Shut Up, Dude: This Week’s Best Comments

Shut Up, Dude: This Week’s Best Comments

This week demand for Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour crashed Ticketmaster and several lawmakers are once again calling for a breakup of the company’s monopoly. Addressing the Swift ticket debacle, a Live Nation exec went on CNBC to say she’s the problem, it’s her. Then Ticketmaster just went and canceled today’s general on-sale while a single ticket for Philadelphia is going for $45,000. Taylor is pissed. Maybe Elon can buy Live Nation?


Score: 17 | Nov 16th

Someone has to do it.

Posted in: The Number Ones: Ludacris’ “Stand Up” (Feat. Shawnna)
Scott Lapatine
Score: 17 | Nov 12th
Posted in: Shut Up, Dude: This Week’s Best Comments
Score: 17 | Nov 17th

Bob Dylan: “Sorry I didn’t mention every person I know”

Posted in: Chris Frantz Tells Bob Dylan To “Suck A Dick” In Response To Talking Heads Slight
Score: 18 | Nov 14th

I have to issue a mixed thanks to an esteemed TNOCS writer who recently plugged the latest episode of the Pop Pantheon podcast series (which features Tom speaking eloquently about some ladies of the 80s and more). I had never known of the podcast series, and now (why this is a mixed thanks) I feel like diving into maaaaany episodes, when there is so much already to listen to and digest. Holy banger, it is a stunningly engaging, intelligent, detailed and entertaining podcast…and I’ve been diving in.

So far, the disco and the Donna Summer episodes have been riveting.

As has been the one about Billboard Hot 100. We have many times in the comments section puzzled over the ever-changing Billboard data-compiling mechanisms, wondering how certain awful and forgotten songs got to #1 while other, arguably bigger songs never did. Or we’ve bemoaned all the corruption in the charts which kept some songs from the top because of payola or bribing. I think we’ve also felt that somehow, in general, the songs which topped the charts in the 70s and 80s certainly seem to reflect a song’s popularity or cultural relevance more than they have in the last couple of decades.

All these issues and many more related to Billboard tallying are addressed in a Pop Panteon episode that I really recommend to anyone who has ever geeked out on chart stats and feel some starry-eyed nostalgia for the Hot 100. This is a deeper dive than you can ever imagine but incredibly balanced.

And one takeaway for me is that – well, of course charts have always been imprecise or fudgible – because humans are involved! How can we ever hope that there will be some kind of precise and objective way to know precisely what chart position accurately reflects popularity when there are (predictably) fallible people with their own biases, interests or technological limitations behind it. Whether it’s the fans or the studio heads, or record shop owners or issues with data collection, there will always be imperfections in the system. And it’s ok, what else could we expect?

At least the system as flawed as it is has been has been spectacular enough to alter our collective pop culture and largely does reflect some aspects of popular trends and our ever changing world. I personally would love to see a chart that compiles as it does now, but adds a few other metrics for context, to better assess a song’s true popularity more than if it, say, just made it to #1 (for example, how many weeks it stayed on the chart, or how quickly it fell from #1…)

Enjoy – this episode really gives perspective for all of us (myself included) who do have a sense of missing ‘the good old days’ of pre-Soundscan Hot 100 charts.

Posted in: The Number Ones: Beyoncé’s “Baby Boy” (Feat. Sean Paul)
Score: 18 | Nov 11th

I ran my second half marathon last weekend basically bc of peer pressure & I timed my playlist so I crossed the starting line to “Step by Step” and crossed the finish line to the “Bonus Beat” reprise. Finished just under 1:46, new PR, despite not having run anything longer than 8 miles in ages! Thanks Panda!

Posted in: Shut Up, Dude: This Week’s Best Comments
Chris DeVille
Score: 20 | Nov 16th

Up so early because Tom had to hop on a train to New York to promote the book!

Posted in: The Number Ones: Ludacris’ “Stand Up” (Feat. Shawnna)
DJ Professor Dan
Score: 22 | Nov 16th

Meanwhile down at Da Club… Kelis’ milkshake is bringing all the boys to the yard and they’re like, it’s better than yours, damn right it’s better than yours, I can teach you, but I have to charge. It’s “Milkshake” aka Kelis’ Guide To Being Sexy, aka The Sexiest Number One in Da Club of da Decade!

So what is Kelis’ teaching us? Let’s open up Kelis’ Guide To Being Sexy and peruse its contents.

Chapter One of Kelis’ Guide To Being Sexy: Techniques that freaks these boys.

(a)    Maintain your charm, but at the same time, maintain your halo

(b)    Get the perfect blend

(c)     Warm it up

(d)    The boys are waiting, and their eyes are squinting because they’ve pick up your scent.


So you see, “Milkshake” is not – as some naïve and innocent souls have suggested – a song about how to make milkshakes. Kelis finally admitted – to The Guardian in 2016 – that she had never ever made a milkshake. Her milkshake is a metaphor.

