Category Archives: Music

Death Metal Ain’t Got Nothin’ on the 1950s

I should probably come clean about something right off the bat – I have listened to a lot of heavy metal music. I was definitely one of those kids in high school wearing the Slipknot t-shirt. I had spiked, red and blue hair, I had a ring with a scorpion on it, I only wore black clothes, and I said things like, “Just leave me alone, dad!” all the time.

I was the one on the bottom left, essentially

Apart from giving you all another reason to laugh at me, I just want to demonstrate that I am well-acquainted with music that takes itself to be dark, creepy, or disturbing. None of this prepared, me, however, for a song that I heard at 9 in the morning on public radio about a month ago. Continue reading


Weekly Thing – Brought to you by the Collective Embarassment of the Music Industry

This has been a busy week, so I am going to be quick with this one. As many of you may already know, Metallica and Velvet Underground’s Lou Reed have collaborated on an album together. The album is titled, “Lulu”. According to their website, the album is inspired by a couple of plays written by a German expressionist, and is meant to be a narrative interpretation of sorts. I don’t know much about Velvet Underground, but I listened to a couple of songs and it sounds nice – quite poetic, simple yet chaotic in places, with vocals that are very Dylan-esque. I am definitely familiar with Metallica, as I’m sure most people are – they are arguably the most successful metal band and are known for fast riffs, growling vocals, and frantic guitar solos. When I heard of this collaboration, I was intrigued. I thought that maybe Metallica was trying to branch out and expand their horizons. I was almost expecting some kind of stripped down Metallica, or an amped up Lou Reed, or somewhere in between. Instead, what we have is this:

I’m just going to be straight with you guys : I don’t know what the fuck this is. I don’t know what it is supposed to be, or what I’m supposed to do with it. I am never one to discount music because it sounds odd or out of place – and I am definitely not against experimentation. All that being said, SERIOUSLY GUYS WHAT IS IT. If this song were an animal, I would kill it with a sword made from metal stolen from the Vatican. If it were a person, I would wholeheartedly endorse sending it to Abu Graib.  I never thought I would say this, but James Hedfield’s singing is the best part of that song. Was their idea of a collaboration just having Reed talk dryly into a microphone and then put that over some half-finished Metallica songs? Usually, the word “collaboration” involves some kind of…um…collaboration. I don’t even have time to talk about how awful the production and mixing of this is. I would be far more forgiving if the shit that Lou was saying was provocative in some way, but jesus christ, “I want to see your suicide” – fucking, WHAT? Did Reed age backwards? Is he 16 now? I used to sit in my basement and write cryptic poetry about death and depression when I was that age, and even I didn’t say anything that stupid. The only explanations that I can come up with as to why this exists is A) Everyone involved simultaneously became senile and autistic; B) MASSIVE amounts of drugs; or C) Together, they have all created an entirely new level of pretension.  Personally, I’m going with C).

Now, just to be clear, I’m never opposed to the idea that maybe I just don’t get something. Maybe this is just too smart for me, or too “out there” for me to appreciate.  That being said, I just have no idea how this was released. “St. Anger” was terrible, but this makes it look like their magnum opus. Please, I’m begging you, if you have any insight as to what the hell this is supposed to be, please let me know. If I’m wrong, I will admit it, and then continue to not listen to any Metallica or Velvet Underground, respectively.

As a bonus, here is a group of 10 year olds playing “Enter Sandman” just as well as Metallica does.


Weekly Thing – Brought to you by Apple-Bottom Jeans

You know what – screw you guys. I don’t even care. I like Flo Rida, okay? I know he is ridiculous. His name is just Florida with a space for crying out loud. Have you seen his face? His beard looks like it’s made of clay, I’ve never seen anything like it. As much as his music is formulaic, unoriginal, shallow, and downright absurd, I’ll be damned if I don’t wanna dance whenever I hear “Low” or “Club Can’t Handle Me”. Even his new song is catchy – and you absolutely have to watch the video for it. In fact, you know what, here

(Yeah, okay, this is technically a David Guetta song, but Flo Rida is in most of it and it sounds like the rest of his songs, so cut me a break.)

