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

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

How it started, how it’s going…

THIS WEEK’S 10 HIGHEST RATED COMMENTS

#10  Legeis
Score:32 | Dec 3rd

The Violin Solo

The violin solo comes courtesy of Stuart Canin. He began performing on radio at the age of 10, in 1936.
As a serviceman in the army during WWII, he was asked to perform for Churchill, Truman and Stalin at the Potsdam Conference. That’s a weird trivia note.

He’s served as concertmaster in San Fran and LA for their symphonies and operas.

You can watch his life story in a Documentary short called “The Rifleman’s Violin”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlO1x4IOk10

Posted in: The Number Ones: Paula Abdul’s “Rush Rush”
#9  minormajor7th
Score:33 | Dec 8th

Thank you everyone for the warm welcome on Monday.

I will begin with my obligatory patriotic duty. Should you require a palette-cleanser, please see the following:

1. Have Not Been the Same: an easy read of a tome, summarizing Alt Rock in Canada from 1985 to 1995.

2. Perfect Youth: The Birth of Canadian Punk. The Canadian version of Our Band Could be Your Life.

3. On a Cold Road. Did you read Mark Lanegan’s book? If so, replace every story about drugs and violence and replace with all things hockey (scores; anecdotes, prophecies, etc.) It’s awesome.

As for this tune, here goes. Since Christmas 1990, I was obssessed with Robin Hood.
There were medieval themed Legos around that time, and the Robin Hood-esque sets were my favorite.

Further, one of the major gas stations around Toronto had a set of kids’ books, which you could collect as part of a loyalty program/points thing. My father collected them all. One was Robin Hood. Again: my favorite.

Side note: the previous summer that gas station had a cool Italia ’90 soccer ball, which in the summer of ’91 now served as a cannonball against the Sheriff of Nottinghams’ forces.

I remember running around in the back yard with green cap, green t-shirt made to look like a tunic, makeshift bow and arrow, when, suddenly, there
was an ad on the radio that blew my mind: Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves.
It felt like the stars aligned.

I ran inside to tell my mother. She only smiled. Saying “we’ll see.” I never did get to see the movie in the theatres.
But my parents bought me the VHS when it was first released. It was a disappointment to 7 year old me.
The film was too dark. The mythology of a “prince of thieves”, as I understood it from the books and my own imagination, was nowhere to be found.

Fast forward to Grade 6. Last day of school. I am slow dancing with my crush to this song. I ask her if she wil be my girlfriend.
I thought we would be together for that summer and for all of Grade 7 and beyond.
It only lasted a few weeks thereafter. She ended it.

Since, there were two more occasions where this song was playing in the background as I got my heart broken.
I would like to think that this stuff does not get to me (portents, premonitions, that sort of thing). But I just can’t shake it with this song.

One day, I hope to muster the courage to actually sit down and listen to this thing and try to analyze it on its own.

But, right now, with a wife and son, I don’t want to tempt fate.

To end on a lighter note: my merry men in the vanguard report that we shall soon find ourselves further in the Northern Lands of Kingdom Can Con.

Should this community see it fit then, as this great chronicle continues to unfold, I am prepared to lead, and welcome all to the ranks, of the Defenders of Dion.

Lady Dion is strong and true, for she knows the power of love.

Soon she will begin her noble advance on Carey’s Reign of Terror and Bolton’s machinations, a tumultuous time in all realms as the Almighty Houston
and they who don the crest of Boyz II Men avail themselves of a well-deserved repose in Carey and Bolton’s relentless assault.

If you have doubts, know that our hearts will always go on.

Our scouts also report reinforcements from Lady Twain, Morissette and McLaughlin, a most virtuous and strong triumvirate.

And our days will be filled with jest from the zany troubadours known as the Barenaked Ladies. Although they have one melody that poisons the ear.

Be assured, dear friends, that there is one tune from Lady Dion, a duet with a deplorable demon, for which I will shall not take up the sword.

Nevertheless, we welcome you.

