Blog Archives

You Never Know Someone

Back in the late 80s and early 90s, one of my favorite comics writers was Gerard Jones. At the time, he was writing some really fun – and sometimes really different – stuff in the trio of Green Lantern-related books. He did some Batman work, which I could take or leave, and he worked on a Justice League comic (at first with a co-writer and later solo) that was pretty funny. He was clearly liberal, but he was a lot more intelligent than most lightweight armchair libs writing comics, and even went against the liberal line at times. Mostly, his work was just smarter than the usual by-the-numbers crap that was and still is being published.

His work seemed to take a dip around 1993, though, and in a few years he didn’t seem to be writing much for comics anymore, if at all. I believe part of that had to do with clashes with editorial, which was undergoing changes at the time. I saw his name again in the local newspaper’s comics page around 2000 – he was writing a Pokemon strip.

He wrote a few non-fiction books in the 2000s, but I didn’t keep up with those. I heard very little about him after that until today, when I discovered he was arrested about a week ago for possessing kiddie porn and uploading it to YouTube.

I’ve long learned to separate the art from the artist. And he hasn’t been proven guilty yet. But there are limits. I doubt I’ll ever really enjoy his work again.

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Saturday Night Studio – New Year’s Eve

Have some music to rock out the old year and ring in the new!

See you in 2017!

Saturday Night Stolen

This one’s heavy on video, yo. But it’s smooth.

In 1978, the Doobie Brothers released their album Minute By Minute, containing the song “What A Fool Believes”….

…and, of course, it became a hit. So smooth.

Comare and contrast with Robbie Dupree’s 1980 single titled “Steal Away”…

…which seems to be exactly what happened here. Very suspiciously similar.

According to this site, Dupree’s song also was, uh, inspired by Eddie Money’s 1977 song “Baby Hold On.” I can kind of hear it.

Doobie Bro Michael McDonald had this happen with another song, 1982’s “I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near)” –

The song was sampled in 1994 by Warren G and Nate Dogg in “Regulate” [mildly NSFW]-

A completely and totally 100% absolutely true and smooth account of how this came about was related on the internet series Yacht Rock [also a bit NSFW]. And “Hollywood Steve,” the host of the show, is a real life music critic.

 

However, “I Keep Forgettin'” itself is heavily inspired by Chuck Jackson’s 1963 song titled, amazingly, “I Keep Forgettin'” –

 

McDonald’s version is sometimes listed as a cover of Jackson’s song, but there are differences. Although sharing credit with the writers of Jackson’s song, McDonald does get a songwriting credit on his version.

Michael’s old friends in Steely Dan had their own run-in with this sort of thing. From 1977, their song “Black Cow” –

 

…which got sampled in 1997 by Lord Tariq & Peter Gunz for their single “Uptown Baby” [you know it’s NSFW]-

The opening of the song features another sample, Amores Como El Nuestro by Jerry Rivera.

Turns out The Dan weren’t happy with Tariq and Gunz sampling the song and causing Walter and Donald some difficulties. Peter Gunz discusses it here (a little NSFW language in there).

Not long after that, Tatyana Ali released her 1998 single “Daydreamin'” (lots of apostrophes in music, apparently), where Tariq and Gunz sampled themselves sampling “Black Cow” in some kind of recursive loop and rapped on it –

“I heard Steely Dan “Black Cow” and went wild!”

Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen completes and reverses the Mobius Circuit by sampling “Uptown Baby” over “Black Cow” –

 

Rocktober – Monster Mashup

Some truly monster-ous mashups for your Halloween.

One of the first mashups to go big was Steely Dan’s “Do It Again” crossed with Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” circa 1983 –

By the 90s, mashups were becoming quite the thing, and during the 2000s (especially with everyone having a computer and YouTube coming online), mashups exploded. Most are crap, but some are really good, such as this Daft Punk/Adele mix –

DJs and home remixers began digging up old classics to mix with more modern songs –

Nirvana is one of the more popular bands for mashups…. consider this mix with Amy Winehouse or this even better mix with No Doubt, both based around Nirvana’s “About A Girl.”

A Korn song was massively improved by combining it with a Cure song –

There was a real video for that song, but it’s gone now. Had a neat Escher ending, not to mention Robert Smith getting slowly eaten by the Spider Man (no, not that Spider-Man).

Disco is a prime fountain of pure unrefined mashup material. Especially when mixed with the most incongruous types of music –

 

Speaking of incongruities, this takes the cake right out of the rain –

It works so well!

Dance music goes well with more classically-influenced works –

Who knew Enya could spit rhymes like that?

If you feel like your childhood has been violated, your teen years touched inappropriately, your college years…. well, something involving microaggressions and a rape hoax, I’m sure… then this song is dedicated to you.

