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Guten Morgen sehr geehrte Damen und Herren! Welcome back to another edition of Music for the Masses. Now, before we begin, I’d like to announce to you all that… umm, I think I might be the father of Anna Nicole’s baby. Seriously. I mean, who’s to say that Anna Nicole didn’t sneak into my room one night, accidentally trip and land twat-down on my “Maria Sharapova/Kate Beckinsale/Lindsay Lohan” sock that I keep next to my bed?

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Tennis hasn’t been THIS sexy since Boris Becker retired.

Hey… weirder things have happened. Just ask Zsa Zsa Gabor’s husband. Maybe she used a truck stop toilet after I did… whatever. Either way, I think the possibility warrants a paternity test. So, lawyers… if you need a DNA sample, just let me know…I’ll FedEx you a paper towel LOADED with stuff… and I mean LOADED. Just like the one I sent to Oprah. But hey, enough about that because we don’t do bullshit, non-sequitors anymore around here, right? And besides… we have some new music to review. Up first, as promised, we check in with the new one from The Cat Empire followed closely by Double A’s look at the new disc from the Wu Tang Clan. Oh, and batting clean-up, on his “off-week” no less, is J.D., who checks in with some Grammy coverage. Sound like fun? Well. . .how’s about we find out?
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The Cat Empire

Album: Two Shoes
Sounds like:
Two Cats fuckin’… a skinny, funky-smelling latin one and a nappy-looking, pot-smoking rasta cat.

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Seriously… I’m not joking when I tell you that I fucking (yes, I just typed “fucking”) hate cats. I always have. There really is no “defining” moment here and no, “I’m not allergic” which is really just code for “I hate your fucking (yes, I just typed “fucking”) cat.” Why do I hate these creatures of the night/pure evil? Hmmm… interesting question. You know, I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I CAN tell you that the loathing started after I first witnessed, at a tender young age, the way a cat can make it’s butthole “wink” as it walks out of a room. I’m convinced that’s a cat’s way of saying “fuck you” and, besides, it’s “Creepy” with a capitol “K.” What??!! Oh… come on now, don’t “pretend” you’ve never seen a kitty’s “stinkin’, blinkin’ balloon knot. “That’s like telling your girlfriend/wife/mom that “you’ve never jacked off.” Remember kids… Satan and Anna Nicole are reserving a special place in hell for liars.

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Whatever. But as much as I may hate these corn-hole flaunting little bastards, (no, silly… not Satan or Anna Nicole…the cats!!) I can honestly tell you that I have never been compelled to exact revenge on one… unlike my buddy Tom. But more on that in a minute. First, we have to exact revenge on ANOTHER type of cat… The Cat Empire. How’s that for a segue? Slicker than shit through a goose, eh?

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The Cat Empire


Sooo… as the minority of you heard on last week’s pod cast, the U.S. debut of Australia’s very own and EXTRAORDINARILY successful, The Cat Empire, dropped last week and was, without a doubt, one of the new releases in February (or as my retarded cousin likes to call it… “HNNNNGGGHHH”) that I was greatly looking forward to. “So,” I’m sure you’re asking, “how did Two Shoes fair, M.C.?” Well, my fine young cannibals… I’m glad you asked.

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The Cat Power


Two Shoes is, without a doubt, one of the most uneven and disappointing discs I’ve heard in quite some time. There are some exceptionally melodic and endearing moments here, as well as some groovy beats and rhythms, but nothing on this new disc comes close to being as infectious as the band’s first hit, 2003’s “Hello.” Consistent with their previous outings, the music on Two Shoes is an enthusiastic combination of ska, funk, latin, humor and hip hop, and again, The Cat Empire gets high marks for “mixing things up.” However, the combination of “mixing things up,” typically tired, British reggae-affectations, odd time signatures and Felix Riebl’s mediocre vocals (see “In My Pocket,” “Lullaby” and “Saltwater”) proves more toxic than intriguing on this particular outing.

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The Cat Stevens


If you are looking for a silver lining here, the six piece PLUS ensemble (featuring Oliver McGill on keyboards, Riebl on drums/vocals, Ryan Monroe on double bass, Harry James Angus on trumpet, Will Hull-Brown on drums, DJ Jamshid “Jumps” Khadiwala and various other horn players, dancers and guests) does offer up a few outstanding tracks, specifically, the album opener “Sly,” “The Car Song” and the Santana-esque “Sol Y Sombra.””Unfortunately, the majority of the tracks come off sounding like muddled outtakes from a Sublime recording session, pre-Brad Nowell’s-untimely-heroin-overdose. If you are looking for unique, especially in the realm of latin/reggae fusion, The Cat Empire’s Two Shoes is ABSOLUTELY your disc. Ummm. . .emphasis on “unique” there. If you are looking for “time-less” and “ultimately listenable” ska in the vein of a Tosh or a Marley or hell, even a Sublime, skip this fucker like an episode of “Studio 60.”

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So, as I was saying before we were so RUDELY interrupted, my buddy Tom had an asshole roommate in college who had an even bigger asshole of a cat. According to Tom, the cat was “just a dick,” assuming cats can be such things, and had taken up the nasty habit of pissing in, on and around Tom’s room/things. Ever smell cat piss? Yeah, well, understandably, this didn’t sit well with my buddy Tom.

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Even the cat couldn’t stand the smell of it’s own piss…


So, after cleaning up after the hairy little fucker for the umpteenth time and realizing that no level of Febreeze® was going to remove this special brand of “pussy stank,” Tom decided that it was time for the cat’s owner to do “a little cleaning up.” So, without further ado, my pal dropped trough and took a mighty shit in the cat’s litter box. Now, this part of the story is merely conjecture, but I’m guessing that the entire time, Tom is thinking “yeah buddy… scoop THIS up with your little, slotted spatula!!”

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But Tom wasn’t done for, as many of you may or may not know, after dropping a nutty, fat kid into the cat’s pool, one is in need of a wipe. And THAT is EXACTLY what Tom did… with his roommate’s “face only” towel… using a hearty, front-to-back/back-to-front sawing motion…before refolding the towel neatly on the rack to hide the offending stain. Now, I’m not sure what happened with that towel, but I do know the roommate entered the abode and spied that mighty loaf perched atop the mound of TidyCat®; never ONCE suspecting it was human fecal mater in his kitty shitter. And, much to Tom’s chagrin, the roommate did not immediately pluck that gargantuan turd out of the box with the afore-mentioned slotted spatula and vow to amend his ways.

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On the contrary, the roommate screamed like a chick, sobbed hysterically and whisked the cat off to an emergency vet clinic. Now, in all fairness to this clown, if I had a cat and I saw a mythically-sized turd wedged in it’s box, I’m not sure I’d immediately think, “Hey… somebody shit in my cat box. No fair! Oh well, I guess I’ll scoop it up and keep a better eye on the cat!” but I guess we’ll never know. I’ll tell you this, though, where I, too, would have most likely assumed that there was something tragically wrong with the animal, I guarantee you I wouldn’t have screamed like a chick. But I digress.

So friends, what’s the moral of this story? Honestly, I have no fucking clue, but I’ll tell you this… don’t fuck with my buddy Tom. Oh yeah, and if he comes to visit? After he leaves, burn your towels.

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Me likey the Wu-Tang Clan. I always have too. Back in the day when all the kids I knew were into Extreme or god knows what else, I was bumpin Wu Tang’s Forever. I never went as far as to buy any articles of Wu Wear, but I have bought enough of their CDs to feel somewhat financially responsible for Ol’ Dirty Bastards drug habit and eventual death. Sorry Dirt. Anyways, as far as the Wu-Tang Clan goes, it’s been a pretty tough run over the last several years. Sure we’ve seen some great discs released by individual members, but nothing really from the group as a whole. That is until now. Well, kinda.

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To call Mathematics Presents Wu-Tang Clan & Friends: Unreleased a true Wu-Tang release is stretching it a bit. Yes there are several tracks with Clan members on it and there are even two tracks with at least four members on it, this just doesn’t seem like a Wu-Tang record. I’m not saying that this is bad, far from it. It just doesn’t have the same magic that the previous records have had. Maybe it’s the fact that The Rza had nothing to do with the production. Maybe not.

I can say that there are no bad songs on this album, but some definitely stand out more than others. Oddly enough, most of the songs that feature a Clan member are good, especially the Wu-Tangy track “Wu Banga Remix,” which features Gza, Ghostface Killa, Raekwon, Cappadonna and Masta Killa. Out of all the “& Friends” there really isn’t much that is really gripping. “Wanna Believe” by Allah real and Bad Luck is the best track without the Wu.

