Category Archives: Music

The Angriest Nerd Rappers You’ll See Today

I’ve been known to get a little worked up over Hollywood’s agenda of burying my favorite childhood memories under a mountain of re-released garbage, but my anger is a Bic lighter compared to the napalm that these guys drop. From movies to comics to games to tech, they burn just about every geek franchise out there in under six minutes.
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The One Hit Wonder Playlist

Reclusive author, J.D. Salinger passed away in his New Hampshire home a couple of days ago at the age of 91. He was most famous as the author of The Catcher In The Rye, which has sold over 65 million copies since it was first published in 1951.

I put together a music playlist in Salinger’s honor.

One Hit Wonders Of The 60s, 70s, 80’s, 90’s, & Today

I compiled over 175 one-hit wonders spanning five decades from 60’s through the 2000’s. There are a few good, a few bad, and a few downright ugly songs on the list, but all of most of them will drag you kicking and screaming down memory lane. The list is by no means complete, and all the song titles are available below the player.


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Music To Grow Beards By: The Beard Playlist

We’re a week into November Beard Month, and I was looking for some music to help coax these whiskers out into the open air. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a decent beard related playlist out there anywhere. So, what do you do when you can’t find something pre-made? You roll up your sleeves and you make it yourself.

Most of the songs lean toward the heavier side of the scale, but if you’re growing a 70’s, peace-loving beard to nest tiny woodland creatures in, I threw a few tracks for you, too. So, let’s get some cold air on your face and music into those ears, and let’s get those whiskers on the outside where they belong.

All the songs included either mention facial hair or are performed by bands with one or more bearded members. Yes, ZZ Top is in there even though they’re included in every musical beard list ever.

If you have track suggestions, be sure to throw them in the comments, and a full track listing (with explanations) is included below.


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6 Free Sources of Halloween Music To Stave Off The Zombies

It’s Halloween, and I thought you might need some music to keep charged up while you’re defending against the Zombie hoards. I included my own playlist from last year’s Finetune Friday, a couple of radio stations, a podcast from Hipster Please, a collection of sound effects (in case you’re looking for a free ringtone or just something to scare the kids), and I even threw in a collection of music from Disney’s Haunted Mansion.

That should be plenty to get you through the night. Although headphones may prevent you from hearing zombies sneaking up behind you, the headphone strap may provide just enough protection to keep them from chewing through to your sweet, sweet braaaains. Good luck. See you at dawn.
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Brad Sucks – Making Me Paranoid

Seriously. Where did this near obsession with learning to remix songs come from? And why am I doing it all manually with free tools like Audacity? And Why do I keep remixing the same song over and over? I wish I had answers, but this is what happens when you leave me home for a year without any deadlines.

There are a few obvious glitches in the mix, but it took me literally a working day’s worth of cutting and shifting little bits of audio in Audacity to get it this far. The vocals were changed from 120 BPM to 164 BPM, the guitar pitch was shifted down a full step, and I had to carve up a lot of both songs to get them to fit together. I still missed in a couple of spots, but I’m chalking this one up to a learning experience. I had to give up with a “good enough” before getting it perfect because there’s only so many times I can listen to the same two second clips over and over before I start losing my mind.


Making Me Nervous (The Black Remix)

Back To The Beach: The Surf Playlist

The fake surf album It’s summertime, and all the surfers and hodads are once again sharing that sandy divide between land and sea. No matter which side of the divide you’re on, there’s nothing like some reverb soaked surf-strumentals to make that grey cubicle feel more like a day at the beach.

You won’t find any Beach Boys, Jan & Dean, or beach blanket nonsense here, because if it isn’t instrumental and filtered through a reverb tank, then it really isn’t surf. I know that there are people out there who like the Beach Boys, but if you’re going to call them surf, then you might as well call Jimmy Buffet surf. And call Winger thrash. And maybe wear a tin foil crown and call yourself “Lord Behemoth Roboto”, because if you’re going to live in a giant delusion, you might as well be the undisputed ruler of all that you survey.

Whether you’re into surf or just a hodad looking for something more than the nightly weenie roast, you can unleash the tidal wave of surf instrumental goodness by clicking on the green button below. Ten points goes to anyone who can name all the surf artists listed on my fake Surf! album cover…


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A Tribute To The 1950’s: The Doo Wop Playlist

doo wop 45 Doo Wop was a specific sub-genre of R&B that was born on the street corners of the 1950’s when city kids went beyond simple harmonies of the 1940’s and began vocalizing sounds that were traditionally created by instruments. They inadvertently created an entirely new style called Doo Wop that would become a major force in popular music for over a decade. The genre had peaked in popularity by the early 1960’s, but its influence extended into the electric style of the early Motown sound through groups like the Four Tops, Temptations, Isley Brothers, and others.

