A Song for Tonight

Remember when Sting wasn’t a pretentious douchebag and the Police really rocked? Zenyetta Mondatta, Synchronicity, Regatta de Blanc, etc. Every song on Synchronicity was good- IS ANYBODY ALIVE IN HERE, IS ANYONE AT ALL IN HERE? NOBODY BUT US IN HERE, NOBODY BUT US! No. And don’t get me started on that damned Mrs. Gradenko. They were great.

When I go to the grocery and see the tabloids, I don’t know who most of the people on the cover are, but the ones I recognize are universally awful people with no talent, whether it be the Kardashian filth or the Jersey Shore cast or that idiot Katy Perry or the Belieber, but I really do feel sad for the kids these days. I’ll take the Cars and Zeppelin and the Police and Van Halen and all of the music from my day over these idiots.

I’ll just leave you with that, because I forgot my metamucil and beta blocker with an 81 mg aspirin and I need to light another candle for my essential oils. Plus I think those god damned kids are on my grass again. Will someone remember to crank the victrola so I can fall asleep to music?

126 replies
  1. 1
    MikeJ says:

    I love that song, but every time I hear it I have to dig out the T.A.M.I. show. same tape I’ve had for years.

  2. 2
    Katie5 says:

    I’m watching a news report on how seeing eye dogs are now also serving autistic children. The dogs are excellent at calming the children down. A wonderful story.

  3. 3
    👽 Martin says:

    Just think, some day you’ll find that mustard and will have forgotten you ever lost it.

  4. 4
    Comrade Mary says:

    I just read this 2000 interview with the Police on the weekend. It is freakin’ HILARIOUS.

    Copeland: Time for another of my annoying Sting stories. We’re on tour in Japan, and Sting buys a saxophone and one of those tune-a-day instructional booklets. Every night in the dressing room he’s going “bluh, bluh, bluh,” until he can finally play ‘Tequila’. Cut to a mere three months later, and we’re at Air Studios in Montserrat for the first time, starting this new album and Sting is playing all these layered brass parts like a f***ing one-man Tower of Power.

    Summers: And your point, Stewart?

    Copeland: He should’ve been drowned at birth, I believe is my point.

  5. 5
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    I don’t know why you feel the need to act defensive about it. Today’s pop music does suck. It sucks to high heaven. I’m half your age and I think that. I wish a band as good and smart as the Police could top the charts today.

  6. 6
    ellie says:

    Yes! I love The Police! I saw them twice back in the early ’80s. Once in Detroit and once in Louisville. I think Ghost in the Machine is their best album, but that’s just me.

  7. 7
    SatanicPanic says:

    There’s plenty of good music right now. But it’s OK man, you’re getting old, it happens to everyone.

  8. 8
    MikeJ says:

    @ellie: I saw them in St Louis on Ghost in the Machine with Joan Jett opening and in Memphis on Synchronicity with Re-flex opening. (The politics of mmmmm feeling good.)

    For the second show this really cute girl (and sister of a friend) I sort of fancied insisted on going with me and my girlfriend and she got huffy and left halfway through.

  9. 9
    kc says:

    I kinda like Katy Perry. You old fart.

  10. 10
    👽 Martin says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    Today’s pop music does suck.

    No more than it sucked in the 70s and 80s. For every Katy Perry today there was an REO Speedwagon in the 80s. And I’ll take your Police (who I love) and raise you an Adele – who probably had no equal in the 80s. You might be able to talk me into Whitney Houston. But it’d take work.

  11. 11
    👽 Martin says:

    Unfortunately in the 80s I blew most of my concert budget on Duran Duran for the sake of my girlfriend. Amazing what you’ll tolerate for a hot girl that puts out.

  12. 12
    Lord Baldrick says:

    Police were ok, but could never really measure up to Tom Monroe:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxpmu4v9IyM

  13. 13
    Djur says:

    @👽 Martin: Bah. Adele is more like Celine Dion.

  14. 14
    Alison says:

    @Djur: What is this I don’t even.

  15. 15
    SatanicPanic says:

    @👽 Martin: Neither really made music that I like, but if I had to choose I’d go with Whitney, if only because when I first heard Adele I thought- that’s cool, but she’s got to be wrecking her voice that way. Which turned out to be true.

    But to your broader point- no decade has ever produced as much crappy music as the 80s. It’s not even a contest. The 80s are the Michael Jordan of awful music decades.

  16. 16
    LanceThruster says:

    Not a fan of Zep or VH much at all, but was bummed they ran out of cheap Stones seats this morning and I can’t afford the premium priced ones. This may be the end of my streak of every US tour since ’75.

    (definitely a 1st world problem)

    So it goes.

  17. 17
    MikeJ says:

    @👽 Martin:

    Unfortunately in the 80s I blew most of my concert budget on Duran Duran for the sake of my girlfriend. Amazing what you’ll tolerate for a hot girl that puts out.

    One summer I saw INXS opening for the Go-Gos, Howard Jones and Eurythmics, and Nick Lowe opening for Elvis. I had already seen Alex Chilton a half dozen times by then, but those were just club shows.

