Archive for December, 2012

Think Ahead, Think About It

December 31st, 2012

I need to have goals. If I don’t have goals, I will turn into a dog who lives from moment to boring moment of eating, sleeping and shitting.

 

Since we’re a few short hours from the new year, this is a good time to think about it. Long term and short.

 

Sparks is going to perform in the United States in 2013. It is in my interest to attend a Sparks show. I might have to go as far as New York City or Los Angeles to do it but I need to do it. Russell and Ron are in their sixties. They won’t be around forever, and by they I mean “these opportunities”.

 

Chikara Pro will return to Chicago in May. I haven’t been to Chicago in about six years but I will have to make the trip just so I can attend. This is as close as they will get to me. I enjoyed that show very much last year when I went to see them in Indianapolis. I will have to hitch a bus or something. In the event, they return to Indy, that’s an automatic return faggedaboudit.

 

I want to go on a vacation. I guess one of these above trips would constitute a vacation. I would like to sit in a hot tub. I would like to sit in a hot tub with a lady or two. I would like to cuddle more. I would like to cuddle with a lady or someone’s pet animal or both simultaneously. I have large, accommodating arms.

 

I want to release my album in 2013. I want to play solo shows. I want to record and release another Kentucky Prophet album beyond the one that I’ve already recorded and am sitting on. I want to play a festival or two. I want to have my album reviewed, objectively. I want to be in the Pitchforks of the world. I want to not be embarrassed that I just typed that sentence.

The Top 50 Songs of 2012, Part Two

December 28th, 2012

Here are my thoughts on #26-50, including Justin Bieber, “Rack City” and “Gangnam Style”. Oooh. . .

 

  1. It Will Rain (Bruno Mars) Note to music reviewers: try to not get too hung up on pop lyrics. They exist only because people don’t think they heard a real song unless it has words. This may or may not have anything to do with Bruno Mars, who seems to have a good voice at least.
  2. Mercy (Kanye West ft. a bunch of guys )The hook is a really great example of lyrical shoehorning (Mercy-thirsty-jerk me).
  3. Boyfriend (Justin Bieber) Rack city, bitch. Rack rack city, bitch.
  4. Party Rock Anthem (LMFAO ft. people who should be embarrassed to cash the check) Did I hear correctly that these guys are “on hiatus”? Can I hope that means they are “in a woodchipper like the end of Fargo”?
  5. Too Close (Alex Clare) I’ve heard this song once before on the compilation Now That’s What I Heard In A Car Commercial Vol. 782.
  6. Part Of Me (Katy Perry) I’m predisposed to hating any song that has this lyric: “But that was then/and this is now.” How many songs have it? Too many.
  7. Young, Wild & Free (Snoop Dogg ft. Wiz Khalifa and Bruno Mars) Snoop is too old to be young, and has been arrested too many times to be free. So he must be wild. I have no idea what the other two guys are.
  8. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together (Taylor Swift) This song should have a subtitle: “(Until We Get Back Together)”. This is awful.
  9. As Long As You Love Me (Justin Bieber ft. Big Sean) “We could be starving, we could be homeless, we could be broke (like my vocal cords) as long as you love me.” Also, why would you have Big Sean rap on the breakdown without a beat?
  10. Turn Me On (David Guetta ft. Nicki Minaj) The thing about nearly every song on this list is that once you’ve heard the first verse and chorus, you’ve heard the entire song. You will hear the same verse and chorus again, and probably a breakdown in between. This song is no exception.
  11. Moves Like Jagger (Maroon 5 ft. Christina Aguilera) Me and the girls in our Zumba class really like this one. It’s neat. “Takin’ my talky by walky”. I don’t pay attention to the words, really.
  12. Blow Me (One Last Kiss) (P!nk) This song causes hate crimes.
  13. Good Time (Owl City & Carly Rae Jespen) Verse-chorus-verse-chorus-breakdown-chorus-chorus-end. Cut the check.
  14. Give Your Heart A Break (Demi Lovato) You should listen to The Commercial Album by The Residents instead of at least 24 of the songs on this list.
  15. Niggas In Paris (Jay-Z & Kanye West) I mean, it doesn’t matter what genre of music I’m dealing with. Pop, rap, dance, country, rock. All these hit songs do that song format. This song might be the only exception to that rule.
  16. The One That Got Away (Katy Perry) Fuck me if Katy Perry hasn’t taken song titles that belonged to other artists and repurposed them for her own shit songs. Jill Sobule, T. Rex, the Beach Boys and now Tom Waits. I feel my soul leaving my body listening to all these songs.
  17. Feel So Close (Calvin Harris) I really hate it that people can’t write lyrics. Music people, you’re supposed to be able to do that, or know people that can do it for you. You don’t have to write super-smart lyrics. You just have to be think about them longer than a few minutes. Bad lyrics and bad rhyme schemes will take me right out of a song.
  18. Someone Like You (Adele) Amy Winehouse was better, but less reliable.
  19. Scream (Usher) I feel the same way about this song that I feel about an empty glass: there is nothing inside it for me to consume.
  20. Rack City (Tyga) Does this sound like Lil Wayne or am I just racist?
  21. Domino (Jessie J) I thought this was a cartoon woman. I didn’t know this was a real person. I thought it was an Archies-type of situation.
  22. Gangnam Style (PSY) This is what happens when Sudoku becomes sentient and attempts commercial art.
  23. International Love (Pitbull ft. Chris Brown) Chris Brown beat his girlfriend and has been a raging douchebag for years and I still don’t hate him as much as I hate Pitbull, the Cuban Spuds Mackenzie.
  24. Home (Phillip Phillips) This is considered the high-water mark of American Idol “coronation” songs. Which sets the bar really high.
  25. Without You (David Guetta ft. Usher) There is no more of a cookie-cutter production method than whatever this guy is doing. This guy would be at home on a production line cranking out mass quantities of white bread. Which is what all his songs sound like.

