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Posts Tagged ‘Coolio’

Ignored 29: An education

In Uncategorized on March 10, 2014 at 2:39 pm

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As a lifelong music fan, there will be times when you remember things wrong, assume an artist is something they’re not and have various WTF memories and misappropriations seep into your consciousness. The Internet and various reference manuals can help clear up these mistakes while others will follow you to the grave. It’s fun!

Here is a small sampling of musical misunderstandings I’ve had over the years. Obviously since I’m now writing about them on a WordPress blog, I’ve cleared up the details.

The video was Men without Hats “The Safety Dance” wasn’t an actual song but rather, a TV show for kids or maybe a TV commercial. This was 1984.

The video for M+M’s “Black Stations White Stations” wasn’t an actual song. Rather, it was a bumper for Citytv. In the spirit of Mark Daily’s “Citytv: Everywhere” contributions. Again, this was 1984.

The Fat Boys was a TV show and not a band.

Lou Gramm and Lou Reed were the same guy.

Strange Advance and the Escape Club were the same band. Confusion rooted in the former’s “Love Becomes Electric” and the latter’s “Wild Wild West”. Note: these songs sound nothing alike.

The Who and the Guess Who were the same band.

The Band were fictitious. No one where this came from. I think maybe I was vaguely aware of The Last Waltz and thought these were actors playing a band. Potential crossed wires when I became aware of other real fake bands like Spinal Tap and The Commitments.

Jeff Lynne from the Traveling Wilburys was not a real musician but actually somebody famous (not sure who… maybe an actor?) wearing a disguise.

Jane’s Addiction were Canadian and later, I’d confuse them with the Leslie Spit Treeo. The former’s “Been Caught Stealing” and the latter’s cover of John Prine’s “Angel from Montgomery” were both in rotation on 680 CFTR at the time. I think the opening of “Been…” with the dogs barking threw me somehow.

Spandau Ballet and Roxy Music were the same band.

Ice-T changed his name slightly and became Ice Cube.

Rumble was British. Aside: was there a more random one-hit wonder from this era? Some Jamaican guy from Toronto rapping over a Massive Attack song and hitting the Top 40.

James was a guy and then upon learning James was a band, assuming they were a heavy metal band. Later, I thought the song “Laid” was a Spirit of the West song. I was so confused.

Primus was a heavy metal band. Fair assumption since most people who liked Primus in 1993 were also into Metallica et all.

Pavement were a heavy metal band. The name just sounds heavy. There’s a scene in Pavement’s Slow Century DVD where Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore cops to making the same assumption. Also, I thought their drummer Steve West was the singer for the longest time.

Dinosaur Jr were from the UK. Reason: their 1994 release Without a Sound came out on the UK-based imprint Blanco y Negro which I naively assumed meant they must be British too.

Sloan were from Boston.

The Cranberries were from Canada.

Catherine Wheel was a lady. I’m assuming more than half of 102.1 listeners of the 1990s also made this assumption?

Molly Hatchet was a lady.

Bettie Serveert was a lady.

PJ Harvey was a dude.

Pop Will Eat Itself were German. This was based purely on their 1994 single “Ich Bin Ein Auslander”. Once I learned they were British, I tried to share this knowledge with anyone who cared (estimate: 3-4 people, tops) and always got massive push back from people who insisted they were German, namely because of this song and also, their hair. Pre-Internet, these debates raged for months.

Tha Dogg Pound were a band that contained Snoop Dogg Dogg, Nate Dogg and friends. 95 per cent certain that Suge Knight hoped that the record buying public would make the same assumption. They did briefly.

 

Sugar’s Beaster EP was actually an EP by the Beastie Boys. Beaster was one of those CDs you’d always see in vast quantities at used CD shops and whenever I’d catch a glance at this disc, I kinda just assumed it was a Beastie Boys’ release with some alternate spelling. In part, I think there was some confusion with the Beasties’ Some Old Bullshit EP that came out around the same time. Aside: has their even been a band with worse cover art than Sugar?

Buffalo Tom and Grant Lee Buffalo were the same band.

Tristan Psionic and SIANspheric were the same band.

Paul Weller and Paul Westerberg was the same dude.

 

The dude L.V. who sang the chorus of Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise” was Luther Vandross. Not sure if I really believed this or just WANTED to believe it. It would’ve been a really unlikely transformation and pretty funny that Vandross could up his cred by reducing his stage to sinister…. initials!!! Also kinda funny: the real L.V. stood for “large variety”.

Big Star influenced the Beatles. My roommate in first-year university told me this and I just went with this. Obviously, this timing makes no sense since the Beatles were toast by the time Big Star even formed.

Peter Schilling’s “Major Tom” was actually sung by David Bowie. Obviously some confusion RE: Bowie’s “Space Oddity” and no doubt, Schilling was hoping to profit from the confusion. Note: the voice on “Major Tom” sounded nothing like David Bowie.

Yo La Tengo and Pizzicato Five were the same band.

The Birthday Party and the Wedding Present were the same band. This was fueled by the same gaff made in Alan Cross’ first book The Alternative Music Almanac where they mislabeled a shot of the Wedding Present playing at Lee’s Palace as the Birthday. The horror!

Death Cab for Cutie were heavy.

Crystal Castles were from either Europe or Chicago.

Wolf Eyes and Japanther were the same band and both from Toronto. Neither/nor.

Deerhunter and Deerhoof were the same band. Also, Deerhunter were heavy.

Big K.R.I.T. was British. He laid down some rhymes over an Adele track, after-all.

Mac Miller and Mac DeMarco were the same dude.

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Ignored 6: No midlife cri$i$

In Uncategorized on April 7, 2013 at 12:50 am

Ignored6

Bold statement: Old school rappers have caught up with 1960s relics on the casino circuit. It makes sense and so it should.

Tone Lōc recently had a seizure on-stage in Des Moines.

This was notable not just for medical reasons but because:
– A bulk of the public probably wasn’t aware that Tone Lōc still toured
– He was playing on a bridge during the collapse.

Smash cut to the message boards and you’ll see various cheap shots imploring him to lay off the “Funky Cold Medina” and such.

Cowards!!!

So anyway… YES, Tone Lōc still tours in Iowa and elsewhere.  During his big bridge gig, he was joined by Shock G (he of “The Humpty Dance“) and Rob Base (he of “It Takes Two” and “Joy and Pain”). The trio unleashed their collectively garbled flow aboard the Court Avenue Bridge, which is certainly not Madison Square Gardens but is functional and was renovated in 1982 according to Wikipedia.

It seems like a decent bridge overall.

Hip-hop is young enough that an old timers’ circuit is still a relatively new concept. The shelf life of hip-hop is typically far shorter than other genres, which makes even a contemporary track like DJ Khaled’s “All I Do is Win” seems quasi-retro due to its abundance of 1990s and 2000s vintage MCs.

This is veering into dog years territory.

Nostalgia being what it is, we are seeing the first generation of middle-aged people raised on hip-hop who are waxing about their N.W.A. and Slick Rick records in a similar fashion to how yuppies in the 1980s must’ve felt about the Beatles. Check the math. It’s later than you think.

Accordingly, there are no shortage of hip-hop acts playing “alternative” venues (like bridges) around the world. Here are a few recent examples:
Biz Markie and Coolio playing after a Miami Marlins baseball game
Naughty by Nature playing the Miami Zoo
Public Enemy, Ice Cube and friends playing a casino in nowhere Michigan
Run-DMC (or a variation thereof) playing an Atlantic City casino
Salt-N-Pepa playing the Toronto Festival of Beer

I also have it on authority that the aforementioned Rob Base (alongside dear, dear friend DJ E-Z Rock) recently played an Xmas party for a leading multinational accounting firm in Toronto. C+C Music Factory may or may not have also made an appearance. Actually, I guess it’s public domain.

Reunions as pay cheques are typically frowned upon by music purists and the casino circuit catch-all is effectively a retirement home for one’s credibility.

However, old school ballers rehashing hits at zoos and on bridges is, in general, far more consistent with original M.O.s than geezers like Crosby, Stills and Nash singing about “getting ourselves back to the garden” four decades after the “Summer of Love”.

A majority of hip-hop is about starting parties, getting paid, macking on ladies (or fellas… not that there’s anything wrong with that) and throwing your hands in the air, eventually waving them all around like you just don’t care. Again, in general terms, the agenda of the genre seems consistent with extending the shelf life and having fun.

The one problematic band is Public Enemy who’s militancy has been completely compromised by Flavor Flav’s reality TV antics of the past decade. Otherwise, the casino circuit seems like a legit means of getting paid in full for everyone else and a logical spot for Tone Lōc et all to grind out their midlife.

End point. I guess.