Shut Up, Dude: This Week’s Best And Worst Comments

Shut Up, Dude: This Week’s Best And Worst Comments

THIS WEEK’S 10 HIGHEST RATED COMMENTS

#10  321letsjam
Score:30 | May 3rd

This is so absurd. Was what he said in bad taste? 100%. If we’re not careful someone might mistake him for the singer of a punk band. The inability for folks to differentiate the scale of these infractions is getting so tiresome.

Posted in: NOFX Drop Out Of Punk Rock Bowling Due To Controversy Over Old Shooting Joke
#9  sell the softer shoe
Score:30 | Apr 30th

This week I admitted to myself that I am gender non-binary. It’s something that was floating around in my subconscious for the past 8 or so years and I am finally talking about it with my friends who are all very supportive, as I knew they’d be. I am still very confused and am striving for an exact definition of what I am longing to know and be. This next month as I near my 29th birthday, I think a lot of the confusion will dissipate as I see my friends, who are all scattered around my home state of Florida and around the country following graduation from my original college, for the first time in years. It is all very exciting and I have this community to thank for helping me find so much of the music that has kept me sane as all these thoughts have raced through my head. A special shout out to Phospho, whose first Wren Dove Lark album Reconciliation has helped me put into words these feelings. Bless.

Posted in: Shut Up, Dude: This Week’s Best And Worst Comments
#8  rollerboogie
Score:31 | May 5th

The body count of dead-on-arrival #1 ballads in ’88 is already rising at an alarming rate, and we’re not even halfway through the year. I was only vaguely familiar with “One More Try” and listening today, my first inclination would have been to just toss it on the pile. If Tom thought “Anything For You” had a chintzy backing track, the production values on this baby are at about a zero. Everything about this initially presents as forgettable piffle, and yet it ends up packing a surprisingly emotional punch. The bare bones arrangement may sound like it was made at a mall kiosk for 50 bucks, but its minimalist approach allows for the emphasis to be solely on George Michael’s tender yet magnetically passionate vocal. Lyrically, it’s not a typical sappy love ballad, nor is it a manipulatively sad song. It comes across as lived, authentic pain being communicated here and Michaels’ voice sounds sincere and vulnerable. Is it the kind of slow jam I want to hear repeatedly, like INXS’s “Never Tear Us Apart”? No it is not, but neither can I out and out dismiss it, and I have come to the conclusion that George Michael can sell a song like this that very few others could. If I underestimated him as just another pretty faced pop star, it was because I wasn’t paying attention.

Posted in: The Number Ones: George Michael’s “One More Try”
#7  dansolo
Score:31 | Apr 30th

But where would you find a box big enough for Tom?

Posted in: St. Vincent Told Me To Kill This Video Of Her Talking About Farts
#6  thegue
Score:31 | Apr 30th

Terence Trent D’Arby’s “Wishing Well” top YouTube official music video comments:

1. This song wants to make me gamble and bet on people’s souls

2. If Prince and Michael Jackson had a baby, it would be this guy

3. That voice, that voice! Velvet wrapped in sandpaper. Beautiful.

4. He slid to that mic so damn smooth.

5. 1:56 I haven’t seen a flip of the hair that intoxicated me like that since Rita Hayworth’s hair flip in the movie Gilda.

6. The men backstage are dope with those sunglasses

7. Got dayum I feel old I remember Justine Bateman introducing him on SNL when I was a kid and thinking both of them were cool kids. This guy has an Al Green sound to him and I loved him

8. I’m thinking Kramer modeled his Seinfeld entrances after watching this video

9. Is this dude a sheriff? He has a badge. He slided in this video like “oh oh, I’m late for my part time gig. Sorry guys I had to chase down some bank robbers”.

Posted in: The Number Ones: Terence Trent D’Arby’s “Wishing Well”
#5  thegue
Score:34 | Apr 30th

And given that I am not the sort of person who willingly sits around listening to Sgt. Pepper, I can tell you that, given the choice, I would usually rather throw on Introducing The Hardline than Sgt. Pepper.

