The following was to appear on 411mania.com as my final offering. However, a certain webmaster who will remain nameless but whose name rhymes with a certain variety of cannabis did not post it for whatever reason. So, it will serve as my debut column for InsidePulse, where the webmaster actually posts your stuff. I will be back with brand new material this upcoming Saturday”¦
Welcome to The Saturday Swindle Sheet. This week’s column is brought to you by the Church of Scientology. That’s right, I’ve mentioned the Church of Scientology twice in a month! Sorry, Mitch”¦
I think Mathan Erhardt more or less hit the nail on the head with this quote”¦
Another reason why I decided to leave is because it was Widro who gave me the chance to write for 411Music “¦ Since Widro took a chance on me, I figured that I’d take a chance on him.
Less than a week after celebrating the ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY of The Saturday Swindle Sheet, I was faced with a dilemma”¦ I could either stay with 411mania or accept an invitation to defect to Widro’s new site. It wasn’t something that I was quick to decide on, but after I managed to get Fingers to take me and That_Bootleg_Guy as a Friday-Saturday package (with Mathan as a signing bonus), my mind was more or less made up. It complimented my realization that although Ashish and Widro have been the webmasters/co-owners of this site, Widro was the one who decided to check out the CD review sample that I had sent to him, Ashish, and Daniels, and gave me a chance with the site. Now only that, but he also allowed me to take a crack at my own column, with The Dirty Dozen, and when I stopped doing that due to lack of drive, he still let me take a crack at a news column. So, as a result, I decided to take a chance with his brand new site. I will still continue to write the Swindle Sheet, which will still appear every Saturday (like always) to rock your faces.
So, that said, in a statement pretty similar to last week’s anniversary statement, I would like to thank everyone here at 411mania who has supported me. Many of you are coming with to InsidePulse, and many of you are also staying here to help revamp this already amazing site. I don’t think it will have any problem re-launching to be as huge and successful as ever.
Ari Berenstein has really started to kick it up a notch with his Tracklisting column. He speaks on the mass exodus and also quotes a verse from that same book of the Bible. This week he focuses on people who follow bands around and buy all their T-shirts. He also really likes the Barenaked Ladies and Alanis Morrissette. 50 Cent looks like that guy that played all of the older male parts on You Can’t Do That on Television. DUUUUH”¦ I heard that!
John Collins (or is it CULLEN?) did a Letter Kills double shot this week, first interviewing their guitarist Dustin Lovelis, and then reviewing the band’s newest CD, The Bridge. But is it Cullen or Collins? Could it be that the new 411 will involve all writers with pseudonyms to scrap said pseudonyms and use their real names? If so, is Warren WOO really done for?
Mathan and Fingers will both be crossing over to InsidePulse, and these were their final columns. Mathan sends us off by putting an end to the Jay-z debate with a reader comment, as well as an allusion to my favorite controversy in the history of my writing for 411, mostly because 50 Cent looks like a combination between Ryan T. Murphy and Mitch Michaels. Fingers, in the meantime, enjoys folk music and CLAIRE FLYNN BOYLE. Little Known Matt Fact: He has one of those curly handlebar moustaches.
Phil Watts Jr. is the LOOP DIGGA, and was one of only a few news reporters to show up this week. He hates Kid Rock, Shaquille O’Neal, and mentions me, so go read his column.
xXxMelCORExXx is easily the hardest working man that the future of 411music has, besides possibly Ashish. They will lead this section into the next millennium”¦ just as long as he can manage to live for another 995 and a half years. Oh yeah, and xXxMelCORExXx mentioned Rick James in his column, so that means that I am thirsty and am going to go get a drink”¦
NEWS TO USE
Rick James, who is best known for “Super Freak,” as well as beating women, doing lots of drugs, and spending lots of time in prison, died Friday at his home near Universal City, California, at the age of 56. Ironically, it was the same day that tickets went on sale in Chicago for his September concert. James’ publicist told reporters that the death appeared to be of natural causes, as he passed away in his sleep, although an autopsy will be performed to see if that’s completely true.
