URGH! A Music Blog

Initial Reaction

Posted in Rock by M on August 30, 2006

What’s that you say, random craigslist poster?

versatile Guitarist/Vocalist looking to team up

Oh, tell me more.

experienced musician looking to form acoustic duo or trio or join existing band. I play electric and acoustic guitar (lead or rhythm), can also get by on bass, play some harp and dabble with banjo.

So far, so good. What’s your rock flavor?

I can play a wide variety leaning towards Classic Rock … or anybody with initials

Ah, very clever! I’m starting to like this guy. Let’s hear some initials….


Well, I don’t know if anybody ever abbreviated Jethro Tull, but you know the classics. You’ll make a valuable addition to any—oh, wait, you’ve got one more set of initials:


You’re fired.

Two of the Barenaked Ladies rocking out.

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Crazy Frog Darwinism

Posted in Crazy Frog,Dance by M on August 30, 2006

While listening to an entirely unnecessary disco compilation, I came across the song “Murphy’s Law” by the long-lost duo Chéri. The song starts strong, with smooth Sonic the Hedgehog-synths backed by a jaunty bass guitar. Lyrically, the song goes through a list of “what can go wrong will go wrong” examples—sort of more accurately-named Alanis Morrisette “Ironic” kind of thing. But then we descend into hell:

A Crazy Frog stuffed animal

The chorus starts with a sped-up, electronically-filtered voice that can only be described as an ancestor of the dreaded Crazy Frog. Crazy Frog? What the hell! This was the era of robot voices, telling us we can boogie down, taking us to Funkytown, and asking do you feel like we do!

But it seems we’ve found the ur-Crazy Frog; the missing link between Alvin and the Chipmunks and the wretched toilet-bowl-cleanser-blue creature we suffer with today. Like the modern annoying thing, the ur-Crazy Frog is unintelligible, starting the chorus with a line that might be, “Got it all together don’t you baby?” But who wants their Crazy Frog to speak complete sentences?

Worse yet, the ur-Frog and a companion get their own spoken word interlude at the end of the song. It’s bad enough that the creature made “Murphy’s Law” live up to its name. It’s worse to think that it reproduced.

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Walk On The Idlewild Side

Posted in Hip-Hop,Outkast,Rock by M on August 23, 2006

Outkast's André 3000 and Big Boi in Idlewild

To: Antwan Patton
From: André Benjamin
Subject: Big Changes

Here it is. Idlewild hasn’t even opened and already the critics are shrugging their shoulders. Just once, I’d like to see an article about this film that doesn’t include the words “under”, “cherry”, or “moon.”

Now my reputation is cemented as “The Artist who Wants to be Known as Prince”, while Justin Timberlake steals our album title. We have to face it, Antwan: Outkast has become too predictable.

What’s the solution: solo albums? That’s exactly what everyone expects. More movies? They’ll turn us into Elvis and Ann-Margaret.

I have a solution. Something that will throw the world for a loop. Something brand new from Outkast that nobody would expect.

You’re going to cut your dick off.

A sex change, man! Say goodbye to Little Big Boi and say hello to AntWanda Patton! We’ll do it just the way the Wachowskis did. We’ll keep it quiet; if anyone asks we say, “but our work is what’s important.” And our next album flies off the shelves as fans argue whether we sound like The Firm or City High.

You’re thinking, “André, this is your idea; why can’t it be your dick on the block?” I’ll tell you why: predictability. People won’t be all that surprised if I become a woman. There would be some talk, but most would just call it my “Dennis Rodman phase.” You’re the effortless hip-hop genius; if someone as together as you drops a bombshell like that, people will notice.

I’m telling you, your sex change will be the move that saves Outkast. We’ve passed our creative pinnacle as a two-man operation; it’s time to give ourselves another challenge. You by being a woman. Me by putting up with a woman.

And as for all my album interludes where I seduce some anonymous female? We’ll talk.

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They Can Take Out Adam Horovitz!

Posted in Beastie Boys,Hip-Hop,Rock by M on August 19, 2006

Adam Horovitz and Kathleen Hanna

Who can take out Ad-Rock? Nobody but his punk rock beau, Bikini Kill/Le Tigre semi-superstar Kathleen Hanna.

And where was this photo snapped? At a Broadway opening night afterparty? Um, that’s so not punk rock. It’s not Beastie, either. It isn’t even Free Tibet….

When rock stars go lame, it totally creeps me out. This is just like when Sasha Frere-Jones called Kim Deal “thickened with age”.

The truth hurts!

“I’d like to have as many arms as Vishnu”

Posted in Rock,Steely Dan by M on August 15, 2006

Walter Becker and Donald Fagen of Steely Dan, as depicted in Yacht Rock

You have probably seen this link dozens of times by now, but Steely Dan‘s open letter to Wes Anderson is high-larious.

In this letter, Walter Becker and Donald Fagen try to convince Anderson to hire them to do the music for his new movie, instead of the 60s rock of “twelve-string guitars, harpsichords and mandolins” he usually uses.

You yourself may be partial to those particular instruments. We’re not. Remember, we saw “Tom Jones” in its original theatrical release when we were still in high school, we had to listen to “Walk Away Renee” all through college and we fucking opened for Roger McGuinn in the seventies, so all that “jingle-jangle morning” shit is no big thrill for us, OK?

Watch it, Walt and Don! You think Seu Jorge gave Wes this kind of shit? He was there to play Bowie and like it!

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Kosheen Conundrum!

Posted in Blank & Jones,Dance,Kosheen,Music Reviews by M on August 15, 2006

URGH reader Chris gives us the facts you should know!

You realize that “Catch” was originally penned by Kosheen, and not by Blank & Jones.

I did realize that, soon after my original post, thanks to these Perfect Beat reviewers. I was going to follow up with that information, too, until I heard some of the original Kosheen “Catch.”

Because I didn’t like it.

And this isn’t the first time! Years ago, I shrugged my shoulders at Kosheen’s “Hide U”—not bad, a little monotonous, but a decent effort. Then Suzanne Palmer did her own cover of the song, and I approved! But random Amazon.com reviewer thinks I made a big mistake!

Anybody who likes this version has no respect for artists/songwriters. … I know some people prefer Suzanne’s vocals, that’s nice and all, but this is analogous to someone who studies hard in school, writes an exam and the person sitting next to them cheats off them and they get the same mark…it’s ethically wrong.

Wow! I’m one step away from Judgement at Nuremberg!

One of these days I’m going to have to give the entire Kosheen catalog a fresh listen. Because this makes two Kosheen songs I have dissed and dismissed—and then applauded the covers. Siān Evans deserves better!