Saturday, August 18, 2007

Hey Look! Overanalysis!


Faithful readers of the blog will recall a time in which I mentioned the Shop Boyz song “Party Like A Rock Star” as a possible target for Overanalysis. However, I was fairly certain that the seeming inanity of the song was actually a feign hiding a secret and oh-so-deep meaning. Today I shall slay this beast. I’m confident now that I have uncovered every secret and deciphered every code. So without further ado…

Today’s Overanalysis:
“Party Like A Rock Star” by The Shop Boyz

Party like a rock, party like a rockstar!
Party like a rock, party like a rockstar!
Party like a rock, party like a rockstar!
Party like a rockstar, tut-tut-tut-totally dude!

I know some of you literazis out there have got some sand in your vajayjay about that line “Party like a rock.” Well nobody had any complaints when Bob Seger wrote “Like A Rock,” and that had worse and more numerous rock-related similes. And besides, what you see above is a typo. They’re really saying “Party Like Iraq,” which is pretty much the only way to party in a more destructive and perpetual manner than a rock star.

Im on a moneymaking mission, but I party like a rockstar

Is partying his curse, or is it a necessary externality in his mission to make that money? Let’s examine.

Im flyin down 20, lookin good in my hot car

It’s clear he’s concerned with his appearance as he pulls this stunt. This demonstrates that his wild behavior is more of a show than anything.

You know them hoe be at my show, grabbin where my chain go,
Im tryna grab hold of my pants, but these hoes wont let my thang go,

Heartbreaking. A man on a stage, losing his dignity to women he can neither love nor be loved by. Such is the performer’s dilemma. To be a voice, but still simply an object.

I do it like i do it, cuz you know them hoes bein tryin
oh dont you know i fuck with fine dimes that look like pamela,

Clearly a defense mechanism, the singer displaces his fear of objectification by sleeping with women who look like Pamela Anderson so as to verify his own sense of persona.

they fine and they hot bruh, when im in the spot bruh, yuh, yuh,
I party like a rockstar!

I can only assume that the “spot” is inebriation, which is to say “They’re hot when I’m drunk.” Thus I assert that the partying is a self-destructive act lashing out at his feelings of social disconnect.

Party like a rock, party like a rockstar!
Party like a rock, party like a rockstar!
Party like a rock, party like a rockstar!
Party like a rockstar, tut-tut-tut-totally dude!

Ha! Ha! Party like a rockstar
Do it with the black n the white like a cop car,

Does anything bring together the races as amicably as partying? I don’t think so. This speaker is uniting people of all races under a common banner of shaking what their mothers gave them.

Me & my band man, on a yacht wit marilyn manson gettin a tan man,

I doubt this happened, but I would love to see it. Manson? On a yacht? Sunbathing? With rappers? It’s just so ridiculous it could work.

You know me, with a skull belt, and wallet chain,
Shop Boyz rock stars, yeah we ‘bout to change the game,

If they’re insisting that the rap rock cross-over game is a new invention, I think Run-DMC would like a chance to rebut. And as far as skull belts and wallet chains, I’m pretty sure Pharrell was rocking that years ago. And he didn’t sing about it either.

Change the game? they know that imma star,
imma star, imma make it rain from the center of my guitar!

Listen up, people, because I know some people are gonna harsh on this last line. Let’s just face the fact that some musical subcultures are better at some idioms than others. For instance, most blue-grass bands would have a very difficult time describing sick rhymes and dope beats. And likewise, these rappers have just unleashed the shittiest metaphor for shredding ever uttered. Rain? Really?

Yaaaaa!
Party like a rock, party like a rockstar!
Party like a rock, party like a rockstar!
Party like a rock, party like a rockstar!
Party like a rockstar, tut-tut-tut-totally dude!

A quick word about the “Totally dude” line. Some have speculated that this song mocks rock music’s accouterments and others suggest that it pays homage to them instead. I can see how both would work here. “Totally Dude” is probably the most laughable phrase ever uttered and the Shop Boyz would be right to mock it, but then if it’s meant as homage it would be a very humble gesture to repeat (with admiration) such a silly line.

As soon I came out the womb, my momma knew a star was born
Now Im on a golf course, trippin with the Osbournes

The new acid test for stardom: Are you now, or have you ever taken drugs on a golf course with the Osbournes?

I seen a show with Travis Barker, rockstar mentality,
Im jumpin in the crowd, just to see if they would carry me,

Another example of these rappers’ inexperience with rock. For instance, it’s totally NOT rockin’ to watch that Travis Barker show. That guy’s been hitting every branch of the rockin’ tree on his way down and he’s not showing any signs of stopping. Let us pause on the beautiful mystery of that second sentence for a moment. Assuming the crowd is a rock crowd, will they accept a rapper as their own and indulge him in one of rock music’s most kickin’ concert behavior? Or is it a hip-hop crowd, and the test is whether the audience will embrace the rock concert attitude?

white bitches wanna marry me, they see me they jus might panic,

Listen guys, I can’t stress this enough: If your presence sends a woman into a panic, it does not mean she wants to get married. She’s probably more interested in getting a restraining order.

my ice make em go down quick, like the titanic,

Too soon, Shop Boyz. Too soon.

ya im with the shop boyz, you know what we do,
im surfin screamin cowabunga, totally dude!

Apparently, what they “do” is spout off totally tubular Ninja Turtles lines. Oooh, shell-shocked!