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Be it the orange drink preferred by (non diaper wearing and pepper spraying) astronauts, or the slang for a ladies Va-J, I’m totally down with the Tang. Luckily, if this album gives us a clue into what the future holds for the Wu-Tang Clan, the groups next album just might be the greatest rap album ever created. Well, at least the greatest rap album that ODB didn’t have a part in.

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Reverb. . .with J.D.

Last Sunday night, JD watched the Grammys…every last soul-sucking moment of it. Here then, is his blow-by-blow account:

7 O’Clock Hour:

–Ladies and Gentlemen, opening the show tonight….The Police! Like everyone else I can’t wait to see how well the Gibb brothers have aged….especially Sting Gibb.

–Song choice: “Roxanne”. Wow! Who would have guessed??

–Sting really seems to have a special glow about him tonight—either he’s delighted to be back with his boys, or he just had sex for eight hours.

–The person happiest about this little reunion has to be Policeman #3. Sting sold out to Madison Avenue ages ago and Stewart Copeland at least had a nice little run with the supergroup Oysterhead. Andy Summers though—you’d have to think that his royalties from Zenyatta Mondatta dried up a long time ago.

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The Police in younger days

******

–Tony Bennett and Stevie Wonder take down the first award, and Stevie’s voice breaks as he dedicates the award to his mom. Geez, we’re only 4 minutes into this thing and I’m already choked up.

–Tony follows that up by slipping in a plug for “Target, the best sponsor of my life” during his acceptance speech. So much for the tender moment.

******

–Next up, The Dixie Chicks, performing “I’m Not Ready To Make Nice.” I’m going to bypass the obvious fashion/talent/Natalie Maines jokes here and give them a begrudging tip of the cap. They faced major public vitriol in 2003, all on account of Maines making a disparaging comment about President Bush—’fans’ bulldozed their CDs at a demonstration against them and country radio stations banned their music from the airwaves. But regardless of what you think of them, this actually kind of sucks…given, you know, The First Amendment and all.

–Not to mention Duhbya’s current approval ratings…but I digress…

******

–Back from a commercial, we have our first surprise guest of the night: Prince!

–As I’ve mentioned before, he is one stylie mofo—except tonight it looks like he borrowed Nicole Richie’s sunglasses…and hairstylist.

–(Does anyone else ever wonder how many women Prince ‘purified in the waters of Lake Minnetonka’ before he got all Jehovah witnessy on us? I’d like to know.)

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We know Appollonia was baptized

–He introduces Beyonce, who sounds and looks as beautiful as ever. A nation of men simultaneously curses Jay-Z.

******

–In the best R&B song category, Mary J. Blige beats a fine field (Prince, Jamie Foxx, India.Arie, and Lionel Richie) for the win–and takes the early lead in the clubhouse for longest acceptance speech. She spilled into the ‘exit’ music by at least 30 seconds…I was sure they were going to bring Chuck Barris out on her…

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That’s “Gong Show” Chuck Barris…not “Assassin” Chuck Barris

******

–Our next presenter is Queen Latifah—voice of the Pizza Hut commercials! From the looks of things, it appears that they pay her in P’zones….handsomely….

******

–Justin Timberlake hits the stage. Say what you what you want about JT, but he’s no cheeseball bubblegum popster, a la Britney or Clay Aiken. He’s cool, and a legit talent.

–Okay, right after I wrote that, he breaks out the “JT Cam,” filming himself performing with a handheld video-cam. Thank you, JT, for promptly refuting my ‘he’s cool, not-a-cheeseball’ argument.

–Okay then, how about this? Cameron Diaz and Scarlett Johannson.

–(Jerk.)

******

–Pink comes out to present a Lifetime Achievement Award to The Doors.

–(I’m afraid to make any jokes about Pink).

–Someone named “T.I.” follows that up with an unintelligible segue into the Best Soul Female R&B Performance.

–Excuse me, stewardess….do you speak jive?

******

–MJB wins again. I love Mary J. and all, but if we have to sit through her fake tears all night, I might have to reconsider.

******

8 O’Clock Hour:


–Stevie Wonder introduces Corrin Bailey Rae, John Legend, and John Mayer.

–Somewhere out there, MC Bell is jumping up and down in anticipation of Mayer playing “I Wanna Run Through the Halls of My High School…”

–Everyone brags about John Mayer’s prowess as a blues guitarist, and he shows off some impressive chops here…but I’m sorry, the Statute of Limitations on “Your Body Is A Wonderland,” “Daughters,” and “The High School Song” has NOT run out. It’s going to take a while.