“Milkshake” was of course produced by The Neptunes. Who had had, by this point, already produced a whole bunch of 10s – Mystikal’s “Shake Ya Ass”, Justin’s “Like I Love You”, Nelly’s “Hot In Herre”, Kelis herself with “Caught Out There” – and a whole bunch more 9s – Clipse’s “Grindin’”, Justin’s “Rock Your Body”, their own “Lapdance”, Kelis and ODB’s “Got Your Money” – but I’m going to put it out there, “Milkshake” is their masterpiece. Their sexy masterpiece.

“Milkshake” is 10. Those other 10s were just rounded up.

And to think it could have been a Britney song.

Posted in: The Number Ones: Ludacris’ “Stand Up” (Feat. Shawnna)
Score: 24 | Nov 11th

The ways in which music interweaves throughout the emotional ups and downs of our lives is to me endlessly fascinating. Permit me a little musing.

Exactly on this day one year ago, I went in for the biggest operation of my life, a prostatectomy. I was dreading it as the end of my life as I knew it, save death the very last thing that I wanted. I had lived heavily a year prior with the diagnosis of cancer, following 6 years of worrying that it might be that. After thousands of hours of investigations and tests and meetings and ruminations, it turned out that this deeply unwanted operation was the best course of action in my case.

The day was slowly arriving, and I was generally calm, though resigned and with heavy heart. The day before checking into the hospital in another town, I checked into the nicest hotel around, meditated, sat in the spa, went for a long, contemplative walk – and listened to Stevie Nicks’ Rooms on Fire over and over and over. Not what I would have consciously thought of as the most significant song to symbolize this life transition.

I don’t know how that tune snuck into the earworm template of my brain in the days leading up to that day. I’d always liked, not adored the song and I hadn’t thought of it or actively listened to it since it had been released in 1989. And yet somehow it appeared in my brain, and became a defining aspect of the entire operation for me. On my forest walks and especially in the privacy of my hotel room, I blasted it on repeat on my headphones, sinking deeper into the Rupert Hine (yep, of The Fixx records) production I adored, the heavy, droopy but driving bass, and Stevie’s lazy slurs and even the vaguely esoteric-symbolic lyrics about there being magic all around you. Somehow it made its way through deeper layers of feeling.

This track gained a certain magnificence of emotional impact for me, something it never had had for me previously. Maybe as there are A and D minor chords propelling the drama forward, several parts which suddenly blast back into fiery action, and a general sense of mystery and drama to it. But it got to me. A few times, after allowing myself to dance freely and crazily around the room, letting go of years of built up tension over this issue, I found myself breaking down in tears. Just the body doing its thing. The music helped to unstick something stuck and allowed for a release I had kept under tight control until then.

It struck me as an unlikely song to perform this function, but it worked – perfectly. As if it had been called into being by some unknown inner force to help do the deed. Wow.

That’s part of the beauty of all these comments here and articles – not that there’s no accounting for some people’s taste (!) but that there is a mystery to how we connect to what music, something that can never be fully dissected and ideally never criticized, Cuz we’ll just never know just what resonance a tune at the right time and place can have on someone’s soul.

Another song connected with that operation – my all time favourite song, Chic’s Happy Man. In the 4 minutes before they wheeled me off to the operating theatre, I blasted that tune, and then happily hopped on the bed, one brave step forward, all the braver for the emotional boost of the song.

Thanks for reading…this felt like it was my version of a contribution to that great BBC show Soul Music 🙂

Posted in: The Number Ones: Nelly, P. Diddy, & Murphy Lee’s “Shake Ya Tailfeather”
Score: 24 | Nov 17th

I know they don’t have a whole lot to work with, but whoever does the media training for Maffei or PR for ticketmaster is awful at their job.

Really? Blame the artist? Attempt to brag about how your competitors want (translation: are forced) to use you? Blame the bots who penetrated your site? (Which is of course different from the altruistic ticketmaster-funded bots on the site to further inflate sale prices)

How awful. Even an undergrad in Communications 101 could create a better statement.

Posted in: Live Nation On Taylor Swift Ticket Debacle: She’s The Problem, It’s Her
Jeff Bucc-lee
Score: 32 | Nov 17th

interestingly AEG — our competitor, who is the promoter for Taylor Swift — chose to use us because we are, in reality, the largest and most effective ticket seller in the world. Even our competitors want to come on our platform.

…because they have no fucking choice?

Posted in: Live Nation On Taylor Swift Ticket Debacle: She’s The Problem, It’s Her


Nov 16th

My copy of The Number Ones arrived yesterday. Thankful for our little corner of the internet and this incredible column. Thank you Tom!

Posted in: The Number Ones: Ludacris’ “Stand Up” (Feat. Shawnna)

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