Celebrities At Their Worst

Oh my, you are in for a treat.

Gone are the lyrics songs from the Splotchy jukebox.

Now, we focus on Celebrities At Their Worst.

The sound clips I include here are from Nick Bougas’ collection Celebrities At Their Worst, Volumes 1 and 2. Many of these sound clips have been passed on from generation to generation (my dad has the Orson Welles bit on reel-to-reel) but this collection assembles all these golden boners on a handful of compact discs.

I have cherry-picked my favorites. Look for the jukebox on the right side of me blog to play.

I am including Bougas’ liner notes regarding each track, with occasional additional comments by yours truly.

01 – John Wayne – The Duke was well in his cups when he lazily addressed the college R.O.T.C. group on the subject of patriotism. Even if you find Wayne’s “Kill the hippies to save the country” stance unpalatable, I’ll bet you’ll be using his clever phrase “It’s regoddamnediculuous” as soon as opportunity arises [Splotchy notes: Luke Wilson’s character said this very phrase at the end of Anchorman]

02 – Col. Harland Sanders – It’s late in his career and the Ol’ Kentucky gentleman’s brain, like his chicken, is fried… here he bumbles his way through take after take of a KFC promo spot. [Splotchy notes: Negativland would use this same sound sample in the wonderful Happy Heroes EP, a companion piece to their brilliant record Dispepsi]

03 – Orson Welles – It’s three decades down the road and the creative genius who once brought the world the cinematic epic Citizen Kane is now hawking frozen battered codfish… No wonder he’s so cranky! In this voice-over session, Orson angrily fixates on grammatical usage, fusses over sentence structure and easily establishes himself as the foremost menace to audio engineers everywhere. [Splotchy notes: This sound sample also made it onto the Negativland Happy Heroes EP]

04 – Mickey Rooney – Sure, Mickey may be small in physical stature, but as this string of outtakes illustrates, his distaste for recording local promo spots looms large.

05 and 06 – William Shatner – If you thought his vocal rendition of “Mr. Tambourine Man” was pretentious, wait ’til you hear this authentic slice of studio life… If a simple bit of direction as to how to render a line of dialogue truly “sickens” Bill (as he states here), he can always whip off that curly dish-shaped “tailor topper” he sports to serve as a nifty makeshift barf bag. [Splotchy notes: A homage to both sound clips appears in the film Mystery Men]

07 – Rich “Goose” Gossage – Why are sports people so hyper? They pull down tons of cash for participating in what is generally considered healthy, leisure-styled activity yet they’re so often bitter, vile malcontents… wait ’til you hear “Goose” Gossage squawking at a roomful of reporters that have apparently ruffled his feathers.

08 – The Troggs – This is it folks! And what a “Wild Thing” it is, too… the very tape that provided the inspiration for the brilliant movie satire This Is Spinal Tap… In fact, it now sounds incredibly like a deleted scene from the film… listen as a group of just-past-their-prime Rock Stars bicker and harangue one another over a simple musical passage any chimp could handily master.

09 – Linda McCartney – Q: What do you call a dog with Wings? Yeah, yeah, we all know the answer is Linda Mac, but after hearing this cut you’ll have to reconsider that reply… Let’s face it, a dog can occasionally howl on key. Here, prima donna hubby Paul is performing a live version of the Beatle classic “Hey Jude” while tone-deaf vegetarian Linda supplies back-up vocals. The clever technician who circulated this tape has isolated Linda’s sluggish droning so we can fully savor and properly reflect on her unique contribution to the world of musical entertainment.

10 – The Beach Boys – Good ‘Ol Murray, father of the sun-worshipping Wilson brothers, Brian, Carl and Dennis, served as their producer in more ways than one… He aided immeasurably to their early success by driving them like a plantation overseer (even causing permanent damage to Brian’s hearing with a cuff to the head). However, once the lads mastered the hitmaking formula, Dad’s role was diminished (much to his consternation) as is evidenced by this remarkable session tape. Murray barges in while the group is laying down the vocal track to one of their biggest sellers. In no time at all, he manages to reek havoc upon everyone’s morale, disrupt their progress with lousy suggestions and offer countless unwelcome criticisms. One highlight features a tasty retort from Brian about only “having one good ear left” when Murray starts bellowing directions at his rebellious and inattentive brood.

Music To Read Lyrics By

The Gay Side Of Splotchy has been unceremoniously evicted from the jukebox on the upper right of this here blog.

