Theme Week!

August 31, 2008

In honor of Jason’s last post (“This tastes like bottled ass! Try some!”) I am declaring our first-ever theme week.  This week’s theme, inspired by Jason, is country versions of non-country songs.

Next week is the opposite. Bloggers, start your engines.

My entry is “I See a Darkness,” by Johnny Cash

Well I hope that someday, buddy, we have peace in our lives
Together or apart, alone or with our wives
And we can stop our whoring
And pull the smiles inside
And light it up forever
And never go to sleep
My best unbeaten brother
This isn’t all I seek.

It’s originally by Will Oldham, AKA Bonny Prince Billy, AKA lots of other things.  I bought a Palace Brothers album once (one of his nom de rocks), and it was mediocre.  I haven’t gone back to the well since, but this song is brilliant.  Perhaps a second chance is called for?

Multiple entries are encouraged.  I can’t post “Hard Luck Woman” by Garth Brooks because both Garth and Kiss would sue me until the cows come home, but I intend to submit something else once the right idea occurs to me.


Two Tons of Steel – “I Wanna Be Sedated”

August 31, 2008

Driving home this evening from dinner, I was once again subjected to the fiancee’s preference of country music.  Whereas last week I was treated to a great song by the Randy Rogers Band, this week I heard perhaps one the biggest musical travesties I have ever witnessed.  Again, the radio was tuned to 98.1 KVET, and they have a Texas country show on Sunday nights.  There were several forgettable songs that passed on my long drive out to my home, but one caught my ear immediately, and I had simultaneous urges to both vomit and choke someone to death.  Neither were viable options, so I had to instead just grit my teeth and bear witness to this abomination, the ugliest attempt at a genre crossover I have ever heard. 

The band is called Two Tons of Steel, and they hail from San Antonio.  For some reason, someone thought it would be a good idea for them to perform and record a country version of the Ramones’ “I Wanna Be Sedated.”  Believe me when I tell you that absolutely nothing about this song works on any level.  It’s not funny, it’s not “cute”, and it’s certainly not good.  The studio version can be listened to on their MySpace page, and I found a live video of the performance posted below.  All I can say is, ouch!  Make it stop!

Album Review: D Generation – No Lunch

August 31, 2008

Following the failure of their 1994 self-titled debut, D Generation left Chrysalis/EMI for Columbia, taking four of their debut’s best songs with them, “No Way Out,” “Frankie,” “Waiting for the Next Big Parade,” and a cover of Reagan Youth’s “Degenerated.”

The band had been heavily hyped, and their debut was a disappointment, both artistically and commercially. Their commercial fortunes would never change, but they would redeem themselves artistically with a vengeance on No Lunch.

Opening with “Scorch,” which lives up to its name by engulfing you in flames for 1:17, No Lunch immediately launches into “She Stands There,” a ridiculously catchy speed-pop number that lets you know that these guys love all sorts of punk, and you’re going to take a breathtaking tour of all of it in the album’s short running time–from the tough-but-heartbreaking Johnny Thunders tribute “Too Loose” to the hardcore of “Degenerated.” Ric Ocasek’s production captures every fleck of spittle that no doubt hit anyone who was standing anywhere near singer Jesse Malin during the recording sessions. It utterly rocks.

No Lunch is a lost classic of the 1990s. It should have made D Generation a household name, and the retooled version of “No Way Out” (called a “stone classic” in Rolling Stone’s contemporary review) should have become a rock-radio standard. No Lunch? No justice.

The No Lunch version of “No Way Out”:

“She Stands There.” Don’t blame me if this song gets stuck in your head for days:

I wish I could embed these (update: now I can!) and make a couple of fan videos for other songs, but Sony BMG doesn’t seem to be too friendly to that sort of activity. A pity. I would love it if more people heard, and then bought, this album. It deserves both.

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The Song That Changed My Life

August 30, 2008

thanks neil.

The F%#$%n’ Big Lebowski is F%#$%n’ 10 Years Old!!!

August 30, 2008

Do not play this video at your work, mosque, charity fundraiser for childhood leukemia, or anywhere else sensitive ears might lurk without first yelling “Earmuffs!!”

“I am the son, and the heir…”

August 29, 2008

Here’s a fairly impressive clip of a bedroom musician demonstrating how to perform “How Soon Is Now” by the Smiths.  It’s amazing what the home recorder can do these days.  Just remember, Johnny Marr did it without ProTools!  **Shakes fist at these dang kids and their newfangled technology**

Class Act: Neil Diamond Offers Fans Refunds After Lousy Show

August 28, 2008

Why can’t more people be like this?

Singer and songwriter Neil Diamond is offering audiences of a recent Ohio concert a refund and asking for their forgiveness after he performed with a raspy voice earlier this week.

Diamond, 67, was diagnosed with acute laryngitis after the August 25 show in Columbus, Ohio, and the “Sweet Caroline” singer released a statement on his website Tuesday apologizing to fans through the lyrics of his past hit, “Play Me.”

“Dear Fans in Columbus, I haven’t let you down before and I won’t let you down now,” Diamond said. “Until you hear from me again remember, You are the sun, I am the moon. You are the words. I am the tune. Forgive me. I love you.”

The last time I saw Social Distortion, I think Mike Ness was drunk.  The playing was incredibly sloppy and the set was short.  I paid $35 of my hard-earned money for the pleasure of getting pissed about being ripped off.  No refund was offered.

It’s nice to see that someone out there realizes that concerts are quite a sacrifice for some people.  In addition to the ticket price, there are the ridiculous service fees, parking, babysitter if you have kids, rapacious food and drink prices, and so on.  If people are willing to go through all that  just to see you perform, you owe them the best that you can do.

Good on Neil Diamond.  It makes me wish I hadn’t had to pan his last album.  Now I feel like I should write a good review of 12 Songs, which deserves one, to make up for it.