Posts Tagged ‘Rock and Roll’

h1

Fancy Plans Guide to Rock and Roll Vol. 8

August 1, 2009

And now, a series that needs no introduction…

I honestly don't see how anybody could poke fun at this.

I honestly don't see how anybody could poke fun at this.

Vampire Weekend
The next big thing, according to everybody everywhere, Vampire Weekend are the refinement of all the most pretentious parts of hipster touchstones, such as: Paul Simon, the Talking Heads and hippie apparel store background music. As this indie world music band began its meteoric rise to stardom, they became increasingly unbearable. Now safely coasting on its laurels, Vampire Weekend is primed for its slide into “legacy act,” a restful state of listlessness, no doubt hurried along by its incessant public fellation by mainstream tastemakers such as Rolling Stone, Spin and Pitchfork. (Yeah, don’t kid yourselves.)

No doubt the release of a new album will only encourage the mass fellatio, allowing them to pass Obama in the number of times they’ve heard “Use me like a filthy congressman.” Unless they make a Goo Goo Dolls-esque leap into power balladry or discover how hard it is for someone to say “poly-rhythmic” withtheir mouth full, Vampire Weekend should continue to raid Paul Simon’s record collection and liquor cabinet for years to come.

I think we all preferred them back in the day, when David Lowery was still an integral member and they performed under the name “Vampire Can Mating Oven.”

Another fine selection from the "Malcolm McLaren Collection of Arrestable Art"

Another fine selection from the "Malcolm McLaren Collection of Arrestable Art"

Bow Wow Wow
Another one of Malcom McLaren’s projects (after holstering his Sex Pistols) which allowed him to take nude photos of his underage lead singer and file it under Art, Album. (If it’s an album cover, it’s beyond reproach, apparently.) Their biggest hit was I Want Candy, which made a mockery of sex offender laws with its open baiting of cargo van owners everywhere.

Fortunately (mostly for Malcolm) this was done in a more permissible time before our teenagers’ incessant sexting made child pornographers out of many unsuspecting parents. Many people were able to pick up the album without having to mail order it in a plain brown wrapper or register with the county after opening it.

Karen Carpenter, in happier times

Karen Carpenter, in happier times

The Carpenters
Breaking into the soft rock scene with their hit single Close to You(well, not “breaking” really; they actually knocked first and politely asked if it would be ok to come in and play a couple of their songs, if that was “cool” with everybody), the Carpenters began an impressive run of hit singles and skipped meals.

Never content to rest on their laurels (out of concern for the laurels, poor things!), the Carpenters continued boldly into the future with both hands grasping wildly at the past. They toured tirelessly, entertaining thousands of politely seated concert-goers nationwide.

The endless touring and soft rocking began to take its toll. During the Carpenter’s 1982 Rock You Like a Pleasant Breeze tour, Karen Carpenter frequently found herself pinned underneath her shadow on the stage, due to unexpected lighting changes.

She collapsed in her parents’ home after an attempt to close the screen door and was rushed to the hospital. On February 4, 1983, Karen Carpenter was declared dead when an intern mistakenly allowed her to turn sideways, at which point she vanished completely.

A panoramic shot featuring 1/4 of Chicago's touring band

A panoramic shot featuring 1/4 of Chicago's touring band

Chicago
Despite popular opinion, Chicago was not named after the city. The Chicago Chamber of Commerce often places unsolicited calls to Wikipedia to make sure that this is being made perfectly clear.

They are actually named after their favorite mode of transportation, the Chicago bus line, which had the vehicles large enough to carry their entire bloated band, which at times swelled to over 1,200 members. Plus, they actually came from nearby suburb Vernon Hills, so their claim to Chicago’s name and street-tough history was about as legitimate as Vanilla Ice’s claim of being raised on the mean streets of Miami.

Setting out to be the “worst band in rock and roll” by ensuring an unhealthy ratio of non-rock instruments, Chicago worked the bar circuit for years before their recorded debut in 1969. Chicago-area bar owners breathed a sigh of relief as booking the massive band often meant they had reached capacity before any paying fans even had the chance to get in the door.

Being the “worst band in rock and roll” took a heavy toll on the band and extensive touring often found various members on the disabled list and Peter “Et” Cetera scouting the local talent for a replacement “5th Trombonist” or “Backup Vocalist #8 – Verbs Only.”

But as all proud “rock” bands do, they kept on keepin’ on. Ceteradid all he could to retain the “worst” title by his dalliance with Amy “Whore of Babylon” Grant and his refusal to use anything more than a mixture of Roman numerals and “real” numbers to name their albums. (Exception: Hot Streets, which was their XIIth album.)

