Governor Christie: @JrsyShrDvl69 Y U Mad Bro? #gobacktotheshore

It would appear that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie caused a bit of stir today with his decision to lower the flags to half-mast on the day of Whitney Houston’s funeral. Given that Whitney Houston was from New Jersey, Governor Christie simply wished to honor her artistic contributions to the world. This, however, seemed to outrage some of the sensitive and intellectual New Jersey residents:

“@GovChristie are you serious?” asked a user named @steakprincess, who gives her name as Danielle Olivieri. “Whitney is no hero, she was a crack head who killed herself. Our flag is not to be lowered for a junkie.”

Yes, @steakprincess, you make a compelling argument. Governor Christie, however, was not convinced:

“Flag being lowered for her cultural contributions as an artist & New Jerseyan. Her struggles w/substance abuse r a diff topic.”

I, for one, am glad that we live in a world where public officials can be contacted via overgrown text message, and forced to explain themselves in chatspeak. That certainly doesn’t contribute to the overall death of discourse. Lower the flags for Whitney, and spell out your fucking words. This is America, dammit.

Perpetually Maligned Catholics Were Offended By Nicki Minaj’s Grammy Performance

Yes, it’s truly difficult to be a modern Catholic, what with all the musicians constantly using your iconography to convey their sexual deviations. Case in point: Nicki Minaj’s twisted performance at the Grammys; apparently, the “rapper” arrived “wearing a red Versace nun’s habit, accompanied by an older white man dressed as the Pope.” And it only got worse from there! Little William O’McDonohuesheagriffin, president of the Catholic League (not to be confused with the Justice League) described the horrors he was forced to witness:

“Perhaps the most vulgar part was the sexual statement that showed a scantily clad female dancer stretching backwards while an altar boy knelt between her legs in prayer,” Donohue wrote in a statement on the group’s website. “None of this was by accident, and all of it was approved by the Recording Academy, which puts on the Grammys. Whether Minaj is possessed is surely an open question, but what is not in doubt is the irresponsibility of the Recording Academy. Never would they allow an artist to insult Judaism or Islam.”

I’m tempted to imagine Little William’s comment about Minaj being possessed as a dig; read that quote with a sassy lisp and tell me that Little Willy doesn’t sound a little like Sister Willamina! But I digress, and in that digression I ignore the plight of the poor, poor Catholics.

God knows it’s been a difficult couple of thousand years for Catholics. Every single day I hear someone say “Hey, we should totally detain Catholics at airports because they look like terrorists,” or “Hey, don’t you know that the Catholics control all the media and the banks?” What a burden those poor bastards have to shoulder.

I can honestly say that I wake up every day thankful I’m not a Catholic.

5 Things You May Not Know About Londonbeat

In an earlier post, I encouraged you to view this video instead of searching for videos of that Sketchy Andy guy being a douche. Well, if you actually took my advice, kudos to you! But even if you heeded my advice, you may still be in the dark as to the wonders of Londonbeat. I aim to remedy that. So, for no other reason than a lack of ideas, here are 5 things you may not have known about Londonbeat.*

5 Things You May Not Know About Londonbeat

1. The band has British and American members.

That’s right, Londonbeat is a pond-crossing collaborative effort. Jimmy Helms and George Chandler are Americans; Jimmy Chambers is Trinidadian, and William Henshall (Willy M.) is from the UK.

2. American band member Jimmy Helms was a fairly successful soul singer before joining Londonbeat.

He’s also pretty damn old; his first single, “Ragtime Girl,” was released in 1963! Also, he wrote “I’ve Been Thinking About You,” so he’s clearly the most awesome member of Londonbeat (and arguably the reason they exist at all).

3. The Netherlands was the first country to recognize their genius.

Their track “There’s a Beat Going On” reached number 10 on the Dutch charts, which given the Dutch appreciation for music is pretty much like 1 on any other chart. I strongly urge you to follow that link. You will not regret it.

