Saturday, July 24, 2010

101 Undisputable Rock Facts

101 Undisputable Facts About Rock & Roll
Organized by Bill Reese*

1. There are 18 songs on London Calling, at least 12 of them are incredible.Had it been pared down by one-third, it would be considered in a category with Sgt. Pepper and Pet Sounds. 2. Billy Corgan is thin, but ever since he shaved his head he looks like a fat ass
3. Disco is panned as an awful genre, but if you look at its instrumentation, the best disco songs have orchestral strings, horns, woodwinds; ambitious instrumentation indeed. In contrast, The Ramones played three instruments, all terribly, and they’re considered legends.
4. Scotland is the new Brooklyn.
5. Nickleback’s 2005 album All the Right Reasons has sold more than 8 million copies in the United States. There are 300 million people in the United States. That means that 1 out of every 37 people in this country supposedly owns a Nickleback album.
6. I do not know a single person who owns the aforementioned Nickleback album. Despite knowing roughly 500-1,000 people, the odds of not knowing anybody who owns that album are staggering.
7. The Misfits wrote a goal song for the New York Rangers with the lyrics “I wanna be a New York RANGER! I wanna live a life of DANGER!” The song was rejected by team officials who did not want to encourage their fans to live dangerous lifestyles.
8. None of the lyrics in Alanis Morrisette’s “Ironic” represent the literal definition of irony.
9. Paul Schaeffer of The Late Show with David Letterman co-wrote “It’s Raining Men.” (Hallelujah)
10. Jazz music possibly gets its name from Jass, which was short for Jassum, which came from Jassum Clubs, a.k.a. brothels. Jassum was a 1900s New Orleans euphemism for male reproductive cells.
11. Bruce Springsteen originally wrote “Hungry Heart” for The Ramones.
12. Van Morrison is the greatest white soul singer ever.
13. Flava Flav is the only reason Chuck D and the rest of Public Enemy weren’t assassinated by the U.S. Government in the late 1980s. Think about it, they were promoting some revolutionary shit and they could have easily been taken out. But while Chuck D was saying It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, Flava Flav was wearing a giant clock around his neck. It distracted the feds away from the real revolutionary lyrics and made them take Public Enemy less seriously.
14. Karen O is not a sex symbol. I’d rather fuck John Popper pre-gastric bypass.
15. Many great artists do not have a platinum selling album. But
Shaquille O'Neal does.16. Marvin Gaye wrote a sequel to "Let's Get it On" called "Keep Gettin’ It On."People are having sex in the background of the song.
17. James Brown's screams at the tail end of the extended version of "Cold Sweat" are the most terrifying sounds ever recorded on tape.
18. Tom Waits has no idea who the fuck Scarlett Johnansen is.
19. Matt Sharp's Rentals have been severely ripped off by the late 2000's indie synth-pop movement. The Rentals missed being immensely popular by a solid 10 years.
20. Rivers Cuomo ended up marrying a Japanese girl. We're still crying to "Across the Sea."
21. Ringo Starr, who just turned 70, will live to be 112 years old and will only die because he'll cross paths with The Highlander, and THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!
22. Yoko Ono broke up The Beatles. Everybody knows that. She is also
—directly or indirectly—responsible for the breakups of The Police, Van Halen, The Smiths, At the Drive-In, My Bloody Valentine, The Pixies, Wings, OutKast, Fleetwood Mac, Oasis, Steve & Edie, A Tribe Called Quest, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Fire Flies, Guns N’ Roses, Simon & Garfunkel, Rage Against the Machine, Soundgarden, Audioslave, The Fugies, The Verve, The Smashing Pumpkins, The Libertines, and convinced John Frusciante to leave Red Hot Chili Peppers.
23. Lil’ Wayne has more tattoos than good songs.
24. Freddie Mercury was so flamboyant that the fact that he was gay ranked about 5th on the list of the most outrageous things about him. Ranking #1, the mustache.
25. The Hold Steady are not a Christian band, but if they are, they are more talented than Creed, cooler than P.O.D. write catchier riffs than MxPx and got more soul than Winger.
26. Now that Jacko is dead, Justin Timberlake is hereby appointed King of Pop.
27. While we’re at it, Ozzy Osbourne is almost dead so we’ll need a new Prince of Darkness. The Devil has probably had enough of heavy metal anyway, Papa Roach ruined it for him. Come to think of it, the devil was always more of a Delta Blues, Rockabily, drinkin’-cheatin’ Country music kinda guy anyway. Hell, he taught Robert Johnson how to play his guitar that one night on the crossroads. In this case, Jack White should be anointed Prince of Darkness. Jack’s always in red and black, dabbles in rock, blues and country and has even written an album called Get Behind Me Satan.
28. T.I. went to jail for having a gun in his car, yet the motherless bastards who produce “Kidz Bop”—albums of “family friendly” popular songs sung by choirs of tweenage brats—walk the streets freely.
29. With the exception of Robert Christgau, David Fricke and sometimes Kurt Loader, all music journalists are as original as Hoobastank, as talented as William Hung, as intelligent as Jessica Simpson, and as tacky as Stryper—especially the author of this list of facts.
30. Album reviews in rock magazines are tied specifically to who does the cover story and how many ads their label buys within the paper. Don’t believe me? Inquire about purchasing a banner ad on this most scrupulous blog.
31. Now that James Brown is dead, the title of “Hardest Working Man in Show Business” goes to Iggy Pop, who attempted to stage dive at a Carnegie Hall benefit and landed flat on the floor when no one attempted to catch him. Search & Destroy indeed.
