Posts filed under 'Music'

Trendspotter Of The Day

Prince has spoken:

In an interview with London’s Daily Mirror, the notoriously provocative rock star, 52, dismissed using the Web to release his upcoming record, “20Ten.”

“The Internet’s completely over,” Prince told the Mirror. “[It’s] like MTV. At one time MTV was hip and suddenly it became outdated.”

The “Purple Rain” rocker is putting his money where his mouth is. Rather than use contemporary outlets like iTunes to release his new material, Prince is going an unconventional route: “20Ten” will be released abroad as a free giveaway in certain newspapers around Europe.


The singer has also blasted the intellectual value of the ‘Net.

“All these computers and digital gadgets are no good,” said the singer, who also shut down his official website. “They just fill your head with numbers and that can’t be good for you.”

That’s right, the internet is sooo 2009 – newspapers are the hip new hotness.  Also, all the ones and zeroes inside your iPod can leak into your brain and contaminate it with math (says the man who titled his latest album “20Ten”).

I know who I’m not going to be asking for stock tips…

July 7th, 2010 at 11:32am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Media,Music,Technology

Murder Ballad

This whole story is like a Nick Cave song…

One hundred fifteen years ago this month, on open land now occupied by warehouses and office buildings, a bantam of a man mounted the gallows built in his dishonor. He raised his hat and bowed before the 6,000 people gathered to see the floor beneath him drop. He carried a small Bible.

A trial six months earlier had laid out how this ne’er-do-well of 22, Peter DeGraff, had charmed a poor, simple woman named Ellen Smith. How she followed him around town like a puppy after their child was lost at birth. How he avoided her, accused her of being with other men, muttered that he’d like to kill her. How he sent her a note fraught with misspellings one day, sweetly requesting she meet him by a spring close to where people now play tennis, down the hill from the Zinzendorf Hotel, long gone.

How he shot her through the heart, his gun so close that its powder singed the outfit she had chosen for what she thought would be a romantic reconciliation. How she was not yet 20.

DeGraff fled for a while, but eventually returned to town for reasons unknown and was captured. All the while he maintained his innocence, even though his sweet note had been found tucked in the bosom of poor Ellen Smith.

The solemn words of a few dignitaries on the scaffold did little to stem the giddy mood coursing through the large crowd, though some paused long enough to join in singing the hymn “Am I a Soldier of the Cross?” DeGraff sang along, a rope around his neck.

Then with his last words the condemned man finally confessed to murdering the uneducated maid, saying, “The only words she said after I shot were, ‘Lord have mercy on me.’ ”

DeGraff implored his listeners to stay away from whiskey, bad women and dice. He shook hands with everyone on the scaffold, including his two brothers. And just before his pale face disappeared behind a black hood, he handed his hat and his Bible to his brother Lee.

Moments later, he was dancing on air. Then he was hanging limp, a human exclamation point to the last public hanging in Forsyth County.


Finally, there is the murder ballad called “Poor Ellen Smith.” Often and perhaps wrongly attributed to Peter DeGraff, the song rang out from front porches and concert halls, its haunting words recorded over the years by everyone from the Kingston Trio to Neko Case.

Poor Ellen Smith, how was she found?

Shot through the heart lying dead on the ground.


For many years the connection meant nothing to [DeGraff’s great-great nephew Randy] Furches. But after hearing “Poor Ellen Smith” for the first time a year or so ago, he felt moved to write some verses clearly stating that Peter DeGraff was the killer, but also suggesting he was more in love with his victim than the record suggests.

The lyrics new and old echoed through The Garage, where young performers waited for their turn on stage and a massive silver fan stirred the smoky air.

Now I’m in jail, a prisoner am I,

But I know God is with me, hears every cry.

The morning after Mr. Furches’s performance, his mother received a phone call from one of her DeGraff cousins, Earsley Nifong Fulton, who had just read a story in The Winston-Salem Journal about his version of “Poor Ellen Smith.” By the way, she said in passing, she had this old Bible, and Peter DeGraff’s name is in the back of it.


The back flap bears the signature of Peter DeGraff, and the date 1893, the year he was imprisoned and convicted. Also appearing are the handwritten words, “This is for God that sav my sol.”

Once again, I have no particular point, it’s just a fascinating little slice of lore and American gothic.

February 3rd, 2009 at 11:32am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Music

Steve Martin, Clawhammer Banjo Master

I’m actually not kidding…

In his mercurial career Mr. Martin, 63, has gone from manic, rabbit-eared stand-up comedian to introspective memoirist. He has made movies for Carl Reiner (“The Jerk”) and David Mamet (“The Spanish Prisoner”) alike. Through his many incarnations a banjo has never been far from his reach, whether the instrument was an integral part of his act or a tool to help him unwind in private.

