Friday, September 28

R&R Hall of Fame

It shouldn't exist in the first place, so it's silly to complain about the nominees. But still, c'mon, if you're going to have one, why not limit inductees to folks who actually play, I dunno, rock 'n' roll? This year's nominees are:

  • Leonard Cohen. Allegedly brilliant poet. Canadian. Doesn't rock.

  • The Beastie Boys. Crusaders for protecting our inallienable right to party, and rap pioneers. Not known for rocking.

  • The Dave Clark Five. At least they were a band, who played instruments, with a singer and all. But their biggest hit was the rather fey and unrocking "Glad All Over." The Monkees, terrible actors, half of whom were also terrible musicians, deserve a spot before the Dave Clark Five.

  • Madonna. I forget who said it, but she looks better than she sings, dances better than she looks, and we all have a cousin who dances better than she does. She's not untalented, but neither does she rock.

  • Afrika Bambaataa. Maybe belongs in some hall of fame. Certainly a Hip-hop HOF. Maybe even a generalized "Popular Music HOF." But with the rocking, not so much.

  • The Ventures. I guess, but there must be a few hundred bands deserving induction ahead of them.

  • Chic. Nile Rogers is a brilliant producer. But disco is, if not the opposite of rock, at least the coke-fueled, fun-house-mirror-distorted bastard cousin with only the bad DNA of some of rock's worst elements, such as crowd-pandering and dancing.

  • Donna Summer. No. See above, and just, no.

  • John Mellencamp. Sadly, the most defensible nominee on the list, his best work sounds like a cross between Bruce Springsteen and Neil Diamond, and I don't mean that in a good way. Sold more records than the Ramones, but has any band of note cited him as an influence? Would the course of rock be changed if you could (mercifully) go back in time and erase all his master tapes? If you let Johnny Cougar in, it's hard to defend keeping Bryan Adams out. Except that Bryan Adams is Canadian.

Thursday, September 27

Diamond Dave, master of the spoken word

Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys extended his career by going into the "spoken word" world, and Henry Rollins of Black Flag took the same route. And any number of rock lyricists have been touted as poets, though such claims are often dubious. (Read any Jim Morrison lately?)

Regardless of the merits of these artists, they all pale in comparision to the master of the spoken word, David Lee Roth. In their glory years, Van Halen often "broke it down," and Roth went from singing to talking. On the occasion of the Van Halen semi-reunion, we offer a retrospective, presented here in poetic form, of Diamond Dave as he spoke to listeners. Enjoy!

"Ain't Talking About Love"

I been to the edge
And there I stood and looked down
You know I lost a lot of friends there, baby
I got no time to mess around
So if you want it, I gotta cut you free, baby.

"Everybody Wants Some"

I like the way the line runs up the back of the stockings.
I've always liked those kind of high heels too.
No no no no, don't take 'em off, don't take... Leave 'em on, leave 'em on.

Yeah, that's it
A little more to the right, a little more.

"Mean Streets"

See, a gun is real easy in this desperate part of town
Turns you from hunted into hunter
You go and hunt somebody down

But hear me now
Somebody said, "Fair warning, Lord!"
Lord, strike that poor boy down.

"And The Cradle Will Rock"

Have you seen Junior's grades?


Take a look at this!

Hey, man, that suit is you!
You'll get some leg tonight for sure!
Tell us how you do!
(Come on, Dave, give me a break.)
Hey, hey, hey, hey, one break coming up!

"Hot for Teacher"

Hey, I heard you missed us. We're back!

I brought my pencil. Gimme something to write on...
Oh man, I think the clock is slow. I don't feel tardy.
Class dismissed!


Yeah, we're running a little bit hot tonight.

I can barely see the road from the heat coming off of it.
Ah, you reach down between my legs
Ease the seat back.

Previous Van Halen posts here and here.

UPDATE: This review says the reunion rocks.

Monday, September 24

Clear in Clearwater

This story from The Associated Press claims that Clearwater, Fla., has come to terms with being the hub of all things Hubbard. Here is a spooky quote about the influence of Scientology there:
"Now if you go to one of their events, you see more business leaders, more community leaders, more elected officials than any other event in the county. They recognize the church's value now; they see it was an integral part to the solutions of Clearwater."

