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Shut Up And Listen 155

The Pop Machine Ate My Monkey

Well, because of the server collapse last week, there's a chance you'll be reading this column at the same time as last week's, so I thought I'd continue along the same thought, talking about music stuff. This week, just some random shit. The title of this column comes from a thread at Millarworld where I was bitching about a pop machine eating my money, but a friend, Brian thought it was monkey and was disappointed that I didn't deliver a rant about pop music and monkeys. Well, still isn't happening.

Random #1: "Toxic" by Britney Spears

I have to admit, I almost like this song. Almost. Honestly, this is a song that is just a few tweaks away from being very good. Firstly, get rid of Britney Spears and get someone with more talent. The vocals hold this song back a lot. Also, lose the chorus. That's what keeps this song in the "standard pop dribble shit" category rather than a genuinely good song. Otherwise, it's good. The music is fucking good. In ten years when someone good covers it, it'll be a great song.

Random #2: The Junos

For you non-Canadians, the Junos are the Canadian music awards and a couple weeks back, the nominations were released. This past week, I went to the Junos' website to give them a good look and vote in whatever fans' choice awards were there. Well, I must say, that in a lot of places, they dropped the ball. My first beef is with the fans' choice award, which is just "best Canadian act" and the list sucks. Something like Shania Twain, Nickelback, Our Lady Peace, and a couple more. I didn't even vote because there was no one that I wanted to vote for. If it were three years ago, Our Lady Peace would have got it, but ever since Gravity, I've hated their music. Still like their earlier stuff though.

And then I go looking through the categories for other stuff I like and couldn't find much until I hit the "songwriter" category and found Buck 65, Hawksley Workman and Ron Sexsmith (plus two others), three artists who I like a lot, but were only nominated in that category. That's something that kind of baffles me. They write great songs (which reflects well on their performances of those songs, as that's how you get to hear the songs and judge if they're well-written) and yet they don't warrant any other nominations? That bothers me. But, I've never put much stock in awards anyways (well, unless stuff I like win, of course).

Random #3: Listed on Much More Music

Much More Music is one of the Canadian music stations. It was the first off-shoot of Much Music (later ones include Much Loud, Much Vibe, and Much More Retro) and specializes in "adult" music. The mainstream kind of stuff that appeals the over-25 crowd, which often is good stuff. They have a show called Listed where they count down the top twenty in a certain category. One that I've seen once or twice that pisses me off is where they counted down the top twenty Canadian acts in the last twenty years and basically, it wasn't about the best Canadian acts in the past twenty years so much as it was about the best Canadian acts at getting high sales in the US. Seriously, I'm sorry, but Celine Dion is not the best Canadian musician of the past twenty years. If you think that, you're retarded. Hell, if you think Avril Lavigne has any place on that list, you're retarded (they put her at fucking sixth place, I kid you not). But then again, that's always been the music, film and TV industries' main problems when it comes to awards: they choose the "best" out of the shit that sold well, not the best out of the . . . well, the best.

Random #4: March albums

There are three albums coming out this month that I really want. The first two come out on the ninth and the other on the twenty-third. First up is the self-titled debut of Franz Ferdinand. Saw the video to their lead single "Take Me Out" on Much Music one afternoon and was quite impressed by the song. It starts out one way and then about a minute into the song shifts gears and is really just a great sounding song. The second CD is the major label debut of The Von Bondies, another Detroit rock band. Saw an interview with them on Much Music (actually, the same day I saw the Franz Ferdinand video) and the video to "C'mon C'mon", the lead single off their album. Some good stuff. I also downloaded a bunch of the songs off their indy release and I maintain that they have the best song title ever with the song "Cryin' (Meg And Jack Are Married)". The third album, is one that I've been waiting four years for, the third Marcy Playground album, called MP3. I know, a lot of you are like, "They the guys that did `Sex And Candy'? Fuck them! I hate that song!" Well, first off, yeah, that's them. Secondly, the song's still good and you know it. And thirdly, you should have listened to their entire album and their follow-up, Shapeshifter. Some damn good stuff. Hopefully the new album will get people listening to their stuff again.

Random #5: Other new albums

The Hives, Tangiers and quite possibly Matthew Good all have new albums coming out sometime this year. I am so excited. Just saying.