I spent a couple of days researching Doo Wop bands for this list, and even though I eliminated a lot of borderline acts with a fairly strict interpretation of what Doo Wop is, I still ended up with over 130 tracks. There should be a good balance between classics and rarities, but I didn’t grow up in the 50’s, so if you notice any glaring omissions, be sure to drop me a comment.

You won’t find Little Jon & The Teen Tones in the mix (I faked the picture from an old Atlantic 45), but you can listen to the Doo Wop playlist by scrolling all the way to the left in the player below.


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Classic Country For The Classic Heartbreak

I was a city mouse who was raised on soul. #1GF! was a country mouse, and no matter how much she denies it, she was raised on both kinds of music: Country and Western.

#1GF! might deny her musical roots, but classic country has earned a special place in my CD rack. When I’m slow on the draw and I need somethin’ to chaw, it’s not the tight pants wearin’, goatee sportin’, WWF lovin’ country of today that I’m after. It’s the classics: yesteryear’s harmonies of heartbreak and melodies of melancholy are what I need to get me back in the saddle.

If you’re ten gallon hat is feeling five gallons flat, click the little green button below.


Warning: Before listening to this playlist, check with your doctor if you have a history of alcoholism, depression, or bleeding in the brain from a head injury. If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use this playlist, or you may need to adjust your dosage accordingly. If after listening to this playlist you experience tearing of the eyes, consult a physician immediately because you may be suffering from a rare, but serious side effect as a result of very specific type of heart ailment.
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Got Cowbell Fever? Here’s The 180+ Track Cure

Every once and a while, cowbell fever rears its ugly head here at, and I go on a tear to find new cowbell tracks. Over the last two days, cowbell fever hit hard, doubling the size of my FineTune More Cowbell playlist.

Even though I eliminated any songs that relegated nature’s gift to classic rock to a single [tonk] [tonk], the list still stands at over 180 tracks, spanning genres well beyond classic rock.

If you’ve got the fever, click the little green button below to dispense the cure.


Update (3/11/08): For those of you looking for a solid list of cowbell tracks, I added the full track listing of the playlist below. If you’re [tonk] [tonk]ing your way through it and you notice that one of your favorites is missing, definitely drop me a comment to let me know.

Update (9/15/08): Even more tracks have been added.

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Have Yourself A Talkbox Little Christmas

There isn’t a heck of a lot of work for talkbox professionals these days, so it’s not hard to get all funked up over this “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” video from Moot Booxle. Not only is it well done and funky as hell, but you may notice some Atomic Dog references thrown in there to float your holiday cheer.

Good talkbox videos aren’t easy to come by these days, so savor this moment, my friends.


Moot Booxle With “Have Yourself A Merry Christmas”

The Top 10 Music Inspiring Horror Movies In The Public Domain

While hunting for some free entertainment for Halloween, I discovered that there were a surprising number of horror movies that can be legally and freely downloaded because they have fallen into the public domain. I found cheese-filled creature features like The Giant Gila Monster (1959), Attack of the Giant Leeches (1953), and The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (1962), but I also came across a number of films that I realized have been musically inspirational to some big name bands.

Here are the top 10 musically inspiring horror films in the public domain and what they inspired. The IMDB star rating is included so you can determine what to (or not to) download onto your ipod.

10. The Wasp Woman (1960)

The Wasp Woman The owner of a cosmetic factory becomes the test subject for wasp enzymes that are supposed to make her look younger. The drugs have unintended side effects.

IMDB: 3.4 stars

Musical Inspiration: This movie was said to have inspired the Misfits’ song “Queen Wasp” which appeared on Earth A.D, released in 1983.
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44 Ways to Enjoy The Super Mario Brothers Theme

I don’t know about you, but every time I hear the Super Mario theme, I feel like a big nerd. It’s a theme that any gamer over a certain age can hum off the top of their heads, and when people put their efforts into playing it, I end up grinning like a dope.

And I’m not alone. Below are the results of sifting through hundreds of videos to try to find the theme played on as many instruments as possible. I ended up with 43 decent renditions, covering brass, woodwinds, string and percussion instruments. The top ten is below, and the full 44 is listed at the bottom.

