Wednesday, October 29, 2008

"Remember that time we were down in Atlantic City and the beach and all?" "We throwed down."

I may have posted this before, but whatever. Young people today have no idea how big Bruce Willis' ego was in the late '80s. Watch for the first Temptation eye-roll at 0:50.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Ok, so Pitbull and Lil' Jon made a single last year, too. I kind of forgot to listen to it (making up for that now). Anyways, TVT is dead and Jon has a new deal now. The time is nigh for a Lil' Jon resurgence. Shit's gonna get manic, for a change. Just you watch.

Friday, October 24, 2008

What this is? Forgot? Now I must remind you!

Due to my increasing detachment from the world of rockcrit (I still have plenty of rock crit friends, but I don't necessarily talk to them about new music or scour ILM or write any pro reviews these days), I sometimes forget that a lot of people think of me as the guy that inexplicably likes some godawful rock song/band/trend. It has been a while since I loved a recent hit that I knew (or could safely assume) my peers despised. Blame their increasing popism, my increasing rockism, our increasing age, new music's increasing assitude, whatever.

This is why I thank you, Kevin Rudolf feat. Lil' Wayne. Your cheeseball tribute to the second half of Timbaland Presents: Shock Value is just the reaffirmation of identity that I needed. This is the best faux-Electric Six song on the pop charts since "Paralyzer." Very failed crossover Armand Van Helden. Proof that the world wants their rap, techno and rock in one shameless blast. This is my scene and it's freaking me out!

I keep checking Wikipedia and such to see if the song is part of an ad campaign that would explain how this made the Top Ten when Lloyd feat. Lil' Wayne (which is respectably awesome) can't get anywhere. But I've yet to hear any reason for the success of "Let It Rock" other than that a lot of people are paying a dollar to download it. Which is awesome.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Planned Comments: "I'm melting. Oh, I'm melting. What a world."

AP: John McCain's election night watch party might be missing John McCain. Instead of appearing before a throng of supporters at the Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix on the evening of Nov. 4, the Republican presidential nominee plans to deliver postelection remarks to a small group of reporters and guests on the hotel's lawn.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Joe Lieberman Thrown Under The Bus

John McCain, discussing Sarah Palin on Don Imus this morning: "I think she's the most qualified of anyone recently who has run for vice president to tell you the truth... I'm frankly entertained at the elitist attitude toward a person who is a proven leader."

If we assume "recently" means the last decade, we can assume McCain ranks her qualifications above not just good buddy Senator Lieberman's, but Senator Joe Biden's, former Representative Dick Cheney's and former Senator John Edwards'. If that's the case, does that mean she's more qualified than Senator McCain?

I shouldn't be mocking what's obviously desperate overstatement, but it's too much fun.

What about Central PA, McCain?

I cannot stop watching this clip.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Bush's Ego, Bush's Id

Anthony Hopkins' Nixon was such an insect that the actual President looked like an ok guy when you saw his beaming face in the credits. If W. bothered to end with a shot of our current COC, we'd be reminded why the man is compared to Alfred E. Neuman and not Josh "Anthony's Top Ten Mancrushes" Brolin. Even Dick Cheney has reason to be flattered by Oliver Stone's softest political cartoon; sure the film has him delivering neocon slobber, but Richard Dreyfuss bothers to give the scumbucket some gravitas.

So why does the sap who stole two terms get more sympathy than the sap who resigned? Because, hawk or not, Dubya's a boomer. Bush ain't the only 62-year-old with daddy and drug dependency issues who achieved his ambitions despite tendencies for excess and simplification - I bet Stone has a hard time acknowledging his mistakes too.

Not only has age made Stone kind (like a successful av clubber bonding with the fat former quarterback at a high school reunion), but stylewise he's toned down his overstatement. Leila - a Stone neophyte - finds this hard to believe, but it's a sign of restraint that he saved the dream sequences for the end. An ironic fan of his flamboyancy, I was almost disappointed that the constant foreshadowing in the script isn't signaled by string stabs or conjoined with frenzied montage. But if you're not offended by the idea of quality actors making an oedipal play of the man we hope capsized the neocon dream but don't quite yet know for sure that he did - W. is easy to enjoy.

