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Folks’ve been waiting for Axl Rose to release Chinese Democracy for about fifteen years. They wasted their time. Evidently some blogger got his hands on the album and posted a few of the songs on his site. It was shut down in a few hours but the cat was — REEEROOOR! — out of the bag.  Now those songs are on the Intertubes; spreading like some horrific disease.

And I do mean horrific. There’s a reason Axl hasn’t released this shit. Because it is shit. Take a listen. Pay particular attention to “Madagascar” in which Axl once again repeats the infamous line from Civil War/Cool Hand Luke: “what we got here is failure to communicate.”

Yes, Axl, that is what we have here. But, you know, some men you just can’t reach.

First: Madagascar

Second: If The World

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Yesterday I had the privilege of hearing the immortal tune We Built This City on Rock and Roll.  For whatever reason the so-called experts have determined that it is the “worst song of all time.”  Frankly I feel they’ve missed the forest for the trees.  Music critics complaining about the songsmanship of We Built This City is like Versace criticizing Lincoln’s hat.  We Built This City is more than a song, it’s a monument! A monument to the greatest miracle of modern engineering!  Starship — whose fame was previously built on a steady stream of 60’s era peacenik beats — constructed an entire City utilizing only the musical genre known as Rock and Roll! It’s an engineering marvel!!!

Get Deep Beneathe Hoopla Would You?

The Hoopla is Not Shown Here But Suffice to Say They Are Poised to Get Knee Deep In It

Nevertheless, some people gotta second-guess.  So you get the DJ’s calling it “crap,” and the easily-influenced children saying “yah!”, next thing you know the zeitgeist is rolling and then — the capper — tired music industry mag Blender ranks it as worst song of all time.

Nonsense.

I was about ten when this song came out and, let me tell you motherfuckers, the City wasn’t just built on rock and roll it was fabricated on rock and roll!  (Okay that’s just a synonym for built isn’t it?  You get the point.)  Oh, I see, you think you’re something special because you went a little wacky and managed to get knee deep in the hoopla, don’t you?  You’re a joke to me.  In my ‘hood you got yourself at least thigh deep in the hoopla or you got the hell out of the hoopla.  My town (or City if you will) was chock-full of hoopla-fiendin’ hoopla-fans who were hostage to the hoopla!  We didn’t pussy-foot around with knee-deep dilettantes like you, we got in the shit.  Hell I knew a kid who got himself neck-deep in the hoopla!  Johnny Taylor. Johnny later died but — damn it — nobody could say he didn’t get himself into that hoopla.

(And you thought your City was built on rock and roll…)

Well I say if people aren’t going to appreciate Starship’s musical and engineering feat then Starship should tell them off.  I don’t know if it’s legal to evict all the ingrates living in the City they Built via Rock and Roll so I say let’s go with Option B: a Big Billboard Message.  Here’s a little idea I came up with…

Hmmm, that seems a little wimpy to me now.  If you Built a City on Rock and Roll then you had to watch the critics rip your efforts twenty years later, you’d be angry. Real angry. I have to imagine that’s a dull ax that “You Barely Even Helped” isn’t going to grind. Let me try again:

Booyah!

But this seems a little defensive to me. They shouldn’t be apologizing for constructing a City out of Rock and Roll, they should be bragging about it!  Face it nerds, Starship built an entire City out of Rock and Roll for crying out loud!  Guy like you couldn’t build a City on Jazz, Rap, Opera, Classical, and Mambo combined! They did it with Rock motherfucker, no other genres required!

Okay, done.

Except … that last line raises an issue.  What the hell are they going to do about New York and all those other cities that were constructed via traditional methods?  That sign will get the job done in my City — the one they Built Out of Rock and Roll — but other towns might take offense.  So here’s a little alternative they can toss up around the rest of the Country:

Okay at dinner tonight my Mom started claiming Starship didn’t build this City via Rock and Roll.  At first I was like “you don’t know shit Mom.”  But then I did a little research and uncovered a startling fact…she’s right.  Starship didn’t build this City out of Rock and Roll.

Now I’m just getting pissed.  Am I the guy who called Starship “irresponsible” or “wrote them off the page?”  Heck no!  I’m the guy who spent half a Summer in waist deep hoopla!  Does Starship have any idea how hard it is to wash hoopla off of a pair of Toughskins?!  The hoopla swallowed one of my favorite Keds and I never did get it back.  And what about poor Johnny Taylor!?!