Now Mr. Martin is once again in the musician’s role as he releases an album called “The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo.” The record (which is being sold exclusively on, until April 26, when it also will be released elsewhere) is a token of his affection for bluegrass, with appearances by performers like Vince Gill and Dolly Parton. But it is also an opportunity to show off one of his less celebrated, least commercial skills, and to reimmerse himself in a musical genre he never fully gave up.

“It’s a secret world,” he said of bluegrass in an interview at his “SNL” dressing room, where his banjo sat beside him in its case like a baby in a bassinet. “It’s a big world, but it’s thin. And it doesn’t make the news, which is actually quite fantastic.”

Mr. Martin, who came of age in Orange County, Calif., in the early 1960s, recalled the era as one when folk groups like the Kingston Trio and bluegrass bands like the Dillards were at their peak. Having decided to become an entertainer, Mr. Martin seized on the banjo as one more element he could add to an all-purpose act.

“I needed everything,” said Mr. Martin, who in person is more reserved than his on-screen characters but excitable once he starts talking about music. “I did jokes, I did juggling, did magic. I put the banjo in just really to fill time, so I’d have enough to call it a show.”


[S]tarting in 2001 he began a banjo resurgence. That year Earl Scruggs, the bluegrass pioneer, asked him to play on a recording of the song “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” for the album “Earl Scruggs and Friends.” In 2007 he contributed an original composition, “The Crow,” to the Tony Trischka album “Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular.”


Among country and bluegrass musicians, Mr. Martin is regarded as a master of a difficult five-fingered playing style known as clawhammer or frailing, in which the instrument’s strings are pushed down by fingernails, rather than pulled up with picks.

“I know I can’t play it,” said Mr. Scruggs, for whom the traditional three-fingered Scruggs style is named. “So it’s a challenge for me.”

There you have it: Steve Martin has mastered a banjo style that even Earl Scruggs can’t play.  And no-one even knows about it.

1 comment February 2nd, 2009 at 10:12pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Music,Weirdness

Important Public Service Announcement

Today only is your opportunity to request a free Dr Pepper coupon, in honor of the release of Guns ‘N’ Roses long-awaited new album, Chinese Democracy.  You don’t have to buy it, or listen to it, or even like Guns ‘N’ Roses.  All you have to do is go here.

What are you waiting for?

November 23rd, 2008 at 12:09am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Music

John McCain Keeps Lawyers Busy

McCain and the GOP respect copyright laws about as much as they respect campaign finance laws (and eavesdropping laws, and torture laws, and habeas corpus laws…):

Jackson Browne is suing John McCain for using the song “Running on Empty” in a campaign ad — and the veteran rocker is also calling the candidate a great pretender when it comes to standing up for constitutional rights.

Browne, one of rock music’s most famous activists for liberal causes, is “incensed” that the presumptive Republican candidate for president has been using Browne’s signature 1977 song “Running on Empty” in campaign commercials, according to the singer-songwriter’s attorney. Browne filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against both McCain and the Republican National Committee on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles seeking a permanent injunction prohibiting the use of the forlorn arena anthem or any other Browne compositions, as well as damages.


[Browne lawyer Lawrence] Iser said the lawsuit “is not politically motivated. It’s a copyright infringement lawsuit, pure and simple, but the fact that Sen. McCain has used this song in a hit-piece on Barack Obama is anathema to Jackson.”

Iser claims the McCain campaign has a track record of using music without permission.

“They used a John Mellencamp song until he made them stop and he used an ABBA song and a Frankie Valli song — it’s ridiculous and it’s setting a terrible example,” Iser said. “It’s shocking that they don’t even attempt to get permission. There’s no copyright difference between using a song to sell cars or by people running for president. The music industry continues to suffer due to lack of respect for intellectual property rights, and a candidate for president has a duty to lead by example and ensuring their campaign does as well. The copyright protections are derived from the Constitution itself.”

And let us not forget when they ripped off Wayne’s World, too.  So much for the GOP being the pro-commerce, law-and-order party – they’re more like the Napster party.

August 15th, 2008 at 08:54pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Elections,McCain,Music

Monday Media Blogging – Tom Lehrer Edition

I don’t know if any of you young ‘uns have heard of Tom Lehrer, whose birthday was earlier this month, but he’s a right treat.  The hard part is settling on just which songs to choose from…

The Masochism Tango

The Vatican Rag

The Elements

And that’s not even including New Math, The Irish Ballad, or his signature song, Poisoning Pigeons In The Park…

3 comments April 28th, 2008 at 07:27am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Monday Media Blogging,Music

Wonderful Terribleness

This is absolutely delightful:

Some years ago, a group of frustrated people in Scotland decided that the pleasure of playing in an orchestra should not be limited to those who are good enough to do so, but should be available to the rankest of amateurs. So we founded the Really Terrible Orchestra, an inclusive orchestra for those who really want to play, but who cannot do so very well. Or cannot do so at all, in some cases.

