Friday, May 28, 2010

Song of the Week (Talking Heads - Once in a LIfetime)

Before the advent of Youtube and the widespread dissemination of awesome music videos, the kid with a Limewire-pirated Talking Heads video was the one-eyed man in the land of the blind.

I could go on for hours about the merits and subtle nuances of Stop Making Sense: the groundbreaking Concert Music Video the Talking Heads put out in 1984. The Big Suit, when Tina Weymouth switches her pants for a hot skirt, David Byrne being David Byrne, etc. Many a late night was spent viewing this masterpiece with buddies, and creeping out girls with our unhealthy fascination with the "Big Suit" or the "Psycho Killer Dance".

"You may ask yourself - did I get here?"

You've all heard the song, and hopefully when possible you have employed one of many insanely rad David Byrne dance moves (as seen in the video):
1) The "How do I work this" arm pump
2) The "African arm chop" - one of my personal faves
3) The "80s Yuppie walk" - frequently seen at after-hours parties in the back room of Dorsia
4) The signature "Byrne Spasm" - often attempted, yet rarely replicated

I feel like I say this a lot: "This is my all-time favorite video" or some derivation of that. I'm pretty sure this really is my favorite video of all time. It's both superficial and introspective. It's both silly and serious. The only thing that could possibly make this video better guessed it...lasers. Or at least a jungle cat...maybe a jaguar or something. I watched this video on my Dell Inspiron desktop computer no less than 50 times...basically until Bonzi Buddy and Virtua-Guy corrupted the sh!t out of my hardrive. Thanks Jonas & Friends.

This song is the quintessential 80s Middle Aged-Angst anthem. I'm sure this song sponsored a host of mid-life crises throughout the world. I just actually had a mini-quarter-life-crisis listening to this song and thinking about a not-so-distant event.

I remember waking up and finding myself on a brown leather couch
I found myself in a different part of Dallas
I looked outside at a small gray automobile
I found myself in a familiar house, with a malicious cat
How did I get here? anxious...

In all seriousness, have a great Memorial Day Weekend. Better to wake up now than when you're 40.

Hope you Dig,

Friday, May 21, 2010

Song of the Week (Pink Floyd - Shine on You Crazy Diamond)

I struggled with what to pick for this week. So many things to discuss...ACL lineup announced, upcoming shows, awesome 80s songs, the Great Icing of Neil by Frosty the Snowman...I digress.

Alas, I kept coming back to another upcoming event which has caused me to re-listen to the catalog of an old friend: Pink Floyd. With Roger Waters coming in town this Fall, and with my shelling out an unreasonable sum of money for tickets (btw...I'd like to issue a big FU shout out to Ticketmaster), I thought it was a good time to celebrate the greatest Space Rock band of all time past, present and future.

Shine on You Crazy Diamond is much more than the not-so-subtle drug-induced anthem: Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds by the Beatles. This isn't a denouncement of the Beatles accomplishments, but simply an acknowledgment that "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" (LSD) back in the 60s is roughly the equivalent of my writing a song entitled "Ingrid in the Cellar with Emeralds" (ICE). For those of you who haven't been Ice'd yet, please visit:

Behold, an excerpt from the website comments section:
"We just had a heated debate about the rules of Icing:

One of my bros Iced another bro while he was in the shower. But the showering bro was prepared with an Ice of his own to Ice block. The first bro stole the Ice from the showering bro’s shower caddy, and Iced the defenseless showering bro.

Is this legal? Can one bro steal another bro’s Ice blocking Ice, and then proceed to Ice aforementioned bro?

Thanks for the help bros."

I feel your pain young's a very complex legal question indeed. As of yet, there is no legal precedent with which to draw a validated conclusion. I advise you not to seek the legal counsel of my friend Tom-bone, as he is tainted with the belief that it is legal to steal a bro's Ice and Ice his bro with his own Ice...not f'ing cool.

Apologies for the lengthy "Ice'ing" segue.

Shine on You Crazy Diamond is a tribute to the original singer/songwriter/guitarist and founding member of Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett. Syd Barrett recorded 2 albums with Pink Floyd, and then gradually degraded into mental and drug-induced insanity. While on tour, Syd would do things like gradually detune his guitar throughout a whole concert or strum one chord through a full set. The other members of Pink Floyd eventually became fed up and replaced Syd with David Gilmour. There is a famous story of the group recording the song: Shine on...and Syd actually entered the studio unannounced at the invitation of one of the engineers. No one from Pink Floyd recognized Syd because he had shaved off all of his hair and eyebrows, and was at this point fairly overweight. Roger Waters was the first to recognize him, and he began to cry.

Sorry to bring the party down, but I kinda think it adds a dimension to the song knowing a brief history of the origin.

"Well you wore out your welcome with random precision,
rode on the steel breeze.
Come on you raver, you seer of visions,
come on you painter, you piper, you prisoner, and shine."

