Tag Archive | Devo

Kanye = Nixon (Richard, Not Cynthia, Mojo, Or Trot)

Perhaps you read my Top Ten Albumz Of Twenty-Ten post for Crawdaddy.com (or, perhaps, you loathe end-of-the-year list-based nostalgia, and you didn’t). I was looking over this piece last night and, apropos of nothing, suddenly began wondering to which U.S. president each selection most closely corresponds. After an hour of furious pencil scribbling and equally frenzied naugahyde chewing, I had the answers below.

1. Kvelertak – Kvelertak

Teddy Roosevelt. Blustery, forceful, hearty. Doesn’t give up until its final breath.

2. Big Boi – Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son Of Chico Dusty

Bill Clinton. Charismatic and focused with a layer of devious sexuality bubbling just below the surface.

3. OFF! – First Four Eps

Harry Truman. Short, cranky, but not without an indelible charm.

4. Bloodlights – Simple Pleasures

Dwight Eisenhower. Not breaking any new ground, but strangely comforting in its self-assured rule.

5. Devo – Something For Everybody

Calvin Coolidge. Keeping cool and using aloof as a weapon.

6. Das Racist – Shut Up, Dude

John F. Kennedy. Coasting on wit and intelligence just as much as image.

7. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Richard Nixon. Unexpected accomplishment overshadowed by comically awful persona.

8. GBH – Perfume & Piss

Andrew Jackson. Charging in, causing a ruckus, refusing to apologize for boorish behavior.

9. The Sword – Warp Riders

Jimmy Carter. Laid back, on message, maybe a little too soft at times.

10. Thee Oh Sees – Warm Slime

Barack Obama. Thin, somewhat tropical, will probably make you smile despite fifteen minutes of saying nothing.

Cheez It Price (Deny The Markup)

Sleeveless shirts totally improve my guitar playing. Steve Vai and Yngwie Malmsteen can shove their ugly fucking scalloped guitars up their expanded assholes. Sleeveless shirts have way more impact. These guys are just too fucking lame to get it.”

The above quote comes from Bloodlights front man Captain Poon, whom I recently interviewed for Crawdaddy! Check it out if you’re into the Scandinavian rock scene. If you’re not, you could always read this shit I wrote about Devo.

Speaking of hard labor, an article I wrote about rock star day jobs is slated to be published in the next Canadian edition of Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader. That junk just went to press, so it should be hitting book store shelves soon (end of the month?). I invite all the toque-wearing hose-heads trapped in America’s hat to get down on JG2’s first international funky book joint.

Hey, does anyone else remember when Zakk Wylde didn’t look like Captain Caveman? Way back in the early nineties, I mean. Back then, Zakk was just some normal-ass blonde guitar guy. At what point exactly did he transform into Beardo, the Beer-Swilling Rock Grizzly? Lately I’ve been walking by the Guitar Center near Union Square in the city a lot, and they have this big poster in the window of Zakk pre-Grizzly days. It’s very weird. Without his signature hypno-guitar, you’d never be able to identify him.

Meanwhile, next to dashing young Zakk, they have this photo of the Ramones from around the time they broke up. Joey and the gang look like the saddest, oldest sacks you’ve ever seen (Joey is totally rockin’ his purple XXL “I don’t give a fuck anymore” shirt in this pic). It’s sort of criminal that a business in NYC is allowed to display such a haggard photo of the Ramones. I’d complain, but that would require walking in to Guitar Center and talking to some jagoff who looks like every guy in Crazy Town.

“What’s up, bro? Can I help you with anything? You need some light gauge strings or something?”

In case you were wondering, the title of this post is a reference to a hilarious food-based parody I wrote of that old Alice In Chains chestnut “Man In The Box.” Hopefully I’ll finish my time machine soon so I can go back to 1992 and force “Weird Al” to record it. Then I’ll be rich as shit and I’ll never have any problems again.

You know what I’m really dreading? That Runaways movie with Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning. I bet that’s just gonna be melted dog shit.

Epic Chelsea Guitarist Maneuver

Last week the person who runs the Lost Turntable music blog posted a real treat: the entire flippin’ soundtrack to cult new wave concert film Urgh! A Music War (complete with bonus tracks ripped from a recently acquired VHS copy of the film). Released in 1981, Urgh! offers lively performances from such classic acts as the Police, Devo, Joan Jett, Oingo Boingo, XTC, and operatic space clown Klaus Nomi.

Unfortunately, due to some weird contract law outlined on this website, Urgh! A Music War is “unreleasable” on DVD, Blu-Ray, or any other post-1980 format (that site also sells alleged high quality bootlegs of the film created by someone in the “industry,” but I can’t vouch for/seriously endorse that). The soundtrack to Urgh! can often be just as hard to locate as the movie, so hit up Lost Turntable already and snatch those tunes.

Sometimes they show Urgh! in a truncated form on VH-1 Classic, which is how I first saw it. Three things in this movie immediately spring to mind whenever its name comes up: the recycled crowd footage they use for each band (featuring that really happy-looking mustache guy), the cute synchronized hopping of Devo during “Uncontrollable Urge,” and the epic maneuver performed by Chelsea’s guitarist/resident acrobat during “I’m On Fire.” Check that last one out at 1:51 in the following clip:

Yes, that guy just did an accidental back flip over a monitor and managed to land somewhat on his feet without dropping his guitar or fucking up the song. He deserves a gold medal in rocking out for that one.

UPDATE: Did you notice the main reason Guitar Guy had to execute that epic maneuver is because Chelsea’s singer Gene October, in what I guess was an attempt to register his displeasure with the onstage sound, pushed his monitors back to practically the center of the stage? Man, what a dick! This is the same Gene October who repeatedly kicked Henry Rollins in the ribs one time back in the early eighties while the Black Flag attempted to catch a few Zs before a gig. The whole time, Gene was shouting crap like, “Hey, Los Angeles! Your band sucks, doesn’t it?”

Hey, Gene October. YOU suck, you silly prick.

Here are few other seriously great performances from Urgh!; first up, the Alley Cats:

The aforementioned Devo segment:

How about a little of Danny Elfman’s Oingo Boingo? Bass player looks like Mark Harmon!

And finally, the late, great Lux Interior and the Cramps:

Kinda sad the whole shebang will probably never see a legit 21st Century release, but I guess that’s why God invented things like YouTube. Amen.