Before you proceed, be warned that I claim no responsibility if the Super Mario Theme is still stuck in your head next Tuesday.

Update 4/16/08: The RC car video was added at #2, pushing “Flute (with beatboxing) out of the top 10. Technically, the list is now 45 ways.

The Top 10 Super Mario Renditions

10. High school band
The odds are extremely high that the only person in this video that was alive to play Super Mario Brothers when it came out was the teacher. And a high school band is obligatory in this type of list, anyway, isn’t it? You know it is.

9. Contrabassoon
There’s something about the sound of the contrabassoon that cracks me up. And Richard plays it for us fabulously, even though he can’t get the camera situated the way he’d like.

8. Two Electric Guitars
Two guitars. One kid. I haven’t seen anything like this since Satan unleashed his metal fury in Rock n Roll Nightmare.

7. 11 String Bass
When I form my world-conquering metal band, The Mighty Fist of Thor, this guy is getting an invite to audition. He will invariably deem the music to be below his abilities, get a PhD in Music History, and die never knowing the gratification that comes with doing twelve chicks from eleven countries at the same time in a tour bus hot tub. At least he made it to evil number six on the list though, right?

6. Balalaika (Russian folk guitar)
While this version isn’t played the most accurately, I have never seen anyone play a folk instrument with such a rock star attitude. And considering he’s playing the Super Mario Theme, I’m guessing the reason is either insanity or nuts the size of Titan. In either case, this guy is also getting an invite to the Mighty Fist of Thor auditions, assuming my agent can find his tiny village in Russia.

5. Alto sax
Notice that this kid is not only in the standard rock star stance, but he plays the song in the style of Lisa Simpson.

4. Ballpoint Pen
While not yet accepted as a standard orchestral instrument, the ballpoint pen takes slot number 3. I think my favorite part of this is the “This is just an ordinary pen” move at the beginning, as if he’s about to do some sort of remarkable magic trick with it.

3. Beer Bottles
“Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.” Oh no? Well, it gets you famous on YouTube, now doesn’t it? Yes, and it gets you the number two slot on this list.

2. RC Car and Bottles
Take a lot of bottles, a radio controlled car, an underground garage, and the Japanese and throw them in a blender and you know that something awesome is going to be unleashed. This was a late addition that knocked “flute (with beatboxing)” off the top ten list, debuting at #2.

1. Tesla Coil
These guys jack it up to 88 miles an hour and play the Super Mario Theme with 1.21 gigawatts of power. Seriously. How can you beat that? 1.21 gigawatts!? 1.21 gigawatts!? Great Scott! the only power source capable of generating 1.21 gigawatts of electricity is… Mario.

If you haven’t gotten enough, yet, continue on. I take no responsibility for any further damage you do to your nerdy little synapses…

Top 44 Super Mario Themes, Listed By Instrument

Acoustic Guitar
Alto Horns
Alto Sax, see #5
Ballpoint Pen, see #4

Banjo and guitar
Beer Bottles, see #3
Balalaika (Russian folk guitar), see #6

Brass Quartet
Church organ
Clarinet Quartet
Contrabassoon, see #9
Electric Guitar
Electric Guitar x2, see #8
Electric Bass
11 String Electric Bass, see #7
Erhu (Chinese Violin)
Euphonium and Saxhorn
Flute (with Beatboxing)
Flute and Clarinet
High School Band, see #10
Marching Band
Mouth Harp
Radio Controlled Car with Beer Bottles, see #2
Rock Band
Ruler and Table
Stage Production
Tesla Coil, see #1
Upright Bass
Vocals (A capella)

Did I miss your favorite instrument? Drop it in the comments.

Dimmu Burger

dimmu burger

I understand that very few of you are going to get this, so here goes:

Metalocalypse is a cartoon about a death metal band named Dethklok. In episode 13, the lead singer, Nathan Explosion, has a dream that the rest of his band is pecked to death by birds. Because he is too stupid to do anything else, Nathan is forced to go to work at a fast food restaurant.

The restaurant is called Dimmu Burger.

Dimmu Borgir is a melodic black metal band from Norway.

I really have no use for Dimmu Borgir, but I found it funny enough to throw the logo together to put on a T-shirt.

I also included a copy in scalable vector graphics (SVG) format (right click, Save As…) for resizing in your favorite art program for those so inclined.

