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Hola, mi amigos!! Que pasa¿! Me? Why I’m happier than Reverend Ted Haggard with a mouthful of male prostitute. Seriously. And just like Rev. Haggard, I feel it safe to warn you that I’m about to come. . .to a realization that I have an addiction. No, not to cock. . .not that there’s anything wrong with that. You see, it’s just that I gave that up after leaving the Sig Eps (yeah, “brothers,” I got your “Elephant Walk” right here) and during the last couple of weeks, I’ve come to the realization that I absolutely LOVE. . .umm, political attack ads. I’m shooting straight with you here, people. With all of those half-baked accusations, exaggerations and out-right lies. . .shit, those commercials are like little, verbal, 30-second, no-holds-barred UFC cage matches. Light on substance, heavy on the slams. Or, for you EXTRA!! fans out there. . .30-second, commercial equivalents of Paul McCartney’s and “Hop-a-Long” Heather Mills’ divorce. Televised crack, I tell ya’!

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Wait a minute. . .after looking at this picture, I, too, now have one, “wooden leg.” Yes. . .I’m going to hell. If you laughed at that, I’ll save you a seat.

I love these little bits of nasty sooo much, I want to see more of ‘em. In fact, I want to see them so much, (and because I already miss them), I’ve actually decided to put Double A’s position as a “Rap Reviewer” up for vote just so you fine folks (oh, all right. . .myself included) can see a couple more of these attack ads. That’s right, Double A. . .guess you shouldn’t have made fun of my Afghan blanket collection. My Nanna knitted those, you fucker. Mmm hmmm. . .a pink, yellow and blue “binky” ain’t so funny now, is it?

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So anyway, as I was saying, the position of Rap Reviewer here at Music for the Masses is now, officially, up for grabs. That’s right, friends, I’m leaving the decision up to you. Here are your candidates. . .in one corner, weighing in at a bouncy 360 lbs., you have the incumbent, the man who finds the “rap” in “crap”, Double-“Wide” A. In the other corner. . .the challenger, weighing in at a meaty 98 lbs. and hailing from the “un-official” home of rap, Council Bluffs, IA; a candidate hand-picked by yours truly after I spotted him buying a 50 Cent CD at a local Tower “Gowing Out of Business Sale,” dressed in baggy, skater shorts, an Allen Iverson jersey and an all-white, NY Yankees hat with a straight brim. . .the “Crusher”. . .Jimmy “Hat” Rathmore. What do you say? Let’s get to know our candidates. How you ask? Why, the same way you most likely got to know YOUR local, political candidates. . .through good, old-fashioned, attack ads. Up first, Jimmy Rathmore. . .

FADE IN TO PICTURE OF A PARADE IN PROGRESS

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VOICE OVER (ISAAC HAYES): “Double A wants to rain on yo’ parade.”

CUT TO PICTURE OF WHEATIES™

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VOICE OVER (ISAAC HAYES): “Double A wants to shit in yo’ Wheaties™”

CUT TO PICTURE OF A BIRTHDAY CAKE

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VOICE OVER (ISAAC HAYES): “Double A wants to take away yo’ Birf’day. . .

CUT TO A PICTURE OF A PUPPY AS SCREEN TURNS RED

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VOICE OVER (ISAAC HAYES): “Double A likes to kick puppies.”

FADE TO A PICTURE OF JIMMY AND HOLD

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FADE IN MUSIC: “GANGSTA’S PARADISE”

VOICE OVER (ISAAC HAYES): “But NOT Jimmy Rathmore. . .he ain’t frontin’, playa’, like Double A. Double A don’t know shit about rap and you know what else? His momma’s a ho’. That’s right, Double A’s momma is such a ho’, they made her the dock in Dick Town. But not Jimmy’s. His momma is a real sweet piece o’ ass. In fact, I’m gonna hit that right after I finish readin’ his commercial here. Mmm hmm. . .Where was I? Oh yeah. . .Jimmy’s the real deal. He owns all 48 of Tu-Pac’s discs, you know, the ones released after his death? Yeah, that’s what I’m talkin’ about. 3 of his shirts are RocaWear®, his Adidas® are old school and he’s just workin’ at McDonald’s® until he can save up enough money to buy those turn-tables. Oh yeah. . .and his bling? Pure sterling silver, baby. That’s how Jimmy rolls. One more thing, children, unlike that punk-ass bitch Double A, Jimmy’s all about education. He’ll teach your kids how to flash a gang sign, hold a spray paint can when taggin’ and how to draw a sweet-ass pair of scissors. . .