[cue intro riff to Man, I Feel Like a Woman]

Posted in: The Number Ones: Bryan Adams’ “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You”
#8  dansolo
Score:33 | Dec 6th

2021: weird energy! Less outright terror, more ambient dread, but then there were also these necessary and joyous reunions with friends and family, a resumption of at least some of the old routines and pleasures of city life, not least of all live music. After getting vaccinated I tried, not unsuccessfully, to manifest a new beginning by moving to a new neighborhood. I went to a music festival, to clubs, to the gym, to the beach, started commuting to teach in person again – all the habits of life where music slots in to color and enliven.

As I tried to will a reset that still hasn’t entirely taken, my listening gravitated toward a comfort zone of pop-inflected rock and rock-inflected pop, often driven by women singer-songwriters. Records in that mold make up more than half of my Top 10 (including my three favorites) and many of the runners-up. This has often been my personal soundtrack, and though I dabbled in plenty of more exploratory offerings, it’s largely what stuck, maybe reflecting a calendar with few obvious game-changers, but also fitting for a year where I was more concerned with reassembling my consciousness than rearranging it.

Whatever you listened to, I hope it helped you to hold on to what needed holding and to move forward when you were ready to move. This is what I had on for most of the year:

01. Wolf Alice – Blue Weekend
02. Japanese Breakfast – Jubilee
03. Snail Mail – Valentine
04. Turnstile – GLOW ON
05. Tyler, the Creator – CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST
06. St. Vincent – Daddy’s Home
07. Iceage – Seek Shelter
08. Low – HEY WHAT
09. The Weather Station – Ignorance
10. Indigo De Souza – Any Shape You Take

Have some blurbs that I jotted down in notes on the way home from Thanksgiving but lets just see how this comments section is shaping up before I go full TNOCS.

Posted in: The 50 Best Albums Of 2021
#7  Guy K
Score:33 | Dec 3rd

I’ve been thinking about this one for weeks, about how I’m going to break it to the TNOCS crowd that I like a song that I am sure so many here will dislike. I am really not a Paula Abdul fan; I considered so much of her interchangeable, processed New Jack swing offerings the epitome of why I didn’t like where pop music was headed in the late ‘80s. I didn’t hate her music, but it did nothing for me.
But “Rush Rush” isn’t like any other Paula Abdul’s hit. It’s a ballad, and not a typical cookie-cutter ballad, either. I mean, how many other ballads in 1991 had a violin solo in the bridge? And it works. For me, the whole damn thing works as this incredible guilty pleasure: sweet, melodic, erotic and convincingly authentic.
It dawned on me that “Rush Rush” was sort of like Paula Abdul’s attempt at a “Crazy for You” change-up. Like that Madonna song, Abdul manages to sound like her giddy joy and passionate longing are genuinely rendered, and not calculated. “All my heart, all the joy, oh, baby, baby, PLEEEAASE.” Whitney or Mariah never expressed themselves as convincingly as Paula did in this vocal flourish.
How much I liked this song took me by surprise then, and it still confounds me now. But what is, is. Resistance is futile, and “Rush Rush” is a 9/10.

Posted in: The Number Ones: Paula Abdul’s “Rush Rush”
#6  tupac chopra
Score:34 | Dec 6th

LSD meets LDS.

Posted in: The 50 Best Albums Of 2021
#5  Vivek Maddala
Score:35 | Dec 6th

I’ve always found “Unbelievable” annoying to listen to, but I think it has one really cool thing going for it: the song is based on an unusual musical mode called “Spanish Phrygian.” It’s so unusual, in fact, that I think it may be the only song ever to be featured in The Number Ones column that uses it.

The Phrygian scale comprises the following degrees: 1, b2, b3, 4, 5, b6, b7. There’s another scale called Phrygian Dominant, which is nearly identical, but it contains a natural (not flat) 3. Spanish Phrygian combines these two scales, resulting in an octatonic (8-note) scale containing both a Major 3rd and a minor 3rd. I’m sure everyone reading this has heard the Andalusian cadence (from Flamenco music) — even if you didn’t know that’s what it’s called. The chorus of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” uses it, as does David Bowie’s “China Girl,” Dire Straits’ “Sultans of Swing,” Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive,” Hall & Oates’ “Maneater,” and countless other songs. The Andalusian cadence comes directly from Phrygian mode.

