411 Music's Friday News Bootleg 04.23.04

New Email Address: Update your address book, kids. Please send all future hate mail and salt pork recipes to me at: bootleg_ajc@yahoo.com.

Welcome back to The Bootleg. By now, I’m sure everyone has seen the 50 Worst Songs Ever list that Blender magazine put together. It’s no secret that “features” like this are both silly and superficial, but it makes for easy reading from a teleprompter or copy sheet, so every local news broadcast and drive-time DJ has to make mention of it.

The day after this “news” broke, a gaggle of my co-workers gathered outside my cubicle to discuss the list. One of them made sure to state, loudly enough so I could hear:

“It couldn’t be a complete list. After all, there was no RAP on there!”

The source of this witty barb was a 53-year-old grandfather named George (yes, his real name) who lives out in a San Diego suburb called Santee. This city is also derisively known as “Klan-tee” amongst the locals for it’s, uh, less-than-all-inclusive views. Anyways, he was on a roll and his morning bout of angina hadn’t kicked in to stop him:

“Oh wait, rap’s probably not on the list because it’s not REAL music!”

Zing. I mean?how could I possibly retort? “Wow. Never heard that one before”, I replied. Although, I don’t think he heard me in between his own laughter and the slow, loud, asthmatic breaths he needs to take every 10 seconds to, y’know?live.

Now?I’ve watched Office Space a million times, yet somehow the writers failed to capture the essence of George in their satirical masterpiece.

Do any of you know that guy in the office (or at school, church, whatever) that has to be a part of every conversation? That’s George. If he sees two people talking, he’ll stand a few feet away and look for his opening.

When he finds it, the best thing to do is just walk away. The guy talks like a less-nasal version of boxing commentator Larry Merchant, with these long inexplicable pauses every three or four words.

“Yeah, I ate?at that restaurant?once.

And, if you don’t know who Larry Merchant is, then just recall that episode of South Park where the “special” kid sings the 12 Days of Christmas song?forever. That’s George.

And for God’s sake, don’t let him initiate the conversation. Everything is an anecdote to this guy. The problem is that he’s only got about six stories that he recycles over and over again.

“My dad flew planes for over 30 years and only crashed once?and he had help from the Japanese!”

No lie?I’ve worked with this guy since 1998 and I’ve heard that line (and accompanying story) 200 times. And each time, he tells it to me like I’ve never heard it before! That’s George.

Did I mention he’s a perv? No, not the subtle “drop-the-pen/watch-her-bend” act that I’ve been using at the Korean Dry Cleaners for years. He surfs the net at lunchtime and hits up those personal ad sites in full view of anyone walking by. And if that doesn’t solidify his sensitivity to the softer sex, then perhaps this last quote from him will:

“Yeah, she was half-Black and half-Mexican, but, you know, with the worst qualities of both.”

That’s George. Weird?I would think that a guy who’s more than 20 years my senior, yet works in the same department with the same job title as me and shops from the Sipowicz Series of short sleeve shirts and thin cotton/wool-blend ties would be a playa.

The Goodness knows better…

Lil’ Kim? Women’s Prison? Happy Belated Birthday to Me!

The countdown to Lil’ Kim’s eventual conviction has officially replaced the Hilary Duff and Olsen Twins real-time “countdowns-to-legal” as my screen saver at work. This week, Biggie’s most successful side-bitch demanded a separate trial from her two co-defendants. If you missed it, Kim was charged with perjury in regards to testimony involving a 2001 shooting. Kim’s lawyer, Mel Sachs, breathlessly claimed:

“She’s been singled out and used because of who she is in the music industry.”

Oh yeah?our prison systems have been overrun with 5-foot-nothing 180-pound sistas with aqua contacts, blond wigs and their collagen-injected lips wrapped around a dead man’s d*ck. I’ve heard from readers who’ve been treating this like a musical tragedy, but let’s be real. She’s had one tight-as-hell verse in her entire career (the Quiet Storm remix with Mobb Deep). Not one good album, not one hot track?one verse. And that includes the B.I.G. ghost-written rhymes she dropped until he did.

And, I’m not even going to touch on the self-parody she’s turned herself into with all that plastic surgery and skin lightening. Hell, why should I do it, when our friends over here can cover it so much better? Bye, Kim?say ‘hi’ to Shirley Bellinger for me.

The New Mile High Club

Sheryl Crow’s upcoming May 4 concert is certainly?unique. She’s slated to perform on a United Airlines flight from Chicago to Los Angeles as part of a gimmick corporate event to celebrate the launch of Sony’s new Connect Online Music Service. She’ll perform in front of a handful of VIPs, invited guests and Steven Segal, who’ll attempt to prevent a possible hijacking before dying in the flight’s first 10 minutes. It’s hoped that this whole contrived spectacle will entice fans to shell out a buck for a Sony Connect song download or $10 for a whole downloaded album.

