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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Great Forgotten Bands

I'm very gratified (in an intellectual sense, of course) that Nuffy has taken the time to review the storied history of several bands whom the Grammys have snobbishly ignored in favor of "popular, tonal, listenable" music.

I thought I'd chime in with a few Nuffy left out. I'm no music historian myself (my amateur interests are mundane things like the complex development of sonata form in early Twentieth-century Mahler and Ives, or the ironic juxtaposition of pop rhythms and avant-garde sonorities) so I've tried to limit the notes to the key contributions of each group.

  • The Swimming Chickens - The first band built around the peculiar timbre of the electronic chicken neck.
  • Frou-frou Fighters - Aside from the trademark controversy with that other band, the most famous band to do rock covers of Maurice Chevalier tunes.
  • Strike Double Turkey - The world's loudest ten-pin bowling tunes band ...loud because, amongst other things, they frequently sampled ten-pin bowling in their tunes.
  • Paul McCartney's Hairpiece - 1990's Neo-Skiffle band
  • The Busted Zippers - Famous Spinal Tap tribute band who reached 272 on Billboard's Hot 100 with their original song "Metal Detector"
  • Ming on Stilts - Reinvigorated 30's serials music by rearranging scores as speed-metal songs.
  • The Okra Boys - The only band that could rock a house seating 10,000 and make and serve first-class gumbo to the crowd whilst performing
  • Gunther Rasputin and the Prawns from Hell - The world's first (and last) death-polka band
  • Filthy Rotten Hos - Strangely enough, mostly Pat Boone covers
  • Gunga Din is Watching You - The only band to play Carnegie Hall dressed as giant sponges. No one is sure why.
  • Iced Tea Ecstasy - Briefly fronted by "Dandy" Don Meredith, until the infamous lemon wedge incident
  • Toefungus Among Us - All heavy metal country ska, all the time, even during the breaks
  • The Electric Dreidels - Played the Palladium before it was built
  • Emmylou Ceilingtiles and the Banjo Petroleum Jelly Sisters - Rollicking bluegrass-goth crossover band
  • Hum - The only band to score their songs completely for feedback, including percussion and vocals

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Oh, What You've Missed because of The Strike!


The Writers Strike has just come to a close for all practiable purposes. We haven't really commented on it up until now. It's not because we're standing toe to toe or anything like that. We just didn't want to piss off the rank and file and ruin any future chances of membership.

One of the most tangible results of the strike was the sudden truncation of a number of popular American television series. Yahoo! TV has an article on this very thing. The programmes have had to completely change their directions due to the strike. That means that many fascinating storylines have gone to waste as Hollywood will opt, as they almost always do, for dramatic expediency and sex.

Fortunately, I have made use of my many Hollywood contacts and their regular access to studio wastebins and dumpsters, to get the lowdown on what viewers missed due to the strike. Since, I'm not a member of the Writers' Guild, I share this with you without guilt.* Although I'm not a regular follower of these programmes (except for Chuck), I must admit that the writers had some absolutely riveting stuff planned.

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House - M.D. House was to have been revealed to secretly be an exiled British comedic actor. He would have spent the remainder of the season disrupting vital surgeries with his rambunctiously comic routines. The hospital was to have controversially changed their motto from "Primum non nocere" (First do no harm) to "Vos mos intereo rideo risi risum" (You will die laughing).

Grey's Anatomy - As it would have turned out, Meredith's warming to sis Lexie was only cover for a plot to have her run over by a monster truck ("Sasquatch") and buried under the dream house Derek planned to build for her. Rose would have put a full stop to this scheme though, by playing videotape of her kiss with Derek, only superimposing MSNBC personality Keith Olbermann and a large tongue over her face. Derek would have then committed suicide by monster truck and Olbermann would have responded by naming the Grey's Anatomy writing staff the "World's Worst People" for that week.