FADE IN PICTURE

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Fo’ keepin’ it bizzy up in the hizzy, the choice is clear. Tell Double A you don’t want none of that and vote Jimmy “Hat.”

CUT TO PICTURE OF JIMMY

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VOICE OVER (JIMMY RATHMORE): “I’m Jimmy “Hat” Rathmore and I approved this message, bitch.”

And now, Double A’s ad. . .

FADE IN TO A SERENE IMAGE OF A MAJESTIC MOUNTAIN

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VOICE OVER (JAMES EARL JONES): In this climate of insecurity, it is nice to know that some things will never change. The sky will always be blue, Rosie O’Donnell will never be funny and Double A will continue to stand up for the little guys. Music for the Masses needs a consistent voice, one that has been down in the trenches, buying the shit that you shouldn’t. James Rathmore says that he knows rap. That he’s a “fan” of rap.

FADE TO BLACK

VOICE OVER (JAMES EARL JONES): Jimmy Rathmore says he knows rap?

CUT TO PICTURE OF MC HAMMER

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VOICE OVER (JAMES EARL JONES): Fact! Rathmore owns all 6 of MC Hammer’s albums, including the rare, un-released album “Oh Hell, I’m Broke.” He also has the entire album “To the Extreme” by Vanilla Ice. . .memorized.

CUT TO PICTURE OF LOTION

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VOICE OVER (JAMES EARL JONES): Fact! Rathmore thinks that N.W.A. stands for “Now With Aloe,” just like his favorite brand of lotion. Lotion that he uses to masturbate with because he’s too much of a punk bitch to get a girlfriend.

CUT TO PICTURE OF PUPPIES TINTED RED

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VOICE OVER (JAMES EARL JONES): Fact! While Double A has kicked his fair share of puppies in the past, at least he has never thought about having sex with one. Rathmore has. A lot.

CUT TO VIDEO OF THE FLAG WAVING IN THE WIND

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VOICE OVER (JAMES EARL JONES): If you elect James Rathmore to write your rap reviews, all you will ever get are reviews of the latest Eminem mixtape that he made for his friend “Smokey.” Also, if you elect Rathmore, he will come have sex with your dog. Double A wont. You can count on it.

CUT TO PICTURE OF DOUBLE A

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VOICE OVER (DOUBLE A): What it is, bitches? This is Double A and I approved this ad.

There you have it, folks. Now, it’s up to you so. . .ROCK THE VOTE!!!! Just drop me an email, at the link below, and help support democracy by casting your vote for your favorite candidate.

But enough about all of that. It’s time now to check out some new music. In this edition of Music for the Masses, we take a look at the new one from the Who, Endless Wire, the music of Warren Miller’s new movie, Off the Grid, and we provide another chance for you aspiring artists out there to “Pimp Your Band.” Should be fun. So, what do you say? Let’s get to it, shall we??!!

m4m-who-nov9 Artist: The Who
Album:Endless Wire
Bastard Love Child of: The Who when all 4 members were alive and The Who now where only 2 of them are.
Best for: Realizing how much I miss John Entwhislte.

You know, I’m only half joking when I tell you that I fully expect to tune in to Dateline’s “To Catch a Predator” some night and see Chris Hansen asking Pete Townsend “So tell me, Pete. . .what are you doing here? What were you planning on doing with this 13-year old girl?” And, if this ever happens, I fully expect Pete to answer “I wanted to teach her how to work me whammy bar.” Then he’ll make a break for the front door and get tackled in the lawn by a couple of D.C.’s “fattest and finest.”

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For those of you scratching your head out there going “WTF, M.C.?” because you’re not “in the know,” a few years back, Townsend was charged with having kiddie-porn, “worm-burpin’” material on his personal computer. No. . .I’m not making that up. Granted, these charges were later dropped, but that shit sticks with you and I’ll be damned if every fucking (yes, fucking) time I hear the Who’s “Pinball Wizard,” I don’t change the lyrics to. . .”Ever since I was a young boy, I liked to play with balls. From Soho down to Brighton, I must have played them all.” And good lord, I haven’t even told you about one of the lyrics on this new disc. But we’ll get to that in a minute.

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Now, regardless of the validity of Townsend’s sexual appetites, I consider myself a pretty big fan of the Who’s music and I was really looking forward to getting my hands on this new one, Endless Wire. Their first disc of new material since 1982’s It’s Hard? Easy money, my friends. Easy money. Of course, as many of you know, with great anticipation can come great disappointment and after listening to this disc, I’m disappointed. Allow me to explain. If you are a hard core fan of the Who, you are going to love this album, even if it is, more or less, a glorified Pete Townsend solo disc along the lines of 1993’s Pyschoderelict, simply because it is a new disc. The fact that Daltry adds his gracefully aging voice to the proceedings makes it easier to swallow as a “Who disc,” but let’s not kid ourselves. This is not the same Who, deaths aside, that created enough quality material to prompt Syrius Satelite to give them their own channel and this is not the album that we’ve been waiting for. It’s not complete shit, and, again, it IS new Who for crying out loud, but this is Pete. . .pushing the envelope and experimenting. . .again. To paraphrase Michael’s line from The Godfather II, “You broke my heart, Pete. . .you broke my heart. Hey. . .wanna go fishing?”

And that brings us to the “casual” Who fan. They’re going to absolutely hate this disc. Know why? Because they’re going to grab this disc wanting to hear something familiar from this iconic band and aside from a tricked-up nod to the opening of “Baba O’Riley,” they ain’t gonna get it. What they ARE going to get is a hook-less song about religion, “Man in the Purple Dress,” a disjointed mini-opera (“Wire & Glass”) that is more unevenly spaced than the eyes of a Special Olympian and, due to the kiddie-porn allegations, one of the creepiest lyrical lines you’ll ever here. . .”Why can’t they see that life excites me/This boy ignites me” (“Trilby’s Piano”). *SHUDDER* Put it back in your pants, Pete. . .for fuck’s sake.

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I’m still holding out hope that, even without Entwhistle, we’ll get another classic Who disc, but sadly, this isn’t it. Unless you are a hard core, and I mean hard core, fan, save your money.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

WARREN MILLER’S OFF THE GRID

There are a ton of reasons why it’s cool to live in Colorado but chief among them are that all of the women here look exactly like this. . .

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. . .on your 21st birthday, the government sends you a giant block of cheese. . .

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. . .and, most importantly, you learn to ski at a young age. . .

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I realize that for some of you out there, skiing is that thing that Sonny Bono was doing just prior to head-butting that tree, but for me and a shit-load of others here in Colorado, it’s a religion. . .sans all the alter boy “mouth hugging” and “butt-fiddling.” And if skiing is the religion, then without a doubt, Warren Miller is our favorite preacher. “Why’s that?” you ask. Well, you see, Warren Miller has been preaching the gospel of skiing and cranking out amazing ski films for the past 57 years and for those same 57 years, the faithful have gathered, just prior to the start of the ski season, to watch Warren’s latest opus and to get psyched up for hitting the slopes. For some, it’s the best part of the whole season and for good reason.

You see, aside from all of the amazing and breath-taking shots of people launching off of all kinds of crazy shit, Warren’s films feature, arguably, some of the coolest music you’ve never heard. Okay, maybe you’ve heard a couple of the tracks and some of the artists, but seriously, the guy has a knack for finding some obscure talent. And I mean, obscure. In fact, I couldn’t find squat on one of the main artists featured in Warren’s new film, Off The Grid, Boots Wallace. Too bad. . .good shit, Boots. But, that’s exactly why were here today. I realize that if you’re not a skier, your chances of checking out one of these films is slim to none and slim just left town, but there were some artists in this year’s film that are deserving of your attention. Some you’ve heard of, like Gomez and Imogen Heap, but others you more than likely have not. I highly recommend checking out the actual films, but, at the very least, check these tunes out and help out some under-appreciated artists. Who knows, maybe you’ll find some new favorites like I did with Big City Rock, Zero 7 and Gomez.

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In no particular order:

-Sweatshop Union’s “Baho Ang Titi Mo,” “Union Dues” and “Garbage Love Scenes/Cheesy Jingles” (www.myspace.com/sweatshopunion7)

-Scratch Track’s “Come One Come All” (www.myspace.com/scratchtrack)

-Tomorrow and Everyday After’s “Grudge” (www.teaarmy.com)

-Living Things’ “Bom Bom Bom” (www.myspace.com/livingthings)

-Simon Dawes’ “Have a Heart” (www.myspace.com/simondawes)

-Gomez’s “How We Operate” (www.myspace.com/gomez)

-Primal Scream’s “Country Girl” (www.myspace.com/primalscream)

-Wired All Wrong’s “Let Me Go,” “Medicate,” “Elevatin’”and “Fifteen Minutes” (www.myspace.com/wiredallwrong)

-Zero 7’s “The Pageant of the Bizarre” (www.myspace.com/zero7official)

- Bullets And Octane’s “Save Me Sorrow” (www.myspace.com/bulletsandoctane)

-Imogen Heap’s “Hide and Seek” (www.myspace.com/imogenheap)

-Big City Rock’s “Human” (www.myspace.com/bigcityrock)

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“Yippee ki aye, mother fucker!”

BAND OF THE WEEK!!!!

You know? In addition to MySpace being a GREAT place to meet a Dateline reporter. . .

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it’s also a great place to check out some new and/or unsigned artists. To honor these individuals and their art, I thought it would be cool to feature a band here each time out, sans any remarks or comments from yours truly. Consider this your place to shine. If you want you or your band featured here, just drop me a line. Up this week. . .

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Pepper Sands

Vancouver, BC

www.myspace.com/peppersands or www.peppersands.com

Band Members:

Citizen A: Bass and vocals

Adam: Drums and Percussion

Jay Slye: Guitar and Percussion

Derek MacDonald: Keyboards

Has Toured With: Concrete Blonde, 30 Seconds To Mars, I Mother Earth, Billy Talent, Sleater-Kinney and Swollen Members. . .amongst others.

Sounds Like: “Your wildest, wettest dreams”

CD Available? New Disc Available. . .”Forrest Strays”

Label: Universal Music Canada/Independent

What Others Are Saying: “For a major label debut, Pepper Sands self-titled record shines with the polish of the numerous veteran alternative rock acts that so obviously influence it. Seems like this Vancouver quartet has been carefully listening to most of modern rocks finest from the last decade. Lead-off track, “Win Big Lose More (Cherries Jubilee),” shows you what a Shirley Manson-fronted Foo Fighters would sound like, with its heavy riffs, poppy melodies and singer Citizen As girlie-but-ballsy vocals (think Avril Lavigne’s older sister!). Hints of Brit-pop will warm the hearts of still-grieving Lush fans on “Speak Too Soon,” while the shoe-gaze-y indie pop of “Myth” references everything that was cool about mid-90s alt-darlings, Velocity Girl. You’ve got to like a band that knows how to swap girl/boy vocals with ease and use them oh-so-sweetly when harmonizing. And get ready to dance on the super bop-y “Forever Wonder” that sounds like Neko Case singing lead for One Chord-era Sloan. Nice. Pepper Sands seem to have taken all the best parts of their favorite bands and put together a radio-friendly, catchy debut that surprises you and sticks in your head all day.” — Brian Pascual, Chartattack

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Message from the band: Looks are deceiving. And first impressions don’t always hold true. With their spunky black-white-and-red comic book cover art and short, tight, hyperactive tunes, Pepper Sands might give you the impression they’re a modern-day new wave group, updating the carefree magic of the Go-Go’s. The Vancouver quartet certainly come charging out of the gate with plenty of amped-up frustration and good time kicks. But somewhere in the middle of their debut album, the band that has opened for 54-40, Sleater-Kinney and Matthew Good slow down ever so slightly and begin opening up. The staccato pop bursts of “WIN BIG LOSE MORE (cherries jubilee)” or “Speak Too Soon” give way to the moodier introspection of “Myth,” “Touch Apart” and “Make No Mistake.” Singer Citizen A layers her vocals in lush echoes and even shuts down to a whisper. Guitarist Jay Slye rolls off the aggressive opening riffs and begins painting the night sky with ringing tones reminiscent of U2’s the Edge. Atmosphere adds depth and the lined images on the cover transform into full portraits. The acres of lyrics on the album’s insert, taking up literally every panel except the cover, express the views of a band hooked on love and forever trying to figure out a way past the inevitable pain. Except where a less literal band might stick with a few cloying phrases — and drill an obnoxious, overdone hook into your head — Pepper Sands opt to tell the story like an interior monologue where the brain must decide what thoughts to keep and which to discard. The effect is sometimes maddening, sometimes endearing, like that late night radio DJ who has had too much caffeine and proceeds to speak in circles through the endless night. You keep thinking you should turn it off and get your own head straight, but you keep wondering where it’s all going to end up. In Pepper Sands’ case, it adds up to a spirited pop debut that suggests the band is going to get much weirder as time goes on.

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Be sure to check them out!!!

Well, folks, that’s going to do it for me and the gang this week, so. . .until next time. . .keep wearing it proud and playing it loud.

Send your votes for a new rap reviewer, review copies, presents and assorted hate mail to:


M.C. Bell
P.O. Box 1222
Arvada, CO 80001

E-MAIL THE AUTHOR

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