“I’m sorry,” she texted when I asked what time we were getting together on Sunday. “I’m singing the national anthem at a hockey game, but how about Monday?”
She’s this girl I went out with a week and a half before, and I liked her. Now she's telling me this news on a Friday so that I don’t live in hope for another 48 hours, a rare occurrence, indeed. And it’s not like I was gonna do something inhumane, like pee on her or take her to Chili’s. I planned a good time.
Now don’t get me wrong, I get it. She sings. I haven’t heard her, but she says she’s good at it. This is an opportunity for her. And I’m a sports fan, so while I think this song is not as sexy a tune as O Canada, it’s a ritual. So she gets a last-minute offer to stand in the spotlight and belt out an old drinking song in front of America or, at the very least, Everett.
(Aside: Doesn’t it seem weird that Everett has the same national anthem as us?)
Anyway, this is the guy who wrote one of Whitney Houston’s biggest hits.
His name is Francis Scott Key, and I can’t tell if he’s going to a Neutral Milk Hotel show or a Dr. Who convention. Key was a soldier and a bureaucrat. He also went on to establish a foundation that paid to send freed slaves back to Africa, which was either amazingly noble or incredibly racist. But he’ll always be remembered as the man who wrote "The Star-Spangled Banner."
His introspective followup release, “It’s Not Easy Being Key,” tanked and he turned into a snuff-fueled egotistical shit show. He failed to recapture the magic with “Star-Spangled Banner 1817” and the following year’s “Let’s Spangle Again (Like We Did Last Summer),” and the less said about his ill-fated X-rated booty-bass clunker “Key Party” the better. Two years later, he tries to convince several native American tribes to start building casinos already so he can play there with Billy Squier. Alas, it’s not meant to be, and he dies on the toilet some time later.
Just kidding! He died of pleurisy. And none of that other stuff in the last paragraph happened, either.
Meanwhile, his anthem lives on at sporting events, whether it’s
You know why I’m bothered? Pretend you’re the singer. Everyone knows the words. Minor league hockey means you probably sing without accompaniment so you don’t need to practice or consult with someone else about what key it should be in. You roll into the stadium. You ask “Oh say can you see?” You do the rocket’s red glare. You finish with “....home of the braaaaaave.” Then you’re free to go. It's not a day-long obligation.
It’s a two-minute gig. People take longer shits than that. God knows I do.
So when I asked why she was cancelling instead of postponing, she said that we just shouldn’t see each other, I seem weird and angry, etc.
Anyhow, that’s a story ‘bout our flag or something. I wasn’t paying attention.
Kurt Cobain's hometown of Aberdeen, Washington dedicated an almost unbelievably poorly-executed statue to the beloved Nirvana frontman—or as King 5's Dennis Bounds puts it, "the well known heroin addict who shot himself 20 years ago"—during their celebration of Curt Cobain Day yesterday.
The statue features the singer seated on a chair, a rip in the knee of his jeans, stiffly wrangling a guitar, with a tear rolling down his cheek—probably because the sculptor gave him "the Rachel" haircut.
(sigh) I hate this kinda shit. I'm sure the author was well meaning and whatnot, but this blog post WHEN JAYNE MANSFIELD MET JIMI HENDRIX is misleading. Uh, the headline was written to SOMEHOW make readers think "WOW, how'd that happen?! I'm sure it was amaze-ballz!!" However, unlike NOW, when everyone's jackass side project is supposed to carry weight because contemporary art is always PURE self-expression and therefore "important," in 1965's pop music world the notion didn't exist.
At the time, Hendrix and Mansfield had the same manager, Mansfield was well known, so it was just side work for Hendrix; he was asked as he was under contract. This 45 was NOT some considered collaborative move. In fact, there is no chemistry between Hendrix and Mansfield and most likely they weren't both at the studio at the same time. Hendrix was a backing musician who'd play sessions to supplement his income. It wasn't until the Animals' Chas Chandler took him back to the UK and sorted out the Experience did sideman/backing guitar player Jimi Hendrix become icon Jimi Hendrix. It was common for starving rock players to have pick up work; even heavies like the Buffalo Springfield's Neil Young played sessions. These two tracks are '60s pop tracks; they're okay, but now the single would only be in demand to folks who collect Mansfield, girl groups, or, if they're trying to collect EVERYTHING by Hendrix.
The A-side, "As The Clouds Drift By," is kinda stock, the string arrangement is the most interesting bit while the B-side, "Suey," is more of a novelty go-go track. If you're interested, there is a copy on offer at Discogs for 900 Euro!
I was never an Oasis fan. When the Britpop thing happened I was very confused by their acceptance in certain circles, like I knew hella folks, who were into the '60s thing, that loved 'em to pieces. Uh, a love which I assumed had to do with those peep's unflinching and undying Anglo affection...or something. I'd given up on most English pop by 1980 or so, so even a group with proper pedigree like the Style Council came off as garish. Anyways, the music Oasis made never appealed to me, but they seemed to have the most fucked up inter-band relationship, in the American press at least. Which is why I watched this clip of Oasis guitarist, Noel, shit talking his band and their videos!