The MegaList of Actors Who Tried to Sing

Yesterday’s post spawned a discussion about actors who tried to make of a go of it in the music business. It was noted that Chuck Norris actually sang the theme to Walker, Texas Ranger, and I know I used to have the Paradise Alley Soundtrack, which featured an impossibly awful Sly Stallone on vocals, but I have to say that I drew a major blank on the topic and didn’t make much of a contribution.

When I got home, I started compiling a small list to post, and whole bunch googling later it’s three fucking AM. The list has grown from Gadzuki to Godzilla, and I’m dangerously close to comatose. As you peruse, if you find that you can’t remember where an actor might be from, mouse over their album to get a tool tip containing at least one show that they were in. If you find that you need even more info, most of the albums link to Amazon.

If you see me being walked out of the building tomorrow for sleeping at my desk, at least you’ll have this MegaList to remember me by. And to the poor bastard who might have to take over my job: again, I say, sorry I’m such a spaz.


(If you think of any more than this, add them into the comments.)

Christina Aguilera - The Mickey Mouse Club
Christina Aguilera

Danny Aiello - Hudson Hawk
Danny Aiello

Dan Aykroyd - Dragnet
Dan Aykroyd

Tatyana Ali - The Cosby Show
Tatyana Ali

Kevin Bacon - Footloose
Kevin Bacon

Scott Baio
Scott Baio

Eric Balfour - 24
Eric Balfour

Drake Bell - Drake & Josh
Drake Bell

John Belushi - Blues Brothers
John Belushi

Crystal Bernard - Wings
Crystal Bernard

Danny Bonaduce - The Partridge Family
Danny Bonaduce

Wayne Brady - Whose Line Is It, Anyway?
Wayne Brady

Jeff Bridges - The Big Lebowski
Jeff Bridges

Orlando Brown - That's So Raven
Orlando Brown

Chris Burke - Life Goes On
Chris Burke

Tisha Campbell - School Daze
Tisha Campbell

Tia Carrere - General Hospital
Tia Carrere

Lynda Carter - Wonder Woman
Lynda Carter

David Cassidy
David Cassidy

Shaun Cassidy - The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries
Shaun Cassidy

David Charvet - Melrose Place
David Charvet

Dominic Chianese - The Sopranos
Dominic Chianese

Robert Clary - Hogan's Heroes (LeBeau)
Robert Clary

Toni Collette - The Sixth Sense
Toni Collette

Stephen Collins - 7th Heaven
Stephen Collins

Danny Cooksey - Salute Your Shorts
Danny Cooksey

John Corbett - Northern Exposure
John Corbett

Miranda Cosgrove - iCarly
Miranda Cosgrove

Kevin Costner - Dances with Wolves
Kevin Costner

Russel Crowe - Romper Stomper
Russel Crowe

Miley Cyrus - Big Fish
Miley Cyrus

Jeff Daniels - Dumb & Dumber
Jeff Daniels

Tony Danza - Who's the Boss?
Tony Danza

Julie Delpy - Waking Life
Julie Delpy

Zooey Deschanel - Elf
Zooey Deschanel

Robert Downey Jr. - Weird Science
Robert Downey Jr.

Minnie Driver - Good Will hunting
Minnie Driver

Hilary Duff - Lizzie McGuire
Hilary Duff

Patty Duke - The Patty Duke Show
Patty Duke

Clint Eastwood - Million Dollar Baby
Clint Eastwood

Buddy Ebsen - The Beverly Hillbillies
Buddy Ebsen

Barbara Eden - I Dream of Jeannie
Barbara Eden

Shelley Fabares - The Donna Reed Show
Shelley Fabares

David Faustino - Married With Children
David Faustino

Corey Feldman - Stand By Me
Corey Feldman

Samantha Fox - porn star
Samantha Fox

Jamie Foxx - In Living Color
Jamie Foxx

Annette Funicello - The Mickey Mouse Club
Annette Funicello

Edward Furlong - Terminator 2
Edward Furlong

Peter Gallagher - The O.C.
Peter Gallagher

Leif Garrett - Walking Tall
Leif Garrett

Crispin Glover - Back to the Future
Crispin Glover

Ryan Gosling - Lars and the Real Girl
Ryan Gosling

Brian Austin Green - Beverly Hills 90210
Brian Austin Green

Lorne Greene - Battlestar Gallactica
Lorne Greene

Joel Grey - Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (Chiun)
Joel Grey