32. Emo is R&B for white people.
33. There is a secret booklet under the CD tray in Radiohead's Kid A album. The secret booklet has some album lyrics and really fucked-up artwork.
34. Contrary to popular belief, Sharon Jones is not the black, non-psychotic Amy Winehouse. Winehouse is the British, drugged out Sharon Jones.
35. Nobody has ever correctly pronounced the names of Bloc Party frontman Kele Okereke, Live singer Ed Kowalczyk, or any of the Armenian names in System of a Down.
36. Nine out of Ten emo girls agree: Chubby, pre-Zooey Deschanel Ben Gibbard was cuter and wrote better songs than skinny, happily married Ben Gibbard.
37. E Street Band guitar virtuoso Nils Lofgren also played the piano on Neil Young's haunting classic "After the Gold Rush."
38. Dr. Dog is not a rap group.
39. A rooster will never crow when you are singing… they're not that foolish. They wait for a pause in-between phrases, then they crow like hell.
40. Sufjan Stevens played more than 20 different instruments on his epic album Illinoise.
41. The Verve never made a dime off "Bittersweet Symphony
" or its corresponding album Urban Hymns. The string sections in "Bittersweet Symphony" were sampled from a Rolling Stones song.
42. Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore contributed a song and appeared on the CW's Gossip Girl because their teenage daughter was a huge fan of the show.
43. Morrissey is a dick.
44. Green Day's "Before the Lobotomy" is the only punk song in a 7/8 time signature.
45. Trent Reznor recorded The Fragile in a former funeral parlor in New Orleans.
46. Rhode Island-based noise-punk band Lightning Bolt play every gig in a circle in the center of the floor or pit. At festivals, they wait until the previous band play their last notes, say "thank you, goodnight" and then begin their set.
47. While at SUNY Purchase, Dan Deacon helped lead an effort to name a new student dormitory "WHAM! CITY." He and fellow Purchase alum Jimmy Joe Roache eventually formed the Wham City arts collective in Baltimore.
48. Gogol Bordello's members are American citizens.
49. The Age of Rockets album Hannah is a palindrome. The album's title is spelled the same backwards and forwards, and the album is arranged so that the album's bookends reflect one another.
50. "Parents Just Don't Understand," by Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff set
hip-hop back 10 years.
51. Kim Deal's song "Gigantic" off The Pixies seminal Surfer Rosa album is about exactly what you think it's about.
52. Lady Gaga wrote "Bad Romance" about the bartender at Welcome to the Johnson's.
53. Every young band Johnny Marr joins gets exponentially better. (Are you reading this, Jonas Brothers?)
54. Fred Durst is a better music video director than Clint Eastwood is a musician.
55. At the very end of Brand New’s Deja Entendu Jesse Lacey sings "…Never to see any other way…" which is the same phrase as the creepy loop played 30 seconds after the end of "A Day in the Life" on The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s...
56. Norwegian Black Metal musicians are the most rid
iculously dressed performers in the world.
57. Chili Peppers bassist Flea played one of The Nihilists in The Big Lebowski as well as the hippie licking LSD off Johnny Depp’s jacket in Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas.
58. There were two Dr. Dre’s, the one who’s famous and the other who was the fat co-host on Yo! MTV Raps with Ed Lover.
59. When asked in an interview what her favorite Jay-Z song was, Miley Cyrus couldn’t name a single one, despite the lyric “...And a Jay-Z song was on” in her mega-hit “Party in the U.S.A.”
60. The LAPD killed Tupac.
61. Tupac is still alive.
62. All Gnarls Barkley photo shoots feature Danger Mouse and Cee Lo dressed in costume as characters from movies, TV, etc.
63. TV on the Radio’s Return to Cookie Mountain is a reference to a level in Super Nintendo game “Super Mario Brothers.”
64. Dave Chappelle killed Rick James
65. Willie Nelson wrote
Patsy Cline’s “Crazy.”
66. Jimmy Buffett was the first author to write a #
1 New York Times Bestseller in both fiction and nonfiction.
67. Since about the mid-to-late-1970s or so, only one artist/group has been able to build long-term success after hitting it big with a cover song. Marilyn Manson’s first big hit was “Sweet Dreams,” which was written by The Eurythmics. It which was followed a year later by “The Beautiful People,” Manson’s first original hit. In contrast, plenty of groups scored with a cover and then faded: The Ataris “Boys of Summer,” Orgy “Blue Monday,” etc. Even The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony” was the group’s first and only U.S. hit.
68. It is illegal in New York City to be James Iha. 69. The Killers’ Sam’s Town does not sound like a Bruce Springsteen album, no matter how much Brandon Flowers believes so. The only groups that sound remotely like the E Street Band are Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, Gaslight Anthem and The Hold Steady.
70. Freddie Mercury’s real name was Farrokh Bulsara.
71. The riff from The White Stripes “Seven Nation Army” is sung by nearly a dozen European football clubs as
a chant.
72. Iggy Pop played the father of Ellen on The Adventures of Pete & Pete.
73. Legend has it that blues legend Lead Belly—who wrote “In the Pines,” or, as most people know it, “Where Did You Sleep Last Night?” from Nirvana Unplugged—was set free by the Governor of Texas when he wrote the Governor a song appealing for his release. Ironically, the Governor had won election on a platform of not paroling violent offenders such as Lead Belly.

74. Wal-Mart and K-Mart refused to sell Nirvana’s In Utero because the back cover was illustrated with dozens of fetuses and because it contained a track titled “Rape Me.” Nirvana issued Wal-Mart an alternate back cover and changed the name of the song to “Waif Me,” but left the song itself unchanged.
75. MTV has censored lyrics that refer to everything from sex, guns, drugs, suicide, to 8” spinny rims. MTV also no longer stands for “Music Television.”
76. Just because you are from Long Island doesn’t mean you must automatically worship Billy Joel.
77. Slash’s birth name is Saul Hudson.
78. Craig Finn is writing the screen adaptation for Chuck Klosterman’s book Fargo Rock City.
79. Aerosmith have 14 studio albums but 11 “greatest hits” albums.
80. Radiohead’s debut Pablo Honey is named after the Jerky Boys prank call of the same name.
81. Reel-to-reel tape sounds better than vinyl.
82. Number of anti-Iraq War songs by Incubus: 4. Number of anti-Iraq War songs by Zack de la Rocha: 0.
83. Cablevision honcho and N.Y. Knicks and N.Y. Rangers owner James Dolan plays in a band called J.D. and the Straight Shot. He pays Cablevision employees to come to his shows at BB King’s in Manhattan to cheer and pretend that he isn’t a talentless hack.
84. Based solely on its cover, MGMT’s Congratulations should be re-titled Cowabunga! 85. The “Little Drummer Boy” duet between David Bowie and Bing Crosby is the strangest holiday recording ever made.
86. The legendary Fillmore East theater in Manhattan is now a Duane Reade drugstore.
87. It is a fact that Van Halen’s tour riders called for there to be a bowl of M&Ms in their dressing room, but all the brown M&Ms had to be discarded.
88. Napster founder Shawn Fanning changed music in a more profound way than Elvis Presley.
89. More people illegally downloaded Rad
iohead’s In Rainbows than obtained the album for free through the group’s own website.
90. Auto-tune is the greatest thing to ever happen to Chili Peppers singer Anthony Keidis, and the worst thing to ever happen to Kanye West.
91. Audiences that do not sustain applause for at least five minutes after a set do not deserve an encore. Likewise, bands who return for “scheduled encores” should be forced to record with Phil Spector in jail.
Brian Wilson is still batshit crazy.
93. Word Up Magazine, (As in “It was all a dream, I useda read Word Up Magazine” from Biggy Smalls’ classic “Juicy”) is still in print. It’s now a teeny-bopper magazine and has featured the very un-Notorious Justin Bieber on the cover twice in 2010 alone.
94. Staten Island will be allowed to remain one of the five boroughs of New York City so long as it is re-named The Land of Shaolin and the Verrazano Bridge is re-named in honor of Ol’ Dirty Bastard.
95. Michael Jackson died while filming the Pepsi commercial when his hair caught fire. He was replaced with a series of actors hired by Joe Jackson who hatched a vast conspiracy to disillusion the public for 20 years and then culminate the con in a spectacular fake death sequence. For the record, MJ has sold 35 million albums since his death. In contrast, the highest selling new album in 2009 sold only 3.21 million copies (Taylor Swift).
96. Despite the relative proliferation of so-called “Indie Labels,” the highest selling indie album of all time is The Offspring’s 1994 breakthrough Smash, released originally on Epitaph. It has sold 11 million copies worldwide since 1994.
97. Nobody but Cedric Bixler-Zavala understands The Mars Volta’s lyrics.
98. Rick Rubin is the baddest motherfucker alive. When you’re worshipped by the diverse likes of Jay-Z and Slayer you’re allowed to hold that title.
99. It is impossible to have 99 problems without a bitch being one of them. Even Obama has to worry about Sarah Palin.
100. Johnny Ramone has the most awesome tombstone ever. Take that Pharaoh Khufu! 101. In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make... except if you are a rock star, then you make way too much love to balance the equation.

***Please note, none of these facts have been checked. Bill Reese is a contributing writer to With This I Think I'm Officially A Yuppie. He has also written for Good Times Magazine, Skope and is an Editor at Playbill.