I don’t know who came up with this idea. At some point, someone talked to Flo-Rida or his management or whatever, and was like “hey, so the video is gonna be some DJ’s blowing bubbles with speakers playing the song, and those bubbles will float around the city like zeppelins, and whomever pops them will immediately start dancing like a marionette being operated by someone with MS”. Watch the video – THAT’S THE ONLY POSSIBLE EXPLANATION.

Also, you have to commend a guy who just took the name of the place he was from and made it into a rap name. As I write this, I’m trying to decide which persona I should go with.  It’s either the kind of rock/urban name Vanco-Uver (prounounced like “hover”);  or Map Le Rij, a sort of sexy french/persian folk-rapper. If I get enough votes for one or the other in the comments, we might hear from him in the future.

Here, Flo Rida considers how different his life would be if he was born in Virginia


The Comedy Graveyard:

Rape jokes – I hate to do this, but I’ve seen too many assholes do rape jokes just to show off how edgy they are. Same goes for racist jokes -it’s about the context – and if the context is you confusing conventionally offensive terms for humour, then it is the wrong context. We are too desensitized to offensive humour now, so you can’t just fall back on mentioning rape and expect a laugh. This isn’t a moral stance, this is a stance against shitty comedy.  Unless it’s good, or you’re Louis CK or Doug Stanhope, don’t do it.

Still Funny: Jews – sorry guys!

The Shit List:

Bob Odenkirk – I haven’t even seen what he’s done on Breaking Bad, and I don’t care, I know its good. If you ever see his name attached to something – watch it. I’m not even gonna qualify that or explain why. Just fucking do it.

Why I know all the words to “Jagged Little Pill”

Needs more crossfades

Anyone that has been in a car with me when “Ironic” comes on the radio, or even spent enough time around me to notice that I will occasionally break into a verse of “You Oughta Know” or even “All I Really Want” knows that I know far too many lyrics to the songs off of Alanis Morissette’s breakthrough album “Jagged Little Pill”. Now, this is a good album, and Morissette is a great singer, but neither of these facts explain why I know these songs. I spent most of my adolescence listening to embarrassing rap-rock or metal, and I’ve spent my post-adolescence listening to Queens of the Stone Age, bands that try to sound like Queens of the Stone Age, and music that is really just waves of arbitrary noises set to a slow back beat. Morissette doesn’t fit with any of these categories.

Not enough blood and drugs

I only just recently remembered why I know this albums so damn well, and I thought I would share it. The album came out in 1995, so I couldn’t have been much older than 9 or 10 at the time. I was at a swim-meet with my cousins in Portland. It was a camp out setting. Basically, everyone camped out, had picnics and bbq’s, and competed when it was their turn. I didn’t swim, I was just there to support my cousins. From what I remember, it was a nice place to camp, and the weather was nice as well. There was a great playground, and the people all seemed friendly enough. The only problem I can remember was the bathroom.

In the 4 days that I spent at this campsite, I visited the bathroom exactly once. I was so innocent back then. I didn’t know that people would abuse a bathroom the way this bathroom was abused. I guess I still had a vision of humanity being comprised of decent people, that wouldn’t shit on the floor just for the fun of it. This conception of mankind was shattered after I took approximately 5 steps into the bathroom. After the initial shock of this moment wore off on me, I realized the full extent of the degradation that had taken over this camp ground bathroom. Every surface was wet, only one light-bulb still kind of worked, there were things on the floor that should have been in the toilet, and there were things in the toilets that should have been in the nether-realm.

Swear to God, I saw this in one of the urinals

Needless to say, I did not use the bathroom at this time. Nor did I use it for the remainder of the trip. Of course, I had the option of using the abundant woodlands as a bathroom, but as an awkward, frightened 10 year old, this prospect was far to overwhelming. Instead, I opted to just hold it in. This  was a great idea until about day 2, when my uncle announced that he was going to make burritos for everyone. Now, if you know me, you know that burritos are always a good idea in my book. This, however, was not a good idea.

