Shut Up, Dude: This Week’s Best Comments

Shut Up, Dude: This Week’s Best Comments

What a week for new tunes. I’ve been switching between Duster and Braxe + Falcon today, but shout out to Marci‘s “Entertainment” and Sports Team‘s “R Entertainment.” Are you not entertained? Maybe you don’t like music. Speaking of which, the Grammys are this weekend (sorry we don’t make the rules) so join us here Sunday night for all the memes.


Score: 25 | Mar 25th

People who read this column seem to love memories. So here: This song was huge the summer I was seventeen. It was my summer of love. I was working part time in the deli department of a grocery store, nearly the perfect job to be perpetually on drugs. I say nearly because, of course, the meat slicer. But that accident doesn’t figure into this anecdote. There was a guy at the store who was the cart pusher and did some light stocking.  He was about six-three, at least 300 pounds, a small but unkempt ‘fro—big guy—with autism. He wasn’t one for much conversation, like some folks on the spectrum, but he really, really liked pop music, Top 40, whatever was number one: it was one of his “restricted” interests. He could talk your ear off about Michael Jackson if you let him. And he was always singing:  under his breath, very quietly, always singing.  A lot of times you couldn’t make out what it was, and, yeah, a lot of times it was “Remember the Time,” but he got on a “Waterfalls” tip that summer, and he didn’t have a bad voice and, yes, it was very charming. Anyway, one morning I was working—I don’t know, scooping out a quart of potato salad or something else that seemed really gross when you’ve been up all night and you’re not sure if you’re still fucked up or it’s just exhaustion and/or brain damage; that guy was stocking right across from my counter and he was singing “Waterfalls.” The store was pretty quiet, so you could really hear him, too. I looked over at my coworker, this brassy middle-aged woman, a full-timer who probably rightfully resented having to work with a stupid teenage fuckup like me, and I closed my eyes and began moving my head in time with that man’s singing (think a really bad Stevie Wonder impression). When I opened my eyes, the woman looked from me to the guy singing and said in about the nastiest tone imaginable, “Hey you. Will you be quiet? I can’t even hear myself think,” and she walked away. The guy turned a little bit and stopped singing. A second later, I heard him say in that quiet, under-the-breath voice, “You be quiet. You be quiet. You be quiet.” And then he started singing “Waterfalls” again. That guy ruled. I hope he’s still into the number ones.

Posted in: The Number Ones: TLC’s “Waterfalls”
eastside tilly
Score: 26 | Mar 28th

That’s the problem with the Oscars. Nothing dramatic ever happens.

Would love to know if this was written before or after tonight’s broadcast.

Posted in: The Number Ones: Seal’s “Kiss From A Rose”
Jeff Bucc-lee
Score: 27 | Mar 29th

Say what you want, but based on his discography, Julian is definitely an expert on things that slap.

Posted in: Julian Casablancas Finally Breaks His Legendary Silence About Will Smith Slapping Chris Rock At The Oscars
Score: 27 | Mar 25th

On the Alternative Side…
Let’s discuss the #1 song(s) from the Billboard Alternative chart.  I’ll align these to Tom’s Hot 100 #1 column as best I can.

Song:  You Oughta Know
Artist(s):  Alanis Morissette 
Time at #1:  Five weeks

Alrighty!!   Alanis time!  Born in Ontario, Canada in 1974, Morissette showed early promise on the piano at age six and dancing at age seven, and, while in middle school, she appeared on the variety show “You Can’t Do That on Television”.   She was signed to MCA Records Canada in 1991 and released her debut album “Alanis”.  It went platinum and generated three Canadian top 40 singles.

Her second album, “Now Is The Time” was another Canada-only release in 1992, and saw Morissette start to branch out to more mature, thoughtful music.  The album was a bit of a flop, though, and she was dropped by her label.

Morissette moved to Toronto and started working with producer / songwriter Glen Ballard on what would become her first international and breakout album “Jagged Little Pill”.  Soon after the album was completed, she was signed to Madonna’s label, Maverick (good move, Madge!).

“You Oughta Know” is the lead single from “Jagged Little Pill”.  Beyond the Modern Rock number one, this did pretty well elsewhere, getting to #4 in Australia, # 6 in Canada and on the Hot 100, #11 in Iceland, #17 in the Netherlands, #22 in the UK & Scotland, #25 in New Zealand, #38 in Sweden and #39 in Belgium.

Assisted by guitar and bass work from Dave Navarro and Flea, it picked up steam after getting featured by KROQ in L.A. and exploded from there.  This is another one of those “neutron bomb” songs that sent the Alt sound to the mainstream –  EVERYONE seemed to know this one and had strong opinions about it.  Is it too angry?  Is it crass and offensive?  Is Morissette one of the leading female artists of her generation?  Does this song completely rule?  Maybe “yes” to all these questions, and, man:  what an explosion.  Killer melody, lyrics, performance and production, this one was WAY overplayed, but I found myself wanting to hear it again and again anyways.  Absolute magic, and a song that I suspect inspired many a young woman to get their personal, intense and angry material recorded and heard.  10/10, all day, every day.  Ms. Morissette will be back again soon.

Posted in: The Number Ones: TLC’s “Waterfalls”
Score: 27 | Mar 25th

Not surprising, considering how huge it was, but “Waterfalls” was the first TLC song I ever heard. It was in seriously heavy rotation for years afterward on lite rock radio. Of course, it wasn’t what I consider to be the one true version but more on that in a little bit. As a kid, I know I liked it but wasn’t sure what it was about. It sounded cool was all I knew, from T-Boz’s husky voice to the hip-hop adjacent beats in the production.

