Monday, December 05, 2016

2017 Grammy Nomination Predictions

The nominations for the Grammys will be announced on Dec. 6, but as is tradition, I'm taking a crack at some predictions.

Record of the Year

Adele - "Hello"
Beyonce - "Formation"
Justin Bieber - "Love Yourself "
The Chainsmokers feat. Halsey - "Closer"
Rihanna feat. Drake - "Work"

Analysis: The narrative of Beyonce vs. Adele will drive ratings, but the NARAS likes Adele and would probably prefer her to win, which is I'm including Rihanna and Drake to split votes with Bey over songs like Lukas Graham's "7 Years" and Sia's "Cheap Thrills."
Possible spoilers: Drake - "One Dance," Lukas Graham - "7 Years," Radiohead - "Burn The Witch," Rae Sremmurd feat. Gucci Mane - "Black Beatles," Sia feat. Sean Paul - "Cheap Thrills,"  Justin Timberlake feat. Anna Kendrick & James Corden - "Can't Stop The Feeling," Twenty One Pilots - "Stressed Out," The Weeknd feat. Daft Punk - "Starboy"

Song of the Year

Adele - "Hello"
Justin Bieber - "Love Yourself"
Lukas Graham - "7 Years"
Maxwell - "Lake By The Ocean"
Justin Timberlake - "Can't Stop The Feeling"

Analysis: Timberlake's team submitted the version with his Trolls co-stars for Record of the Year, so it stands a better shot here, especially with an songwriting help from Max Martin. The traditional R&B voting contingent come through for their own and Maxwell is as respected as they come.
Possible spoilers: Beyonce - "Formation," David Bowie - "Blackstar," Kelly Clarkson - "Piece By Piece," Maren Morris - "My Church"

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Recent interviews on Noteworthy: Jessy Lanza, Cate Le Bon, B Boys & more

We're past the midway point of the year, so I thought I'd take a look back at all the interviews I've done so far in 2016 for my radio show Noteworthy. You can always listen live every Monday at uicradio.org from 6PM-8PM CT and check out my past interviews on Soundcloud.


Cate Le Bon
Apologies for any swinging door background noises you come across. It's the easiest way to tell that I'm doing an interview in the basement of Schuba's. I also revealed during this interview that I had never listened to any Faust before. Please don't take away my cool kid card.



Jessy Lanza
I was actually supposed to interview Jessy a few years back, but a train delay prevented me from meeting up with her. As luck would have it, when I finally got her on the phone in April, we had to do the interview a second time as our first go-around didn't record. The universe was determined to see this one through despite the obstacles. Cherish this.


Friday, June 17, 2016

An early preview of the 2017 Grammys

With a few new rule changes in place, I can now give you my early predictions as to who will be nominated in the big four categories at the 59th Grammy Awards which will take place on Feb. 12, 2017. Nominees won't be announced until December, so make sure to come back for my final guesses.

Album of the Year

1. Adele - 25
What's in it's favor: She's one of the most loved and respected pop stars in the world and is likely the last artist in our lifetime to sell two million pure copies in their first week.
What might work against it: Adele is all but assured of a nomination, but if she doesn't, it'll be because everyone has forgotten about the album since it has largely faded from public conscience since its release.

2. Beyoncé - Lemonade
What's in it's favor: Another widely respected artist once again changed the concept of how we view an album release in an age where singles dominate the conversation. Lemonade is also her most personal and daring work to date and she can longer be dismissed as someone who plays it safe.
What might work against it: There may still be some backlash from those who viewed "Formation" and her Super Bowl performance as anti-police. Or basically the people in this SNL skit.

3. Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
What's in it's favor: If recent Album of the Year wins for Beck and Daft Punk are any indication, the Grammys have no qualms about giving artists who were embraced by alternative rock stations in the 1990s their just due. It's basically the equivalent of rewarding Bob Dylan, Santana and Ray Charles, but only fast-forwarded a few generations for what I now call the cool dad slot. Their non-campaign campaign also helped garner them some news and the album has been received warmly so far by critics. And you really can't go wrong if Bob Ludwig is your engineer (past AOTY winners Mumford & Sons' Babel, Daft Punk Random Access Memories and Beck's Morning Phase).
What might work against it: As worthy as an artist Beck is, his win still came with some backlash since it was viewed as a reward for an artist who had released superior work in the past. Letting Radiohead in and possibly winning would make the Grammys more predictable, especially in a year where Beyoncé is once again a heavy favorite.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

The Side Eyes - "I Don't Want To Go To School"

Some of us have the misfortune of painfully waiting out the clock during the day in one form or another. We've been doing it for most our lives dating back around the time when school became less fun and no longer about finger painting. There's no legitimate reason in this song that would pass muster as to why not going to school is a smart choice. It's all about that unbridled burst of exasperation, however brief, of not wanting to be somewhere you're told you have to be. It's a pretty glorious burst on record here actually, with verses that frantically build up at a SoCal pop punk pace to the borderline tantrum of the chorus, slowed down to a near-sludge so that the bemoaning "I don't wanna go to school/I don't wanna use my brain" becomes a call-to-arms to for the disenfranchised to stay in bed all morning and roam the streets during the night.





You can pre-order The Side Eyes' debut cassette EP here.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Kendrick Lamar's Control Challenge: Updated 2016 Rankings

In August of 2013, the hip hop world was shaken to its core by a track that didn't even have an official release. Big Sean's "Control" was originally supposed to be on his 2nd album, Hall Of Fame, but sample clearance issues prevented it from landing on the final track list. By the grace of all that is great, Sean decided to share the track regardless, which set off a frenzy for the following weeks.

On a song that featured Kendrick Lamar and Jay Electronica, one would expect Big Sean to drop one of the best verses of his career or for the hermit-like Jay to chime in with a contribution of superb quality, but it was Kendrick that got the whole world talking:

I'm usually homeboys with the same n----s I'm rhymin' with
But this is hip-hop and them n----s should know what time it is
And that goes for Jermaine Cole, Big KRIT, Wale, Pusha T, Meek Millz,
A$AP Rocky, Drake, Big Sean, Jay Electron', Tyler, Mac Miller
I got love for you all but I'm tryna murder you n----s
Trying to make sure your core fans never heard of you n----s
They don't wanna hear not one more noun or verb from you n----s
What is competition? I'm trying to raise the bar high
Who tryna jump and get it? You're better off trying to skydive

Plenty of people answered the challenge, which was great since the culture always thrives when there is healthy competition involved, but the highest potential laid with those who were called out. Would we see any noticeable change in quality after they were given a warning shot in front of the entire world?

It's been more than two years since "Control," which I think is an appropriate amount of time to examine the impact Lamar's verse made on those that were mentioned. In order to be fair, I only took a look at an artist's career after they had enough time to respond properly, so I didn't factor in albums like Nothing Was The Same and My Name Is My Name since they were only released a few months after the fallout and it was likely too late for Drake and Pusha T to change course. While Kendrick didn't count sales as part of the criteria, I did take into account an artist's visibility throughout this period since it is a reflection of hard work. For the most part, I graded on how much an artist improved from their previous material and if their output was worthy of them being mentioned as the best since the track was made public.

Here are the current standings, as I see it, for Kendrick's Control Challenge in 2016.

1. Kendrick Lamar  

We've been through two calendars and no one has come close to knocking Lamar off the perch. He made another great album with To Pimp A Butterfly, which was as culturally relevant as anything released last year and earned Lamar a second straight Album of the Year nomination at the Grammys (not to mention having one of the best performances at the ceremony). Ideally, twelve of the best hip hop albums from the past five years should come from this group. Only one artist can undisputedly claim to having two spots on that list. The recent success of untitled unmastered with no promotion only further cemented the hold Lamar has on listeners hungry for quality. Outside of the recording booth, Lamar could be found conversing with Quincy Jones or performing with the National Symphony Orchestra, which is miles ahead of what anyone who has released a debut album in the past five years has done to expand the scope of hip hop. Whether it be on wax, on stage or freestyling on the spot in front of a bunch of kids, Lamar not only accepted his own challenge, but showed the rest of the field how it's done.