Mindy McCready, the country singer who performed “Guys Do It All the Time,” was arrested after allegedly obtaining the prescription painkiller OxyContin by using a fraudulent prescription ticket back in February. McCready was busted after investigators found out that she was not a patient at the docto’s office from which the ticket came. She was later arrested at her Nashville-area home and booked in a local county jail. After being released on $10,000 bail, McCready told a reporter for The Saturday Swindle Sheet, “Hey, aren’t we all allowed to pull a Courtney Love once in a while?” When Courtney Love found out about the comment, she reportedly stopped drinking her morphine martini and threw a sack full of crack pipes across the room, breaking her giant bong which was filled with cocaine, getting cocaine all over her basket full of ecstasy pills and opium.
After reportedly failing to report around $11000 that was donated to him by Death Row Records, Compton Mayor Eric Perrodin was fined that exact amount by the California Fair Political Practices Commission. In an action that was formalized this past Thursday, the commission noted that Perrodin was guilty of a “serious violation” of the law in taking money, especially since he had handled a case against Death Row’s Nate Dogg while he was working at the Los Angeles district attorney’s office. It was around that time that he was given separate monies of $3500 and $7500 by the record label. While a spokesperson from the DA’s office said that Perrodin would be further investigated, he claimed that his campaign committee was culpable for the situation, although he denied that there was any connection betwixt campaign money and the Nate Dogg case. “It’s not serious, not at all,” he told reporters. “There was a misunderstanding of what we needed to do and the time frame in which we needed to do it. Plus, if I say otherwise, Suge will beat me to death with a hubcap.”
Major record distributing companies Sony Music and BMG announced this past Thursday that they have merged, to form Sony BMG. As part of the deal, the companies will now each control half of their complete combined catalogues, which include big sellers such as OutKast, Incubus, Ozzy Osbourne, Jessica Simpson, Good Charlotte, Britney Spears, and Dave Matthews Band. Not included in the combined assets, however, is 50 Cent, who not only is distributed by rival label Universal, but also looks an awful lot like Marmaduke.
After several human rights groups have forced the cancellations of some of his European shows, Beenie Man recently issued a public apology for having written some lyrics that were anti-gay. The dancehall singer, who has a song called “Bad Man Chi Chi Man (Bad Man Queer Man),” which incites violence against gays, said, “While my lyrics are very personal, I do not write them with the intent of purposefully hurting or maligning others, and I offer my sincerest apologies to those who might have been offended, threatened or hurt by my songs “¦ As a human being, I renounce violence towards other human beings in every way, and pledge henceforth to uphold these values as I move forward in my career as an artist.” However, gay rights group Outrage! Is still OUTRAGED, saying that the apology wasn’t specific enough, like the crude lyrics were, as Beenie Man referred to them as “people whose identities and lifestyles are different from [his] own.”
George Grantham, drummer of rock band Poco, had a stroke whilst performing onstage with the band during a local music festival on Springfield, Massachusetts. He collapsed just one song into the band’s set, at which time lead singer Rusty Young called for any medically trained audience members to assist Grantham. He had surgery to relieve fluid on his brain and is currently resting at a local medical center. While physicians say that there was no definite cause for the stroke, I point the finger squarely at that f*cking shitstarter Lil Jon, who has been responsible for everything wrong to ever happen, including the explosion in Reactor 4 at Chernobyl in 1986, and the cataclysmic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in AD 79, which buried the entire city of Pompeii. I think it goes without saying that the world would be much better off without Lil Jon.
BITS Ã¢â‚¬ËœN’ PIECES
American Idol reject and all-around worn-out novelty (along the lines of backwards upside-down tennis visors and the term “Don’t go there!”) William Hung recently made his Asian debut, as he performed at Hong Kong’s Kam Pek casino. This just proves that there is, indeed, NO GOD. Sorry, Mitch”¦
Record mogul Tommy Mottola has teamed up with Roger Waters, announcing plans for a Broadway adaptation of The Wall. Waters will write and arrange the adaptation of the 1979 album, which is the number three top selling album of all time.