Those hungry for batshit political cinema are advised to check out An American Carol instead. You'll have to wait for DVD - me and my friend Harlan were the only people at a Sunday night screening two weeks ago - but it's worth it. Michael Moore is a great target for a cheap-shot pro like director David Zucker, and there are about seven minutes of jokes about him that would have been welcome in Scary Movie 5 (I especially enjoyed watching him bat away "fans" with an oar as he left Cuba). But even if you don't laugh at a twinkie stuck to a TV screen, you get the fascinating sight of Dennis Hopper shooting zombie ACLU lawyers and THE Bill O'Reilly standing in a urinal with an actor playing JFK and Kelsey Grammer's remarkably prissy General Patton.

Patton - the first ghost in this Dickens rewrite - takes up so much of the film's 80 minutes that "George Washington" only gets to read 30 seconds worth of one of Jon Voight's op-eds, and Trace Adkins' "Death" just growls before sending Moore to save a rally full of "real Americans" and history-spanning military ghosts from the evil Robert Davi.

That Zucker throws in a couple gay jokes at the expense of the military and Adkins shows his real cause (roffles for rabble), and the pandering behind the politics makes it even more disgusting. I doubt Zucker feels strongly about the glory of pop country, and I'm sure he knows "Christian extremists" would hijack planes if they didn't already have fighter jets. He's just carrying out the idea of a "right-wing comedy" to its tragic extreme. Comforted by his commercial chastisement, I can (knock on wood) enjoy it as a historical curio and wait patiently for Scary Movie 5.

Monday, October 20, 2008

You Kids Don't Know PM Dawn?

Boston Arts Academy students (more here) paying homage to videos at least a decade old. I'm assuming their teacher must have shown them a bunch taped in the '90s---how else would kids today know about Kris Kross?

It was the "Jump" homage (starts at 2:20) made me realize that, to a 17-year-old today, videos from my youth must be as hilarious as, oh, Flock Of Seagulls was to me at that age. "LOL! THESE KIDS ARE FIERCE!!! WHY ARE THEIR CLOTHES ON BACKWARDS?!?!?! OMGWTF!!!!" As a kid, I always wondered how people could earnestly be into '70s and early '80s fashions. Now a new generation gets to laugh in bewilderment. I wonder if I'll tell my hypothetical child about the day I tried to play basketball after school with my clothes totally krossed out.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

And I Hear She Knows Something About 'Great Songwriting.'

Lucinda Williams, an artist I've never been able to get enthusiastic about, discussing her recent listening habits in Elle (a magazine someone has been leaving in my bathroom):

L: In the past two years, I've started listening to heavier metaly, harder rock stuff. I just fell in love with Audioslave-the songs are so spiritually driven. And I was going, "God, this is great songwriting." I was listening to Tool.

E: Tool? Really?

L: They're great! They're coming from that similar place that I came from, which is more blues-based rock stuff with those real in-depth lyrics.

This isn't raising my interest.

Friday, October 17, 2008

November 4th (Knock On Wood)

I thought LCD's "All My Friends" might wind up the official post-election indie-to-mainstream fluke hit, but the timing feels even better for Robyn's latest redux to possibly (finally) put her in our pop charts---especially if it's thrown in the right ad/movie/tv show/post-acceptance speech moment of euphoria. And if it works, we can look forward to hearing all her other '05, '06, '07 and '08 international hits over here in '09.

Jonas Brothers? More Like Jon-ASS Brothers. GIRL, YOU KNOW IT'S TRUE!

This is a public reminder for me to write about some of the crappy songs out there that I'd have written about already if I was still doing those What's New On Billboard weekly posts (which I'm not, because there's too much crap).

"Love Lockdown"? More like "Crap Suckdown."

T.I.? More like T.P.

Elaborations (and further pungent zings) to come.


Word up.

CNN's finger on the pulse of thirty "undecideds" (winners, all) in Ohio has been a matter of contention in my apartment. Leila likes the idea of "more information," while I call it "distracting bullshit" and swear I'll start throwing furniture if we don't switch to the calm of MSNBC. God forbid we don't find out what a gender split of THIRTY "undecideds" thought until immediately after the politicians have finished talking.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Joe The Plumber

Registered republican, unregistered plumber. Not even remotely close to getting a tax hike from Obama, even if he somehow finds a way to buy a $250,000 plumbing company.

It's great to finally give this archetype a name. Joe The Plumber: the guy who isn't rich now, but worries that if he somehow becomes rich, he won't enjoy it. Why? Because he'll pay 3 cents to the dollar more on what he makes over a quarter million. So we better be real nice to rich people, cuz someday he'll be one.