    Then I went to college and saw the dBs open for REM. And you know that Juliana Hatfield song about the Violent Femmes and the Del Fuegos? Saw them at the Blue Note in Hohumbia.

  18. 18
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    I guess I’m really old. I saw the Police in a small club that wasn’t quite sold out. They were wonderful, of course, but kind of new. That was the same place I saw Stevie Ray Vaughn, when he didn’t sell out either.

  19. 19
    Cain says:

    @👽 Martin:

    That said, I’ve listened to Duran Duran and you know it’s not bad. It’s like Justin Bieber who is manufacturered doesn’t actually play an instrument or anything. Sure, he’s a artist, and I’m not denying he doesn’t work hard since it takes a lot of work to put on those shows…

    But honestly, I really like when a set of musicians are on stage and they are playing their heart out and you have this reciprocal energy between the audience and the band. It’s great.

    Even Michael Jackson would let one of his band folks get up front and kick it.

  20. 20
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Djur: I think Bruno Mars might be Celine Dion. Adele is Sade. I could explain that, but it’s late and I’d rather discuss Justin Biebers “Anne Frank would have been my fan” foofaw. I think he might be one of the funniest performance artists working. He’s now just playing the role of the narcissistic pop star on his own level. I don’t think there was an 80s equivalent.

  21. 21
    👽 Martin says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    He’s now just playing the role of the narcissistic pop star on his own level. I don’t think there was an 80s equivalent.

    Prince?

  22. 22
    master c says:

    @SatanicPanic: thanks SP, you said it.
    John-that’s great shit no doubt. I am loving a wide variety of things of new and old:
    Bruno Mars, Belle and Sebastian, Lady Gaga, Wilco, Neil Finn, Avett Brothers-I am also a Belieber and Im going to see Elton John next week at Caesars. Ive seen all these guys live in the last few years. It’s still happening. Okay, so some are because I have teenagers-but they were all really great!

  23. 23
    artem1s says:

    OK, since this is the ‘rip on pop music’ thread, I’m gonna plug the WRUW FM 91.1 Cleveland telethon. Great college radio; student and community run. More Music, Fewer Hits.

    We just finished up on Sunday but the donation line will be up thru June or so. The link to donate is on the front page.

    http://www.wruw.org/

    And for those of you out the range of our 15K Watt transmitter, you can stream live or download the program of your choice. Been involved for more than a year now and have to say its one of the better run volunteer organizations I have ever worked with. If you are so inclined to support alternative radio, it will be greatly appreciated.

  24. 24
    ellie says:

    @MikeJ: Joan Jett opened for them in Detroit and she was roundly booed. Detroiters are tough.

  25. 25
    Alison says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): The best is seeing those bands after they get big and famous play in a small club. Take that over an arena show any damn day.

  26. 26
    Another Halocene Human says:

    I need some advice. Trying to help a formerly helpless autistic kid in town. She is too messy and is getting kicked out of the only housing she can afford. She is marginally employed and could be described as high-functioning Asperger’s but is not great on life skills. She STILL doesn’t have her MN birth certificate despite TWO requests (with filing fee!), so can’t get any social services in Florida.

    What should I do? My wife is really stressed about money and doesn’t want to give her any more. She’s afraid ‘real’ housing will mean $1000 in upfront costs.

  27. 27
    Punchy says:

    OT, but more snow (a foot?) in the Plains this week? Who the fuck shat in God’s Wheaties?

  28. 28
    Violet says:

    The Police had me at “Roxanne”. Still love them, even though Sting is a pretentious douchebag. @MikeJ:

    saw the dBs open for REM

    The dB’s were awesome. Saw them more than once. Small venue. Tons of fun.

  29. 29
    max says:

    I’ll just leave you with that, because I forgot my metamucil and beta blocker with an 81 mg aspirin and I need to light another candle for my essential oils.

    John Cole: a stereotype trying to evolve into a satire.

    max
    [‘It’s like one of those Darwinian ape-into-upright man pictures.’]

  30. 30
    Violet says:

    @Another Halocene Human: Does the kid have any family who can help cover the costs for a month or to get her settled or something? You’re a good person to be helping her.

  31. 31
    MikeJ says:

    @Violet: I saw them at Wash U in St. Louis aty the REM show, at the Blue Note in Columbia a couple of times, and I think at the Antenna in Memphis. I know I saw Chris Stamey open for 10k Maniacs at the Channel in Boston, but he’d already left at that point.

    You should search online for shows by The H-Bombs, Peter Holsapple with Mitch Easter. A bit before my time to see live, but the recordings are good.

  32. 32
    RedwoodGirl says:

    The Police were my first concert; it was the Synchronicity tour, somewhere around 1983 or 1984, in Champaign IL. Loved it. Right about that same time my friends and I were listening to Violent Femmes’ first album because one of us had met one of the band-members on a trip to Milwaukee and he’d gotten an early tape. In early 1985 in my last year of high school I was just finding REM’s Reckoning and U2’s War. The 80s were NOT terrible music. Every decade since has been a music fucking desert though.

