NOWHERE by Black Match is a masterpiece of Badass Acoustic

This is the second in a series of musical conversations with Tyler B.. lead singer and bass player for the punk band ONE PUMP LOTUS.

RED PEN: What song led you down this path of musical discovery you’re calling Badass Acoustic?

TYLER: Just listen to this, okay? It killed me. (Tyler pulls up the following clip on his phone.)

Here’s why I was feeling this one so much: most songs, they’re overproduced, with a fat wall of sound from start to finish.

This song starts off with the singer and the guitar, boom, that’s it. Gritty and raw. Only later do they layer on other instruments, and when the drums kick in, my God, it just hits you.

RED PEN: This band is listed as country in some places, and others call them indie or folk. Why are you coming up with this other label?

TYLER: Because I don’t recognize the power of the media, or the Man, to dictate how you and I talk about music.

And I can tell you this isn’t country, while indie makes me think of politics or people doing their own thing in general–writing books, making art, whatever. Indie could be a local death metal band that doesn’t have a record deal and dresses up in dinosaur costumes. Doesn’t tell you a damned thing about the music, right?

If I tell you it’s Badass Acoustic, there’s no confusion whatsoever.

And this way, you can encompass a lot of music without pigeonholing people. When my uncle Harry passed, we found all these weird plastic things with tapes inside them, and if you shove them into this Pinto that Madison drives, a freaking relic, music still comes out, so we kept popping plastic deals in there and finding Badass Acoustic treasures like big tsunamis by Tori–wait, that’s wrong. Hold it, Little Earthquakes is the album, here we go.

I mean, that album is angry and creative and musical gold. I guess you could pigeonhole her into some kinda genre like Angry Piano Girl, but that’s limiting would things for no reason. Don’t care if it’s a piano, a guitar, or a freaking lute, if the band is mostly acoustic and has that vibe, we’re talking Badass Acoustic.

RED PEN: Why does this music appeal to you so much?

TYLER: It’s like the books and movies I like to watch versus the ones I quit after five minutes. If the whole thing is happy and perfect, or completely predictable, what’s the point?

Don’t give me your standard pop song “baby baby” lyrics or somebody rapping about how cool and successful they are and how many Lambos are in their garage. Give me something that’s interesting and tough and real. A song where somebody’s struggling to get through the day, or to live with their mistakes. A show about a villain who’s bad and can’t change, and there’s no Hollywood ending. Take me someplace that’s raw and emotional and not perfect at all.

That’s what I like about Badass Acoustic, and why we’re experimenting with a new acoustic track. Does this mean learning more than three chords? Yeah, it does. But there’s a freedom in stripping things down and putting that volume knob at three instead of eleven. The audience can hear all my words and when we do add drums, and a secret instrument I can’t talk about, the whole thing builds and builds in a special way.

RED PEN: What’s next for ONE PUMP LOTUS?

TYLER: If we make enough money in these next two gigs, we can pay for a new tranny on the van, and then we’re saving up for some serious studio time to cut the tracks, “White Coffee” and “Decaf.”

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PORK AND BEANS by Weezer is a music video masterpiece

I heard this song on the radios when it came out, and it was Good.

Yet I only just now saw the music video, in the year 2022–and my God, the thing is fiery balls of amazing.

Check it out, then we’ll talk smack.

Here’s why I could not love this video more: they went all out and crammed every possible internet meme and Random Person Turned Internet Famous into a short music video.

Not one or two or three. Everybody they could possibly find and convince to do this thing.

Their commitment to the gag makes it not only ten pounds of fun packed into a five-pound bag—it makes this video insanely rewatchable, because if you blinked twice, you missed a dozen things, and if you didn’t blink, you are a spy for the Lizard People from Planet 9, and we will find you.

Weezer has been a band since before you were born, so it gives me joy to see that they’re still cranking out these things called “albums” which aren’t really a thing anymore, and I hope they are genuinely ageless and make music forever and not continue to exist by dint of being preserved by All the Drugs like a bazillion rockers collecting Social Security while still on tour.

VERDICT: 11/10, and please give us another video like this every 5 years, because the interwebs are always making new people famous for a hot second.

Best song ever for Halloween? WEREWOLVES OF LONDON

Yes, you can make a case for THRILLER, which is epic and famous and spawned 6,459 videos of people doing the dance moves.

Yet this scrappy underdog of a song by Warren Zevon is the rightful king of Horror Gondor.

What we have here is pretty simple. There’s no giant production budget, no army of backup dancers who all spent six hours getting zombified in the makeup trailer. No bigshot Hollywood director making a quick buck.

Warren Zevon gives us a quirky little song about werewolves that take us in unexpected places.

He humanizes them without taking away their essential and bloody werewolviness.