The “worst” remained the best at being the worst, running virtually unopposed for several years until Jefferson Starship wrested the title away from them with the release of We Built This City (On Suck). Chicago (the “rock” band, not the city – thanks, City of Chicago Chamber of Commerce) was never the same again. Cetera left the group, claiming that he had “done all the damage he could.”

So who is the current holder of the “worst” title in rock today? With so many front-runners, it’s hard to pick one. (Nickelback.)

Digposter

Not to be confused with Digg! which contains no artistic merit whatsoever

Brian Jonestown Massacre/Dandy Warhols
Two bands whose fate is forever intertwined thanks to Ondi Timoner’s rockumentary Dig! and his follow-up, Holes, which went down a much more commercial path by straying from the original subject matters (much like Dandy Warhols themselves.)

Originally BFFs, both bands had the same original ambition: to have a really clever band name. The Brian Jonestown Massacre combined Brian Jones (whose deathkicked off a 30-year period where you couldn’t step out the door without tripping over a cooling rock star corpse) with the Kool Aid guzzling hi-jinks of the Jonestown Massacre (which kicked off a still-ongoing trend where you can’t step out the door without tripping over a cooling religious fanatic’s corpse).

The Dandy Warholswent in a much more upbeat direction withtheir band name, combining Dandy with the name of Portland’s famous Warhol’s Dinner Theatre, whose “fine dining” and “outrageous antics” are not for the weak of heart. Or stomach. On the other hand, the Soup of the Day is pretty consistent.

The BJM, with their antagonistic name, and the Dandy Warhols, with their inadvertent play on artist Andy Warhol’s name originally presented a united front as the revolution of music. They also both claimed the Velvet Underground as an influence, which put them in the exclusive group of every fucking band ever. At least the BJM followed through on it.

The Dandy Warhols, however, soon realized that they were operating several levels above their pay grade and began to tentatively return the embrace of the mainstream. Once it was clear that the feeling was mutual, the Warhols threw caution (and credibility) to the wind and proposed on the spot to their many suitors. Tragically, most of these suitors operated on the “use ’em and lose ’em” policy, cutting the Warhols an alimony check before leaving them alone, jealous and stoned. (Hello, Secret Machines!)

The Dandy Warhols did have the good fortune and lack of self-respect to be picked up immediately on the rebound, starting the vicious circle over and over again. Their mom keeps hoping they’ll finally find Mr. Right, but has sort of resigned herself to fielding late-night phone calls and making emergency Ben & Jerry’s runs.

The BJM went in a different direction. They wanted nothing less than a full-on music revolution. Their first step was to form antagonistic relationships with label after label. A&R men and label execs were treated to Ike and Tina Turner-type dustups and subjected to long lists of demands, like “full creative control,” “studio selection” and “a hoverbus for tours.”

Another point of contention was the pay scale: BJM frontman Anton Newcombe argued, unsuccessfully, that they should be making more as every band member was a “multi-instrumentalist.” The execs frequently mooted this point by stating (yet again) that their “royalties were based on record sales, not on number of instruments played.” They further pointed out that “all the talent and artistic integrity in the world won’t sell any records, and unless your name is Prince, we honestly could give a shit how many instruments you play.”

As the Warhol’s success increased, BJM began to complain that their former friends had sold them out. Astute observers reputed this by pointing out that:

a.) the Warhols sold themselves out; and
b.) the world does not revolve around BJM; that’s called “projection.”

BJM went on to make a metric shitload of records, flying bitterly and jadedly under the radar. The Dandy Warhols continued to splash around the in main stream, being fairly successful and losing their right to be described using interesting adjectives.

The lesson to be learned from this tale: Don’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe in. Don’t expect to get paid for it, though. And: If you must whore yourself out, at least get paid well for it. Because an amateur whore is just a slut.

You may be asking “All else being equal, which one is the band for me?” The answer is: Go with whichever band name appeals to you more. You’ll probably be right.

-CLT

Previous episodes here: the RockNRoll Archives

Advertisements
h1

Fancy Plans… Guide to Rock and Roll V. 6

June 27, 2009

Yet another volume of rock and roll factoids, jam-packed full of information you just can’t get with yer wikipedias and yer allmusics. Does your average fansite speculate on the true meaning of Chrome’s wah-pedal fetish or explain Wes Borland’s misshapen head and career-ending gig with Limp Bizkit, the band you knew he’d leave as soon as his pockets were full?

I think not.