Feh?the only Airplane entertainment I’ll pay for involves Julie Hagerty, Robert Hays, tainted fish and some auto-pilot fellatio. And, I’m so glad to see that the music industry still doesn’t get it. It’s not Kazaa that’s killing retail sales. It’s Lil’ Jon, the Ying Yang Twins, WWE Originals and, especially Lil’ Jon. Is it wrong of me to hope that the plane transforms, mid-flight, into a simpering n’ effeminate bad guy who shoots everyone with his null-ray?

Which Reminds Me: Whatever Happened to TQ?

A couple of months ago, Source magazine had a cover story on the growing numbers of rappers running afoul of the law. Of course, they did their best to spin it as some nefarious conspiracy against the Black man. I mean, how could a man named C-Murder commit murder? Anyways, we can add T.I. to the list of those pinched by the long arm of the law. Who? Exactly. My people tell me he’s another one in a long line of sound alike down-south acts with, if you can believe this, even less talent than Petey Pablo, Pastor Troy and Bonecrusher. Who? Exactly.

Anyways, he was sentenced this week to three years in prison for violating his probation. He’s apparently got a #1 single on the charts called Rubber Band Man, which I’m sure is a highly original four minutes detailing his prowess in bed and way with women. Before he traded in his prison-inspired denim suit for a prison-issued denim suit, he left us with these articulated gems:

“Sometimes the past comes back to haunt you. You just gotta deal with those skeletons in your closet. I been hearing a lot of nonsense as far as a cat having bodies and it ain’t really like that.”

Uh, it ain’t really like what, exactly? I mean, I think we can all safely assume that the “skeletons in your closet” line wasn’t a euphemism for anything other than a half-dozen decaying corpses buried somewhere in his bedroom, but “cat”?”bodies”?I don’t get it. Macon, Decatur, Warner Robins?how ’bout a little help?

Has It Been Two to Five Years Already?

Big news out of the Death Row Records offices this week?It’s the sixth annual Suge Knight “Prison Release Party” and 411 is invited! Someone tell Widro to wear lots of blue. The scariest and most powerful man in the rap game (if this was still 1996) should be a free man as you read this and he’s celebrating with an announcement that his label plans to release a compilation album to benefit the families of U.S. Military members fighting the war against Iraq. As always, my favorite things about these Death Row press releases are the made-up quotes attributed to Suge, himself:

“I’m not taking any kind of political stance on the war?I’m concerned about the families they’ve left behind.”

The last thing I’d ever do is speak ill of another brutha, but if this fool can even spell “political”, I’ll go back and buy that Death Row Michel’le album from 1998. What does that say about the University of Nevada Las Vegas that they’d admit an illiterate Grundy like Suge just because he could stop the run and fit into a 3-4 defense? And what big names could Suge possibly get for this project? Kurupt? Danny Boy? Ooh, someone tell Sam Goody to reserve two copies for me!

Hey, Didn’t You Used to be The Godfather?

Can you believe that the Bootleg has been around for more than a year and this is our first story involving Vince Neil? For all the news on Motley Crue, go read Biscuiti or Dana Suzanne?if you want dirt on mistreated hookers?I’m your Huckleberry. Former prostitute and Bunny Ranch Brothel employee Andrea Terry (street name: TrixXxie Blue) has filed a $20,000 suit against Neil (and the Bunny Ranch) seeking damages from a July 10, 2003 encounter. Neil allegedly grabbed Terry’s throat and slammed her down. Remember, when a man assaults a woman (or simulates sex with a corpse) on Monday or Thursday Night, it’s “entertainment”?any other day of the week it’s a misdemeanor.

While Neil already received a 30-day suspended sentence and $1,000 fine for his actions, Terry is seeking consideration for “lost wages, medical bills and other costs”. Where the hell does a hooker go for medical treatment? Most hospitals I know aren’t equipped with the biohazard/haz-mat skills that girls named TrixXxie, Sunshine and Two Scoops require. The best comparison I can make is the Outbreak Monkey that captured our hearts in 1995. I can’t remember? how did they cure that cute little beast of his infectious disease?

Ugh?Again with the Tupac?

Here’s something y’all haven’t heard before?there’s another Tupac album in the works. In fact, there could be two new Pac albums out this year and, not surprisingly, there’s some controversy regarding the releases. Tupac’s grave-robbing mother, Afeni and the Interscope conglomerate have been planning to put out a double disc of unreleased and remixed material from his Me Against The World sessions recorded in 1993-1994. Death Row Records reportedly wants to release a Pac album under their own banner that would include live performances while Tupac worked for the label.

