live fast, die young, don’t record embarassingly awful “rock” music

A delightful website that I recently discovered is Awesomely Bad Lyrics. The writer, BLB, does a line-by-line mocking of some truly terrible lyrics, mostly of songs from the ’80s. Which, as anyone who grew up in that decade (like myself), knows was like the Golden Age of terrible, nonsensical lyrics; not to mention weird things that got shoehorned in simply because they rhymed — case in point: the “Have a banana” line from Barry Manilow’s “Copacabana”. (Which is from 1978, but is my favorite example of the genre.)

Anway, today he did Starship’s “We Built This City”, which made me jump for joy, as it’s probably one of the 10 worst rock songs ever written. For fuck’s sake, it has a traffic report stuck in the middle of the song. BLB didn’t even touch that, and there was still plenty of awfulness to make fun of. (Technically it’s not a lyric, so I can’t fault him for ignoring it.)

Someone always playing corporation games / Who cares, they’re always changing corporation names

Yeah! Take that, CORPORATIONS!!! How dare you establish yourself as a legal entity for the purpose of doing any kind of business! You suck!!!! Except, of course, for RCA Records, the good people that marketed and distributed this song.

I must admit to some personal bias in my loathing for this, or indeed any Starship song. As someone named Sarah who did most of my growing up in the ’80s, I’ve had to endure a lifetime of people wailing “SAAARAH! SAAAAAAAAAAAAARAH! STORMS ARE BREWIN’ IN YOUR EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEYES!!!” in my face, then actually acting like 1) Probably no one’s ever done that before, amiright?!?! HA HA I’M SO CLEVER; 2) It’s funny, instead of deserving of a karate chop to the throat; 3) Butthurt when I don’t fall down laughing and wet myself with glee at their cleverness.

The ’80s and ’90s were the high point of this crime against Sarahdom, but it still occasionally happens to this day. My tactic in dealing with it for the past few years has taken advantage of my youthful appearance and people’s tendency to underestimate my age: I give them a blank look and ask “What are you doing?” It’s very satisfying to watch them flail about at having the rug yanked out from under their feet and mumble “Oh, well there was this song… in the ’80s… umm, never mind.”

I feel it’s only fair to warn Grace Slick, since she’s like 187 years old, that if I ever encounter her, she’s got a hearty punch in the face coming her way. She’s really the poster child for choking on your own vomit and dying before 30. (Umm, if you’re a rock star. Not so much if you’re like, a kindergarten teacher or bus driver.) What if Jimi Hendrix had survived the ’60s to team up with Bernie Taupin and make videos in which the Lincoln Memorial comes to life and ROCKS OUT!?


retail therapy, lazy days, and wonderfalls

Last week I loaded a few things into my Amazon cart, so when I got my paycheck on Saturday (and how amazing that I did, because when I really need/want it is when it tends to be late) and put some $$$ on my reloadable Visa, all I had to do was sign in on my cellphone and proceed to checkout. I got a Holga (YAY!), the “new” Matthew Sweet album Sunshine Lies (actually it came out last fall and I kept forgetting to buy it), the first season of True Blood on DVD (I’ve only ever seen one episode so NO SPOILERS PLEASE), World Without End (Ken Follet’s sequal to The Pillars of the Earth), and Columbine by Dave Cullen (which is supposed to be really good and I can’t wait for paperback).

Sunday I was going to go to the drug store and do a few other things, then decided I was sick of running errands and hadn’t had a day where I did nothing in months, so it could wait. It wasn’t a truly lazy day — I did laundry, cleaned the kitchen, vaccumed, and cleaned Junebug’s cage. But I didn’t have anything to cook (I had some heat and serve lasagna and bagged Caesar salad from Trader Joe’s) and this week I have a cold bento. I also didn’t shave my legs or wash my hair. Awww yeah!

So I got all the boring crap out of the way by early afternoon, then settled in with a bottle of Pinot Grigio and the first disc of Wonderfalls. I hardly ever drink wine anymore, the tannins in red mess me up (dehydration, insomnia, pounding headache) and I don’t really like most whites. I tend to stick to beer or vodka drinks. But I do like PG and every once in a while I treat myself to some.

