URGH! A Music Blog

Ronny’s Music

Posted in Downloads,iTunes by M on April 29, 2007

So if Chan Marshall at Wal-Mart represents a thread to indie rock, what does it mean when Audioslave shows up in my iTunes?

Don’t blame me; blame my next-door neighbor: “Ronny” is leeching my wireless Internet! Ever since he made himself a part of my local network, “Ronny’s shared Limewire music” has appeared as an all-new iTunes playlist.

And it’s alllllllllll crap.

Take a gander at his playlist in all its glory, then come back here. If you ever doubt that you have good taste in music, print out this picture and tape it to your wall. Look to it as a daily affirmation: you do not live in an arid, classic rock wasteland.

I’m also glad my iTunes library is carefully maintained. I don’t blame Ronny for the misspellings, the mislabeling, even the dubious formatting of the word “Rock and Roll.” This is all Limewire, after all; the music comes to him as garbage. Still, I look at what’s there and I cringe. Ronny, doesn’t this sloppy information bother you? Doesn’t this music?

We’ve all seen Cat Stevens credited for this Harry Chapin tune:

Cat Stevens being credited for Harry Chapin's Cat's in the Cradle

But I never made this connection between the Doobie Brothers and Dobie Gray. I guess all it takes is an extra “o”:

The Doobie Brothers credited for Dobie Gray's Drift Away

Then there are the misspellings. I do hold out hope for the tape deck. And the Creedence!

Creedence Clearwater Revival credited as Credence

And sweet Jesus, Sinead O’Connor‘s name is spelled differently within the same track! It requires hard work to make things that bad!

Sinead O'Connor credited as Sinead O'Conner

Lynyrd Skynyrd credited as Lynard Skynard

Same thing with Skynyrd. But it gets worse:

Lynyrd Skynyrd's Free Bird on the Meet Joe Black soundtrack

Ronny’s version of “Free Bird” is off of the Meet Joe Black soundtrack! Seriously? Did Anthony Hopkins pull off some whammin’ air guitar in that movie?

Only Ronny knows. Too bad he’s getting kicked off the network. Come on, the guy has a White Lion album!

Google Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin

Posted in Rock,Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin by M on April 27, 2007

Top-shelf music blog Stereogum is where I go for my daily confirmation that stereotypical indie rockers are alive, well, and commenting on their site. Stereogum commenters get genuinely upset about Cat Power at Wal-Mart!

With Boris Yeltsin’s death this week, I knew that many of the site’s commenters would immediately think of the band Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. I thought this to be a smidge obnoxious. Little did I know that this still makes them smarter than the band’s fans themselves. Says the band’s singer:

We have a lot of younger people at our shows these days who don’t even know who Yeltsin is.

Hey future of America: name any two post-Soviet Russian presidents!

Still I should give The Boris Yeltsin Band more credit. Even Google thinks of them immediately. Not just in a search for “Boris Yeltsin”, but for the word “someone”!

A Google search for the word someone, with Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin highlighted.

The words “somewhere” and “somehow” have already been locked up by The Moody Blues….

Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues.  Photo by Annie Chartrand


Posted in Dance,Eric Prydz by M on April 21, 2007

Eric Prydz vs Floyd - Proper Education

I’ve tried to ignore the months-old “comeback” single from Eric Prydz: Proper Education. Prydz starts his song with a flaccid (albeit inoffensive) beat, then crashes the whole damn thing into a highway guardrail by mixing in the chorus from “Another Brick In The Wall, Part II”.

Pink Floyd?! What were you thinking, Eric?! This is painful! You ripped out the disco beats—the only pop portion of The Wall, the album that defined wank-rock—and left in dour chanting that doesn’t match your contribution in the least. There’s no excuse for this.

That’s why I was absolutely aghast this weekend when I found a mash-up of this song. “Proper Education” is essentially a failed mash-up on its own. Now Prydz (or someone on his behalf) has released “Proper Missing You” matching this song with Everything But The Girl‘s “Missing”.

I started thinking: was there a Prydz song merely called “Proper” that I was unaware of? Was “Proper Education” as much of a bootleg as “Proper Missing You”? If so, was its poor quality not Prydz’s fault?

This is the least interesting mystery in pop music since Who Killed The Zutons? And Prydz can indeed take all the credit for “Proper Education”.

It’s not like Eric Prydz isn’t responsible for dumbing down pop music in the past. “Call On Me” led to hundreds of other releases that consisted of 80s songs looped until the end times.