My own playing set the standard. I play the bassoon, even if not quite the whole bassoon. I have never quite mastered C-sharp, and I am weak on the notes above the high D. In general, I leave these out if they crop up, and I find that the effect is not unpleasant. I am not entirely untutored, of course, having had a course of lessons in the instrument from a music student who looked quietly appalled while I played. Most of the players in the orchestra are rather like this; they have learned their instruments at some point in their lives, but have not learned them very well. Now such people have their second chance with the Really Terrible Orchestra.

The announcement of the orchestra’s founding led to a great wave of applications to join. Our suspicion that there were many people yearning to play in an orchestra but who were too frightened or too ashamed to do anything about it, proved correct. There was no audition, of course, although we had toyed with the idea of a negative audition in which those who were too good would be excluded. This proved to be unnecessary. Nobody like that applied to join.

Some of the members were very marginal musicians, indeed. One of the clarinet players, now retired from the orchestra for a period of re-evaluation, stopped at the middle B-flat, before the instrument’s natural break. He could go no higher, which was awkward, as that left him very few notes down below. Another, a cellist, was unfortunately very hard of hearing and was also hazy on the tuning of the strings. As an aide-mémoire, he had very sensibly written the names of the notes in pencil on the bridge. This did not appear to help.


Our initial efforts were dire, but we were not discouraged. Once we had mastered a few pieces — if mastered is the word — we staged a public concert. We debated whether to charge for admission, but wisely decided against this. That would be going too far.

So should we go to the other extreme and pay people to come? There was some support for this, but we decided against it. Instead, we would give the audience several free glasses of wine before the concert. That, it transpired, helped a great deal.

We need not have worried. Our first concert was packed, and not just with friends and relations. People were intrigued by the sheer honesty of the orchestra’s name and came to see who we were. They were delighted. Emboldened by the rapturous applause, we held more concerts, and our loyal audience grew. Nowadays, when we give our annual concert at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the hall is full to capacity with hundreds of music-lovers. Standing ovations are two-a-penny.


Even greater heights were scaled. We made a CD and to our astonishment people bought it. An established composer was commissioned to write a piece for us. We performed this and recorded it at a world premiere, conducted by the astonished composer himself. He closed his eyes. Perhaps he heard the music in his head, as it should have been. This would have made it easier for him.

There is now no stopping us. We have become no better, but we plow on regardless. This is music as therapy, and many of us feel the better for trying. We remain really terrible, but what fun it is. It does not matter, in our view, that we sound irretrievably out of tune. It does not matter that on more than one occasion members of the orchestra have actually been discovered to be playing different pieces of music, by different composers, at the same time. I, for one, am not ashamed of those difficulties with C-sharp. We persist. After all, we are the Really Terrible Orchestra, and we shall go on and on. Amateurs arise – make a noise.

I just love this. It’s a lot like my approach to softball and blogging.

1 comment March 10th, 2008 at 07:13am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Music,Weirdness

Poll Of The Week

Rick Astley would never…



(From c’est chic)

March 8th, 2008 at 10:21pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Music,Polls

“Trapped In The Closet” Explained!

After reading this NYT story and this blog post on R. Kelly’s bizarre hip-hopera serial epic, “Trapped In The Closet,” it has finally become clear to me: He’s laying the groundwork for an insanity defense.

August 18th, 2007 at 05:05pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Music,Weirdness

NY Jets Have The Big Mo’ On Their Side

And by “Mo'”, of course I mean “Mozart”:

Instead of blasting hip-hop, rap and hard rock on their sideline speakers at Hofstra, a tradition that began last summer with the arrival of innovative coach Eric Mangini, the Jets have altered their play list, mixing in classical music-namely Mozart-with their old standbys.

It makes for an almost surreal setting: 300-pound men crashing into each other, with gentle melodies in the background. It’s a ballet of behemoths.

The ever-meticulous Mangini, always looking for a psychological or physical edge, isn’t playing classical music to entertain the 3,000 or so fans who show up every day to watch practice. There’s a method to his Mozart.

“From different studies, they assume … Mozart’s music and brain waves are very similar, and it stimulates learning,” he said. “They play it in a lot of schools around the country-kind of underneath, very low-so I thought if that’s the case, why not give it a shot?”

Scientists believe that listening to Mozart can help improve concentration and the ability to make intuitive decisions. They say the music helps both sides of the brain to work together. Fourteen years ago, a study revealed a significant increase in college students’ IQs after they listened to Mozart’s “Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major.”


