Friday, June 24, 2011

10 TV and Rock n’ Roll Notes: Ron Paul, Weird Al, Jackass, Lady Gaga, and More

Before another increasingly-frequent Williamsburg visit this evening (more on that neighborhood in the months ahead) – and a visit to the parents, grandmother, aunt, and parents’ relatively-new Scottie named Mac this weekend – a few TV and rock notes:

•It was nice to see Ron Paul loosen up and laugh like a regular Joe at Colbert’s golden calf question the other night.  He should do that more often, preferably from the Oval Office. 

•Weird Al has released his Lady Gaga parody video, which may be more disturbing than an actual Gaga video – but pretty much captures how I feel about the fast-fading faux-freak.  My favorite rhyme in it is probably “I might be wearing Swiss cheese/ Or maybe covered with bees.”  I didn’t claim Weird Al is deep.  Just better than Lady Gaga. 

•Gaga’s frenetic prop-deployment reminds me a bit of the slight embarrassment I felt upon realizing that I had been talking to one of America’s most-traditionalist writers once when I was half-jokingly praising the aggressively trashy, postmodernist-montage cable access TV show Concrete TV – which consisted mostly of rapidly-intercut clips of old kung fu fights, wrestling, explosions, car crashes, and vintage stripper reels – in short, the good stuff with no waiting (or need for virtues such as patience). 

•But Concrete TV is still awesome, and now you can find it online, though it looks a bit less shocking than it did when a patient but no doubt saddened Kalb had that conversation with a young recent college grad back in the 90s.  Then it was futurist (in the art movement sense), now we just live in that future. 

•Jim Kalb’s occasional bar gatherings back in the day (called Tuesday Night Traditonalists, not at all to be confused with Gersh Kuntzman’s Tuesday Night Tradition bar gatherings of that same era, except in the sense that you might have found me at either, as is my wont) would sometimes draw folk such as a then-young paleoconservative named Tom Woods, not to be confused...

•...with libertarian Tom Walls (though I’m sure it happens), who recommends a cover song by the Dutch band the Madd.  Here’s the original by Los Shakers for comparison – so in some sense the Shakers had offspring.  And Dawn Eden notes that the Madd reached the Top 20 backing a rapper at one point. 

•In other rock news, I just want to note that a guy from Decemberists and Robert Pollard from Guided by Voices are now the core of a band called Boston Spaceships (located in Ohio).  Maybe it’s safe now to confess my feeling that Guided by Voices sounded to me like incomplete sketches of songs – a feeling that seems borne out by the stats, which show that Pollard has written 1,300 “songs.”  He’s talented, but that sort of number has to be viewed with the same suspicion as a claim to have written 1,300 good sci-fi novels.

•It also occurs to me that Buzzcocks, Guided by Voices, the Wedding Present, and Sebadoh all sound slightly similar at times, which is not a knock against any of them

•I was like totally trapped inside a building by cops at a Buzzcocks concert once, man – although, uh, it was because the police were examining a suspected bomb outside at a time of heightened terrorism worry, so it’s not as punk rock as it sounds.

•Speaking of car crashes – here’s a defense of Ebert, who called the drunk-driving recently-deceased Jackass cast member a jackass.  I suspect there are a lot of millennials, overly influenced by Jackass and Fight Club at a formative age, who are still having a hard time processing the fact that bad behavior can actually kill you rather than just impress some of your less intelligent peers.

It’s Darwin in action, in keeping with this blog’s “Month of Eugenics” theme, and even if a few of those taken out are ostensibly hip and talented, we’ll somehow move on without them, much as I wish everyone could have been spared the pain of the incident.


Diana said...

I'm surprised you don't like her new "edge of glory" video, it's like more 80s than the 80s

Todd Seavey said...

Bah! Get back to me when she does something more new than new. (I suddenly have new sympathy for Grandpa, who said upon seeing Cyndi Lauper on TV three decades ago: "The country is going to the dogs.")