  33. 33
    angelfoot says:

    @Cain:

    Justin Bieber is actually a pretty good on a trap kit.

    There’s lotsa good stuff out there, just not on top 40 radio. But tonight it’s Dylan Live in 1964.

  34. 34
    SatanicPanic says:

    @master c: Having a elementary school son really forced me to listen to pop radio, and yeah, there’s some crap, but a lot of it pretty good. I know he’s kind of a putz, but I really like that Lupe Fiasco song Battle Scars. I like Kesha. Drake can be good. There’s some good rock and roll bands like the Black Lips, or the Black Keys. I see lots of good bands locally.

  35. 35
    GregB says:

    I saw them at what was then Sullivan Stadium, now Gillette Stadium in Foxborough.

    The opening act was The Fixx, then A Flock of Seagulls and then The Police.

    They came out to this tune.

    I bought a cheesy bootleg sleeveless Police t-shirt and wore it until it fell apart.

  36. 36
    Hal says:

    I’ve often wondered if Anne Frank would be a belieber.

  37. 37
    Billy K. says:

    Police were amazing once. Disagree about Synchronicity, though – I think that’s where the pretentiousness began. Outlandos D’Amour was a killer piece of progressive punk “fuck you.” Regatta de Blanc was the natural pop evolution of that record. Zenyatta Mondatta was their greatest offering, with a perfect balance of punk energy and pop sensibility, with a greatly expanded musical worldview peppered in. Ghost in the Machine was good, but weird. And then, they were done.

    .02

  38. 38
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @👽 Martin:

    See, I actually like a lot of the bands other people point to as the reason 70’s/80’s pop music sucked. Journey, Styx, Asia, and so forth. You cannot, will not convince me that they are no better than Katy frickin’ Perry.

  39. 39
    Ripley says:

    Go to bed old man.

  40. 40
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    I think that’s this era’s greatest musical achievement, by the way: agreeing to pretend that the day’s pop stars aren’t really crappy, they’re just pretending to be, because it’s ironic or subversive or whatever. Did Donny Osmond get this kind of fluff?

    For a while I thought it was amazing that he could be one of the biggest selling artists in the world and I couldn’t name a single song of his (probably means I’m getting old), but then I heard one on the bus and was suddenly glad I didn’t seek them out. Occam’s razor would suggest that he’s a no-talent prefab teenybopper, not a brilliant performance artist, but that’s just me.

  41. 41
    GxB says:

    @Comrade Mary: Can’t get enough of Stu and Andy’s “Gordon is a douche” stories.

    The problem with the ’80’s was that most all of the good ’70’s acts went to shit (Cars, Heart, post-Buckingham Fleetwood Mac just for starters.) But even then (and I’d suppose now – not listening much anymore) there was some good. SRV, Jane’s Addiction, RHCP finally got out of the garage, and [grudgingly] Sting’s solo stuff… uhm… well… I’m sure there were others.

    @ellie: Maybe they hate themselves for lovin’ her?

  42. 42
    OldBean says:

    @Punchy:

    Who the fuck shat in God’s Wheaties?

    Do I have to say it? WE DID.

  43. 43
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Crappy pop songs are like nasty salted snacks; you hate yourself for enjoying them, but every now and then they’re so right.

    There’s such a lot of good ways to be bad
    Humble Pie – 79th and Sunset

  44. 44
    handy says:

    Remember when Sting wasn’t a pretentious douchebag and the Police really rocked?

    I remember seeing interviews where he and Copeland looked like they were about to beat the living crap out of each other. That kind of tension drove the band to split but probably also fueled a lot of productive creativity. I doubt, for instance, working with Cheb Mami gave Mr. Sumner that kind of juice.

    The 80s gets crapped on for a lot of the production trends that just didn’t age well. The overwrought reverb on the vocals, the wussified electronic drums, the goofy hand clap sound, all that. But let’s not forget a lot of great stuff that also came out in that decade: REM, U2 (pre-Joshua Tree), the Pixies, the Fall, Joy Division, Echo and the Bunnymen, the Replacements, Husker Du, Chameleons, Cocteau Twins, even the gimmick bands like the English Beat and the Specials.

    I hear the influences of these bands in a lot of stuff nowadays. Just one example comes to mind.

  45. 45
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    OK, since everyone always tells me there’s ‘good stuff out there’, I’m going to ask for recommendations. I’m an unreconstructed fan of 80’s/90’s prog rock-yes, the stuff from after when even the few people who like prog rock think it all went to crap. I think Marillion is the best band to ever exist, with Spock’s Beard and IQ close seconds. My ideal song would be 7 minutes long and have a synth string solo in the middle. I think albums like Big Generator and The Broadsword and the Beast are severely underrated.

    Who the hell is making music like that these days? If you know, tell me.

  46. 46
    Petorado says:

    IF you listen to corporate radio or keep up on pop culture through the MSM, yeah, it looks pretty bleak out there. But kids these days broadcast to themselves through social media and tap into whole universes of music unknown to the rest through Soundcloud, Grooveshark, and Pandora. Music’s alive and kicking, you just have to tap into the right veins.

