Archive for the music Category

R.I.P. Gerry Rafferty

Posted in music, news, obituaries, opinion, pop culture, r.i.p., stars with tags , , , , , on January 5, 2011 by seehoweasy

The first time I heard “Baker Street,” I was in my Aunt and Uncle’s RV with them and my cousins and some of their friends. The lot of us were going to the desert to ride ATCs. Being an 8 year old tremendously moved by music had an endless bouquet of advantages in 1979, and Gerry Rafferty’s constant airplay was just another one of them. Ensconced in all the music American society now deems “classic rock”, songs like “Right Down The Line” and “Baker Street” chilled me to my bones in the best of ways. Melodic and downright inventive in ways pop or rock or whatever you choose to call it rarely is these days. I have grown up to become a musician myself, and have found success that is beyond my mother’s wildest dreams. Being a songwriter, I have come to learn that what Gerry Rafferty accomplished is one of the rarest things in life; to have even one song become a part of American culture is almost impossible, but to have, arguably, two or three, and have them being original works with artistic integrity, well, that is something musicians/music fans like myself consider to be a jackpot of all kinds of sorts that is difficult to wrap one’s brain around. (A quick note to anyone unmoved by his body of work from a creative perspective, as I am sadly and frustratingly aware of the fact that he was not considered as “cool” or “important” by the media or the masses at the time of his passing as I find him to be: he made over $100,000 a year, up until he left us, from the royalties of “Baker Street” alone.) In my twenties, I was the chief songwriter in a rock group, and I studied his songs, finding them to be compositions and not just songs, works of art and not merely forced creations with which to make money and please (the countless and revolting) rattlesnakes in the music industry. His songs inspired me to try and do something as good, and his career was something of a template for what I wanted my band to accomplish. (His songs are currently playing in grocery stores and casinos as I write, so who really cares how “cool” or “important” anyone says he is on Facebook or Myspace?) I later learned that he had fronted Stealer’s Wheel and had success there too with “Stuck In The Middle With You.”

 

I bought his solo efforts, City To City and Night Owl, and the former became one of my favorite records of all-time. The entire album is fantastic, and songs like “Whatever’s Written In Your Heart” and “City To City” are so instantly likable, I am still surprised they are not widely-known. Anyway, he passed away yesterday. He has been out of the public eye for ages, but no one has ever replaced him. I am far from ashamed to admit that I have been listening to his songs all morning and crying my eyes out.

Parenthetically, I had the great honor of meeting Walter Becker a few years ago. (Becker and Donald Fagen had wanted Rafferty to be the vocalist for their new band, Steely Dan, way back in 1971.) I got to tell Mr. Becker what his music meant to me. I tried to, anyway. It was impossible to actually do, but what I said had reached him and it gives me a lot of peace to know I told him. I never did run into Gerry Rafferty, so I have posted this blog instead, and I will pretend I ran into him on the street: “Thank you, Gerry. You don’t see it on Entertainment Tonight or anything, but what you have done is important, and it really matters.” Rest In Peace.

Kissing Like It’s Love by The Voyces

Posted in facial hair, funny, music, music video, pop culture, sluts with tags , , , on June 15, 2010 by seehoweasy

Grammys 2009: A Detailed Analysis On Why They Sucked

Posted in crime, lindsay lohan, music, news, odors, opinion, politics, pop culture, sluts, stars, total bullshit with tags , on March 4, 2009 by seehoweasy

285grammystauette0122808

I have been meaning to blog about the catastrophe that was the 2009 Grammy Awards since the morning after they aired.  I had a bunch of notes and everything.  I had decided that, since I could not move myself to blog for a couple of following weeks, I would never get around to it.   But it has been nagging at my soul, because music is my favorite thing in all of life, so here goes:

First, some back-story.  I have been watching the Grammys since I was nine years old. To put that into focus, Christopher Cross cleaned up.  Even when rock music started to lift itself onto a gurney, and hook itself up to an i.v. in about 1987-88, I continued to make my watching these awards an annual event.  By the early 90’s, it was commonplace for me to watch them alone and with guilt.  Everyone in my life panned even the concept of watching.  And most of the people in my life have always been artists and musicians.

Me: “Are you gonna watch the Grammys?”