As Kanye West’s ego gets bigger and bigger, Elliot Smilowitz gets more and more jealous. Not of Kanye West, but of Kanye West’s ego.
50 Cent will be a guest star on The Simpsons next season. While the singer claims that he will appear as himself, Matt Groening told a reporter for The Saturday Swindle Sheet (in an EXCLUSIVE interview) that 50 Cent will be the voice for Hans Moleman’s twin sister, since “he looks so much like Hans Moleman’s twin sister.”
The new EP from Death Cab for Cutie, called Studio X Sessions, will only be available on iTunes, or on KaZaA for free.
D-12, a.k.a. Eminem’s Second Banana Super Group, will be featured in two different feature films that will be released sometime next year. Devil’s Night, named for their first album, will be a horror flick, while Runyon Cash will be about their early years in Detroit.
One of Nelly’s upcoming albums, which will both be released on the same day and will no doubt be horrid, will feature a duet with Tim McGraw. Once again, Sorry, Mitch”¦
THE LATE NIGHT JUKEBOX
This week’s featured contributor is one of 411mania’s biggest draws and wrestling section icon, Eric Szulczewski”¦
As a lot of people know, I have a great affection for the music of the 60s and 70s thanks to the ClearChannelization of radio and my distaste for the music of today, which caused me to turn to so-called “oldies” stations in order to have something to listen to other than the prattling of sports talk. So this list is going to be heavy in those songs. Hell, at least you know the artists. When I read other people’s Jukeboxes, I’m lucky if I know half of these people.
The rules of the Jukebox are to relax. Some people relax differently than others. Sometimes I relax via catharsis, in which case I play “Holidays In The Sun”, “Debaser”, and “London Calling” on continuous loop until I feel the urge to break someone’s face go away. These are relaxing, upbeat (mostly), less”¦pre-pill me songs.
A few rules that I went by: one track only from an artist (with a few combined entries). No Beatles, Elvis, or Dusty Springfield; makes it too easy. No Billy Joel or ELO either, because I could do three Jukeboxes with them. Let’s also throw out the Pistols and the Clash for the same reason. Last rule: “Gimme Shelter” is Song Zero and does not need to be discussed. So let’s start off”¦
The Beach Boys Ã¢â‚¬â€œ “Dance Dance Dance”
No better song to start the Jukebox with, really. One of the greatest tracks from the greatest American rock group ever. Guaranteed to get your mood up, and contains one of the most terrific key changes I’ve ever heard in any song, let alone one that lasts exactly two minutes (not only in the middle of a verse, but with harmony background vocals to boot). I’m already regretting the “one track per artist” rule, because this leaves out “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”, “Fun Fun Fun””¦oh, hell, anything they did between 1962 and 1966 plus some of the late 60s-early 70s stuff.
The Vogues Ã¢â‚¬â€œ “Five O’Clock World”
I’ve worked enough Saturdays in my time to make “Five O’Clock World” appropriate to a Saturday Jukebox. An ode to the working stiffs of the world and the women who make it worth going through that hell. Besides, I’m a sucker for a well-executed yodel.
Sly and the Family Stone Ã¢â‚¬â€œ “Dance To The Music”
If you don’t like this song or this list, Cynthia and Jerry have a message to tell you: “All the squares go home!”
ABBA Ã¢â‚¬â€œ “Dancing Queen”
Gotta be an ABBA track in there if you want to relax. Go right for the best, I say.
Bjorn Again Ã¢â‚¬â€œ “Flashdance”
An ABBA tribute band covering one of the sappiest movie themes in history? You might pooh-pooh cover bands, ABBA, and the song, but somehow the combination breaks through into magnificence. If you never heard Irene Fucking Cara and only heard this version, you’d love the song. And since we all have heard the Irene Cara version, grab this one anyway, grow to love it, and tell her to stick her Fame straight up her ass.
