Archive for artists

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.

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The Fact That There Is No “New Dabney Coleman” Surprisingly High on List of America’s Worries; Poll Shows

Posted in movies, pop culture, stars with tags , , , on November 23, 2008 by seehoweasy

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(NRB Study) The Economy? The War in Iraq? Global Warming? Try again. According to a new NRB poll, none of these above items can claim to be the number one reason that The United States has begun to circle the drain. A surprising new survey shows that the overall decline in our country’s mood began when actor Dabney Coleman switched the focus of his brilliant career from movies to television in 1983. Although Coleman had been appearing on the small screen, off and on, from his humble beginnings in 1963, it was his move to his own series, Buffalo Bill, which began the downward spiral, this according to over ten thousand people recently surveyed concerning their thoughts about why things have slowly “gone to pot.”

“He was rolling sevens in the early 80’s” opined one surveyed.

Tootsie, War Games, Modern Problems, 9 to 5. He made America laugh really hard by being a total fucking asshole. When he decided to switch to television exclusively for a couple years, he left an enormous vacuum.”

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“His characters were dicks,” explained another polled, “and it rocked.”

One of the people we surveyed, who asked to remain anonymous, had this chilling illumination:

“Dabney Coleman is an actor who often portrayed make-believe heartless, assholes. When he stopped getting roles in major films it created a void – a void that has slowly but surely become filled with real-life heartless assholes.”

Said another: “We do not need a stimulus package. We need Nine To Five 2.”

Actual poll results below:

Question: Why has America slowly “gone to pot”?

1.) The lack of good roles for Dabney Coleman in major film releases (9,870 votes)

2.) The Economy (100 votes)

3.) The War in Iraq (24 votes)

4.) Global Warming (4 votes)

5.) FrankTV (2 Votes)

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.”

Starbucks: Finally, A Big Company Helps “The Little Guy.”

Posted in Blogroll, crime, food, lindsay lohan, music, opinion, politics, pop culture, sluts, stars, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on September 27, 2007 by seehoweasy

It is not often that a powerful institution comes along and wields its all-mighty sword with the sole aim of helping the bureaucratically-challenged. But thank God for Starbucks. With their new record label (HearMusic) in full swing, underground musicians will finally get the press and recognition they deserve.

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Since Starbucks first created the HearMusic program, which, along with its own station on XM radio, was conceived as a kind of “launching pad” for unknown artists, the music business has gained in every respect. “The business had become corroded by red tape of all kinds,” spouted one insider, “but Starbucks is all about the underdog. When it comes to selling music, money is not our motive.”

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It is so difficult for up-and-coming music artists to get themselves heard that Starbucks is like an answered prayer for any would-be musician. The big record labels are all about the bottom line. Not so when it comes to the trailblazers at Starbucks. The last time I was there, I was reminded about bands and artists I had almost entirely forgotten about, due to the helpful display cases that surrounded the sandwiches! Ella Fitzgerald? The Dave Matthews Band? Sheryl Crow? THERE they are!

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It is so cool that, also, if you break up the name of the store it says Star bucks!

So cool!

UPDATE: 2/10/11 — They are shutting down their music label.

Poll: Old Bands Simply “Way Cooler” Than Newer Groups

Posted in led zeppelin, music, news, opinion, politics, pop culture, sluts, stars, steely dan with tags , , , , , , , , on September 6, 2007 by seehoweasy

(NRB Study) Maybe we can blame it on the fact that new technology has made it simpler than ever before for new artists to create and release albums. Or perhaps the fault can be placed squarely on the “Generation C” problem. (Generation C stands for Generation Condoms; These days, most young people have never had sex without condoms and, therefore, just don’t feel anything in life anymore. This, obviously, carries over into art and music and everything slowly starts sucking more and more.)

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In the old days, music was just better. This is according to a new NRB poll. Of the people between the ages of 15 and 36 asked to compare new music to older music, a whopping seventy-five percent of them favored the music of the 50’s, 60’s & 70’s.

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“People had better sex back then,” explained one participant.

“This really shows. Just listen to Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd. You can almost smell the sheets.”

The other explanation for most new bands sucking shit has to do with “how easy it is for bands like Air” to record in the first place, chirped another of those polled before he went on to explain you can tell all of this from pictures of the bands alone. “Just look at the artists of yesterday and today. No aural test is necessary.”

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Having taken these words to heart, as part of our study we showed the participants a photograph of Air (above) and asked them to compare it with a picture of Steely Dan (below).

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Steely Dan was the winner by knockout. Someone asked if the guys in the first photograph were still virgins. When asked to elaborate, the group said, basically in unison, that the guys in Steely Dan were “just way cooler.”

Kissed Off: TMZ.com Almost Nails Celebrity Look-Alike

Posted in gossip, lindsay lohan, movies, music, opinion, pop culture, sluts, stars, television with tags , , , , on September 5, 2007 by seehoweasy

(NRB Staff) On September 4th, 2007, popular website TMZ.com erroneously reported that KISS singer/guitarist Paul Stanley‘s celebrity look-alike is CNN’s international correspondent, Christiane Amanpour. While this match is close, his real doppelganger is world-renowned songstress, Liza Minelli.

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