Monthly Archives: December 2012

What I will NOT miss about 2012

The answer to the above is simple: Gangnam Style. There is no word strong enough to convey “hate” that can accurately describe how I feel about this embarrassing blight on the modern lexicon.

Korea has given us some good things (Grace Park comes to mind) but Gangnam Style by supposed artist PSY is probably the worst thing to ever come emanate from that foggy peninsula.

My only solace is the fact that the Gangnam Style fad is just that-a fad. It does not have the legs to last much longer and will go the way of other annoying songs of a similar ilk like “Macarena”, “Who Let the Dogs Out?”, and, God Help Us, “My Heart Will Go On.”

No more Gangnam in 2013. Please!!! Go away, PSY!


Tina Turner-A Legend

During a moment of quiet reflection, I meditated (not literally) about some of my favorite female singers. I then realized that I have never used this little forum of ours to profess my love for Tina Turner. How could this have been? Tina if you’re reading this (and if you even care) I am so sorry for taking this long to acknowledge how much you have positively influenced my musical palate. You are truly wonderful.

Now, Reba McEntire has the moniker of “survivor.” Frankly, I find Reba McEntire tedious. Yes, Reba, your husband left you and you’re broke. WE GET IT! She seems to have made a career out of whining over and over and over and over and. . .well, you get the idea.

Tina Turner is the real survivor. I think we’re all aware by now of the adversity she overcame (even performing hundreds of times on the same stage as her abuser) and then has still managed to make a go of it. (Understatement I know, but I could prattle on all day about Tina Turner so I am trying to muzzle myself.) Otherwise stated, Reba is playing a character (at least by comparison), Tina lived it.

That voice, the power she exudes on stage, and those lyrics. She is absolutely one of my favorites and I feel fortunate to have been able to see her perform. I hope her travels bring her out the the Bay Area to perform. Seeing her live is definitely on my “bucket list.”

Many artists claim they are “the best.” However, I defy anyone to listen to Tina Turner’s 1991 compilation “Simply the Best” and not agree that the album is aptly named.

God Bless Bruno Mars

Bruno Mars’s new album, “Unorthodox Jukebox” has restored my faith in music-again. You’ll recall, gentle reader, that I wondered a while back if Bruno Mars could save music. Indeed, the work on this latest album is some of the best raw talent that I have heard in years.

Unorthodox Jukebox is much edgier than his previous album. Whereas the previous album seemed to be more of a throwback to motown or even the earlier singers like Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, or Fats Domino, this has a much more contemporary feel to it albeit with much of the classic influence still present. The lyrics are much more aggressive (in a good way) and the sexual imagery is not implied but blatant.

Throughout the album, Bruno Mars showcases his God-given talent. Indeed, he shows talent that I thought was long gone from music. His voice strains to hit every note and he does so without any electronic aid.

I titled the post God Bless Bruno Mars because I feel that he has restored my faith in music and I hope he continues for a very long time. I will enjoy his career every step of the way. Bruno Mars is the type of artist that my future grandkids will ask me: “Did you really see him?” “Do you remember when he was popular?” And I will say, “I sure did.” I will still be proud when I say I witnessed him.

Ska: What were we Thinking?

I caught the performance by Of Monsters and Men on Graham Norton’s show the other day. I wish I hadn’t. Up until they came on stage, that particular episode was pretty good. When Of Monsters and Men started performing, the show became like a perfect salad with an unwanted cockroach in it.

I began thinking how much I despised the way Of Monsters and Men sounds. I loathe most folk bands because I feel that it is a genre that is just over and that folk music is a cheap imitation of reggae. Moreover, what I hated most was the brass section which was, in my opinion, out of place. It was like listening to a Rascal Flatts song that included a verse by Flo Rida or Pitbull.

On the subject of brass and rock, I remembered the Ska fad of the late 90s. Sure there were some decent Ska bands like The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Goldfinger. There were some garbage Ska bands like Pain and Less than Jake. (Pain might be in addition to being the worst Ska band I have ever heard, Pain might be the worst band I have ever heard PERIOD.) However, I tried listening to some ‘Bosstones the other day and I just could not do it. I could not believe that I once found that enjoyable. Maybe I have changed, maybe the scene has changed, but I actually purged my music collection of any and all Ska in digital and analog form.

Needless to say, Ska and my enthusiasm for the same, will remain in the past with the other things I have outgrown and now look back on with a bit of shame at how stupid it was and disbelief that I was enthusiastic about it.

Jesus Jones-“Right Here, Right Now”-1991

I seem to remember hearing this song all throughout elementary school as I was in elementary school during the ’90s. It has all of the elements you’d expect from a ’90s hard rock offering. Splashy synth, catchy lyrics, and one hell of a guitar solo.

However, it was not until listening to it recently that I truly appreciated the meaning of this piece. The song is talking about how interesting the times were when that song was created. End of the cold war, technological breakthroughs, etc. As a child, I could not exactly articulate it, but I knew instinctively that I was experiencing history. In hindsight, I reflect on those times and feel fortunate to have lived then.

While many people poke fun at Jesus Jones, I feel that their criticism is unjustified. Furthermore, if you look at their body of work, I am sure they are laughing all the way to the bank, as the saying goes. They are quite an iconic band with a lot to say. It is refreshing to think back to a time when bands like this were commonplace as opposed to today when lyrics don’t matter and “music” is all about marketing.

Nazareth-“Hair of the Dog”-1975

This is probably one of my favorite 1970s era rock pieces. The aggressive lyrics are easily a precursor to today’s heavy metal.

“Now you’re messin’ with a. . .A SON OF A BITCH!”

The above illustrates the song’s chorus. While that is certainly a raw lyric, the overall tone of the piece is gritty and unapologetic. It begs the question as to whether this band’s work influenced Diamond Head who released “Am I Evil” 7 years after this song was released as it is very similar if you ask me.

If you’ve read this blog with any regularity, you know that I am something of a music purist. Therefore, I must comment on how much I dislike the use of the talk box in the song’s bridge. Then again, it was the 70s and the use of such things was still in its experimental stages so I can forgive it on this occasion.

Kesha Defends Teen Mom Jenelle

Birds of a feather flock together. By the same proverbial token, cockroaches huddle together and seek the company of other cockroaches. Given the fact that alleged popstar Kesha defended teen mom Jenelle Evans, evidently loathsome creatures do stick together.

Now, in a previous post, I said that I was starting to hate myself because I like Kesha. However, I was referring to her music; not the strung out junkie character she portrays. Jenelle Evans actually asked the courts for a reduced sentence so she could attend a Kesha concert-and then subsequently flouted the court’s generosity by violating her probation yet again. Jenelle Evans is a waste of sperm, carbon, and water in my opinion.

I am not trying to be some kind of moral Joe McCarthy, but I have a feeling that Kesha’s persona as a drugged out skank is an act. Jenelle Evans, on the other hand, has become the genuine article, in my opinion. Given this, it is not a surprise that she has such an affinity for Kesha. Indeed, Kesha must be a mascot for people like Jenelle Evans.