    @artem1s:

    Lots of good memories of listening to WRUW. Back in the day they had a reggae show called “Under the Mango Tree’ that was a great education in roots reggae and early dub. Found out about Aswad, Black Uhuru, Yellowman, and a ton of other greats there. Keep it up!

  47. 47
    SatanicPanic says:

    @handy:

    The 80s gets crapped on for a lot of the production trends that just didn’t age well.

    That’s the heart of it. The songs were no better or worse than any other era, it was the production that kills them for me. There was basically no knob on the EQ besides treble. AND the rap from the era was also really primitive. Rap didn’t really get good until the late 80’s.

  48. 48
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @👽 Martin: I too was dragged to a Duran Duran concert by my girlfriend, my motivation was much the same. However, I dragged her to a Kinks concert, so even.

  49. 49
    angelfoot says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    Porcupine Tree if you are into prog rock.

  50. 50
    mark says:

    I fucking love that song. Thanks

  51. 51
    ruemara says:

    Dude, I’m still mourning the loss of WLIR.

  52. 52
    GxB says:

    Which reminds me, FSM help us all, I heard Skrillex in a commercial this past weekend. One of the few modern acts I’m vaguely aware of.

  53. 53
    👽 Martin says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: Well, I like a lot of those 70s/80s bands as well. I like Katy Perry too. But I won’t pretend that either category advanced music in any meaningful way, nor will I pretend that either category will be looked back at as examples of exceptional songwriting, singing, or performing in general.

    Nothing wrong with just being entertaining. Katy Perry is good at that. Fun. is good at that. Duran Duran were good at that. They sell/sold lots of records, but they largely follow the genre – they’re not doing anything terribly risky/innovative. So if we’re looking at who is raising the bar on music – that’s a different category of artist. That’s Radiohead, or Soundgarden, or Bruce, or Michael Jackson.

  54. 54
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @angelfoot:

    Love ’em, although they can get a bit dark lyrically for me. They’re contemporaneous with the groups I mentioned-did some great stuff in the 90’s and still plugging away today.

    The thing about being a prog fan (and it’s both good and bad, honestly) is that the ‘new’ groups are often 20-25 years old. Part of what makes me like it is that it’s pretty slow-moving: everyone doesn’t hop on the newest trends all the time, they make the music they want to for the most part.

  55. 55
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Violet: Family. Ha ha ha. She was removed from her father’s home and was kicked out of the mother’s home. She was a minor and pressured into not reporting her mother to child services (because her mother guilted her that her younger siblings would end up in foster care) so she entered an informal foster relationship. She went to a special high school for kids with Asperger’s (not sure that was the best choice for her, but Aspie kids often get booted out of regular school in high school), then went to college on scholarship but had a crisis involving major depression and flunked out. After that, a period of homelessness and couch surfing.

    She is afraid to even let her siblings know where she is in case they tell her father where she is.

  56. 56
    scav says:

    @RedwoodGirl: Aah, the year I lucked out, people bought me tickets and dragged me along. Synchronicity in Paris, but far more importantly, Dire Straits.

  57. 57
    Punchy says:

    @SatanicPanic: Straight Outta Compton, 1988….

  58. 58
    Another Halocene Human says:

    I’ve basically tried everything I can think of, my wife is having a stress-related meltdown, and I’m lost. I think this kid needs to live in a group home but … it’s Florida. And no BIRF SERTIFIKATE!?!

    Is there anybody in the Great State of Minnesota who might be able to clue us in as to why we can’t get this document? It would solve a shit-ton of problems.

  59. 59
    angelfoot says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: Have you listened to any Efterklang or Deerhunter/Atlas Sound? It is all a bit dark, bordering on Goth, and not so guitarcentric, but I like what I’ve heard.

  60. 60
    RobertDSC-eMac 1.25 says:

    Still comfortable with Metallica after all these years. They’re my favorite band of all time.

  61. 61
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    I know this is a dumb question, but have you called the department in Minnesota to ask what the hell is going on? If nothing else, they need to refund the filing fee (assuming you have proof of payment and can show that the check(s) were cashed and not just lost).

  62. 62
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Punchy: That and 3 Feet High and Rising are the only rap albums from before 1990 that I really listen to regularly.

  63. 63
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Another Halocene Human:
    Have you tried calling the County Registrar/Recorder in the county where she was born?

  64. 64
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @angelfoot:

    Never heard of any of them. I’ll take a look.

    I’ve actually been drifting more towards electronics and away from guitars recently. Enigma is a band I found that I really like. And M83 is one of the few modern bands that I think is truly great.

  65. 65
    PanurgeATL says:

    No way is REO bad. They’re actually kind of OK, and that’s precisely what people who don’t like them don’t like about them, especially in the wake of classic rock–to the point where a basic tenet of the post-punk hip consensus has been “Better bad (or, if you want, “three minutes of goofy fun pop”) than bland”. Call it the I Hurt Myself Today theory.