Previous versions include:
the Original
the Second
the Third
the Fourth
the Fifth

Chris Martin counts noses before the band heads back to the tour bus

Chris Martin counts noses before the band heads back to the tour bus

Coldplay
Gwyneth Paltrow’s vanity project, featuring “kept man” Chris Martin tickling the ivories and singing his heart out. When she’s not busy dabbling in the music biz, Paltrow takes time out from her hectic mirror-gazing schedule to dole out sickeningly sweet platitudes at her website, GOOP. Most posts are about as pleasant as being on the receiving end of candy that has been in someone’s pockets all day.

Coldplay has been in the news recently due to the fact that they ripped off both Joe Satriani and Cat Stevens in the same song. Martin has issued a statement saying: “If we’re going to rip anyone off, it’s Ben Folds and U2. Perhaps a dash of pretension from Radiohead. That’s it. Maybe a little of the House of Love.”

The most subtle thing about the album was the cover

The most subtle thing about the album was the cover

Consolidated
Basically a stream of slogans hitched to a drum machine, Consolidated with all the subtlety of an ELF-ordained mob beating. Despite “entertaining” their audience with deep political conversations both pre and post-show, Consolidated somehow failed to achieve long-lasting mainstream success. Fans noted that “while it’s nice to be preached at now and again, at some point you just want to yell, ‘Enough! We’re converted already!'”

The members of Consolidated, while not working various odd jobs, gather at their communal flat to swim through the vast vault of ideals and dogma, much like Scrooge McDuck does with actual, useful money.

The Cranberries pose for band photo pose #31: lead singer, look to your left; the rest of you, eyes on me...

The Cranberries pose for band photo pose #31: lead singer, look to your left; the rest of you, eyes on me...

the Cranberries
Much like their namesake, the Cranberries are a bittersweet band, best consumed in small doses, preferably once a year during family holidays involving thankfulness. Sure, you have a little with the turkey dinner, but you’ll never find yourself wandering the aisles of the local food jobber and grabbing a can or two as an impulse purchase.

Maybe it’s the lyrics, which strain for gravitas, much like Keanu Reeves in any costume drama. Maybe it’s lead singer O’Riordan’s brogueish wail, which reminds everyone why they can’t stand Sinead O’Connor. Whatever it is, you’ll put the Cranberries back on the shelf and ask yourself why you even put up with this shit once a year.

Man, these mariachis sure say "fuck" a lot...

Man, these mariachis sure say "fuck" a lot...

the Violent Femmes
There are at least two things wrong with this band’s name, especially the violent part. These three non-femmes, with their acoustic guitar, bass and trap set, resemble not so much the punk outshoot they are supposed to be, but rather a psycho-sexually charged pack of profane buskers.

Largely more tolerable than the Arcade Fire (and twice as compact), a band that sounds nothing like them, but has been known to spend a lonely night or two grabbing their instruments in a public park, subway, petting zoo, etc.

A clear indication that your band has crossed the disappear-up-your-own-ass pretension threshold: Someone asks if anyone feels like busking and more than half the band says yes. It evokes the forced emotions of the musical theater, especially “spontaneous” celebratory songs featuring the entire cast.

Perhaps still known best for their debut album (featuring the best summer song the Beach Boys never wrote: Blister in the Sun), which is OK is you’ve only been in existence for five or so years. Not so much if you’ve been together for nearly 30 years.

After viewing the photo, Danzig fired the band member on the far left

After viewing the photo, Danzig fired the band member on the far left

Danzig
Fronted by the only Spinal Tap member who wasn’t mortified by the Stonehenge set, Danzing features the Morrison-esque bellowing (Jim “Van” Morrison, not Alanis) of Glenn “MOOOOOOTHERRRRRRfucking” Danzig, the Tom Cruise of rock and roll. Strutting around the stage like Foghorn Leghorn’s charge in search of a chicken, Danzig belts out black metal with all the subtlety of leftover Meatloaf, his semi-contemporary.

Apparently “awesome” live, you really owe it to yourself to check them out. Get seats near the front if you wish to see anything other than his backup band (whom he has replaced several times with either shorter musicians or hired guns willing to stand in strategically places “stageholes”).

Because Glenn Danzig is short.

Experts aren't sure exactly when Everclear began sucking, but they theorize it was some point before the tambourine became a featured part of the act

Experts aren't sure exactly when Everclear began sucking, but they theorize it was some point before the tambourine became a featured part of the act

Everclear
Fronted by Portland, OR’s Kurt Cobain, Everclear made a promising start with kickass single Santa Monica. They then proceeded to take the road heavily travelled, producing watery, half-assed rock like so many formerly great bands before them. (I’m looking at you Filter, Goo Goo Dolls and Soul Asylum.)

