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Music Savaged By The Average Beast

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for August 19, 2005

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A Stiffy of a Summer
by Stiffy Biceptz

Stiffy Biceptz has been having a bad summer, for reasons I will not get into. On top of this, there are a number of issues involving the music world which are gnawing for my attention. So its time for Stiffy to get off the fitness couch and back to Altrok. Here's my round up of this summer's music scene.
There was a TV show out this summer that featured a collection of 'has been' bands battling for their souls, and maybe a little career revival. For a moment I found the idea interesting, but it wasn't long before I became completely turned off by it. Some of the bands included on the show included The Knack, The Motels and Vanilla Ice. They all played their biggest hit, then covered something and were rated as to who won. Result? They all lose. If you want to revive your career and retain some shred of your original cool, go play small clubs to 100 people. That will always be cool.
And now INXS. Through the 80's and early 90's this pretty cool Australian band had a regular string of hits, topped off with what I consider their best album, 1992's Welcome to Wherever You Are. They were led and defined by the seductively charismatic Michael Hutchence. Then, a few years ago after the sun had likely set on their career, Mr. Hutchence decided to kill himself.
Fast forward to now. A TV show appears, and its a contest to see who will become the next lead singer of INXS. I could not believe what I was seeing. and thought I must have been mistaken. But no...and it's as bad as it sounds.
Certain bands are, as I said before, DEFINED by their particular members. Nirvana was Kurt Cobain. The Beatles were John, Paul, George and Ringo. And INXS was Michael Hutchence. It is disgusting to think the remaining unknown members of INXS would so tarnish the legacy of their former band by attempting to replace its soul with someone from a TV contest. If you want to keep playing music, great. Just call yourselves something new and move on. Go talk to Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters.
And to top it off, the undead members of Queen are now going to go out on the road with the detestable Paul Rodgers standing in for Freddie Mercury. If replacing Hutchence was a sin, this is an obcenity. LET IT GO. MOVE ON. Queen is Dead.
It's a Green World After All
Wow, Green Day has truly conquered the pop world with American Idiot, and they've done it without any compromises. Hurray for them, and good for us. The degree of penetration is however is a bit surprising. During a fade out of this weekend's PGA Championship, the jarring but wonderful sounds of Holiday faded in. Amazingly the track ran through the entire first verse before it faded to commercial. Green Day for the PGA?? Maybe John Daly had something to do with this.
And how about minor league baseball? A lovely evening was spent at Waterfront Park last week by the entire Biceptz family. It was a Rockwellian summer night. Warm but not hot, humid but tolerably so, a trace of a breeze, a few clouds, a 3 dollar hot dog that was so big it fed my entire family, cotton candy, etc., etc. And to top it all off, an interesting mix of stadium music. Aside from the expected top 40 and boiler plate baseball tunes, I was treated to Guns & Roses, Joe Jackson's I'm the Man, the Chili Pepper's Breaking the Girl, and Green Day's Holiday. Again, they ran it nearly though the first verse. But most shocking of all was a track by NWA, Express Yourself. What next, Karen Finley? I'd bet no one would notice. As I've stated before, the best place to hear good music is everywhere except radio.
Stop Funking with Songs!
The Black Eyed Peas track 'Don't Phunk with My Heart' Has been everywhere this summer. Annoyingly, several top 40 stations have decided that 'phunk' is too similar sounding to the f-bomb and have been playing the edited version where 'phunk' is replaced with 'mess'. Both PST and PLJ are guilty of this stupidity. Apparently, it's fine to play all sorts of tracks that talk about having group sex, then taking drugs, and then having more group sex, but phunking is just too racy. Thank goodness for standards.
But the worst offense goes to those same top 40 stations that have been playing the edited version of Green Day's Holiday. These vanilla versions completely cut out the rap by Billy Joe that tears into the current administration. I am very surprised the boys would ever tolerate anything like this, but perhaps they have no choice. In any case it's a pretty cowardly thing to do. Radio should be fully behind this challenge, not quivering in fear.

©2005 Stiffy Biceptz

All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.


Today's NY/NJ Shows That Matter

Friday, May 29, 2020
Polaris at The Foundry, Philly (POSTPONED)
Connor Bracken & The Mother Leeds Band, Jaron Clemons & The Late Nights, Morningside Lane and more at House Of Independents (POSTPONED TILL AUG 21)
Lucinda Williams at City Winery (Pier 57) (POSTPONED)
Peter Wolf & The Midnight Travelers at Tarrytown Music Hall, Tarrytown NY (POSTPONED)
Bobby Cochran at Paramount Theatre (POSTPONED)
Bobby Bandiera: Runnin Down A Dream at Count Basie Center For The Arts (RESCHEDULED FROM MARCH 13) (POSTPONED)
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ALTROK Ordinals

ALTROK recommends music once a week; here's our most recent choices. Most links will take you to a place where you can buy the music; if there's no link, and you own a record company, consider releasing it yourself...

A Place To Bury Strangers - It Is Nothing
The Boxer Rebellion - Semi-Automatic
The Cribs - Cheat On Me
Datarock - True Stories
Everything Everything - Photoshop Handsome
HEALTH - Die Slow
Miles Hunt and Erica Nockalls - Catching More Than We Miss
Julian Plenti - Games For Days
Los Campesinos - The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future (Free download!)
Miike Snow - Black & Blue

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