My favorite lines are those little lyrical surprises–the werewolf looking for some good Chinese food and wearing bespoke clothes. Best line of all is the aside at the end: “His hair was perfect.”

This song is perfect. It cannot be improved upon.

LYRICS

I saw werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand
Walking through the streets of SoHo in the rain
He was looking for the place called Lee Ho Fooks
For to get a big dish of beef chow mein

Ah-hoo, werewolves of London
Ah-hoo
Ah-hoo, werewolves of London
Ah-hoo

You hear him howling around your kitchen door
You better not let him in
Little old lady got mutilated late last night
Werewolves of London again

Ah-hoo, werewolves of London
Ah-hoo
Ah-hoo, werewolves of London
Ah-hoo, huh

He’s the hairy handed gent who ran amok in Kent
Lately he’s been overheard in Mayfair
You better stay away from him, he’ll rip your lungs out Jim
Huh, I’d like to meet his tailor

Ah-hoo, werewolves of London
Ah-hoo
Ah-hoo, werewolves of London
Ah-hoo

Well, I saw Lon Chaney walking with the Queen
Doin’ the werewolves of London
I saw Lon Chaney Jr. walking with the Queen, uh
Doin’ the werewolves of London
I saw a werewolf drinkin’ a piña colada at Trader Vic’s
His hair was perfect

Ah-hoo, werewolves of London
Hey draw blood
Ah-hoo, werewolves of London

Source: Musixmatch

THAT FUNNY FEELING by Bo Burnham is today’s WE DIDN’T START THE FIRE, except better

Listen: I usually find obscure music videos, or make fun of popular pop stars spending the gross national product of Paraguay to create something that should not exist.

HOWEVER: There are rare moments of joy, little pockets of wonder and awe, where I find a song with a music video that generates nothing but admiration and a desire to share.

The commentary I will offer is that this song is today’s answer to Billy Joel’s WE DIDN’T START THE FIRE, except I’d say the lyrics are deeper and more meaningful. Because instead of simply listing as many historical events as possible, Bo is commenting on them.

This line alone hits like a hammer: A gift shop at the gun range, a mass shooting at the mall.

Video is below, then the lyrics.

And I just hope Bo keeps on making more like this. Everything I’ve seen from INSIDE OUT has been different and worthwhile.

I can’t really, uh, play the guitar very well, um, or sing
So you know, apologies

Stunning 8K-resolution meditation app
In honor of the revolution, it’s half-off at the Gap
Deadpool’s self-awareness, loving parents, harmless fun
The backlash to the backlash to the thing that’s just begun

There it is again, that funny feeling
That funny feeling
There it is again, that funny feeling
That funny feeling

The surgeon general’s pop-up shop, Robert Iger’s face
Discount Etsy agitprop, Bugles’ take on race
Female Colonel Sanders, easy answers, civil war
The whole world at your fingertips, the ocean at your door
The live-action Lion King, the Pepsi Halftime Show
Twenty-thousand years of this, seven more to go
Carpool Karaoke, Steve Aoki, Logan Paul
A gift shop at the gun range, a mass shooting at the mall

There it is again, that funny feeling
That funny feeling
There it is again, that funny feeling
That funny feeling

Reading Pornhub’s terms of service, going for a drive
And obeying all the traffic laws in Grand Theft Auto V
Full agoraphobic, losing focus, cover blown
A book on getting better hand-delivered by a drone
Total disassociation, fully out your mind
Googling “derealization”, hating what you find
That unapparent summer air in early fall
The quiet comprehending of the ending of it all

There it is again, that funny feeling
That funny feeling
There it is again, that funny feeling
That funny feeling

Hey, what can you say? We were overdue
But it’ll be over soon, you wait
Hey, what can you say? We were overdue
But it’ll be over soon, just wait
Ba-da-da, ba-da-da, ba-da-da-da-dum
Hey, what can you say? We were overdue
But it’ll be over soon, you wait
Ba-da-da, ba-da-da, ba-da-da-da-dum
Hey, what can you say? We were overdue
But it’ll be over soon, you wait
Ba-da-da, ba-da-da, ba-da
Hey, what can you say? We were overdue
But it’ll be over soon, you wait
Ba-da-da, ba-da-da, ba-da-da-da-dum
Hey

Source: LyricFind

Shuba hits us with a double-whammy and a twist

Okay, this video stands on its own as funny. Watch it:

Now here’s the twist–the person in the video above isn’t lip-synching to a pop song.

This is the actual singer, and here’s Shuba’s full music video.

VERDICT: 11/10 total points for creativity and guerilla marketing. You got me to watch the video.

Well played, Shuba, well played.

Even better: a bonus video where she sings I’M A SAVAGE in all these different voices. Absolutely perfect.