The Top 50 Songs of 2012, Part One

December 27th, 2012

I am a musician and songwriter who is waaaayyy out of touch with what is popular with the general public. This is the perfect time to look back on the year in popular music and listen to what made everybody dance and do karaoke in 2012.

 

This is not a list of some blog’s favorite albums. This is Billboard’s list of the top 50 songs of the year, aka objective numbers. These were the most popular. This is what yanked the public’s collective crank. And I gotta tell ya, I don’t get what the fuss is about.

 

  1. Somebody That I Used To Know (Gotye feat. Kimbra)I can’t watch the video without wanting to kill the nearest living thing. This song sounds like something Sting would have written for The Police but they wouldn’t work that hard on it.
  2. Call Me Maybe (Carly Rae Jespen)I like this because it sounds like Jeff Lynne produced a late 90s pop song and stole the lyrics out of a book of high-school poetry.
  3. We Are Young (Fun. ft. Janelle Monae)And no one can be more surprised at the success of this song than the band that wrote and performed this song.
  4. Payphone (Maroon 5 ft. Wiz Khalifa)Now, I begin to regret this undertaking. Maroon 5 ft. Wiz Khalifa? More like Moron 5 ft. Jizz Khalifa, amirite?
  5. Lights (Ellie Goulding)Better than “Payphone”, at least.
  6. “Glad You Came” (The Wanted)Can someone explain to me how we got back to 90s English dance pop? This and “Lights” doesn’t make sense to me in 2012. Nothing wrong with them but if you said these tracks were from 1999, I’d believe it.
  7. Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) (Kelly Clarkson)Hadn’t heard this song until now. Now it’s her trying to have a “Lights”. I hate songs about how strong the woman is. I get it, bitch. You’re strong. Congrats. Four guys wrote this song and a guy directed the video.
  8. We Found Love (Rihanna ft. Calvin Harris)EUROPOP UBER ALLES. I suddenly have an urge to see Chris Brown beat up everyone in Ace Of Base. This is all their fault, right?
  9. Starships (Nicki Minaj)I get it now. None of these songs were meant to be listened to concurrently, much like one isn’t supposed to eat 50 jelly donuts in a row.
  10. What Makes You Beautiful (One Direction)So this is Bieber multiplied by five? Have they made a clit-diddling Autotune yet?
  11. Wild Ones (Flo Rida ft. Sia)Are you a fan of dance-pop songs that have breakdowns and slow builds back up to a hard beat? You’ll love almost every song on this list. And since this was a hit, you did. The only good thing about this song was Sia singing “Hey, I heard you were a wild one, oooh”.
  12. Set Fire To The Rain (Adele)
  13. Sexy And I Know It (LMFAO)It’s hard to hate Lana Del Rey for being fake when I know that the two men in LMFAO are drawing breath.. By the way, the fact that Adele and LMFAO are next to each other shows you just how arbitrary the public really is.
  14. Some Nights (fun.)Here’s the thing. You think just because a band overdubs a lot of harmonies they sound like Queen when they actually sound like Kansas.
  15. Wide Awake (Katy Perry)Tit single.
  16. Good Feeling (Flo Rida)
  17. Whistle (Flo Rida)I’m convinced this man is trying to kill music and is succeeding beyond his wildest expectations. I want to hit all his producers on the wrist with a ruler and go “NO! NEVER AGAIN!”
  18. One More Night (Maroon 5)Apparently, some women think the lead singer of this group is sexy. I don’t understand that at all.
  19. Drive By (Train)This is a dance-pop song masquerading as a poppish rock song with actual live instruments. Train seems like what you get if you can’t afford Bon Jovi.
  20. The Motto (Drake ft. Lil Wayne)Flo Rida is an enemy to music. Lil Wayne’s nemesis is sentence structure.
  21. Where Have You Been (Rihanna)Rihanna songs always sound like she spent twenty minutes in the vocal booth and the producer had to work with what little was recorded.
  22. Everybody Talks (Neon Trees)Do you have one hook? You can totally have your song used in commercials and movies? “It started with a whisperrrrrrr. . .”
  23. Take Care (Drake ft. Rihanna)Rihanna sounds half-asleep. Is this the song that caused Drake and Breezy to throw glassware at each other in a nightclub? It wasn’t worth it.
  24. Titanium (David Guetta ft. Sia)This song with Sia is better than the other song so far with Sia on it (Flo Rida’s “Wild Ones” but it would be almost impossible to be worse at this point.) There’s a great guitar solo after the second chorus. Ha ha, just kidding. There’s no guitar at all.
  25. I Won’t Give Up (Jason Mraz)This little shit wanted to write another “I’m Yours” type wedding song. This sounds like Kenny Loggins if Loggins was a giant pussy.

