URGH! A Music Blog

It Was Acceptable At The Time!

Posted in Calvin Harris,Pop by M on March 27, 2007

Marty McFly and his mother Lorraine in Back To The Future

It’s OK, Marty! Incest like that is “Acceptable In The 80s”!

This is according to one Calvin Harris, an electronic pop twiddler with an unfriendly animated gif on his MySpace page! Improbably, it seems he created disco. “Acceptable In The 80s” is pleasant enough to survive silly falsettos and doofy lyrics like “I’ve got hugs for you if you were born in the 80s.”

About those hugs, Mr. Harris: watch out! Girls born after today’s date in 1989 are still underage! Trust me on this one! Trust my parole officer, too!

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What’s Your Damage?

Posted in Kosheen,Music Reviews by M on March 27, 2007

I tried last year to enjoy the music of Kosheen. I love two singles that are covers of Kosheen songs, but never got into their original work. As you can see from the links I encountered, this makes me evil!

Many months later, the good people of Kosheen have a new album: Damage!

The album cover to Kosheen's Damage

Too bad it isn’t any good. Damage does nothing to budge my opinion of the group.

I know, I know, Kosheen isn’t trying to rock out or anything, but even mellow electronic music needs to have something distinctive. Damage tastes like a manila folder. Siān Evans spouts inane lyrics in a colorless voice. Each song—each chord change even—is tediously uncreative, beginning with faint faint synthesized strings followed by outdated drum machine patterns. Kosheen honestly seems afraid of their own instrumentation!

The album’s first single is the second track, “Overkill”. I suppose it’s distinctive. Because Siān actually raises her voice. And there’s an electric guitar.

I don’t hate Kosheen for lacking flavor; they can do what they like. But I honestly can’t see any reason to recommend their work. I have a similar problem with Moloko, who only seemed cool when Mousse T got his hands on them.

When the inevitable remakes of songs from Damage come around, who’s gonna pump some life into these tracks? My vote is for Dave Guetta. He’s been “dancin’ and cryin'” lately. Kosheen doesn’t inspire either.

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Gypsy Woman (She’s Duffless)

Posted in Crystal Waters,Hilary Duff,Pop by M on March 26, 2007

Photos of Hilary Duff and Crystal Waters

M: Excuse me, Mr. Internet, but is this Hilary Duff song “Gypsy Woman” a cover of Crystal Wat—?

Mr. Internet: No. Here’s the track as clumsily uploaded to YouTube.

M: My goodness! This sounds like it was composed in Mario Paint!

Lay off the cat sound, Hilary.

Bonus Mario Paint Composition: Sh-Sh-Shake Your Money Make-UHH???

I Ain’t Missing You!

Posted in Alison Krauss,John Waite,Music Videos by M on March 21, 2007


An Asian woman in the video for John Waite's Missing You

It may take two decades, but you will be replaced by a white girl:

Alison Krauss in the 2007 video for Missing You

And they don’t come much whiter than bluegrass musicians….

For context, Alison Krauss recently teamed up with John Waite to remake his 80s hit “Missing You”. But history is being whitewashed!

1984: John Waite pisses off his Asian girlfriend and she moves out. She quickly becomes a famous model and he sees her everywhere. But when she comes back to his apartment, he has his headphones on and can’t hear her knocking! The course of interracial love never did run smooth!

2007: John Waite records “Missing You” as a duet with Alison Krauss. The connection they share in the studio leads to a friendly handshake afterwards, but soon John decides to turn around and pursue Alison. To rape her! That’s true white people love!

John Waite in the 2007 video for Missing You

Bonus Bluegrass Pedantry: Can we really consider Krauss’s version of “Missing You” to be bluegrass? It employs a string section as syrupy as any Diane Warren abomination, with only the faintest of guitar picking. If all it takes is a slight gesture of acoustic plucking, then everything up to Days of the New II is a bluegrass album. Perhaps Travis Meeks should make that career move.

The Sultans Are Playing Creole!

Posted in Beyonce,Hip-Hop by M on March 20, 2007

I just heard Beyonce‘s non-single “Creole”, which has apparently been around for the better part of a year.

It’s a “Half-Breed” for the new millennium! And it’s terrible!

I never ever liked “Crazy In Love” or “Ring The Alarm”, so call me biased, but “Creole” seriously has no redeeming value. We haven’t heard Beyonce do any intricate singing (like scatting) since her Destiny’s Child days. In “Creole,” skill has gone out the window: it’s all screaming.

Why does her shouting get a pass? We don’t pretend Nelly Furtado is much of a singer; she and Timba don’t ask us to pretend, either. So if Beyonce isn’t going to do any real singing on three subsequent singles, why should we pretend she can still sing? Prove it, woman!

And the worst part? When Beyonce says:

All my red bones get on the floor!

I have only one mental image.