Can it be so? A live rap album featuring the most incomprehensible parts of Tupac’s body of work? If you’re channel surfing, try to catch his performance of California Love on Saturday Night Live from 1996. Just awful. And, let’s hope that this album sounds like 90% of the rap concerts that me and Steve Harvey have ever been to?38 guys screaming into 38 mics with a mysterious metallic green haze in the air. It smells like Otto’s jacket.

Sometimes The News Just Writes Itself

May is traditionally sweeps month on American television and there’s no better way to pull in the viewers than to insert a b-list rapper onto your programming. If the producers of Fastlane had taken to my suggestion of casting KRS-One as the water-retaining, thick-joweled grandfather to Bill Bellamy’s character, we might still be able to view Tiffani Thiessen in prime time. I digress. Look for Xzibit to pop up on the May 10 episode of CSI: Miami. The show will also feature a cut off of X’s new album called Ride or Smoke, which should definitely appeal to the three dozen fans he has left after that spectacularly awful Man vs. Machine album a couple of years ago.

Now, I’m not saying that rappers shouldn’t act, because some of them, in the right roles, are actually pretty entertaining. Ice Cube in Three Kings comes immediately to mind. It’s just that the success some of them have enjoyed has led to every rapper thinking he’s the next ghetto Olivier. I even read a quote from female “rapper” Trina who, off the glow from her turn in the straight-to-video A Miami Tail, declared that she wants to work with Tom Hanks, someday. Tom Hanks?and Trina. Y’know, I think Hanks would sooner share the screen with one of the Wayans Brothers before he’d ever consider?ah, damn it.

Casting Call

A few nights ago, I’m talking with our Friday Movie News Guy, Joe Reid. Our conversations have a bizarre way of detouring from a lot of idle chatter (that really doesn’t matter to me) to a series of Simpsons quotes, Joe’s love for Doug Flutie and various references to the women of Oz.

Somehow?someway?we spent far too many minutes attempting to answer the question that has plagued mankind for 15 years:

If we were to film a movie honoring the New York Yankees’ late ’80s teams, who would we cast?

The more we chatted about it, the more this project took on a life of its own and, before we knew it, we had the pieces in place for a potential feature for Wizard magazine, as well as one hell of a movie!

Ah, but here’s the rub?we need your help to bring this project to completion. I have never begged my readers for feedback, but I have to call in this favor, kids. Don’t let this die on the vine. Joe and I begun with a few obvious choices:

Kurt Russell as Don Mattingly
Stoney Jackson as Luis Polonia
Powers Boothe as Lou Piniella
Eriq La Salle (Coming to America version) as Jesse Barfield

As you can see, we’re off to a good start, but we’ve merely scratched the surface. Who’ll portray Jack Clark and Steve Balboni? Who can we find for Rickey Henderson and Dave Winfield? For the love of Jeebus, who plays the 1989 & 1990 jheri-curled and “jew-ray” caricature of Deion Sanders?

You can find these Yankee rosters right here. Send in your casting suggestions to me or to Joe or just IM me with ’em at ajcameron13. The very existence of the space-time continuum depends on it! (Quick ‘fun with spell check’?who knew ‘continuum’ had two u’s?)

General Haberdashery

There was a good deal of mail from first-time readers last week. Sometimes, I think our music columns are a little too “inside” for our own good, so I’d like to depart from the not-nearly-as-witty-as-I-think-it-is banter and give y’all a feel for who my favorite writers here on 411 are and why you should be reading them:

It’s long been customary for me to pimp our Saturday and Sunday music news guys, first and foremost. This isn’t cheap brown nosing or lip service (which, coincidentally, is the exact same combo meal that Hugh Grant ordered from Divine Brown on that fateful day in June 1995).

We form a triumvirate called The Minority Report. Jeff Fernandez has your Saturdays on lock with a column that covers all the music news you need, but includes weekly irreverence that includes everything from his unique Late Night Jukebox feature all the down to full-frontal nudity. Unless, his connection is forced to take down the pictures of that tasty former news anchor under the threat of a lawsuit.

Trevor Presiloski takes care of Sundays with tons of his own info from practically every music genre under the sun. For those of you who prefer the international music scene (Moose Jaw, Saskatoon and the other deformities that pass for locales across the border), then this should be your one-stop news shop. Seriously, there’s nothing he doesn’t cover and you’ll never find a double negative in his work.

If you love Hip Hop?and I’m talking the kind of love where you let your mate finish the last bite of your dessert kind of love?then m’man Mathan Erhardt needs to be part of your weekly reading. Check his archives, too, because unlike our weekly news approach, his columns remain timely and relevant even after it’s long since been posted.