The Jets usually play Mozart during the low-intensity drills, when the team splits up into individual units and the coaches are stressing mental work over physical. In team drills, when the speed picks up, they crank up the music, blasting everything from rock to rap. They do it to simulate crowd noise, forcing the players to increase their concentration amid the ear-splitting din.

It’s no secret what music the players prefer.

“Mozart, Beethoven, guys aren’t feeling that,” linebacker Jonathan Vilma said, smiling. Said defensive end Shaun Ellis: “It kind of puts you to sleep a little bit. I’m not complaining about it. They say it helps learning. As long as we get our music at the end of the day, it’s okay.”


Some experts believe that early childhood exposure to Mozart improves mental development, which explains the growing toy market. Mangini bought Baby Mozart for his two young sons, and it got him thinking about possible benefits on the football field. Not everyone is convinced that it has a benefit.

“It’s a very intriguing question,” said John Murray, a Florida-based sports psychologist. “My hat’s off to the coach for being creative, but I’m hesitant to take a strong stand either way. If it’s not pleasurable for the players, it’s not a good working environment.”

He paused.

“Then again,” Murray added, “if the players are upset with Mozart, maybe they’ll get angry and play better.”

Hey, it can’t hurt, can it? Maybe there’ll be a Superbowl showdown with the Tampa Bay Bachaneers.

July 31st, 2007 at 11:35am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Music,Sports

What Josh Marshall Says

I can’t argue with this:

Okay, I think we may have both the necessary and sufficient reason why Hillary Clinton shouldn’t be allowed to be president: her campaign song is by Celine Dion. Truly too horrifying to comtemplate.

Seriously, what on Earth was she thinking? Why not just go with Michael Bolton or Kenny G? I’m sure there are lots of people who think she’- wonderful, but I’m pretty sure I’ve never met any. Why pick a singer who is synonymous with awfulness that begs to be ridiculed?

7 comments June 19th, 2007 at 05:31pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Clinton,Democrats,Elections,Music,Politics


By way of Donita, I give you The Zimmers, talking about their g-g-generation:

Lead singer is 90, and the cool-looking bearded guy is 100 (Buster Martin, England’s oldest working citizen). By the way, The shadowy and mysterious Codename V. informs me that those wheeled walkers are called “Zimmer frames” in the UK.

And if that’s not enough to make you all warm and fuzzy…

Erik Estrada has received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Estrada, best known for playing California Highway Patrol Officer Frank “Ponch” Poncherello in “CHiPs” was accompanied by family members, comedian Paul Rodriguez and highway patrol officials during a Thursday afternoon ceremony.

The 58-year-old said his appearance on “CHiPs’ satisfied two of his dreams.

“One, of course, a certain amount of success in the entertainment business, for which I really am extremely grateful and I’m very proud,” Estrada said. “But equally important, it represents my childhood dream of becoming a police officer.”

Estrada recently became a reserve officer for the Muncie, Ind., police department as part of his participation in the CBS reality television series “Armed & Famous.”

I’m feeling better already.

April 21st, 2007 at 11:16am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Music,TV


Very interesting story on Sunday’s WaPo: They conducted an experiment wherein world-class violinist Josh Bell busked energetically and anonymously on a $3.5 million Strad during the morning rush hour at the L’Enfant Metro station.

He made… about thirty bucks, and only seven people even stopped to listen. In short, almost no-one noticed that this was no ordinary street musician.

I thought the most telling observation was that every single kid who passed by during that time realized that something was up, which the writer attributed to their untouched purity and openness to beauty or something like that, but I don’t think that’s the reason. I think the real reason has to do with their sense of context, or lack thereof. Their parents “know” that any halfway decent musician would not be playing for spare change at a Metro stop, but the kids don’t. So they have no preconceived notions about what the performer’s level of quality must be. They also have not been hardened by years of hurrying past street musicians on the way to work.

I wish I could say that I would rise above my surroundings and recognize the beauty of the performance, but I’m not entirely sure that I would even recognize it if I were tipped off beforehand. I can see beauty in the must mundane and grungy surroundings, but I can’t hear it.

2 comments April 9th, 2007 at 11:57am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Music

Music Question

What would happen if…

mated with…
The Darkness?

6 comments February 23rd, 2007 at 11:27pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Music,Weirdness

What’s Going On?

A sample of Linda Perry’s early work.

In today’s NY Daily News Gatecrasher column:

Songwriter-producer Linda Perry is sometimes credited with “creating” Pink, and helped propel Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani and James Blunt to superstardom.

But the pop kingmaker can’t find a front woman for a new album’s worth of songs she has written in the voice of a black lesbian.

“The process has been a real struggle,” a source tells us. “She has been auditioning all hot black lesbians to sing her songs, but is having absolutely no luck at all.”