No! Really Tom? We couldn’t tell by *checks notes* your Beatles ratings…

Posted in: The Number Ones: Terence Trent D’Arby’s “Wishing Well”
#4  Rabbits Rabbits
Score:36 | Apr 30th

Chart Hits on the Edge of Town
“One Step Up,” from Tunnel of Love. #13, 4.23.1988

It’s that opening bass drum that sounds like a heartbeat, interrupted by Springsteen’s plaintive guitar: the first metaphor in “One Step Up” that talks around the problem before the problem is too big to talk around. The first words are spoken-sung, as if Springsteen is contemplating them, trying to make sense of them: “Woke up this morning, the house was cold / checked the furnace, she wasn’t burnin’ / went out and hopped in my old Ford / hit the engine, buddy, she ain’t turnin’.” At once, we’re forced to reckon with that pronoun. SHE isn’t providing the comfort he needs, nor is SHE helping him escape. Almost immediately, though, he seems to pull back, realizing the problem isn’t just these female stand-ins: “We’ve given each other some hard lessons lately / We ain’t learning.” Recognizing that he’s part of why this relationship isn’t working is both a revelation and a foregone conclusion. The entire album of Tunnel of Love is about figuring that out, and figuring out that there aren’t easy solutions.

That Ford is haunting, maybe haunted. In so many past songs and albums, the highway was the way out. Hop in a car and you can go anywhere. The road is escape and comfort and love. This is where the first cracks in that surety appear, and will re-emerge all over Springsteen’s latter career. The Buicks and Cadillacs and Fords that provided so much freedom early on start to feel like petty refuges on songs like “The Ghost of Tom Joad” where “the highway is alive tonight / nobody’s kiddin’ nobody about where it goes,” and “Hello Sunshine,” where he realizes: “You know I always liked that empty road / No place to be and miles to go / But miles to go is miles away.”

As we enter the second verse, we find our narrator waking up in a motel room; even the cold comfort of home has been abandoned. Earlier in the album’s “Walk Like a Man,” Springsteen recalls being a boy, and his mother dragging he and his sister up to the street to the church to hear the wedding bells. That boy wondered if the happy couple would ever be that happy again; the man in “One Step Up” seems to believe they won’t. When he witnesses a wedding now, the church bells aren’t ringing – an ominous portent spelling doom. Even the bird outside his window won’t sing; the fact that Springsteen refers to the bird as he makes one wonder if he’s talking about himself.

Back in “Thunder Road,” Springsteen offered up his front seat to a girl, asking to be partners on a ride out of his loser town. It’s striking imagery, somewhat unusual in rock music, where girls and women are often mere commodities. Springsteen’s characters have always wanted women with equal footing, believing that they need a strong partnership to get through their long journey together. In “Spirit in the Night,” our narrator and Crazy Janey are young and free together, making love in the dirt. In “Atlantic City” and “The River,” couples are bound together by desperation. By the time of “My Hometown,” the couple is sighing heavily in Reaganomic America, making pipe dreams with each other in bed. Partners. Equals. Those dreams feel hopelessly naïve now: the joy, the anguish, the happiness, the stress of living – all of it was supposed to bind a couple together against the world. But what if it’s not the world at fault? What if it’s something inside?

We pull back into the real world for a moment here. Springsteen and his then-wife Julianne Phillips, separated in April 1987. A month later, Springsteen traveled to Los Angeles to record this song at A&M Studios. He recorded all the instruments himself, and, unlike with many of the songs on the Tunnel of Love album, did not require any overdubs by the remainder of the E Street Band. The song that follows “One Step Up” on the album is “When You’re Alone,” whose chorus is the piercingly simple, “When you’re alone, you’re alone / when you’re alone, you ain’t nothing but alone.”

In a twist that is both ironic and apt, only bandmate Patti Scialfa came in to provide some background vocals. Soon after his separation from Phillips, Springsteen was caught by paparazzi on a balcony in Rome with Scialfa, who would later become his wife. But that’s in the future.

