For those who don't know who Jan Terri is, she's a woman from Chicago, Illinois who always wanted to be a music star. In spite of singing and making music videos since the early 90's, she never received any real attention until her videos started going epic on youtube. Because of her short and girthy frame, horrible singing skills, lack luster lyrical style, cheesy, canned instrumental accompaniment and impressively low production quality in both the audio and video realm, she's prime for epicosity. We've already covered Excuse My Christmas, Losing You and Get Down Goblin. There's a lot of wonderful brown that she has done, so I decided to blog them all out right here, right now. Hopefully there will be other's popping up as time goes on and I'd like to get these out of the way first. So buckle up, we're going to dive right into this.
It's a new year and I couldn't think of a better time to launch the new design of this website than on midnight January 1, 2012. I've been working on this site on and off the past few months, getting it exactly how I want it and, even though it's not 100% how I want it, it's already better than the old website. I wanted to build this site a little more facebook-centered; making it, considering everyone and their mother is on facebook these days, just that much easier for people to share the worst music the Internet affords us.
I remember back as a child, I grew up around a lot of musically enriched people. One person we knew had artwork in his house like freehand coal caricatures of jazz greats like Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong. He also had scores very much like this one. I always felt they were simply made for the artistic appeal; the use of the visual affects musical manuscripts, especially those of classical music, can include. I felt they weren't intended to be performed in any fashion but this piece, Faerie's Aire and Death Waltz (Page One & Page Two), appears to actually have a performance aspect to it.
It really is quite amazing. The silliness-for-silliness-sake style holds brilliance. This piece poses as a perfect example of how humor is a powerful vehicle for creativity.
Yes, this piece has actually been performed. How anyone could decipher anything playable out of the dynamic range, madcap time signatures, the endless string of pauses and other almost random - in many cases made up - artifacts boggles the mind. In the very least, it's far beyond my musical ability. Nonetheless, here's one example I found on YouTube. Musicians dressed up in silly costumes, big joke glasses and cow outfits. Every command placed on a cue card and, in most cases, acted out as a visual performance. One can only guess if this specific performance comes close to the composer's envision. The sheet music indicates everything was "arranged by accident" so maybe even he doesn't know.
Ellie Matt is a talented calypso artist who greatly illustrates with this song the feeling of love and pride most every Kittitian has for their homeland. I'm sure it's fair to say this song also makes everyone who moved elsewhere homesick. It sure as hell makes me want to venture back for another visit.
SPIN magazine recently released a free compilation album of covers for every track on Nirvana's Nevermind album to commemorate the 20th anniversary of its release. This compilation is a celebration of the legacy Nirvana created and the effect they had on popular music. The day it was released on their facebook page, I was giddy, couldn't download it quick enough. Since I was a pre-teen in the early 90's, I've always been a huge Nirvana fan. Like many other's my age, I wore my Incesticide t-shirt until eventually it evaporated in the wash.
Lot of the chatter I've been hearing have been mixed. There are those who are so rigged, the very idea of anyone doing a cover of any Nirvana song is unforgivable. I personally don't have that pretentious stick driven as far up my ass. After all, this is Nirvana we're talking about; the brainchild of Kurt Cobain. He had a great love for music, all music. He also loved covers, so I believe from the bottom of my heart he would have felt honored by this compilation.
I've listened to this album from start to end several times over the past few days. I feel it's not a perfect compilation but SPIN has done a pretty damn good job; for starters, you won't find Miley Cyrus' cover of 'Smells like Teen Spirit' on this disk.
Inspirational Bands get Involved.
I was pleased to see the Meat Puppets and The Vaselines on this album. Kurt had a large admiration for both of these bands and even covered some of their songs on the MTV Unplugged session. Them covering a couple tracks is completely natural and in the best taste.
Yeah I know, what a shocker!
Ever since the Grammy Awards, there's been a lot of chatter about Lady Gaga grabbing the melody from somewhere; From where and whom, was up for grabs. Recently more has hit the net about Lady Gaga hacking her song Born This Way, but this time from the French singer/songwriter Mylène Farmer's 1986 hit, Libertine.
Someone posted a mashup comparison on YouTube. You be the judge.
This is a pretty obscure artists/song, at least in this country. I suspect if we look a little deeper at her other songs, it'll turn out the majority of them were rehashed from, I would guess, 1980s Euro-Pop.
I really can't be the first person to make the observation that Lady Gaga is beginning to look very much like Marilyn Manson. I watched Monday's Tonight Show this evening on Hulu and I couldn't help but find this striking resemblance.