2. Drake 

He's certainly had stronger albums, with works like If You're Reading This It's Too Late and the Future collaboration, What A Time To Be Alive, falling short of the quality of Nothing Was The Same. The idea of the Control Challenge was to show improvement and take risks, but Drake pretty much stood pat for the most part and didn't do anything to alienate his core fan base. While Drake has been consistent, he rarely excites with a song the same way that other greats have been able to do. So why is he ranked at #2 for such a so-so outing so far? Look no further than "Back To Back." At a time where most beefs are handled on social media, Drake took it back to the core essence of hip hop and aired his grievances with Meek Mill using a pen and pad. The purpose of the Control Challenge was to flesh out who was going to grab that brass ring and at what cost. He hasn't measured up creatively, but when the opportunity came, he didn't back down.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Grammy Winner Predictions for 2016

It's time once again for the Grammys to be handed out (the 58th occasion of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences doing so). The hardware will be given on Monday, Feb. 15 this year on CBS, instead of the usual Sunday. The Grammys have slowly made some progress with their nominations in the general field, but could stand to see some changes in other genres and how they vote for winners overall. I think we'll always find something to complain about until we get people in the industry without hidden agendas who are actually aware of new trends to select nominations and for those who have been recent contributors to their genres to have their votes count more than other members when it comes to determining winners within that specified field. Still, it's the most important game in town for musicians and we'll be watching anyway. These are my predictions for who will take home some gold.



Record of the Year

D'Angelo and the Vanguard - "Really Love"
Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars - "Uptown Funk"
Ed Sheeran - "Thinking Out Loud"
Taylor Swift - "Blank Space"
The Weeknd - "Can't Feel My Face"

Should win: As much as I'm a fan of "Really Love," it's rare that we get songs that unite an entire nation like "Uptown Funk." It will be kicking weddings into high gear for the next decade.
Will win: "Uptown Funk," because it did unite a nation after all.
Overlooked: Jason Derulo's "Want To Want Me" was the premier MJ-inspired song of 2015.


Album of the Year

Alabama Shakes - Sound & Color
Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly
Chris Stapleton - Traveller
Taylor Swift - 1989
The Weeknd - Beauty Behind The Madness

Should win: Kendrick's album was miles ahead of everyone.
Will win: Alabama Shakes. It's only been two years since the Grammys awarded Best New Artist and Best Rap Album to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis over Kendrick Lamar. I doubt their taste in straightforward hip hop has improved that much during that time span. Sound & Color comes from a hip band, allowing the Grammys to maintain credibility with a safer choice. It's also telling that the album's producer, Blake Mills, whose sole credit was Sound & Color got a Producer of the Year nomination. Throw in a nomination for Best Engineered Album, which has previously been won by recent AOTY winners Beck and Daft Punk, and it's looking likelier that the older, rock-leaning members, which make up a good deal of the NARAS, will tip the scales in favor of Alabama Shakes.
Overlooked: Who wasn't rooting for D'Angelo's Black Messiah? Even better, only a minuscule amount found it lackluster.<!--more>

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Top 250 Singles of 2015

This was the first year I seriously flirted with going past the usual 250 slots for my favorite singles of the year, simply because there is seemingly something worth sharing that comes out everyday. Going up to 300 or 400 could very well be a possibility in the future, but for now, I really like the sound and legitimacy of 250. As always, there's a Spotify playlist included at the bottom of the list and all entries marked with a (*) have direct links to the song since they're not on Spotify. Make sure to check out my best albums list as well.