Leon Redbone

It’s spring, people. Yet thanks to Beyonce, I’m now dreaming of a very baritone White Christmas.

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The Future Sound of Meatwad

Posted in Adult Swim,Hip-Hop,Rock by M on March 15, 2007

A man in a space suit, surrounded by a contemporary crowd.  Photo by Vivek Patankar.

Greetings people of the year 2002. I come to you from the future!

Five years from now, we will all get our music from Starbucks, Apple Computer, and the Cartoon Network!

You doubt my prophecy? BEHOLD: Definitive Swim! The second Adult Swim collection of music! These are high-quality hip-hop albums, except instead of lame skits by rap stars, you must endure lame skits by cartoon characters.

Look upon this future and despair!

The album art for Definitive Swim.

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Posted in Boston,Rock by M on March 12, 2007

Just over a month ago I noted that I had never seen a photo of the band Boston. Now the band’s frontman Brad Delp is dead. With the news comes photos.

First from CNN, which shows Delp was appropriately Lebowski-esque. Then from I Love Music, which shows Boston in all its 70s glory.

These photos are so generic I doubt they’ll stick in my memory. If the web was around thirty years ago we would definitely have www.menwholookliketheallmanbrothers.com. Quite literally, I may close my mind and Delp will slip away. Slipped Awaaaaaaaaaaaay! Yeah, yeah!

And remember: Delp’s tragic death makes it momentarily acceptable to enjoy high-pitched arena rock. In the meantime, we can still hate on Moby.

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Names for your Eddie Money cover band

Posted in Eddie Money,Rock by M on March 10, 2007

Eddie Money blowing his saxophone in the video for Take Me Home Tonight

First the obvious, “it’s like the singer, but not” names:

  • Counterfeit Money
  • Funny Money
  • Dirty Money
  • Money Laundering
  • It’s Money, Baby
  • Faux Money, Faux Problems

And the others:

  • Ronnie Said
  • Maybe Hold On To Me
  • Sh-sh-sh-shakin’ In Macon (Georgia-based bands)
  • Jew Tickets To Paradise (Klezmer bands)
  • The Color of Money (All-black bands)

The best name? Money Shot. And according to the Google cache, it’s a real San Francisco-based cover band! Good work!

The Look, The Lips, The Tits, The Taste!

Posted in Dance,Hed Kandi,Mason,Music Reviews,Princess Superstar by M on March 8, 2007

A scene from the bootleg video for Mason vs Princess Superstar Perfect (Exceeder)

A month ago I acquired a delicious Hed Kandi compilation. The last few such compilations were snoozy, indistinguishable house collections, but Hed Kandi Twisted Disco proved to be delicious fun! Even an unnecessary remake of “Party All The Time” doesn’t harsh the buzz!

One standout was a track called “Perfect (Exceeder)” by Mason vs Princess Superstar. Not until last week did I discover: this is a mash-up!

Mason’s recent vocal-free “Exceeder” has become a conjoined twin to Princess Superstar’s late-2005 release “Perfect,” and the match is delectable. Think about what happened when Phunk Investigation got their hands on The Ones“Flawless” and you have an idea of the diva goodness I’m talking about. “Exceeder” has bouncy synths on top of a body fortified with the bass sounds house grew up on. Mason’s got some muscle! Add in Princess Superstar’s spoiled-girl vocals and the pair are ready to hit the beach and kick sand in a nerd’s face! Check out the “bootleg” video on Princess Superstar’s site.

Run out and import this Hed Kandi compilation now. And even though I don’t know what the original version of “Perfect” sounds like, import that, too!

Bonus Version of Exceeder: A dance interpretation of the song by somebody’s iDog!

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Unsound System

Posted in LCD Soundsystem,Music Reviews,Pop by M on March 8, 2007

Oh, LCD Soundsystem, I know you’ve pissed me off in the past. “Daft Punk Is Playing In My House” was not playing in my house, nor were your other works. From your self-titled album, only “On Repeat” charmed me to any extent. It made for good jogging music.

But I can’t stay mad. As far as I can tell your realsoonnow album Sound of Silver is more of the same sparse, repetitive instrumentation paired with Beck-with-a-headcold vocals. The lead-off single “North American Scum” is the very definition of retread. But it’s not so offensive.

The song builds very well into a neato guitar riff that stays crunchy even in milk. Vocals are a mixed bag: James Murphy tries out some falsettos like he’s been reading The Darkness for Dummies (not so hot), but he brings in a female vocalist to shout out “NORTH AMERICA!” like she’s Kim and Cindy from The B-52s (always hot).

Give it a spin, kids! I’m hoping that LCD Soundsystem becomes (to me) like Cake: a band with a unique sound that I can respect even if I don’t listen to them all the time.

Oh, but Mr. Soundsystem? If the rest of Sound of Silver sucks, we’re so breaking up.

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