Nicki Minaj and other stories

In a previous post if you can be BOTHERED to remember, you’ll recall that I said I liked Nicki Minaj because she was a rapper. Well, then something called “Anaconda” came out and I realized that she is now just a prepackaged product to be sold and consumed by an intellectually devoid mass audience. Don’t get me wrong, as a red-blooded male and a fellow who has always enjoyed and appreciated ladies of African descent, I quite enjoyed the Anaconda video, I just had to watch it with the mute button engaged.

It is not really Nicki Minaj’s fault. She probably has some mincing, greedy manager forcing her into a certain direction and probably doesn’t care about her image because what she’s doing is keeping her in Ferragamo heels and Michael Kors bags.

The most pathetic display to come out of this, however, is that cheap imitation that Jennifer Lopez and Iggy Azalea did of the Anaconda video. Jennifer Lopez, whose music career is on life support let’s be honest, and Iggy Azalea, who is basically a clone of Nicki Minaj with the only difference being the obvious pigment discrepancy, decided to put their, ahem, “heads” together and collaborate. Now, Jennifer Lopez is pathetic enough on that ridiculous American Idol show which is harder to finish off than Jason Voorhees, with her pseudo-intellectual comments, allowed herself to have Iggy hitch her name to her wagon and try and ride on Nicki Minaj’s (ample) coattails.

Again, who am I? I’m just an overweight dork sitting behind a keyboard typing about it. But I do know a thing or two about music, and I know a cheap knock-off when I see one.

Billy Joel-“The Downeaster ‘Alexa’ “-1990

Hard to pick a favorite with Billy Joel but this song has to be up there for me. It is common knowledge that the song highlights the plight of the Baymen in New York who fish and have gone through terrible hardship. I won’t presume to comment on that because I grew up a spoiled kid from California so I don’t feel qualified to speak about what could be a sensitive issue. Far be it from me to speak out of turn.

I will say that this song is much like Harry Chapin’s “Cat’s in the Cradle” or Bob Dylan’s “Times they are a Changing” inasmuch as it is a catchy, beautiful song with a very sad message.

Another thing I appreciate about this song is how it highlights Billy Joel’s range. That has always been one of the things I loved best about him. If you compare this piece to a piece like “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me” or (arguably his most famous) “We Didn’t Start the Fire” the two songs are ostensibly different but still have the common thread of Joel’s powerful pipes. “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me” is almost a pop piece with a throwback to the classic days of Rock and Roll whereas “Alexa” has almost a rock opera feel to it.

Don’t Call it a Comeback. . .

I’ve been gone for a while as you may recall (or perhaps you didn’t even notice.)  Anyway, now that the summer is upon us, I should be posting more regularly.  For my reading several, I’m sorry if you’ve been rushing to your keyboards and/or inboxes checking for an update and a morsel of my voice just to get you through the day only to find that I have been as barren and empty as the inside of a Miley Cyrus fan’s skull.

To whet your appetite, here are my thoughts on a few of the songs that have either come out since the time I last posted or existing artists/songs that I have begun listening to during that block of time.  Enjoy.

“La La La”-Naughty Boy-When I first heard this song, I was shocked at how I didn’t find it irritating.  Sure the mixing is sloppy with the audio sampling in the intro and but the lyrics are actually pretty deep.  I am definitely intrigued and hope that Naughty Boy becomes more than a one-hit wonder.

Rob Zombie-I’m not really sure why I had never listened to Rob Zombie before but I am glad that I have decided to give him a try.  He’s a little bit more electronic than I prefer in heavy metal but his raw, untamed, unapologetic sound is just what the doctor ordered after an aggravating day.  In fact, I have his movie “House of 1000 Corpses” on in the background as I type this.

Cee-Lo Green-When he stops doing that stupid crap he does on that ridiculous show and just showcases his natural ability, he treats listeners to one of the most unique, God-given voice talents around.

“I’m So Fancy”-Iggy Azalea-This song was annoying at first but began to grow on me.  Now I actually look forward to hearing it on the radio.  I suppose it’s because I’m a sucker for female rappers.  See this previous post for further details.

I hope that is enough to tide you over.  You’ll be seeing my ugly kisser again soon enough.  For now, you may go.


Stone Temple Pilots-“Creep”-1993

I was going to wax on about this loony claiming to be Michael Jackson’s son and then (with a straight face) claiming that he’s not doing it because he needs money.  Who cares?  You know his album is about to drop and he’s drumming up publicity.