On a musical note, if you’ve decided to set your rap group apart by using (and mentioning) guitars, you should probably play something more intrepid than an 8 note beginner’s riff. Because unless your target audience has never before heard an electric guitar, they’re going to notice that you suck at electric guitar. Because you do. And for all that effort, you can just go back to square waves and handclaps and the track will be just as clubworthy.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Some Quick Recommendations

So i'm hardly at work right now but I figured with all the lack of real content on this blog that it was long overdue for something, anything, to keep your musical musings directed. So here's 5 albums that are currently ruining my life with how great they are.

1. Neon Horse, Neon Horse: I was all obsessed with the video for the single "Cuckoo" and i'm afraid that my obsession has only grown after listening to the rest of the album. It's got a really expansive vocal style palette and the guitars are everything I love about Stoner Rock. It's got that beautifully mysterious quality that seems to have vanished from modern music with just a taste of pastoral, apocalyptic, and melodramatic tones.

2. St. Vincent, Marry Me: St. Vincent is a female singer-songwriter who completely validates the very tired genre of female singer-songwriters. Her vocals are outrageously beautiful (nothing new there) but she's not afraid to use them to say things that are spiteful, dreary, or downright ugly. The title track is a great example, as its opening line "Marry Me John, I'll be so good to you." is thrown completely for a loop by the following line "You won't realize i'm gone." And although the apocalyptic cabaret song seems to grow in popularity every month, St. vincent's "Paris Is Burning" ranks as my favorite simply because of its unwinking deadpan sweetness.

3. Stars, In Our Bedroom After The War: Stars is one of the few bands making pop records that I enjoy. Now I know some of you may think that if they aren't on the top 40 they aren't pop music, or that if it's not shallow and bubblegum it can't be pop music, but you'd be wrong on both counts. In fact, when I interviewed their bassist Evan, he called their second album a pop record. So ha. Anyways, Stars writes love songs deeper than anybody. Take for example "Personal" a modern love track about internet romance which plays on the different insecurities of both parties through the narrative style of an email conversation. It helps immensely that Stars has two more-than-capable singers, Torq Campbell and Amy Millan, so they can sing both sides of a romantic tale. Torq does the lion's share of the vocals, and he proves why on songs like "Life 2: The Unhappy Ending," and "Barricade," which feature him almost perfectly describing emotions with his timbre.

4. Rocky Votolato, The Brag & Cuss: Okay, I have to admit I haven't given this a full listen. But Rocky Votolato is incapable of writing a bad song in my opinion. He has 2 great solo albums and 1 album with Waxwing as guarantors and everything i've heard so far from Brag has been heartstopping. If you like country-tinged (the old kind of country, the good stuff) folk love songs, you need Rocky. Also, if you like electrifying punk rock guitar, you need his brother Cody Votolato (of Blood Brothers). You could also check out third Votolato brother/guitarist Sonny, but I have no idea what kind of music he makes.

5. Justice : Yeah, the album title is just a cross (Maeby: across from where?). It continues the faux-christian theme with song titles like "Genesis," "Waters Of Nazareth," and "Let There Be Light." But really, this album is all about textures. If you've ever wondered how much of a difference production value and multi-track layering makes on an album, listen to this album and then go listen to any other club dance song. It's shocking to hear music that good that's made with the same silly synth bits that have been bandied around for decades in terrible rap beats and synth-pop anthems. It's like post-modern Thriller.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Video Killed The Internet Star

So, as you can see below, I write stuff for blogcritics.org. It's been great, a lot more people have read my stuff and I can gauge my self-worth in digg stats.

But now I've been asked to make a video.

As some sort of collabo between BC and MyspaceTV, they're looking for BC folks to produce short segments of video. I guess I raised a few well-placed eyebrows because I received an email this morning from the music editor asking if I'd be interested in making a video of my "News From The Machine" shtick. I certainly am interested, but obviously there are some logistics things to work out (I don't have a camera, I don't have editing software, I'm not very videogenic). If anyone has any ideas or would like to help out, i'd love to hear from you.

Currently, my ideas don't stray far from the News from the Machine formula. But I assume that could change as I imagine video is probably more suited for branching out conceptually.

Also, I'd have to find out if I would have to make these videos Myspace-exclusive, since I'm not sure I like that idea. I don't want Rupert Murdoch having his claws in me more than he already does.

Monday, August 13, 2007

I Hate Us When We Hiatus

My recent silence has been mainly because i'm poor and need to focus on other things (like where my next meal is coming from), but it's being broken like a motherfucker today. Here's my latest Blogcritics article and a Digg link for those of you who use Digg. Please comment and give me Diggs and click points and all the other goofy shit you can do to show appreciation at the bottom of the page.

News From The Machine: 50 Cent, Amy Winehouse, Pearl Jam, and More

All has not been well with the musical world! From flying cellphones to flagrant use of the "N word," the industry has been absolutely buzzing with tension. It ’s the kind of thing that makes execs want to curl up around a big pile of money and pay someone to cry for them.


http://digg.com/music/News_From_The_Machine_50_Cent_Amy_Winehouse_Pearl_Jam_and_More

I'm cooking up an overanalysis of a rap song, but I may put it on BC instead of here (they're getting defensive about re-published content being posted on their site). I'll let all y'all know. Here's a hint: I'm gonna overanalyze it like a rock star.