Today’s number 1 song, “Unbelievable,” is in G#, and because it uses the Spanish Phrygian scale, the notes are: G#, A, B, C, C#, D#, E, F#. Play or sing this scale and you’ll hear that it possesses quite an exotic sound with a lot of melodic possibilities. The song’s recurring guitar motif, which comes in after he sings “You’re unbelievable,” is the tune’s most direct expression of this musical mode. It’s an amazingly cool sound — elusive, yet incredibly “hooky” — and I think it’s the main reason this song became so popular.

Another name for this mode is “Mixolydian-flat-9-sharp-9-flat-13.” It’s similar to the Hijaz Maqam scale in Arabic music, the Bhairavi in Hindustani (North Indian) music, the Hanumatodi raga in Carnatic (South Indian) music, and Dastgāh-e Šur in Iranian music. And of course, you can find it in southern Spain (the Andalusian region of the Iberian Peninsula). As the name “Phrygian” implies, you can trace its origin to ancient Greece. So while musicians all over the world use it, it’s pretty rare to hear it in Western pop music.

I’ve used Spanish Phrygian when composing film scores, and my colleague Jeff Beal has made Spanish Phrygian one of his signature sounds (check out his score for HBO’s “Rome” or Netflix’s “House of Cards”). So here’s the question: has Spanish Phrygian mode been used in any pop songs besides “Unbelievable”?

Pink Floyd’s “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun” uses Phrygian, but there’s no Major 3rd, so it’s not Spanish Phrygian. “Would,” by Alice In Chains, uses Phrygian — but again, no Major 3rd, so it’s not Spanish Phrygian. Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble” sounds like Phrygian mode, but there’s no 3rd interval at all in the recurring riff, so we don’t have enough information to identify exactly what kind of Phrygian scale it uses. Snoop Dogg’s “Gin & Juice” is a great example of Phrygian mode — but alas, not Spanish Phrygian. Likewise with Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing).” Ravel’s “Bolero” does use Spanish Phrygian mode, but we don’t generally considered that a “pop song” per se. Maybe “Unbelievable” is unique within the pop music canon for its use of this unusual musical mode…?

OK, I just remembered a song that uses Spanish Phrygian: Radiohead’s “Pyramid Song.” Also, the intro to Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” is in Spanish Phrygian. (That song made it to #8 on the Hot 100.) Curiously, Tom Breihan wrote, “It is fucking insane that the guy from EMF was partly responsible for ‘Beautiful Liar’.” I just listened to that song, and — lo and beyond — it’s in Spanish Phrygian! So it’s not insane. Maybe Ian Dench was really into Spanish Phrygian?

Can anyone name another pop hit that uses this musical mode? Other thoughts?

Posted in: The Number Ones: EMF’s “Unbelievable”
#4  freshwest
Score:42 | Dec 6th

BONUS BONUS BONUS BONUS BONUS BONUS BEATS – THE MOST BONUS OF ALL:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFjctVBg6K8

I am a big fan – first time poster of this column. This might be my favorite thing in the whole world…

Posted in: The Number Ones: EMF’s “Unbelievable”
#3  Guy K
Score:45 | Dec 8th

It’s no secret that I have a strong preference for mid-‘80s music over late-‘80s/early-‘90s music. So Bryan Adams’ first hit in four years should have been good news to these ears. Instead, it just underscored my waning regard for
the state of Top 40 music by 1991.

At his best, Adams may not have been quite up to the level of the heartland rocking contemporaries he was trying to emulate (Petty/Mellencamp/Seger/Springsteen), but what he had to offer between 1983 and 1985 included plenty of classic rock that sounded damn good coming out of my radio speakers—“Summer of ’69,” “Run to You,” “One Night Love Affair,” “This Time” and “Cuts Like a Knife” all struck a positive chord, and Adams built up enough goodwill that I didn’t hear songs like “Straight from the Heart” or “Heaven” as possible warning signs.

