Shut Up, Dude: This Week’s Best Comments

Shut Up, Dude: This Week’s Best Comments

It was festival announcement week and we did our annual breakdown of the Coachella poster. It’s a lineup that looks pretty good to me, though I will not be going! This week we also got lineups for Bonnaroo, BottleRock, Boston Calling, Sonic Temple, In Between Days, BeachLife, NOLA Jazz Fest, and Tied Down Detroit. Next week: Gov Ball and Just Like Heaven?


Score: 16 | Jan 6th

i aint reading all that, moz

happy for u tho

or sorry that happened

Posted in: Morrissey Posts Lengthy Statement About His Politics, “Cancel Vultures,” & Miley Cyrus Dropping Off His Song
Phylum of Alexandria!
Score: 17 | Jan 6th

Broadcast: Tender Buttons.

By 2005, Broadcast had shifted their sound from dark and sultry chillout pop to something noisier and artier. The principal influence seems to be the early Magnetic Fields, especially the albums that paired Merritt’s fried, tinny synthscapes with Susan Anway’s cool, crystalline voice. 

Broadcast is one of the few bands I know to build on that sound, and with Tender Buttons they have pretty much perfected it. This is smart synth pop for the new generation. Or was, in 2005. 🙂

Rest in Peace, Trish Keenan!

Posted in: The Number Ones: Kanye West’s “Gold Digger” (Feat. Jamie Foxx)
Score: 18 | Jan 9th

It’s not always easy to parse these things. I mean, it’s easy when they’re garbage and you never liked their work in the first place (R. Kelly, for me). If you loved their work, it gets easier after they’re gone (Michael Jackson), because they can no longer profit. It gets tougher when they’re brilliant but keep lowering the bar for behavior (Kanye, whose old stuff I will still enjoy but whose career I can no longer patronize until and unless he seriously recants and reforms).

Chris Brown’s music is meh for me, so I have no problem, but I don’t like or understand his career trajectory. Do people really love his stuff that much? I get continuing to listen to his early work if it brings fond memories. I don’t get following him and making him richer.

Posted in: The Number Ones: Chris Brown’s “Run It!” (Feat. Juelz Santana)
Score: 18 | Jan 11th

I wish I knew how to quit you, TNOCS! A “Jack Twist” on an infamous line from the cinematic masterpiece that is Brokeback Mountain. As a gay youngish man in 2005, this was a must see for Partner and I. It is one of the most heartbreaking films…EVAH! I cried several times and still tear up when I rewatch that end scene. The Soundtrack was released prior to the film and is also sublime. The musical score from Argentinian, Gustavo Santaolalla, consists of simple, airy, and gorgeous guitar music evoking the atmosphere of Brokeback Mountain in the film. These short numbers are interspersed with pop/country songs from Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt (It’s So Easy), Willie Nelson, Steve Earle, Rufus Wainwright, and Teddy Thompson (son of Richard & Linda). The songs are expertly chosen and one knows precisely that they are Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) or Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) tunes. The Willie Nelson song, He Was A Friend of Mine, was written by Dylan in the 60s, but is spot-on with the plot. The Rufus Wainwright song, The Maker Makes, is another Ennis song and equally heartbreaking. Honey-voiced, Teddy Thompson sings I Don’t Want To Say Goodbye, which was written by Santaolalla and Bernie Taupin and captures Jack’s desire to live a life with Ennis. Thompson put out a stellar solo album that year, Separate Ways, that is worth checking out. The most beautiful song on the record is Emmylou Harris’ A Love That Will Never Grow Old, also written by Taupin and Santaolalla. It won the Golden Globe for Best Movie Song, but was ineligible for an Academy Award nomination for whatever reason. Partner and I had one of our dearest friends recite the lyrics as one of the readings at our wedding, followed by the band playing the song. Queen’s You’re My Best Friend was the other reading/song. Santaolalla won the Academy Award for the score and repeated the win for Babel the following year.

The loss of Brokeback to Crash is IMO is one of the biggest Academy debacles in its history. I can’t tell you how devastating it was to hear an inebriated Jack Nicholson announce the winner. Hollywood couldn’t possibly award its highest honor to a groundbreaking film with two homosexual lead characters and instead, totally played it safe with a glorified movie-of-the-week (at best) addressing racism and societal issues utilizing stereotypical characters. So not watching any award show this year and in future.

I can’t emphasize how important and reaffirming the soundtrack to Brokeback Mountain was to me at the time, as the Pop Charts that I once loved and respected were populated with so many songs that spewed hatred of gay people (how many columns over the past few months have included a discussion about a gay slur and readily seem to get passed this “cuz the flow is so solid”. Sad, IMO). It got better, but the early 2K pop charts are a crater-like low point for me and I actively sought out better music far away from the charts.