By day 3, I was confined to a tent with considerable stomach pains and nausea. My uncle thought it was food poisoning, and was paranoid that others would get sick as well. What still confuses me to this day is how no one else seemed bothered by this bathroom – no one else got sick or even complained about it. The only explanations I can think of are: 1, dodging piles of shit and sitting in caked-on vomit wasn’t a big deal for them; 2, no one else had a problem with going to the bathroom outside; or 3, and the most disturbing option for me, that there was another, perfectly clean bathroom that no one fucking told me about.

Regardless, I spent the last 2 days of the camping trip rolling around in a tent with massive stomach cramps, but refusing to go to the bathroom. My brother, being a classic older brother and wanting to look after me whenever he wasn’t too busy punching me, gave me his discman so that I could keep my mind off the pain. The only CD in this discman was, you guessed it: Jagged Little Pill. (There is added humour for anyone that has met my brother, and gets to know that he at one point owned and listened to this album.)

Essentially,  the next 2 straight days of my life were composed of stomach pains, trying not to shit myself, and Alanis Morissette singing about bitter break ups and misunderstanding the concept of “irony”.

So the next time you see me rocking out to “Hand in my Pocket” or sweetly crooning “Head over Feet”, just know that it is my way of celebrating the harrowing experience that she and her potty-mouthed poetic crooning helped get me through.

Also, I hope you think of me stepping in shit next time you hear one of these songs.

Weekly Thing-Brought to you by Procrastination and Apologies!

Lightning symbolizes the act of apologizing

Alright, I know, it has been a while. I’m sorry – I know how much you all look forward to these posts (I’m talking to you, no one).  I don’t have the time or energy to post something really significant, so I am once again going to fall back to the list format. I am, however, going to introduce a new series of this blog; The Comedy Graveyard. It is pretty self-explanatory – this is an ongoing list of topics that have been completely tapped of their comedic potential (at least in the realm of talk show monologues and twitter one-liners). If you are going to make a joke with one of these topics as a punch-line, you damn well better be creative about it. Also, I’ve moved the blog to wordpress – deal with it.

The Comedy Graveyard’s Inaugural Members 

-Kirstie Alley is fat

-Justin Bieber Sucks (See also, Rebecca Black)

-Lady Gaga wears odd clothing -can we start making fun of her mediocre talent and blatant rip-off of Madonna yet?

-Jersey Shore

-Nerds are Virgins

-Charlie Sheen

Still Ripe for the Picking:

-Michelle Bachman’s husband is THUPER  gay. Seriously, we all need to dog-pile on this one until they catch him in a truck stop bathroom with more holes plugged than a power-bar at a LAN party.

Guy Fieri -Anyone that hasn’t watched “Diners Drive-ins and Dives” is missing out. You will never see someone get so fucking pumped over a plate of fried pickles.

This is how he reacts to seeing a plate of bacon

Seriously, this guys isn’t a speed-boat salesman – He reviews food.

Weekly Thing – Brought to you by Misleading Punctuation!


Updates to the Hit-List! (things that need to be taken down a peg)

30 Rock

Sorry everyone, it’s a great show, but it doesn’t deserve to sweep the emmy’s every year because it panders to comedy writers.

The Black Keys

Yeah yeah, they are catchy and have swagger and attitude. It’s just blues, people, and not very good blues, either.  Listen to “Ball and Biscuit” by the White Stripes, “Burn the Witch” by Queens of the Stone Age, or anything by Seasick Steve if you want to listen to good modern blues. (Note: I haven’t heard the album, so feel free  to call me out for not knowing what the fuck I’m talking about)

Updates to the Re-Think List! (things I’m currently reconsidering my position on)

True Blood

Initially, I dismissed this along with things like Twilight and the Vampire Diaries. I’ve looked into it a bit more recently (and by that I mean I watched a trailer on YouTube), and it seems to have a bit more substance and appeal that I thought. Not saying I’ll like it, but I might not hate it. THIS IS RIVETING, ISN’T IT.


Chances are, I’m just completely full of shit about most things. I’m 25, what the hell do I know?

