Dig Those Groovy Tunes!

the only sound that's left after the ambulances go

In infinitely awesome news… August 9, 2012

Filed under: Rants and Raves,The Monkees — yourbirdcansing88 @ 3:19 AM
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(note for all you cynical types who think that just because a band got together in a way that was less than organic and at least partially for the purposes of “selling a product” other than music automatically negates any kind of musical talent or cultural merit:  I fart in the general direction of your elitism.  That means you too, Jann S. Wenner)

The Monkees

The Monkees: a guilty pleasure for some; for me, just a pleasure.

The (three remaining) Monkees have announced that they’re going back on tour!  Yes, even Nesmith (who, contrary to popular belief, wasn’t so much opposed to joining previous Monkees reunions as he was insanely busy at that time being a multimedia renaissance man and coming up with the prototype for MTV)!  Of course it won’t be quite the same without Davy Jones, but I’m sure their departed bandmate will be anything but forgotten on this tour.  There ought to be many a moving tribute in his honor, I’d imagine (just so long as they don’t do one of those creepy duet-with-a-holographic-dead-guy numbers).

 

Fuse Sells Out Part Deux, in which I explain what the sudden Chris Brown backlash bandwagon says about our society as a whole (hint: it ain’t pretty). April 23, 2012

(part one posted here)

Okay, so, like, apparently, we should, like, all forgive and forget what Chris Brown did to Rihanna three years ago, because obviously she has, what with the two of them collaborating on a new song or whatever.  Except that, oh yeah, we kind of, well, totally shouldn’t?  First of all, no one is actually in any position to forgive Brown for his inexcusable treatment of Rihanna except Rihanna herself, and whether and when she does forgive him, if ever, is not only completely up to her, but is also none of our damn business.  Secondly, and more importantly, is the business of forgetting what Brown did, or rather, not forgetting, because no one should forget about this.  I mean ever.  Least of all Brown himself.  I’m not saying he should forever wear the domestic abuse albatross around his neck — provided he not do much more domestic abusing in the future, and by “not much” I mean “none whatsoever, not even a teensy-weensy bit” — but I am suggesting that Brown admit to himself that he once did something heinous to someone who cared about and trusted him, and that he has no reason to expect that incident not to come back to haunt him.  That he made a terribly stupid choice, and now he’s going to have to suffer the repercussions; the relationships severed and the respect lost because he had the choice not to brutally attack his girlfriend, but he ignored it.  He needs to recognize that his sudden decline in the media’s good graces was entirely his own fault.  And for all I know, he might recognize this now (though his rash of twitter rants and flaky attempts at “apology” leave me doubtful); I don’t claim to know Chris Brown’s mind.  But, regardless even of his feelings on the matter, the media outlets that are now supporting him without question and the sycophantic fangirls who make light of his violent behavior as lolsexyfuntimes are conveying a disturbing message to and about our society:  that a person can cause so much harm to the person they claim to care very deeply about, and in as little as three years’ time be celebrated on Fuse for a whole day and be made into a real-life Draco in Leather Pants in certain internet communities.  So to everyone currently hitching a ride on the Chris Brown bandwagon, I have only this to say:  you people make me sick.

 

Oh, yeah, and for further reading on the Chris Brown issue, here’s an awesome article that was written a couple months ago, in the heat of the Grammys wanktroversy:  http://hellogiggles.com/im-not-okay-with-chris-brown-performing-at-the-grammys-and-im-not-sure-why-you-are

 

It’s official: Fuse has sold out.

I’m probably the last person who would accuse anyone of “selling out.”  I mean, I actually kind of enjoyed Bob Dylan’s Victoria’s Secret commercial (“Love Sick” is a damn sexy song.  What was the deal with all that underwear though?).  So understand that I am dead serious when I say that Fuse, which just a couple of years ago I considered the shining beacon of hope amidst the wreckage of what was once music television, has a lot of ‘splaining to do this time.