I can’t list all the music writers here, but if you miss a day, you can catch up with our entire crew right c’here. We all kick ass and we’re the best thing about this site. (At least that’s what Widro told us.) And, so concludes the non-inside joke edition of our column.

Junk Mail

Last week’s Nick’a Please segment generated more feedback than anything Nick’s ever written for the Bootleg. Yes, he outdid his piece that linked A Few Good Men quotes to the hottest women in the world. He bested the responses that his “Spend a day with Nate Dogg” contest parody brought in.

Now, if you missed his segment on the fires and destruction that ravaged the campus of his alma mater, the University of Connecticut?I’ve got some bad news for you. While you can still access the piece, you can’t view the pictures from the Uconn Dean of Students’ site that posted nearly two dozen very drunk and very white rioters turning over cars, drinking, or just innocently sleeping next to a flickering flame.

The University took the pictures down, reportedly due to the heavy hits from non-Uconn students it generated, in no small part from the deserved mocking it received from voices like m’man Salemi. So, puh-leeze, quit asking me where the pictures are. The only man that knows for sure is this guy.

Absolutely balls-on in your reporting of the “riots” on the Uconn campus. I graduated last year and Nick nailed the whole absurdity of the whole thing. The sad thing is that between their well-to-do parents and the incessant ESPN coverage, there are actually young girls out there who think women’s college basketball actually means something. ? C.J.

Love the Bootleg and I just happen to be a junior here at U Conn. Nick’a Please had me on the floor (last week). I had seen the pictures and I was out there celebrating cough-responsibly-cough, when the irony struck me. Here’s an entire campus of mostly white and privileged students celebrating the accomplishments of a mostly Black team. As long as they don’t move in next to us, date our sisters or join our study groups, it seems that they love ’em. And I know you can smell the sarcasm. Keep up the great work. ? P.F

Look, I don’t want to come across as some sort of P.C. whiner, but come on. You celebrate drunken idiots and sh*t on the accomplishments of the women’s basketball team? I would think you guys have a hard enough time getting credibility as a site that features sweaty men holding each other as “news”, but I’ve read you before and you’re both better than this juvenile nonsense. ? K.A

Nick’s the f*cking man. Out. ? Husky_01

Life With Baby Bootleg

A couple of days ago, I was running late for work. I had just finished packing my lunch, when the wife shuffles into the kitchen with a huge garbage bag full of?something.

“Can you do something with these dirty diapers?”

See, “garbage day” is Wednesday and Mrs. Bootleg forgot to empty the Diaper Genie (or ‘Wizard’?or ‘Hobbit’?or whatever wacky, mystical name they give those things). So there are really only two options: leave the bag out in the trash bin in our garage or find some fool willing to haul it away and dispose of it on his own time.

So, it’s 6:30 AM and there I was, with a bag full of sh*tty diapers?sneaking around to the back of the shipping area at my place of employment. I’m walking backwards the whole way, so the surveillance camera doesn’t get a glimpse of my face (which is swimming in terror sweat, by this time).

I finally back into the dumpster and fling this 10 pound bag of baby waste-laced Huggies over my shoulder and into its new home?amongst the Styrofoam peanuts, cardboard boxes and the inside-job stolen electronic components.

It was the perfect crime. By the way, if anyone knows how to steam clean and disinfect the contents of my car’s trunk (six-disc CD changer, one basketball and one novelty half-melted chocolate “cigar” with It’s a Boy on it) then please let me know.

Mrs. Bootleg’s Quote of the Week

“You’re leaving me alone that weekend?” ? Tuesday, April 20

Longtime readers of this space know that I’m a huge, nearly fanatical fan of the Oakland A’s. Every year, I fly up to the Bay Area a few times to catch a game or two and find some trouble in the City.

Admittedly, this is the first time I planned a trip as a father, but I ran it by the wife a few months ago. She had no problem with it. Hell, she even agreed to buy my plane ticket as a birthday gift.

A few weeks later, I finalize the date with my boy up in Oaktown and pass that info on to wifey. Apparently those two dozen ice cream sandwiches and accompanying frozen burrito chasers that she pounds each week while the rest of us are at school, work or mall-walking with Grandpa, have affected her short-term recall.

Remember those bad sitcoms that would use the “identical look-a-like” as a comedic device? Gilligan would leave to get a rope for the Skipper, and his evil Russian twin would enter the scene. Skipper would ask where the rope was, Gilligan 2 wouldn’t know what the Skipper was talking about, while the Skipper swears that they just had this conversation two minutes ago.

OK, that was the long and convoluted way of explaining how I felt with my wife at that moment. Here’s the short response I gave her:

“You won’t be alone. Won’t (our son) Jalen be here?”

Are you a secretary who was ignored on Administrative Professional’s Day this year? Get at me on AOL or Yahoo IM: ajcameron13