Man, fuck Starship and that crap City they constructed by manipulating the rock and roll.

Okay. It’s two days later and, after some rather extensive research into exactly what City Built on Rock and Roll was constructed by Starship, I have concluded they did not, in fact, Build a City on Rock and Roll.  They might have built a building or a plaza or something, but they definitely didn’t build a whole City.  (Or a town, I checked that too).  Turns out they spent the 60’s and 70’s touring and partying and did little to no civic engineering or design work.

What assholes.

We Actually Didn\'t Build This City on Rock and Roll

In the interest of full disclosure — however — I did confirm that Marconi played the Mamba and that corporations played corporation games.

The Daily Punk

April 4, 2008

I was driving this morning with my window down and the music up.  A hundred feet ahead I spied a couple of high school kids walking down the street.  Uh oh.  I immediately rolled my window up.  Why, you ask?  Because even at 35 miles per hour/years of age, I still give a crap what the kids think.  And, in case you didn’t know, the high schools kids don’t cotton to the Olivia Newton-John.

That’s right.  I listen to — and like — shitty music.  Don’t act like you’re better than me.  I know why you won’t let me look at your iPod playlist. I saw that “other” CD case in your car.  And stop pretending Warm 101.1 was a “factory preset.”

Yup, it’s time for all of us to admit the truth.  Even the most ardent music snob has a secret stash of trite and cheesy songs they love.  I don’t know your sick listening habits but I know mine.  It’s ugly but I’m gonna let you in.  Henceforth I bring to you:

My Top Ten Crap Guilty Pleasure Songs

First, let’s lay down the ground rules:

  • Rule One:  Deep down, you must love the song. Not like, not tolerate, love.
  • Rule Two:  You will only listen to it in private or with friends privy to your love of crap.
  • Rule Three:  Even in your drunkest hour you would not Karaoke it.

You get the idea.  Onto the list:

10.  Chains of Love, Erasure

As a heterosexual male it is completely unacceptable for me to like this song.

9.  The One That You Love by Air Supply

He’s asking for another day goddamnit, why in the love of GOD won’t she give it to him?  Speaking of which, why won’t this YouTube clip work here?  Whatever, go here for the Air Supply love.

Hair Supply

Air Supply? No. Hair Supply? Yes.

8.  Your Wildest Dreams, the Moody Blues

Nights in White Satin sucks.  Your Wildest Dreams rocks.

7.  Nights on Broadway, Bee-Gees

Half the words I can’t figure out.  What I do know makes little sense.  And I can’t sing one note.

But it’s good.

6.  Poison, Bel Biv Devoe

If I were you I’d take precautions…against anyone knowing you like this song.  I didn’t.  And the price I’ve paid is beyond pain.

(Okay, WordPress redid their site last night and now, inexplicably, this link won’t show up here.  It is officially pissing me off.  You’re going to have to just click on this crappy photo instead).

Now You Know

5.  [Tie] Key Largo by Bertie Higgins & The Year of the Cat by Al Stewart

It was a dogfight in the “Inexplicable Casablanca Reference” category between Key Largo’s “here’s looking at you kid” and Year of the Cat’s “Peter Lorre contemplating a crime.”  But, as Killian once said, “why choose!”  So you get both.

Key Largo

Year of the Cat

(Ooo, the Year of the Cat link doesn’t work now either.  Jesus you would think they could at least put a flag up here saying the link is broken wouldn’t you?  No.  They just deleted it.  Makes me look like a goddamn idiot.  Anyway click here if you would like some Year of the Cat goodness.)

4.  A Little More Love, Olivia Newton-John

This is what I was singing when I passed the cool kids. Had they heard me — and caught me — they would have had every right to beat my ass.

Oh mother FUCKER.  This one isn’t here now either. Click on the picture of uber-hot ONJ if you want to see the video:

Looking Hot

3.  Sara by Jefferson Starship

Time has been cruel to Jefferson [Insert Name of Flying Machine].  Sure they were a little presumptuous to claim they “Built This City on Rock and Roll” but worst song of all time?  Did they forget about P. Diddy’s “I’ll Be Missing You?”

2.  Don’t Let It End by Styx

Oof.  I knew Styx was gonna snag the number two spot but I didn’t anticipate such a close call between Don’t Let It End and the Best of Times.  Ultimately I determined I might actually get up in a bar and sing the Best of Times.