4. They competed in the Eurovision Song Contest.

The Eurovision Song Contest is basically like the World Cup for music. But with Europe only, instead of the whole world. They entered the contest with a festive ditty entitled “I’m Just Your Puppet On A…(String),” but unfortunately lost to Love City Groove, who went on to perform this turd (performance starts at the 1:15 mark).

5. The regrouped in 2003 and signed to the German record label Coconut Records.

Coconut Records also manages Haddaway, Rammstein, and Modern Talking. I cannot even begin to explain to you the awesomeness of Modern Talking. Just watch the damn video.

*Bonus fact about Londonbeat: whenever I type “Londonbeat”, I always add a “g,” thus making the hilariously Freudian typo “Londongbeat.” Make of that what you will.

It’s Late, and I Insist that You Bask in the Awesomeness of Roxette

‘Nuff said.

Wanted: Band to Play for the Grand Old Party; Must Not Rock Too Hard or Support Immigration Rights

Alas, the GOP is having some difficulties in scoring their political battle against Barry “Probably Loves Jazz” Obama. Recently, Newton “Fruit’n’Cake” Gingrich was told that he could not use “Eye of the Tiger,” a rousing anthem by Survivor, to support his campaign; I’m told his second choice, “Rye or the Kaiser,” by Weird Al, was also unavailable. Mittensus also had some problems; Somali-born artist K’naan insisted that he stop using “Wavin’ Flag” as a victory tune. Given the lyrics of “Wavin’ Flag” I’m wondering if there’s not some prankster/saboteur in the Romney campaign. If so, I doff my cap to you, good sir or madam.

In any case, this is the not the first time the GOP’s had trouble with commie rockers; no, John McCain was forced to apologize (and pay a settlement) for using Jackson Browne’s “Running on Empty,” and Charlie Crist got in trouble for using “Road to Nowhere” by the Talking Heads.

It’s not surprising to anyone whose brain functions normally that artists would not support the GOP candidates in their eternal struggle to perpetuate the oligarchy. After all, artists are all hippies who couldn’t make it in finance, right? But what’s amusing is the split between rock and country; seemingly, country artists have no problem whoring their music for candidates that would likely ban dancing if given half the chance. There are probably dissertations to be written on the subject in doctoral programs for musical theory (what? someone’s got to appreciate music on an academic level, and sure as hell don’t want to do it), so I’ll not speculate on the divide. Instead, I’ll suggest a few alternatives so that Mittensus and Fruit’n’Cake can keep on truckin’:

“Relax,” by Frankie Goes to Hollywood

It’s the perfect song for a party where members continously attempt to deny gay rights and then get busted for trolling men’s rooms.

“Frozen,” by Madonna.

Another perfect song for the GOP, a party constantly frozen in their politics and approaches to deal with problems. Plus, they’re hearts are definitely not open.

“Big Bottoms,” by Spinal Tap.

Possibly the most perfect song for the GOP. After all, they seem to be obsessed with big bottoms, and they are most definitely swimming in a sea of retarded sexuality and bad poetry.

Any other suggestions?

5 Things You May Not Know About Joe Esposito

I can imagine that for some of you, the first thing you don’t know about Joe Esposito is who the hell he happens to be. Well, I shall remedy that for you, and perhaps add to your base knowledge! Joe Esposito is the musician responsible for this ditty. Satisfied? Good. Get ready, because here are five things you didn’t know about Joe Esposito.

5 Things You May Not Know About Joe Esposito

1. He was the original artist on the title track of Flashdance.

Yes, that’s right. Joe Esposito was the original artist for “What a Feeling,” but was replaced by Irene Cara because the song is from a woman’s perspective. As much as I love Joe Esposito, this was probably the right decision.