But, little did I know back then, “Waterfalls” is deeper than that. MUCH deeper. It’s incredible to me now that topics like HIV/AIDS and drug addiction/dealing got addressed in such a mainstream pop song. In that respect, though, it is one of the top tracks that exemplifies the 90s. All of these topics were worth discussing but still seemed taboo. “Waterfalls” was one of those songs, at least by my best assumption, that blew those doors wide open. And it’s not a preachy song. T-Boz maintains this straightforward tone as she’s telling these stories. Then, there’s the rap verse from Left Eye that offers some respite from all the tragedy in the song verses.

I was ticked off but not surprised that I went through much of my life not knowing the rap verse exists. It ties the rest of the song together. For certain radio stations, including the one I’d listen to, to omit it completely was ignorant at best, outright racist at worst. “Waterfalls” does not need cleaned up. Left Eye’s verse is hopeful and carries the important message of finding the will and faith to go on through troubled times. She just got out of rehab when she wrote those verses, so you understand how sincere she is here. The verse is all about her religious faith, there’s no cursing (if that’s such an issue)…Why cut this? Oh, because it’s rapped. 🙄

All that to say is that “Waterfalls” was an instant classic when released and an enduring classic to this day for a reason–every single aspect is so crucial, not one word is filler. And all of the elements interweave with each other so well: production, vocals, and the writing. TLC’s magnum opus. An absolute 10!

By the way, I have heard “Waterfalls” on my go-to station and guess what? They keep Left Eye’s verse in! You just can’t have the song without it, and I’m glad the programmers recognize that.

Posted in: The Number Ones: TLC’s “Waterfalls”
Score: 28 | Mar 30th

If you tried to write a tragedy based on Michael Jackson’s life it couldn’t be done. We’ll never know the reality, I’m convinced of that. But the chasm between the joy he brought to the world, and the pain he endured, and the pain of those who got close to him, is Shakespeare level tragedy.

In the aftermath of Thriller I’ve been convinced he was crippled emotionally trying to live up to that success. I’ve said it before that Prince knew he’d never make an album as big as Purple Rain and it freed him to experiment. Michael was convinced anything less than Thriller was a failure.

I bought HIStory as a greatest hits CD that I could take with me when I DJd since everything I needed was in one package. One CD has rarely been removed from the case, I’d rather focus on the joy.

Posted in: The Number Ones: Michael Jackson’s “You Are Not Alone”
Score: 28 | Mar 29th

some things are still worth accidentally refreshing the article, logging out, logging in, going back in your history, clicking the comment box to load your profile, and clicking Like.

Posted in: Julian Casablancas Finally Breaks His Legendary Silence About Will Smith Slapping Chris Rock At The Oscars
Score: 31 | Mar 26th

There is Nothing Left to Lose was my first rock album, so this band has always been important to me. Fourteen years ago I saw them at an arena in Kansas City and hung back afterwards hoping to meet the band. Taylor’s the only one who came out, but did an awesome job of saying hi to me and all the weird older fans (I am not weird nor have I ever been, I am cool). He posed for photos and I got one with him where I tried to air drum alongside him, but it wound up looking like I was just jacking off. Didn’t phase him one bit. Thanks for the minute of your time Taylor, thank you for the music, and sorry you had to watch some awkward college kid seemingly jerk off in front of you.

Posted in: Foo Fighters Drummer Taylor Hawkins Dead At 50
Score: 31 | Mar 25th

So I really have to take this time out to talk about Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes because she was a freaking force. 

At the time of her death, I was five years old and I have no real significant childhood memories of her in the same way I have for Aaliyah (who I will also talk about when we get there). However, 20 years later, something about her untimely demise really angers me. 

Left Eye was clearly troubled in a way that was very apparent, but the midst of her struggle with alcoholism and her mental health, she fought to be better. In my daily life, I have my struggles with anxiety, anger, depression, grief, SI, and possibly other things I have yet to be diagnosed with. If Left Eye were to be in the peak of her career now (or if I had been an adult back then), I just know I would have identified heavily with her. The fact that she fought so hard to battle her demons and trauma—from her spiraling mental illness, to being exploited, to felonies, to being abused and heartbroken—only to be taken from the world in a freak accident just tears me apart. It just felt like a cruel twist of fate, especially because so many were still reeling from the passing of Aaliyah. 

However, Lisa seemed like a person who would not want to be reduced to her death. So I will say that I genuinely believe she is one of the most important figures in Hip-Hop, R&B, and pop music history. Every single female rapper that was around at the time and especially the ones came after her owe a lot to her. You see her influence in Doja Cat’s quirky futuristic aesthetic, or Cardi B’s rambunctious attitude, or Nicki Minaj’s cadence and lyricism. She advocated for safe sex, inner peace, and creativity. 

To this day, I really appreciate how much she tried. She should be here to reap the benefits of her progress. She gave the world so much even after leaving us 20 years ago. At least now, she’s free.

Posted in: The Number Ones: TLC’s “Waterfalls”
lobster man
Score: 43 | Mar 28th

It’s absurd that we have to work the day after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock on live tv. We need time to process this!

Posted in: New Report Conflicts Diddy’s Claim That Will Smith & Chris Rock Squashed Their Beef After The Oscars


Mar 30th

I produced a concert at a college for Shelley (then going by DRAM) and when he performed “Broccoli” a student threw a big bag of weed onstage. After the show I tried to hide it from the college security but when I grabbed the bag it was… broccoli? I asked his manager about it and he was like “yeah they do that every show.” Mfers bringing vegetables to concerts!

Posted in: Tyler, The Creator Tells Fans To Stop Throwing Shit At Him Onstage

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