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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Knowing that you want me by your side mellows my mind and enhances my pride

Hi there folks... I've been in the process of moving so I'm currently without home Internet access... I'll be back with more frequent posts soon when I get that all settled, but in the meantime I have to shared this...

Most people think of Vanilla Ice as a one-hit wonder. No sir! In fact, his second hit, Play That Funky Music, got to #4. But it's his third hit that I want to talk about, the bizarre love ballad "I Love You."

Adjectives can't do this video justice, so I'll just post it for all to see:

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Wherein I say something nice about someone I don't like

Kid Rock's new album, Rock N Roll Jesus, has debuted at #1. I suppose I'm happy about this.

I'm not a huge Kid Rock fan by any means, but it's amazing to think that at one time, he was lumped in a class with Limp Bizkit and other awful rap-rockers. Kid has proven himself to be a genre-hopping talent, recording country hits with Sheryl Crow and Hank Williams, and delving into classic rock. I despise classic rock, but I think if someone today is capable of working in that genre successfully, it's Kid Rock. Good for him.

(I'd comment on his assault of Tommy Lee at the MTV Awards, but I have no opinion on it. I'm not sure who to root for in that one...)

Monday, October 15, 2007

It's time for absurdity, here comes Pat!

Blender Magazine recently did an interesting article called The 40 Worst Lyricists in Rock. Sting came in #1, and other notable names on that list include Paul Stanley, Diane Warren, and Carly Simon, and David Crosby.

Conspicuous by his absence in the list is Train's remarkably unlikable singer, Pat Monahan. His lyrics are among the most laughable in music history, yet he is nowhere to be found in Blender's countdown.

I cannot let this oversight pass, so I now present "Classic Pat Monahan lyrics":

Daddy wrestles alligators,
Mama works on carburetors
Her brother is a fine mediator
For the president.
-"Meet Virginia"

Can you imagine no first dance, freeze dried romance five-hour phone conversation
The best soy latte that you ever had . . . and me
-"Drops of Jupiter"

Tried to write a letter
To tell you how I feel
But all I kept on writing
Was slipping on the tears from the day
When I was young and brave
-"Let it Roll"

They call her Mississippi
But she don't flow to me

But she's cool like a soda can sittin' on ice
Always orders sushi, only eats the rice
Talks about J Lo like they're best of friends
I think she loves me, but it all depends
-"Save the Day"

I don't need nobody flyin' in my jet stream
Take the bus
Go on and get yourself your own dream
-"My Private Nation"

I got a sweet gig rakin' in the cash with karaoke
I get the crowd goin' when I sing the hokey pokey
I shake it to the left and then I shake it to the right
What's not to love, man I'm on tonight
I got the LA stylie with the New York trim
Keep my pants so low
It's like I'm goin' for a swim
I got the Coppertone tan, like in Mexico
Well, not now but when I go, yea

-"Save the Day"

Brace yourselves, kids... Pat has a solo record coming out soon!

Friday, October 12, 2007

At least Celine's peeps like me

Some updates on recent posts...

Shout out to my friends at the Vines message board...
It seems that my last post, where I noted that a Vines show in 2002 was the second-worst concert I've ever attended, made me some enemies on The Vines' message board (yes, there is such a thing). That's ok, people are free to have differing opinions... and I have no bad feelings towards the Vines - in fact, I'm rooting for them to make a comeback.

Nonetheless, I don't need the Vines message board, because Celine Dion's message board (yes, there is such a thing) adores me! That's due to a review I wrote earlier this year of Meat Loaf's horrific Bat Out of Hell III album, in which I observed that Meat's remake of "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" doesn't stand up to Celine's version. That review got posted on Celine's message board and I was showered with praise.

Funny, I have yet to hear from the Bryan Abrams message board about this mean-spirited post...

I was gonna quit performing, but then I got high...
I also noted in my last post that Afro Man's 2001 concert at Penn State was one of the worst I've ever seen. I assumed he'd quit music by now, but get this: He's still performing. In fact, he's doing another show at Penn State - tonight! Bizarre coincidence. I can't imagine who'd want to see him at this point, but God bless him.

I'm not sure about those Rainbows...
I've heard half of the new Radiohead album so far, and, well, let's just say it had better grow on me over time. Because I'm less than impressed. Tracks like House of Cards and Nude are exactly as I remember them when they were played live in 2006 - slow and boring. I'm not against slow songs - in fact, Radiohead have made enough beautiful ballads over their career to fill an entire iPod (You and Whose Army, Exit Music, Life in a Glass House, High & Dry, True Love Waits, Street Spirit, Pyramid Song...) But aside from 15 Step, these new songs don't do anything for me. I'll track down the rest of the record before I draw any firm conclusions.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

The worst concerts I've ever attended

I've seen about 170 major concerts now (Yes, I have a chronological list), and a few months back I listed the best of those. Which means it's only fair that I now list the worst. This time I'm going to count down in reverse order:

8 DAVE MATTHEWS BAND Bryce Jordan Center, State College PA 4.5.02
I’ve seen Dave 15 times, and 14 have been thoroughly satisfying, but this show at Penn State was completely unacceptable. It was only the second show of their spring tour, and it showed. They played for barely 90 minutes, instead of the usual 3 hours; there was only one violin solo the entire night and very little jamming; and they closed with the two songs most despised by hardcore DMB fans – The Space Between and I Did It. When Dave hit the first notes of I Did It, the guy next to me, realizing this would be the last song, stood up, directed a middle finger towards the stage, and walked out in disgust. He was not alone in feeling that way.

