URGH! A Music Blog

Raleigh v Kracker

Posted in Rock,Uncle Kracker by M on August 17, 2007

Because you demand it, three comments about the Uncle Kracker sexual assault arrest:

  • Isn’t it gilding the lily to identify the man as a “former deejay for Kid Rock“? I’d say one-hit wonder for “Follow Me” is more timely and just as indicative.
  • Isn’t $5 million a lot for bail? I’ve read a lot of gay Law & Order fanfiction, and even murder trials top out at around $2 million.
  • Since when did CBS News become The Smoking Gun? Can we go one week without a celebrity mugshot?
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Here He Comes, Squeeze Play!

Posted in Meatloaf,Phil Rizzuto,Rock by M on August 15, 2007

Yankee great Phil Rizzuto is dead!

Now who will narrate Meatloaf‘s attempts to get laid?


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Please Warhammer Don’t Hurt Em

Posted in Rock by M on August 3, 2007

Wait just one second: there’s a band named Warhammer 48K???

One of the band members from Warhammer 48K.  Photo by Lorri Auer

Like the world’s nerdiest RPG?

Nerds playing Warhammer 40K

The one-man violin band called Final Fantasy is just as ill-named, with or without cloud pooing. Final Fantasy isn’t just one of the most popular video game series of all time, it also has a dedicated musical following. There are sellout concerts with full orchestras in Japan and the US featuring music from the games. What this means: Owen Pallet will not be greeted by screaming Japanese girls if he ever plays live at Budokan.

Can we please stop naming our musical projects after the video games we played in childhood? Unless it’s Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom.

Call Mr. Goodnight!

Posted in Prince,Rock by M on July 30, 2007

Well, I liked it.

Prince - Planet Earth

To the critics that mock the lyrics of “Mr. Goodnight” and their resemblance to the writings of The Onion’s Smoove B—have any of you considered that this could be intentional?

Prince is a touchy guy, but he laughed at his Chappelle Show sendup. And he let Tony M drink his girl’s bathwater. I’d be willing to believe Prince enjoys the ridiculous side of lovemaking.

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Feisty Fans!

Posted in Feist,Metric,Rock by M on July 25, 2007

Feist - The Reminder

Ben Marwood of the website Drowned in Sound makes the big mistake!

More people than I expected went mentally crazy-bonkers for Leslie Feist’s latest album, The Reminder, but despite my best efforts to like it, it just sounded to me like the same song over and over.

It’s true! A few weeks ago you couldn’t get close to Feist’s new album without jumping into a raging waterfall of saliva pouring from the mouths of her eager fans. I’m only a thirty-second-snippet listener of The Reminder. What I heard was acceptable, but it won’t cure cancer.

I’ll repeat: Feist can’t cure cancer. That was a dangerous statement a few weeks ago—fans were just that blindly devoted, melting down copies of the album and ingesting them as a miracle remedy. Any suggestion that it was just good music was unacceptable.

Why do we need an “it-girl” in music, anyway? I understand the appeal of celebrity, but the amount of effort being put into this constellation of female musicianship (with Bjork at the center of the universe) is ever so slightly demeaning and really does take away from the music.

Now, of course, The Village Voice is trying to make us believe the new it-girl is M.I.A.. Pass.

Anyway, the Cult of Feist is still strong enough to arrive, claws-out, for a a battle in the comments:

ANGRY FAN: Are you really saying that “My Moon My Man”, “The Water”, and “Honey Honey” all sound the same?

MARWOOD: I wouldn’t know song titles. I listened to it three times and swapped it for Live It Out.

Yeah, Metric beats Feist! Why is it I have a problem with genuinely overdedicated fans, but not with blatantly manufactured Canadian indie rock chick rivalries? I suppose I just prefer violence to saliva.

The Decemberists Love Their Strings

Posted in Rock,The Decemberists by M on July 20, 2007

As part of my mandatory indie rock education, I went on a Decemberists downloading spree!

Most of my selections were live tracks. And while I didn’t expect the band to appeal to me, I was having trouble figuring out how the band could appeal to anyone. The Decemberists barely seemed to be a band at all. Nearly every track featured lead singer Colin Meloy belting his preposterous lyrics over top of the Braveheart soundtrack—it was nothing but orchestra!

