Summertime Blues, News, and Views: You Can't Go Back

I have been disgustedly fascinated by this Michael Jackson trial nonsense.

Do I think Jackson is a nasty pervert? You bet I do. Do I think the family is a bunch of money-grubbing, conniving extortionists? Of course. I have zero sympathy for anyone involved in this freakshow except for all of the children, who clearly either have been touched by ick or are products of some screwed-up parents — probably a little from column A, a little from column B.

But that doesn’t make it any less of a great popcorn show.

You have a mother who was approaching any and all celebrities for cashola to help her cancer-stricken son. You have Michael Jackson just being a damned weirdo. In the meantime, you just have this kid who seems like he’s been having nothing but fun for the entire duration of his illness. Hell, it’s hard to even remember the kid was even sick at all.

It’s not all that interesting, really. That’s the basic story. Were the kids big troublemakers, busting into his bottles and porn stash, as Jackson proclaims? Was Jackson super creepy and slipping kids these things? That’s really the only thing that matters. Oh, and whether or not there was some touching actually involved. I don’t recall details of that coming out yet. Yawn, boring.

Regardless of the truth, the kids have been warped for life. With apologies to AC for stealing his gimmick, lock up every adult involved in this masquerade and let Adebisi sort ’em out.

Me, I just really miss “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'” and “Beat It.” You think Eddie Van Halen is going to ever play guitar with MJ again? That’s a damned travesty.

Alice In Musicland

From the AP newswire:

Former Korn guitarist Brian “Head” Welch was baptized Saturday in the Jordan River, just weeks after quitting his band, drug habits and rock-and-roll lifestyle for religion.

Welch, a founding member of the multi-platinum band, and about 20 other white-robed Christian pilgrims from a Bakersfield, Calif., church were immersed by their pastor, Ron Vietti.

Welch said the ritual baptism had washed away his anger. “You know when you get angry and it builds up? I felt like hurting someone before, now I feel like hugging people,” he said.

Vietti said Welch — who has “Jesus” tattooed across his knuckles and “Matthew 11:28,” tattooed prominently across his neck — is already attracting a new group of young people to the message of Christianity.

“In recent weeks people have committed their lives to God because they’re so inspired by his story,” Vietti said.

Korn announced Welch’s resignation last month after 13 years with the band. Welch said he had become increasingly depressed and drug-addicted in recent years, but that religion helped him quit.

He said he plans to release more music without the band.

“My songs are God saying things to me, him talking to people. He’s going to use me to heal people and people are going to be drawn to it, just watch, they will be,” he said.

Where, oh where is Larry Flynt when you need him?

Now, here’s the thing: I was raised Catholic before my mother converted to Buddhism during my prepubescent years. I was allowed to listen to whatever music I wanted to listen to. I never questioned the moral values of the music I liked. My mom never worried about whether I was jamming out to satan worshipping rock. I didn’t know which musicians used drugs (being the ’80s, surely all of them, but I digress) and I didn’t care. Somehow — and I know this sounds crazy — I never equated the music I liked with religion.

And honestly, if Head (ahahahah I said ‘head’) can’t make music without feeling like he’s not squared up with God, then what can people do in this world that is holy enough, short of joining the priesthood? Is making metal music a sin? And is a person completely unable to play metal without doing drugs and skanking with skanks?

Pardon me if I don’t see anything but “publicity stunt” written all over this garbage. It won’t change the fact that every Korn album has steadily sucked more and more since their debut.

More from the AP:

Backstreet’s back. Again. Backstreet Boys, the boy band who demanded “I Want It That Way,” have announced a set of tour dates starting March 21 in New York.

They won’t play Madison Square Garden this time around — or any of their previous gigantic arena hotspots. The Boys’ 13-city tour is a club-only affair, stopping at such intimate venues as the State Theatre in Detroit and the 9:30 Club in Washington.

According to their label, Jive Records, they will perform all their hits plus a few songs from their upcoming CD.

The Backstreet Boys, who debuted in 1997, are putting the finishing touches on a forthcoming as-yet-untitled album, their first original outing since 2000’s “Black and Blue.”

One of my friends put it best. “At least the New Kids quit.”

The fans are all grown up. Where did those fans go? Just look at Captain Wardrobe Malfunction for your answer. These kids don’t want to see a row of pretty boys singing dippy fluff songs anymore. They like the N’Sync guy with his risque lyrics and actions. What does Backstreet bring to the table five years later?

Even if they do try to go the Justin route… one dirty boy is hot. Five in a group is just kind of creepy. See also: Jodeci.