Updates to the Shit-List! (as in, “shit yeah, that’s awesome”)

Louis CK

Hardest working guy in comedy. He produces a new hour of material every year. That is unheard of. Also, his show “Louie” is one of the best shows on tv right now, period.

Parks and Recreation

Hopefully it doesn’t jump the shark in the 3rd season. Beyond creating Ron Fucking Swanson, this show hosts a cast of characters that are fresh, endearing, and always funny.

——Note: I’m playing the hipster card on both of those things; I liked them before they were popular. Eat it.

What we’ve all learned today!

Pictures of explosions, bold typeface, and exclamation marks help boring things seem more exciting.

And now,  the most romantic photo ever taken (courtesy of

Lead on, Tom. I Will Follow.

Holy Shit. Just when I thought  that musicians couldn’t get more bad-ass and relevant, I stumble on the acoustic-folk-rock-punk-rap-funk stylings of The Nightwatchman. For those of you who don’t know who this is, you better sit down. No – lay down, because you’re going to need a nap after you hear this song.

Yeah, that’s right, that’s Tom Morello; the fist-pumping, foot stomping, perpetual hat-wearing lead guitarist of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave. I’m glad to see he has finally stepped out of the shadows of Zach “I’m too proud to be famous” de la Rocha and Chris “Groaning is the same as singing, right?” Cornell. As The Nightwatchman, Tom Morello brings activism and music to a whole ‘nother level. He blends rich, steady guitar work with complex, deep poetry that is littered with allusions and rallying cries of freedom and how cops suck. This man is not just a musician –He is a movement, an idea, a goddamned SYMBOL.  He is The Nightwatchman, he watches the goddamned night. Can you do that? No, you can’t. You’re too busy drinking Starbucks to watch the night, asshole.

 In honour of this music-vigilante, or, as I am now coining, musilante, I offer a literary break down of pieces of one of his most powerful works, One Man Revolution

On the streets of New York
The cabs don’t stop
On the street where I live
They called the cops
Found a noose in my garage
Now how ‘bout that
So tonight I’m in the bushes
With a baseball bat

 Yeah he went there. Sure, we used to hear about cabs not stopping for black people from bad stand-up comedians in the 90s, but he’s bringing it back. He’s stuffing it right in our fat, white North American faces. Next, he proves that he lives in a bad part of town, because they called the cops on the street that he lives on. The Nightwatchmen lives with the oppressed – and he’s proud of it, you Bourgeoisie, Capitalist dick. Yeah that’s right, and they found a noose in his garage, which is probably something about being black, too, or maybe about being sad, but either way, it’s deep and badass and he sings it with a deep voice so it’s cool. The last line is the most powerful, obviously. Where is The Nightwatchman? He’s in the bushes, motherfucker, he’s Night-waiting for you with a baseball bat, ready to cripple the next guy he sees buying non-organic cornmeal.

 If your fist doesn’t just automatically rise into the air and start pumping when you hear the chorus to this song, then you obviously voted for McCain. In the next verse, The Nighwatchmen takes us even deeper into the rabbit-hole:

 On the streets of Havana
I got hugged and kissed
At the Playboy Mansion
I wasn’t on the list
On the streets of Cape Town
Shit’s ready to blow
I don’t know how to get there
But I’m ready to go

 In this piece, we see how the Nightwatchman Night-sees not only America, but other places, too. While we’re busy being sheeple and slaves to McNBC, he’s out there Night-Kissing sweet Havana poon and liberating their oppressed virginity. There is also a dire warning about the streets of Cape Town, and how the shit there is ready to blow. What does this mean, exactly? Well if you don’t know, he’s not going to tell you. He’s not the Night-Explainer, dip-shit. Also, figure out how to get to Cape Town, and then let him know. He doesn’t support Google because it isn’t locally owned, so Google Map that shit and get back to him, because he is fuckin’ ready to go. Also, he wasn’t invited to the playboy mansion, so… take that, Fascists. [Playboy note: Morello was invited, he just didn’t rsvp.]

There is so much more to say about this song and the rest of his catalog, but this will have to do for now. Tom, thank you, keep singing, keep fighting,…Nightwatching.


*Credit to Rory for help with conception and writing of this.