Friday, December 10, 2010


Beastie Boys, Sean Lennon, Meat Loaf, Pet Shop Boys, Melissa Etheridge, Earth Crisis, Live, Crass, Sinead O'Connor, Wham!, Suicidal Tendencies, The Power Station, Chumbawamba, Spandau Ballet, Guttermouth, UB40, Barbra Streisand, Mr. Big, Yoko Ono, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Diana Ross, Trixter, Tori Amos, Shelter, Naked Eyes, Jackson 5, Goldfinger, Harry Connick Jr., The Blow Monkeys, Body Count, Simply Red, Cherry Poppin' Daddies, The Slits, Bette Midler, Deicide, Barry Manilow, Megadeth, Michael Bolton, Blues Traveler, The Style Council

He knows if you've been bad or no good...

These days, every male or female or in-between with an opinion is making a list. VH-1, John Cusack, MTV, Josh Rutledge, Rolling Stone, Lovie Decker, among others will leave theirs next to the milk and cookies for Santa's double-check. Will the jolly-bearded one agree with your selections and deposit the Nuggets box set in a large name-plated stocking? Or will a disgusted St. Nick withdraw himself upwards through the chimney and leave behind a polished glass, an empty plate, and a crumbled-up wad of paper? At the risk of having myself a lousy little Christmas, I present an unwanted gift roll call.

Let me start from the "top" and work my way "down." Those rhymin'-and-stealin' hypocrites who call themselves the Beastie Boys have been least-favorites of mine since the early '90s. When I first heard about Mike D's license to kill a horse named Paul Revere that wouldn't sleep 'til Brooklyn, my thoughts concerning these vanilla jokers were, "They're here today, they'll be gone tomorrow." Despite rumors of their death shortly after the debut LP (if only they had been true...), the Beasties went to #1, toured with Run DMC, released disasterpieces like Paul's Boutique and Check Your Head, and planted seeds that would germinate like dandelions in the future generation's mind. Indeed, you could make a sub-list of "Forty Horrible Acts The Beastie Boys Are Responsible For": Vanilla Ice, 3rd Bass, Snow, Kid Rock, Rage Against The Machine, Korn, Limp Bizkit, Eminem, Papa Roach, P.O.D. (Pile Of Dung), and so on and so forth. If you've been in a car of someone who listens to an X-station, didn't you notice how "Fight For Your Rights" or "Brass Monkey" was played in regular rotation with "Cowboy" or "Freak On A Leash"? X-programmers (and listeners, for that matter) lovingly treat the Beasties the same way classic-rock types fawn over Led Zeppelin and "Stairway To Heaven," "Black Dog," etc. Popularity creates the need to become "issue-conscious" (AKA -- "Selling the idea to your adoring public that you give a shit about them and their concerns"). During a concert with "multi-platinum techno superstars" Prodigy, one of the Beastie Boys asked the singer if he would refrain from performing "Smack Your Bitch Up" (a huge club hit at the time), out of respect for the females in attendance. If I remember the story correctly, Prodigy's frontman had verbally honored the Beastie Boy's request, but played the song in an accentuated fashion come stage time (just like Jim Morrison on TV!). Guess Ad-Rock, MCA, and Mike D. were so preoccupied with their support act "objectifying women," the trio forgot that they themselves had once sung, "Girls/They do the dishes/They do the laundry/They clean up my room..." Tongue-in-cheek, you say? Who's to say that "Smack..." wasn't also? Moreover, if the Beastie Boys weren't incessantly trying to "Free Tibet and Your Bumper Sticker Will Follow After You Give Five Dollars to the Merch Guy," they'd instantly remember one of the most important tenets of creative expression. That's freedom of speech... NOT freedom of speech -- just watch what you say (I'll get to Ice-T later).

