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Hello again! ‘Tis I, your old pal M.C… back with a SUPER-SIZED edition of “Music for the Masses.” This week, I “whips out” a gnarly, Big Cock and slam it against the bedpost a couple of times to “warm it up a bit” before sticking it in your ear. Meanwhile, Double A checks in with the new one from Nas and proclaims that Hip Hop Is Dead and we “class the joint up a bit” by adding a new voice to the proceedings, “Reverb. . .with J.D.” Sound like fun? Well, what do you say we find out?

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BIG COCK
Album: Big Cock
Sounds Like? The Whiskey on Sunset… circa 1987.

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There ain’t no blockin’ THESE Cocks…

Before I begin any type of review for the new, self-titled album from Scottsdale, Arizona’s Big Cock, I would like to personally thank them… again… for naming their band after me. You’re too kind, boys… too kind. And since you were obviously using me as your naming inspiration, I would also like to thank you for avoiding the band names “BackHair,” “Halitosis” and “Un-descended Left Nut.” You guys fucking rock, in a very “don some acid-wash, crimp your hair and hop in the ‘Z’ to head to the tracks to slam some Matilda Bay” kinda way, and I’m reserving a special place in heaven for you boys… smack-ass between the guy who invented the “day-glo pink” wife beater and this hell-cat.. GRRRRR!!!!

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Jesus… hope this guy never has an itch on his balls.

But seriously, folks, I’m here to tell you that, obvious “big dick jokes” aside, Big Cock is a group of HARD rockers in the VEIN of Deep PURPLE and HELMET. In fact, even a ONE EYED SNAKE could see how HARD these guy’s rock. Okay… I lied. Those were still some OBVIOUS jokes and perhaps… PERHAPS… that last one was a “bit” of a stretch. Whatever. Let’s just suffice it to say that Big Cock is one of the best non-hair “hair metal” band that you have ever heard… like an AquaNet “wetdream”… sans the AquaNet.

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AquaNet… the first choice for dudes dressing like chicks.©

That’s right, Mr. Brett Michaels!! Keep your fingers crossed!! I smell an “opening act” opportunity for you on the horizon!!

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Pamela Anderso… wait… I mean, Brett Michaels… wait. Good lord. I wish they’d wear name tags or something… it’s like trying to tell the fucking Olsen twins apart.

All joking aside, this new disc from the Arizona 4-piece is cock-full, I mean, chock-full of ass-ripping power chords, blistering solos, nut-thudding base, head-pounding drums and enough euphemisms for male genitalia to make Lance Bass lick his lips. Check out some of these song titles: “Ride On Me,” “Rock Hard,” “Every Inch Of My Love” and “Fucked Up!” Oh yeah, and there’s a cover of the Paul Anka song, “She’s A Lady.” My particular favorites, though, are the riff-laden songs “Real Man” and “Scottsdale Girls,” the later of which I am dedicating, right here and now, to Christopher Stipp from Quick Stop’s very own “Trailer Park” because of the line “make a mess in your blonde curls, my Scottsdale Girls.” See, I’m thinking that’s how Stipp rolls. “Naw, baby, you don’t have to worry. I’ll tell you when I’m about to… AHHH… OHHHH… damn, baby… I’m sorry. Sit right there. I’ll go get you a wet nap.” Oh yeah, and he’s from Scottsdale.

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Stipp’s ride, “the PenetrateHer.”

Is this the most original music that you’ll ever hear? Hell no. But who fucking cares? Seriously. That’s not the point of having Big Cock. The point of having Big Cock is to pump some fun back into the tight-assed, “American Idol-loving” music scene, to slap on the foreheads of the punk and “screamo” crowds and to give the world back it’s arena rock. And that, my friends, is EXACTLY what this Big Cock does. Fuck yeah!! Can I hear an “Amen?” Damn straight.

Sure, it wouldn’t have killed these guys to change the tempo from song to song and the lyrics are not going to win any literary awards, but hey… screw it! I give nothing but kudos to these guys for gearing this baby for maximum, sustained head-bangage. I’ll say it again, this CD is pure, “Devil Horn” pumping fun, plain and simple, so go ahead… take this Big Cock for a spin and see how it fits. I’m confident that you’ll think it’s one hell of a ride.

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(No Shit, fun stuff!).

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Well, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. There hasn’t been a damn thing worth a shit to come out this year. Granted, the year is only in its third week, but in the time that I’ve been doing these here reviews, I’ve NEVER had this much trouble finding something to review. So instead of picking up something completely random, I decided to go with an album that came out towards the end of last year. That album is Nas’ Hip Hop is Dead. I’d heard that the album was pretty good, but I avoided it at first because I’m just not into Nas. After listening to this album, I can honestly tell you… I’m STILL not into Nas.