And from E!:

To mark the 10th anniversary of the album that catapulted her to stardom and emasculated men everywhere via the hit single “You Oughta Know,” Alanis Morissette plans to release an acoustic version of Jagged Little Pill on June 13.

The singer is reuniting in the studio with Glen Ballard, who coproduced and cowrote Jagged Little Pill, for the unplugged version, which will hit stores exactly 10 years to the day the original came out

The new disc will initially only be available in Starbucks’ 4,500 stores across North America. Traditional retailers won’t be able to sell the CD until July 26.

We all knew Alanis’ albums weren’t doing as well as they did back when she was a super hitmaker, but for crying out loud, this is just plain silly. It was silly when Bon Jovi did something similar. It was silly when Twisted Sister did something similar.

Face it: you cannot relive the past, man. Queensryche, are you listening?

And I didn’t even get started on the Starbucks deal. My town doesn’t have a Starbucks. Wait, wait — one of our grocery stores recently added a mini-sized Starbucks stand to their deli department. Excellent. Pick up some veggies, Hamburger Helper, raisin bran, a big supply of popcorn for watching some drama… and Alanis’ newly recycled masterpiece! Hot dog!

Nope, not a single star is aging their career gracefully these days, it seems.

Band vs. Band

Speaking of recycled, I’m still working my way through my old series. Remember, I cut/paste because I love you. Tonight’s battle is Duran Duran vs. INXS.

Oh, to feel those beginning pangs of hormonal imbalance as a child once more! Nothing taught a growing girl in the ’80s what sex was really all about with happiness in the crotch area like Simon LeBon and Nick Rhodes and ohhhh boy, I think I need to take a drink of water.

Yes, Duran Duran was full of MAD HOTTIES. And not the kind of mad hotties that little girls were supposed to like (think Leif Garrett, think Shaun Cassidy, think Andy Gibb) but instead were these sultry love gods from a land far far away that sang in that New Romantic style and had sexy hair and… dammit, I gotta quit doing this to myself.

Let’s not forget the music for a minute. Duran Duran had like a bizillion hit songs. The world would not be the same with out “The Reflex,” “Rio,” “Hungry Like The Wolf,” “Union of the Snake,” “Girls On Film,” “I Don’t Want Your Love,” “Notorious,” my god I could go on for weeks, the unforgettable songs were everywhere. Granted, Notorious and everything after that point in the ’80s wasn’t that great (read: IT PRETTY WELL SUCKED) and band members started doing wacky things like leaving the band and starting side projects and basically being really annoying and bitchy and stuff, but hey, that’s fame.

And when the ’90s rolled around, people who admitted they liked Duran Duran were outcast from society (until “Ordinary World” was released anyway) and forced to look back on what a horrid decade had just ended. Oh, Duran Duran. You had it, you lost it, you got it back again, and now you suck again. Why couldn’t one of your band members just died so you could be remembered fondly (for the most part), like INXS?

Why yes, INXS. Australian. Really ugly guys, except for… oh my god… MICHAEL HUTCHENCE… OH BABY COME TO ME. Dude. DUDE. Michael had enough hotness to make up for all the other dorky looking guys. He held as much sexuality all on his own as the whole entire of Duran Duran. Girls, try watching the video for “Need You Tonight” and all of his little gutteral “uh’s” and “ah’s” and try, JUST TRY not to cream your jeans.

INXS was around just as long as Duran Duran; however, they sucked for a long time before finally coming out with something listenable. They had a good song or two on The Swing, and a good song or four on Listen Like Theives, but didn’t finally release an entirely radass album until Kick. And even though “What You Need” had been the introduction, suddenly everyone was aware of INXS when “Devil Inside,” “Never Tear Us Apart,” and “New Sensation” started taking over.

And when the ’90s started, they kept going a little bit with the album X, but then people started sticking them with the same treatment that they seemed to be giving all the hitmakers of the ’80s. And they sucked for a while, and then they came out with Elegantly Wasted, and then Michael Hutchence offed himself “supposedly” “accidentally” via the wonders of autoerotic asphyxiation. Man. What a f*cking hot way to go.

Anyway. To compare, to contrast. Duran Duran obviously sustained popularity and quality much longer than INXS ever did, had more hot guys than INXS, had more than one really good album, had a lot more hit songs. But you know… Michael Hutchence. The man was a GOD in my eyes. And to be honest, I heard so much Duran Duran on the radio that I didn’t care about owning the tape, but I did own INXS’s Kick. I didn’t get very upset when all the Duran Duran band members did all that juggling crap, but I did get very upset when Mr. Hutchence started dating Debbie Gibson.