Next up, I feel obliged to provide you with the songs I have been sporadically posting lyrics for. Why have I been posting lyrics from time to time?
[SHRUG]

If you don’t know the drill by now, go to the jukebox to start up the songs. The links below just take you to the lyrics. If you want to read along, you’d be best served by opening the links in a new window, so’s you don’t kill the song playing in your current window. Got it? Okay!

1. Camper Van Beethoven – Where The Hell Is Bill?
Just a nice silly song off their first album.

2. Bonnie Tyler – Total Eclipse Of The Heart
I had this goddamn song in my head, so I posted the lyrics. Now it’s in your head. How does it feel? I know, the lyrics aren’t complete. What am I to you, some sort of full-lyrics-posting man?

3. The Kinks – The Village Green Preservation Society
This song, ahh. It’s so much fun. I’d love to memorize it so I can sing along with it, but I prolly never will.

4. David Naughton – Makin’ It
I think when I posted the lyrics to this, I made a lot of people confused. This is the theme song from a short-lived disco sitcom starring David Naughton, who you might recognize from American Werewolf in London and some Dr. Pepper commercials from the 70’s. Mr. Naughton also sings this song. I never did actually see the show. I actually downloaded this song many moons ago from a newsgroup, where there was a competition to post the worst pop song ever written. I actually like this song a lot, but I have been known to have questionable tastes from time to time. You can judge the song for yourself.

5. Joy Division – Isolation
6. Jimmy Buffett – Cheeseburger In Paradise

I don’t know if anyone got what I was doing in this post, or if they did get it, thought it was funny. It made me laugh, so I guess that’s something. I felt like posting a song, then I thought I’d post Joy Division’s Isolation. I pasted in the lyrics, but they looked a little serious and depressing, and I wasn’t really bummed out at the time. So, I thought I’d cheer it up by interspersing lyrics from a Jimmy Buffett song. I found a picture of Buffett lookin’ right, Joy Division singer Ian Curtis lookin’ left, and the rest is blogging history, folks.

7. The Stooges – No Fun
If someone had a gun to your head and said, “Play me a song that is the best example of snotty-ass rock ‘n roll,” this song would likely save your life.

Happy Listening! Happy Reading!

The Gay Side Of Splotchy

Well, I warned you. Now, here it is.

The Gay Side Of Splotchy.

I don’t know if I have enough gay in me to warrant attributing a whole “side” to gayness, but here goes anyway.

Some gayish facts about me:

1) My first apartment in Chicago was just east of Broadway on Grace, at the northern edge of what is affectionately known as “Boys’ Town”. You want Girls Town, you haveta go up to Clark and Foster, ladies. I really liked the neighborhood. It had a nice vibe (but parking was for shit!).

2) Being originally from the relatively homophobic (or at least homoambivalent) Springfield, Illinois, I was initially taken aback by the sex shops and horribly-punned gay bars (“Manhole” anyone?), but quickly got used to it. I realized how it must suck to be gay in some small town where this kind of environment doesn’t exist. There was a palpable “gayness” (as in happiness) around this neighborhood. I can certainly understand the desire of many people to flock to a large metropolitan area for this kind of stuff.

3) On one of my nightly walks around the neighborhood (it was always buzzing) I was asked, “Do you want to earn a hundred bucks?” I paused for a second, and very politely said, “Nah.” To which, the man asking me incredulously said, “Really?!!” I’m not sure what he was wanting for the money he was offering. I’d like to think he found me attractive and wanted to have sex with me.

4) My crotch was grabbed by a black transvestite hooker as I was walking up Broadway. I loudly said, “No thanks!” as I pushed his/her hand away. I’m very polite on my walks.

5) I had a man-crush on Jude Law, mostly after seeing him in Wilde and eXistenZ, and before he got all ubiquitous and creepy. I later had a man-crush on Clive Owen after seeing him in Sin City and Children of Men.

6) I have some gay tastes in music.

Which brings us to the latest hits in the Splotchy jukebox (which you can access over on yonder right side of this here blog)…

1) Shirley Bassey – Goldfinger
I have an unhealthy love for this song, and I *am* Shirley Bassey when I am singing along with it.

2) The Left Banke – Pretty Ballerina
Okay, okay, not all of these songs are gay. This song is more twee than gay, but gay and twee songs inhabit the same place in my heart. So sue me. I really wish when I’m singing with it that I could hit all the high notes. I’d love to do this song in a band.

3) Belle And Sebastian – Me And The Major
More beautiful tweeness. But it rocks hard.

4) Eiffel 65 – Move Your Body
Okay, I think I can call this one pretty gay. I first was exposed to this song via its music video. One of the band members is dressed in black and does high kicks to hit small robots that explode. That’s pretty gay, isn’t it? Plus, I heard this song in a gay bar, which makes it gay, as is my understanding.

5) Antony and the Johnsons – Divine
I love Antony. He sings like a drag queen. This song is about John Waters’ friend and oft-used actor Divine, and is pretty powerful.

6) The Smiths – Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now
Now, I hadta put a Smiths song on here. In my humble opinion, this is the gayest one.

7) ABBA – Fernando
Ah, Fernando. I really love this song. For some reason I made up my own lyrics for the chorus, which I get so much joy from singing:

There was something in my eye
It burned
“Oh God,” I cried, “Fernando!”

8) Sufjan Stevens – Casimir Pulaski Day
This song is all sensitive and shit, and it really affects me. It’s so twee that it rolls over into macho.

9) Young Marble Giants – Wurlitzer Jukebox
Another song that would get you beaten up at a roadhouse bar if you tried playing it (assuming the bar was stocking the Young Marble Giants on their jukebox).

Wow, I am a little disappointed with my gay taste in music. I *was* trying to find some stuff that you might be unfamiliar with. At least that’s the argument I am going with.

Oh well.

An Ever-Expanding Universe

Music is very, very important to me.

In my life thus far, there have been several instances where my musical tastes have broadened, hit a plateau, then broadened again.

By plateau, I mean that I was enjoying music still, but I wouldn’t be listening to any unfamiliar music. Maybe I would come to the rather silly conclusion that there was nothing more out there, no more music that I could find to like, or no music that was worth the effort in searching out.

The last plateau happened when our eldest kids were born back in January of 2003.

This was a little different kinda plateau. It was more like all the sudden I had kids. I couldn’t necessarily play just any of the music I wanted. I couldn’t play Song X because its dissonance would make one of the kids cry, or couldn’t play Song Y because it had the word “motherfudger” in it — stuff like that.

Don’t get me wrong, I have played and still play a helluva lot of good music for the kids, but there *was* a limit to what I could play.

As I think about it, just the sheer upheaval that having children causes is probably the core reason why my musical tastes were put on pause. Yes, that last sentence rhymed. No, it wasn’t intentional.

So, my tastes languished a bit, until I started getting into music online. I feel that my exposure to unfamiliar music has grown exponentially with the use of the computer, and the use of a portable MP3 player.

In this post, I thought it would fun to share some of the songs I have only recently been exposed to with you, gentle reader.

Many of these songs are not new. You might know them, you might like them already, you might enjoy them if you give a listen. That’s the music player, over on the right. Pipe up and say something, dammit. Let’s talk about music, alright?

Long live music. Without further ado, here are some songs from my most recent taste-broadening. The links are just to the bands’ respective Wikipedia entries — the song “jukebox” is on the upper-right of the blog.

The Raincoats – Fairytale In The Supermarket
— from The Raincoats (1979)
Wow, this song is so damned snotty. I love it.

Boubacar Traoré – Duna Ma Yelema
— from Macire (2000)
It’s not in English. I have no idea what he’s talking about. It’s still incredibly powerful, even without knowing the words. Amazing guitar-playing, an amazing voice. It is the musical equivalent of melancholy, I think.

The Clean – Twist Top
— from Unknown Country (1996)
If I could be in any band, I’d be in The Clean. A pop band, but a pop band with great sensibilities, inventive musical playing, and the undeniable power of THE HOOK. “Three million people can be wrong, three million people can be wrong.”

Pugh Rogefeldt – Colinda
— from Ja dä ä dä (1969)
You won’t find this guy on the English version of Wikipedia. You haveta go on the Swedish one. This is such a pretty song, with a nice dissonant freakout at the end. Finding this artist was the equivalent of running into a movie theater to get out of the rain, only to discover a foreign film that affects you on a deeply personal level. And no, the foreign film isn’t dubbed in English, and it doesn’t have subtitles.

Can – Moonshake
— from Future Days (1973)
I had listened to German experimental bands like Faust and Neu!, but for some reason never gave these guys a try. Which was a mistake. Moonshake is a shorter, poppy song of theirs, but it’s all good, people. It’s all good.

We Look Like Girls – whap
Well, what the hell, I might as well as put a song recently done by Tim and myself, right? Tim and I have about ten or songs in progress, which are actually nothing like this one. But I like it, and I hope you do, too. No warbly vocals from either Tim or myself in this one! w00t, as the kids say.