Don’t get me wrong, this album isn’t bad, it’s just not my cup of tea. Or cup of crunk juice if you will, cus you know, rappers these days are all about the crunk juice. Anyways, Hip Hop is Dead just seems to be going through the motions. None of the songs are bad, but none of them are really great. There were a few times when I found myself getting into a song, but for the most part, all the songs are just kind of plain. Songs like “Where Are they Now?” and “Who Killed It?” offer up some good rhymes and are probably the best tracks on the album.

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If you’re like me, you want an album that you can really get into. Like Buffalo Bill from The Silence of the Lambs or, I guess, Jay in Clerks II. You know what I mean? Unfortunately this album doesn’t make me want to wear it like a hat. I can see why a lot of mainstream outlets called this the best rap album of last year. It’s safe and non-threatening and, in my opinion, not all that great. If you haven’t picked this up yet… don’t go out of your way. Save your money for some future releases that (hopefully) will be coming out in the next few week.

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Reverb… with J.D.

One of the great things about living in Denver is the volume of high-quality of live music that comes through town. As the only ‘major’ city between the West Coast and the Midwest, pretty much every band on tour makes a stop here… as such, you can catch a solid show seemingly every week.

The past couple of weekends I hit two excellent concerts: My Morning Jacket (1/12) and G. Love (1/19). Actually, though, it’s not really appropriate to group those two together in the ‘excellence’ category. MMJ was indeed stellar: they are a tight band clearly living up to the hype, filling their live show with aural explorations that consistently swell to mesmerizing, kick-ass guitar crescendos. G. Love, on the other hand, was pretty sloppy. The sound at the Fillmore sucked that night and it definitely appeared that G. and his crew had been hitting the “Special Sauce”. But like every other G. Love show I’ve been to, it was still a blast. Good music, good times, and for the most part, good peeps.

My only complaint about the show actually came from the crowd. During the acoustic part of G’s encore (two songs) some stupid chick standing directly behind me randomly let out howling, eardrum-piercing screams. Now I can appreciate that G. Love, via soulful lyrics and his whitey-hop boogie stylings, consistently hits the “G.” spot of the ladies in his audience… but not to the point where can I appreciate losing a couple of years hearing off the back end of my life.

My first inclination was to turn around, walk up to her, and scream right the f*ck back in her ear… kinda like the narrator in Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado”, of course without the satisfaction horror of silencing her for good. But instead I got to thinking of the most annoying crowd behavior I’ve encountered in my years as a serial concert-goer, and came up with a little rulebook for attending live shows:

The Concertgoers Manifesto

Rule #1: Shut The Fuck Up

–Chances are, I paid good money (plus Ticketmaster gouges) to see this show. So did everyone else around you. And that’s the deal, boys and girls. We paid to listen to the music, not to you. So shut your damn piehole already. If you have a story to tell, save it til’ set-break, take it to the concourses, do whatever you have to do…just shut the f*ck up. (Two Notes– First, there are obvious exceptions: brief/discreet/reasonably quiet chats with your friends…and/or making time with the person next to you. This rule is more intended for the non-stop jabberers who talk during the entire show (and whose population is distressingly large). Second, the importance of this rule increases proportionally to the intimacy of the show you are attending. Large, loud rock show: not as important (since we probably can’t hear you). Cozy, acoustic-type show: Mandatory).

Rule #2: Loosen Up, Meat

–You know this guy, right? He’s standing right in front of you at a G.A. show, likely muscle-bound, and he ain’t moving one inch of his being… except to pound your a** if you keep touching him. Hey Jockstrap, nothing personal… it’s just a little crowded, and oh by the way there’s some music being played that is making every other person in this crowd, you know, dance a little. But sorry for brushing up against you… maybe next concert you’ll get lucky and everyone around you will also hate life and not want to have fun.

Rule #3: Head Up (or Down) With Your Outbursts

–See G. Love explanation. Many of us, myself included, are given to cheering/whistling/hollering when we are excited/having fun/drunk at shows. But do your neighbor a favor and point your head up (or down) when cutting loose with your chosen outbursts. Because doing so directly in your neighbors ear? Es muy mal.

Rule #4: If You Spill Someone’s Drink, You Owe Them a New One


–Self-explanatory. Kindly ask what you spilled, and kindly hurry up and get them a new one.

Rule #5: Leave the Accessories at Home

–This rule applies mostly to crunchy, uber jam-type shows where sometimes fans like to accessorize and become a part of the show. Two prime examples are bringing in shakers to “jam along with the band” and hula hoops. Shakers are just inexcusable. Remember, everyone paid to listen to the band, NOT you and your little sand-filled egg. And if you are over 18 and hula-hooping at a show, I have this little pearl of wisdom for you:

Q: What’s the toughest thing about hula-hooping?
A: Telling your dad you’re gay.

So there you have it, folks. Five simple, easy-to-follow rules that will make EVERYONE’S concert-going experience a lot more fun. Learn it, live it, share it with your friends!

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Well, as the tens of you probably heard on the J. Allen/Double A “fill-in podcast” last week, I was on a cruise. No… that’s not “code” for “rehab.” Seriously… it was a cruise. And, contrary to their claims, this was NOT a “big, gay boat ride”… however, someone forgot to tell these guys… seriously… they were on the cruise…

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In all actuality, it was the “Ships & Dip” excursion featuring the Barenaked Ladies and Guster. Now, I realize that for some of you, my “puss factor” just shot through the roof, but hey, whatever… I’m comfortable in my own skin, dammit… just like the two “seamen” up above there… and there was no way in hell that I was going to miss an opportunity to hang out with two of my “most favortist” bands in the world while cruising the Bahamas. You fucking high? Nope, wouldn’t have missed it for the world and I gotta tell you… I’m glad I didn’t because it was an absolutely REMARKABLE experience. Sure, my requests for interviews where shit on like a prostitute at a Duke Lacross party (yes, I know they were innocent… relax), but all of the other experiences I had on the boat more than made up for that.

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First and foremost, we (me and the little lady) were lucky enough to have met some really cool people including one couple that said they were “swingers.” I told them that I didn’t realize that the ship HAD a playground on it, but that maybe we could meet there later. Never found that damn playground, though. Oh, we also met a TON, literally, of people who were under the mistaken impression this little boat ride was, in fact, a Jenny Craig “Cruise to Lose” jaunt. I shit you not… as we were boarding, or rather, herding onto the boat, I wouldn’t have been surprised to see Kirstie Alley listed as one of the “entertainers”… or Richard Simmons. In a weird way, I was comforted by the fact that if the boat sank, there were PLENTY of fat people I could use as a floatation device.

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Man rubbing lotion on BNL fan: Turks and Caicos, 1/17/07

We also discovered something called “alcohol.” You guys ever hear of this stuff? Wowie wow… good shit! The waiters would bring it right to you. You didn’t even have to move which, as I noted above, was a VERY good thing for some people and a good thing for me as it kept the boat from rocking. Oh, and let’s not forget the AMAZING shows. In fact, the shows I saw with the big boys, especially Guster, rank with some of the best live shows that I have ever seen. No kidding. But the real unexpected treat here, the thing that just pushed this cruise over the top for me, was seeing all of the incredible collaborations between the various artists and getting clued in to some lesser known acts. In fact, I was SOOOOO impressed by some of these bands and how hard they worked on this cruise that I thought I would help them out a bit by telling you a bit about them. Believe me, after all that they gave to me… it’s the least I could do.

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Now Joe Pisapia doesn’t need me to pimp anything for him because he is doing JUST FINE as one of the members of Guster. He’s the “New Guy,” if you will. But before Joe joined the band, he made an outstanding solo disc that I think you guys should check out called Daydreams.

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I respect the hell out of Joe Pisapia because he is an artist driven more by the act of making music and being appreciated for it than he is by fame and fortune and that attitude shines the brightest on Daydreams. Borrowing equal parts from Dylan and Davies, Daydreams is an entertaining collection of multi-layered songs that reveal more and more each time you listen. The instrumentation and arrangements are sublime and the lyrics are both touching and poignant, especially on tracks like “River Song” and “Dancing Partner.” I was fortunate to catch Joe’s “solo” performance (on stage with him were members from Oakhurst, who we’ll get to in a minute, BNL and, of course, Guster) on the ship, during which he played most of Daydreams. I can honestly say THAT performance was EASILY my favorite moment of the cruise and his heartfelt rendition of “Dancing Partner” literally brought the little lady to tears. It was THAT moving. You know, I kid around A LOT on this site, but I’m not kidding when I say that there are times when you are watching a show, and I’m sure many of you have experienced this, when the chemistry on stage is so mesmerizing, you get swept away. This was one of those moments. Simply amazing. I highly recommend Daydreams. It’s folksy and mellow, but it is an outstanding album and well worth your time.

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Another band that impressed the hell out of me was a band from right here in Denver, Oakhurst. Oakhurst easily gets the award for “Hardest Working Band” on the cruise as these guys where, literally, EVERYWHERE. Whether they were picking their way through a set of their highly entertaining, bluegrass infused folk-pop or lending support to the other bands and their various side projects, members of this band worked constantly. In fact, I heard that these guys (A.P. Hill on vocals/guitar, Johnny Qualley on bass, Adam Smith on guitar, Chris Budin on drums and Zach Daniels on banjo) paid their own way onto the boat just to get a little exposure and at the beginning of the cruise had NO set gigs. Obviously, they didn’t just impress me because they were a part of virtually every show, so take that for what it’s worth. Again, Oakhurst’s music is a bit on the mellow side, but this is a great group of guys and they are all exceptionally talented musicians so stop by and show them a little love at www.myspace.com/oakhurst.