“The Reflex.” “Devil Inside.” I’m at a loss.

I don’t know. I quite honestly like INXS better. But something is nagging at me, because it doesn’t seem fair to Duran Duran. I have never wanted to buy an INXS Greatest Hits disc (what’s the point, they only had one good album), but buying the Duran Duran Greatest Hits disc made me so incredibly overjoyed. And some residual Bon Jovi guilt is pointing me toward the Duran Duran fan favorites.

Duran Duran appeared on the A View To A Kill soundtrack. INXS appeared on The Lost Boys soundtrack. Duran Duran appeared on the Tequila Sunrise soundtrack. INXS appeared on the Pretty In Pink soundtrack. Duran Duran appeared on that TRAVESTY of an album Encomium: A Tribute to Led Zeppelin. However, that was in the ’90s. In 1989, INXS appeared on Greenpeace: Rainbow Warriors. YIKES.

Say hello to our winners… Duran Duran.

I’m Too Lazy To Write Real Content

…otherwise known as “reader mail.”

Jon Seibel writes:

When you come across a new band that you really like, do you let others know about them, thinking that others will like them as well? I’ve tried doing this w/ The Gathering & some other bands, but nobody seems very interested.

I’ve found that telling people about bands really just gets shoved to the back burner for whatever reason. Usually I’ll just happen to have it playing at some point when I’m around someone who I think will dig it. I give advice when I can, but I’ve found throwing an mp3 at someone is far more effective. That, of course, is up to one’s desire to participate in pirating. ARRRR!

Andy Campbell writes:

Now, being a prog fan, do you like Rush, or do you prefer the more metalicious prog bands?

Rush Rush Rush… got all of their albums, and I don’t mean “downloaded all of their albums.” That should say it all. I will try just about any prog flavor once, although some are just too boring and flighty to hold my attention. The only band I can peg as disliking as a whole is Gentle Giant… snore.

Jason Mis writes:

Sorry in advance, but the thirteen-year-old in me must know: what “nasty deeds” did you want to hunt down Shirley Manson for? Please give as much detail as possible.

Emails like this make my life worth living. Once upon a time, the list of female musicians I would totally dyke out for were Liz Phair, Bjork, and Shirley Manson. I can’t say the list has changed over the years that I can recall. Maybe replace Bjork with the chick from Lacuna Coil — she’s not so nuts and way hotter. Anneke van Giersbergen of the aforementioned Gathering should also be tossed on the list, although in a rather creepyish way as someone once said I kind of look like her. The things I would eat out of her ass, you have no idea.

The Rad Ones

Mathan reminds me of how little I know about hip hop. Perhaps if there was a little diversity in my little chunk of Iowa, I would have heard more than half of the artists on that list.

Complete and total ditto for Mike Eagle. Perhaps I’ll learn more from reading. Music power through education, fool.

Jeff Fernandez has BOOBIES in his column! GO READ IT! But not at work. That would not be appropriate. Unless, of course, you work for an adult bookstore or other such establishment. Then, by all means, browse away!

Alex Lucard went the Retrograding lazy mailbag route this week, which all the fanboys love. Eh, I guess they need their equal time.

David G spent FOUR HOURS compiling this column for you. Bow the f*ck down, bitches. Oh yes, and Debbie Gibson is pregnant with his two headed love child.

Then there’s this Moodspins thing.

For no particular reason at the moment (perhaps aside from missing some columns from the punks at hand), I’m sending you here.

Whew… pimpin’ ain’t easy.

Outro

Just some lyrics. Find the song, worship it, and report back to me.

There must be some misunderstanding
There must be some kind of mistake
I waited in the rain for hours
And you were late

Now it’s not like me to say the right thing
But you could’ve called to let me know
I checked your number twice, don’t understand it
So I went home

Well I’d been waiting for this weekend
I thought that maybe we could see a show
Never dreamed I’d have this feeling
Oh but seeing you is believing
That’s why I don’t know why
You didn’t show up that night

There must be some misunderstanding
There must be some kind of mistake
I was waiting in the rain for hours
And you were late

Since then I’ve been running around trying to find you
I went to the places that we always go
I rang your home but got no answer
Jumped in my car, I went round there
Still don’t believe it
He was just leaving

There must be some misunderstanding
There must be some kind of mistake…

–gloomchen

Join our newsletter

never miss the latest news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary for Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games!