Andy Griffith  - Matlock
Andy Griffith

Jasmine Guy - A Different World
Jasmine Guy

Richard Harris - Camelot
Richard Harris

David Hasselhoff - Baywatch
David Hasselhoff

Jill Hennessy - Law & Order
Jill Hennessy

Larry Hovis - Hogan's Heroes
Larry Hovis

Terrence Howard - Iron Man
Terrence Howard

Natalie Imbruglia - Neighbours
Natalie Imbruglia

Janet Jackson - Good Times
Janet Jackson

Don Johnson - Miami Vice
Don Johnson

Amy Jo Johnson - The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (pink ranger)
Amy Jo Johnson

Shirley Jones - The Partridge Family
Shirley Jones

Milla Jovovich - The Fifth Element
Milla Jovovich

Ted Knight

Vicki Lawrence

Jennifer Love Hewitt - Party of Five
Jennifer Love Hewitt

Scarlett Johansson - Lost In Translation
Scarlett Johansson

Christian Kane - Leverage
Christian Kane

Nicole Kidman - The Others
Nicole Kidman

Eartha Kitt - Batman
Eartha Kitt

Jane Krakowski - 30 Rock
Jane Krakowski

Joey Lawrence - Gimme a Break!
Joey Lawrence

Christopher Lee - Lord Of The Rings
Christopher Lee

Jared Leto - Fight Club
Jared Leto

Jenny Lewis - The Wizard
Jenny Lewis

Juliette Lewis - Natural Born Killers
Juliette Lewis

Lyndsay Lohan - Mean Girls
Lyndsay Lohan

Jennifer Lopez - Lambada
Jennifer Lopez

Traci Lords - porn star
Traci Lords

Tina Louise - Gilligan's Island
Tina Louise

Jayne Mansfield - Too Hot to Handle
Jayne Mansfield

James Marsters - Buffy The Vampire Slayer
James Marsters

Martika - Kid's Incorporated

Maureen McCormick - The Brady Bunch
Maureen McCormick

Kristy McNichol - The Love Boat II
Kristy McNichol

Eddie Mekka - Laverne and Shirley
Eddie Mekka

Alyssa Milano - Who's the Boss?
Alyssa Milano

Kylie Minogue - Neighbours
Kylie Minogue

Robert Mitchum - Night of the Hunter
Robert Mitchum

Marilyn Monroe - Some like it Hot
Marilyn Monroe

Dudley Moore - Arthur
Dudley Moore

Alanis Morissette - You Can't Do That On Television
Alanis Morissette

Donnie Most - Happy Days
Donny Most

Megan Mullally - Will and Grace
Megan Mullally

Billy Mummy - Lost in Space (Will Robinson)
Billy Mummy

Eddie Murphy - 48 Hours
Eddie Murphy

Jim Nabors - Gomer Pyle
Jim Nabors

Nichelle Nichols - Star Trek
Nichelle Nichols

Brigitte Nielsen - Red Sonja
Brigitte Nielsen

Leonard Nimoy - Star Trek
Leonard Nimoy

The Olsen Twins - Full House
The Olsen Twins

Jack Palance - City Slickers
Jack Palance

Gwyneth Paltrow - Sliding Doors
Gwyneth Paltrow

Mandy Patinkin - The Princess Bride
Mandy Patinkin

Tony Perkins - Psycho
Tony Perkins

Joe Pesci - Goodfellas
Joe Pesci

Tony Randall - The Odd Couple
Tony Randall

Jackson Rathbone - Twilight
Jackson Rathbone

Raven - The Cosby Show (Olivia)

Keanu Reeves - The Matrix
Keanu Reeves

Burt Reynolds - Stroker Ace
Burt Reynolds

Esther Rolle - Good Times
Esther Rolle

Jared Rushton - Big
Jared Rushton

Tim Russ - Star Trek Voyager
Tim Russ

Telly Savalas - Kojak
Telly Savalas

John Schneider - Dukes of Hazzard
John Schneider

Katey Sagal - Married With Children
Katey Sagal

Steven Seagal - Marked For Death
Steven Seagal

William Shatner - Star Trek
William Shatner

Cybill Shepherd - Moonlighting
Cybill Shepherd

Jason Schwartzman - Rushmore
Jason Schwartzman

Jamie-Lynn Sigler - The Sopranos
Jamie-Lynn Sigler

Jada Pinkett Smith - A Different World
Jada Pinkett Smith

David Soul - Starsky & Hutch
David Soul

Brittney Spears - The Mickey Mouse Club
Brittney Spears

Brent Spiner - Star Trek
Brent Spiner

Rick Springfield - Battlestar Galactica
Rick Springfield

Frank Stallone - Hudson Hawk
Frank Stallone

Cree Summer - A Different World
Cree Summer

Patrick Swayze - Roadhouse
Patrick Swayze

Mr. T. - The A Team
Mr. T.