Anyway, the above captioned piece has been stuck in my head for the last few days.  I’m not sure why.  For me, this song was what Stone Temple Pilots were all about.  It was a good old fashioned bona fide grunge piece.  I know that people think about “Plush” or “Big Empty” or “Wicked Garden” when they think about STP but this is always the piece that sums up the band for me.

I will grant that “Creep” is not exactly esoteric, but it certainly is not one of the more widely known pieces either.  What I like best about the song is that it is indicative of the grunge era but it also holds up with passing time.  This is something that a lot of grunge bands cannot say about their work.  I also think it is gutsy that STP named their song after a Radiohead tune of the same name that had been released about a year prior.

Scott Weiland sadly is another drug-related casualty of the grunge era as well and I think that some of the song’s lyrics are eerily prophetic with respect to this.  I know that Scott Weiland is still physically alive, but STP were not the same after his stint with drugs and, as far as the music is concerned, it was just missing something.  Nevertheless, “Creep” is certainly one of my favorites, not just of this era, but all-time.

How Come I Know Everything?

As I predicted, the whole Madonna using the “N Word” thing appears to have been a precursor for a rumored project involving Madonna and Miley Cyrus on MTV’s “Unplugged”. Whether this is intentional or not, I have no way of knowing but the timing sure is convenient.

As I type this, I am trying to hold back vomit when I think of the fact that a human freakshow like Miley Cyrus is now going to be gracing the same program (Unplugged) that once featured/boasted superb talents like Layne Staley and Scott Weiland, just to name a couple. Recall my previous post discussing Unplugged.

The project featuring Madonna and Miley Cyrus will be special in that it will simultaneously feature the low point in one person’s career and the high point in the career of the other.  I’m pretty sure you can figure out which is which.

Motley Crue Retires-What They’re Retiring from Remains Unclear/Also Prince Lawsuit and Justin Imbiber

So, the (dozens) fans who still listen to Motley Crue must be devastated today as news of the retirement of their favorite musicians hit the first page of Variety. No?  Ok, the second page?  Not there either? Hmm…

I’m not sure, but I think that to retire you have to actually be doing something.  What the hell has Motley Crue been doing? Well, besides selling out by recording “Girls, Girls, Girls.”

Prince is suing a bunch of fans for posting footage of his concerts and music on Facebook.  Gee, looks like that whole tort reform thing is going great.

Apparently, there is a petition to deport the male version of Lindsay Lohan you might recognize as Justin Bieber.  I have no opinion on the petition itself. Free citizens of the United States can choose to exercise their right to sign or ignore it altogether. I have no opinion on it. I do hope that Justin Bieber doesn’t get a free pass on this.  I don’t hope for anything excessive, but I don’t want him to get a pass because of his fame. Michael Vick didn’t skate, Justin Bieber shouldn’t either, in my opinion.

The street racing thing is worse than the drinking and I think Bieber should get a stiff but reasonable penalty from that at least, if for no other reason than he could become a poster boy for the consequences that street racing should carry since street racing endangers innocent lives.

On a related note, is it ironic to anyone else that “beber” in Spanish means “drink”?  Seems like an interesting pun.

Madonna Uses the N-Word, People who Still Remember who the Hell Madonna is Express Outrage

Once relevant and now three-quarters-forgotten, pop princess Madonna ruffled a few feathers when she dropped an “N” word on her Instagram.

Forget the fact that Madonna’s failed endeavor to reinvent herself by becoming a children’s book author was a farce of Ionesco-sized proportions.

Forget the fact that Madonna now tries to speak using the worst sounding affectation of an English accent since Gwyneth Paltrow hosted Saturday Night Live.

Madonna claims that she is not a racist.  Well, I disagree.  Use of racial slurs constitutes racism.  Plain and simple.  Simply regretting the backlash that your use of a racial slur caused does not negate racism.  If one uses a racial slur and then feels bad about it because they have undergone some kind of social enlightenment or racial epiphany, that is one thing.  However, in my opinion, Madonna only regretted forgetting that she is no longer big and important enough to act this way and get away with it.  To quote a well-known Rihanna song: “Don’t tell me you’re sorry ’cause you’re not.  Baby when I know you’re only sorry you got caught.”

It would not surprise me in this haphazard melange of fads and poorly-executed imitations that America calls a culture these days, to see something released by Madonna in the next few months.  Consider for a moment the idea that Madonna may have acted intentionally to put her name out there again and generate interest.  There’s no such thing as bad publicity after all.  Just ask Roseanne Barr.

Certainly, while there is no indication that Madonna acted intentionally and I am merely speculating here, stranger things have happened.