The only reason to have any Everclear in your music collection at this point would also be the only reason to keep Everclear in your liquor cabinet: to separate less-discerning young women from their underwear.

AM Radio = Take A Picture = Iris = Misery = Jungle juice-powered FAILboat filled with streetdumb amateur hookers.

moodyblues

The all-new Moody Blues, featuring Kenny Rogers and his two illegitimate sons, both of whom are illusionists

Moody Blues
I said “Fuck off.” *disgusted sigh*

The battle of the sexes now has a soundtrack

The battle of the sexes now has a soundtrack

Girls Against Boys
The oldest rivalry in the books, dating back to the Garden of Eden, when Eve said to Adam, “Hey, big guy. Want an apple?”
Adam responded with, “I’m watching the game.”
“Come on, Adam. All the talking snakes are doing it. They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, whatever the hell that means.”
Adam returned to the game. “Well, it certainly seems to be working in Canada.”

After a few more hours, Adam relented and downed the apple, which was spiked with the knowledge of good and evil. Adam and Eve both realized (at the same time, OMG!) that they were naked and extremely self-conscious about their figures. Adam said, “Jesus, woman. Isn’t the laundry done yet?”

Of course God, like all mad scientists, was extremely irritated to find his creations had become sentient. He booted them from the Garden of Eden with, “Well, you’re the world’s problem now,” figuring they would survive “two weeks, tops” in the wild and He would soon be able to sweep the whole fiasco under the rug.

Unfortunately, they lived for years and inbred up a storm, turning their back on God, thus beginning the world’s second longest rivalry: us vs. them. (See also: Pink Floyd)

I've been making a man, with blonde hair and a tan...

I've been making a man, with blonde hair and a tan...

Nelson
The twin sons of Ricky Nelson, conceived in-vitro using Nova-IVF’spatented “Rock & Roll Stud” baby blend, which features the “contributions” of Edgar Winter and Fabio. The Nelson twins were born without fully-functioning autoimmune systems and were raised in a protective bubble and fed a special diet consisting of wheatgrass shakes and adult contemporary music.

Later in life, when doctors declared the boys “adequately healthy,” the Nelsons formed their own band, diluting the shallow end of the rock pool from 1990-1992. After several VH1 specials failed to raise public interest above “Who Gives a Shit,” the beautifully hideous twins sank into obscurity, surfacing briefly to finish each other’s sentences in Grit magazine interviews and battle the Proclaimers in low-level wrestling matches.

-CLT

h1

Fancy Plans… Guide to Rock and Roll (More Requests and Random Victims)

June 4, 2009

Much like previous installments (first, second and third), almost all information should be taken with several pillars of salt. Prepare to be blasphemed and sodomized by everything you never knew you didn’t know about the world of rock.

Einsturzende Neubauten band members loved to create their own instruments; ignore manufacturer's warnings

Einsturzende Neubauten band members loved to create their own instruments; ignore manufacturer's warnings

Einsturzende Neubauten
Ever since the first children climbed out the primordial ooze, opened the lower cupboards and proceeded to beat the hell out of pots and pans, man has been searching for a way to express this musically.

Einsturzende Neubauten, formed in 1980, fulfilled this dream. Early concerts featured band members flailing away at any percussive item, including fellow band members, the audience and lederhosen-clad beer wenches. Their name, which is often misspelled (often within this post itself) means “collapsing new buildings.” In a delightful play on words (and another display of German whimsy), the emphasis can be shifted to the third syllable of the first word to form a completely different phrase: “prolapsing new rectums.”

Guitarist, vocalist and pinup Blixa Bardot, has branched out from her noisy roots to play and tour with Nick Cave as “Under-Utilized Guitarist #1.” Her distinctive sound can barely be heard during interminable live renditions of such dark classics as Stagger Lee and Piano Man.

Einsturenzo Teubauten’s has influenced a number of industrial and noise groups including KMFDM’s early days as vacuum demonstrators, the Blue Man Group and their improvised instruments, Test Department’s general political cacophony, Rammstein’s general Germanness and the first 30 seconds of Def Leppard’s Rock of Ages.

Psst. Would you have the latest Sex Gang Children behind the counter?

Psst. Would you have the latest Sex Gang Children behind the counter?