Posted in: The Number Ones: Mariah Carey’s “Don’t Forget About Us”
Callie Petch
Score: 20 | Jan 6th

Feel like you could’ve saved us all some time Chris by just typing “I Regret to Inform You That Morrissey is Posting Again” and left it at that.

Posted in: Morrissey Posts Lengthy Statement About His Politics, “Cancel Vultures,” & Miley Cyrus Dropping Off His Song
Phylum of Alexandria!
Score: 22 | Jan 10th

Using people of a certain race or type as props to bolster your album’s ethnic theme is creepy.


Beyond that, Japanese natives would not care at all about her appropriation. Harajuku culture is itself a loving appropriation of Western pop signifiers. Hearing Stefani say “My god, I’m Japanese,” some might take it as a compliment, but most people would just think: “Uh no you’re not and never will be. But glad you enjoy what you see!”


I guess things get a bit different for Asian Americans. They might feel more marginalized as a minority, and more sensitive to issues of exploitation. Harajuku culture is not their culture to defend, of course, but, it’s complicated.


Edit: My Japanese wife says that she cares a lot more about Americans assuming she loves hibachi restaurants than about anything Gwen Stefani has done.

Posted in: Gwen Stefani Reflects On Harajuku Era: “My God, I’m Japanese”
Jeff Bucc-lee
Score: 22 | Jan 10th

If this brings another ep of Scott and Scott, I’m all for it

Posted in: U2 Announce New Album Songs Of Surrender Featuring 40 Re-Recorded Tracks
Score: 23 | Jan 9th

I am pretty sure I have never heard a note of Chris Brown’s music and based on his history of violence toward women, I plan to keep it that way.  I realize that once one goes down this road, there is likely to be inconsistencies, bias and flat-out hypocrisy, as there are other artists to whom I still listen and have probably even gushed about, knowing they have violent abusive behavior in their profile, but I guess I just felt the need to come out and talk about this today.    

Because of much more intense scrutiny of people’s private lives, and information readily available, it’s easier to know these things about the musicians from the last few decades, and admittedly, it’s also easier to judge or be misinformed.  I get that. One of the harsh realities of reading Tom’s column obsessively is that even if we managed to avoid it in the past, we learn things about these artists that we likely never wanted to know, particularly the ones from an earlier era that may have seemed more innocent, but was far from it.  Growing up, the image the vast majority of the public had of John Denver was much different from reality, and when Tom talked about the man’s violent abuse of Annie, I could never really think about his music in the same way again, particularly the song that bears her name in the title.  

Tom has covered plenty of artists who have abuse and other crimes in their profile, and a number of times, though again, not consistently, I have chosen to not say anything about them or their music in the comment section and just talk about something else or avoid commenting altogether that day. I was going to do the same with Chris Brown, but when I got up this morning, I found myself typing out my thoughts and made the decision to post them.  Why?  Maybe it’s easier with him because I never knew any of his music anyway.  Or maybe it’s because people continue to defend him or profile him as someone who made one mistake (if you want to call his violent beating of Rihanna simply a mistake) and should be forgiven by the public, when he continues to build on his resume of violence and threats toward women, ones he knows intimately as well as complete strangers.  And all the while he continues to have great success, endorsements, well over 100 million Instagram followers and growing, and is being nominated for and given awards to this day.  It doesn’t seem right and for whatever reason, I have decided to say something about it today.

Posted in: The Number Ones: Chris Brown’s “Run It!” (Feat. Juelz Santana)
Score: 26 | Jan 6th

My alcoholic brother is (finally, thankfully) starting the process of seeking treatment for his addiction. I’m accompanying him to a session with his therapist next week where I will provide support and ask questions about the next steps. Basically, be a representative for the family rather than my whole family being there. I’m a bit nervous because I don’t want to mess up, also because I want to absorb and understand as much as possible. And I want to make sure this works for him. But I’m also so, so relieved. This has been such a long time coming and I haven’t felt this hopeful about it in a long, long time.

If anyone has some insight or experience they’d like to give, I’d love to hear it. I’ve been scarcer around these parts in the past few years but I do love and appreciate y’all.

Posted in: Shut Up, Dude: This Week’s Best Comments
Captain Cheeseheart
Score: 27 | Jan 6th

I wonder who will end up replacing Frank Ocean as headliner

Posted in: Bad Bunny, BLACKPINK, Frank Ocean To Headline Coachella 2023: Report


Jan 6th

A strange turn for a band I only know as “the band I keep seeing on festival posters even though I don’t know a single fan of theirs.”

What’s next, one of the guys from Rufus du Sol getting busted for heroin distribution?

Posted in: Cage The Elephant Singer Arrested On Gun Charges

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