But now the bar has been set so low that any goddamn song can float upon the tepid soundtrack of Eric Prydz. You want “Proper 99 Luftballons”? “Proper Mmm Mmm Mmm”? “Talk Proper To Me”? Just turn on the radio, get out your tape recorder and press record.

C.C., pick up that guitar and talk to me!

Bonus Advice To Pink Floyd Remixers: Only “Young Lust” would tolerate a dance-pop remix. Just make sure to cut out all that “There must be someone else there besides your wife,” nonsense. Any phone operator that comments on my wife’s extramarital activities gets whapped!

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Threadless Hysteria!

Posted in Def Leppard,Rock,Threadless by M on April 18, 2007

Blogger Scott Robbin last year chronicled the self-censoring of Threadless, one of many online, ironic t-shirt companies.

Threadless was keeping the web safe—for Def Leppard! They now consider it in bad taste to joke about Rick Allen‘s missing limb.

Robbin has the original t-shirt on his site. Threadless now features this special message:

We have decided to remove this product from our line out of respect to Rick Allen and the band Def Leppard.  We apologize for any undue stress this may have caused.

You know what? I think I would rather have that on a t-shirt….

Destiny’s Child vs Bronski Beat

Posted in Bronski Beat,Destiny's Child,Pop by M on April 14, 2007

More mashups!

Destiny's Child Say My Name CD single

“Turntablism” expert JayBee! has combined the sounds of turn-of-the-century Destiny’s Child hit “Say My Name” with the 80s deliciousness of Bronski Beat‘s “Small Town Boy”.

I thought it would be unnecessary at first. Aren’t most mashups created from old and new songs? This is old and…not as old. It doesn’t matter, though, because JayBee knows how to make this work!

“Small Town Boy” is as intense and addictive as always, but “Say My Name” feels less monotonous under JayBee’s control. He plucks the harmony instead of the melody of the chorus, making the DC track far less abrasive. Beyonce tastes better with a spoonful of the 80s!

In addition to the track on his MySpace page, there’s also a fan-created video mashup! Somebody hire JayBee! He’s already got fans!

Timbaland Behind The Scenes

Posted in Dr. Dre,Hip-Hop,Justin Timberlake,M.I.A.,Missy Elliott,Timbaland by M on April 13, 2007

[NOTE: Our URGH! stealth team has uncovered the following IM conversation, revealing the secret evil of the new Timbaland album. Beware!]

Timbaland Timba
Shock Value is pretty good so far. But I want to make it more challenging.

Timbaland Timba
And by challenging, I mean “bad.”

Timbaland Timba
What can I do? Any ideas?

Justin Timberlake Justified
Add you going “YEAH!” to every track, like you did for “Sexyback”.

Timbaland Timba

Justin Timberlake Justified
Add ME going “YEAH!” too! And make people drink every time we say it!

Timbaland Timba
That’s good for starters. But how about this track “Bounce”? Let’s give it some bad lyrics. STUPID lyrics.

Timbaland Timba
I’ll start it off poorly.

Missy Elliott Missy
LOL classy!

Timbaland Timba
So Dre?

Dr. Dre Dre
What up, dog?

Timbaland Timba
You have a bad lyric? How about something needlessly racist?

Dr. Dre Dre
Yeah, I got one.

Dr. Dre Dre

Missy Elliott Missy

Dr. Dre Dre

Timbaland Timba

Dr. Dre Dre

Timbaland Timba
That’s enough.

Missy Elliott Missy
I know what people don’t want to hear about: my body parts!

Justin Timberlake Justified
Oh no!

Missy Elliott Missy

Timbaland Timba

M.I.A. M.I.A.

Timbaland Timba
Damnit, M.I.A., you’re not on this track!

M.I.A. M.I.A.

M.I.A. M.I.A.

M.I.A. M.I.A.

Justin Timberlake Justified
Damn girl!

Timbaland Timba
M.I.A., get out of here!

M.I.A. M.I.A.

Timbaland Timba
That’s it—your song is OFF the album! Now it’s only a bonus track!

Missy Elliott Missy
Why does that girl sing about texting so much, anyway?

Justin Timberlake Justified
Cause she’s Asian.

Missy Elliott Missy

Dr. Dre Dre
Like Sum Yung Ho!

Timbaland Timba
Back to business: Justin, we need a chorus. Something about bouncing.