Perry, who fronted ’90s band 4 Non Blondes, wanted to create a “racier” kind of artist, says the music insider.

Related: How much better would “American Idol” be if it were just black lesbians?

This could just be an insider doing Perry a disservice, but this project sounds awfully cynical and exploitative to me. If it were Linda Perry saying, “I want to tell the black lesbian’s story, which is underrepresented in today’s (and yesterday’s) music,” that’d be one thing. But this sounds a lot more like, “Black lesbians are Teh Hawt!!! All the kewl kids will want to buy black lesbian music!” to me. Again, maybe Perry is thinking the former and Teh Hawtness is the only frame of reference that Gatecrasher’s source has.

Related: Almost anything would make American Idol better. Personally, I would watch it if it was a competition to find the worst singer in America. Hell, I might even compete – my acapella rendition of the original Star Trek theme is spectacular.

UPDATE: I have just been informed that, as I suspected, Linda Perry is not, in fact, a black lesbian. More like a half-Brazilian lesbian. So that kinda tips the scales a bit further towards the more cynical interpretation for me.

3 comments February 1st, 2007 at 11:35am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Monday Media Blogging,Music,Quotes

My New Hero

I mean, yeah, Stephen Colbert is pretty cool and everything, but this here is pretty hard to top:

After performing his hit “Gold Digger,” with its old Ray Charles sample, [Kanye West] played old-school D.J., giving the crowd a snippet of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together,” then Michael Jackson’s “Rock With You.”

“I’m going to play you one of my favorite songs,” he then said. “I swear it’s not a joke.” It was “Take on Me,” by Ah-Ha, one of the most fey radio hits of the 80’s. Mr. West did a New Wave dance around the stage, looking as serious as he said he was, and the crowd… appreciated the perfection of the counterintuitive cheesiness.

Awesome. I don’t get real excited about live shows, but I wish I could’ve seen that one…

4 comments May 2nd, 2006 at 11:41pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Music,Weirdness

Great Moments In Music Appreciation

I just realized that the entire plot of the song, “Over And Over Again” by The Dave Clark Five can be summed up as, “I went to a really crowded dance. I saw this really cute girl and asked her out, but she said she was waiting for her boyfriend.”

Granted, this aspect of the plot had always registered on me, but for some reason I had always assumed that the song kept going after that. It doesn’t.

Who says writing about music is hard?

7 comments March 2nd, 2006 at 04:04pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Music

Are We Not Crap?

There. Is. No. God.

Hat tip to Bill… I think.

5 comments January 24th, 2006 at 08:11pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Music,Weirdness

Music Appreciation

While I am not as serious a music fan as some people, I thought I would just take a moment to mention a couple of things that I am musically grateful for:

1. That Anne Bancroft’s character in The Graduate was not named Mrs. Abramowitz.

2. That there were no Taco Bells when Chuck Barry wrote “You Never Can Tell.”

Transmission ends.

1 comment January 9th, 2006 at 09:34pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Music

Monday MP3 Blogging

Four-year-old twins, The Humbards, singing “I’ve Found A Hiding Place.”

Horrible, just horrible.

If you feel like screaming and beating your head against a wall by the one minute mark, do not worry, this is completely normal. Refrain from hurting yourself and instead hurt others by turning up VERY LOUD and pretend to feel the glory and power of the twins.

Thanks (sort of) to

1 comment November 7th, 2005 at 11:41pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Monday Media Blogging,Music

2D Loot!

Inspired by the various Worst Album Covers Of All Time posts floating around, and the truly amazing toy photo collection that Phila linked to, I felt compelled to offer up my own pathetically inadequate contributions to the genre. I have arbitrarily decided to divvy them up between two-dimensional and three-dimensional kitschy loot.

All credit to the shadowy and mysterious Codename V. for spotting the album covers at the South Side Goodwill store, but the plaque is all me.

A very daring and provocative cover, I must say! Black and white and color!

From the back of the Woody Simmons album, and the point at which I became convinced Woody was not a guy (turns out I was right)…

The Archers are apparently from The Eighties Future, and are ready to blast off in their Big Art Deco rocket just as soon as they finish their sultry pose-down. Well, Blue and Pink are kinda sultry; Red just looks kinda baffled. Apparently Hands In Jacket Pockets = Sultry; Hands In Pants Pockets = Baffled. I must try to keep this in mind, no matter how hot it gets in the summer.

There’s really not a whole lot I can add to this. It’s just… horrible. So I had to have it. Posted by Picasa

5 comments November 5th, 2005 at 06:43pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Music,Photoblogging,Weirdness


On my overall “People I Respect” rankings, Kevin “K-Fed” Spears, er, Federline is way down near the bottom, maybe a notch or two below Paris Hilton and a notch or two above Kobe Bryant.