  66. 66
    Suffern ACE says:

    Ok. So I’m browsing around looking for prog rock for Spaghetti Lee and I get lost. Waaaay lost. But does anyone know what language this is? Finnish? Polish? Czech?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....038;sns=em

  67. 67
    👽 Martin says:

    @GxB:

    The problem with the ’80′s was that most all of the good ’70′s acts went to shit

    Most of the the good 70s acts fucking died, or nearly did. 1978 Keith Moon dies – and that just sucked the air out of many of the rest of the artists of the time. Plus the 80s were a politically shitty time for rock music. Reagan and Thatcher and AIDS and the rise of wall street. All of the great stuff of the 70s just didn’t make sense in that setting – and the guys that ruled that period were hitting middle age – they were the generation of guys that fucking gave us Reagan and Thatcher, so fuck them!

    Far and away the best and most influential music out of the 80s were Run-D.M.C., Public Enemy, Afrika Bambaataa, the whole rise of hip-hop. That was huge. That was the response to the 80s politics. That’s where all the energy went until Soundgarden and Nirvana.

  68. 68
    scav says:

    @Suffern ACE: looking Polish to me. certainly they’ve got that slashed l.

  69. 69
    Juju says:

    @👽 Martin: Annie Lennox.

  70. 70
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @👽 Martin:

    I don’t remember it, but I think Bon Scott, John Bonham, Ian Curtis, Bob Marley, and John Lennon all died over like a 7 month period in 1980-81. That is one good thing about the stars today, I’ll admit: they don’t die young, mostly.

  71. 71
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: Yeah, and they no talky over the telephooney because argle bargle identity theft.

    Quite frankly, we’re not sure we’ve sent the forms to the correct county and they do NOT send back a response saying “not found”.

    I’m starting to think I need an ally in MN. Does anybody know autism resource centers or such in MN? My wife knows some lawyers and we have another friend with Asperger’s there, if maybe we could get an affidavit sent so they would talk to an agent in MN? Or a lawyer? Would they talk to a lawyer?

    She totally tried calling the county first and hit a brick wall.

  72. 72
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Juju:

    @👽 Martin: Annie Lennox.

    Well, you beat me to one example. I’ll add Alison Moyet and Tracey Thorn.

  73. 73
    PanurgeATL says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Madonna? I always thought she was a post-Warhol “postmodern” version of the Pop Star Diva to begin with. Just goes to show that after 30 years, deep down we’re still trapped in the ’80s.

    Personally, I wanted to like the ’80s, but the underpinnings were so shaky. And then instead of “putting the foundations under them” (thanx, Henry), the pop culture machine took away the ’80s doohickeys and put up new, more “real”, “honest” and “authentic” doohickeys and called that “substance”. Cheap, feel-good music was replaced by cheap, feel-bad music.

    Well, OK, it’s not nearly that simple, of course, but it’s closer to the truth than many may think. FWIW, if I have to listen to cheap music, at least let me feel good.

  74. 74
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Mnemosyne: The first fee was paid by a local church. I don’t know if the check was cashed. Then she sent the second form using a credit card. It was never charged.

  75. 75
    dewzke says:

    Best Cole Post Ever.

  76. 76
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @👽 Martin:

    Also, one of my favorite artists is Derek Dick, aka Fish, who was a prog guy in the mid 80’s after prog fell apart. He did some great fuck-you-capitalism, fuck-you-Thatcher songs (He was from a Scottish working-class family, so obviously not Mrs. T.’s biggest fan). I recommend White Russian, Internal Exile, Credo, The Emperor’s Song and the whole Vigil album. Doesn’t namecheck people/events for the most part, but you can obviously tell who he’s mad at.

  77. 77
    Another Halocene Human says:

    Do you think her mother could be bluffed into turning over the original birth certificate? Like, an internet lawyer thing? Even a fucking copy would give us enough info to get a duplicate, I suppose.

  78. 78
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Another Halocene Human: so it’s possible that she remembers where she lived as a child but not where she was born?

  79. 79
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    Here’s the appropriate website for Minnesota:
    http://www.health.state.mn.us/.....birth.html

    I would try to help her get the form notarized and then fax it rather than mailing it — I’m guessing the one she sent never got to its destination for whatever reason. If you don’t have a fax machine, there should be a FedEx/Kinko’s or other copy store in town that will fax things for a $1-$2 fee.

  80. 80
    PanurgeATL says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    Annie is a better singer than Adele. It took me years to realize that, since hearing “Sweet Dreams” was so emotionally scarring. (I first heard it with the video, no less.) Adele strikes me as a sort of Stevie Ray Vaughn of vocals; I’m not sure either one of them could deal with some actual changes.

  81. 81
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Yikes, good question. Is it possible that she’s wrong about what state she was born in? Apparently she still should have received a “certificate of no record found” from Minnesota, though.

  82. 82
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Juju: Annie Lennox is a lot like P!NK. Very well regarded albums, a few hits, but then dropped from lists so people can complain how bad the popular music of the era is.

  83. 83
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    Quite frankly, we’re not sure we’ve sent the forms to the correct county and they do NOT send back a response saying “not found”.

    According to the state’s website I linked, they’re supposed to send a confirmation if they don’t find anything. Are you sure you talked to the right person?

