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Hey everybody!! Well, I was planning on keeping things shorter than Britney’s hair this week because my parole… I mean, my… umm, boss has me pickin’ up all kinds of stuff and I didn’t have a whole lotta time to chit chat. But that was before J.D. and Double A sent in their stuff. So, as a result, we are filled to the brim with goodness this week as I spend some time tying up loose ends, so to speak, by paying a long overdue visit to an old friend of Quick Stop, Mr. Neil Innes, and reviewing some recent concerts in traditional Hiaku. Plus, J.D. drops by with a huge slice of 80’s cheese and Double A checks in with the latest from the Wisemen. So, what do you say? You ready to have a wee bit o’ fun? How’s about we find out?

Loose Ends #1: An Album You Should Check Out…

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Neil Innes

Album: Works In Progress

Sounds like: Mark Knopfler singing the tunes of Paul Simon while jacked up on some whacky, hybrid mix of LSD, MDMA and carpet cleaner.

Now, I don’t usually open up like this, but I’m going to tell you folks something that I wouldn’t normally share with the common folk. However, considering that we are “tight n’ shit” and that I love each and every one of you more than Oscar-After-Party-No-Show Eddie Murphy loves a hooker with nuts, I thought I’d share a personal tid-bit about myself…

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Holy crap, Eddie! You can see “her” “Klump!”

I have a man-crush. Now, I’m sure many of you are out there, right now, saying to yourself, “Well, yeah, M.C., I have a man-crush on [INSERT SPORTS FIGURE, NIGHTLY NEWS ANCHOR, DATELINE’S CHRIS HANSEN, JALEEL WHITE, WIFE'S CO-WORKER'S REALLY-HOT HUSBAND HERE], too. Big deal.” Yeah, well, the big deal is that I’ve never had one of these before and honestly? I’m scared. In fact, I haven’t been this scared since Tom Cruise called down the wrath of Xenu on my head for calling him a “silly-little, couch-bouncin,’ fruity-bitch©.”

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“Hey Oprah!! Here’s the face I make as Katie thumbs my butt. EEEEEE!!!!”

But honestly, I felt that it was time to come clean about my huge-honkin’, wicked-ass case of man-love for Neil Innes. Of course, I’m not talking the kind of “man-love” where Neil and I spoon on the bed, watching Will & Grace and humming “How Deep Is Your Love?” as we cup each others junk in a gentle embrace. Au contraire, mon ami. This is the kind of man-love that comes out of a deep appreciation for and respect of a man’s work… and besides, umm, he looks TOTALLY hot in jeans, but I digress. Now, for those of you sitting at work/home right now going “who in the hell is this Neil Innes guy anyway?,” well, I’m afraid that I’m going to defer to Quick Stop’s EIC, Mr. Kenneth “Boom Boom” Plume, who did one hell of a bang up job telling you just “who in the hell this Neil guy is, anyway” right here.

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Nope. Sorry. I can’t tell you much more about Neil’s storied past over and above what Ken wrote, basically because my knowledge of that past is “sketchy at best,” but I can tell you what I think of his ‘new” disc, Work In Progress. In a word, it’s fucking brilliant. Okay… that was two words. Screw you. Make you feel special always correcting people? Fucker. But seriously, though, this is truly an amazing disc and, I would wager, a bit surprising. You see, considering that the man has spent a good portion of his career lampooning the Beatles, crafting tunes for Python and exploring the depths of Dada-infused jazz with the Bonzo Dog Dada Band, it is surprising to me to hear this exceptionally talented man veer away from spot-on parody, humor and the “all over the board,” trip-adelic jazz of past discs and embrace the more subtle and moody side of his melodic songwriting ability. Sure, the disc still hints at the whimsical and absurd, but this is much more of a “serious” affair and there is an undercurrent running through these tracks that is introspective, poignant, sharp and, at times, cutting.

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This entire disc is an aural treat, but the stand out tracks for this reviewer include the subtle balladry of “All Alone,” “Charlie (”Who gives a fuck about who shuts the fuck up?”) Big Potatoes,” the world-music infused “One Of These People” (which sounds like Innes singing with Johnny Clegg and Savuka) and the romping and cheeky polka of “Eye Candy.” Truly a treat, folks. Give it a spin and behold the man-love incurring glory of Mr. Neil Innes!!

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LOOSE ENDS #2… CONCERT REVIEWS…

One of the “perks” related to being a “music reviewer” is the ability to see numerous live shows as various “bands” stagger and swagger through my cow-state in search of villages to plunder, virgins to de-flower and copious amounts of beer to drink. In the past week and a half, I caught three, count them, three, live acts here in our fair city. Rather than write up some boring-ass reviews of each show, I thought it would be more fun (read: EASIER) to do the concert reviews in Hiaku, the ancient Japanese poetic form. Now, for those of you “not in the know,” Haiku is, according to the lazy-college-student-handbook, or, as I like to call it, Wikipedia:

“a mode of Japanese poetry, the late 19th century revision by Masaoka Shiki of the older hokku (発句, hokku?), the opening verse of a linked verse form, haikai no renga. The traditional hokku consisted of a pattern of approximately 5, 7, 5 on. The Japanese word on, meaning “sound”, corresponds to a mora, a phonetic unit similar but not identical to the syllable of a language such as English.”