So, naturally I enjoyed the rather choice mockery from the NY Daily News’s Lowdown gossip column:

A track titled “Y’all Ain’t Ready” – from Mr. Britney Spears’ as-yet-unreleased hip-hop album – has hit the World Wide Web.

In the song, the 27-year-old father of three boasts about his status-heavy marriage, his notoriety and his sales ambitions, and even demands that we call him, well, “Daddy.”

To wit: “Back then they called me K-Fed/ But you can call me Daddy instead.”

Over a crude beat, Daddy raps: “Go ahead and say whatcha wanna/ I’m gonna sell about 2 mil, oh, then I’m a goner … I know you all wish you was in my position/Cause I keep gettin’ in situations that you wish you was in, cousin … Steppin’ in this game and y’all ain’t got a clue … Getting anxious? Go take a peep/ I’m starrin’ in your magazines now every day and week … But maybe baby you can wait and see/ Until then all these Pavarottis followin’ me.”

To be fair, “paparazzi” is a very difficult word to pronounce if you’re an unemployed backup dancer from Fresno.

Daddy’s debut was greeted by a chorus of scathing reviews.

“That’s not hot,” wrote one Internet critic. “My ears are bleeding,” noted another. “You’re sure this isn’t something off Vanilla Ice’s ‘Hard to Swallow’ album?” asks a third. “I’m about ready to start shaving stripes in my eyebrows.”

Neither reps for Daddy nor, for that matter, Mommy – who reportedly laughed derisively when she heard the track – responded to Lowdown’s detailed messages.

I think the last paragraph is my favorite.

Yes. Yes, it is. That, and calling photographers “Pavarottis.” BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

3 comments November 3rd, 2005 at 09:25am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Music,Wankers


Welcome to The Land Of Badwrong.

Just… No. This is unacceptable. Posted by Picasa

And speaking of things that are unacceptable:

In the immortal words of Yoko Ono, “Aieeeee!” A fierce primal scream – of the kind Ms. Ono is famous for as a performance and recording artist – is surely the healthiest response to the agony of “Lennon,” the jerry-built musical shrine that opened last night at the Broadhurst Theater.


This drippy version of his life, written and directed with equal clunkiness by Don Scardino and featuring a Muzak-alized assortment of Lennon’s non-“Beatles” songs, suggests that he was just a little lost boy looking for love in all the wrong places until he found Ms. Ono and discovered his inner adult. When his adoring fans and a hitherto tame press turned on him in the late-1960’s, Lennon told a journalist that his public had never seen him clearly to begin with, that even when he was a schoolboy, those who actually knew him never “thought of me as cuddly.”

Yet cuddly is how Lennon (who is portrayed by five actors) emerges here, like a pocket-size elf doll who delivers encouraging mantras of self-help and good will when you scratch his tummy. “We’re all one,” “Love is the answer,” “Be real” – these and other Lennonisms are projected in repeated succession on a screen before the show begins. Little that follows goes beyond such fortune-cookie wisdom.

And this was necessary why???

(And should I be concerned that someone found my blog via a Google search for “clinical assholism”?)

8 comments August 15th, 2005 at 06:04pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Eli's Obsession With The Google,Music,Weirdness


From NYMary…

List ten songs that you are currently digging…it doesn’t matter what genre they are from, whether they have words, or even if they’re no good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying right now. Post these instructions, the artists, and the ten songs in your blog. Then tag five other people to see what they’re listening to.

Well, I generally just let my iPod cycle through in alphabetical order at work, so I don’t really hone in on any specific songs. Generally speaking, when I need to put together a quick playlist at home, it’s usually New Pornographers, Killers, and Keane. I’ll try to “current-load” my favorite songs, but this is probably more of a mix of current favorites and all-time favorites, in no particular order:

1. “It’s Only Divine Right”, by The New Pornographers. Love the keyboard on this one. They have at least two other songs that could easily go on this list as well.

2. “Mr. Brightside”/”Somebody Told Me”, by The Killers. Honestly, I just cannot choose here. Both absolutely great songs – I like “Somebody Told Me” more musically, but I just can’t resist the bitterness and anger of “Mr. Brightside”.

3. “Bend And Break”, by Keane. I also like “Somewhere Only We Know”, but I like the melody of this one better. Man, what a voice. Even sounds good live on SNL, which is rare, IMO.

4. “Hatred”, by The Kinks. Not sure why this song never became popular. I find it catchy, and angry and bitter is always a plus.

5. “Asleep In Perfection”, by Augie March. Just exquisite. Beautiful, beautiful song.

6. “Skin Deep”, by The Stranglers. Smoothly sinister in both lyrics and music. Had a pretty keen video, too.