Alison Moyet Ã¢â‚¬â€œ “Invisible”
Of course, I’m not leaving out my beloved 80s music. Moyet did a magnificent job as the lead singer of Yaz, then when Vince Clarke left her for someone more feminine, namely Andy Bell, she went solo. I have no idea why this song wasn’t a bigger hit than it was (it’d definitely be if it was released today, but it’s twenty years too late for that). She should have had Annie Lennox’s solo career, really. Englishwomen have this tradition, going back to Dusty Springfield, of wanting to sound black. There’s no better example of that than here, even Lisa Stansfield.
Erasure Ã¢â‚¬â€œ “A Little Respect”
And this is what Vince Clarke did when Yaz broke up. Andy Bell’s high, soaring vocals combined with Clarke’s genius keyboards”¦transcendent.
The La’s Ã¢â‚¬â€œ “There She Goes”
Sixpence None The Richer will be put up against the wall when the Revolution comes, and I’ll be the one to personally shoot each of them for daring to try to cover the masterpiece of the short-lived shoe-gaze movement.
The Skyliners Ã¢â‚¬â€œ “Since I Don’t Have You”
If that last series of notes doesn’t make you piss your pants and turn your spine to gelatin, see a urologist and a chiropractor, because you’ve got a problem.
The Raspberries Ã¢â‚¬â€œ “Go All The Way”
We Five Ã¢â‚¬â€œ “You Were On My Mind”
Boy Meets Girl Ã¢â‚¬â€œ “Waiting For A Star To Fall”
Chicago Ã¢â‚¬â€œ “You’re Not Alone”
The representatives on this list of what I call the Perfect Pop Song. Shows you that pop can create masterpieces and that you can love music for its craftsmanship. The Chicago entry is particularly special because it’s the best song from Chicago 19, a recording that got me through AIT.
Country Joe and the Fish Ã¢â‚¬â€œ “Feel Like I’m Fixin’ To Die Rag”
And another Army-related song for me. Taught this one to a good portion of the barracks during Desert Storm. Gimme an F, gimme a U, gimme a C, gimme a K, Bush family.
Crowded House Ã¢â‚¬â€œ “Better Be Home Soon”
Another Desert Storm song. When someone from our unit was getting ready to leave, we’d get together with them, play this one, have a good cry, and tell them to take the lyrics to heart. The perfect song for anyone who has someone far away from them. Neil Finn’s voice on this one can break the heart of even a misanthrope like me.
Al Stewart Ã¢â‚¬â€œ “Lord Grenville”
The Futility Of War as personified in the best track off Year of the Cat. Only Al Stewart (with an assistance from He At The Right Hand Of God, Alan Parsons) can make us relate to an incident during the English/Spanish War in the Sixteenth Century. Terrific piece of musical prose.
Dan Hartman Ã¢â‚¬â€œ “Second Nature”
The Eighties never felt more like the Fifties.
The Eagles Ã¢â‚¬â€œ “One Of These Nights”
Proves that the Joe Walsh Eagles didn’t have anything on the Randy Meisner Eagles when it came to phenomenal songs. By the way, where did they learn those falsetto harmonies from? One guess”¦
The Four Seasons Ã¢â‚¬â€œ “Dawn”
Frankie Valli’s vocals disobey laws of physics, and no more so than on this track. The human voice should NOT be able to do stuff like this. It’s also probably the greatest “get away from me, I’m a piece of trash” song ever written, and that’s always a necessity on a jukebox.
The Tremeloes Ã¢â‚¬â€œ “Silence Is Golden” and “Here Comes My Baby”
What the hell are these English guys doing attempting to beat the Four Seasons on their own turf? What the hell are doing trying to cover one of the Four Seasons’ greatest works? What the hell are they doing beating the Four Seasons at their own game? Attempting to justify one of the greatest misdecisions in the history of music. The Trems are an answer to a trivia question: Which group auditioned for Decca the same day as the Beatles and got signed by Decca instead of the Fabs? Because of that, they’ve been discounted by history and thrown into the garbage. They’ve definitely at the top of the dumpster heap if that’s the case, and “Here Comes My Baby” proves it. It’s the only time a Cat Stevens track has been”¦well, fun.