Woman accused of having billions in stolen Bitcoin also made the Worst Music Video of All Time

Which crime is worse, the digital money or the music video?

I report, you decide.

Here’s the deal: A married couple in their early 30’s may have stolen up to $4.5 billion in Bitcoin, and the FBI recovered a bunch of it.

They are accused of trying to launder 119,754 of the crypto coins, stolen back when those digital things were worth $70 million and such.

But the value went way up. Way, way up.

Before I dive into how these two jokers truly screwed up after pulling this off, let’s get to the music videos.

The woman’s name is Heather Morgan and she sings under the name Razzlekhan.

Her videos on YouTube went private after the arrest.

HOWEVER: you can’t defeat the interwebs when millions of people around the world have the motivation and skills to keep treasures like this alive. WARNING: bad words, bad lyrics, bad dancing, and bad singing ahead.

Is this the biggest heist of all time? The FBI puts it at No. 1 for seizing illicit monies.

There are all kinds of other famous heists, like the Great Train Robbery, that only brought in $3.4 million or so. Though I am trained as a journalist, and write the speeches, and did not major in mathematics, I’m pretty sure that $4.5 billion is larger than $3.4 million.

But is VERSACE BEDOUIN that the Worst Music Video of All Time? Maaaybe.

The competition is tough.

FRIDAY is pretty bad and comes to us from a professional singer and a professional production crew.

For amateurs, RED DRESS is high on the list because you’ve got decent camera work and all that for an amateur production but everything just seems off. Especially the singing. It’s the uncanny valley of bad videos.

Now, here’s where she and her husband went wrong–if they did what they’re accused of: Bitcoin is a silly thing to buy, a silly thing to hold, and a silly thing to steal.

If you rob a bank, there’s no natural trail. That’s why they have cameras, and vaults, and marked bills, and dye packs. The banks and the folks with badges and handcuffs have to work at creating a trail to whoever steals the money.

If you buy Bitcoin, and lose the key and such, poof, your money is gone. There’s a man in the UK who did that and has spent, I don’t know, a year of his life digging through the city landfill looking for his old hard drive with the Bitcoin info because he lost everything, the big dummy.

If you sell Bitcoin, or purchase something, there’s a record of that on the blockchain.

And if you steal it, yeah, there’s a still a record of purchases and sales. Which means it’s a lot easier for the police to start following the built-in trail that you can’t avoid. If you read the stories about this heist, they went nuts trying to launder the Bitcoin through all sorts of accounts and such and it Did Not Matter.

So don’t rob banks, don’t steal Bitcoin, and don’t buy Bitcoin in the first place. Buy some index funds, hold them, and forget about it until you retire.

Back to the music video. I’m going to give Razzlekhan the double win here: biggest heist and worst music video ever.

She gets the win because every single element is amazingly bad. The lyrics, the attempts at dancing, the singing, the camera angles. Everything.

Do they let you make compose and shoot music videos in federal prison?

Not sure. I believe we may soon find out.

VENGEANCE by Zack Hemsey is brutal and brilliant

Technically, this isn’t a music video, and technically, I don’t care.

IT IS THE GENIUS.

Watch, then let’s discuss.

Perfect, right? The music matches the scene.

Not a little, not a lot, but so much I want to marry it.

It’s a slow burn. Tension keeps rising and rising, until it breaks and the drums kick in and it’s like Phil Collins song except Denzel Washington is slaying bad guys with severe amounts of style.

What I love about this action sequence, and the entire movie, is how Denzel’s Washington character keeps surviving and thriving despite being outnumbered and outgunned.

In 99.9 percent of action movies, the hero wins because he’s bigger and stronger (Arnold Schwarzenegger), flexible enough to do the side splits on different planets (Jean-Claude Van Damme), has better gear (IRON MAN, BATMAN), or has superpowers.

Denzel’s character wins by being clever. It’s so much more satisfying than mowing down acre after acre of faceless bad guys before confronting the Final Boss Villain on a rooftop, at night, while it’s raining, then listening to his maniac monologue and chucking him down a chasm to get impaled on something long and sharp.

There’s no creativity in showing us that again. We have seen it 329 times.

Denzel’s character in this movie, and the sequel, wins by being smarter than the bad guys. And he does it without getting repetitive, which is refreshing and entertaining. Even the first real fight scene of this movie, he’s planning things out and out-smarting the villains.

The final Home Depot-ish fight is the most creative of all. I love how he chains his traps together, starting with the stuff on the floor to use his barbed-wire and cement bag trap, then the next thug getting speared with a gardening tool when he stops to check out the body of his buddy.

Without music, this would be a wonderful scene.

With this music, it’s iconic, and I’ve watched the thing, like, five bazillion times. Do I rewatch Schwarzenegger mowing through 200 extras in baggy uniforms again and again? No.