1.  Jet by Wings

All Wings song are deficient in their own way.  What makes Jet particularly bad are the lyrics.  They are both ridiculous and embarrassing.  You simply can’t look cool singing “Ah Mater want Jet to always love me.”  And what the hell is he singing about anyway?  Paul claims it was written about his horse.  Ah…that explains these lyrics perfectly:

Jet. Was your father as bold as the sergeant major
How come he told you that you were hardly old enough yet
And Jet I thought the major was a lady suffragette
Jet!

Okay roll the tape before I change my mind.  This is horrible.

*****

Just missing the cut: “99” by Toto; “Tubthumping” by Chumba-Wumba; “Freedom” by George Michael; “Amanda” by Boston; “Karma Chameleon” by Culture Club.

Not even close: Any Neil Diamond song (they’re all crap).

*****

Disagree?  Please add your songs and/or tell me I’m wrong.

Unreleased 1972 Rolling Stones Documentary Shined the Real Light

The Rolling Stones are old and tired.  Their continued popularity is perplexing.  Don’t start: I understand their legacy; I just don’t think “Brown Sugar” and “Wild Horses” justifies half a century of hype.  Put yourself in my shoes.  Since I started listening to music — about 1982 — their “big hits” have been “She’s So Cold,” “Undahcover of the Nooooight,” and “Waiting on a Friend.”  You’ll forgive me if I’m a little sick of the Mick chicken strut.

Anyway, they are set to star in the upcoming “Rockumentary” by Martin Scorsese “Shine a Light.”  The movie features them playing in a small New York venue in front of the gliterrati (the Clintons are there jumping their jack flash and Christina Aguilera climbs onstage to check another box off the “diva to-do list”).  It’s getting good reviews and the kids are excited about it.  Here a reviewer explains how the film manages to capture the Stones’ “incredibl[e] human[ity]”:

[T]his film works because it shines a light on the Stones in a way that few have had a privilege to witness. For decades, the band has come across as a corporate entity — rock’s Disney or Microsoft, if you will — but the Stones seem incredibly human here.

Blah blah blah anyway on to the point.

Coincidentally I was reading a Vanity Fair article this morning about photographer Robert Frank; author of the seminal photography book “The Americans.” Frank was an odd, unsentimental guy who hung with folk like Allen Ginsburg and Jack Kerouac.  Frank’s book came out in 1955 and was considered “shocking” because it showed normal Americans going about their lives without decoration or adornment.  These pictures would be standard fare today but, back then, he was pretty much a “commiepinkonutjob.”  Try to repress your disgust, if you are able, when you view this “shocking” photo:

Copyright Robert Frank

See how the flag isn’t centered in the frame and there’s a kind of gross pudgy guy in the window?  In 1955 that was enough to earn you many a stern finger-waging, if not a beat down from J. Edgard Hoover.

There are two points to this soliloquy.  First, I have finally come up with my thesis: “Goddamn America Sucked Bad in the 50’s.”  Second, in addition to photo-ing stuff, Frank also fancied himself a director.  In that role Frank managed to garner the right to film a Rolling Stones documentary of his own.  The result was a film with shocking footage and a great title:

Cocksucker Blues.

Cocksucker Blues was never officially released.  Seems the Stones weren’t all that keen on fans seeing the coke snorting and groupie boning and bluesie cocksucking they were up to.  They sued Mr. Frank to keep the thing from being shown.  But, as part of the settlement, Frank was given the right to show the movie once per year in small venues. This was a bad decision.

See round ’bout the time Mick was Doin’ the Harlem Shuffle, some company invented portable video cameras.  Then, a few years later, when Mick was extolling the ladies to “button their lips” and/or “their coats,” some jerk whipped up the Internet.  And, of course, just as the boys were chilling on one of many Street[s] of Love, along comes YouTube.  Next thing you know its clip madness.

Cocksucker Blues is bad filmmaking.  But I think you’ll agree it goes a little further than Scorsese’s sanitized joint in capturing the truth of the Stones’ “Incredible Humanity.”  Here are a few clips:

In this one the Stones discuss doing coke. Then Keith shoots up for a while.

Here you can watch the boys doing more drugs and see Mick adjusting his junk a little:

Yet more incredible humanity here as the shooting up continues then Keith throws a TV set off a balcony:

You don’t need to watch these clips to get the point.  Recording an exclusive performance in front of an elite crowd is hardly “Shining a Light” on the true nature of the Stones.  The light was shone thirty-five years ago but the glare was too harsh. So they snuffed it.