Yeah. Whatever. Well, without further ado, here are my concert reviews and please…feel free to count along with the syllables:

The Shins @ The Fillmore

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A winter’s wet dream,

Pansy rockers came to town.

Album great!! Show? Blew.

Glen Phillips (former lead singer of Toad the Wet Sprocket) @ The Soiled Dove

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Glen, you dopey ‘tard.

Why’d you leave that kickin’ band?

Your new tunes bore me.

Blue October @ The Ogden

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Crazy Ass Fucker,

Your new disc gave me a bone.

Your concert? HUGE bone!!

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When I first heard about this album, it was hyped as Think Differently Music Presents: Wisemen Approaching. That in itself was enough to get me to pick up this album. See, if you don’t know, Think Differently Music is the brainchild of Bronze Nazarath, who coincidently is one of the 4 members of Wisemen. In 2005, Think Differently Music released one of the best hip hop albums in the last few years with Wu-Tang Meets Indie Culture. This album combined Wu-Tang Clan members with stars of the underground scene such as MF Doom, Del Tha Funky Homosapeien and Aesop Rock. This was a GREAT album, which led to my interest in this particular Wisemen CD. But something strange happened when I actually picked up this new album. Nowhere on it does it even mention Think Differently Music. “Odd,” me thought. That little fact really has nothing to do with this review. I just need to waste space. Is this space fully wasted? Good, now we can move on.

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Now, Wisemen Approaching isn’t a bad album, but it falls into the same trap that a lot of recent releases. It’s fairly boring. Taking each song and listening to it on it’s own the songs are good, but taken as a whole, the album kind of drones on. Out of all the tunes, the track “Associated” breaks up the monotony of the rest of the album. “Associated,” featuring the Wu-Tangs own GZA is a great track. The beats are good and the raps come out fast and crisp. The song just has an energy to it that isn’t reflected on the rest of the album. The other songs all use a very mellow beat with a slow drawl for the vocals. Like I said, this is fine on a song for song basis, but over the whole album, it gets a little repetitive. Aside from “Associated” nothing on this album just out at me as says “listen, fat ass. This is some good music. Now go get me some cookies.”

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Mmm… cookies… and diet soda!!!!

Wisemen Approaching isn’’t a bad album, but it is far from the near perfection that was Wu-Tang Meets Indie Culture. Hopefully Bronze Nazareth will get things back on track with the next album. I’m not upset about picking this album up, but I could have been a lot happier. Now all I gotta do is waste a little more space because otherwise, M.C. gets crazier than Brittany with a Flowbee®. So, um, crazy weather we’re having, eh? How ’bout them Mets? Um, well, that’s all I got, so I’m going to go grab me some of those aforementioned cookies.

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Reverb… with J.D.

Recently I got to talking with a friend of mine about baby clothes; she was excited because she had just picked up a onesie for her niece that said “Nobody Puts Baby In a Corner.” (For you youngsters out there, that was Patrick Swayze’s signature line in the 1980s cheese-movie Dirty Dancing. If you haven’t seen it yet, just sit on the couch for 12 hours and start flipping through channels…you’ll come across it).

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Baby clothes: Not as boring to talk about as you might think

This little bit of awesomeness got me to thinking about Swayze. If I were to name the greatest cheesy movies of the 80’s (a decade LUSH in cultural cheese) the first three that instantly come to mind are 1) Urban Cowboy (my favorite movie of all-time), 2) Road House, and 3) Dirty Dancing. Not only does Swayze star in two of those, but a little bit of digging on imdb.com reveals that his wife and mother (Lisa Niemi and Patsy Swayze) choreographed the dance sequences in Urban Cowboy.

Wow! That’s almost too much information to process. Throw in Red Dawn, Uncommon Valor, and Ghost, and you can make an airtight case that Swayze was–for a decade at least, but maybe for all-time–the undisputed King of So-Bad-They’re-Good movies.

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Dancer, Bouncer, Dead Guy: Versatile enough to suck in almost any role.

(Of course, he subsequently pushed his luck and made To Wong Foo, Something Something, Julie Newmar, a movie that nobody watched, and for which the soundtrack likely included “Taps” (to mark the end of his acting career). But considering that he hasn’t been seen since then, doesn’t now seem like a good time for Quentin Tarantino to cast him in something?)

Anyway, you might be wondering ‘Hey jacka**…where’s the music? WHERE’S THE F*****G MUSIC?????? (I just love it when you guys utilize the ‘email the author’ button at the bottom of the column. No, really. Always brightens my day.) Well lest you forget, old Pat tried to parlay his superstar status into a singing gig, even contributing an original song to the Dirty Dancing soundtrack.

Swayze was neither the first nor, lamentably, the last actor to try to cross-pollinate success in Hollywood with rock stardom. It happens all too frequently, and it NEVER turns out well.