7. “I Go To Work”, by Kool Moe Dee. I’m not a huge rap fan, but the lyrics are great, and the horns really make it work musically. Best. Rap. Song. Ever. I’m sure that’s probably blasphemy, but what the hell.

8. “Please Remember Me”, by The Swans. I found this song by accident, mislabeled as “100” by Nick Cave, who my girlfriend and I are big fans of. It turned out to not be Cave, or even anyone in Cave’s orbit, and my girlfriend drove several huge Cave fans mad trying to figure out what it was. It’s very spooky and haunting, and everyone I know of who’s heard it has really dug it, including the Cave fans.

9. “Sonne”, by Rammstein. I really like Rammstein, but most of their songs are relentlessly driving and ugly-in-a-good-way. “Sonne”, however, has a chorus that mingles their usual German gutturals with very ethereal female vocals, and the effect is just beautiful. And the video where they’re the Seven Dwarves and Snow White is a sexual sadist who shoots up the gold they mine, well, that’s just icing on the cake. They also have a video with soccer-playing ants…

10. “I Believe In A Thing Called Love”, by The Darkness. Very catchy, and I like how the lead singer’s voice always seems to be just on the verge of spinning completely out of control. And yet another cool video. If this video were somehow beamed back in time to the 70s, these guys would have been worshipped as GODS.

Really, there’s at least 10 more songs that could easily go on this list – I think it’s probably just a matter of what day you catch me on. Some honorable mentions:

Rolling Stones – “Paint It Black”
Oingo Boingo – “Not My Slave”
Bach – “Singet Dem Herrn Ein Neues Lied”
AC/DC – “Thunderstruck”
Erasure – “I Love To Hate You”
Benny Goodman – “Sing Sing Sing (With A Swing)”
Nick Cave – “Nature Boy”, “Supernaturally”, “There She Goes My Beautiful World”
Delerium – “A Poem For Byzantium”
Sisters Of Mercy – “This Corrosion”
Europe – “The Final Countdown”
The Jack Rubies – “Wrecker Of Engines”

And so on (okay, more than 10)…

I’m not sure I can come up with 5 people who haven’t been tagged already either, so if you want to list your Current Top Ten here or at your own place, please feel free.

8 comments July 24th, 2005 at 10:21pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Favorites,Memes,Music


This. Must. Not. Stand.

Move over Max Bialystock. Broadway’s foremost wheeler-dealer in “The Producers” could be joined by another man enamored by big money. Producers Barry and Fran Weissler and Mark Burnett, with an assist from real-estate mogul Donald Trump, are developing a musical based on “The Apprentice,” Trump’s hit NBC television series.

“Donald Trump is a larger-than-life character, and the Broadway musical stage may be the only medium large enough for him,” Weissler, producer of the current revivals of “Chicago” and “Sweet Charity,” said Friday in a statement.

Please excuse me – I need to gouge out my eyes and then take a very long, very hot, very scrubby shower.

May 20th, 2005 at 04:01pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Music,TV,Wankers,Weirdness

It’s My Midget And I’ll Blog If I Want To…

NY Daily News reports on Guitar World’s feature on rockers’ “Spinal Tap moments”:

“We were doing drugs in the dressing room,” says Wood, remembering a concert in the early ’80s. “Suddenly the tour manager stuck his head around the door and said, ‘The police are here!’ We all panicked and threw our drugs in the toilet.

“Then Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland walked in.”


Ozzy Osbourne remembers when he lost his patience with the midget Black Sabbath hired for a tour. “He showed up late, he drank….It got to me after awhile. So, one night, when he wanted to get on the tour bus, I threw him in the luggage compartment.

Somebody grabbed me and said: ‘What you’re doing is not only illegal but it’s inhumane.’

“I lost it. I yelled: ‘He’s my [bleeping] midget and I’ll [bleeping] do what I want with him.’ There was a silence and then a small voice emerged from the luggage compartment: ‘He’s right: I’m his midget and he can do what he wants with me.'”


Keith Richards remembers shooting a video that called for tramps with dogs. The director thought a dog should be “weird” or “disfigured,” so “they called up some agency and the word came back ‘We can get you a lame dog by noon. Which leg would you want missing?'”

I am sooo in the wrong business.

1 comment May 19th, 2005 at 10:29pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Favorites,Music,Weirdness

On My iPod… Right Now!

I really, really dig “I Love To Hate You”, by Erasure – also “Hatred”, by The Kinks.

Does this make me a bad person? Does liking “Oh L’Amour” and “Chains of Love” balance it out?

6 comments April 18th, 2005 at 10:27am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Music

Presidential iPod Follow-Up

I was over at The Heretik, preparing my selections for President Bush’s iPod, when I realized I had entirely too many (some of them may be more appropriate for America’s iPod, but hey, L’etat, c’est lui). So I will post the complete list here, and attempt to whittle down to a Top Ten for there and Agitprop’s Presidential iPod Commission.