Timbaland Timba
Something with an awful mental image.

Missy Elliott Missy
Like crotch rot.

Timbaland Timba
But with bouncing.

Justin Timberlake Justified
OK how about this?

Timbaland Timba

Justin Timberlake Justified

Timbaland Timba

Justin Timberlake Justified

Timbaland Timba

Dr. Dre Dre

Justin Timberlake Justified

Timbaland Timba
OK Justin.

Justin Timberlake Justified

Timbaland Timba
Settle down.

Justin Timberlake Justified

Timbaland Timba
Not until you’re older.

Bonus Information: This astute track-by-track review of Shock Value by Byron Crawford. It’s like he read my mind!

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Oh Timbaland!

Posted in Hip-Hop,Timbaland by M on April 12, 2007

OK, I’m six tracks into the new Timbaland album Shock Value, and there’s not a single “freakyfreaky!” or “baby girl uh” to be found. That alone heralds a new direction for Mr. Thomas, last name Crown.

More to come, particularly about the track “Bounce”. “Like your ass had the hiccups!”?!?!?!? Justin, no!

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Eight Dollar Ozzy

Posted in Ozzy Osbourne,Randy Rhoads,Rock by M on April 12, 2007

A concert ticket with the autograph of Randy Rhoads.

Rock nerds geeked out on a recent eBay auction: a grand and a half for one of the final autographs from guitar god Randy Rhoads.

However, a discussion at Roadrunner Records reveals a find of equal significance: the price!

An Ozzy Osbourne ticket stub

User faithnomore4ever says, “Did anybody notice that it only cost $8.50 to see The Ozzman 25 years ago? My first show was the Shout at the Devil tour (1984 and it cost me $11.50. I saw the Crüe last year for $150.”

User vametal adds, “I saw AC/DC for $17.50 back in ’91. It cost me $90 to see Rush about five years ago.”

Inflation, baby! Do we blame Ticketmaster as usual? Or VH1? Or how about Jake E. Lee?

As the crass masturbatory commentators on VH1 would say, “Looks like ticket prices are ‘Flying High Again’, too! Cause Randy sure isn’t!”

It’s My Student Film!

Posted in Radiohead,Rock by M on April 11, 2007

Thom Yorke from Radiohead, wailing into a microphone.

Oh Radiohead! I’d love to listen to your music more often, but it exhausts me! Thom Yorke sure wails a lot!

But now James of Synner Nation has turned me on to the latest weirdness from the band: a weird promo movie! [Direct .MOV Link.] Luckily, it’s only five and a half minutes.

The Radiohead Bear.

Radiohead treats us to a mishmash of sounds and images. Some is stock footage, some is from previous outings, and the final visit is from The Ghost of Radiohead Yet To Come.

There’s also a sense of humor here that is completely absent from their albums. At least one screensaver ambles on by, Thom sings “Walking in a Winter Wonderland”, and a flipbook animation features the favorite sample of MC Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock. It’s strange and accessible! And inaccessible!

If you're a proper fucking thief you can't be fucked with burgling properties in the middle of the fucking night because you got to fucking get up in the fucking morning to run the fucking country.

It also has some poorly-aimed jabs at George W. Bush. Why is it that flaccid, political stuff like this makes it from the studios to the albums, but basic human warmth doesn’t?

Or will it? Whatever you boys have in mind for the next Radiohead release, take your adventures in amateur filmmaking to heart: cow screensavers brighten anyone’s day.

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Turn Around, Bright Eyes!

Posted in Bright Eyes,Conor Oberst,Rock by M on April 10, 2007

Welcome Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp

My apologies, but I’m not feeling the new Bright Eyes releases: not the Four Winds EP or the full-length Cassadaga.

Of course, I’ve never been a Conor Oberst fan. “When The President Talks To God” struck me as a complete shark jump, his charm curdling into endless pouting. If these new releases are any good I still can’t get past that impression.

The Onion AV Club tries to be kind, but saying that the full album has “the loose, rootsy feel of … Tom Petty” is a dodge at best and a lie at worst. (Tell me, what is the “rootsy” Tom Petty album? Southern Accents, with its electronic drums and sitar?) Club commenters are far less kind: “Does he cry at any point on these releases?”

Harsh words, and I have no right to repeat them. After all, when Bright Eyes was last in the public eye, I was listening to this band instead:

A pineapple, clam, and starfish in the Junior Senior video for Move Your Feet

Shake your coconuts!

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