Sorry That I Knocked You Up… The Album

December 26th, 2012

http://technologyvshorse.bandcamp.com/album/sorry-that-i-knocked-you-up (link opens up in new tab)

 

Just to let you know that Technology Vs. Horse has a new album called Sorry That I Knocked You Up. You can buy a digital copy from Bandcamp and/or order a physical CD copy from the group. Some background information follows.

 

Some of the material on this, the fifth (!) TvH album has appeared in one form or another. The big, IMPORTANT DIFFERENCE is that these performances are with the CURRENT five-man lineup (known to some as “the classic TvH lineup” of 2007-??) and also that both the recording quality and performances are MUCH BETTER than they were the first time around.

 

“Micronesia” and “Pressure’s On You Not Me” were originally from our 2005 debut album Teddy Jam.

“Victor/Victoria”, “Awaken The Sleeping Minotaur” and our IMMORTAL radio hit “Ethel Can Dance” were originally from the 2007 album Four Against The Minotaur. When we recorded this album, Josh Hines had joined the group as drummer but David Prater was not yet our keyboardist.

“White Girls” is a rerecording of a song from 2011’s Potential Pleasure Device just for the music video shot expertly by Daniel Peach.

“Dark Man/Pale Horse” is a slight remix of our “Electric Eels” 7″ b-side and makes its’ album debut.

“It’s A Wonderful Life” is a song that appeared on the Kentucky Prophet album Beyond The Fringe from 2006 and TvH has covered this song occasionally in the past.

“Automobile” is a new song written specifically for this project. It is a dance-pop-funk song in the style of “White Girls” but to be perfectly honest the band prefers to play this one. Hopefully this one will be a hit amongst the local youths and take the place of “Ethel” and “Electric Eels” in your mythology.

 

Okay, everyone. You ignored most of these songs the first time we released them. You’ve got a second chance.

 

A Moment For Ray Collins

December 25th, 2012

Ray Collins died on Christmas Eve this year. Ray was the original singer for the Mothers of Invention. He was actually the one who recruited Frank Zappa to join the group when it was the Soul Giants, before they became the Mothers. Collins was 76 years old and performed on nearly all of the 60s Mothers albums, beginning with their 1966 debut Freak Out.

 

It just occurred to me how many of the original 60s Mothers are gone. Frank Zappa died in 1993, Buzz Gardner and Jimmy Carl Black died a few years ago, and Motorhead Sherwood died just last Christmas. Lowell George (Ray’s ostensible replacement and later Little Feat star) died in the late 70s. The only living member of the original Freak Out Mothers left is Roy Estrada and he’s in prison for child molestation so he might as well be dead.

 

Ray Collins was a great singer who rarely got to be the focal point in the Mothers music. He was at odds with Zappa’s increasingly difficult music, especially when there was no place for him in it. “King Kong” from 1969’s Uncle Meat was the first Zappa composition that really went into extended instrumental territory. It was composed and performed while Collins was still in the band and would take up a long chunk of set time, leaving Collins with little to do but to occasionally perform some surreal physical comedy. On the Uncle Meat version there’s a brief moment in the song after about eleven straight minutes of music, you hear a snippet of Collins singing “voh-do-dee-yo-dohh” before the music snarls back into a hellish frenzy. It is his only appearance on the eighteen-minute six-part “King Kong”.

