Saturday, July 15, 2006

Lyrics Quiz: Scooter’s Choice

One year ago, I started my monthly Lyrics Quiz. It all started when a meme was making its round last year and even though I never do them, this one was right up my wheelhouse. You were supposed to put iTunes on random and pick lyrics from the next 10-15 songs that were played. From there I decided to make a monthly game out of it and with the Scooter Hall of Fame on the first of every month, I though I’d split the month down the middle and have the Lyrics Quiz on the fifteenth of each month. I also decided quickly to have a theme every month; the first was of Live 8 performers, but on the anniversary I’m going with some of my favorite songs and/or lyrics. As always, put both the song title and artist in the comment section and if you are right, I will un-bold the song and give you credit. The person will then be added to the Winner's List on my sidebar. Now onto the quiz:

23. A couple people have guess the right song so far, but I haven't been satisfied with the artist given. With many songs being covered and would have multiple artists, I only accept two different types of artist when it comes to specific lyrics: the orginal arist or the artist that gave the definative version (i.e. All Along the Watchtower was orginally done by Bob Dylan, but Jimi Hendrix gave the definitive version. For lyric 23, the same artist fill both criteria (of course I am the jury when devising who gave the definative version. For a hint, whenever he is not related to the chick from The Devil Wears Prada (think last names).

1. Dig if you will a picture of you and I engaged in a kiss. (When Doves Cry - Prince; guessed by Greyspace)
2. Don’t look to us, phony Beatlemania has bitten the dust. (London Calling - The Clash; guessed by Greyspace)
3. Backbeat, the word is on the street that the fire in your heart is out. (Wonderwall - Oasis; guessed by Erica)
4. With a name I’ve never chosen I can take my fist steps as a child of twenty-five. (Chocolate - Snow Patrol; guessed by Kristi)
5. It’s been too hard living but I’m afraid to die. (A Change Is Gonna Come - Sam Cooke; guessed by Kristi)
6. You used to be so amused, and Napoleon in rags and the language that he used. (Like a Rolling Stone - Bob Dylan; guessed by Greyspace)
7. Did you make it to the Milky Way to see the lights are faded and that heaven is overrated? (Drops of Jupiter - Train; guessed by Erica)
8. Leonard Bernstein! (It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine) - R.E.M.; guessed by Greyspace)
9. Name my kids ghetto names: Little Mookie, Big Al, Lorraine. (I Wish - Skee-Lo; guessed by Greyspace)
10. I couldn’t have a one conversation if it wasn’t for the lies, lies, lies. And still I want to tell you everything until I close my eyes. (Bad Reputation - Feedy Johnston; guessed by Kristi)
11. Never trust a big butt and a smile. (Poison - Bell Biv DeVoe; guessed by Greyspace)
12. I asked her her name, she said, “Blah, blah, blah.” (Just a Friend - Biz Markie; guessed by Rae)
13. Ain’t no (lovin’) good enough to get burnt while I’m up in it. (Nuthin' but a "G" Thang - Dr. Dre and Snoop Doggy Dogg; guessed by Kristi)
14. People say I’m the life of the party because I tell a joke or two, although I might be laughing loud and hardy, deep inside I’m blue. (Tracks of My Tears - Smokey Robinson and the Miracles; guessed by Greyspace)
15. When the band plays Hail to the Chief, they point the cannon at you. (Fortunate Son - Creedence Clearwater Revival; guessed by Greyspace)
16. Whatever happened to Tuesday and so slow going down to the old mine with a transmitter radio. (Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison; guessed by Greyspace)
17. But I’d gladly go down in a flame if a flame’s what it takes to remember my name. (Bigger Than My Body - John Mayer; guessed by Kristi)
18. A broom is drearily sweeping up the broken pieces of yesterday’s life. (The Wind Cries Mary - Jimi Hendrix Experience; guessed by Greyspace)
19. You say you want a diamonds on a ring of gold, you say you want story to remain untold. (All I Want Is You - U2; guessed by Greyspace)
20. The highway’s jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power-dive. (Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen; guessed by Greyspace)
21. Me and Cinderella put it all together. (One Headlight - The Wallflowers; guesssed by Erica)
22. Every time she sneezes I believe it’s love. (Anna Begins - Counting Crows; guessed by Greyspace)
23. I love in a place where there’s no space or time, I love you for my life, you’re a friend of mine.
24. Take a small example, take a tip from me, take all of your money, give it all to charity. (What I Got - Sublime; guessed by Kristi)
25. Emancipate yourselves from mental-slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds. (Redemption Song - Bob Marley and the Wailers; guessed by Kristi)

There have been (almost) 300 different lyrics in the past year and 55 different participants in the past year. And after twelve months, here is the leader board in term of all-time points (and of course check out the Winners List on the side board).