1. The Internet feat. Kaytranada - Girl

The overwhelming desire to touch and be touched becomes a reflex over the course of this song. There are multiple tracks in the catalog of The Internet that cover this sort of ground, but none quite as potent as "Girl." Syd tha Kid's delivery barely goes above the hushed volume that's expected from speaking in the dark, which is complementary for a song that has more than a few textures of the interstellar in it. Her voice is a calming presence in the void, like it would be if one were to float in space. As airy as "Girl" is, the entire thing drips more than anything. The deep bass tone, which could've come from none other than Kaytranada, is as patient as it gets and moves with the speed of honey, making sure that every drop of sensuality lands perfectly. Light a candle, let your hands flow and send a thank you card to The Internet for breaking your cold streak.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Best 50 Albums of 2015

Enjoy the list. Enjoy and share anything new you discover. Enjoy the time that we're living in that we have an unending amount of quality music out there Enjoy the Spotify playlist and enjoy my singles list which will be up pretty soon. 



1. Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp A Butterfly 

The consensus on how great this album is so overwhelming that I'm not even sure how to approach it in a way that no one has yet, so I'll just name my top ten favorite moments instead:

10) The first time you hear Thundercat's harmonies in the background during "Complexion (2 Zulu Love)."

9) The placement of "You Ain't Gotta Lie (Momma Said)" so late in the album sequencing as a brief palate cleanser between some of the heavier material.

8) "This dick ain't freeeee..."

7) The conversation between Kendrick and 2Pac on album closer "Mortal Man," which puts the whole experience into context. It's as if To Pimp A Butterfly was an essay about what it's like to be African-American in 2015 submitted to be graded by Professor Shakur.

6) The first time the chords move up a half-step in "King Kunta" as Lamar lambastes rappers employing ghostwriters.

5) Every single vocal inflection Anna Wise does on "These Walls" and when Bilal bursts through during the chorus. 

4) The moment the beat drops on "Alright" and you feel like you can take on anything the world has to throw at you.

3) The last verse of "The Blacker The Berry."

2) The audacity of rapping over the jazzy time signature of"For Sale (Interlude)". 

1) The gravity when you finally reach the end of "How Much A Dollar Cost?"

The jig is up, I seen you from a mile away losin' focus
And I'm insensitive, and I lack empathy
He looked at me and said, "Your potential is bittersweet"
I looked at him and said, "Every nickel is mines to keep"
He looked at me and said, "Know the truth, it'll set you free
You're lookin' at the Messiah, the son of Jehovah, the higher power
The choir that spoke the word, the Holy Spirit
The nerve of Nazareth, and I'll tell you just how much a dollar cost
The price of having a spot in Heaven, embrace your loss, I am God"

Friday, December 04, 2015

2016 Grammy Nomination Predictions: Album of the Year & Song of the Year

Call me whatever, but the first week of December has always been an exciting time for me. There's so much that the Grammys could do to improve the integrity of their award, yet I still come back every year to take a crack at guessing who will get nominated where. It's the most important game in town when it comes to music awards. My infinite optimism, for better or worse, allows me to keep thinking that they'll eventually get it right one day. Regardless, it's always fun to take a look back at the year in music.

The nominations for the 58th Annual Grammy will be announced on Dec. 7 during CBS' This Morning and the actual hardware will be handed out Feb. 15, 2016. Back in June, I took a look at the Big Four categories and now I'm ready to walk the tightrope without a net and declare my final predictions for all the world to see. For this post, I'll be examining the fields for Album of the Year and Song of the Year. I also took a look at Record of the Year and Best New Artist, which you need to check out as well.


Album of the Year

I alluded to it a bit in my post for Best New Artist, but it's becoming harder and harder to create new stars. All this means is that the field becomes easier to predict and there is a shallower pool of contenders to choose from. This category has always tried to reward albums that have sold well and are also critically acclaimed. With sales being in a downward trend, it makes it harder to come up with a consensus choice on what could be a potential Album of the Year nominee.