    ETA: It looks like Minnesota may handle birth certificates on the state level, not the county level. Call the phone number at the bottom of the website and see if you get a better answer.

  84. 84
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    You might try the Archives site.

    At least you could zero in on where and when.

  85. 85
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Mnemosyne: happens a lot. One of the things that happens when people have kids is they move to a place to accommodate them. If that involves moving across a border, a person might not realize that where they remember being as a child isn’t where the birth certificate is. I wonder if social security would know that.

  86. 86
    Bucky Reynolds says:

    I totally agree with you, but I would add Dance Moms (child abuse celebrated), all of the Housewives, etc.

    Agree on your music too, but would add Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, O’Jays, Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes, MFSB, Rolling Stones, Pointer Sisters, Tempations, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Syreeta, Isacc Hayes and so many more great R&B artisits.

  87. 87
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @👽 Martin:

    Far and away the best and most influential music out of the 80s were Run-D.M.C., Public Enemy, Afrika Bambaataa, the whole rise of hip-hop. That was huge. That was the response to the 80s politics. That’s where all the energy went until Soundgarden and Nirvana.

    First: Yeah, well, ya know that’s just, like, uh, your opinion, man.

    I’d track back a bit on the things you list, and point out Grandmaster Flash, the influence of Rick Rubin…And in non-hip hop, R.E.M., Sonic Youth, The Pixies, The Minutemen, The Replacements, some of whom passed on a musical influence, others that- like The Velvet Underground a generation earlier- inspired kids to make music their own way.

  88. 88
    coin operated says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:
    I recently ran into a great internet radio station on iTunes called progman (laut.fm/progman) that is introducing me to a world of great new prog. Give it a listen…might be what you are looking for.

  89. 89

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): a couple more bands: Black Flag and Metallica have been hugely influential.

  90. 90
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @PanurgeATL:

    Annie has more range and more emotional depth than Adele, IMO.

    @Suffern ACE:

    Eurythmics ad three Platinum and two gold albums, and singles that charted at #1, #4, #5 and #14 in the US (they were bigger in Europe). That’s well beyond Pink.

  91. 91
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass:

    Well, I’ll agree with you on Metallica, but even though I still absolutely love Black Flag (Greg Ginn is the Ornette Coleman of rock/p-rock guitarists), I don’t think they’re that influential. Henry- in his role as spoken word artist and alt talking head- was influential to some degree, but not so much the band.

  92. 92
    Karen in SoCal says:

    @Another Halocene Human:
    Why don’t you try contacting your own local congressperson? They have staff people that are good at navigating the bureaucracies. Maybe they could help.

  93. 93
    👽 Martin says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): Granted. But the Pixies and a lot of the other grunge influencers never really caught on. The could influence artists, but not audiences. They never got that reach. We could go on endlessly pulling out talented artists that never achieved broad popular success, but who put the genre on Billboard? That was Soundgarden and Nirvana, and they pushed a LOT of bands that followed for the whole next decade – and were pretty damn good in their own right.

  94. 94
    Steve J. says:

    Remember when Sting wasn’t a pretentious douchebag and the Police really rocked?

    Who?

  95. 95

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): WRT Black Flag, I think they were more influential by their DIY attitude, and helping to push the rise of independent record labels than strictly musically influential. Greg Ginn also may be one of the biggest dicks in the history of punk rock.

  96. 96
    bartkid says:

    At times like this, I reach for John Cale, Sun Ra, and Fugazi.

    It`s after the end of the world. Don`t you know that yet.

    Fear is a man`s best friend.
    Wrong way up.

    Lights out for the cynical sharps.

  97. 97
    hamletta says:

    @Another Halocene Human: I’m a Lutheran parish administrator, and I’ve been reminded several times that the Parish Register is a legal document.

    Ain’t nobody in the Lutheran church business for the money these days (if they ever were), so we kind of look out for each other.

    Please, please email me at my parish Web site, first lutheran nashville. Go to the “Contact Us” page. A parish in the county might know how to pry those records loose.

  98. 98
    👽 Martin says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): Black Flag is considered to be highly influential to the early grunge bands. As much as the Pixies. It might seem like a stretch to connect the audiences of the two, but the artists were definitely all into them.

  99. 99
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @👽 Martin:

    But the Pixies and a lot of the other grunge influencers never really caught on. The could influence artists, but not audiences. They never got that reach.

    Which describes Afrika Bambaataa almost perfectly, no? The guy’s records didn’t even come close to selling 1/100K as much as his name gets dropped. I had some great music mentors back in the day (at which point I must now name Brad the Mad Lad and Doctor T), and I can still hear the guy’s influence because I was listening to him when he was the active cult hero that he was, but by your most current standard- could influence artists, but not audiences- I’d have to put him below The Pixies.

  100. 100
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass:

    I think they were more influential by their DIY attitude, and helping to push the rise of independent record labels than strictly musically influential.

    Maybe it’s the geography, but I tend to think first of Ian MacKaye & Jeff Nelson (Minor Threat, Dischord Records) when it comes to the DIY stuff. Yeah, I know SST came first, but…

    @👽 Martin:

    It might seem like a stretch to connect the audiences of the two, but the artists were definitely all into them.

