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ATTENTION ALL MUSICIANS: Regardless of your chosen instrument or preferred genre, DO NOT under any circumstances consider covering AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long.” You can’t pull it off. You will fail. You will embarrass yourself. Allow me to elaborate… Let’s begin by meticulously dissecting “You Shook Me All Night Long” beginning with the historical significance of the Back In Black album when it was released in the summer of 1980. If… Read More

christmas-chaos-400x230

“The holidays are upon us” always sounds to me as if the barbarian hordes have breached the castle walls and are laying waste to our entire way of life. Maybe that’s just my family. Anyway, I’m sure Christmas at your house is fine. Of course, if you do find yourself being marauded by savages enjoying the warm embrace of family, there is a silver lining. In the smoldering rubble you may find… Read More

yngwie-trilogy

Who can forget that time in 1986 when the Swedish King of Heavy Metal Guitar Wonks Yngwie J. Malmsteen released his third solo album Trilogy? Most of us as it turns out. Which is sad, because it sports one of the most perfectly clichéd heavy metal album covers ever to grace the shelves of your local Tower Records. It depicts a sole guitar hero (the band apparently had the day off) battling… Read More

kiss-action-figures

October 1983: Riding a wave of press attention and resurgent album sales following the removal of their iconic makeup, Kiss makes the highly questionable decision to begin the video for their single “All Hell’s Breakin’ Loose” by physically assaulting three homeless men. What were they thinking?

They Might Be Giants “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)” This was a cover song? Yep. Like a lot of people I just assumed a goofy song like this could only have sprung from the collective silliness of They Might Be Giants. I was wrong. Turns out it’s a “jazz” song released by The Four Lads in 1953. Orgy “Blue Monday” I don’t know where this band came from or where they went, but their… Read More

2df01-pantera-metal-magic

I don’t think I’ll never stop being fascinated by bad album art. A bad album cover is the perfect representation of my favorite comedy premise, the shared delusion of a group of wildly enthusiastic morons. Few things are funnier than a group of self-important idiots who have convinced themselves that something undeniably awful is actually pretty cool. This Is Spinal Tap and other “mockumentaries” are based almost entirely on this setup. Of… Read More

Bad music

Back in December I wrote about a few criminally overlooked cover songs. For music fans, hearing a different artist bring new perspective to a great song is nothing short of sublime. The trouble is, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Often times the original recording, by the original artist, represents the true pinnacle of that songs potential. It’s for that reason that cover songs are a dicey business. Here are a… Read More

Usually when you see that question you expect an interesting answer. Not today. I really just want to know. Here are 3 artists who not only did some amazing work, but could very easily still be relevant today if circumstance hadn’t faded them into obscurity. Micheal Penn – One of my all-time favorite artists. Michael Penn (yes, he’s the brother of Sean Penn) actually won a Best New Artist VMA in 1990… Read More

attends the 2010 NAMM Show - Day 2 at the Anaheim Convention Center on January 15, 2010 in Anaheim, California.

I never really cared for Ted Nugent’s “Cat Scratch Fever.” The main riff always reminded me of a warped version of Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water.” But that’s not the only reason. Besides being uninspired musically, I could never take it seriously after I found out that Cat Scratch Fever was an actual disease. Of course I’m keenly aware that Ted Nugent wasn’t actually writing about subacute regional lymphadenitis (the less… Read More

– Whenever I get coffee from the vending machine here in the beautiful Rick L. and Vicki L. James University Center, I always pay the extra 10-cents for the “premium” blend. Why do I do that? How much better could the premium blend possibly be? – There will always be more toes in the world than people. – It’s not a reunion if all the former members of your band are still… Read More