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And last, but definitely not least, is Jason Plumb. You see Jason is a bit of a contradiction in that he looks like a trucker… the kind with a dead hooker in the back of the refrigeration unit… but has this voice that is just remarkable, especially when you consider the source. When I first saw him hit the stage, I was honestly waiting for him to let loose with a mighty “Breaker, breaker… c’mon back now!! This is Hooker Hauler… what’s your 20??” Of course, some of you may know Jason as the ex-lead singer of the Canadian band, The Waltons. You may also know him from his numerous producing credits or from some of his soundtrack credits. I didn’t know any of this. All I knew his last album, 2003’s Under and Over, was produced by Ed Robertson, of BNL fame, and is a very understated and passionate affair. The songs on the disc are disarming in their honesty and immediately accessible. Great stuff, all around. Additionally, I gotta say that Jason was one of the coolest people that I met on the ship. Check him out at www.myspace.com/jasonplumbandthewilling.

UPCOMING RELEASES. . .

ARTIST TITLE GENRE
Allen, Lily
Still Alright POP
Beats International
Let Them Eat Bingo POP
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Some Loud Thunder ROCK
Clarke, Gilby
Gilby Clarke ROCK
Connick, Jr.,Harry
Oh, My Nola POP
Dead Voices On Air
From Labrador To Madagascar ROCK
Deftones
Saturday Night Wrist ROCK
Diabolical Masquerade
Nightwork POP
Disincarnate
Dreams of the Carrion Kid POP
Dodsferd
Fucking Your Creation (2 CD) ROCK
Downlord
Random Dictionary of the Damned POP
Early Years, The
The Early Years ROCK
Edenbridge
Grand Design, The ROCK
End of Destiny
Thoughtless Existence, The POP
Everscathed, The
Razors of Unrest POP
Gandalf
Gandalf II ROCK
Grave Digger
Liberty Or Death ROCK
Greylevel
Opus One ROCK
Hart, Roddy
Bookmarks ROCK
Horna
Aania Yossa ROCK
Howe, Catherine
What A Beautiful Place ROCK
Jones, Norah
Not Too Late POP
Khallice
Journey, The ROCK
Khymera
New Promise, A ROCK
Kirchen, Bill
Hammer Of The Honky-Tonk Gods ROCK
Koz, Dave
At The Movies POP
Lane, Lana
Gemini ROCK
Look Down
24/7 Dance Force POP
Loureiro, Kiko
No Gravity ROCK
Love Me Destroyer
The Things Around Us Burn POP
McPhee, Katharine
Katharine McPhee POP
Mercury Rev
Back To Mine POP
Necrodemon
Ice Fields of Hyperion POP
Nelly
The Prelude RAP
Neurosonic
Drama Queen ROCK
Nikki Puppet
Puppet On A String ROCK
Norlander, Erik
Hommage Symphonique ROCK
One for the Team
Good Boys Don’t Make Noise POP
Pain Of Salvation
Scarsick ROCK
Plagiarists, The
Veto! POP
Rounders, The
Wish I Had You ROCK
Rudd, Xavier
Food In The Belly ROCK
Ruth’s Hat
Nostalgic for Right Now POP
Sean Price
Jesus Price Supastar RAP
Sidley,Annie
Diamond in the sand POP
Skinny Puppy
Mythmaker ROCK
Smitty
Voice of the Ghetto RAP
Static Thought
In The Trenches ROCK
Sylvian, David / Nine Horses
Money For All ROCK
T.I. & P$C
In Da Streets RAP
Ta’Raach & The Lovelution
The Fevers RAP
Taylor, Lewis
Lost Album, The Pop
The Roadside Graves
What Happened To Him Could Happen To Anyone POP
The Sneakers
Nonsequitur Of Silence POP
Theatre of Hate
Ten Years After POP
Trail Of Tears
Existentia ROCK
Traveling Wilbury’s
Strumming Wilbury’s POP
Tristania
Illumination ROCK
Trucks, The
Trucks, The ROCK
Turner’s, Nik Sphynx
Xitintoday ROCK
Valient Thorr
Legend of the World ROCK
Warm In The Wake
Gold Dust Trail ROCK
Webster, Chris
Something In The Water ROCK
X-Clan
Return From Mecca RAP
Yorkston, James
The Year of the Leopard ROCK
Young Dro
Young and the Restless RAP
Young Love
Too Young To Fight It POP
Young Stally
Young & Flashy RAP
Youth Group
Casino Twilight Dogs ROCK
Yung Ro
Go Hard Texas RAP

Well… there you have it folks. Thanks for hanging in there and, until next time, keep wearing it proud and playing it loud!!

Send sexual inuendos, 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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