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Are you listening, Johnny Depp? NEVER!!

In what other industry does rousing success inspire the idea that equal success will follow by jumping into another field? Does a football coach switch gears and apply for the basketball coaching job? Does a stripper look at a prostitute and think, ‘Hey! I could do that!’? (Okay, bad example…but you get the point).

On the bright side, these forays–while musical disasters–often result in superb comedy. Here then are five fantastic examples of actors making the dubious leap. Click on the song title for links to videos of each–you won’t be disappointed! In fact, they all fall into the Swayze category….so SOOOO bad, they’re good.

Let’s kick it off with the master himself:

Patrick Swayze

She’s Like The Wind

Highlight: Definitely the first line of the song: “She’s like the wind….through my tree.” Pure poetry!

Eddie Murphy

Party all the time

Highlight: Tie–Rick James rocks Whitney Houston’s hairdo from the same time period and Eddie’s chorus sounds like he’s singing “My girl wants to potty all the time, potty all the time, potty all the tiiiiiiime.” Why can’t Flomax use this song in a marketing campaign?

Mr. T

Treat Your Mother Right

Highlight: Either the remarkably unsexy backup dancers, or Mr. T’s very sexy shorts. (However, the outstanding opening segue also deserves mention: Dissing on each other? No problem. Dissing on someone’s mother? T steps in!).

Juliette Lewis

Hot Kiss

Highlight: The fact that you get the sense that this is EXACTLY what Lewis is like in real life.

David Hasselhoff

Jump In My Car

Highlight: Too many to mention. Quite possibly the hands-down winner of the title “Greatest Video of All-Time.” Remember earlier when I said that the actor’s foray into music never turns out well? I stand corrected. This is everything you’d want a David Hasselhoff video to be, and more.

Rappers got it all wrong. “Ghost like Swayze?” Pshaw!!!

Don’t Hassel the Hoff!!

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E-MAIL THE AUTHOR

UPCOMING RELEASES… 3/6/07

ARTIST TITLE GENRE
EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY ALL OF A SUDDEN I MISS EVERYONE ALTERNATIVE ROC
KADDISFLY SET SAIL THE PRAIRIE ALTERNATIVE ROC
BLOODJINN THIS MACHINE RUNS ON EMPTY METAL
69 EYES, THE ANGELS N/A
FIELD MUSIC TONES OF TOWN N/A
FINGER ELEVEN THEM VS. YOU VS. ME N/A
HAWKINS, TRAMAINE I NEVER LOST MY PRAISE LIVE N/A
ILLINOIS WHAT THE HELL DO I KNOW? N/A
JAIN, ESSIE WE MADE THIS OURSELVES N/A
LITTLE AXE STONE COLD OHIO N/A
LMNO BOOM IT/RACE CARD N/A
MANDO DIAO LONG BEFORE ROCK’N'ROLL N/A
MANN, CHICO MANIFEST TONE VOL. 1 N/A
MENDEED THE DEAD LIVE BY LOVE N/A
MUNLY, JAY GALVANIZED YANKEE N/A
N.I.L. ST N/A
SHERWOOD, ADRIAN BECOMING A CLICHE N/A
SMOKE OR FIRE THIS SINKING SHIP N/A
STRIBORG NEFARIA N/A
SWEET, KELLY WE ARE ONE N/A
TIMES NEW VIKING THE PAISLEY REICH N/A
ANTIBALAS SECURITY ROCK
ARCADE FIRE NEON BIBLE ROCK
BIG BUSINESS HERE COME THE WATERWORKS ROCK
BLACKFIELD BLACKFIELD II ROCK
BRIGHT EYES FOUR WINDS ROCK
GREEN PITCH ACE OF HEARTS ROCK
HAMMOND, ALBERT JR. YOURS TO KEEP ROCK
HIGHER, THE ON FIRE ROCK
JONNY LIVES! GET STEADY ROCK
MRNORTH FEAR & DESIRE ROCK
ODAWAS RAVEN AND THE WHITE NIGHT ROCK
OKKERVIL RIVER BLACK SHEEP BOY (DEFINITIVE ED ROCK
ONE AM RADIO THIS TOO WILL PASS ROCK
ORANGEBURG MASSACRE MOOREA ROCK
PARKINS, ZEENA NIGHTMARE ALLEY ROCK
PAULSON ALL AT ONCE ROCK
RJD2 THE THIRD HAND ROCK
SECRET HANDSHAKE, THE SUMMER OF 98 ROCK
SEVENDUST ALPHA ROCK
SHAW BLADES INFLUENCE ROCK
SILMARIL THE VOYAGE OF ICARUS ROCK
TAYLOR, MARIA LYNN TEETER FLOWER ROCK
TRAGICALLY HIP WORLD CONTAINER ROCK
WHITE FLIGHT WHITE FLIGHT ROCK
WOLF & CUB VESSELS ROCK

Well, there you have it friends… another notch on the bed post. Until next week, keep wearing it proud and playing it loud.

Send pictures of your man-crush, review copies, hate mail and assorted presents to:

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

E-MAIL THE AUTHOR

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