So last Monday morning, I turned on the TV because it was almost time for My Little Pony:  Friendship is Magic (don’t judge me.  Ponies kick ass, mmmkay?), and the first channel to come on just happened to be Fuse.  For the past year or so, Fuse has been doing a lot of these marathons called “takeovers”, in which they’ll air nothing but videos/interviews/specials revolving around a particular artist or group for an entire day.  Well, last week, Fuse’s powers that be decided Monday belonged to — I so wish I was joking, but my sense of humor just isn’t that sick — Chris Brown (barf).  Yes, the same artist who just three years ago was being rightfully ostracized by the entire entertainment matrix for being a human douchenozzle abusive boyfriend to Rihanna, and whom, for reasons I still haven’t quite been able to fathom, the same entertainment matrix has suddenly decided it’s totally okay to like again.  The young man whose unworthy ass the Grammy Awards so garishly kissed a couple months ago, degrading themselves to a new and unthinkable low (even by Grammys standards), especially considering that just three years ago they did something applause-worthy for once by cancelling Brown’s appearance at the awards.  And yes, this is the very same Chris Brown whose pseudomasochistic fangirls rally to his defense because ZOMG he’s so frickin hawt he can [violent act devoid of mutual consent indifferent/irrelevant to any and all of the other’s sexual desires] ME all he wants LOL!!!!!!!  So welcome, Fuse, to the Chris Brown subsection of my own personal shitlist (qualifications:  openly supporting Chris Brown, especially when one has enough social capital that one could be doing something so much more productive with one’s time/money/power, like rescuing puppies, or providing mentors for kids in arts programs, or how about donating some goddamn money to battered women’s shelters?!).

Edit:  this is not the end of this rant.  Somehow I accidently hit the “Post” button when I was trying to start the next paragraph.  Part II will be turning up shortly.

 

Just Found Something (rather trivial) Out… February 16, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — yourbirdcansing88 @ 8:30 AM
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Remember that awful early-Beatles biopic Backbeat that I gave that scathing review of during the early days of this blog?  I just found out that Astrid Kirchherr was played by none other than Sheryl “Laura Palmer” Lee.  This now means two of my least favorite rock biopics (the other one being The Doors, which is slowly growing on me in spite of itself) feature supporting roles from cast members of my favorite short-lived cult TV show from the early 1990s, Twin Peaks.

Sheryl Lee in "Backbeat"

Kyle "Agent Dale Cooper" MacLachlan as Doors Keyboardist Ray Manzarek. One of only two reasons (the other being the Andy Warhol party scene) I find myself watching "The Doors" over and over again. Also the sole reason I managed to sit through "Showgirls" a second time.

 

 It’s all a conspiracy, I tells ya.  Someone out there wants to convince me to watch terrible movies about awesome bands.

 

“Oh, yeah, I got that blog thing I gotta do…” September 13, 2011

…is the thought that occurred to me at approximately 9:35 p.m. today, while watching Doogie Howser, M.D..  Luckily, this thought just happened to pop into my head during a random musical sequence in the show, so I thought that’d be what I’d post about today.  Having recently become a fan of Neil Patrick Harris, I was aware that he is not only a talented actor, but also quite the song-and-dance man.  But I had no idea he’d been breaking into random song on television for this long:

That is all I’ve got for today, and hopefully I’ll be descending into sleepy-land myself within a few hours, ’cause I got work in the morning.

 

If MTV does something relevant to my tastes, and I’m not around to hear it, does it make a proverb? September 7, 2011

Filed under: Lady Gaga,Queen,Rants and Raves — yourbirdcansing88 @ 11:46 PM
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So…the VMAs were last week.  I didn’t watch it, ’cause I find music awards to be a bit of a disappointment (well, ever since my ill-fated attempt to get a thrill out of the Grammys in 2009), and anyway, the list of musical guests was less than spectacular (Lady Gaga alone was not reason to sit through something that actually paid host to Chris Brown, especially since the last few Gaga hits failed to get more than a lukewarm reaction from me).  And in the aftermath of this year’s VMAs, the most highly publicized moments that the press reported repeatedly in excruciating detail as if it were actually something monumental, merely served as evidence that I hadn’t missed anything.  Blah-blah-blah-Gaga-in-drag (somewhat interesting, but not especially remarkable or surprising), blah-blah-blah-Beyoncé’s-harboring-a-uterine-parasite-precious-little-bundle-of-genetically-unique-cells (like that’s nothing any of our mothers have ever done), etc.  So of course, it wasn’t until Saturday afternoon that a relative of mine, who evidently had sat through the show, casually mentioned to me that Brian May made a surprise appearance during Lady Gaga’s performance.