Randy and the Rainbows Ã¢â‚¬â€œ “Denise”
A total gem, the Four Seasons distilled into under two minutes (and a precursor to them to boot), and so cool that Blondie covered the song (and went to #2 in England with it). It has to be the key change in the middle. “Uh, Duh-nees, doo be doo, I’m in love with you, Duh-nees, doo be doo”¦” They don’t write lyrics like that anymore. Best of all, the guys are still together and still performing. You can see what they’re up to at http://www.randyandtherainbows.com.
Eminem Ã¢â‚¬â€œ “Lose Yourself”
Gotta put something on here that most of you guys know.
The Dave Clark Five Ã¢â‚¬â€œ “Glad All Over”
They were second only to the Beatles in popularity during the British Invasion. Why don’t we remember this today? Why don’t we see massive numbers of Dave Clark box sets? And why do I start singing, “You say you’re a woman, but you look like a man, you broke all my fingers just shakin’ my hand…Martina”¦Navarotilova!” every time I hear it? Well, that’s because of f*cking Bob Rivers. But the other stuff, I can’t figure out.
Elton John Ã¢â‚¬â€œ “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters”
I said a couple months ago in the super-secret writers’ forum that Elton John albums between Tumbleweed Connection and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road inclusive were all so-called “Perfect 10s”, and I’m going to hold to that. This song is the centerpiece of one of those albums, Honky Chateau, and it’s one of Elton’s most beautiful performances on piano. Matches perfectly with the harmony vocals on the chorus and the mandolin. And Bernie’s a god for the “f*ck you, Noo Yawk” lyrics. It’s like five minutes of soaking in a warm tub.
David Bowie Ã¢â‚¬â€œ “Zeroes”
Like deciding on an Elton track, getting this down to one of Bowie’s was almost impossible. It came down to this and “TVC15″, if you care to know. I’m putting it on here because of the general disappointing reaction given to Never Let Me Down, which it deserves. Except for this song. As I’ve said before, when I quoted this in my column, it’s Bowie’s last truly great song. It’s Ziggy gone full circle and one of the greatest statements of a performe’s ambiguous love/hate for his audience. “You are my moon, you are my sun, heaven knows what you are. Tonight the Zeroes were singing for you.” You don’t know how often that runs through my mind when I’m slogging through an episode of Smackdown.
Dexy’s Midnight Runners Ã¢â‚¬â€œ “Jackie Wilson Said”
One of the prototypical Eighties groups covering a song by one of the prototypical Seventies artists (Van Morrison) about one of the prototypical artists of the Fifties and Sixties. A summation of the power of rock, with violins. I’m in heaven”¦I’m in heaven”¦I’m in heaven when I hear this.
Bob Seger Ã¢â‚¬â€œ “Roll Me Away”
Dan Fogelberg Ã¢â‚¬â€œ “Nether Lands”
Gerry Rafferty Ã¢â‚¬â€œ “Get It Right Next Time”
As the Fogelberg track says, “Where do you go when you get to the end of your dream?” These songs tell us that the important thing is the quest, not the destination. “This time, we’ll get it right”? You know that we won’t, that we’re going to f*ck it up anyway, but we’ll have a great time f*cking it up.
Roy Orbison and k d lang Ã¢â‚¬â€œ “Crying”
Posthumous duets are creepy. Let’s get that out of the way first. Here’s the exception that proves the rule. It’s a reinvention of the song, as Roy always used to reinvent it live, and it’s structured so that lang fits in perfectly. Her voice is such a perfect match for Roy’s that it becomes natural to think that the ultimate rock-era song about longing and loneliness can be a duet. It works, and it’s great, and that’s what’s important.