Hat’s off to the director and the songwriter for pulling this off.

And yes, I have seen THE LITTLE THINGS, and yes, we will chat about it later this week. A beautiful film.

Bonus: full song from the movie soundtrack.

This music video is peak internet and you are required by law to watch it

Listen, I usually (1) make fun of wealthy stars spending insane amount of dough on CGI for a music video full of cringe, or (2) explore the depths of the interwebs and sometimes go back in time to discover the obscure and bizarre.

This video is completely different.

Somebody you never heard of is playing in the park, banging on bongos, and singing words from a 1930’s song that you will not understand unless you’re from the northern parts of Finland.

Even crazier: the melody goes back to the 17th century, according to something on the series of tubes called Wikiwand, which says: “The song is sung in very heavy Eastern Savonian dialects spoken in North Karelia. It takes the point of view of a young man and a woman named Ieva/Eva/Eeva in Finnish, who sneaks away to where everyone is dancing to a polka, and dances all night.”

Who can’t get down with that?

Also: although I’m Swedish, you have to admit Finland rocks. Best education system in the world. Beat the Soviet army and their tanks during World War II with a bunch of folks running around on skis with rifles. Wrote songs about people sneaking away to dance all night way back in the 17th century. Get on with your bad self, Finland.

Here’s the original footage.

Cool, right?

Then another man who’s not a household name takes that footage, uses some video editing magic, and turns some folk polka bongo goodness into an Epic Club Remix that I have happily listened to FIVE BAZILLION TIMES.

I mean, this thing is my new jam. I could not love it more. Crank up the volume to 11 and listen.

You’ve got the sound guru, a woman dancing like nobody’s watching, Vibing Cat–and to top it, a Random Horn and Strings Section.

I could not love this more. It’s impossible. Tried to. Didn’t work.

The Kiffness, you rock. Give us moar moar MOAR.

ALL THE STARS is the perfect song for a perfect movie

black panther, all the stars, sza, kendrick lamar, chadwick boseman

Usually, I will do one of three things with a music video: (a) find an obscure and bizarre treasure to share, (b) dissect something terrible, or (c) decipher the lyrics to an amazing song.

Today, I’m listening to ALL THE STARS on repeat, and there’s a good chance this may be a weeklong tribute to Chadwick Boseman, because the man was amazing. Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall, James Brown, Black Panther–the man could play anybody. Boundless talent and a bottomless heart. He visited kids in cancer wards for years and never let on that he was sick himself. Not once.

Wakanda forever, damn it.

Who actually made the first music video OF ALL TIME?

You may ask yourself, “Is that really a hard question?” And you may tell yourself, “The first was VIDEO KILLED THE RADIO STAR, everybody knows MTV played that when it went live right after the Civil War, because Abraham Lincoln sent a telegram requesting it.”

Except all of that is wrong.

Some say the first real music videos were made in this place called Oz, a mystical land where every animal is poisonous. And there is good evidence for this, with Australian TV news staffer Russell Mulcahy shooting videos for local bands like AC/DC back in the ’70s, years before MTV went live.

So here’s a good contender:

However, there’s another video released around the same time–1975–that is a far better song, a song that’s massively famous and universally beloved. We’re talking BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY by Queen, and I could die happy if we settle on this epic as the First Music Video Ever.

Case closed.

Queen also had the first music video banned by MTV, which gives them 150,000,000 rebellious rock points, so let’s go with Queen.

Except that’s not really the first music video, not even close, because Bob Dylan was doing black-and-white music videos while inventing memes long before neckbeard edgelords were spending all their time learning the Adobe Creative Suite to make it to the front page of reddit with their HQ gifs. How do you pronounce gifs, with a G like it’s spelled or J like we’re talking peanut butter? I know the answer. Come closer and I’ll whisper it to you: “Gif is officially pronounced HOWEVER THE HELL YOU LIKE, because this is the dumbest controversy ever and I do not care one itty bitty bit.”

Here’s Bob Dylan doing his thing ten years earlier than Queen.

Okay then, we have a winner. Right?

Maybe.

Not really.

It all depends on what your definition of musical video is, and how far you want to (a) stretch it and (b) go back in time and technology. Wikipedia lists all sorts of musical short films in the 1920s, along with musical shorts / teasers that ran before the film you paid a full nickel to watch. There were Soundies in the WWII years with short dance sequences set to music and stuff happening with jazz and funky things going on in France with alien jukebox video technology (actually not really making that up, go check it out).

I mean, you could go crazy going down this rabbit hole, which I will not do, because who will pay for my therapy?

HOWEVER: What we all should agree on is that VIDEO KILLED THE RADIO STAR is not really the first music video. At all.

It’s just the first one that MTV played.