Can someone do the same with the Stones please?

The Daily Punk

March 19, 2008

(DMX Inspired Ignorance is Bliss Edition)

1.  DMX is Ignorant

DMX is interviewed by XXL Magazine and admits that he hasn’t heard of Barack Obama.  He then goes into a giggle fit about the name “Barack” (ignoring the fact that “DMX’s” real name is “Earl”) and says a black President won’t make any difference because the “world is over.”  I gave my take on this here.  The XXL Magazine link is right … oh it’s back there, it slipped out.

2. McCain is Way Ignorant

Hey a rapper has no responsibility to be up on the haps.  A Presidential Candidate?  Yeah, I think he’s got a duty. McCain told reporters that Iran was training al Qaeda fighters and sending them into Iraq.  This is incorrect of course.  Iran is Shiite and Al Qaeda is Sunni and the two groups aren’t exactly “the best of buds”:

Pressed to elaborate, McCain said it was “common knowledge and has been reported in the media that al-Qaeda is going back into Iran and receiving training and are coming back into Iraq from Iran, that’s well known. And it’s unfortunate.”

Wonkette.

3.  Hillary Not Ignorant So Much, Just a Follower

Obama representative Dan Kurtzer spoke to a United Jewish Communities (UJC) Meeting to discuss their positions.  Kurtzer was asked about some past statements made by Barack:

Obama asserted that he needn’t have a “Likud view” — that of Israel’s right-wing party — to be pro-Israel. Kurtzer explained that Obama wanted to see a “plurality of views.” Silence in the room.

Then Hillary’s representative, Ann Lewis, was asked what she thought:

“The role of the president of the United States is to support the decisions that are made by the people of Israel. It is not up to us to pick and choose from among the political parties,” Lewis said.

The audience members applauded.

Great.  The role of the United States President is to rubber stamp whatever the Israeli Government says.  That’s leadership for you.

4.  Audrina of the Hills Ignorantly Thinks She’s Hot; Poses Nude

Lauren’s friend Audrina posed nude in an effort to jump start her “modeling” career.  I’m not really into posting nude photos on here so I’ll give you the fuzzed out miniature version.  Trust me, she’s really not good looking.

Audrina Poses Nude

Of course I’m giving you the link, calm down little friend.

5.  Kristen Davis Did Some Nude Shots

Kristen Davis of Sex and the City wanted to be cool like the younger kids and have the nude pics so she let her boyfriend take some shots.  “We’re in love,” she exclaimed, “he would never release these to the media!”

Love. Exciting and New. Come aboard. We weren’t actually expecting you but that’s fine.

6.  Crappy Chinese Toilet Practices

You’d think the Chinese would have done a little research on this but, at the newly built Olympic sites, they installed “squat toilets.” If you’ve ever had the pleasure to avail yourself of this particularly nasty device you will cancel your tickets to Beijing now.

Chinese Squat Toilet

See? It’s a hole in the floor. You squat over it. Then you crap. Then you wish you’d stayed at home and watched the Olympics on NBC.

7.  Mel Brooks Collection

I wouldn’t call this ignorant, more ridiculous, but I love Blazing Saddles.  It’s one of the funniest movies ever made. I watched it two weeks ago and it’s still good.

So I saw on my little Amazon widget that today’s special sale item of the day is the Mel Brooks Collection: Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, History of the World Part I, High Anxiety, Robinhood Men in Tights, Silent Movie, To Be or Not to Be, and Twelve Chairs.

It’s on sale today only from $99 to $41.99.

Blazing Saddles

The Mel Brooks Collection

8.  Billy Preston, the “Black Beatle”

I stayed on this random Beatles knowledge thing and found out that the “Black Beatle” from yesterday’s post is named Billy Preston.  His is, if you care, a fascinating story.  Then I decided I had to watch this clip of Billy Preston playing My Sweet Lord, the George’s Harrison 70’s hit (which was actually released by Preston first).

You need to watch this.  For one, it’s an interesting version of a great song.  For two, that dude playing bass is Urkel’s Father.