Sex Gang Children
The only band in history to have been arrested for naming themselves, Andi Sex Gang and his Children have subsequently been cleared of all charges. Despite this, their name alone has caused more stage whispering in record stores than any other band on record (runners-up include Rapeman, the Negro Problem and Celine Dion). Each album release party tends to be swarmed by irate FBI drones and concerned politicians up for re-election. The band themselves have been asked not to perform within 1,500 yards of schools, playgrounds and public television stations.

The Catholic Church has of yet refused to take a solid stance on this band and their activities, so you may be able to catch a show in the unfortunately named rectory.

The Gang of Four's early years as a barbershop quartet

The Gang of Four's early years as a barbershop quartet

Gang of Four
The original seminal punk-funk band, to which the less politically-minded the Rapture owe their careers. Originally just a poorly organized student protest, the Gang of Four coalesced their displeasure with pretty much fucking everything into a funky, left-wing monster. Tackling everything from the military (I Love a Man in a Uniform) to capitalism (It Fails Us Now), poverty (To Hell With!) and assorted other hot-button topics (Anthrax).

Much like other seminal bands, they continued on to outlive their usefulness and reformed in 2004 to cash in on everyone who has missed their topical complaining the first time around. New waves of students were galvanized by their aging rhetoric and went about making posters and whatnot.

Rage Against the Machine could learn a thing or two from this band. Oh, they did. Mainly the reforming and touring. Because there’s money to be made. Evil, capitalistic money that spends the same as good, natural money. Actually better, because the first one exists while the other is simply the brainfart of many stoned students, whose lack of interest in making money has evolved into a bizarre hatred of those who will only exchange goods and services for money. Good luck with that.

Say, guv. The boys and I were wondering if you wouldn't have some fooking drugs?

Say, guv. The boys and I were wondering if you wouldn't have some fooking drugs?

Happy Mondays
Essentially a drug habit masquerading as a chart-topping band, the Happy Mondays formed in the “Angriest City in Britain,” Madchester, in 1980. Their effect of the burgeoning “baggy” scene was monumental.

While rewriting the blueprint for club music, the Mondays also has a tremendous effect on the slang of the day. Their code words for various items became ubiquitous. A few examples: “Kentucky Fried Chicken” – Heroin, “Junk” – Heroin, “Bez” – Psycho, “Case of the Mondays” – Suffering from heroin withdrawal.

While not producing club hits and referring to everyone and everything as “cunts,” Shaun Ryder and co. were hoovering up every available drug like Keith Richards understudies. Their unofficial slogan, “Taking Drugs to Make Music to Sell and, Subsequently, Purchase Drugs with the Profits” was shamelessly ripped off from contemporaries, the Spacemen 3. This set a precedent for “borrowing” that Ryder followed for the rest of the Mondays career and his solo work, taking solid chunks of Beatles’ lyrics, Pierre Henry’s Psyche Rock and, in the case of monster hit Step On, someone else’s entire song. (See also: David Lee Roth vs. Just a Gigolo.)

It all ended the way parent and politicians like to see a powerful drug story end: a disbanded group and a bankrupted label.

More exciting than this band

More exciting than this band

Bush
As children, someone asked them to “keep it down to a dull roar.” Bush ran with it, producing some of the dullest roar imaginable, following the trail inadvertently blazed by the subpar Candlebox (“Shit! I dropped one!”)

As Bush became the poster boys for everything wrong with Lowered Expectation Brand rock radio, their name has become synonomous with all things mediocre or worse: Bush league; Bush, George; Bush pilot; Layo and Bush Wacka!; Bush, George Dubya; Bush Wick Bill; 70s’-era porn Bush.

This man does amazing things with staircases

This man does amazing things with staircases

KMFDM
The show pony of Chicago’s Wax Trax! label, KMFDM became the go-to band for motion picture soundtracks due to their Teutonic bombast and lead singer MC En Escher’s ability to perform in more than three dimensions.

Much has been made of their name, which fans have speculated stands for anything from “Kill Mother Fucking Depeche Mode” to “Kylie Minogue Fans Don’t Masturbate.” In reality, it is the somewhat butchered German phrase “Kein Mehrheit Für Die Mitleid,” which Google translates as “No Midland Waffle Tuesday Ennui.”

Pontiac announces their updated tranny

Pontiac announces their updated tranny

Trans Am
A fine, if somewhat boring American-made sports car. In an effort to cross-promote, G.M. executives signed three Washington, D.C. youngsters in 1990 to “get the name out there.” Unfortunately, the band’s blend of synthpop and garage rock, coupled with their nearly lyricless output, appealed to few and sold even less, proving once again that if there’s one thing American auto executives don’t know, it’s running American auto companies.