Right now, we're at the precipice of the digital sales cliff before streaming becomes the dominant format. The definition of what we consider success will eventually transition from how many consumers are willing to buy a record to how often consumers are willing to listen to your music. When the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) will catch up to this trend and accurately reflect it in the nominations is unknown, but it may be coming sooner than we think.

This year I think will still play by the old rules, which means you can reserve a spot for Taylor Swift's 1989. Three #1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 and solid reviews are some of the key ingredients to landing an Album of the Year spot. The fact that Swift is the closest thing we have to a musical juggernaut, aside from Adele, assures her of plenty of Grammy nominations every year as long as she can deliver the quality.

The inclusion of Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly will be significant for a number of reasons, but the one that's most intriguing from a business aspect is that it will be the first AOTY nominee to make as much noise for first week sales as well it did for streaming numbers. Glossy stats aside, the album stands as one of the most critically acclaimed of the year and was as culturally relevant as any mainstream album released in the past decade. I'd consider him a lock.

Going further along with the sales + acclaim equation, The Weeknd's Beauty Behind The Madness seems like another obvious fit. This category is often seen as a reward for being dominant over the course of a calendar and The Weeknd has had a hit that stayed on everyone's radar nearly every step of the way. "Earned It (Fifty Shades Of Grey)", "Can't Feel My Face" and now "The Hills" have all shown great legs, which should bode well for his chances. Reviews have also been positive and his sound is contemporary, which will help the NARAS sleep well at night with their decision. Plus, the kids aren't going to tune in to your awards show unless they see some names they recognize.

If there aren't enough popular acts, the blue ribbon panel—which is the secret committee that decides upon the Big Four nominees based on the top 15 vote-getters among submissions—will try to come up with a few albums that bring some integrity to the category.

Rock always appears to be the equivalent of quality at the Grammys and seen to be a driving force in making great music, even as it's now being outsold by other key genres. Although great rock albums still exist, they don't exactly drive the culture like they used to, yet the NARAS feels its mandatory to always include something from the genre. Nine out of the past ten years have seen a rock album get nominated here, with hip hop following up with six and only three country albums in that same span.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

2016 Grammy Nomination Predictions: Record of the Year & Best New Artist

You have no idea how happy I get during this time of year. Poring over a list of songs and artists in order to determine who will get nominated for an award that's perpetually behind the curve, but still the most important in its industry, truly gets my neurons percolating. It's like trying to solve a puzzle that not many have the passion to attempt and why I do it every year.

The nominations for the 58th Annual Grammy Awards will be announced on Dec. 7 during CBS' This Morning, with the actual ceremony on Feb. 15, 2016. I'm here once again to give my final predictions as to who will be nominated in the general field. Over the summer, I examined the contenders and where they stood at the moment, if you want further insight into my thought process. For this post, I'll only be taking a look at Record of the Year and Best New Artist, with Album of the Year and Song of the Year to follow in a separate post.


Record of the Year 

The first thing to do when analyzing this category is revisit some of the biggest hits of the year. Over the past five years, sixteen of the thirty-one nominees reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, with last year's group dominating the summit for a combined total of 19 weeks.

I think you know where I'm going this.

There was no bigger song than Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars' "Uptown Funk," truly the only track this year to unite a nation. Its place in Record of the Year is a foregone conclusion, so let's just get that out of the way.

Taylor Swift manages to dominate the general field conversation whenever she's eligible. This year should be no different, but I'll admit to being slightly worried since timing and momentum played a huge part in the nominations for "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" and "Shake It Off." But it's Taylor Swift. Time doesn't exist to her. She's on a different plane than the rest of us mere mortals. Save a spot for "Blank Space" as well, despite it being a full year old.