9.  Huckabee Defends Obama and Jeremiah Wright

Huckabee unexpectedly offers his take on the Jeremiah Wright situation. He’s absolutely right:

[Y]ou can’t hold the candidate responsible for everything that people around him may say or do.  It’s interesting to me that there are some people on the left who are having to be very uncomfortable with what … Wright said, when they all were all over a Jerry Falwell, or anyone on the right who said things that they found very awkward and uncomfortable, years ago. Many times those were statements lifted out of the context of a larger sermon. Sermons, after all, are rarely written word for word by pastors like Rev. Wright, who are delivering them extemporaneously, and caught up in the emotion of the moment. There are things that sometimes get said, that if you put them on paper and looked at them in print, you’d say ‘Well, I didn’t mean to say it quite like that.’

More importantly, he (kind of) defended the anger of Rev. Wright too:

As easy as it is for those of us who are white to look back and say ‘That’s a terrible statement!’ … I grew up in a very segregated South. And I think that you have to cut some slack — and I’m gonna be probably the only conservative in America who’s gonna say something like this, but I’m just tellin’ you — we’ve gotta cut some slack to people who grew up being called names…


10.  Utterly Un-Ignorant

I’m in a coffee shop.  Two old guys are sitting in front of me, reading the paper, drinking coffee, being old.  They are talking about typical old man stuff: one guy was ranting about “gypsies.”  Another talked about how we was wearing a sweater today in honor of Mr. Rogers’ 80th Birthday.  I mean — POW — old man talk.

Then one mentioned Obama.  I figure, oh here it comes.

“I think Hillary’s an okay gal,” Old Guy One said.

“Yeah she’s alright,” says Old Guy Two.

“But I think that Barack Obama is a real leader, a statesman,” OGO said.

“Yup, he’s just what this Country needs,” OGT replies.

What?!

So I glance up to see what these guys look like.  As promised, one is wearing a goddamned sweater.  The other, however, is facing me so I can check him out more.  He’s bald, he’s got the Gorton Fisherman sailor beard, suspenders.  It’s like he picked up the “Old Man” Halloween costume at Target.

But, affixed to his chest is perhaps the largest “Obama” button I’ve ever seen.

Very cool.

Earl Simmons “DMX”

Rapper DMX was interviewed about his new album by XXL Magazine.  If you don’t know, that’s the one at 7-Eleven that has the half-naked hot black chicks on the cover; as opposed to Maxim which is the one with the half-naked hot white chicks on the cover.

Anyway, they asked DMX (real name: Earl Simmons) about Barack Obama.  Suffice it to say he’s not really a “political junky“:

Are you following the presidential race?
Not at all.

You’re not? You know there’s a Black guy running, Barack Obama and then there’s Hillary Clinton.
His name is Barack?!

Barack Obama, yeah.

Barack?!

Barack.
What the fuck is a Barack?! Barack Obama. Where he from, Africa?

Yeah, his dad is from Kenya.
Barack Obama?

Yeah.
What the fuck?! That ain’t no fuckin’ name, yo. That ain’t that nigga’s name. You can’t be serious. Barack Obama. Get the fuck outta here.

You’re telling me you haven’t heard about him before.
I ain’t really paying much attention.

I mean, it’s pretty big if a Black…

Wow, Barack! The nigga’s name is Barack. Barack? Nigga named Barack Obama. What the fuck, man?! Is he serious? That ain’t his fuckin’ name. Ima tell this nigga when I see him, “Stop that bullshit. Stop that bullshit” [laughs] “That ain’t your fuckin’ name.” Your momma ain’t name you no damn Barack.

Bad enough Earl doesn’t know who Barack is — not one of his friends even mentioned the name to him? — but the worst part was what he had to say just before his Barack giggle-fit:

[D]o you think there’s a reason that rap isn’t selling like it was in your day?
Yeah ’cause niggas ain’t saying nothing. People ain’t saying nothing. Ain’t but so many people… Some people buy records just to dance to ’em. Some people buy records to listen to the radio. And there’s people that buy records ’cause they listen to every song. They not feeding the people properly.

You mean the artists?
Yeah, the artists. It’s the same ole bullshit. That’s how it get. There has to be some fuckin’ substance.

Listen Earl I love “Ya’ll Goin’ Make Me Lose My Mind” but this is ridiculous.  So you think album sales are down because there’s no substance to it then you admit you haven’t heard of Barack Obama?  The original rappers like Public Enemy, Ice-T, even NWA in their own distorted way, had a goal that went beyond putting money in their pocket; they believed in effecting change.  Jesus Christ even Flava Flav, Public Enemy’s comic relief member, sang “911 is a Joke.”