 

 

Frank Zappa hated love lyrics in popular music and wasn’t afraid to say so. Unfortunately, he just so happened to hate something that Ray Collins did very well. Thank goodness the Mothers had the good sense to record an album of doo-wop spoofs, Cruising With Ruben & The Jets. Even if it was a joke, it was a well-delivered joke and probably the best album to check out the vocal talents of one  Ray Collins. Zappa pulled a proto-George Lucas in 1984 and remixed Ruben (and We’re Only In It For The Money) with all new bass and drums tracks that infuriated fans and prompted a lawsuit from the rest of his 60s bandmates.

 

At least you can hear Ray. Frank might have been flagrant but he wasn’t stupid.

All The NHL Teams We Don’t Need

December 24th, 2012

Right now we should be having an NHL season but we don’t have one because there’s an owner lockout of the players. There are 30 teams in the league and some of them are having a hard time making money. Since the NHL is hell-bent on not allowing any of their teams to fail (because if the teams go out of business, it would look bad upon the league), I have come up with a list of NHL teams we don’t. 30 is way too many. You’re welcome, hockey pucks.

 

The Michael Jordan of hockey, in that he couldn't run a team either.

1. Phoenix Coyotes

The most obvious and glaring case of all. The team has incurred massive losses since 2005 and the league owns it because the previous owner was tired of dumping bad money into it. Any time someone has offered to buy the team, the NHL has blocked it out of fear the team will be moved from Phoenix. Very few people bought tickets to Coyotes games, even when Wayne Gretzky coached the team. That’s how bad it was.

 

2. Columbus Blue Jackets

Not Cincinnati or Cleveland. Columbus has a hockey team. Not even Akron. Columbus? Columbus needs hockey needs Ohio needs a river that sometimes catches fire. Nobody has ever at any point caught Blue Jackets Fever in the team’s eleven seasons. As if they weren’t enough, they fire a Civil War-replica cannon at home games. Euck.

 

3. Minnesota Wild

This is the team Minnesota got after the North Stars went to stupid Dallas. I’m in favor of Minnesota having an NHL team but not a team called “Wild”.

 

4. Dallas Stars
Unfortunately, we can’t make the Stars go back to Minny. They had a great logo. The Dallas ’99  roster should be buffed off the Stanley Cup.

 

Look, the tip of the "N" has an arrow on it. I like that.

 

5. Winnipeg Jets

I’m sure the people in Winnipeg would miss their Jets but they oughta be ashamed of themselves for rooting the burning husk of the former Atlanta Thrashers. Put a clock on Eminem and you don’t have Flavor Flav.

 

6. and 7. Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers

Hockey does not belong in Florida. Never has, never will. Nothing good comes out of Florida.

 

8. Carolina Hurricanes

This team was once the Hartford Whalers who had the sweetest logo.

 

 

And now the Whalers are gone, moved to Carolina where no one cares about them, just like the Panthers and Bobcats. What a stupid team. No team would go with that color green for their sweater anymore. This is what we get now. . .

 

This looks like a logo for wind turbines.

 

 

He Can’t Get Comfortable

December 18th, 2012

My grandfather is coming down with something. He’s not comfortable and can’t get comfortable. If he gets comfortable, he can’t stay comfortable.
This is the second straight night he’s woken up early. He can’t stay in his bed all night. His body aches too much and he can’t stay comfortable. So he gets up, puts his clothes on, has a sip of fresh coffee and tries to nap in his favorite chair. I’m sitting next to him and he’s covered himself in a nice brown blanket. I’m fixing to go into my room.

 

I hate that I can’t make him comfortable. I can’t make his hip bones not ache. I can’t give him eight hours in a comfortable bed. He might get six hours, tops. The best I can do right now is go into my room, and turn the light out in the room which I will be doing quite shortly.

 

He will tell me I don’t have to leave. He doesn’t want to interrupt me while I’m in my routine. But he’s not. I’m not watching TV. I’m fine. I want him to be as comfortable as I can, and the longer I’m out here in the room with him with the light on, the less I’m doing that.

 

Do the Rolling Stones sing “Mother’s Little Helper” anymore in concert? Do they sing “What a drag it is getting old”.

You Can’t Make The World Fair

December 14th, 2012

This morning, or early afternoon, a 20-year-old man went into a quiet Connecticut elementary school with multiple assault weapons in tow. He commenced to shoot twenty-six people to death before turning one of his guns on himself. Twenty of the dead were children.  It was the second mass shooting in a week, following a mall shooting in Portland, Oregon.