I should have. Those latter two, mind you, are still worlds better than what Adams polluted the airwaves with throughout the 1990s, but they are of a type that seemed to encourage Adams and/or his handlers to go soft.

“Everything I Do (I Do it For You)” is more than a bad song. It infuriates me. I hated it the first time I heard it. It soundtracked the kind of calculated summer blockbuster movie I had no interest in ever seeing, and it highlighted all of Adams’ weaknesses as an artist and did away with whatever made his music appealing six or seven years earlier. The strings and soft piano that open the song signal right away that we’re in for a piece of shit. Then Adams’ unconvincing, weak-ass faux sensitive-male vocal kicks in, and the first lines of the song – “Look into my eyes, you will see, what you mean to me” – let you know that what will follow are lyrics that were made not to move listeners, but rather to move product.

The emotions this swill stirs in me are almost exactly the same ones that “Kokomo” made me feel. I deeply, truly despise it. It reached its absolute nadir when Adams hits the line, “I’d die for youuu,” and then there’s a dramatic pause. That pause gives the discerning listener a chance to run for the exits or dive for the radio dial, if he hasn’t already.

The very worst thing about “Everything I Do” was that its incomprehensibly massive success ensured that Bryan Adams would stick to the formula and grace us with several other emotive ballads in the ‘90s that were arguably even worse than this.

Michael Bolton, at HIS worst, ain’t got nothing on this landfill of solid waste. 1/10.

Posted in: The Number Ones: Bryan Adams’ “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You”
#2  hatebox
Score:45 | Dec 6th

I think that’s really generous for the top 2 (and I like those albums!) but at least Low made the top 5. Trust a couple of old married Mormons to make the most exciting record of the year.

Posted in: The 50 Best Albums Of 2021
#1  meat
Score:53 | Dec 6th

maybe he lost respect for them when they nominated drake for grammy

Posted in: Drake Withdraws 2022 Grammy Nominations

THIS WEEK’S 5 LOWEST RATED COMMENTS

#5  fuggerphugger1
Score:-8 | Dec 5th

stereogum or stereogrammys… am i right..? but for real. please find anything else to talk about. thanks. entertainment tonight etc. has this bs covered. ad blocker still in full effect. wah wah.

Posted in: Taylor Swift, Jack Antonoff, & St. Vincent No Longer Grammy Nominees For Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour
#4  StupidAsshole
Score:-10 | Dec 9th

OR!… I could watch something that is more fun, entertaining and uplifting than this…like footage of the twin towers collapsing or something.

Posted in: Livestream Kanye West & Drake’s Free Larry Hoover Concert
#3  jdcfreak1990
Score:-11 | Dec 3rd

HIS Abusive History! There is no history yet nothing has been proven so far. Allegations don’t mean shit unless you have proof to back your claims. People like you who shoot first than ask questions later are fucking pathetic. What the fuck ever happened to innocent until proven quilty?

Posted in: Marilyn Manson Removed From Best Rap Song Grammy Nominations
#2  blochead
Score:-13 | Dec 3rd

I’m reminded of that time(s) Courtney shot smack while pregnant

I look forward to more high ground commentary from her in the future

Posted in: Courtney Love Comes For Elon Musk: “It’s Kendall Roy Shit”
#1  DiskoVolante
Score:-20 | Dec 6th

Mark Kozelek is a gross rapist but I really hope War On Drugs sucked his cock.
“Arriving at the highest levels of anticipation”
get fucked
stop peddling this boring shit

Posted in: The 50 Best Albums Of 2021

THIS WEEK’S EDITOR-IN-CHIEF’S CHOICE

  stereodog
Score:24 | Dec 7th

Ok, so I ate one mushroom about an hour before, and something happened to me during Over and Over. I just started weeping. It felt amazing. This chapter is fucking amazing.

Beach House, I L Y S F M

Posted in: Stream Chapter 2 Of Beach House’s New Album Once Twice Melody

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