Alex Patterson of the Orb (left) performs for a lucky Make-A-Wish Foundation child

Alex Patterson of the Orb (left) performs for a lucky Make-A-Wish Foundation child

the Orb
Having become bored with chart success, dumping dead sheep and burning money, KLF founding member Jimmy Cauty formed the Orb in 1988 in a shameless attempt to court the under-hygienic and overly-broke Grateful Dead crowd. Instead of 12 minutes of guitar wankery during the “ultimate live version” of Space Truckin (Cleveland 1978), the Orb dished out a 32-minute single, Blue Room, a song which repeatedly asks the question, “Is this the best use of your time?”

Citing influences as “disparate” as Pink Floyd and Brian Eno, the Orb continued on to release several albums of audio wallpaper, under the assumption that they would be used for ravers to “come down” with while being revived by paramedics.

allmusic.com says, “If you only listen to one Orb song, that’s probably all you really have time for. I mean, you’ve got shit to do, right? Work, walk the dog and that rain gutter won’t fix itself.”

The Crystal Method refused to buy another sequencer and live shows often turned into full-fledged fistfights

The Crystal Method refused to buy another sequencer and live shows often turned into full-fledged fistfights

the Crystal Method
Named after Dennis Hopper’s acting school (“Finding Your Character’s Center Through Massive Drug Intake”), which followed in the footsteps of old acting buddy Jack Nicholson’s “All Blow, All the Time” theory, the Crystal Method released their debut album, Vegas, in 1997.

Released during the height of the “techno takeover” of America, Vegaswent on to become one of the biggest-selling electronic albums of all time. Despite some major label star power and MTV’s half-assed co-opting, techno has since returned to its accepted uses: scoring movie club scenes, bumper music for sports-talk radio, and the lazy ad exec’s go-to genre for making something sound “new” or “exciting.”

In America, techo remains the “soccer” of the music world, more popular everywhere else but here. Having peaked on their debut, the Crystal Method waited seven years before releasing an underwhelming followup (see also: the Stone Roses). They are set to release a new album in 2009 and I couldn’t care less.

Comes free in every dime bag (while supplies last)

Comes free in every dime bag (while supplies last)

Bob Marley
Jamaican reggae singer who, during his brief but prolific career, released thousands of posters, hats, shirts, Jamaican flags and black velvet paintings, all featuring his dreadlocked, pot-smoking self. In the middle of the massive outpouring of self-promotion, Marley found time to release one album, the inexplicably named Legend: Bob Marley’s Greatest Hits.

Co-opted by a generation of couch-surfers, Marley’s sole album occupies a slot in even the least-discerning pothead’s music collection, alongside such favorites as Phish, Widespread Panic, the Dave Matthews Band, the Grateful Dead and, of course, Janis Joplin’s Greatest Hits.

When not being used for seed-and-stem sorting, Marley’s powerful album is the cornerstone (and only member) of the stoner’s reggae collection. Unless you count UB40. (Ed. – You know we don’t.)

Easily lost in the hotboxed haze is Marley’s revolutionary work and tireless anti-racism work, as is detailed in his songs:

  • “Is This Love” – the power of love; weed
  • “No Woman, No Cry” – comforting loved ones; weed
  • “Could You Be Loved” – again with the love; weed
  • “Three Little Birds” – props to the Audubon Society; weed
  • “Buffalo Soldier” – Black soldiers in the Indian Wars of the mid-1800’s; weed
  • “Get Up, Stand Up” – standing up for one’s rights; weed
  • “Stir It Up” – 5:33 – picking fights; weed
  • “One Love/People Get Ready” – monogamy/preparedness; weed
  • “I Shot the Sheriff” – shooting law enforcement; weed
  • “Waiting in Vain” – covering the Clash; weed
  • “Redemption Song” – double-coupon days; weed
  • “Satisfy My Soul” – getting some satisfaction; weed
  • “Exodus” – Moses, bitches; weed
  • “Jamming” – giving whitey something to sing along to, badly; weed

-CLT

h1

Fancy Plans Guide to Rock and Roll (Requests)

May 16, 2009
And here it is, the first batch of requests for further rock and roll education. I didn’t have time to get to all of your requests but rest assured, I will get to them as soon as is personally convenient to me. Feel free to leave more requests as what I don’t know about rock and roll will soon be long enough to fill a book.
These four young men would eventually grow up to be David Lee Roth.

These four young men would eventually grow up to be David Lee Roth.