Sha Shinizzle - 32
Dame Bramage - 22
Angie - 18
Guppyman - 17
Shelia - 15

So be sure to be back every fifteenth of the month (I suggest subscribing to my feed) and maybe you will be up there next month. For the anniversary, I have a bonus lyric that I don't think anyone would get, but if get it correct, you will get two extra points - “If Mary drop my baby girl tonight, I would name her Rock n Roll.” (The Seed (2.0) - The Roots and Cody ChestnuTT; guessed by Erica)

Friday, July 14, 2006

Who Rapper You Know Before His Record Drop Is a Grammy Winner

Blue Collar - Rhymefest

A couple months ago I went to get the Free Single of the Week on iTunes and that week featured a rare rap track. But unlike most rap songs in recent memories, this one didn’t make me reach for the mute button. This could be attributed to the word “Bling” not being uttered once nor were there any signs of flossing. But really I marveled out how no rapper up to this point failed in recognizing the entertainment value in sampling Jimmy Walker’s signature catch-phrase.

Fast forward four months and said rapper, has finally released his debut album, . Even though the bling isn’t there is still plenty of swagger in his rapping as Fest will be the first to inform you that he is already a Grammy winner as he co-wrote Best Rap Song winner, Jesus Walks. does return the favor showing up on two tracks on his fellow Chicagoan. Make sure you give Brand Know a chance because even though it seems to be annoying, there’s a good chance it will grow on you like it did me. And even though it’s just a guest spot, Kanye brings his “A” game, my favorite line being, “I leaving you haters like when Shaq left the Lakers just to Heat it up.” As for Rhymefest, he had me with the line, “Besides your breasts is augmented - I like things authentic.”

Rhymefest also has an eclectic ear when it comes to music sampling everybody from One by Three Dog Night on Tell a Story to Someday by The Strokes on Devil’s Pie. He also reworks the old Peggy Lee classic Fever into a Latin theme. The best though is when he reworks the overlooked Bullet and a Target by Citizen Cope. For old school hounds, look out for the Peter Piper hook on Stick. But for a more silly, karaoke vibe, look out for the album closer where the late great Ol’ Dirty Bastard a.k.a. Big Baby Jesus a.k.a. Dirk McGirk a.k.a. Osirus sings… wait for it… wait for it… Build Me Up Buttercup. Man, I miss the ODB.

The album’s title is a nod to Rhymefest’s former job as a janitor, so unlike his peer, there are no tales of drug dealing or hustling on the album. Instead what we get is the plight of the lower middle class in the Midwest. The self proclaimed Ghetto Regis has plenty of stories to tell that reflect that, the most touching is the story in Bullet where he tells of a kid who joins the Army out of high school because he doesn’t have any other way to pay for college, but Fest ends the verse by telling us, “don’t be mad, he died for the flag.” Too bad storytelling like this in rap left a decade ago. And not since ’s Keep Your Head Up has there been a rap song as uplifting for the fairer sex on Sister.

If there was one strike against this album, it would be its length at just under an hour. Even the best MC’s find it hard to full a whole album worth of classic tracks and this set could have been improved by shaving two to three songs that bring down the middle of the album. But it is still worth the price of admission to hear the ODB sing.

Song to Download - Dynamite (if you got it free like I did, go with Bullet)

Blue Collar gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

2006 Emmy Nominations: A Week Later

This time last week, like many of my fellow blogger that routinely wax poetic about our favorite television shows ripped the Emmys different year, same results despite the new voting system. But after a week of thinking about it I have come to realize it is not the new voting system that is still flawed, in fact it may not have been broken in the first place.