John Tesh - Santa Barbara
John Tesh

Philip Michael Thomas - Miami Vice
Philip Michael Thomas

Billy Bob Thornton - Slingblade
Billy Bob Thornton

Justin Timberlake - The Mickey Mouse Club
Justin Timberlake

John Travolta - Welcome Back Kotter
John Travolta

Jack Wagner - General Hospital
Jack Wagner

Jack Webb - Dragnet
Jack Webb

Lisa Whelchel - Facts of Life
Lisa Whelchel

Johnny Whitaker - Sigmund and the Sea Monsters
Johnny Whitaker

Bruce Willis - Die Hard
Bruce Willis

Anson Williams - Happy Days
Anson Williams

Barry Williams - The Brady Bunch
Barry Williams

Tom Wopat - Dukes of Hazzard (Luke)
Tom Wopat

Kari Wuhrer - Sliders
Kari Wuhrer

Kathleen York - The West Wing
Kathleen York

Tina Yothers - Family Ties
Tina Yothers

Musical Omnivore vs. Junk Bonds of Cool

A small sample of the shit I’ve been eating for admitting to buying a Kelly Clarkson CD:

“first, even jenny says you’re a girl for the kelly clarkson.”

“I don’t know man. I always looked at you like the guy in High Fidelity, tons of music knowledge with an uncanny ability to find music with cowbells. Now that is all tainted with the thought of you cruising in the EVO with Kelly Clarkson all cranked up to 11 dancing and tapping the steering wheel.”

“I was looking at your music reviews and said, ‘don’t know it… Don’t know it… KELLY CLARKSON?!?! I had to come right over. I don’t think I can look at you the same.'”

“You don’t like Kelly Clarkson. You like ‘KILL YOUR MAMA! KILL YOUR MAMA!'”

Of course, they were all kidding…

There’s no way that I’ll sit here and defend Kelly Clarkson as the pinnacle of musical perfection, and I expected a certain level of grief for admitting to making the purchase. I suppose that I should be grateful that these people once had a vision of me being cooler than I actually am, but I’m not going to lie just maintain that image. That’s not why you’re here. You’re not here to see me cool. You’re here because you know that “the only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool.”*

Me and you are tight. We’re like this. And I can’t lie to you, now can I? Not a chance.

When it comes to music, though, the world is full of liars. You know all those people with the bad haircuts who only listen to the most ultra-exclusive, undiscovered bands out, and once the bands get more than 90 fans, they drop them cold? Yes, you do. They wear those little tiny glasses, carry messenger bags, and are always talking about how they liked the band’s early stuff before they got so commercial. If engaged in a conversation for more than five minutes without getting punched in the face, they’ll inevitably tell you what you should be listening to.

They may claim to be heavier than thou, or more obscure than thou, or more underground than thou, but you can always count on them claiming (even if silently) to be cooler than thou. For them, music isn’t about notes and chords. It’s not about kicking back and letting your brain blindly decide what moves it.

It’s a disaffected outlook, a bad haircut, wearing all the right clothes, dropping all the right band names, and living in hip, shitty little apartments in the city. It’s acting like they don’t give a shit what people think about their musical taste, when they actually care the most about what people think.

To them, music is a race to get there first, and a junk bond in which to store their credibility.

It’s a sad fact that most of the cool people I’ve met in my life have turned out to be pretty uncool. Or fake. Or assholes. Or all three. And most of the time, the cool is just a perfume to mask the stink of whatever is rotting inside them. But the deeper you have to dig through all the layers of cool, the more likely you are to find people that grew up in some hick town on the same uncool shit that we all grew up on. They my be listening to Boris now, but when no one’s looking they’re listening to stuff that is completely uncool. And if they’re not, they’re completely wasting their time:

Because when you’re alone, there shouldn’t be anyone left to impress. Music isn’t about cool. It’s not about right or wrong. It’s about feeding your brain what it needs to get by.

So, I can’t understand the Musical Vegans, who consume a very limited subset of music while rejecting all others. For me to get what I need, I need to be a musically omnivorous. There is just too much music in the world to worry about what’s cool or to pigeonhole myself into some narrow slice of the musical spectrum.