Everyone that ever raved about Wonderfalls and lamented its early demise: OMG YOU WERE SO RIGHT. I love Jaye; she’s one of the realest young female characters I’ve ever seen on television. She’ pretty, but normal pretty. She’s sometimes overly-acerbic and rude to people! She gets unapologetically drunk! Also, I covet her trailer. I would so not be ashamed to live in a trailer if it was that cute.

maybe if it was a teacup from a carnival ride? THAT would impress me.

SPL94275_013Okay, this can no longer be ignored: What is the deal with the teacup Lady Gaga carries everywhere?

I know all these dumb white bitches have to have annoying affectations, because they sure as hell don’t have talent. But Gwen Stefani hauled around a troop of Japanese schoolgirls wearing bizarre matching outfits and punk-geisha make-up. Think of the effort all that coordination takes: you gotta pay their airfare and buy their clothes and have make-up artists and hair stylists and choreographers for them. And Lady Gaga wants me to be impressed with her dainty little cup and saucer?

Mind you, a lot of people say the Harajuku Girls are exploitative and smack more than a little of racism, and those people wouldn’t get an argument from me. They’re people, not exotic pets, and making them dance around in matching outfits plays into all kinds of yucky stereotypes about Asian women and submissiveness.

I’m just saying, on the scale of stupid, attention-whoring affectations, it’s impressive. I’m not going to be impressed with some bimbo-come-lately who’s all “Look at me! I have a teacup and old-timey lipstick!” GO BIG OR GO HOME, GAGA.

was “chinese democracy” worth the wait?

gnrchinesedemocracy(We aren’t still using “dropped” for “album release”, are we? Because I hate terminology that makes me think of testicles.)

So this week Guns n’ Roses’ long-awaited album Chinese Democracy finally shat and got off the pot; after a wait of about 97 years, 14 different studios, and the loss of the entire original band line-up (with the exception of Axl Rose, who is now almost 50 and these days known more for getting into sissy-boy slapfights with Tommy Hilfiger than for rocking out). Shit son, this album concept is so old that using “Blank n’ Totally Unrelated Blank” for a band name was still cool when it was first proposed.

Rolling Stone gave it 4 out of 5 stars, and Chuck Klosterman raves about it. I listened to it on the bands’ MySpace page, and okay, it doesn’t suck. Although I’m maybe not the best person to review it, because I was never that into metal as a teen (besides ironically doing the Axl Dance to the opening of “Paradise City”, which was required of all members of Generation X) and thought that Rose sounded like a tomcat being neutered without anaesthetic.

But here’s the thing: Can any album measure up to the years of waiting and hype that preceded Chinese Democracy‘s release? The Stone Roses only played this game for a third of the time between the release of their debut and second albums, and it unleashed such a fury of disappointment among fans that British screenwriters are still making jokes about it.

Basically the only way this album wouldn’t have triggered the “meh” response in me is if it was either the most mind-blowingly awesome album of all time; or if it was so bad that it sounded, in the words of my editor and friend Natasha, “like your parents having anal sex”.

At least we can all get a free Dr. Pepper out of it.

grunge may be dead, but before it expired it did us all the favor of killing off hair-metal

Well, this is distressing: Kurt Cobain’s ashes have been stolen. (Horrible pun headline alert: THE music world was In Bloom-in’ shock last night after hearing that the ashes of grunge god KURT COBAIN have been PINCHED! Also, what’s up with the random capitalization? The British press is so terrible.)

[Courtney Love] had kept the singer’s ashes in a pink teddy-bear-shaped bag along with a lock of his hair… She said: “They were all I had left of my husband. I used to take them everywhere with me just so I could feel Kurt was still with me. “

Err… okay, I’m not going to pass judgement here. I honestly don’t know what I’d do with my husband’s cremains; possibly I’d do something equally as strange, although I’d probably just scatter them.

I remember Cobain’s death like it was yesterday. I was at my boyfriend’s house and we were watching something on MTV, probably Beavis & Butthead, because that was pretty much the only thing we both watched on MTV. Kurt Loder broke in with the news. Later that afternoon I was driving home, and it had been drizzling, slightly unusual for April in the Bay Area. The inside of the car was all fogged up, so I pulled into a parking lot on Thornton Blvd. to let the windows clear up. I was sitting there, thinking, and all of a sudden I just burst into tears.

You may now mock me for being a sentimental Gen X grunge fan.