If you let me go on a tangent for a moment, last year put out a list of the 500 greatest songs of the Rock ‘n’ Roll era and like most lists of its ilk, I overanalyzed every selection and read through it multiple times. There were a bunch of sequencing issues that bugged my like my two favorite songs, All Along the Watchtower and Superstition were 48 and 74 respectively. But the part of the list that really got under my skin was how songs from formative years were omitted with bands like , , , and getting overlooked. To put things in perspective, The Beatles charted 23 songs while there were 24 songs released in the nineties on the list.

At the end of the list, Rolling Stone also published the list of music journalist and musicians that made up the panelist and there was a distinctive characteristic that ties most of them together: they were extremely old. If fact when I scanned the list the only people on the list that I was familiar list (and that was most) the only ballots cast by people under forty were by members of . So for the first time in my decade of subscribing to the magazine, I actually wrote them a letter about it, granted they did edit it before printing it, they took out the part where I wrote “You did something that even the Republican were unable to do this year: suppress the youth vote.”

Back to the Emmys, unlike the Rolling Stone list where the voters were released, we don’t know (at least I don’t) who the Emmy voters are, but I think it is safe to assume that they are all extremely old themselves which could explain , and if there is anything my grandpa taught me, old people love Martin Sheen. So in my long winded explanation, it’s not the voting system that is flawed, it’s the people that are doing the voting who are most likely well past the age of the majority of television watchers which could explain how could get a nomination for a show no one watched over her more deserving, younger contemporaries.

So instead of changing the voting system, what the Emmys need to do is change how the select voters to get more younger people involved, then maybe , , and Everybody Hates Chris will get the respect they deserve because it’s not their respective channels get overlooked, it’s that old people just don’t watch UPN or WB. But with all the rampart ageism in this year’s nomination who would have, five years ago predicted, the chick from (and I know all the guys out there, or at the very least saw the clips) would be the only actor of her generation to get a nomination?

One other suggestion I made last week, that may have got lost in the shuffle since it was at the bottom of a very long post, so I put it here so it will get more viewers (or you can always check out my original Emmy Nominations post):

Usually I prepare what I am going to write the night before and I had an anti-Desperate Housewives being included in the Comedy categories rant already to roll, but surprisingly only one supporting nomination this year so I was unable to use it in the individual nomination analysis. But since I thought it was a good idea, I’m still going to throw it out there to the people who run the Emmys: create a new Dramedy category. Back in the eighties and earlier, most shows were strictly in either in the drama or comedy column. But in the nineties and shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Ally McBeal, more and more shows are equal parts laughs and tears and have been routinely overlooked. And the addition of the category would benefit the award show because it would mean more stars to nominate. Had there been a Dramedy Series category, it may have looked something like this:

Desperate Housewives
Everybody Hates Chris
Gilmore Girls
Rescue Me
Veronica Mars

And to the Emmys people, if you do decide to use my idea, all I ask in return is to be included as one of the people that does the nominating. Oh and one of those gift bags you give out to all the presenters.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Goodnight Michelle

Blowin' Up - Jamie Kennedy and Stu Stone

Yesterday didn’t see the arrival of not one album that is the product of an MTV reality show, but two. But unlike yesterdays other release Cheyenne which is repeated ad nauseam, rarely gets a repeat so I really haven’t caught much because I really don’t know when the first run episodes show. From what I have seen, the show is hit and miss with playing the slightly mentally retarded one and his sidekick Stu Stone as an overanxious wannabe.

But after seeing the video for Rollin’ w/ Saget, I had high expectations thinking the duo could become the twenty-first century . Unfortunately for half the album, it sounds like they are actually trying to be legit. But the beats are second rate making them sound like Brian Austin Green (who they ironically shout-out during the album). They even were able to corral actual rappers to donate verses like . recreates (along with Jason Biggs) his Jamie Kennedy diss track and straight off is appearance on the Brooke Hogan song, shows up on Mattress Mack. This begs the question what is Paul Wall’s sadder guest appearance. But I do have to give it up to Stu for throwing the line, “Homeruns in H-Town like my name was Berkman” into that song. Luckily doesn’t degrade himself bye rapping on a track but just shows up to show his support for Kennedy, but his wife Coco steals the track by giving Stu some love.