If the first two verses are sad laments, by the time we get to the bridge, the language of violence and anger bubble up to the surface: “It’s the same thing night on night / who’s wrong, baby who’s right / another fight and I slam the door on / another battle in our dirty little war.” I mean, wow: dirty, fight, war, battle, slam: this puts us right into the thick of this fraught relationship, moving far beyond even the pointed metaphors of the verses. You could be forgiven if the country-song wistfulness of those verses made it seem like this is a marriage drifting apart; the bridge makes it clear that this is an active break, seismic in its ferocity.

And he hates it, not just because his idea of the life and marriage he wanted doesn’t seem attainable, but because the version of himself he’d tried so hard to attain seems out of reach: “When I look at myself I don’t see / the man I wanted to be / somewhere along the line, I slipped off track.” Throughout his career, Springsteen has positioned himself as hard-working, striving for better, an essentially good man who is trying not to let the world beat him down. But again, what if the world isn’t the only problem? One of the constants in Springsteen’s music is his fraught relationship with his father, who often made his life miserable with his distance and anger. What if, our character seems to wonder, he is becoming the same person?

It’s no surprise to find him at a bar alone in the last verse. He’s looking for an easy solution for a complicated problem: “there’s a girl across the bar / I get the message she’s sending.” Maybe it’s not even infidelity; maybe it’s just simple connection. Imagine being in a relationship where communication is so untenable that it feels like a war, then going out and seeing someone you understand immediately, silently. Maybe – probably – it’s all surface understanding, but what a relief to have it at all. Of course, even in this he’s throwing on a brilliant disguise: “She ain’t looking too married / and me? Well, honey, I’m pretending.” The singles from this album make up a loose trilogy, an arc of love and marriage: if “Tunnel of Love” is about learning to live with what you can’t rise above and “Brilliant Disguise” is about hiding your essential self from the person you claim to love, then “One Step Up” is figuring out that those defense mechanisms don’t usually work. You can hide from problems, and you can hide from your significant other, but you can’t hide from yourself.

The final lines in the song twist things back to wistful, and reshape the title phrase. Throughout the song, the lament of “one step up and two steps back” has meant losing more ground than you gain. Making something in this relationship work, only to backslide into an even worse place. At the end of the song, he’s imagining a hopeful, likely impossible scenario with the woman he loves: “Last night I dreamed I held you in my arms / the music was neverending / we danced as the evening sky faded to black / one step up and two steps back.” Here, it’s not a scramble for purchase on the surface of a crumbling marriage; it’s steps in a dance, cleverly transmuting the exact same phrase from meaning being out of step to being in step. Equal footing. It’s a fantasy, of course, but it conjures up waltz imagery, people close and holding hands, perhaps serving as foreshadowing to the album’s final song, “Valentine’s Day,” whose melody moves in true waltz time.

The final minute of the song is a simple, aimless wail – a cousin to that at the end of “I’m On Fire,” but not as urgent, nowhere near as erotic. Springsteen’s voice merges with Patti Scialfa’s, and they wail together, not raging or lusting or craving. Just lamenting. Pure sorrow at the inevitability of heartbreak.

I’m not entirely sure if this is the end of Bruce Springsteen’s imperial phase. He’s got a few more Top 40 hits in him and one last Top 10, but “One Step Up” only hit #13. After the Brucemania of Born in the USA and Live 1975-1985, the charting of “One Step Up” feels a little like a sigh, a gentle punctuation at the end of an era. Of course, Springsteen will have a late-career resurgence and a lot of his later albums will place singles near the bottom of the Hot 100, so we’re not done here just yet. We’re still on the edge of town, and the chart hits will keep coming.

Posted in: The Number Ones: Terence Trent D’Arby’s “Wishing Well”
#3  Jimbo
Score:37 | May 5th

When “One More Try” hit #1, George Michael became the first artist since Elton John in 1975 to land back to back #1 songs with each clocking in at over 5 minutes.