    LOL! Not a stretch at all, since I (and many of my friends) were part of each audience. I just don’t hear any BF in grunge. Maybe it’s because the BF that speaks to me is the jazz-influenced stuff beginning with My War.

  101. 101
    Joel says:

    “Shape of My Heart” made an awesome backing track for Nas. So not all late Sting was bad.

  102. 102

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): The Dead Kennedys, of course, were another West Coast band in the whole DIY punk scene. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone who sound like them at all. They were miles better musicians than most all of the 80’s punk bands I can think of, too.

    ETA: I managed to see the DKs, Black Flag, and Suicidal Tendencies way back then at different shows.

  103. 103
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass: @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    Just flashed back to the mid-’80s, to a time when a friend of mine (I had replaced him as the heartthrob singing for a goofy hardcore band because his plate was too full once he decided to put himself on a very fast track to a PhD in chemistry) had a well-respected, sorta high-brow ‘zine. He would get scads of DIY records and tapes sent to him for review, and they were 95% boring sound-alike crap, 4% so-bad-they’re-good, and 1% that rated an honest C or better.

    That’s to say that if I was Greg Ginn, Ian MacKaye or Jeff Nelson, I wouldn’t exactly brag myself up as the guy who enabled that much garbage.

  104. 104
    👽 Martin says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    Which describes Afrika Bambaataa almost perfectly, no?

    True, though he coined the term ‘hip-hop’. But I grew up in NY, so I have a distorted sense of scale on NY artists. But point taken, Pixies and African Bambaataa have otherwise very similar reach and neither should be considered terribly influential with the public.

  105. 105
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass:

    Given a choice between being comped into a DKs or STs show and having rats gnaw at my sexy bits, I’d choose the latter. I ind the DKs shrill and artless (in no small part due to Eric), and STs meatheadedly artless.

    I think I saw BF six or seven times. Always stood in the same spot, right in front of Ginn. I probably got kicked by stage divers more than Henry did, and I got whacked in the melon by the head of Ginn’s Danelectro more times than I can remember. If I had to do it all again right this second, I would.

  106. 106
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @👽 Martin:

    Pixies and African Bambaataa have otherwise very similar reach and neither should be considered terribly influential with the public.

    Not directly, anyway.

    Here’s something old school or ya. All that scratchin’ is making me itch.

  107. 107

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): Of those three, live, I would rank Black Flag at the top, DK second, and Suicidal third. When I saw Black Flag, one of the opening bands was Ginn’s other project at the time, Gone. I only got to see each of them once. Some other weird punk bands I saw: GBH, English Dogs (who were pretending to be a Metal band, at the time), Verbal Abuse, the Dicks (playing with the DKs).

  108. 108
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass:

    Did you ever see The Big Boys? Thrash/funk/punk, great live.

    Also, too, Naked Raygun?

    ETA: uck the ucking “f” key on this laptop!

  109. 109

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): Don’t remember the Big Boys. They’ve got an early ska-punk KFJC sound to them. Naked Raygun I remember, though I don’t think I’ve see them.

    I saw a whole bunch of bands back then, and my mind is kind of hazy about who I saw.

  110. 110
  111. 111
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass:

    Naked Raygun probably didn’t get out to the west coast often. They’re a Chicago band (present tense ’cause I’ve heard they’re back together). They weren’t really classic American hardcore- you can hear a lot of earlier Brit-punk (a whole lot o the Buzzcocks) in ’em. FWIW, they were buddies with Steve Albini, and it’s easy or me to bop between NR and Big Black, even if NR is a fuck-ton more melodious.

  112. 112
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Why is Katy Perry an idiot?

    But yes, you’re right that music from the 80s is better than the current lot.

  113. 113
    orogeny says:

    There’s still good stuff being made, it just never makes the magazines or the radio. Check out Justin Townes Earle, the Wood Brothers, Todd Snider, Carsie Blanton, The Devil Makes Three, Gogol Bordello, the Subways,Black 47…

  114. 114
    Lavocat says:

    You make me laugh, you old shit. It’s the only reason I keep coming back for more.

    Want a great “new” band and a killer song?

    I was watching “Elementary” a month or so back and this AMAZING song was there.

    Go checkout “The Long Haul” by no.

    It sounds a bit like the Crash Test Dummies in the grungier days of old.

  115. 115
    AxelFoley says:

    @👽 Martin:

    No more than it sucked in the 70s and 80s. For every Katy Perry today there was an REO Speedwagon in the 80s. And I’ll take your Police (who I love) and raise you an Adele – who probably had no equal in the 80s. You might be able to talk me into Whitney Houston. But it’d take work.

    LOL, I like Adele, but Whitney blows her away. And that’s just Whitney. We’re not even mentioning the likes of Patti LaBelle, Chaka Khan, Mariah Carey, etc.

  116. 116
    Lavocat says:

    Besides, fuck the 80s.

    Gimme the 60s and 70s.

    Gimme Jimi. Gimme early Sabbath and Zep. Gimme an attitude with a beat.

  117. 117
    Morzer says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Polish.