A man who greatly championed that freedom is 50% guilty for having a son. This son's music (if you can call it that) can be obtained through the Beasties' Grand Royal imprint. This son did a duet with "Evil Metal Dude from Sepultura Turned Korn Klone" Max Cavalera. This son likes Japanese hardcore. This son's name is not Julian. Though he'll never make a lasting impression on music with his electronic clap-trap, Sean Lennon will be remembered for being the "Beautiful Boy" Papa John described to us in song. Sean's father gave the child his surname and guaranteed riches, but mommy Yoko Ono fed her youngling pint after pint of avant-garde breast milk. Ever seen footage of The Beatles laying down tracks in the studio with a stern-faced Yoko sitting next to her husband, creating as much of a loose atmosphere as a Rosa Parks sit-in? How about video from that Madison Square Garden debacle, where Ono screamed like a banshee not named Siouxsie Sioux? Admirers like the millionaire Thurston "Howell" Moore and his wife Kim "Lovey-Dovey" Gordon may find Yoko to be a nice fit in the pretentiously poetic Soho subculture. Detractors, on the other hand, maintain that: 1)Yoko Ono is the female Frank Zappa, 2)Frank Zappa hated The Beatles, and 3)YOKO ONO BROKE UP THE BEATLES. Like mother, like son, like honorary brothers Beasties -- who says hate is not a family value? On my end, it's most definitely one.

Thumbnail Sketches Of Other Grueltide Carolers:

Barbra Streisand -- Just as famous for her nose and difficulty as for "A Star Is Born," "Yentl," and bouquets of invisible flowers. Streisand's plea to elect Tipper Gore's favorite protruding-pants wearer and the connection to Rosie O'Donnell in general solidifies that "She don't rock."

Harry Connick Jr. -- White person: "Yeah, I like a little jazz..."

Diana Ross -- Tried to revive a faux representation of her girl group and felt the need to charge $300 a ticket. Yo freak: my mom NEVER owned any of your records, and whenever I hear the word "Supremes," I think of two large pizzas w/everything on them.

Chumbawamba -- They're anarchists. They're anti-Christs. They're the Spice Pistols.

Sinead O'Connor -- Never met a man named Dinka, but Sinead has. She'd show me his picture, tear it up, and declare him to be "The Real Enemy." I do not want what Kris Kristofferson got; specifically, a hug from this woman.

Body Count -- Killing cops notwithstanding, capital punishment is due for "The Winner Loses" (the only ballad in history with these lyrics: "My friend's addicted/To cocaine"), in which Ice-T TRIES TO SING! Similar offense with "Hey Joe."

Suicidal Tendencies -- Delayed my entry into "punk rock" by 2.5-3 years, because I thought it all smelled of this horseshit. Along with The Dead Milkmen and Agent Orange (who are fresh-baked cookies, in comparison), the "punk rock" band for people who don't really like "punk rock."

Jackson 5 -- O.B.B. (Original Boy Band).

Cherry Poppin' Daddies -- Past tense of "swing" is "swung."

Earth Crisis -- From VIER #1: "If you get Roadrunner's release of our Breed The Killers CD and look in the tray under the disc, you'll find a five-paragraph essay on what we stand for...In the summer we toured with the Misfits. They were super nice. We lifted weights together. Me and Jerry Only did get to see the Star Wars movie one day. That was cool."

Barry Manilow -- Whatever "it" is that Ricky Martin does, this guy says he did "it" first.

Melissa Etheridge -- Life partner Julie took another piece of her heart. Now who will help raise the David Crosby sperm-banked baby?

Blues Traveler -- I mean, what the fuck does John Goodman have to be blue about? That the FOX ran out of bad TV-show ideas?

Trixter -- From Jersey. The N'Sync of hair-metal.

The Slits -- Ask the staff of Championship Vinyl. Their album will look great on the wall.

Spandau Ballet, The Blow Monkeys, Simply Red, The Style Council -- Soul music without any.

Shelter -- From VIER #2: "It's the translation of a Sanskrit word. Shelter is where you go when times in your life get rough. Instead of seeking shelter in the material world, it's looking to the spiritual sense of shelter. For the band, it's like in India where most students live in an ashram for four or five years. Some stay and become monks. Some of them move out, get married, or grow up. The band has moved out of the temple and has become more personal..."


  1. This piece is exactly 10 ten years old, and it's amazing how well your selections have held up. Wanna take back that Agent Orange dis?

  2. I've always been an Agent Orange fan. The dis was directed at people whose tastes were limited to whatever their skater-shit friends liked at the time. AO, themselves, are quality and a decent intro to American Punk 101. Got no prob with the Milkmen, either.

  3. Julie and I recall the beastie death rumors and everyone always looked at us like we were drinking some of that brass monkey ourselves. Thanks for solidifying our belief that we aren't AS crazy as once thought... and it took GUNTHER to do so...fuck Yeeah!