I’ll repeat that in case you didn’t catch that…BRIAN goddamn MAY appeared at this year’s VMAs.  Of all the “outrageous” things that went on at the VMAs this year that were worth publicizing, and somehow some popstar brat who’s never been born (no offense to Beyoncé, it’s just that the media needs to quit making pregnancy seem like some new phenomenon) got more attention than freakin’ Brian May.  Whose band was instrumental in popularizing (though not inventing, counter to popular belief) the music video format which made stations like MTV possible.  Who had such an influence on Lady Gaga that she took her freakin’ stage name from one of Queen’s songs.  So yeah, Brian May is KIND OF A BIG DEAL, even to MTV watchers and Lady Gaga fans, whether they’ve heard of them or not (though it boggles the mind that a Lady Gaga fan would not at least be aware of Queen, considering her namesake is no secret.  And as for MTV’s current audience…geez, kids these days).  But it’s the post-VMAs press that flabbergasts me.  I mean, you’d think nothing truly impressing happened this year the way they went on about a would-be drag king and a flippin’ fetus.

But then, to put everything into perspective, most of Lady Gaga’s backup dancers that night had probably never shared the stage with such an outrageous singer.  Brian, on the other hand…

Oh, so here’s the video of Lady Gaga (as her male alter-ego Jo Calderone) and Brian May’s performance at the VMAs.  And if you ask me, “You and I” is a massive improvement over the suspiciously Madonna-esque “Born This Way” and the relatively forgettable “Judas.”  This video also confirms something I’ve been suspicious of for a long time:  Dave Grohl is a geek just like the rest of us.

 

 

My faith in VH1 has been ever so slightly restored… September 4, 2011

Filed under: Rants and Raves — yourbirdcansing88 @ 10:48 PM
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Well, dear readers, I’m back.  What, you thought I’d be gone the whole holiday weekend?  Nah.  A weekend of partying in Seaside Heights is only so much fun for so long when you have a distaste for alcohol and an indifference towards the haunts of Snookie and The Situation.  And then once your second cousin is subjected to unsolicited ass-slapping from that old neighborhood guy you’d hitherto thought was weird but harmless, it goes without saying that it’s time to get as far the hell away from there as possible.  But anyway, this post isn’t about that, nor is it about how littering kept me from being drafted or how much I dislike sauerkraut.  This is about what I found out about an hour ago while watching Celebrity Rehab on VH1 (hey, even I have my weaknesses).  ‘Cause during the commercial break, between all the mind-numbingly stupid ads that I mock ruthlessly was a short commercial announcing that Pop-Up Video will be returning in October.  And there was much rejoicing.

Between rebooting Behind the Music and this, it looks like VH1 is heading in a positive direction.

 

Hey, VH1, You Know What Would Be Just Fantastic? June 26, 2010

"What are we supposed to do on a hot day? What? Not eat popsicles?" --Pickles the Drummer from Dethklok

If you stopped making shows that make women cry over how much weight they’re not losing and get back to showing me some music videos at decent hours of the day?  Yeah, that would be really great.  Yeah, because I think there’s something everyone can agree on:  music, even mediocre music, is infinitely superior to psychological abuse.  And if you’re under the delusion that bullying women into competing with each other to lose weight and earn a Dream Wedding (TM) is NOT psychological abuse, you are seriously mistaken.  

If you’re not familiar with VH1’s recent programming, I’m talking about the cruel travesty that is Bridal Bootcamp.  The basic premise of the show is this:  ten altar-bound women who have deemed their bodies “unfit” get sent to boot camp so they can lose weight and “commit themselves to a healthy lifestyle” (since that’s what they’re apparently calling it these days), all so that they can fit a certain smaller dress size by the time they get married.  The show is basically a competition to see who loses weight the fastest.  One woman is sent home each week based on how little “improvement” she’s made (i.e. how little weight she’s lost, or — heaven forbid! — how much she might have somehow gained in the process), while in the end the last woman standing gets rewarded a so-called Dream Wedding (TM).  While the intentions of this program may be pure, I think it’s sending a number of dangerous messages.  