30 Rock - The show was to have taken a surrealistic bent, with episodes being constantly interrupted by people filming American Express adverts. Special appearance by the Geico gecko.
Chuck - Chuck was to have discovered that he was in reality a secret agent, who was brainwashed by the computer images inside his mind to think he was a simple, domestically employed computer geek. Upon this realization, he decided to travel to Mars to kill Ronny
Cox, Michael Ironside, and Sharon Stone. Unfortunately, Sarah pointed out to him that this is the 21st Century and NASA doesn't have plans to go to Mars until 2037, when Chuck will be 55. Chuck instead opted to pummel Casey and Morgan with his newfound martial arts prowess and his handy official CIA beating stick.

My Name Is Earl - Earl was to have decided to give up his quest to atone for his misdeeds one by one and instead pay for them all at once, by serving out a lonely and torturous existence as editor and contributor for a small comedy blog. Also, the new theme song was to be "Killing Me Softly with His Song."

Desperate Housewives - The Housewives would have been shocked to find out that they had been relocated from Wisteria Lane, Fairview to Wisteria Lane, Panama City Beach, Florida. The shock of moving from a decadent upper-middle-class existence to a decadent beach bum existence would have rapidly dissipated though when the wives realised the change meant that they could wear bikinis seven days a week from March to November. Much sangria would have been consumed to the sounds of Cole Porter and Jon Butterworth Lifelover.

Heroes - The Heroes were to have saved the world from the big virus only to be accused of secretly injecting themselves with Human Growth Hormone (HGH). The remainder of the series was to have depicted the Congressional investigation, including cocktails and lap dances.

CSI Miami (New York, etc., etc. ) - Someboady was supposed to kill someone else in an incredibly complex plot that would baffle the cast until the very final bit of the episode, where they dramatically put together the diverse details of the plot and captured the criminal. Whew! Who says there's no originality in television anymore?

The Office - Michael Scott (Steve Carell) would have been mysteriously replaced by David Brent (Ricky Gervais), who would have then been mysteriously replaced by Gilles Triquet (François Berléand), who would have been mysteriously replaced by Bernd Stromberg(Christoph Maria Herbst), who would have been mysteriously replaced by Ross Perot (Jeff Goldblum) and his clever catchphrase "What the hell am I doin' here?"

Bionic Woman - Jaime would have become involved in a creepy relationship with Lee Majors, who would continually offer to exchange "limbs, batteries, and bodily fluids."

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* Or responsibility for accuracy

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

You Think I Give a Dang About A Grammy?

The Grammy Awards are a downright dad-blamed ever-loving JOKE, ladies and gentlemen. Do you hear me, you oldety old crotchety rickety Grammy voters? You give awards to weird ladies with huge hair, strange people with crooked teeth and neck sores, Best Album of the Year to scratchy old alleyway music--what my grandparents' generation called "Sidewalk Tunes." You know what I mean, people? Crummy old sidewalk tunes get all the Grammy awards, and truly wonderful bands that play real music get overlooked, totally overlooked. It makes me sick. In fact, I've spent the last few days vomiting gravy into soup cans over the Grammy Awards.

Bands that were overlooked this year by the Grammy committee:

Diny Cowbossalou and the Several Noises Jazz Quintet
Best progressive jazz band of the year, in my worthy opinion. Their album "Cornbread for Dead French Corporals" showed us a new way to integrate garbage can noises into the symphony of Spanish guitars and alto saxophones. Diny has toiled away in the trenches of progressive jazz for seventy years and nobody will give him the time of day or even let him play his music in public. It's about time he won something, Grammy. Wake up.

Horse Noises and Don Ho
Quincy Franklin came up with this genius of an idea: mixing the noises of horses whinnying and neighing and snorting with old tracks of Don Ho singing his lovely classics. Imagine, if you can, a horse loudly shrieking in the middle of the foggy field. Now, imagine that noise captured on motion picture quality microphones. Now, imagine that recorded sound looped over a live performance of Don Ho singing "Tiny Bubbles" in a night club in 1975. It's more powerful than you can even imagine, but no Grammy? No Grammy for this? Sickening.