Hope you Dig,

Friday, May 14, 2010

Song of the Week (Stan Bush - The Touch)

OK...I nearly lost it when I stumbled across this little gem in my search for inspirational 80s songs. Stan Bush is what happens when Van Halen gets REALLY into Saturday morning cartoons. Some of you (of the female persuasion) won't be able to relate. But I dream of a world where Saturday morning cartoons are held sacred, and a man will not be judged for recording Thundercats and Voltron on the Cartoon Network when he is in his late-20s. To quote a certain 9th grade football coach: "Sometimes I wake up in cold sweat just dreamin' about strappin' on the armor just one more time". For the record, I didn't make that up. My coach really said that to us. Clearly, he didn't have the touch...because half of us quit the team later that season. But his words ring true.

You know who does have the touch, aside from Stan Bush?


YOU got the touch. And, when all Hell's breakin' loose, You'll be ridin' the eye of the storm. You're fightin' fire with fire...YOU'RE A WINNER!

If there's one thing I know about You, it's that You're at your best when the goin' gets tough. I know because I've seen You put to the test, but it's never enough.

You remember when that guy, Coon, called you a fool? He said you were somebody's fool. Oh Contraire Coon...You're NOBODY's FOOL!

Hey Coon, does a fool know The Streets? F No he doesn't!
Would a fool break the rules? No F'ing way!
What about taking the heat? Are you kidding? Fools HATE taking the heat!

I this video Stan Bush shoots lasers from his guitar into a cartoon movie: 1986's Transformers. Between You and Me, I don't like all of these bandwagon jumpers claiming to like Transformers after seeing the CGI, Shia LaBoef-bag version a few years ago. Me and You were claiming allegiance to Optimus Prime years ago. We've been battling Decepticons since '86.

BTW...if any of you know the whereabouts of:
1) Stan Bush's laser shooting guitar which can seamlessly transition from reality to cartoon
2) Marty McFly's hooverboard from BTTF Part II
3) Flight of the Navigator's baller spaceship

Please let me know.

Shout out to all of You...please go do some WINNING this weekend!

Hope you Dig,

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Song of the Week (Insane Clown Posse - Miracles)

I would like to thank Benjamin (Bunny) Williams for his spirited essay on a truly awesome band: Band of Horses. Well played sir...thanks for bringing it.

As some of you know I attended Jazzfest last weekend. As is the case at many music festivals, my ears were bombarded with some serious radness. I won't get into all of my music-induced epiphanies (there were approximately 3), but the most important one was the fact that SOTW has been neglecting guitar music. That ends now...I week.

I try not to do this very much, as SOTW is a professional blog that focuses on awesome music and rad videos, but this song/video is just too awesomely bad not to mention.

If you do one thing today, watch this video. If you do two things today, watch this video again (for the record I have watched this video at least 10x).

Insane Clown Posse ("ICP" or "Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope") perform a type of hip-hop performance known as "horrorcore". The songs of Insane Clown Posse center thematically on the mythology of the Dark Carnival, which the duo claim is a spiritual force that has revealed a series of stories known as Joker's Cards. These stories each offer a specific lesson designed to change the "evil ways" of listeners before "the end consumes us all." Insane Clown Posse has a dedicated following, often referred to by the group as Juggalos and Juggalettes. -wikipedia

Are you f'ing kidding me?! As an aside, these guys have 2 platinum albums and 3 gold albums...WTF!

On to the song: "Miracles"

I have two theories about why this song was written, and I am not kidding when I say this:
1) These guys never made it past the 4th grade. If they had, they may have learned how magnets work or why their children look like them.
2) Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope are time travelers from 2,000 years ago, and although they learned how to rap and dress up like scary clowns, they never learned why a "f@ckin' rainbow forms after it rains".

My fave line from the song (this was INSANELY hard to decide):
"And I don't wanna talk to a scientist...y'all muthaf*ckas lyin' and gettin' me pissed!"

Seriously Shaggy 2 Dope?! Seriously!!!??? Why are they gettin' you pissed? Is it cuz they solve your precious miracles with logic?

When I heard this, it got me thinkin' about all the muthaf*ckas I know who keep lyin' and gettin' me pissed:
1) The Weather Man - you said it was 'posed to rain last lyin' muthaf*cka
2) This punk girl at Kinko's told me my presentations would be ready by 5:30pm...more like 8pm! Sh!t be gettin' me pissed!
3) O'Dowd (my neighbor) - muthaf*cka said he would call me if the bass was too loud...and then before I know it, cops is knockin' on my door! F you O'Dowd...gettin' me real f'n pissed!
4) My cat Sam - acted like he was gonna go out to the garage and eat his food like a good cat...muthaf*ckin' lyin'! Instead he went in hid under my parents' bed for 20 minutes. I'm gettin' pissed just thinking about that misbehavior...

I'll bet you thought I was gonna list ICP...I would have, if this song wasn't so awesome.

Bday shout out to Gordo and Tron. You guys is miracles...magic everywhere in dis Bitch...

Hope you Dig,