Music News

Once Bitten, Twice Shy

Trashman letters come in; bits o' luv, lots o' hate. But after I tossed the latest Jimmy Buffett dullard to the kittens in last month's column, tons of spunk-packed e-mail scribed by ire Buffett mellow yellows from around the country crammed the box. Ironically, a bulk of said shorts arrived sans the genial and pleasant tone that Buffett and his crew of Parrotheads spout with so much self-satisfaction. At least no one threatened my life like the time I wrote a few sentences about the keglike girth of Vince Neil after suffering through the skin flick he did with falling porn star Janine. It's hard to believe how many people think portly Neil is actually phat.

So, the following are only a few Buffetteer notations. All are left in their unedited glory, minus the writer's identity.

Boston Babies
Talk about pompous? Thank God I don't have to read your reviews in the Boston papers. Course, on the other hand, you could never land a job there anyway!

Oh, spare us the geographic elitism, sister Sue, it's as unbecoming as your inability to grasp plain sarcasm.

Hairy Palmed Finger
Do you even listen to the music before you review it????? Could have fooled me!

Do you have control of the finger you use to command the question mark key before you touch it, or is it just on a bum shag?

Idiot Wind
You call what he (Jimmy Buffett) writes trash? Why does he continually sell out show after show? His new album has five great songs ("I Will Pay for Gumbo," "Lucky Stars," "You Call It Joggin'," "I Don't Know I Don't Care" and "Pacing the Cage"). Maybe you should quite your criticism, you know why? All critics are wrong, especially when it comes to movies, you guys could not pick a winner at the box office if you tried, let alone a good CD. Leave the man alone and let us Parrotheads enjoy life, our music, and our beer.

P.S. At least the man is doing what he likes to do . . . that's more than what I can say about you.

Quite my criticism too, I say!

Suck Write Off

(Un)-Reconstructed Yuppycock
I'm sure by now you've gotten numerous e-mails from all of us "yup cash-cow cafe" customers. Well, we are all in various stages of yuppiedom but at least we admit it. As with your previous "article," just prior to your Buffett review you discuss record stores, the quote ("Record stores make Blake want to puke these days, especially ones in chains and shopping malls. These stores are nothing but corporate color and test-market results manned by insufferable do-nothings with compulsive masturbating disorders who think there is no connection between what is old and what is new."). That could easily apply to people who get paid to review new music. You do get paid don't you? As with most reviewers you stumbled right into the standard cliches that one must use when the lack of knowledge regarding their subject is their problem (you really should only write about what you know).

References to cocaine use, pot use and alcohol fill the page but do not provide any insight as to why you think this music is no good. Are you pissed off because Buffett is successful and Joan Jett is not? Or is it because Buffett is actually growing in popularity and you don't understand? I don't have a problem with you not liking Buffett. In fact I prefer that people like you do not become Parrotheads. I have a problem with you trashing the music and not knowing anything about it. Please in the future learn a bit about your subject matter before you sit down to the keyboard and do your "reviews."

Like I said, the new Buffett burp is but a boring platter of wimp-fry. Besides, just what part of parody gets yer goat just so? And leave Joan Jett out of it; she could whoop both our asses, and Jimmy's too!

Popinjay Parrot
I have been a Parrothead for over twenty years, and have never read a review by a person so aptly named!! You lived up to your handle "Trash Man" with this one!

P.S. I'm a Joan Jett fan also, but don't look for me to share mine with you any time soon!

Thanks, man. But still, I wouldn't share yours if it were strapped to the pelvis of Ms. Jett herself.

Church of Parrotology
Obviously, you have never taken the time to enjoy the simple things in life. Step aside from criticizing Jimmy's voice/lyrics and try adopt some of the Parrothead views and attitudes, you might actually become a happy person.

What, like passing judgment, giving orders, then spewing unwanted and self-righteous advice to complete strangers?