Sweet
Sweet was formed in the late 1960’s basically as an excuse to show off their collected pleather jumpsuits. Over the years, the band has split and reformed under different founders’ names, such as Andy Scott’s Sweet, Steve Priest’s Sweet and the Billy Ray Cyrus Experience.

Their first album appearance was a split with local children’s group the Pipkins. With Sweet’s proto-glam on one side and waifish proto-KidzBop on the other, the album was a hit with both schizophrenics and locals who were looking to stock up on round discs in case of sudden zombie invasion.

Their second album, Detonation Boulevard, featured a young Andrew Eldritch on vocals. Eldritch took the band in a new direction, allowing them to show off their collection of large sunglasses as well. During this tumultuous time, the Sweet underwent a series of name changes: Mercy, Sweet Sister!, Sweet Soul Sister, Southern Death Cult and finally, the Matthew Sweet.

Bolstered by an unprecedented 20-year time skip and MTV airplay, the Matthew Sweet toured extensively, greeted by thousands of fans wearing jumpsuits and large sunglasses. Eldritch left the band due to creative differences, citing his irritation with daytime gigs and ill-fitting jumpsuits. Eldritch went on two form two bands, the Mission Region 1 and the Mission U.K., before being kicked out of both and reaching for his lawyers.

The Matthew Sweet reformed as the Sweet in 1999 and resurfaced in 2000 as a tattoo on Seann William Scott’s back in Danny Leiner’s seminal coming-of-age comedy, Dude, Where’s My Car?

An unhappy librarian asks the Prunes to keep it down, there are hoboes trying to sleep in here.

An unhappy librarian asks the Prunes to keep it down, there are hoboes trying to sleep in here.

The Virgin Prunes
Formed in 1977 by Bono’s estranged boyhood friend, Gavin Friday (b. Fionan Apple, son of Sgt. Joe Friday), the Virgin Prunes acoustic stylings won the hearts and minds of Ireland’s disaffected urban youth (is there any other kind?).

A turning point came during their performance at the Newport Folk Festival. The band hit the stage as the Electric Prunes only to be greeted with boo’s and shouts of, “Judas!”

Gavin has stated that the “Virgin” part of the band’s name was facetious and did not reflect the band members sexual prowess or pure, acoustic guitars. In fact, Gavin stated that the band got laid, “at least as much as Kenny Chesney,” making the “Virgin” especially ironic. Sort of like your promiscuous sister who insisted on wearing white at her wedding. You know the one I’m talking about. And then it rained. But I digress…

Alanis Morissette, after a brief attempt to become the next Tiffany (and finding herself losing ground to Y Kant Tori Read), set her sights higher and attempted to become the next Liz Phair. Her timing couldn’t have been better as Phair’s crippling stage fright was quickly preventing her from becoming the first Liz Phair. Morissette quickly staked out her claim as a 4 Non-Blondes fifth wheel and laid the nasal, faux-boho woman-roar that would lay the groundwork for Avril Lavigne’s opus, Sk8ter Boi.

To sum up, America is a land of contrasts.

The Fiends celebrates their 20th anniversary (not pictured: Mrs. Fiend)

The Fiends celebrate their 20th anniversary (not pictured: Mrs. Fiend)

Alien Sex Fiend
Formed by a horrific lab accident involving a post-op Alice Cooper and a collection of Hammer horror films, Alien Sex Fiend became fixtures of London’s Batcave scene. They performed several high-energy gigs and killed time making crude sexual comments and lighting things on fire. Much like AC/DC, only with a sense of humor.

Despite frequently mining the same crude veins as the Cramps, Alien Sex Fiend found themselves lumped into the po-faced goth scene. While initially limiting, it afforded them the opportunity to appear on Cleopatra compilations for the next several hundred years.

Founding partners, Nik Fiend and Mrs. Fiend, may or may not be actually married. Much like the Whites of the White Stripes, the “are they, aren’t they” speculation has led to much flamage on various alt.goth message boards, although more astute fans point out that the first name “Mrs.” would tend to indicate that they are.

Captain Sensible: Crimefighter

Captain Sensible: Crimefighter

Captain Sensible
Co-founding member of the Damned, a fixture of the nascent British punk scene. So nascent was it, in fact, that the Sex Pistols were able to raise the punk flag and steal Pink Floyd’s thunder (and inflatable pig).

The debate about punk origins raged on, until Guiness was asked to step in and sort it all out. After some fact-checking, Guiness declared the Damned “the first punk (sic) band (sic) to release a punk (sic) album.” Guiness would go on to steal scenes in George Lucas’slaughriot Star Wars, as the character “Crazy Old Man in a Bathrobe.” His scenes would be stolen later by the bathrobe’s portrayal of itself during a crucial duel with Darth Vader.