 

By coincidence, on this very same day my cousin’s house was broken into and some items were taken, all of which belonged to a five-year-old boy. A PS3, a Kinect, the controllers and games for these things. All of this was stolen. Not the pile of wrapped gifts under the tree. Not the appliances, not the TV, just the kid’s things. It’s certainly not on the scale of what happened in Connecticut. No one was in the house at the time, and no one was hurt. The kid will get to go to school on Monday. But if I were him, I’d be asking myself “Why me? And why just me?”

 

Crimes committed against children are the worst kind. Some people will say that crimes against animals are as bad if not worse, and while I respect their argument I have to disagree. Consider the child victims of sexual abuse who grown up to become adult perpetrators of the same abuse. Consider the TV footage from today’s Connecticut shooting when parents went to the school to collect their kids and came out empty handed and crying because their child had been shot. Consider that children are taught to respect their elders and how they are affected when that respect is destroyed in a criminal act.

 

I was greatly affected by what I saw on TV today. It’s horrible because it makes me feel helpless. And me, not even a parent! What about those who have kids? Those of you who pack your kid off to school every morning. You always expect to get them back the way you left them. How helpless do you feel?

 

I don’t have any answers in this blog. Not today. Sorry, I should have put something at the top. WARNING: NO ANSWERS. I just want to give voice to that feeling of helplessness for a moment. Because you don’t have to be a parent to know that every parent wants their children to have it better than they did growing up. I would want that, too. Part of that is providing for them; keeping the power on, the heat on, the water warm, the pantry full, the clothes on, and everything else that goes with it. But something more than that, because when you were a kid you had to find out the hard way that LIFE AIN’T FAIR. Not only that, but since that’s the way it was, there was NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT.

 

And that struck you as an something to fight against. It became a cause. It became something to live for. “No matter what happens from here on out, when I get the chance I’m gonna try to make the world a little bit more fair.” And when you had children, you only doubled down. Because you wanted the world to be a little bit more fair for them than it was for you.

 

But life ain’t fair. And as hard as you try, and as much as you wish, you just can’t make the world a fair place. You can do little things like make sure everybody gets a ribbon at the end of the pee wee baseball game. You can just give your kid a regular hand spanking instead of hitting them with a switch your folks did. But you can’t make the world fair. It will barge in on you and ruin things and hurt you.

 

But here’s the key. Just because you know that doesn’t mean you can stop trying. I’m going to repeat that in all caps. JUST BECAUSE YOU KNOW THE WORLD ISN’T FAIR DOESN’T MEAN YOU STOP TRYING TO MAKE IT MORE FAIR. You have to do what you can, because your little ones are depending on you. What else are you gonna do? Drop out of parenthood? Sit around the house in a funk while your kids look at you confusingly and go “Hmm, that’s odd. . . who’s in charge around here?”

 

This is as much of a joke as you’re going to get in this post, and it’s not even a joke because I mean it. When there’s another mass shooting (because unfortunately there will be) I just hope the shooter’s name isn’t “Michael James Farmer”. Because that’s my name, asshole.

 

 

So Little Blood

December 12th, 2012

Today I had blood work done for the second time in a week.

 

I am feeling especially shitty right now. I’ve had a total of three vials of blood taken out of my blood. Two vials were extracted on Monday morning. Then I get a call later that day saying that one of the tubes was messed up and the blood got thick and could I come back in sometime this week to do it all over again?

 

Fortunately, this is not a problem since as we all know. . . the human body has an unlimited supply of blood.

 

That last sentence is half-true. It is true that I did not have a problem coming back. The human body does NOT have an unlimited amount of blood. Unfortunately. Because I really am missing that blood right now.

 

To top it off, I went on the radio to talk about sports. That was a terrible idea. An half-hour of stupid rambling and forgetting names and teams and being out of sorts like an old lady who’d had too much cough syrup. If I can get a copy of the worst parts, I’ll try to post it. It’s so bad it’s amusing.

Found In An Old Notebook

December 11th, 2012

The loving side of me is tiny

I want to get out of my head and think about you for a while.

I’m Mr. Ice Cold even in the springtime

I’m afraid, I’m a frady cat when affection’s on the line

I’m a tiny malnourished snail

I’m a sad man, hopeless and frail

I want to write you a letter in the rain.

 

I feel subhuman sometimes.

You’re the tide the raises all boats (sic)

I’m too confused and distorted.

 

June 6th I’m going to the therapist again.

I’m gonna crawl to Heaven. Will you have me?

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