In my collection, Richard Buckner sits with Bullet LaVolta, Burn the Priest and Junior Brown. Clutch is next to Clarkson, HateBreed next to Ben Harper, and Only Living Witness next to the Old 97’s. Pig Destroyer touches the Pixies, Shadows Fall touches the Shins, and Killswitch Engage touches Kraftwerk. Even Lords of Acid is allowed to get its unique brand of nasty all over Lamb of God.

So remember, I’ve never claimed to be cool. It rewards me far less than being musically omnivorous.

*Lester Bangs, Almost Famous

100+ Cowbell Tracks: Game Over

Holy Fuck, can we all agree that I need to put this whole cowbell obsession to rest, once and for all? Below I’ve listed the 6 CD’s that I put together for my sister for Xmas. It was a 2 month job, and I spent as much time on the flow of the tracks on the discs as I did hunting through my CDs to find them. I can’t say I did a great job, but 108 tracks of cowbell without relying on any typical classic rock tracks disqualifies any arguments against quality.

I named the collection Cowbell++ as a nod to the nerds* and made her color coded CD covers to make them look a little cooler. And even if you think the whole thing is retarded, who can argue with a title like “Cowbell++ Volume 2: The Wrath of Khow”?**

The first 2 CD’s make no distinction between analog and digital cowbell, but the last 4 are solely analog. No matter if you are a cowbell purist (ANALOG OR DEATH! DINK DINK!) or loose hiphop cowbell aficionado (Whatcha gonna do with all that bell, all that bell up in them jeans?), there should be at least a disc that you can appreciate.

I can easily say that this is the most time I spent on an present. The first 2 are for dancin’ when no one is lookin’, the second two are for drivin’ when no one is clockin’, and the final two are for seducin’ rich old timers when the nurse ain’t around. I’m proudest of the tracks on the first two, the covers on the second two, and the fact that I pulled the fifth and sixth out of my ass in a mere two days right before Xmas. And if you can believe it, there were actually a few tracks that didn’t make the final cut. With this post, I am officially putting the cowbell talk to rest. Happy Xma-birthday, Sis. Game Over.

*Putting ++ after a variable in some programming languages is a way to increment the variable. For example, if $x=665, then $x++ will increment $x to 666.
**The subtitle of Star Trek II was “The Wrath of Khan.”

Cowbell++ Vol. 1: WTF (What the Funk)?

Cowbell++ Vol. 1: WTF (What the Funk)?

  1. Sir Mix-A-Lot – Baby Got Back
  2. Jay-Z – Big Pimpin’ (Feat. UGK)
  3. Z Trip – All About the Music (feat. Whipper Whip)
  4. Sugar Hill Gang – Rapper’s Delight
  5. Beastie Boys – Hey Ladies
  6. Marvin Gaye – Got to Give it Up
  7. Stevie Wonder – Don’t You Worry ’bout a Thing
  8. KC And The Sunshine Band – Sound Your Funky Horn
  9. The Chemical Brothers – Orange Wedge
  10. Aretha Franklin – Rock Steady
  11. Ohio Players – Love Rollercoaster
  12. Con Funk Shun – Too Tight
  13. Gap Band – Steppin’ (Out)
  14. Lipps Inc – Funkytown
  15. KC And The Sunshine Band – Get Down Tonight
  16. Dj Shadow – The Number Song (Cut Chemist Party Mix)
  17. KC And The Sunshine Band – (Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty
  18. Nelly – Hot In Herre
  19. Lyrics Born – Do That There (feat. Cut Chemist)
  20. Stevie Wonder – Pastime Paradise

Cowbell++ Vol. 2: The Wrath of Khow

Cowbell++ Vol. 2: The Wrath of Khow

  1. Gap Band – Party Train
  2. Chemical Brothers – Come Inside
  3. The Chemical Brothers – In Dust We Trust/Song to the Siren
  4. Missy Elliott – Work It
  5. Shannon – Let The Music Play
  6. Beastie Boys – Alright Hear This
  7. Nelly – Na Nana Na (ft Jazze Pha & Jasper Cameron)
  8. Newcleus – Jam On It
  9. Nelly – Flap Your Wings
  10. The Chemical Brothers – Chemical Beats
  11. Chemical Brothers – Hold Tight London
  12. Missy Elliott – Go To The Floor
  13. N.W.A – Gangsta Gangsta
  14. Chemical Brothers – Close Your Eyes
  15. Barry White – Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe

Cowbell++ Vol. 3: Rockin’ Without Dokken

Cowbell++ Vol. 3: Rockin' Without Dokken

  1. Fu Manchu – Ampn’
  2. The Donnas – All Messed Up
  3. Fu Manchu – Mongoose
  4. Guns N’ Roses – Nightrain
  5. Skid Row – Monkey Business
  6. Cinderella- Shake Me
  7. The Dirtbombs – Maybe Your Baby
  8. The Donnas – You Wanna Get Me High
  9. The Dirtbombs – Little Miss Chocolate Syrup
  10. Southern Culture on the Skids – Voodoo Cadillac
  11. The Donnas – On the Rocks
  12. Guns N’ Roses – Mr. Brownstone
  13. Fu Manchu – Separate Kingdom
  14. Guns N’ Roses – Welcome To The Jungle

Cowbell++ Vol. 4: Rock… ’til you Drop

Cowbell++ Vol. 4: Rock... 'til you Drop

  1. Fu Manchu – Blue Tile Fever
  2. Fu Manchu – Urethane
  3. Guns N’ Roses – It’s So Easy
  4. Dirtbombs – Livin’ For The City
  5. Fu Manchu – Time To Fly
  6. Fu Manchu – Trapeze Freak
  7. Son Volt – Drown
  8. Southern Culture on the Skids – Fried Chicken and Gasoline
  9. Dirtbombs – Do You See My Love (For You Growing)
  10. Fu Manchu – Mega-Bumpers
  11. Guns N’ Roses – Think About You
  12. Beatles – Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me and My Monkey
  13. Fu Manchu – Wurkin’
  14. Fu Manchu – Freedom of Choice
  15. Guns N’ Roses – My Michelle
  16. Rage Against The Machine – Killing In The Name

Cowbell++ Vol. 5: Lounging Around

Cowbell++ Vol. 5: Lounging Around

  1. Perez Prado – If you knew Susie (Like I know Susie)
  2. Esquivel – Cherokee
  3. Tito Puente and Woody Herman – New Cha-Cha
  4. Tito Rodriguez – The Magnificent Seven
  5. Stan La Baum and His Orchestra – A La Salud
  6. Yma Sumac – Gopher Mambo
  7. Esquivel – All of Me
  8. Jackie Davis – Glow Worm Cha-Cha-Cha
  9. Martin Denny – Hawaii Tattoo
  10. Laurindo Almeida & The Bossa Nove All Stars – Recado Bossa Nova
  11. John Buzon Trio – It Must Be True
  12. Jack Costanzo and Don Swan – Bei Mir Bist Du Schon / La Furiosa
  13. Tito Puente and Woody Herman – Mambo Herd
  14. Esquivel – Speak Low
  15. Paris Combo – Moi, mon a me et ma conscience
  16. Rinky Dinks – Choo Choo Cha Cha
  17. Dean Martin – Cha Cha Cha D’ Amour
  18. Tito Puente and Woody Herman – Tito Meets Woody
  19. Yma Sumac – Taki Rari
  20. Perez Prado – Ola Conga
  21. Sounds Orchestra – Mas Que Nada
  22. Los Albinos – The Swinging Conga
  23. Mallet Men – 80 Drums Around The World / Dark Eyes / It Happened In Monterey

Cowbell++ Vol. 6: easy Does It

Cowbell++ Vol. 6: Easy Does It

  1. Esquivel – Carioca
  2. Tito Puente and Woody Herman – Cha Cha Chick
  3. Unknown – Rock Cha Rhumba
  4. Lex Baxter – Voodoo Dreams-Voodoo
  5. Martin Denny – Stone God
  6. The Peter Loland Orchestra – La Cucarachacha
  7. Walter Wanderly,Astrud Gilberto – O Menino Decse O Morro
  8. Dick Hyman – The Minotaur
  9. Esquivel – You Belong to My Heart
  10. Perez Prado – Zelda’s Theme
  11. Esquivel – Boulevard of Broken Dreams
  12. Esquivel – My Blue Heaven
  13. The Eliminators – Staccato
  14. George Auld – You’re My Thrill
  15. Laurindo Almeida & The Bossa Nova All Stars – Desafinado
  16. Perez Prado and His Orchestra – Moniter Mambo
  17. Georges Garvarentz – Haschisch Party
  18. Henry Mancini – Springtime for Hitler
  19. Walter Wanderly – A Nega Se Vingou
  20. Ruben Calzado and His Orchestra – Chiquito