Someone: Why?”

Someone else: “Fuck no.”

I was used to it.  And I couldn’t blame them for reacting that way. The show has ALWAYS mostly sucked.  I have always known this going in. I watch for two primary reasons: First, it is to be awestruck by the possible attendance of any “gods” or “goddesses” in the world of music.  Even if he or she is simply sitting in the crowd, it excites me to see them.

“Rewind! They just showed Prince!”

Or…

“That was Paul Simon!”

Or…

“Holy Shit! Dave Brubeck!”

Or…

“Aretha Franklin!”

Or…

“JIMMY PAGE!!!! Are you KIDDING ME?”

Stuff like that.

The second reason I watch is so I can deride the hacks.  Man, that is fun when you are watching with other people. (I notice that males like to put down musicians and females like to make fun of others weight.)

Me: “Does Billy Corgan ever write melodies?”

A guy: “Who?”

Another guy: “Exactly”

A girl: “His date is fat.”

Although there has been, in my opinion, no legitimate musical “happening” since Amy Winehouse (before that, Outkast), this year I put out a tray of snacks and tuned  into CBS with bated breath.

Again, I do not have my notes, but I will go by memory as best I can.

U2 opened the show.  (I am not a fan exactly, but I think “Stuck In A Moment”, “Sunday, Bloody Sunday”, “New Years Day”, and a couple of others warrant their entire career. )

It was fucking terrible. Way less there than meets the eye. Big lights. A lot of jumping around. It seemed very loud. But I could not find an actual tune of any kind. I muted the TV.  One minute into the 2009 Grammy Awards, and I am muting the TV. Yikes.

And I am well aware of all the pro-U2 arguments.  Shove ’em.  U2 was awful.

6a00d8341cabbe53ef0105371d4b97970b-300wi

Next up was Carrie Underwood.  I guess she played a Country song. It sounded like Rock and Roll to me, and sadly, it was a highlight of the night. Her guitarist was great. She flirted with an actual melody. It sucked, but compared to most of what followed, it was a highlight. Jesus, that is sad to write.  Parenthetically, my father has more stage presence than Bible-toting Carrie. And the last time I saw eyes that vacuous, I was talking to a teller at my post office here in New York.

cbs_grammys_2009_clip1

Oh yeah, sometime pretty early on, Whitney Houston came out.  But is was not to sing some new masterpiece.  She looked healthy. (Coughing loudly.)

Al Green sang a song from 1972.  Nailed it! (Coughing even louder.)

See, I need my notes. I forget the order. Ah well…

At some point The Jonas Brothers played.  They are The Bay City Rollers of the day, and I oddly have no problem with them.  Cringing as I write…another highlight.

jonas-brothers-grammys-2009

At least they flirted with a melody.

Oh yeah, and they wheeled Stevie Wonder out so he could try and class things up. He played a song (with The Brothers Jonas) from 1971.

cbs_grammys_2009_clip3

Then there was Coldplay.  I can’t get a Coldplay fan to hum me one of their songs. Watching them win an award is bewildering and agonizing.  Watching them try to “bond” with Paul McCartney was funny.  Yeah, aside from the Sgt. Pepper-ish suits, you guys have nothing in common with any former Beatle.

Some people swear by this band. I don’t know. When they won, it marked the first time during the ceremony that I started thinking that the whole thing is “fixed” and political.

_45457710_timberlake_green_getty

At some point Justin Timberlake came out and sang in the right key.

Warning: I am about to dis the beloved Radiohead.

radioheadgrammy

I know that their fans and the band could care less about my opinion, but here it is anyway.  Just because a group does not write songs in a traditional mold, it does not automatically mean they are geniuses.  It just doesn’t.  Sorry.  Like Coldplay, I can’t even get one of Radiohead’s own fans to hum me a tune.  I can’t help it, this bothers me.

Suffice to say, I watched these ceremonies with a Radiohead fan, and they too thought this was dogshit.

Fleetwood Mac used the USC marching band on “Tusk” in the 1980 recording, and on stage during 1997’s “The Dance.”  The difference there was that all of the hoopla created by the drummers, etc., transpired over an actual song; the horns had a melody to play.