One doesn't always need to reach #1 in order to make a huge impact. Sometimes, just hovering around in the top ten for months will do the job, which is why I like Ed Sheeran's "Thinking Out Loud" to grab a spot here as well. It's no secret that the Grammys love acknowledging male vocalists who also happen to be musicians. Strap an acoustic guitar onto a man and everything he coos is automatically going to be "deep." At least that's the perception that's been ingrained into our collective conscience for the past half-century. Sheeran has been nominated in each of the general field categories except for ROTY. Now that he has an actual money song that mostly all of America has heard of, the path to him landing a nod here should be laid out nice and smoothly.

If we're still on the subject of songs that never seem to die, Fetty Wap's "Trap Queen" was a prime example of such in 2015. In one of the most organic rises in recent memory, "Trap Queen" went from being a Soundcloud sensation to knocking on the door of being the #1 song in the country. In an era where there are few ubiquitous songs that everyone can agree on (Can your mother sing the words to OMI's "Cheerleader"? Didn't think so.), it can't be taken for granted when a song had the kind of the legs this one did. Plus, you know things are major when Taylor Swift gives you a co-sign.

For all intents and purposes, "Trap Queen" should be a Record of the Year nominee. But it probably won't. The blue ribbon panelthe secret committee of industry folk who are chosen to determine the Big Four categories each year from the top 15 submissions—may not be ready to welcome someone as rough around the edges as Fetty Wap to their party. The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences doesn't usually have the greatest understanding of the latest trends in hip hop, but they're cagey enough to recognize those that are obviously talented (Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z, Outkast, Kanye West, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis). Therefore, I think there's probably an elitism that might prevent certain kinds of hip hop that's lacking in lyrical dexterity or seen as "too street" from ever getting a major nomination.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

The Definitive Track Listing of Miley Cyrus And Her Dead Petz

At the conclusion of this year's MTV Video Music Awards, hostess Miley Cyrus announced her latest album, Miley Cyrus And Her Dead Petz, was available to stream for free on her website. It was surprising that a pop star of Cyrus' stature would give away her music, considering that sales of Bangerz was solid enough to not steer away from a traditional promo strategy. Although we're currently in an era where the public either expects music for free or at least easily accessible, the rule is that if you can still sell records, you keep charging (it would be difficult to imagine Taylor Swift or Beyoncé pulling the same move, for example).

When listening to Dead Petz, which was released outside of Cyrus' contract with RCA and paid for out of her own pockets, it wasn't hard to tell that this was a project dear to her. With The Flaming Lips producing the majority of the album and a few oddball songs dedicated to the passing of her aforementioned pets, it was clear radio was never the goal here. It was also clear that this was an album made without the assistance of an A&R or someone who could keep everything tethered. At a running time of 92:06, it's a slog to get through at times as Cyrus goes to many lengths to not be placed in a box, much to the detriment of the listener or anyone with an attention span.

The main source of my frustration is that I can never shake the feeling there's a better album lurking within. While there are a good deal of quality songs, one can only judge an album as a whole, not just cherry picking their favorites, which is why the critical response has been pretty divisive. Still, the potential for a good album was so intriguing to me that I decided to revise the sequencing and come up with my own track list, one that would still hold the original freewheeling intent and hopefully cut straight to the core of some of the album's main themes of loss and lust. I came up with something that tries to be a bit more cohesive and that comes in at just over an hour. This version is at least worth 3 stars.

1. Cyrus Skies
2. I Get So Scared
3. The Floyd Song (Sunrise)
4. Karen Don't Be Sad
5. Space Boots
6. Slab Of Butter
7. Pablow The Blow Fish
8. BB Talk
9. Bang Me Box
10. I Forgive Yiew
11. Lighter
12. Tangerine
13. Something About Space Dude
14. Twinkle Song

Friday, August 21, 2015

Ten Real Life Heel Promos

Let the record show that I'm still a wrestling fan to this day (no snarky comments before watching this). It's an old habit from childhood that has simply refused to die, even after discovering it's all predetermined. As my understanding of the business expanded, I grew more appreciative of the artistry behind what made the product so appealing and effective to me.

One of the cornerstones of moving along plot lines and interactions between wrestlers (also known as angles) is the promo. The promo is a segment on a program, usually done through a interview or monologue, which is used by a wrestler to promote themselves and/or a feud they have between another wrestler. A memorable promo is filled with charisma and substance that simultaneously captures your attention while you making heavily invested in the story. Here is an example:



In that promo, Dusty Rhodes played the role of the face (a good guy) and used his energy and a sympathetic inflection to make sure that people cheered for him. On the other end of the spectrum, you have heels (the villains) whose job it is to gain heat (getting jeered and booed) by sharing unpopular opinions or verbally attacking a face. This is what a typical heel promo sounds like:



Pretty straightforward, right? You piss people off, which makes them want to spend money to see you get your comeuppance. There are varying degrees to how to get heat, but that's the basic gist. In my mind, the heel promo is something that isn't just limited to wrestling but in the reality that we live in. There's no shortage of public figures that say things the majority of the people disagree with, but we really take notice when it's done enthusiastically and sincerely. The fun of a great heel promo in wrestling is that we know this person is portraying a character, but they do such a great job of toying with our emotions and convincing us to hate them that we can't help but react outwardly. A real life heel promo carries that same weight of sincerity and the result is that we're usually appalled yet slightly entertained. With WWE's SummerSlam this weekend, (the 2nd biggest wrestling event of the year behind Wrestlemania), I decided to look at ten of the most notable heel promos in pop culture, listed chronologically.


Mike Love vs. The Oldies Station



The angle: The Beach Boys were inducted into the 1988 Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame along side The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, for whom Mike Love had choice words (skip to 3:48).

Heat index (on a scale of 1 to 10): 9. Love's tirade included shots at Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Diana Ross, Bruce Springsteen, Woody Guthrie and apparently Brian Wilson's speech, which Love couldn't help but interrupt. His self-serving rambling made for the most awkward moment in Hall Of Fame history and turned what should have been a night of celebration and class into a train wreck.

Infamous heel quote: "I know Mick Jagger won’t be here tonight, he’s gonna have to stay in England. But I’d like to see us in the Coliseum and he at Wembley Stadium because he’s always been chickenshit to get on stage with The Beach Boys.”


GG Allin vs. Decency



The angle: Anti-establishment punk rocker GG Allin appeared on The Jane Whitney Show to declare his hate for society and good taste.

Heat index: 10. Allin displayed all of the classic heel traits during this appearance (which would be his final interview) from having a defiant, electric delivery to challenging audience members to a fight, but he really earned disgust by boasting that he raped women and men onstage and that he liked to have sex with underage kids and animals.

Infamous heel quote: Way too many to count, so here are a few samples.

"I'm gonna rape the girls, I might rape the guys. I might have sex wi-, I want it all! I want it all and I'm gonna have it all! Because I am everything!"

"I don't care about anything but myself and what I write. And what I do is law."

"You go to school? You go to school? Wow. What are you gonna learn in school? You ain't gonna learn nothin' in school! 'Cause I'm the only one that can teach you! I'm the only one that can teach you!"


Suge Knight vs. The East Coast



The angle: The East Coast-West Coast rivalry kicked into high gear at the 1995 Source Awards when Suge Knight fanned the flames by mocking Sean "Puffy" Combs.

Heat index: 8. Depending on where you resided, Knight's stance on Bad Boy Records could have been inspiring. The vocal NYC crowd decried anyone who wasn't from their hometown (they even booed Outkast. OUTKAST!) and the head of Death Row Records refused to let his label's accomplishments go unrecognized. Instead of trying to appease New York, Suge took the road less traveled to much derision. The best heels are aware of the venue that they're at and use it to their advantage to gain heat and who has been a bigger one in the music industry over the past twenty years than this man?

Infamous heel quote: "Any artist out there wanna be an artist and stay a star and won't have to worry about the executive producer trying to be all in the video, all on the records, dancing, come to Death Row!"

Monday, July 20, 2015

#classicalbumtweets: Superfly