As for the songs that I think that were supposed to be funny, they rarely warrant a chuckle. 1984 may have been funnier had hadn’t lampooned the seminal time period two years ago. The token diss track Knuckle Up is upstaged by the previous skit where Kennedy is hesitant about dissing Ashton Kutcher and Colin Ferrell. Celebrity Stalker is slightly funnier where the boys hit on ckicks that normal dudes would pass up, “My favorite show to (expletive deleted) to? Gotta be The Facts of Life. (Expletive deleted) , give me Mindy Cohn.” But the song does have very little replay value. Then there is Bologna, and the previous Blaine’s Story Skit, which should have gay right groups up in arms. Not that it makes fun of them, instead just on the principal that it is one of the dumbest songs ever recorded.

But the crown jewel of the album, and the only song worth listening to again is Rollin’ w/ Saget. After hearing the rest of the album, it’s clear that it is Danny Tanner himself that is the comical genius behind the song as there are very few bits more hilarious then hearing him say, “I got a (expletive deleted) like a donkey, (expletive deleted) as a rock and a trigger finger itchier than chicken pox.” We did indeed witnessed the strength of Bob Saget and you got to love the reference to intro Saget. Before the song there’s even a bit with Saget calling Kennedy’s voice mail suggesting they go out and date someone’s daughters. Although it’s a crime that iTunes wants a full ninty-nine cents for twenty-two seconds (for those keeping track at home, that’s four and a half pennies per second).

Song to Download - Rollin’ w/ Saget

Blowin’ Up gets a Terror Alert Level: Guarded [BLUE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Jamie Kennedy and Stu Stone on iTunes

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

This Is Gonna Rock Until it Rolls

The Day Has Come - Cheyenne Kimball

Before I get to the album review, I must comment on the show Cheyenne. The show is the most boring reality show ever to be put on the television. Yes more boring than The Hills, more boring than My Fair Brady, I’d even suggest that if Al Gore or Tiger Woods had a reality show, Cheyenne would even be more boring than Al’s show. But at least it doesn’t chronicle how little talent she has much like the reality show did. With that said, the sleep inducing show will have no bearing on my review of the debut album by Cheyenne Kimball. Oh, so she does has a last name.

But her theme song, which happens to also be her first single, Hanging On is not off limits for this review. Her whiney, nasal voice is extremely hard to listen too, Ashlee Simpson at the Rose Bowl bad. Oh and she has had a bad day. I think I’ll pass on her suggestion to alleviate the problem by laugh about it anyways because I much rather sing a sad song just to turn it around.

Okay, cheesy jokes aside, starts of with a pretentious Intro, you rarely see that in the teen pop genre. After the Radiohead through the mind of a teenage girl starter, it’s time to rock with I Want To. Luckily the song doesn’t feature the annoying nasal singing from Hanging On but Kimball’s voice still sounds inexperienced here. One Original Thing (I won't point out the irony of someone who’s selling her album via a reality show wanting “One original thing”) is bouncy and will most like emanate from Middle Schools around the country by Halloween. At least that’s better then hearing under-aged girls constantly singing the cursed-filled like last summer.

Unfortunately throughout the album, nasal voice comes and goes which is really downer like on Good Go Bad and Everything. But when it comes down to it, The Day Has Come is music for those who liked ’s first album, but thought the second one was too edgy especially when Kimball sings the power pop Hello Goodbye. Cheyenne tries to get her on for the more sensitive songs These Four Walls and Full Circle but the former is plagued by the dreaded nasal voice during the chorus and she still can’t avoid sounding her age.

One thing Kimball has going for her is that she surrounded herself with a decent group of musicians who elevate some poor songs to actually listenable unlike say Ashlee Simpson whose backing band plays just about as good as she sings (yes, I’m trying to break the most Ashlee Simpson digs in a post). Maybe after she’s put a few more years behind her Kimball will have enough life experiences to put together to write enough songs and grow out of, or at least learn to avoid using her nasal voice. But then again, eventually did the same thing and look what happened to them.

Song to Download - I Want To

The Day Has Come gets a Terror Alert Level: Guarded [BLUE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

R.I.P. Syd Barrett

Shine On You Crazy Diamond.