So, summing up about Radiohead: BOOOOOOOOOOO!

plant_krauss

At some point, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss sang a song that everyone was jizzing over.  To me, it was just okay.  But I won’t say anything bad about Plant. He is WAY too cool and real to be there at all, I kept thinking.

Adele was the genuine highlight of the night.  Hers was, far and away, the best song I heard. adele-431x500

So of course, she was not allowed to play the whole thing. And her song did not win.

Her loss caused me to start to watch with one eye.

With one eye, I saw Jay-Z making shit up as he went along.

I saw Paul McCartney sing a song he wrote in 1963.

I saw some Smokey Robinson casino-style revue of songs even older.

I saw movie stars announce awards, because they could not find enough musicians who wanted to attend.

I left the TV on mute for about the last hour or so.

I was busy having a conversation about how “this is what happens when the wrong people start running the music industry.”

Me: “The worst Grammys ever.”

A guy: “Totally.”

A girl: Gweneth looked gaunt.”

Next morning, I see that the ratings were up from last year. That was when I threw out my notes.

Men with Acceptable Mustaches Fall into One of Four Categories, New Study Shows

Posted in Blogroll, crime, facial hair, movies, music, pop culture, sluts, sports, stars, television, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on September 13, 2008 by seehoweasy

NRB Study: According to our recent study, men who are able to pull off wearing a mustache fall into (at least) one of only four categories.  This is according to over one hundred “cool women” we polled. This information might be a revelation for those who had previously believed that all mustachioed men were gay and/or trying to frighten off women.

Our extensive research unveiled four, and only four, categories to which a man with an acceptable mustache belongs (Each category contains at least one sub-category).

According to the women of taste with whom we spoke, unless a man can claim to be in one of the following groups, he should not grow hair above his lip.

ACCEPTABLE MUSTACHE CATEGORY #1: POLICE OFFICERS (also: Dads over fifty-years-old)

ACCEPTABLE MUSTACHE CATEGORY #2: GAYS (also: actors, musicians)

ACCEPTABLE MUSTACHE CATEGORY #3: FIREMEN (See POLICE OFFICERS)

ACCEPTABLE MUSTACHE CATEGORY #4: ACTUAL COWBOYS (also: anyone legitimately hot)

Women warn however that, despite the existence of these helpful categories, it is not a sure thing. “Many stumble,” claimed one woman in our study. “As a rule, if a guy is good-looking enough it does not really hurt him.”

She continued, “But if a woman is on the fence about how she feels about a guy’s looks, usually a mustache is the kiss of death.”

Entertainment Weekly’s “The New Classics” issue filled with total fucking bullshit

Posted in Blogroll, music, news, opinion, politics, pop culture, sluts, stars, television, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on June 21, 2008 by seehoweasy

In the new issue of Entertainment Weekly (6/27/08-7/4/08) there is a list of “The New Classics” for just about every form of popular entertainment. I got it in my mailbox today and skimmed through it immediately.  I accidentally went right to the Stage section and got nervous.  I hate Broadway shows, as a general rule, and do not claim to know shit about them. However, I know enough to know that the schmaltzy “Jersey Boys” is no classic. (My wife saw it and gave me a full report: it was “cute”; she loves that Broadway crap.)

When it comes to music, I become easily offended when people (like the just-out-of-college-dumbfucks at EW Magazine) carelessly toss around the word “classic.”

Prince’s “Purple Rain” is listed at #1. I would not put it there, but I get it. Great album. It has stood the test of time. It was part of popular culture, and it can be argued that it still is. After that, the list of “New Classics” is a bucket of self-conscious  horse-shit.

Liz Phair’s “Exile In Guyville” is #47 and Peter Gabriel’s “So” is #88. Whether you hate Peter Gabriel or you love Peter Gabriel, you know at least four of the songs on “So.” Liz Phair? Does anyone really even listen to her? I mean, I know people do. But where are they? I have yet to meet one person in my life who swears by her music. A classic? Wouldn’t a music fan like myself have to have heard at least one song from her supposed opus? Is it because I am not a lesbian or something?

Kanye West’s “The College Dropout” (2004) is number 4????? I mean, lol.

“You Are Free” by Cat Power is #13??????????????  Isn’t it a little early to tell? Does anyone who DOES NOT want to fuck her like her music? Know her music? Do the people that WANT to fuck her like her music? Know that she is a musician?

