Friday, January 30, 2009

Riffzzz and Dunkzzz, Wk. 2

I'm a bit pressed for time this week, so I apologize that I'm not doing my standard 4 entries for each. But duty calls and that duty pays $13 an hour whereas this duty barely provides any validation whatsoever.

The Riffzzz

I will never understand the appeal of Aerosmith, including the Aerosmith that existed prior to 1985 when they still hated each other and were stoned most of the time. Their music is a big gaping yawp of mediocrity. Ted Nugent also occupied this well-populated no-man's land of 1970s AOR schlock but he at least had the decency to dress it up in some crazy proto-Straight Edge wild man act. So, I can only infer that weed was just far more plentiful and potent back then, because being high is the only way I can begin to speculate that enjoying Aerosmith is possible. Which might explain why half the cast of characters in "Dazed and Confused" had such a hard-on for them (take it to the 2-minute mark).

Nowadays, Aerosmith ride a wave of prestige simply because Rick Rubin and Run-DMC had the generosity to include them in what would have been a hit anyway. Even so, I suppose I should be grateful for one thing Aerosmith has done.

Black Flag is always a tricky scenario. "Damaged" and "My War" are all classic, as are their early singles "Nervous Breakdown" and "Jealous Again" and without their herculean touring efforts indie bands would still be relegated to big cities on the coast. But by 1984, lawsuits, shitty gigs with even shittier pay, and the sparks resulting from Henry Rollins and Greg Ginn's monumental egos all converged to turn Black Flag the band into Black Flag the pyschotrauma. The band had always been outsiders, but after kicking Chuck Dukowski out of the band (who, it turned out, happened to be the calm center holding it together), the sense of outsiderdom inflated into a parody of themselves. Self-debasing humor had always made Black Flag approachable but by 1985 Henry Rollins only seemed interested in how antagonistic he could be (very) and Greg Ginn was only interested in how slow they could play (again, very).

People used to make fun of me for liking Steely Dan, saying that the only people who liked Steely Dan are tweekers and dad's, but more and more I'm finding that the tide is turning in my favor. That whole crypto lyricism masquerading as genius? Steely Dan were there years before Stephen Malkmus even graduated from UVA. Jazz inflected to a fault, the Dan pretty much stopped touring in the late 1970s since no one could ever get their compositions just so in a live setting. This is from their earlier, more pop-rock phase, but nonetheless features some great guitar playing from session player extraordinaire Elliot Randall (though this version features Jeff "Skunk" Baxter and Denny Dias, who would stick with the Dan through the mid 1970s). Also a rare sighting of their long forgotten singer David Palmer, who Robert Christgau once famously declared "fit in like a cheerleader at a crap game". ALSO: dig on the Bill Cosby intro.

The Dunkzzz

Like Daryl Dawkins before him, Shaq is a big dude with a penchant for breaking shit. He's also, at this point, such a fixture of American pop culture that it's useless trying to talk smack about the guy. Yeah, he's not great from the field but he's working on it. Dude has got a rap career and a thirty foot bed, so step off.

Similar to Shaq, Barkley has become such a ubiquitous figure in sports thanks to his second wind as slow on the uptake commentator that I sometimes forget that ol' Chuck even played. Nothing special here just a two handed jam with some serious authority. I figured I owed him a break since we saw him get taken by Jordan last week.

I always thought Rodman was a punk, even if he had a crappy childhood.

No comments: