Andrew Earles

Movie Reviews!!

Posted in Uncategorized by Andrew Earles on March 28, 2006

Inside Man

I’ve seen a lot of near-perfect heist movies. It wore on me; WHAT WERE THEY MISSING??? What was that key ingredient? The answer came this afternoon via an impulsive viewing of Spike Lee’s Inside Man. To push a perfectly good heist movie into realm of greatness, the nagging void need only to be filled with racial ambulance chasing, namely of the awkward afterthought variety. Four stars.

Stay Alive

After failing to commit enough ghetto violence while playing a video game, teens DIE IN REAL LIFE!

Failure To Launch

Matthew McConaughay’s character rents Crash, and is so devastated by its poignancy that he is subsequently unable to find work.

The Shaggy Dog

Tim Allen plays a dog that has been trained to bite minorities.

Neil Young: Heart of Gold

During an intimate live performance, an audience member yells “Cracker Hillbilly!!” at Young, thus driving the rock legend to “ok” the reissue of Landing on Water.

I Can’t Be Stopped

Posted in Uncategorized by Andrew Earles on March 23, 2006

A Three-Legged Race To The Emergency Room (2006 Sprite Post-Aruba Jam Remix!!)

Posted in Uncategorized by Andrew Earles on March 21, 2006

Nothing is more aggravating than hearing a jaded critic accusing hot new bands of ripping of “seminal” artists of 15 – 20 – 25 years ago. It dates the writer/talker and alienates the reader/listener. It does not impress women. No one cares. It’s obnoxious. I’m going to do it one last time, to exorcise the remaining scraps out of my system. As an investigative participatory journalist (for ReadyMade Magazine, as I’ve stated before), I’ve uncovered a new trend that deserves exposure. It’s my job. Introducing Post-Southern-Rock-Punk-Wave-Core.

The Black Keys

Reminds Me Of:

The red Grand Funk album.

Govt. Mule

Reminds Me Of:

Beatin’ The Odds – era Molly Hatchet.

Bad Wizard

Reminds Me Of:

Late-period Blackfoot.

The Kings Of Leon

Reminds Me Of:

The eighth Green On Red album, if there was an eighth Green On Red album.

Lucero

Reminds Me Of:

Alice Donut

The Drive-By Truckers

Reminds Me Of:

Cousin Bubba’s Rhinestone Plowboy

Suntanama

Reminds Me Of:

Painful diarrhea.

Bad Wizard

Reminds Me Of:

The Rossington Collins Band (pre-Love Your Man)

Early Man

Reminds Me Of:

Blackfoot, especially the guitar interplay on Tomcattin’.

The Fiery Furnaces

Reminds Me Of:

The pace of Champagne Jam, arguably the Atlanta Rhythm Section’s finest moment, is without a doubt a colossal influence on The Ex-Models.

Liars

Reminds Me Of:

Wet Willie’s Drippin’ Wet (Live), namely the in-between song banter.

Eugene Mirman

Reminds Me Of:

Leslie West’s The Great Fatsby. I love the tribute to West’s uniquely inoffensive boogie, and we should all welcome a return of mid-70’s mid-level blues-pop.

Mogwai

Reminds Me Of:

The plaintive meanderings of Dickie Bett’s Highway Call. Listen, it’s uncanny.

Matmos

Reminds Me Of:

Lowell George’s Thanks, I’ll Eat It Here. The nods to this classic album are all over Matmos’ post-laid-back blues rock.

Todd Barry

Reminds Me Of:

Buffalo Tom

The Least Timeless Genre (2006 Remix!!!)

Posted in Uncategorized by Andrew Earles on March 17, 2006

Think about it. What has less cultural staying power than a Novelty Hip-Hop track? Ok, maybe a Le Tigre song, but Novelty Rap is up there with the best of the blink ‘n’ miss’ems. Part of the desire to write this piece stemmed from how completely irritating, humorless, and carpet-dumb a select breed of Serious Hip-Hop Scenester can be, and Underground Hip Hop as a whole needs the kryptonite of Novelty Rap. Again, like every single piece that I write, this is a cursory overview showcasing but a small example of an otherwise expansive genre. I like to keep myself open for sequels when I finally run out of good ideas. To note: I included leading “Genre Contributions” for the more…..um…..confusing entries.

Bobby Jimmy and the Critters

Rightfully regarded as the Weird Al of hip-hop, Bobby Jimmy (real name: Russ Parr) and the Critters followed many a late 80’s/early-90’s rap hit with a nasty rendering of painfully stoopid proportions. To prove my point, I have this handy parody + source table…….

·“Somebody Farted” from Hip Hop Prankster (1989) Source material: MC Hammer’s “Let’s Get It Started”
·“Prankster Prankster” Source material: NWA’s “Gangsta Gangsta.”
·“Gotta Potty” Source material: Doug E. Fresh’s “La Di Da Di”
·“Hair or Weave” Source material: Today’s “Him or Me.”
·“Wienie Whistlers” Source material: NWA’s “Boyz In Da Hood.” Ends with the line, “Bitten By The Dick On The Bay.”
·“Roaches” Source material: “Rumors” – the only hit by The Timex Social Club.
·“Coloreds” Source material: Ice-T’s “Colors” …..….this track had Bobby Jimmy assuming the role of a frightened, feeble, white man. “Coloreds, coloreds, everywhere I look I see coloreds.”
·“Big Butt” Source material: Whodini’s “Big Mouth” ………I remember being enamored with this as a commode-minded youth.
·“We Like Ugly Women” Source material: It escapes me, if there was any. Actually fairly outrageous and humorous to this day. He sounds here exactly like Eddie Murphy does on “Boogie In Your Butt” (not a real hip-hop song, but an early call to arms by the comedian to cram large objects into your rectum, thus worthy of mention).

Russ Parr was a popular R&B DJ (Dallas, I think) that jumped into the “Bobby Jimmy” guise when the need called for a spread of low-fat laughter. The persona served as an umbrella for all around novelty, not just parodies – Parr often loved to poke light (light…..Bobby didn’t want to die) fun at macho rappers, the industry, and women without a clear artist-based reference point, and rousted up a sizable cult following as the urban Dr. Demento during his short career. Remember him.

Chunky A aka Arsenio Hall

Genre contribution: An entire fucking album.

The terribly impoverished man’s Eddie Murphy was allowed into the novelty rap game and with the Chunky A character, took the grimly unoriginal “fat is always funny” route. Album art and moniker suggests this feather-bomb of satire to be targeted at Heavy D, duh, but song titles and content follow no direct course. “Dope, The Big Lie” is a sincere anti-drug statement, and I’m sure that it has the expected impact of any song on a fucking one-off novelty record recorded by the alter-ego of a man that can only be described as a festering sore that oozed Vienna sausage stock about the comedy landscape.

Shawn Brown

Genre contribution(s): “The Rappin’ Duke” and “The Duke Is Back”

Those claiming that they don’t remember a novelty rap hit that parodied John Wayne’s “Duke” persona (as opposed to his McQ one) need but brief exposure to the “Da-Ha-Ha-Ha” chorus to make it all come rushing back. Throwing “over the age of 25” into the equation doesn’t hurt, either. They were called “The Rappin’ Duke” and “The Duke Is Back” – the first a huge hit, the second a victim of sequel syndrome. Must I point out that the real comedy lies in the innocuousness of the artist’s name? Look a bit further and your eyes will burn in their sockets at the earnest nature of his liner notes. Some samples from “The Duke Is Back” 12”: “First giving thanks to God for making all things possible. It was pure faith in him that has brought me this far and he didn’t bring me this far to leave me. Look out world!” Think again, Shawn. You got left. Or try this nugget of delusion: “I want to especially thank Tommy Boy and the sweetest pilgrimette Monica Lynch for believing in the Rappin’ Duke. I trust that this will be a long and yes, prosperous adventure for us all.” Double ouch! Don’t pass these up if you happen to find yourself dumpster diving – they are a listening experience. Who wouldn’t be momentarily entertained by a poor impersonation of John Wayne in a hip-hop context, namely when Brown claims to be the “sheriff of rap city” and breaks into a soft shoe rendition of “Start Spreading The News” FOR NO REASON?? That’s what I thought. Since “Dub” occasionally meant something a little different in the 80’s, the B-Sides will make for a two star joke on someone that considers Matisyahu a good reason to make music.

Joe Piscopo

Genre contribution(s): “The Honeymooner’s Rap”

If Arsenio was its oozing, festering sore, Joe Piscopo was the comedy landscape’s previous case of the shingles. Perhaps that’s a little harsh, for I may remember squeezing a few laughs out of his HBO specials as a child, no doubt feeding my current affinity for shitty impressionists. His gradual move from a Martin Short contemporary to an adrenaline hemorrhaging, body building Jersey-phile that would eventually own a physical piece of property named “Jerry Joe’s Gym” is a weird one, supposedly. The Pro-Jersey thing! Hell, I could sit here all night, any night, thinking of pathetic career mini-directions utilized by the fortunate ones. Of course I could.
Why “The Honeymooner’s Rap” happened, on a pop-cultural level, is easy pickin’s, because a rube like Joe (or Joe’s agent) needs easy pickin’s. The Honeymooners program itself had been technically put to sleep two decades prior to Piscopo’s hat trick, but the early-80’s saw an unearthing of lost episodes and total network saturation of the sitcom blueprint. The show was omnipresent during the Reagan administration, and while there may be some confusion as to why Jackie Gleason chose roles in Smokey and the Bandit Pt III (Burt didn’t even resurface for this one) or Nothing In Common shortly before his death, I harbor very little confusion regarding Piscopo’s show of crass opportunism. I just chuckled remembering the fake instructional cartoon in Johnny Dangerously. Just now.

Big Stick

Genre contribution: “Crack Attack”

I would declare Big Stick the Peaches and Gonzales of the 80’s; that is if I didn’t detect evidence of a full length record dated 1995 (probably a hoax), or recently catch rumor that they are still playing out. An elusive and perhaps genuinely odd duo that sputtered about, or was embraced by, the same shit rock audience of yore that would have cut baby laxative on a Strangulated Beatoffs CD, Big Stick can easily be an ear-jabbing ticket to roll-in-the-floor nudge-nudge stupidity if you let them. Their label mates, according to the insert that came with my one dollar “Crack Attack” 12”, where the usual New York late-80’s suspects, and history would dictate that people who make music that sounds like “Crack Attack” are just hipsters out to ride the Put-On train into your funny bone. Imagine if the Frogs traded the Tyrannosaurus Rexian folk-rock for Big Black noise-boy industro-sonics and a silly garage-rock enthusiasm for drag racing. The latter leads me to believe that they may really be into, or partake in, drag racing (as rumor has it), cuz no one on the cusp of semi-cleverness would promote a mechanics-jacket-Rat-Fink-tattoo aesthetic duh-rection while managing the sound that these two ding dongs create.
To the best of my knowledge, “Crack Attack” is the only composition that would allow Big Stick a mention in this piece. It is the dum-dum dada answer to PE’s “Night Of The Living Baseheads,” or NWA’s “Dopeman” performed by rhythm-less white prankster savants. Of course, those examples apply in theory, not practice. It’s everything that you need. When afflicted with an unwanted array of ninny-guests who “care about people,” the mildly offensive lyrics are just what the doctor ordered. Throw it on at 5AM to clear out that major-rager – it’s foolproof. Essential for geeks who just want to dabble in outsider music, but don’t want to shit out of the opposite sex with a huge record collection full of unlistenable “eccentrics.”

Joe Pesci

Genre contribution: “Wise Guy”

Plenty of actors have taken their most successful leading character into the music world, but few have me convinced that the listener’s life will change after hearing their flaccid efforts. Vincent Laguardia Gambini Sings Just for You will change your life. Just five bucks and a trip to the used bin for a new life – I will not stand for your excuses.
Albeit a general failure trudging through the 60’s and early 70’s, Pesci was nonetheless both a singer and comic long before he was a screen entity. It’s a little unlikely that you’ll be coming across an early-60’s crap lounge pop record made by a man named Joe Ritchie (Little Joe Sure Can Sing), but if fate decides to slap the shit out of you, glaring from the cover will be a more picturesque version of Scorsese’s favorite wife-beater. Never the total dolt…..yet….Pesci (or whatever his name was back then) secured a guitar position in the higher profile Joey Dee and the Starliters, who made yet more blind-eye-to-originality barber shop post-diddly-doo-wop crap around the same time, but at least there are a handful of bid-free albums on Ebay right now to vindicate those efforts. Attempts at a vaudevillian comedy duo followed (earl-70’s…the other half was character actor Frank Vincent, who deserves his own piece, somewhere), and I would place a bet that Pesci saw himself as the next Dean Martin, while the remainder of the populous did good to see him at all.
That is, until the world needed another over-acting goombah sidekick. While Cousin Vinny was certainly the icing on a cheap-ass grocery store cake donning the word TYPECAST in bulging letters, Pesci has come about as close as one can to spending an entire career under the ass-ugly awning of a single role. So the next logical career move is to make a record out of it……..and oh did he fulfill that duty…….oh did he. Several genre’s of music are chloroformed and date-raped for …Sings Just for You, but you wouldn’t be reading this had our man not tackled hip-hop. Bolstered by the most overused, uninspired sample of all time (that of Blondie’s “Rapture”), Pesci’s lays down soft-food cafeteria talent show level phrasing/timing throughout the jaw-dropping experience that is “Wise Guy.” How a man can rhyme the correctly pronounced “bitches” with the chirped “get you’s” is a marvel that he doesn’t let you forget, as the repeated chorus of “It’s the bitches that’ll getch-ya’s” will hammer its way into your next lunch break without apology. You deserve it for reading this far.

Rappin’ Ronnie

I don’t who does the actual “rapping” on this record, but the “concept” (please forgive the liberal use) was 100% Gary Trudeau, who decorated the cover with a typically unfunny panel from his baby, Doonsbury. The record needs to sit, sealed, in thrift shops and dollar bins forever, but the slapdash shoestring video MUST be tracked down. Five minutes of a man in a Ronald Reagan mask running around the “ghetto” “rapping” while “secret service” people “scratch” on five-dollar Yorx turntables should sound like comedy gold to anyone who loves life.

Honorable Mentions:

· Like most folks who can squeeze a ball in their left hand, I thought that I would go the rest of my life without needing a CD called Love Songs For Dog Lovers. Incorrect, sir. Leering at me from the track listing is the one thing that will fuck up the daily routine: “Gangsta Rappin’ Dog.”
· The 2 Live Jews – what should’ve been a one-off with As Kosher As They Wanna Be has thankfully been allowed to put out FOUR CD’s!!!!! When the world throws a wrench into gears like that, I’m glad to be alive. Pondering the notion that this studio project still exists replaces any desire to actually hear it.
· Garfield The Cat’s “Am I Cool Or What?” contains no hip-hop, despite the laws of pop-culture requiring sentient cartoon characters to rap at some point in their careers.
· Coinciding with the theatrical release of History Of The World Pt. I, Mel Brooks dressed up like Hitler and directed himself rapping in a room with leggy women. It’s compiled on the same videotape release that also features “Rappin Ronnie.” I wish, for your sake, that I could remember the name.

Remember some that I missed? That’s precisely why I posted this. Speak up. Note my exclusions in e-mail or the comment section. Get in touch!!

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