Speaking of which….

“Tidal” by Fiona Apple???? #20????  LMAO

CLASSIC????? Does anyone know three songs from that one? LMAOOOOOOOOO

Interpol???? Why???  Really? LMFAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Is “The Office” is the Best Show In History?; How Steve Carell is Really Just Freddie Mercury

Posted in ilovelucy, lindsay lohan, music, opinion, pop culture, queen, seinfeld, stars, television, the office with tags , , , , , , on January 12, 2008 by seehoweasy

Opinion/Study- The U.S. version of The Office is the greatest show in the history of television. Based on the BBC series created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, and developed for American television by Greg Daniels, this series makes me laugh more often in ten seconds of watching and re-watching than I do during a week’s worth of viewing the second best show in the world, Seinfeld. Obviously, upon my pondering the wonderment that is The Office, one question came to mind, which I had to answer: What are the parallels between television shows and popular music? And more importantly, if The Office was a rock band, which one would it be?

large_carell.jpg

To answer this question accurately, I first had to analyze the history of both television and popular music and then point out the key parallels connecting them.

Part I: Why I Love Lucy is Elvis Presley

I Love Lucy, no matter how one feels about it, was the template. In this way, it is the “King” of television. It laid the groundwork for everything that followed (the first to use the what-is-now-standard five cameras; the first to even suggest sex ~ with the birth of little Ricky, e.g.). And it was damn good. For that reason, it is still popular today, decades and decades later.

009_220-150i-love-lucy-posters.jpg

elvis70.jpg

So clearly, if I Love Lucy was a music artist, it would be Elvis Presley.

Part II: Why Seinfeld is The Beatles

All of the things that were great about I Love Lucy, but WAY BETTER! Seinfeld took all the rules of television and smashed them. Wholly inventive and imaginative, this groundbreaking series made its own rules and eventually became the new template. It could do whatever it wanted, and with seemingly effortless brilliance, raised the bar so high and so quickly that it made every show that came before suddenly appear a little stale at best. Just as The Beatles could never have existed without Elvis Presley, there would be no Seinfeld without I Love Lucy.

fab4seinfeld.jpg

tcobeatlesmeetthe.jpg

If Seinfeld were a band, it would be The Beatles.

Part III: Why The Office is Queen

What can be said then, in a musically parallel sense, about The Office? It contains the most talented group of writers and stars ever assembled. Together, they regularly churn out segments that are so rich and detailed, one must watch numerous times to catch it all. Often, one moment in the show contains more intelligence, humor, and heart than that which is found in an entire series of its competitors. Yes, once in a while it fumbles a bit momentarily and puts out, what is only self-comparatively, a stinker. Yet really, the worst you can say about it is that it is not everyone’s cup of tea. The Office could not exist without Seinfeld and, accordingly, I Love Lucy. And it will never be as popular as those shows were, despite the fact that it, in many ways, dwarfs those shows in sheer, over-all quality. But damn, The Office is so wondrous that it can even make the brilliant Seinfeld look, well, once in a while, a little stale.

what-2-watch-902-90806-200609010437540621.jpg

25.jpg

Therefore, if The Office was a music artist, it would be Queen.

(Footnote: I am still trying to place the likes of All In The Family, The Cosby Show, Family Ties, Cheers, etc.,in a music-history sense. Help in this regard will be welcomed.)

Back From “Run-Of-The-Mill-Type Nervous Breakdown”; Ready to Blog

Posted in Blogroll, lindsay lohan, movies, music, news, opinion, politics, pop culture, Uncategorized on December 21, 2007 by seehoweasy

It has been a long time since any new posts have appeared on N.R.B. I am feeling much better now, aided by both the new Eagles album (it is spectacular) and my purchase of “Charlie’s Angels: Season Two” on DVD (it is fucking terrible). Yes, it is these little things in life that go a long ways towards the healing of one’s soul. Thankfully, my life is filled with nothing but such things! Anyway, I have dusted myself off and am now working on my next blog. Since many wait with bated breath, I will give you a teaser so you can function meanwhile: it is about how I am the only person on earth who thinks that the pregnancy of Britney Spears’ sister is kind of hot.