This is still not an absolutely complete list – some people already picked some of my selections, and some of them were perhaps too obscure to recognize – but it’s pretty close. Here it is, in all its tedious alphabetical glory (I so totally suck at editing…):

Beck – Loser
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy – You & Me & The Bottle Makes Three Tonight
Blotto – I Wanna Be A Lifeguard
Bobby Brown – My Prerogative
Boys Don’t Cry – I Wanna Be A Cowboy
Calloway – I Wanna Be Rich
Chicago – Hard To Say I’m Sorry
David Bowie – I’m Afraid Of Americans
David Byrne – Miss America
Dead Can Dance – Fortune Presents Gifts Not According To The Book
Depeche Mode – Personal Jesus
Devo – Freedom Of Choice
Disturbed – Down With The Sickness, Violence Fetish
Doobie Brothers – Jesus Is Just Alright With Me
Edith Piaf – Non Je Ne Regrette Rien
Eels – Novocaine For The Soul
EMF – Unbelievable
Erasure – Let’s Take One More Rocket To The Moon (Bitches!), Love To Hate You, Ship Of Fools
Europe – The Final Countdown
Eurythmics – Doubleplusgood, Would I Lie To You
Fabulous T-Birds – Tuff Enuff
Falco – Egoist
Fat Boy Slim – Weapon Of Choice
Fleetwood Mac – Little Lies
Flying Lizards – I Want Money
Fun Boy Three – The Lunatics (Have Taken Over the Asylum)
Gap Band – You Dropped The Bomb On Me
Gob – Give Up The Grudge
Heaven 17 – We Don’t Need This Fascist Groove Thing
Hooters – All You Zombies
Howard Jones – No One is to Blame, Things Can Only Get Better
Hubert Kah – Welcome Machine Gun
Jane’s Addiction – Been Caught Stealin’
Jethro Tull – Thick as a Brick
John Lennon – Instant Karma
Julian Cope – World Shut Your Mouth
JXL/Elvis – A Little Less Conversation
Kinks – Hatred
Lindsey Buckingham – Wrong
Living Colour – Cult of Personality
Love & Rockets – Holy Fool
MC 900 Ft Jesus – If I Only Had A Brain
Midnight Oil – The Dead Heart
Ministry – Jesus Built My Hot Rod
Neil Diamond – Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show
New Pornographers – It’s Only Divine Right, The Laws Have Changed
Nick Cave – Bring It On, Red Right Hand
Nine Inch Nails – Head like a Hole
Oingo Boingo – Nothing Bad Ever Happens To Me, War Again, (Let’s Take The) Whole Day Off
Pat Boone – Crazy Train
Paul Hardcastle – Nineteen
Paul Simon – The Myth Of Fingerprints
Pet Shop Boys – Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots Of Money)
REM – Bang And Blame, Superman, World Leader Pretend
Sex Pistols – My Way
Simon & Garfunkel – Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream
Sisters Of Mercy – This Corrosion
Squirrel Nut Zippers – Bad Businessman, Fat Cat Keeps Getting Fatter, Hell
Stan Ridgeway – The Last Honest Man
Star Wars – Imperial March
Talking Heads – Burning Down The House, Puzzlin’ Evidence, Road To Nowhere, Slippery People
They Might Be Giants – You And Your Racist Friend
Timezone – World Destruction
Tom Waits – Earth Died Screaming
Village People – Macho Man
Violent Femmes – Lies
Wall Of Voodoo – Far Side of Crazy, Shouldn’t Have Given Him A Gun
Who – However Much I Booze
XTC – Dear God, Stupidly Happy

7 comments April 12th, 2005 at 06:47pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Music


More Hard-Hitting, Take-No-Prisoners White House Reportage From The New York Times!

How can we expect voters to make informed decisions without knowing what’s on the President’s iPod?

Mad props to Elisabeth Bumiller for digging deep into this story and refusing to let go until she had all the answers, and thank God there was an MP3 Throat willing to step forward with the goods.

In all fairness, his song selections seem unobjectionable to me, other than country not being my cuppa. But I’d respect him a lot more if he had Bubba Shot The Jukebox or You’re The Hangnail In My Life.

8 comments April 11th, 2005 at 07:43pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Media,Music,Wankers

Conclusive Proof That There Is No God

In the course of waiting on hold for 30+ minutes for Verizon dial-up tech support (after waiting 20 minutes for Verizon DSL support because their voice recognition system is on crack), I was subjected to a sax-heavy, muzakal rendition (perhaps I should say extraordinary rendition, it was that bad) of… wait for it…

“I Like The Way You Move”.

So saxy it hu-urts.

13 comments February 28th, 2005 at 11:07pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Music

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