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Sorry, White Boy…your reincarnation as a Blues Man is going to have to wait.

–Mayer wins the next award, and thanks Michael McDonald first. That explains a lot.

–p.s. He’s also dating Jessica Simpson.

–On the bright side, though, how about Corrin Bailey Rae?? She’s a siren!

******


–Before the commercial break, they tease the upcoming Shakira performance, which inspires the following quote from my buddy Wolfeman: “Oh, Shakira, please wear something nice.”

–Shakira comes on…and our wish has been granted! She’s in a tube-top and is busting her Egypto/Latina belly-dance thing…and it is HOT! Wyclef Jean can hardly keep himself from rubbing up on her. He’s adjusted his junk three times already—I’m not even kidding.

–I’m in love! (With Shakira I mean…)

–CBS cameras cut straight from her performance to a shot of The Dixie Chicks. That’s one way to cool things off real quick.

–Next up, Burt Bacharach makes a pass at Seal. The Shakira fire has officially been extinguished.

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Shakira tiene una moda muy sabrosa.

******

–Two ladies from “How I Met Your Mother” (??) introduce The Grateful Dead as Lifetime Achievement Award winners. Hippies everywhere regurgitate kind rainbow goo-balls in their mouths. Wasn’t Bill Walton available?

–Good try by The Grammys though. And nice footage of Jerry Garcia and Pigpen.

******

–Now the song you’ve all been DYING to hear….”Crazy,” performed live by Gnarls Barkley!! Seriously, they should play that song more often.

–Okay, okay…I’ll admit it. Best song of the millennium so far.

******

–Afterwards, cutaway #7 to the three finalists for the “My Grammy Moment” award…(a.k.a the “Let’s Rip Off American Idol Contest”).

–The young ladies once again hold hands and preen for the camera, inspiring The Wolfeman to say “I hope they start making out!”

–It’s official: Grammy loopiness has set in upon us.

******

–Next presenters are Common and Kanye “George Bush Doesn’t Like Black People” West. This could be fun.

–Alas, no such luck. However, during his acceptance speech, Ludacris–best-dressed man of the night–thanks Bill O’Reilly and Oprah! That was worth it.

******

8:30 pm

–Okay, confession time. This is not a ‘live’ blog. We tivoed it. And this is the point of the show where things went CAREENING downhill. So let’s just play Tivo and fast-forward through the ‘highlights’:

Another PYT camera shot (alas, no making out). MJB performs. Dixie Chicks win again–Natalie Maines quotes Nelson Munsch in her acceptance speech (Please…make it stop…). Reba McEntire introduces a “Roots of Country Music” medley, then wipes ‘Red Man’ off her chin. Carrie Underwood—meow—sings an old-time country song. (Sadly, no camera shots of the crowds’ mass exodus to the restroom). Then, the low point of the night: Rascal Flatts does their best bar-karaoke version of “Hotel California.” The lead singer plays air-guitar at the end… and there’s three minutes of our life we’ll never get back. How in the hell are these guys popular?? Oh wait….NASCAR crowd…Now Carrie Underwood does “Desperado.” It looks surprisingly nice on ‘mute!’ Then, more “Guantanamo Bay Torture Music” from Rascal Flatts… I’m pretty sure he’s singing “Life in the ‘Fat’ Lane.” Ladies and Gentlemen, The Roots of Country Music… featuring The Eagles! The Grammys sure have their fingers on the pulse of music.

On a positive note, Lionel Richie is coming up (Thank God!!). In the meantime, Samuel L Jackson comes out in a beret…again. When the hell are his male buddies going to have a ‘beret-intervention’?? He introduces Smokey Robinson, who manages to move his lips through the Botox, a very impressive feat. And finally, Lionel….and he’s singing “Hello”!! I couldn’t be happier. That’s followed by youngsters in Mexi wrestling masks, breakdancing. Very upsetting. But in keeping with the manic, up-and-down pace, Christina Aguilera comes out for a James Brown tribute… resplendent in a white camel-toe suit, she KILLS “This is a Man’s World.” Afterwards, you can see Jamie Foxx nodding and saying “That was good stuff right there.” Can we just pretend like the Rascal Flatts thing never happened?

The ‘in-memoriam’ segment is next, properly capped off by a stylish tribute to James Brown. They hang his “Godfather of Soul” cape on a microphone and fade to black. Hard to believe, but every now and then the Grammys get it right.