2. He was a member of the band Brooklyn Dreams, and collaborated with Donna Summer.

If you’re a disco fan (and I’m sure you are), then you’ll be excited to know that Esposito has a co-writer’s credit on “Bad Girls,” which is one of the more excellent disco tracks about a woman being mistaken for a prostitute. Ah, art…what salacious fact can you not make soar to the highest heavens?

3. His son, Mike Esposito, was a pitcher for the Colorado Rockies.

Unfortunately, Mike’s major league career was not analogous to his father’s music career: his 6.75 ERA over three games is definitely not the best around.

4. His song “You’re the Best” was not intended for The Karate Kid.

This is perhaps the most surprising fact of all! Responding to criticism that the lyrics don’t mesh well with The Karate Kid, Esposito revealed that the song was meant for Rocky III, but was replaced by “Eye of the Tiger.” It was also rejected for the Flashdance soundtrack, which instead featured Michael Sembello’s “Maniac.” But since John Avildsen, the director of the The Karate Kid, liked it so much, he included it in the movie. Wise decision, Mr. Avildsen.

5. If you find yourself in Vegas, you can see Esposito perform.

Yup, Esposito is still in demand as a vocalist, and performs at various Las Vegas hotels and casinos. So check Ticketmaster and get your ass to Vegas!

5 Things You May Not Know About The Escape Club

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time again for another installment of a feature that will hopefully enable you to cheat at trivia sometime (as long as it’s indexed properly). Today I’d like to tell you five things you didn’t know about the Escape Club.

5 Things You May Not Know About The Escape Club

1. The Escape Club formed from the remnants of the Mad Shadows and the Espressos.

Yes, upon their collapse, your two favorite bands from the 80s London club scene provided the members of the Escape Club. If you think about it, the name of the band becomes hilarious once you realize the band’s genesis. What became of the other, unsuccessful members of each group is not known; I suspect vampirism.

2. The video for “Wild, Wild West” was banned in the U.K. for its sexism.

I find this to be pretty confusing. But I encourage you to judge for yourself. Ha! Did you learn nothing from the last installment?

3. They are the only British band to reach number one in the U.S. while not charting in the U.K. at all.

This is because their ballad “I’ll Be There” clearly failed to melt the still-frosty Victorian hearts of the British listening public, and because Americans love schmaltzy ballads dedicated to lost loved ones.

4. They disbanded in 1992.

If you’re bummed by that, just wait for it…

5. The sort of re-banded in 2009, and they’re releasing an album in 2012.

Trevor Steel and John Holliday, lead singer and guitarist respectively, reformed in 2009 and began playing live shows. It’s rumored their album will be released in February 2012 (this month!).

5 Things You May Not Know About Rick Astley

So, NPR has a feature where they tell you five things you may not know about the GOP candidates (liberal bias! Also, boring!). This type of list is a fantastic idea when applied to the right personalities (hint: not the GOP candidates), and so I begin my own series with pop sensation Rick Astley.

5 Things You May Not Know About Rick Astley

1. His music is responsible for “Rickrolling.”

Yes, without Rick Astley’s amazing hit single “Never Gonna Give You Up” we would not have the phenomenon of Rickrolling, where a seemingly innocent and informative link leads straight to, you guessed it, Rick Astley’s awesome video for “Never Gonna Give You Up.” Ha! You got Rickrolled!

2. He was born in Newton-le-Willows, Lancashire, England.

Traditionally, Newton-le-Willows was a railway town. Thus, Astley has a strong metaphorical connection with railroads, which in turn means he has a strong metaphorical connection with freedom and John Henry.

3. He was in a soul band named FBI.

FBI was probably the greatest white male soul band in the history of the world. I dare you to find contradictory proof.

4. He has stronger family values than you.

He retired in the early 1990s so that he could raise his daughter. Granted, he staged a comeback (and sang on the Lion King soundtrack), but for nearly 10 years he avoided the spotlight.

5. His wife is an Academy Award nominated film producer.

That’s right, Rick’s wife Lene Bausager was nominated in 2006 for her short film Cashback. You can see her film here.

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