NightFlyRadio – No Static At All

Time to put the needle on the record. No sucker Djs, just two turntables and a microphone on the avenue by Radio City with a transistor.

Wdydfae commented on the last post about his memories of radio –

My inchoate fragments of radio memories don’t coalesce into a particular story. Radio wasn’t a big part of my childhood, as far as I can remember, unless I was riding in someone’s car and it happened to be playing.

…Then it moves into adulthood, and radio was in another country and language. Basically, lousy radio selection–just not a radio culture. Then I realized the radio riches I had left behind, with at least a channel for just about any genre you could want. So, belatedly I appreciated that the radio world of the States is vibrant–lot of stuff out there, and a whole way of talking, presenting yourself, presenting sound, pacing things.

Read the full comment here.

Kicking off with Steely Dan’s classic”FM” in spectacular style…. From the YouTube channel of the Empire State Building, followed by a big block of tunes to crank up to 11 –

“On October 29, 2015, the 50th anniversary of the installation of a Master FM Antenna on the top of the Empire State Building, the global landmark synchronized its world-famous tower lights to Steely Dan’s 1978 smash ‘FM (No Static At All).'”

Bonus points if you saw a young Geordi La Forge or maybe Tom & Jerry in there.

Hope you enjoyed the music.

Hang The DJ

Rocktober Saturday Night Studio – 10th Floor Cibo Matto

Extra sugar, extra salt, extra oil and MSG with a few bad words if you’re delicate like that.

Shut up and eat!

Sixteen years ago, one day*
I was walking down the street
I was looking for music
You know what I mean?
And I picked up this CD

 

I kinda want to know her more

Are you made or broken by the birthday cake?

2 for 1, but 3 For 2!

She talks like American, she walks like Egyptian

 

*Ok, it might have been 15 years ago. Somewhere around there I picked up Viva! La Woman at a used CD place.

Rocktober – Saturday Night Shirley

Rocktober begins again, bringing the rain today after a stretch of nice weather, just in time for a Saturday Night Special Studio with Shirley Manson and Garbage –

The band is probably best known for two songs – the above and the radio mainstay “Stupid Girl” –

Shirley doesn’t hesitate to let people know where they stand, does she?

Have an entire concert from 20 years ago, when they were just starting out.

I Just Wanna Tell You How Someone Else Is Feeling

“If you must write prose and poems, the words you use should be your own, don’t plagiarise or take on loan” – The Smiths, Cemetry (sic) Gates

Melania Trump came under fire for allegedly plagiarizing a speech given by Michelle Obama in 2008. Melania’s speech was also apparently hacked by someone on staff who snuck in a rickroll. However, journalists and music buffs are still discovering more stolen bits that were slipped into her speech.

From the Home Office in Cleveland, Ohio (Hello Cleveland!)…

The Top Ten Other Speeches and/Or Pop Songs “Borrowed” In Melania Trump’s Speech!

10 – You and I have the courage to say to our enemies, “There is a price we will not pay.”

9 – If the way that you need is too much like greed, decide if you are rich or you’re poor.

8 – Lift up your eyes upon The day breaking for you. Give birth again To the dream.

7 – If we lose the time before us, the future will ignore us, we should use it, we could use it, yeah.

6 – If spending money like water was the answer to our country’s problems, we would have no problems now.

5 – Standing tough under stars and stripes, we can tell, this dream’s in sight.

4 – As a young girl, I dreamed of being a baseball. But tonight I say, we must move forward, not backward; upward, not forward; and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!

3 – Take my thong off and my ass go boom!

2 – Stand up, Chuck, let ’em see ya.

And the Number One speech and/or pop song discovered in Melania’s speech…

1 – What else could I say? Hillary Clinton is gay!

Hey! Wait! I’ve Got An Old Complaint!

Now I’m bored and old

Golden Oldies

Today’s Annual Xtortion And Other Thefts

So I was looking for some good tax-related songs that weren’t “Taxman” or the other obvious choices for today’s happy funtime payments. There are some songs that reference taxes, but not too many that are flat out about taxes, per se. So we will do as Daddy G does and profit off of someone else by skimming off their efforts…

…much like that song did. Wonder if they paid Pharrell any royalties?

Yeah, I used that one before. What of it?

I did find an L7 song that disses the taxman, but it’s just the first in a list of grievances about life in general when you’re an 80-90s Riot Grrrl.

Sounds a little like this song by Screaming Trees which came out a few years later, doesn’t it?

Finding that L7 song reminded me of another tune of theirs, “Pretend We’re Dead” (which I suppose is a way to avoid paying taxes)…

I always thought the song “She Hates Me” by Puddle Of Mudd sounded familiar, but I never could quite nail down why (uncensored version ahead) –

I wonder what other bands have been, uh, inspired by L7? And, given how often musicians borrow government-style from each other, one also has to wonder who was L7 ripping off?