let me also be one of the first to say that as punishment for crimes against (musical) humanity, the crap-tacular Bob Seger should be forced to line his underwear with the royalty checks of Sittin' In A World Of Snow. And for my final joke today: Knock knock. Who's there? Nat. Nat who? National Geographic, and we've discovered a new race of White people and they all look and sound exactly like Eddie fucking Vedder. If that ain't an argument why we should all support ethnic cleansing, I don't know what is.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Ice Ice Maybe

Perhaps it loses something in the translation from Russian, but if Old Wainds are hoping to scare up more interest in their dark foreboding music, they should try naming their songs something more frightening than At The Gates Of Frosty Mountains, the title of which sounds like a children's ride at the Winter Wonderland theme park. Likewise Guardians Of The Icy Kingdom, which could be one of its gelato shops. I've had morning bowel movements more fraught with terror than these song titles--perhaps these Russkie Rockers would like me to send them the monikers I give my stools each dawning day? Request granted.

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Music Blogger Version of I, Claudius, Except I'm Not Pretending To Be A Dolt

My dear readers, what I am about to admit to you will be shocking and perhaps too painful to bear. Sometimes, in my most personal moments, I pull out Lolita Nation by Game Theory and tap my toes to The Real Sheila, The Waist And The Knees and One More For Saint Michael. Can you ever forgive me? Did Simon ever forgive Garfunkel? Garfunkel, if I ever get my hands on you, I'm gonna make you pay for what you did to Simon! I'M GONNA MAKE YOU PAY!!!