Colin Meloy of the Decemberists and Mel Gibson in Braveheart

Luckily I’m not the only one who identified The James Horner Band as a concern. Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune writes a spot-on assessment of their live performance:

The Decemberists have gradually recognized over four albums that they’re not just a precocious little vehicle for Meloy’s cleverly constructed songs, but a rock band. Yet when the orchestra roared, bassist Nate Query, guitarist Chris Funk and keyboardist Jenny Conlee were swallowed up by the wall of sound, and it essentially became the Meloy-with-strings show. Only drummer John Moen was able to make his presence felt.

This would be forgivable if the orchestra was any good. Instead the arrangements are derivative from film scores, and even the few curveballs thrown into the orchestration come across more like John Barry’s James Bond stings. To match that The Decemberists would need to add a steel guitar riff.

My live cut of “The Perfect Crime #2” gave the orchestra a break, allowing the band to show some playfulness and a little bit of rhythm. There’s a pulse there! The Decemberists should check it more often.

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Hey Now Hey Now!

Posted in Crowded House,Rage Against The Machine,Rock by M on July 18, 2007

The video for Don't Stop Now by Crowded House

Who’da thunk Crowded House would get a better comeback reception on YouTube than at Coachella?

Seriously! We all know how bad YouTube commenters can be. The good vibes they’re putting out for a gentle single (“Don’t Stop Now”) from a defrosted 80s band is downright heartwarming. Good job, Internet!

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Rilo Horny

Posted in Rilo Kiley,Rock,The Cribs by M on July 12, 2007

The Cribs have emerged as one of the less annoying examples of sibling rock with their single “Men’s Needs”. It’s a fun little song, but most of the attention they’ve gotten in the past few weeks is for the fully nude woman in their video.

The freely available video pretends to some modesty. Meanwhile their record label peddles the uncensored version as a paid download—they’re treating their music like it is pornography.

So for their new song, how can veteran rock darlings Rilo Kiley top that? Fill their video with actual porn stars.

Two porn stars in an embrace from Rilo Kiley's The Moneymaker

Unlike the crybaby commenters at Brooklyn Vegan, I’m not so worried about what “The Moneymaker” portends for Jenny and the boys. Sure, the song has none of the warmth we know Rilo Kiley has in their repertoire, but it’s hardly as cold or monotonous as it’s made out to be.

You want to know what is monotonous? Banal, life-story interviews with porn stars that last longer than the song itself. They aren’t interesting. They aren’t attractive. They’re not naked, either. We see more skin from the considerably more luscious Jenny Lewis, and that’s really just because of a slightly higher hemline.

Jenny Lewis in Rilo Kiley's The Moneymaker

Boys, you’ve already got a beautiful woman in your videos; you don’t need to resort to Lebowski-esque porn parody. At least you didn’t go the full route of erotic desperation and change your name to The Hooters

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A Decade of Steely Thom

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

Radiohead - OK Computer

It’s the tenth anniversary of Radiohead‘s OK Computer, the album that brought sonic weirdness to the MTV audience. That’s right, it’s been ten years since Thom Yorke first called out for the assistance of the Karma Police—and he hasn’t stopped wailing since!

To celebrate this diamond anniversary, hip music sites are celebrating! Hypeful has collected their favorite covers of the album’s songs and created their own OK Computer tribute. Stereogum has taken this a step further, releasing a full-fledged tribute album called OKX. Stereogum’s collection is just a little bit better for one reason: it doesn’t have Howie Day.

And what if you don’t like Radiohead or an assortment of upstarts butchering their venerable work? Just count your blessings; it’s the tenth anniversary of another album, too….

Limp Bizkit - Three Dollar Bill Y'all

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Robert Plant 2.0

Posted in Led Zeppelin,Rock by M on June 30, 2007

Forget about that fake Zep Reunion!

Robert Plant

URGH has the next best thing: the exclusive musings of Robert Plant, filtered through the exciting “Web 2.0” website Twitter!

Robert Plant on Twitter, saying 'I said she won't be true, no.  Yeah, no.'

Yes, thanks to modern technology, you can have the peerless, mystic insights of Led Zeppelin all at one address, instant messaged to you, or even sent to your cell phone!

Even if you don’t take advantage of all that the 21st Century has to offer, you have to admit: Plant is at least as amusing and necessary as Fake Steven Wright.

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