Captain Sensible (born Private Sensible) left the Damned and started a career as a solo artist and producer. He also branched out into vigilante law enforcement, forming the Guardian Angels as a response to the brutal murder of Gotham millionaires, Thomas and Martha Wayne, who were gunned down in front of their son.

He has also become politically active, sort of, forming the Blah! party, a collection of apathetic non-voters (noting that non-voters make up nearly 60% of the voting public). Political analysts have noted that the “No Opinion” choice on recent polls has climbed to nearly 3.8%, threatening to overtake periennial underdog, Alan Keyes.

However, due to Sensible’s disinterest in maintaining the status quo, Britain’s government has threatened to bust him back down to private if he continues with his cheerful disrespect and rampant beret-wearing. If you would like to protest the government’s treatmeant of local hero, Capt. Sensible Sliwa, sign the online petition at Blah!’s website if they ever get it up and running.

Captain Beefheart returns for his lucky charms: this time it's personal.

Captain Beefheart returns for his lucky charms: this time it's personal.

Captain Beefheart
– 3 lbs Beef Heart
– 1-1/2 cups Safe Milk
– 1 cup Water
– 4 tsp Onion Soup Mix
– 2 cubes Beef Bouillon
– 4 Trout Masks (if unavailable, use alternate such as cod or other whitefish)
– 1/2 cup Breadcrumps

1. Trim any fat off the heart and cut each heart into quarters. Cut these quarters in 6/8 pieces. Never mind, you’re doing it wrong. Watch closely. On this quarter, cut right here. On this quarter, right here. Go ahead… No. Stop. On these first 6 quarters, cut here but when you get to this quarter, cut here, then here… OK… And 1, and 2… Jesus Christ! I’ll just fucking do it myself! 6/8 except on these 16ths. How fucking difficult is that.

2. Throw Beefheart in water. Bring to a boil. Add carrots. What the hell do you mean you don’t have carrots? Look, if you’re going to cook with me, you’re going to need to be prepared. I need you to have ingredients on hand that I haven’t even thought of yet. And they’d better be good ingredients, too. I can’t have you half-assing around the kitchen unprepared. Well, go get some. I’ll wait. I’ve got some paintings to bang out while you get your shit together.

3. Add Onion Soup Mix and Beef Bouillon to the boiling water. Not right now. Right now. And now. That’s too late. You missed on the 4th and the 7th. Start over. No, really. From the top. Look, I haven’t slept in over a year and a half. I’ve got nothing but time… Because it has to be perfect. This isn’t just some warmed-over idea. This is art! Start over.

4. Clear a Spot. 3/4 by 9-1/8. I don’t know. Inches, I guess, if that’s what you’re used to working with. Arrange trout masks into a double-helix. A double-helix! Jesus! You remind me of Mrs. Zappa’s boy, all unnecessary questions and movements. OK. That’s close enough. I’ll fix it later. You’ve done enough damage. Make sure the Beast is Shiny. Make sure… Christ! Do I have to paint a picture? No, that’s not rhetorical. I’m a fucking artist, you hack.

5. Get the milk. Is it safe? Is it safe? What do you mean you have no idea what I’m talking about? Is. It. Safe. I’m going to get my tools out. Oh… now it’s “very dangerous, not safe at all.” You’re weak, your father was weak. I’ll work the Beefheart until you can tell me what I want to know. I don’t use novocaine and there’s usually a great deal of blood.

6. Once the meal is complete, serve on randomly selected brand new dishes. Brand new. Those stickers will have to come off. Can’t have those gumming up the works, eh? Go ahead. Not like that. Not like that at all. With your mouth. Watch my humming and follow along. Lick the Decals off. It sounds weird but it will all make sense when we’re done. Let sit for 11.3 minutes to allow flavors to soak in. 11.3… Look, I’m pretty much sick of your constant whining about my time requirements. They’re not irregular. They’re perfectly cromulent.

7. Serve with Ice Cream. Not for you. Not for you at all, you multi-instrumentalist failure. That’s for Crow. It’s purely decorative and melts rather quickly. Well, shove it out on the table. I don’t like how it’s tuned out but I really can’t be starting over again, can I? Just… Oh, just throw it out! It’s not fit for consumption, you retarded Bat Chain Puller. We will start over and over and over until it’s right. We’ll need some fresh ingredients and some other stuff. I’ll let you know when the time is right. Until then, do everything perfectly and we’ll be fine.

-CLT