7 AFRO MAN Crowbar, State College PA 10.1.01
Remember him, the “Because I Was High” guy? I went for the novelty of it. It was entertaining to some degree, he actually played guitar quite well, and he was able to keep the crowd’s attention when they clearly were interested in just one song. In one song, Afro Man sang, “They think I’m a novelty act/They need to step the fuck back.” But even he knew that was a hollow statement. This guy had little to offer. He invited the brass section from an opening act, Town Hall, onstage for a bit, and they were the highlight of the concert.

6 BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB Mr. Small's Theater, Pittsburgh 2.14.06 During shows I usually keep a count of how many songs have been played, so I have a general idea of how much time is left. During this one, thee song count went higher than ever. When it hit 15, I thought, wow, these guys are playing for a really long time. When it hit 20, I thought, this is excruciating! Let me out of here! Finally, around song #23, me and my friends couldn’t take it anymore and hit the road. There was absolutely no reason for this band to play that long. They might have continued playing for another hour, for all I know.

5 BETH ORTON Bowery Ballroom, New York City 6.10.02 This was my first show in NYC. I lived there in the summer of ’02 and I was excited about my first time being on a guest list and in a VIP box. Unfortunately I was also very tired, and that, along with the fact that Beth played a solo acoustic show, combined to put me to sleep. I was trying like hell to stay awake – I was discreetly pinching myself, tapping my feet, chugging water, doing whatever I could to not fall asleep in front of my co-workers, but I still nodded off. By far the most boring show I’ve ever been to.

The Fillmore, San Francisco 7.25.05
This one is very similar to #5. Benson was opening for the Kaiser Chiefs, and, even in the beautiful and legendary Fillmore, I could not stay awake. I finally had to walk back against the wall, close my eyes, and catch some Zs. It didn’t help that this idiot played 12 songs – 12 songs as an opening act! Benson’s in the Raconteurs now with Jack White, but I will never give that band a chance because I will hate Benson until the day I die.

3 MOS DEF Rec Hall, State College PA 1.11.02 Socially-conscious rapper played a free show at Penn State, but it was incredibly boring. He never really tried to connect with the crowd, and it was impossible to understand what he was saying. For artists, college shows are often a simple means of collecting a hefty paycheck, and that seemed to be the case with this one.

2 THE VINES Metropol, Pittsburgh 11.20.02 This was around the time that all the "The" bands were making headlines - The Hives, The Strokes, The Vines, etc. I was excited to see these guys, but they were awful. They played about 75% ballads, including a dumb-ass cover of "Ms. Jackson" that was neither funny nor ironic. I was stunned. At one point singer Craig Nicholls tried to be a badass and took off his shirt, but that resulted in widespread laughter at his mushy physique. When they finished, they smashed their instruments, an absurd gesture given how lame the show was. It was almost as if they were trying to be a parody of a rock band.

1 EVERCLEAR Point State Park, Pittsburgh 7.2.05 I'd heard that Everclear wasn't a good live band, and that was confirmed when I saw them perform on some talk show (I think Donny & Marie?), but seeing them in person, it was still eye-opening how bad they were. First, I should point out that this was not the original incarnation of Everclear - this was just singer Art Alexakis and some bums he picked up off the street. Second, Alexakis absolutely cannot sing. He can't hit any of the high notes, and he'll skip the first few and last few words of every line, because he can't keep up. He tried to hide it by having the audience sing several of the lyrics, but I saw through the charade. It's embarrassing, and disappointing, because I like a lot of this band's work (So Much for the Afterglow was in my top 5 albums of 1997...)

This Everclear performance was a free show, and I still wanted to demand a refund.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

I know Christopher Cross's social security number

And I also have Kevin Dubrow (drummer for Quiet Riot)'s cell phone number.

Isn't that exciting?!

Nah, it's lame, but I do have them. I was going through all my crap in the basement and stumbled upon these, among the artifacts I have from my years with the two music business agencies I worked for. Wouldn't it be fun to get drunk some night and prank call Kevin at 4 in the morning, and when he picks up, just start screaming, "COME ON FEEL THE NOISE!!"

I have other random shit, some of which actually isn't lame - riders for Nelly Furtado and Busta Rhymes... several music video proposals that a bunch of directors sent to Semisonic for the track Singing in my Sleep, including the winning proposal from Chris Applebaum...

Maybe after my next move, when I'm settled in, I can realize my goal of having an entire room dedicated to music stuff.

Here, enjoy some Christopher Cross and/or Quiet Riot...

Monday, October 1, 2007

In Rainbows

I got an email from the Radiohead fan club today announcing that the band has completed a new album: In Rainbows, which apparently will only be available online. Radiohead was my favorite band for most of this decade, and I'm sure this record will be genius, just like their last five.

The new release contains several songs they played when I saw them live in the summer of '06. "15 Step" and "Bangers 'n Mash" were among my favorites.

Rolling Stone has a track by track preview:

YouTube video: "15 Step"