...Noel goes through each of the band's old promos and tells us exactly why he hates them... The comments were originally made on his DVD commentary for Oasis: Time Flies 1994-2009, but a YouTube user has put them all together for our benefit.
It's refreshing Gallagher has somewhat of a functioning brain disconnected from his "brand," tho' his comments are not prolly much a reveal in context of the band's legend. Still, for me, it's nice to hear a pop star speak so cynically and pointedly about his former work, or work he was kinda forced into. He hilariously knocks the directors for presuming they're making the next Apocalypse Now. I can't imagine many pop stars or producers gutting their once relevant sacred cows.
These days, along with starring in the punch-drunk, claustrophobic Wilfred and voice-acting for Double Fine's new, large-hearted, and triumphant Broken Age adventure game tribute, Elijah Wood occasionally puts out a mix like the 50th installment of Okayafrica's engaging Africa In Your Earbuds series.
He writes, "I wanted to focus primarily on the original Nigerian and Ghanian records I've acquired. So many incredible African records are being reissued right now, but it's increasingly difficult to find original vinyl in good condition. This represents some of what I've found."
Afro Express : "Lahilah Ill-Allahu"
K. Frimpong & His Cubano Fiestas : "Kyenkyen Bi Adi Mawu"
Osakpamwan Ohenhen & His Feelings : "Owman Ghe Ma Wme Ye Wmen"
Cos-Ber-Zam : "Né Noya"
Sir Victor Uwaifo & His Melody Maestroes : "Ekassa 28 (Ebibi)"
Thierry Boco : "Divorce De Cecilia"
Bongos Ikwue & The Groovies : "Baby Let Me Go"
Bella Bellow : "O Segne"
Sonny Okosun : "Ozzidi" + "Steady & Slow"
Victory Uwaifo : "Destiny"
Forty years ago almost to the day, Iggy Pop experienced one of the greatest peaks of his distinguished career at Detroit's Michigan Palace during the Stooges' performance of "Rich Bitch," as immortalized on the Metallic KO album. Facing a hostile crowd full of members of the biker gang the Scorpions, Iggy got pelted with ice cubes, light bulbs, cups, eggs, beer bottles, and profanity. At one point during "Rich Bitch," he shouted, "You pricks can throw every goddamn thing in the world and your girlfriend'll still love me... you jealous cocksuckers.” Game, set, match, James Newell Osterberg, Jr.
Has there ever been a better retort to crowd abuse by a musician than this?
Also, let's take this opportunity to ask the musicians out there: What is your best, most acidic response to a heckler?
I dunno if anyone gives a shit or would even be surprised as bands miming on live TV is stock procedure, but The Red Hot Chili Peppers didn't bother plugging in their guitars for the Super Bowl.
Side note: I JUST learned RCP bassist, Flea, was in the '70s SoCal punk band the Weirdos in the late '80s, at least he played on their, in fact, FIRST album, Condor. I saw the Weirdos during this time, in 1989, on tour with the Circle Jerks. Um, I remember the Weirdos' outfits more than any songs off Condor. I think I still have the CD somewhere.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers, who are playing the Super Bowl halftime show this Sunday and who are very, very terrible, have released their new single. Do you want to know what it's called? Do you? Get ready... wait for it... take a deep breath...
What sounds like a gross effort by frontman Anthony Kiedis to out-scat himself and imitate the worst white-boy funk of all time is actually a joke track from Hot Karate frontman Cyrus Ghahremani and his friend Jon Daly (@jondaly on Twitter – costar & cowriter of "The Kroll Show"). It's spookily similar to the stylings of Kiedis & co, particularly if the band was in the middle of trying to write new songs while tripping very hard on some high-powered blotter acid.
I totally fell for it. Why? Because the Red Hot Chili Peppers are so awful that even purposefully bad joke songs that mock them are completely believable.
Making fun of the Red Hot Chili Peppers is what brings the world together.
The headlights of the oncoming car were growing brighter... and brighter... and closer... and OH MY GOD THEY'RE IN MY LANE. I swerved, they swerved, and as I quickly regained control of the car without incident, my face and chest were still flushed from the panic. Then it hit me. Not the car, but the song. My car's radio was playing "Clocks" by Coldplay and suddenly I was pissed. What if that asshole had hit me head-on while Coldplay was on the goddamn radio?! COULD THERE BE A WORSE WAY TO DIE?
There I'd be, crumpled over in the driver's seat, face bloodied from the deployed airbag, with the smell of smoke, coolant, and burning rubber staining the air. Onlookers would rush to my door to try to help, but they'd turn away and cry out at the sight of my lifeless eyes. Some would frantically reach for their cell phones to call for help, while others would just stare blankly at the wreckage. As everyone rallied around my body, waiting for the emergency crews to arrive, all anyone would hear is that insultingly optimistic piano tinkle and Chris Martin singing those fucking ridiculous words about shooting apples off his head.
