Monthly Archives: August 2012

A Break from the Music: Good Riddance

Masterchef spoilers. If you’ve DVRed it, and haven’t seen the latest episode, consider yourself warned.

Goodbye, Monti. You’re annoying and, if all of the people who have viewed my post proclaiming that same assertion after doing a Google search with the terms being some variation of “monti master chef annoying,” I am not the only one who thinks so. In my opinion, you’re not cute, talented, or appealing in any way. No longer will I have to endure your stupid, contrived, perfunctory, vernacular. Go home and put on a Ramones t-shirt even though you probably have never heard ONE of their songs and continue to be the poseur you are. If you ever want to make me some Top Ramen, I’d be willing to try it, provided you read a recipe for it first.

Bring back Felix!!!

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Michael Jackson-“Jam”-1992

This song and “Smooth Criminal” are my favorite Michael Jackson songs. “Jam” is really multi-faceted and not one of those songs for which one has to be in the mood. If you’re feeling a little peeved, this is a good one, if you want something upbeat to power you through a few minutes of a workout, this is good one, if you’re driving home from a restaurant with a belly full of manicotti tri colore, this is a good one. I think you get the idea.

This song was performed at all of his shows on the “Dangerous” tour and I can see why. This is probably one of the best songs to open with since Cheap Trick’s “Hello There Ladies and Gentlemen.”

I picked up the DVD of one of the concerts in Eastern Europe on that tour for like three bucks (drugstore impulse buy) and his opening with “Jam” had me get off of my couch and actually start dancing. . .and I HATE dancing. However, I was gyrating like a chick in a go-go cage.

Disturbing image, I know. . .

I also love Heavy D’s rap during the bridge. It’s the perfect transition and, actually, I think a somewhat forgotten example of the late, GREAT, Heavy D’s fine work.


Taylor Swift-“We Are Never Getting Back Together”-2012

A better title for this song would have been “hyperventilation with a drum machine in the background and possibly a cat with it’s tail caught in a fan”

I used to hate Kanye West for interrupting Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech a while back. Whilst listening to the above captioned song, I would have welcomed his interruption. The rhythmic wailing and repetition of words in my opinion were indicative of Taylor Swift’s limited vocabulary and even more scant musical ability. As I listened, I was torn between being nauseated and pitying her. I chose the former.

Inasmuch as it was difficult to consume, this piece was quite a bit like the movie “Schindler’s List” because consuming it once was enough. Granted, “Schindler’s List” was a story that must be told and I am glad that it exists. It was epic cinema albeit, not exactly a “feel-good” story, to say the least. Watching that amount of human suffering was simultaneously and paradoxically an emotional drain and something I had to witness so I could play my part in never letting something awful like that happen again. I could not endure watching it again and now that I have received the film’s message, there is no need to put myself through that again. That is obviously where the parallels between that film and the above captioned song end.

Taylor Swift’s song, on the other hand, is so horrid that I could not BEAR having my unsuspecting eardrums so ruthlessly assaulted again. At one point during the song, it sounded like she was trying the worst and most pathetic attempt at scat and bebop that I have ever heard! For crying out loud, she wasn’t even using words for what seemed like half of the song!! Given this, the only human suffering that occurred during the above captioned piece was my own.

If there is a modicum of respect to be extracted, it is that Taylor Swift at least tried to make this about self-expression. The break-up song is a classic musical motif. However, if we compare it to one of the best break-up songs of all-time, “If You Leave” by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, this song falls woefully short. It’s analogous to ordering a filet mignon cooked rare and then having it arrive at your table medium well. It’s still the same thing, but it’s no where near where it should be.

Indeed, Taylor, it is you and I who are “never getting back together” because this weak offering has alienated me from your fan base beyond all repair.


God Help Us All-A Teen Mom is Singing

Yes. As if it wasn’t bad enough that shows like MTV’s “Teen Mom” exist, now, someone whose only claim to fame is having a child at a young age is now making the mistake of thinking she can sing.

Now, before I go any further, this is NOT a commentary on teen pregnancy. Things happen. People are human. Hormones are hormones. And, biologically speaking, it’s actually better to have children young. Again, I am NOT getting on a moral soapbox about teen pregnancy.

What I am on a soapbox about is the fact that the person in question, Farrah Abraham, from the show Teen Mom, apparently thinks that she has some sort of singing talent by virtue of being part of that show given her release of a recording of several sounds clustered together which almost sounded like music. That is a sickening indictment of reality TV stars today. Just because they are on reality TV does not mean they can sing and to suggest otherwise is tantamount to a slap in the face to people who work their asses off to hone their talents.

Now, the Farrah Abraham song situation solved itself as it was so comically bad that she has become something of a laughingstock for the moment. Indeed, listening to her sing was more disgusting to me that a gaggle of writhing maggots and as pitiful as a skinny dog in the rain.

So Farrah, you’re lucky to be on TV and lucky that anyone pays attention to you at all. Don’t press your luck by falling prey to the misconception that you have some other kind of talent to offer.


Lil Ric-“Rowdy N****S Interlude”-2000

Many people make a distinction between rap and rock music, especially heavy metal. The fans of those genres have shared what can, at best, be called a flimsy truce.

I, on the other hand, enjoy both genres (among others) because they are both showcases of raw aggression, unapologetic self-expression, and vicious metaphors. The above captioned piece by Lil Ric is a good example of this.

Whilst searching for a song by Tre Little with a similar title, I stumbled upon this on iTunes and decided to download it after being entertained by the sample of it. The song really is a hearkening back to what I feel were the glory days of rap. It’s not the squeaky clean early days of acts like Run DMC and certainly not the cowardly, rhythm and partying obsessed commercial sounds of acts like T-Pain. This is a REAL rap piece in the vein of Too Short, Tupac, Westside Connection, 50 Cent, Nas, N.W.A., etc. The mid/late ’90s rap that had the aggression and violence which was such a delightful outlet for the day’s stressors, just as heavy metal is for its staunch fans.

While I thoroughly enjoy this piece and it is skyrocketing up the list of my personal all-time favorites because of its creative wordplay and rebellious, almost militant sound, listening to it is bittersweet because it makes me long for the days when music like this was commonplace. It also makes me sad because it glaringly demonstrates just how much commercialism and sensationalism have distorted, bastardized, and, I dare say, perverted today’s music.

Quality acts like Lil Ric are no longer financially viable which means their work never sees the light of day. However, vapid garbage like Cher Lloyd’s music still manages to get tons of airplay simply because it’s catchy and can keep record labels and broadcasting giants in the black. The real tragedy here is that, rap began as a way to fight corporate interference with respect to self-expression. However, it has now been sacrificed to make room for the very thing it was created to fight. That is sadly ironic.


Mexican Gymnast Uses Zelda Theme Music in Routine

According to a recent article on kotaku.com (no I won’t link you. I could but I’m just lazy.) Mexican gymnast Elsa Garcia Rodriguez Blancas used music from “The Legend of Zelda” video game franchise in her Olympic performance.

While it is unfortunate that the Mexican team probably will be thoroughly defeated by gymnastic powerhouses like China and the U.S. (I know next to nothing about gymnastics so I’m just guessing here) it was good to see that kind of creativity and representation in the Olympics. Video game music is thought of as some kind of fringe interest pursued by social outcasts and misfits. However, to have an Olympic athlete incorporate it into her routine when the world is watching skyrockets it into instant credibility.