Ray Charles Ã¢â‚¬â€œ “Georgia On My Mind”
Mistah Ray’s got a new album coming out this month. Buy the damn thing and honor the guy as he should be honored: send the f*cker to #1 for fifty years of gracing us with his presence on vinyl/tape/CD/DVD. But play this first so you know how goddamn great he was.
Martha and the Vandellas Ã¢â‚¬â€œ “Heat Wave”
I allowed myself only one Motown track. Why this one? Because it’s perfect for the Jukebox. Yes, it’s not even the best from Ms. Reeves and the ladies (that’s obviously “Nowhere To Run”), but if you want your blood pumping, here’s the puppy to put on. You’ll find yourself starting to dance even if you’re behind the wheel of your car. God knows I’ve almost crashed the Damn Vaninator a couple of times due to this one.
Styx Ã¢â‚¬â€œ “Come Sail Away”
And there’s only one song that can close the Jukebox. If you’re my age and you grew up in Chicago, you were a Styx fan, no ifs, ands, or buts, so the capper to The Grand Illusion has always been a favorite, ever since it came out. Ignore the alien abduction stuff. Is there any better song about leaving home to strike out on your own than this one? It’s the song I listened to just before I left home to go to college, the song I listened to as the plane took off to take me to Basic, the song I listened to as I left the Chicago area for Ohio, and it still makes me homesick every time I hear it. The best jukebox songs are the ones that trigger the strongest memories, and for me, that’s “Come Sail Away”.
Oh, shit, this one’s longer than the normal Jukebox already, and there’s about twenty songs that I’d like to put here as well (starting with Supertramp’s “Give A Little Bit”). But sometimes you just have to call it quits and regard it as a good effort. Back to you, Fernandez”¦
Thanks to Eric for his pithy take on what has been lauded as the greatest feature to ever appear in a Saturday column on 411mania that is moving to InsidePulse. You can send your questions and/or comments regarding this list to email@example.com.
FROM THE LABELS
ASTRALWERKS NEEDS INTERNS
Do you live in or near New York City or LA, have a passion for music, and can get course credit for internships? Astralwerks is looking for you! Click the above link for more info.
Ever wonder what makes me tick? No? Too bad. Here are some of the random songs that came up in the CD carousel as I wrote this week’s column”¦
The Brian Setzer Orchestra, “Switchblade 327″
Chateau Flight, “Lola RastaquouÃƒÂ¨re”
Tool, “Prison Sex”
Misfits, “Lost in Space”
UNKLE f/Richard Ashcroft, “Lonely Soul”
1000 Homo DJs, “Hey Asshole”
Live, “Lakini’s Juice”
Local H, “Fritz’s Corner”
Tears for Fears, “Mad World”
Kurtis Blow, “The Breaks”
Foo Fighters, “I’ll Stick Around”
Neil Diamond, “Red Red Wine”
Lo Fidelity Allstars, “Kasparov’s Revenge”
Rocket from the Crypt, “Out of Control”
Bronski Beat, “Smalltown Boy”
THE MOST RIDICULOUS ITEM OF THE WEEK
After front page stories in the New York Post and Daily News which implicated Nick Carter for having abused Paris Hilton surfaced, the former member of the Backstreet Boys told reporters, “My family, friends and fans know that this is not my character and I would never hurt someone that I cared for or do anything like the malicious things they are claiming (“they” being friends of Hilton who reported the story to the aforementioned periodicals).” Nick Carte’s attorney claimed that Hilton had received the rather large bruise that had made the front page of the papers during a photo shoot for Rolling Stone, while her publicist said that bruise was not from the photo shoot. Rather, it happened when she fell into a parking meter after having ingested 20 pounds of cocaine and semen. I may or may not have made part of this story up.
Enjoy your week. Stay tuned for Trevor Presiloski tomorrow. I’m Jeff Fernandez, and until morale improves, the beatings will continue.