First of all, it’s worth noting that the contestants come from a wide range of dress sizes, and that the woman with the smallest dress size entered (Kacey, a size 8 at the start of the competition, according to her audition video) is smaller than the goal dress size of the largest woman entered (Tina, an 18W according to her audition video, whose goal is a size 14).  So it may seem that there is no “ideal” dress size, right?  And that’s good, right?  Think again.  These women are actually all going for the same goal, and that goal is “smaller”.  These women evidently feel that they should not be happy with their current bodies, often against their better judgement.  Tina, for example, has been afflicted with asthma for most of her life, and “know[s] exercise will start triggering things,” but is still willing to put herself through rigorous training in order to reach her goal of being “smaller”.  Meanwhile, Kacey, who does not even remotely resemble what anyone in their right mind would consider “fat”, points out cellulite on her rear end and admits that she “think[s] it’s genetic”, yet still attributes it to “drinking too much soda”.  So basically, she’s blaming her lifestyle for something that she actually knows she can’t help.  And that’s all kinds of effed up.  A lot of the contestants also seem to be more concerned with how other people perceive their bodies than how they personally feel about their own bodies.  One contestant, Jamie, says in her audition tape, “I would really love to wear a strapless gown.  But I don’t wanna have to subject people to things like my arms,” she says, and moves her arms in a way that the fat and extra skin under her upper arms jiggles.  I think it’s very sad that she feels the need to get rid of this “problem”, because it’s something that just about everyone has (heck, I’m a scrawny little twig, and even I have a little jiggle under my arms), and also because she feels that she’d be doing others a disservice by not getting rid of it.  Which is, once again, all kinds of effed up.  One thing I find really disturbing is the women who want to “look good” for the sake of their future husbands.  “I want my fiance to say ‘What a smokin’ hot body she has!’ and he can’t wait to just kiss my face off,” says one contestant, while another tearfully says “I would just want my fiance to say — to say I look beautiful.”  Which makes me wonder what their fiances think of them at their current weight.  It saddens me to think that anyone would plan to spend the rest of their life with someone who does not think they’re beautiful the way they are.  This is not to say that the contestants’ fiances really think their future wives could be any more beautiful than they already are, but it makes me sad to think that anyone would choose to lose weight for the benefit of anyone other than themself, especially their life partner.  

As for the activities the contestants are put through on the shows, their trainers are literally working them to the point of illness.  The goal of this program appears to be more concerned with numbers than actual “commitment to a healthy lifestyle.”  The contest seems to be about who can lose the most weight the fastest, and punishes those who do not lose enough weight by eliminating them from the program.  And while weight loss is often a result of a healthy lifestyle, it is often thought of as the goal.  However, one’s health should not be measured in weight alone.  When one starts to make an effort towards a healthy lifestyle, they cannot always expect immediate results.  Exercise can be very beneficial to one’s health, but exercising to hard in order to lose weight as soon as possible is probably not the healthiest thing to do.  Neither weight loss nor health should be a timed contest, because weight loss is unhealthy if rushed and a healthy lifestyle should never have a time limit.  What’s worse about Bridal Bootcamp is that these women are all competing against each other, and only one will win in the end.  The objective of the contest seems to be that whoever punishes her body the most, wins a Dream Wedding (TM).  These women are hurting themselves while trying to assert superiority over others.  That sounds like a lose-lose situation to me, Dream Wedding prize notwithstanding (who decides what a “dream wedding” is, anyway?).  Bridal Bootcamp may have only ran three episodes so far, but it’s already given the impression of doing nothing but breed mistrust and insecurity.  

And what kind of message is this show sending the viewer?  That women should not be happy with their bodies until they’ve reached a smaller size?  That a bride cannot be happy unless she’s already sacrificed years’ worth of weight?  This show also perpetuates the myth that health = weight loss = beauty, when these three things are totally independent of each other.  Weight is a concrete thing:  you can tell just by comparing numbers who out of two individuals is heavier.  We all know that 110 lbs is heavier than 90 lbs.  Fair enough.  However, we should not pretend that we can gauge any other information about these two individuals from their weight, or at least not solely by their weight.  Contrary to popular belief, a 90 lb person is not inherently more or less healthy than a 110 lb person of the same height.  There are too many factors when it comes to judging health; we should not be measuring it in pounds.  Even more dangerous is trying to measure beauty in pounds.  Beauty is a totally subjective thing, though a society may sometimes fool us into thinking it’s objective.  I think it’s safe to assume that all the contestants on Bridal Bootcamp are thought of as beautiful by their future husbands, else why would they have gotten to the point of getting engaged?  If there’s one thing all the women on Bridal Bootcamp have in common besides their impending weddings, it is that they are all beautiful, yet for some reason believe that they are not beautiful enough; that they must improve their looks before they can feel happy with themselves.  Assuming Bridal Bootcamp does give all these women the bodies they love, what they really need is love for their bodies.  