The Little Brass Band of Bartlesville, Oklahoma presents National Anthems of the World.Creativity beyond anything you've ever imagined. Seven elderly ladies playing tubas, trombones, and cornets, render one national anthem after the other on this amazing, mind shattering perfection of an album. Have you ever heard the national anthem of Belgium? Of course you have. But have you ever heard it rendered by a brass band of old ladies playing tubas, trombones and cornets? Doubtful. If you had, your life would not be the same. And Grammy overlooked it? How dare they! It makes me want to set a book on fire.

Jon Butterworth Lifelover
Jon Lifelover is North America's second best table tapper. But unlike North America's first best table tapper, Jon Lifelover has the nerve and courage to record himself tapping out the Top 40 hits of the 70s, 80s and today (he skips the 90s) on a variety of tabletops. Michael Jackson's "Thriller" tapped out on marble, you can't comprehend how marvelous that is. Britney Spears' "Toxic" tapped out on oak with the toetips, it's just indescribable. Grammy ignored it, people. Totally ignored it.

I can't even go into all the other amazing bands that Grammy overlooked. Puddin Foot and the Whazoos, for example, or Tweeter Joe and His Longtime Banjo Biters, or how about Margie Noisehippo and her Magical Bongo Drums. All overlooked. All ignored.

It might be time to rise up, people. It just might be time.

Love,

Nuffy Sarge Noe, Esq.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Beagle for the Ages

Last night at the Westminster Kennel Club Annual Big Dog Parade, the Beagle won "Best of Show." Here is a picture of the Beagle ("courtesy" of ABC News):


Good Grief! That's nothing like a beagle. A picture of a proper beagle can be found below:

Also, where was Fred Willard? I thought he turned out for all these sorts of things.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

News from the GRAFTAs!

Well, last night was a spectacular combination of American popular music's grandest excess, and British cinemas' finest pomp and circumstance. I was so excited about both that I fell asleep and saw neither.

Perhaps, it would save time if they just combined the two into one massive programme. I had a dream about the whole thing as I napped...

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Announcer: Ladies and Gentlemen, live from Covent Garden in London and via satellite, The Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles, it's the GRAFTAs! And now, here are your hosts: Jonathan Ross and Snoop Doggy Dogg!

(Applause)

Jonathan Ross: Well, I'm awfuweey glad to be hearw this evwening as we cewebrate the finest in Bwitish fiwm and Amewican mwsic. Snoop, how are fwings in L.A.?

Snoop Dogg: (Off camera) What the hell did he say to me? Oh! (to camera) Right man, things are groovy here in L.A., except that everyone is %$#&*! asleep, because it's 8 a.m. here and %$&*!# people in the music industry never wake up before noon! Hell, I'm not putting up with this $%!#! Somebody got a couple o' blunts I can toke and some %$#&%-es I can party wi...

(Satellite feed from L.A. goes dead and is replaced by large 60's-era CBS "eye" logo.)

(Massive applause)

Jonathan Ross: We seem to have wost Snoop Dogg. Oh well, on wif the pwogwamme. Herwe to pwesent the fiwst award for Best Adaptwed Scweenpway are Keiwa Knightwey, Scarwet Wohansswon, and Juwie Chwistie!

(Gigantic Wembley-sized applause. The three actresses enter, all wearing frocks made of some sort of sellotape.)

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I woke up just after that and everything was all over. Herbie Hancock was doing one-armed push-ups on CBS and Daniel-Day Lewis and Marion Cotillard were dancing the tango on BBC America. I've no idea who actually won anything.

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Upcoming Changes

Further news on the upcoming changes to this blog: In the new version, Nuffy Noe will known as Spanky Z. McFartle. Stew will keep his name, but it will be pronounced, "Zippy."

More coming soon.