It seems perfectly suitable for me to bring this up, even giving I try to concentrate on the musical aspects of pop-culture; but when an "artist" - and I use that word lightly in this case - cares more about her image in pop-culture than the music she puts on a CD, fashion becomes, forces itself, as being just as relevant to the medium as her music itself. As asinine this concept may be, this has been very much the case for the past 30 years. We've seen it start in the 80's with such debacles as The Culture Club and Madonna. Speaking of which, Lady Gaga is nothing more than a rehash between them. Or more specifically stated: Lady Gaga is the inbred child between Madonna and Marilyn Manson with a little "man glitter" sprinkled on top contributed from Boy George.
Since I brought up Madonna, my wife mentioned how the song Lady Gaga performed - Born This Way - at the Grammy Awards sounded to be ripped off from Madonna. I had to look back myself for I completely slept through the Grammy Awards. The Hollywood Gossip makes a pretty good case on how it sounds very much like Madonna's 1989 hit Express Yourself. Given how they both work from the same genre, "Shock Pop", it only seems reasonable to me their songs, after a while, would begin to sound very much the same. As easy as it would be to rag on her about this, 1. she doesn't hold the musical credibility for this to hurt her image and 2. I actually wouldn't expect any less from her.
Earlier this evening I tweeted how this time a year from now, Lady Gaga would look virtually identical to Marilyn Manson. The thought of Lady Gaga is bad enough and Lady Gaga taking her styling cues from Marilyn Manson is even worse; Now, imagine Lady Gaga as a dead ringer for Marilyn Manson while wearing her meat dress.
Don't rack your brain on that. I've gone ahead and photoshopped it for you.
"I'm a free bitch baby"
Recently TMZ reported the Smashing Pumpkins' bassist D'arcy Wretzky was arrested for "failure to appear in court". The charges are nothing that would rune anyone's life; Lindsay Lohan gets in more trouble on her way home from church.
What caught my attention was her mug shot.
Here's a then & now:
Seeing things like this is what makes me feel old. I know mugshots don't exactly shine the best light, doesn't do one justice, but seeing this side-by-side reminds me of all the meth addict progression shots we've all been shown in high school; a real mellon collie and the infinite sadness, so to speak.
She now lives on a farm in Michigan not concerning herself too much with the public life she lived while with the Pumpkins. As long as she can keep her horses in line, sounds like a honorable life. After all, it beats the alternative.
If you're in your 30's and didn't have too much fun in the decade, like me you'd remember the 90's quite well. This video reminded me a big part of the early to mid-90's. I remember very well how all of society's problems seem to be blamed on pop-culture; and done so very haphazardly.
Take this example: This is a story from a small TV affiliate 5 o-clock news in Baltimore, Maryland. I'm guessing this is from around 91/92. They were doing a story on a string of arsons in the city. Very amazingly they open talking about the rash of fires but the story seems to be more about the song from MC 900 Ft. Jesus, "The City Sleeps".
Komar & Melamid is an artistic group who set forth a goal of creating the most and least desirable music. With the aid of composer Dave Soldier and a survey of approximately 500 individuals, that's exactly what they did. These pieces were created in 1995 but I still find them sociologically fascinating.
Let's start with the "Most Unwanted Song"
This is a 22 minute long piece which seems incredibly random in nature. They included instruments such as bagpipes, harps, a tuba, banjo and other instruments they found in their survey to be the least desirable / most hated.
The song is segmented into seemingly numberless minute to two minute sections each including elements that causes a very uncomfortable chill to go up one's spine; much like fingernails on a chalkboard. They constructed these sections to seem completely random and awkward and this very act creates an entire other level of mind-numbingly repetitive monotonousness.
This could almost pass as a funny song with, among other asinine things, the inclusion of an Operatic rapper, children yelling political terms, slogans, names, brand names, random words and the hook that keeps coming up every few minutes, "Do all your shopping at Wal-Mart!" But of course this is all on the basis people hate to hear kids in songs, especially as a marketing ploy or for political gain. Yeah, I agree.
The Opera rapper singing 'how great it is out on the range' reminds me of Klaus Nomi. I honestly can expect to see this rapping style hit the mainstream in the not-to-distant-future.
These guys did a pretty damn good job making a song that's terrifying to listen too. I feel however, they missed a few things:
- They didn't address out-of-tune instruments. That may be the main reason people hate bagpipes and banjos; they're instruments that naturally sound sharp.
- There was no unnecessarily vulgar lyrics which we find in many examples I've given on this website.
- Outside of the kids singing, they didn't seem to really cover bad singing. On top of that, I would hope if they did this study today, they would splatter auto-tune all over the song.