    More of their music is here:

    http://www.cliver.pl/index.php?show=mint

  118. 118
    What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us? says:

    There’s really good music out there and the kids are listening to it. Bieber and Perry live primarily off tween listeners. Bet you listened to some pretty embarrasing shit at that age too. Check out what the high school and college kids are listening too and it’s a much different world. Just like in our day. You single out the worst, most vapid pop stars of any generation and you get a pretty bleak picture.

  119. 119
    What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us? says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): I think I still have some Naked Raygun on vinyl. Wonder if it’s worth anything.

  120. 120
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?: It is much more fun for some to tell the kids to get off their lawns.

  121. 121
    moderateindy says:

    @orogeny:
    Have to agree that there is a ton of great new music out there. Todd Snider is comparable to John Prine. Devil makes Three is superb. Love Trampled By Turtles. Avett Brothers are great, along with Low Anthem, and First Aid Kit. Jam Band scene is vibrant with the likes of Moe, and Railroad Earth. Check out JJ Grey and Mofro for a great rocking bluesy sound, and in the same vein Alabama Shakes.
    If you want a resource for great current indie music check out http://www.hearya.com/ and go to the live sessions tab. Shirk music in Chicago brings in great indie bands from around the country and records them doing mini-sets. http://www.cardinalsessions.com/ also great.

  122. 122
    Jax6655 says:

    @👽 Martin:

    Prince?

    *Ahem*

    Prince is a songwriter, composer, screenwriter (Purple Rain?) and also launched the career of several artists including Sheila E and others. He has produced ten platinum albums and thirty Top 40 singles

    The Bieber, not so much.

  123. 123
    DFH no.6 says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    But yes, you’re right that music from the 80s is better than the current lot.

    Likely a dead thread, but I’m just back from Coachella so I’ll chime in anyway.

    First music I listened to and purchased was from bands like the Beatles, the Stones, the Doors, CCR, Frank Zappa, early Pink Floyd, and from the many Motown acts of the 60s, etc..

    My first live concert was Led Zeppelin in ’69 (Cleveland Public Hall) and I’ve been going to concerts and listening to contemporary music ever since, through the 70s, 80s, 90s, aughts, till now (I also enjoy symphonic music and opera and some jazz and world music, but those are different topics).

    You all are as wrong as you can be about contemporary “pop” and “rock” music (as wide or wider labels as they’ve been in 50 years).

    As I said at the top, just back from Coachella and the music I checked out there (from 30 bands out of the 170 there over 3 days) was almost entirely wonderful (one act whose music I’ve liked for years – Modest Mouse – phoned it in big-time, unfortunately). Around half the 30 bands my wife and I caught I had known very little about prior to Coachella (always find great new bands at Coachella – half the fun for me).

    From brand-new bands DIIV and Little Green Cars (kids from Brooklyn and from Dublin, respectively) to Icelandic great Sigur Ros, to Yeasayer and Bat For Lashes and Purity Ring and Tame Impala and Beach House and Portugal the Man and Metric and XX and many, many more, there was no shortage of fantastic new music of the “pop” and “rock” variety.

    And that was just this year. Last year, and the year before that, and the year before that, etc., other sets of contemporary music artists put on great shows and played wonderful music at Coachella. I find much the same every year locally in Phoenix (25-30 shows a year usually, going back now over 30 years). And we’re somewhat of a backwater over here.

    You all couldn’t be more wrong – there is more good new music of the “pop” and “rock” variety available today (both recorded and live performance) than at any time in the past 50 years. The 80s had plenty of good and great music (despite the haters) but really nothing on today. I know because I’ve been listening the whole time and haven’t stopped yet.

    There’s a hell of a lot more out there than Katy Perry, for Bieber’s sake. Make the tiniest effort and good – even great – new music is not hard to find.

  124. 124
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @hamletta: Okay, sent.

    Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. I will tell her to fax the next one. I know just the place since I occasionally have to send faxes myself. One of the forms was lost in the mail which I’m sure was very discouraging for her. This whole journey started months ago but I feel hopeful right now.

    My congresscritter is Corinne Brown. Technically, hers is Ted Yoho.

  125. 125
    DFH no.6 says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:
    I enjoy Marillion, too. Not exactly what you are looking for, probably, but check out:

    Godspeed You! Black Emperor

    They are the most sublime contemporary musical artists I’ve ever encountered, recorded or live (I heard them live for the first time a year ago).

    Also excellent current “prog” (as I think of them) bands:

    Explosions in the Sky

    Sigur Ros

    Mogwai

    And these guys are considered “black” metal, but they’re “prog” to me (and among my favorites):

    Wolves in the Throne Room

  126. 126
    What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us? says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Ah yes. I could see how that could be the case. I will say one thing is typical about Mr. Cole WRT our generation’s musical tastes: We’re the generation, more than any other, that had boomer nostalgia force fed to us. As a result, instead of being stuck in the ’80s, many gen-exers listen to the music of the generation of guys who were yelling at us to get off their lawns when we were teenagers – i.e. the Rolling Stones, The Grateful Dead, Dylan, etc.

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