Anyway. I obviously didn't die while listening to Coldplay, but the (not-very) near-death experience did get me thinking. There's been talk about what song you would want to hear right before you die, but what band or song would you least like to hear as you take your last breath?
It turns out, for me, it's Coldplay. I never, ever, ever want to die while listening to Coldplay.
Last night we all had to scramble to rearrange our "Worst Musical Performances of 2013" lists after witnessing what Melissa Etheridge did to John Lennon's "Imagine" just seconds before the ball dropped in Times Square:
Thankfully the horrific performance is a thing of the past, or "so last year," as the children say. (Seriously, kids say that—I heard a 10-year-old say that to another 10-year-old just a week ago and almost choked on a piece of bagel from laughing so hard.)
Happy 2014, everyone!
It seems kinda dumb now, or maybe it's just been forgotten, but I can't quite express the huge cultural impact the Kingsmen's version of "Louie Louie" had when it hit. In mid-1963 there was no Beatles presence in America and the Beach Boys were just beginning to get steady on their surf boards. Aside from some local garage bands, nothing had blown up like this.
Today, "Louie Louie" is rote, everyone has heard it, but in 1963 this goof version made number two on billboard; this, again, was all before the Beatles. However, the rock/pop scene was not a vaccum, the kids already had a flavor for cutting eged rock, and the edge sharpened thanks to "Louie Louie." The Kingsmen's version was actaully nicked off'a Rockin' Robin/the Wailers 1961 arrangement who had taken the song from Richard Berry, and arranged it in their style. Berry's version of "Louie Louie" is taken from "El Loco Cha Cha" via René Touzet arrangement who'd taken it from Cuban bandleader Rosendo Ruiz Jr.'s "Amarren Al Loco!!" Dag, what an evolution to revolution.
For a band that only recorded a handful of tracks, I think only FIVE ever made it to wax, the Unrelated Segments are another '60s band which have earned their canonization in the top tier of '60s garage rock.
The Unrelated Segments were from the Detroit area and just sort of happened as they were all pals from the same scene. If you want to read a detailed interview/story it's all well sorted out here - '60s Garage Bands, but if you just wanna hear more of their attitude filled jams, dig their fucking wicked "Story Of My Life" and "Cry Cry Cry." Damn, such good songwriting.
No matter how much Red Beard and The Pirates wants us to "Go On Leave," I ain't goin' nowheres. C'mon, how can I with them layin' down SO MUCH fuzz!!
Red Beard and The Pirates were from Blue Ridge, Georgia and were the top band in their region. Sadly tho', they only had the one single.
Tho' garage was mostly steeped in black music, there was a lesser college campfire button down folk footprint element also. It was stood on its ear by Bob Dylan; he affected everyone and the Toads' come off like they're a solid Bob Dylan, and the Byrds, study!
This a Gary Usher production, a one-off from what I can tell, so perhaps a Los Angeles studio band.
The Sonics' "Don't Believe In Christmas" is the best Xmas song ever recorded.
What a way to rewrite of Chuck Berry's "Too Much Monkey Business."
I don't think there was another more appropriate name for a garage band - The Troggs. They're jams are riff driven and SO simple; even at their most sophisticated their songs are stripped down to the basics. And then there was front man Reg Presley and his singing voice. There was no other band like 'em.
The Troggs were an English band which were quite successful, their music touched everyone in the sixties as their version of "Wild Thing" became canon. They're still playing out today.
Paul Revere & the Raiders were a formative group for me. Way back when I was first sussing out garage records in North Carolina, I could only find the first Blues Magoos LP, some beat to shit Rolling Stones albums, and a clutch of Raiders LPs. It wasn't much, but it was enough for a righteous schooling. My favorite track off'a all the albums at the time was the killer "Great Airplane Strike"; its crunchy, percussive guitar playing is of singular greatness!
Paul Revere & the Raiders were originally an instrumental group from Boise, Idaho. They played regionally for a few years, successfully too, with a couple albums and a string of 45s. By 1965 they were signed to Columbia and had a string of Top 40 hits, but by the '70s their pop garage was passé and their popularity and relevance waned. Eventually they settled on being an "oldies" group, a smart move as they're still touring. And "Paul Revere"... he's 76.
We all know the Turtles were a pop band, for the most part. It's impossible to deny their HUGE Top 40/AM radio appeal with such pop sweet tarts as "Happy Together," "She'd Rather Be With Me," and "Let Me Be," but their albums were great, too. Their filler was all killer. This LP-only track, "A Walk in the Sun," could have been a Standells or Electric Prunes A-side, easily. It's on their first LP, It Ain't Me Babe, and it's RAW!
The Turtles were from Los Angeles and began in 1961 as the Nightriders and then became a surf band called the Crossfires. They changed their name to the Turtles after they signed to White Whale. When they split, members Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman became Flo and Eddie; that pair were also involved with some of Frank Zappa's theatrical endeavors.
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