For more on the life and death of Syd Barrett, check out this article on

Monday, July 10, 2006

Lost Impressions - Chappelle’s Show

Last week during the review of the new Johnny Cash (see He Said “John Go Do My Will”) album I mentioned how it’s a touch subject releasing an album posthumously because you don’t really know if that is how the artist wanted you to hear the songs like that. Chappelle’s Show: The Lost Episodes get a little touchier because Dave Chappelle is still around and very adamant that Comedy Central not air the episodes that were to comprise of skits for the third season of his show before he shut down production an bolted for Africa.

But not to miss a way to milked their cash cow even after it dried up, the channel decided to package those skits together anyways with help from Chappelle’s former writing partner and friend Neil Brennan. Also on board are to take over hosting duties are Charlie Murphy and Donnell “I’m Rich biooootch” Rawlings. And the two were quick to explain why they would sell out their former employer, money and more camera time. I really don’t understand why they didn’t give Charlie Murphy his own show after Chappelle bolted because his True Hollywood Stories were the best skits plus there’s the whole legacy thing too. But anyways.

As for the skits, naturally they dealt with his recent enlarged bank account. The first one went long by the time he went to the IRS man. Then the payback skit was great for the first two segments but lost steam by the time he got to the dude in the wheelchair. On the other hand, the return of the whiter Chuck Taylor had me on the floor laughing, but I have a feeling those who haven’t heard the unedited version of Bring the Pain by Method Man were left scratching their heads. The clunker of the night was the is still alive sketch, a joke I beat to death about eight years ago. For the record, I think he is hanging out in Hawaii with Biggie, Elvis, and my sources tell me Ken Lay just arrived. But I digress.

For year, cable stations have repeated their shows about ten times a week, thirty for MTV. But last night showed a disturbing recent trend of showing the same episode back to back. I really never understood this, especially Rescue Me where you run the risk of turning in too soon and seeing the ending first because the show routinely runs over. Back to , if my math is correct, there are only two more “Lost” episodes and hopefully they squeeze another Charlie Murphy True Hollywood Story because from last night’s sketches, maybe Chappelle was right in wanting to keep them in the vault considering it wasn’t the funniest thing I saw on television yesterday. Instead that award goes to this video below:

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Trust the Power in My Voice

Who I Am - Alice Peacock

In a measure of full disclosure, I have to admit that the only reason why I gave a listen to an album by is because the similarity to the name of a girl I went to high school with. When the next reunion comes around I may have to thank her because what I found on the Chicago native’s sophomore album, were extremely refreshing songs that could be put on whenever I need time to relax. As she states in the title track, “There’s nobody else quite like me in this Wonderland.”

With softer piano based songs, the inevitable comparisons to another soothing songstress, , are easily heard. But Peacock does have a slight edge to here due to what seems to be a bad breakup. She doesn’t get as angry as , but the bitterness can definitely still be heard especially on Taught Me Well where she tells a former flame, “I thank my lucky stars everyday I’m not your wife.” Ouch. There is also a since of sarcasm to the opener, Different from the Rest, a song again about a past boyfriend, this one a letter to one on his wedding day thinking back to the day, “You asked me if I could tell the truth, and I said I couldn’t, that I didn’t love you.”

But Who I Am isn’t solely songs from a bitter woman. Baby Come Back is a heart wrenching plea for another chance. On the happier side of the spectrum, Runaway Day is a whimsical romp and could be a great soundtrack to a picnic. Then there’s the romantic Finding My Way that could fit on any occasion with your special one.

Another bright spot on the album is that the musicianship is always on point. Even though it is always subtle, you can tell all the musicians came in at the top of their game. The drumming on Taught Me Well is almost a march setting it up to be a something you may want to listen to while walking after getting out a bad situation. The title track on the other hand has grandeur about it with its ebb and flow.

There is also musical diversity to the album. Even though most of the songs are piano based like the staccatos of Anyone but Me, new instruments are introduced throughout the album including and acoustic guitar, strings, and even a French Horn on the soothing Sunflower. This breaks up the monotony that are the downfall of similar albums and should give you plenty hours of relaxing time listening to Alice Peacock for years to come.

Song to Download - Who I Am

Who I Am gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.