But hey, his name might be yanked from the voter rolls in Ohio, as it's misspelled. So no worries.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

One Star Reviews

If someone bothered to start a new webzine (or, god forbid, magazine) about music, I would suggest they invest HEAVILY in one star reviews. People don't need another mag full of three-two okeydokes or even another "we only review music we're truly enthusiastic phhbbbtt" pomp rag. Popular music uniformly blows right now, and critics freely ripping shit could be an entertaining (and honest) way to engage with it. Might even give an aspiring snap or emo artist a reason to try and not suck.

Who'd a thunk it?

I actually wrote something about music at work today!

This exclusivity deal with Best Buy is probably a wise move for Universalgeffenwhatzit (probably guarantees some small recoup), but it's going to destroy the G'n'R mystique that's sold an impressive amount of magazine covers over the last decade. Unless the album sounds absolutely nothing like the leaked antiquiet tracks, it's certain to be an industry-embarrassing turkey, and probably a nail in the coffin of Music Meaning Shit. Curious to see if critics go forward with the knee-jerk one-star reviews (I would!), or if decorum dictates they give Axl's fart-fueled hot-air balloon some earnest attention.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Not fresh meat, so much as finely aged wine.

Looks like Beating Live is hitting earlier than I expected. And since this scandal a) actually happened and b) directly relates to the issues, Obama can use it without looking like he's "changing the subject."

Read this Rolling Stone article if you're not sure you're going to enjoy watching McCain melt down on Tuesday.

Saturday, October 04, 2008


Headlines about McCain getting aggressive would freak me out a little more if they suggested having any meat fresher than Bill Ayers. MSM's shredding that one apart before they even get to the debate, so Obama will be ready with his smackdown zing (which may rhyme with "beating live"). Hard to turn old non-controversies into game-changers when the media can't wait to watch you burn.

I'd also be more worried about the McCain campaign's plans for October if their zings were, like, spell-checked.

Happy birthday to me!

Gallup: Obama (D) 50%, McCain (R) 42%

Hotline/Diageo: Obama (D) 48%, McCain (R) 41%

Rasmussen: Obama (D) 51%, McCain (R) 45%

Res. 2000: Obama (D) 52%, McCain (R) 40%

Pollster: Obama (D) 50.1%, McCain (R) 42.5%

Thursday, October 02, 2008


Can someone explain to me how the new Kings Of Leon sold over 30,000 more copies in its first week than their last album? England's got these guys at #1 which is UH, but hey, England. Are people in America really getting down with their new single, "Sex On Fire"? You know, the one that goes "yeeeeaaaahhhh, this sex is on fire!" four times in the chorus. Or maybe you don't, and now you'll do your best to make sure you never do.

So was the only problem with Ryan Adams' Rock'n'Roll that he didn't drawl? Are people looking for a combo of U2 and Nickelback? These dingleberries were a snore on SNL (looked like Michael Pitt had his own 30 Seconds To Mars), and I can't think of another reason their record sales should be on an up when every other shitty rock one-note band is struggling. "Sex On Fire" is barely in the Modern Rock Top 20, though it has been deemed "air power" along side the Killers' "Human" (because they blow, I guess). Maybe it will pick up sexy steam.

I actually heckled these guys when they played Penn State after their first album (sang "Last Nite" - in key! - during an instrumental break and repeatedly demanded they look at their hands), and I've yet to hear a song aside from "The Bucket" - where the southern-fried Strokes gets kinda cute in an Adam Duritz way - that I can tolerate. Now they're back with a desperate crack at Benign Arena Rock and it actually seems to be paying off. Are you fucking to this song, young people? Well, stop! It's gross!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Another thing.

I really don't need an indie DJ "validating modern-day filth" for me. I'll either ignore it or take it straight, thanks.

So that's what I'm doing wrong.

Robert Christgau, giving it up for Girl Talk's conceptual majesty:

"Only when I printed out Wikipedia's list of samples -- good enough for downloaders, though an official version comes with the official release -- did I get it." [italics mine]

On paper (like Christgau), I'm all for chipmunking totems, mining classics and fabricating duets. On iPod, I prefer songs rather than an hour-long, flow-free medley. But my insistence that Girl Talk take all these elements and create new pop (like hip-hoppers and earlier mash-up celebrities always have), rather than a beat-diffusing bricolage of gone-before-you-know-it signifiers, may just be a sign that I don't get it. Sadly, I don't own a printer.