Oh, and one last thing bothers me:  why is there no male equivalent of “bridal bootcamp”?  Or do only women need to feel inadequate in their own bodies?  C’mon, VH1, please get back to showing more music videos so we don’t need to be subjected to this crap.  I’ll settle for reruns of Pop-Up Video…  

Entertaining AND educational. Man, do I miss this show...

 

I Hereby Declare the Next Seven Days to be “Bitch about the Media and Stuff Week” — or — It’s My Blog and I Can Whine if I Want To June 23, 2010

Filed under: Bitchings About the Media and Stuff — yourbirdcansing88 @ 10:18 PM
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"This is an outrage!" -- Tony Harrison, strategically gifted alien shaman and Fleetwood Mac fan. No known relation to Beatle George.

That’s right.  I, the sole current contributor to this blog, had the unmitigated audacity (not 100% sure what that means, but I heard it in a Frank Zappa song) to declare a theme week for my very own blog.  For a number of reasons, the first being that this blog hasn’t had a themed week since “Beatles Week” of aught nine.  Also, as a music blogger, I tend to consume a lot of the media’s output, particularly when it comes to music.  Yet, there’s a lot of stuff going on in the media right now that pisses me off.  And not only does it cut into serious music-listening time (I’m looking at you, irrelevant commercials and TV shows that have nothing to do with music on channels that once had any semblance of being music-centric), but they also seriously bother me as a feminist and a reasonably intelligent human being.  Seriously, media.  Stop feeding me crap.  So I figured that I’d take the following week to gripe about the following: 
  1. The questionable, offensive and/or downright stupid messages that bombard me while I’m waiting for the commercial break to end and bring back the freakin’ music already before I throw something hefty against the TV/radio.
  2. Companies that think they can get away with using an unsung musical genius’s timelessly beautiful and ethereal music to sell themselves since said unsung musical genius became worm chow a long time ago and can’t keep this kind of travesty from happening (I’m looking at you, AT&T).
  3. The demographics that I’m falsely assumed to be part of by every TV station/radio station/music magazine that I consume regularly.  Expect a feminist take on the implications of these so-called “target audiences”.
  4. Whatever happened to certain so-called music channels (*cough-cough* VH1 *cough-cough* MTV) actually being, ya know, music channels?
  5. Why I’m starting to re-think my ambitions to write for Rolling Stone magazine unless I start seeing some changes.
  6. Ways that I think music-related media can improve their attempts to pay the bills and/or pander to an audience.  Not that I’m an expert or anything on marketing.  I am, however, an experienced consumer.
Oh, yeah, and I’m also using this week as an excuse to incorporate lots of pictures accompanied by quotes by some of my favorite obscure/semi-obscure pop-culture figures (mostly from The Mighty Boosh, now that I think of it) relating to what I think about various aspects of the media.  For example:

"Time for a break. Let's have a licorice rolly, a double brandy, and bitch about the industry. Who the #@&% is John Simm?" -- Montgomerey Flange, the greatest actor who's never lived (outside of the Boosh Universe, that is).

P.S.  To any of the few readers I may have:  feel free to post your opinions in the comments section.  I get lonely talking to myself all the time over here.  I need some feedback.     

 

I Never Thought I’d Look Forward to an Episode of “That Metal Show”… June 11, 2010

"Does this guy know how to party or what?!" --Wayne Campbell

…but I’m looking forward to the episode premiering tomorrow at 11:00 p.m.  Why, you may ask?  Oh, I dunno, maybe because ALICE FREAKIN’ COOPER, THE COOLEST OLD-SCHOOL METAL DUDE IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD is going to be on the show.  That’s why I’m looking forward to this particular episode of what I normally consider to be one of the blandest programs on VH1 Classic (I guess maybe it’s ’cause I don’t really consider myself a metalhead, though I do like a good deal of old-school metal.  And maybe it’s because the show’s a little too much talk, not enough rawk for my tastes).  But if anyone can make it worth watching, it’s Mr. Cooper.  I mean, come on, the guy makes golf seem almost badass.