Sunday, September 23

Let it be compares the bizarro appearance of Marcia Clark (of O.J. trial fame) and Phil Spector (of "Wall of Sound" fame and "allegedly killing a woman" infamy).

UPDATE: Spector may be off the hook; a judge has declared a mistrial. Maybe they can try again, this time investigating how Phil mucked up "Let It Be."

Friday, September 21

LISTS: Top 10 imperatively titled R.E.M. songs

Michael Stipe, an Army brat, likes to give marching orders to R.E.M. listeners (and we're not even counting "Life and How to Live It"). Here are his top 10 directives, based on the general advice and quality of the song:

1. Begin the Begin
2. Find the River
3. Why Not Smile
4. Belong
5. Drive
6. Stand
7. Try Not To Breathe
8. Get Up
9. Star Me Kitten
10. Bang and Blame

Thursday, September 20

Crazy in Carolina

A man rants to council members in Charlotte, N.C. Even the Boy Scouts in the audience may be frightened, as one board member says.

Wednesday, September 19

Google Office

Google is pimping what appears to be its version of Microsoft Office. (Go and play with the beta version.) Here's a three-slide presentation I threw together on its equivalent of PowerPoint.

Saturday, September 15

Happy birthday, Ganesh!

Today is Ganesh Chaturthi, known as the birthday of Ganesh, famed diety of Hinduism. The occasion is being marked here in the U.S.

Friday, September 14

Pluto, Mom in Disneyland fracas!

The only thing missing from this clip? This Dullard quote from a long-ago trip to Disneyland: "I listen to you. Now you shut up!"

Wednesday, September 12

It's always the drummer, isn't it?

Percussion-related music news:
  • The White Stripes have nixed a Western tour swing because drummer Meg White has "acute anxiety."
  • Led Zeppelin will play a reunion gig this fall with Jason Bonham sitting in on drums in place of dead dad John Bonham.

Tuesday, September 11

Oh, Canadia

I'm a bit late to the game here, but to continue the Dullard Gazette's appreciation of Canadian pop music, here's the lovely and talented Feist to bring some cheer to this otherwise bleak day:

Helpless dancers

If you need help deciding how to vote in our poll, check these out:

Monday, September 10

Stop me if you think that you've heard this one before

Help save the youth of Great Britain! If you happen to be in the greater Manchester area later this month, be sure to dress up like Morrissey and ride your bike (like in this Smiths video) to raise money for the famed Salford Lads Club.

Sunday, September 9

This woman's work ... now a commodity

It's not as stunning as The Jam shilling for Cadillac, but the use of "This Woman's Work" to promote "CSI" is still a surprise on two levels:
  • that Kate Bush would agree to let one of her songs be used to promote a TV show.
  • that someone at CBS successfully pitched the idea of a using a Kate Bush song to promote a show on network TV.
Watch the CBS promo here. Here's the original video of the song.

Friday, September 7

Madeleine L’Engle is no longer with us

The author of "A Wrinkle In Time" (among others) is dead at age 89. So it goes.

Thursday, September 6

Dumbest. Boycott. Ever.

"Land rights" advocates ask the world to boycott the Minneapolis airport over the Larry Craig scandal. They want airport police to apologize to the disgraced senator. I like this comment in response:

"If I am using a stall in a men's room, I consider that small rectangle of floor space to be mine, on a temporary basis, and would frown upon incursions by foreign toe-tapping shoes on to that property."

In other amusing Craig-related news, here's a clip of blogger Mike Rogers taking on Sean Hannity of Fox News infamy.

Tuesday, September 4

El Ron to be brought to justice?

Scientology is charged with fraud and extortion in Belgium.

Monday, September 3

Advantage: Musto

Just got back from three days of U.S. Open tennis in NYC. Here's our pic of our one brush with semi-celebrity: Michael Musto of Village Voice and "Countdown" fame. He was interviewing fans about tennis fashion in his characteristically snarky way.

That's the best we could do.

UPDATE: Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld were there Wednesday night. We got to see them ... on TV.