It’s downhill from there. Amazingly, David Spade gets some airtime, MJB switches to her hair from 1994 for her performance with Ludacris, and James Blunt sings “You’re Beautiful” (while we frantically search for the ‘MUTE’ button). Then, former rock band The Red Hot Chili Peppers perform one of their new Adult Contemporary hits, and in the annual “The Grammys Have Zero Credibility” moment, The Dixie Chicks beat “Crazy” for Song of the Year…which is followed up by them beating four more deserving artists for “Album of the Year.” So in the end, the last three hours were an agonizing prelude to the Grammys Big Wet Kiss of the Dixie Chicks.

If you’ve lasted this long with me you probably feel as dirty and spent as I did after watching it. Please don’t hesitate to write MC and tell him I deserve a raise.

E-MAIL THE AUTHOR

UPCOMING RELEASES… 2/20/07

ARTIST TITLE GENRE
EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY ALL OF A SUDDEN I MISS EVERYONE ALTERNATIVE
PERKINS, ELVIS ASH WEDNESDAY ALTERNATIVE
BARSHEM GHETTONOMETRY Not Provided
BOB & GENE IF THIS WORLD WERE MINE Not Provided
CALL ME LIGHTNING SOFT SKELETONS Not Provided
CULTURE RAW TRUTH EXTENDED PLAY Not Provided
CURSED BLACKOUT AT SUNRISE Not Provided
DANIELS, DAVID KARSTEN SHARP TEETH Not Provided
ECHOES OF ETERNITY THE FORGOTTEN GODDESS Not Provided
ERASURE ON THE ROAD TO NASHVILLE Not Provided
FU MANCHU WE MUST OBEY Not Provided
HANDSHAKE MURDERS USURPER Not Provided
HELL RAZAH THE RENAISSANCE CHILD Not Provided
HIGH LLAMAS CAN CLADDERS Not Provided
IAMTHETHORN YOU ARE THE LAMB Not Provided
JIN ABC Not Provided
JOAKIM MONSTERS & SILLY SONGS Not Provided
KNIFE MARBLE HOUSE Not Provided
LAIBACH VOLK Not Provided
LYMBYC SYSTYM LOVE YOUR ABUSER Not Provided
METALIUM NOTHING TO UNDO-CHAPTER SIX Not Provided
NEIN LUXURY Not Provided
OH NO NOT STEREO OH NO NOT STEREO Not Provided
P.G. SIX SLIGHTLY SORRY Not Provided
PAGANIZE EVILUTION HOUR Not Provided
RED HARVEST A GREATER DARKNESS Not Provided
RODIGAN, DAVID & STING INTL. KINGS OF REGGAE Not Provided
SAMAMIDON BUT THIS CHICKEN PROVED FALSE Not Provided
SINNER MASK OF SANITY Not Provided
SLATER, LUKE FABRIC 32 Not Provided
TA’RAACH ELOVEE Not Provided
THIRSTON HOWL III & RACK LO LO DOWN & DIRTY Not Provided
TIME FLYS REBELS OF BABYLON Not Provided
ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA OUT OF THE BLUE Not provided
FERREIRA, ZACARIAS DIME QUE FALT Not provided
FINGER ELEVEN THEM VS. YOU VS. ME Not provided
GOOD CHARLOTTE GOOD MORNING REVIVAL Not provided
FIFTY CALIBER KISS ARMOR CLASS INVINCIBLE POP
VICCTOR KRUMMENACHER THE COCK CROWS AT SUNRISE POP
CLASSIC CASE LOSING AT LIFE ROCK
CONN, BOBBY KING FOR A DAY ROCK
COOL HAND LUKE THE BALANCING ACT ROCK
FRAMES, THE THE COST ROCK
JESU CONQUEROR ROCK
ONE AM RADIO THIS TOO WILL PASS ROCK
STERN, MARNIE IN ADVANCE OF THE BROKEN ARM ROCK
SWIFT, RICHARD DRESSED UP FOR THE LETDOWN ROCK
TRANS AM SEX CHANGE ROCK

Well, there you have it friends… another one in the bank. Until next week, keep wearing it proud and playing it loud.

Send pictures of your liter box, review copies, hate mail and assorted presents to:

M.C. Bell

P.O. Box 1222

Arvada, CO 80001

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Hey… it appears that Paris has a cat, too, because it clearly states this prescription is for her pussy.

E-MAIL THE AUTHOR

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