Posted in: The Number Ones: George Michael’s “One More Try”
#2  BixMeister
Score:41 | May 5th

Bix Meister
Tue, May 4, 11:51 PM (8 hours ago)
to me

In the moment, it is hard to see the big picture. For me George Michael’s album “Faith” has gained gravity by presaging my own coming out. A recurring theme in my story is how I often would look at others and think, “Who are they fooling?” when I could be saying that about myself. I mean, everyone can see that George Michael is Gay, right? Who is he trying to fool with the look, the songs, the lyrics?

But George filled an album with clues and most of the clues fit into the “It takes one to know one” category. From earlier comments, I know I’m not the only one who sees the two big slow songs as two sides of an intergenerational gay relationship. The teacher in “One More Try”, and the titular “Father Figure” represent the almost mentor figure that will show you the ropes in a new, almost startling world. In most cases it wasn’t like you could ask your dad about certain feelings, desires you had, or how you could go about acting on them.

So, you learn about sex through porn, and erotica. Then when you are tired of saying “Who is he trying to fool?” about yourself and you get enough courage to venture out in the pre-internet, pre-phone app era and if you are lucky, you find a mentor to help you through the maze. Maybe that is why I was never creeped out about the father figure or the teacher. I saw them as adults, and so did George. He peppered this album with clues that went right over the heads of many of the 25 million people who bought the album world-wide. Meanwhile I was thinking who is he trying to fool?

Posted in: The Number Ones: George Michael’s “One More Try”
#1  bakedbeans
Score:47 | Apr 30th

If This Pandemic Doesn’t Kill Me, This Press Cycle Will

Posted in: St. Vincent Told Me To Kill This Video Of Her Talking About Farts

THIS WEEK’S 5 LOWEST RATED COMMENTS

#5  stereodumb
Score:-6 | Apr 30th

“With 100 gecs and hyperpop in general becoming massive forces in music right now, it’s hard to pull off an internet aesthetic like this without sounding derivative. Still, I don’t think anyone is doing what Hey, Ily are doing right now.”

This is so weird to read seeing that I’ve lived through a couple of decades at this point where chiptune’d emo has been around going as far back as the early 2000s. Early Reggie and the Full Effect comes to mind (although James Dewees has been cancelled since…) as well as the entire soundtrack to Emo Game. There was Crying’s Get Olde Second Wind. There was also Horse the Band.

The writer here is really showing their lack of age here.

Posted in: Hey, Ily’s Wild New Internet Breath EP Is The Nintendocore x Emo x Powerpop x Shoegaze Hybrid You Didn’t Know You Needed
#4  ParkerPoseyinthe90s
Score:-8 | May 4th

Blue hair in your 20s makes you look punk and rad. Blue hair in your 50s makes you look like a grandmother.

Posted in: NOFX Drop Out Of Punk Rock Bowling Due To Controversy Over Old Shooting Joke
#3  stereodumb
Score:-8 | Apr 30th

It’s called being a good journalist, and music journalists should have some solid foundation of what came before them before they OBJECTIVELY (and not subjectively as you say) state something as fact on a huge music publication where their writing completely revises history and disregards entire eras just because they didn’t live through it. It’s a common thing I’m seeing with this writer in particular. She writes well, but she doesn’t do the homework.

Posted in: Hey, Ily’s Wild New Internet Breath EP Is The Nintendocore x Emo x Powerpop x Shoegaze Hybrid You Didn’t Know You Needed
#2  BillyCorganApologistC
Score:-10 | May 6th

I remember being excited when I heard he was gonna release a message song and then finding out the song is total ass but the video is obv iconic so…stick to TV, Donald. That is what you are best at. GIMME S3 OF ATL ALREADY BABY JESUS CHRIST

Posted in: Childish Gambino Sued For Copyright Infringement Over “This Is America”
#1  roland1824
Score:-11 | May 6th

Look, we can settle this once and for all. Let’s make a list of all the leaders in media and put little stars next to the ones that are the same.

Posted in: 🙄🙄🙄

THIS WEEK’S EDITOR-IN-CHIEF’S CHOICE

  raptor jesus
Score:26 | Apr 30th

OK so I cleared my cache but the top 10 is still filled with The Number Ones comments.

WTH?

Posted in: Shut Up, Dude: This Week’s Best And Worst Comments

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