Hey Jealousy
Just read your review and laughed my butt off at how clueless you are! I guess those that can write, those that can't review. As a long time Buffett fan, I must admit this is not his best effort. But it does have its moments. And this is only my opinion. The real test is from a mass of others (fans etc.), and the verdict is they still keep coming back for more. It's easy to try and bash someone who you are jealous of, because they have what you would love to have. Try not to look at life/art as always having to be new groundbreaking material. It's o.k. to be repetitive and mellow and have a sense of humor. Getting older is not about having to prove yourself, but coming to peace with yourself. Like an old pair of jeans, Buffett is very comfortable to put on. And you don't have to worry what others are doing or wearing.

Peace and smiles to you.

Bong hit, beer, anyone?

Chief Trashman
Hey chief, your review of J.B.'s new album Beach House On The Moon was way off! It's much better than 90 percent of the crap you hear on MTV! In fact I'd have to say it's one of J.B.'s best efforts of the 90's. It's quite a relaxing album to listen to after a long day. You really need to listen to it more than once to get the full effect of the CD.

Ah, jeepers, lay off MTV, already. Hey, how about a bong hit?

Tracii Guns
Killing Machine

Tracii Guns plays guitar in L.A. Guns. It's widely known that Tracii wears a wig. This is his so-called punk-rock record. And, ain't it a thankless world?


Great White
Can't Get There From Here

All hail bad boob jobs, mullet coifs and meth-fueled zombies speeding in Camaros through cinderblock suburbs with some wrenching Ratt melody blaring from the cars' interior. Let us praise middle-of-the-dial AOR rock radio that combines mutually exclusive words like "Kick Ass" in on-air maxims.

Allow us to applaud all those metal mouth-breathers who once mixed dude-rock wrath with an odious fashion sense, then later tried to claim that it was an entire rock 'n' roll genre. Because in a salvo of southbounding guts, cul-de-sac hairlines and creative airbrushing comes an unsolicited cadre of rock's biggest cocks. But who cares?

Thing is, no sentimental tokens can be wrought from the MTV-spawned "metal years" now. At least nothing that could pull a commerce-driven nostalgia train strongly enough to con grown-ups into forking over for a new Ratt or Great White album. So who is going to buy these records? The kids?

Enter John Kalodner--the record-biz cheesewiz responsible for Aerosmith's transformation from noble gutter swipes to bankable corporate sycophants. Kalodner recently slid his platinum fingers into Sony's juicy quim and wrenched from it Portrait Records, a heavily moneyed version of CMC International--metal's much-mocked mortuary label. In addition to propping up cataleptics Ratt and Great White, Kalodner has also dispensed pacemakers to Pat Benatar, Cinderella, and Damn Yankees; with a huge offer for Poison still pending.

All this nearly a decade after a whir of smelly teen spirit cleansed high school notebooks of all those pesky Cinderella and Ratt logos. It's new boots and contracts for the bandanna and zebra print set!

On Ratt's sphincter-stretching latest, producer Richie Zito (Cheap Trick, The Cult) is vainly counted upon to slip clarity into the band's (three of five original members) patented Head East-meets-Manowar-meets-Guitar Institute din. The lyrics remain reprehensibly stoopid; the drums smack of colossal arena-envy; and a bevy of outside writers--who did manage to plop singy choruses on a trio of tunes--still don't help. In the end, the songs are still just sonic waste-dumps for dumb, chicks-dig-me posturing and bad guitar solos. But it's Stephan Pearcy's whiney warble on the set's requisite beef-chord lullaby "We Don't Belong" that cements the overall tone of the times, particularly on the line that contains the record's only stab at poignancy: "Still the same old song/I heard all the first time." He means it, man.

Great White is a band whose self-image is such that it probably sees its "catalogue" music stored and cherished in hipper music collections the world over, filed between The Faces and Ian Hunter.

Reality, however, finds Great White CDs sandwiched between countless Foreigner and Helix discs tossed in ratty bins with attached signs that read "Nothing Over a Buck." As both producer and co-writer on Can't Get There From Here, Damn Yankees and Night Ranger alumnus Jack Blades equips Great White's happy blues and miserable riffs with an ample supply of Desmond Child-style hackwork and "Sister Christian" sanitary pads.

"Freedom Song" is an '80s hard-rock compulsory, an on-the-road-'cause-I-gotta-keep-movin'-while-the-girl-cries-at-home dirge that rhymes "train rollin'" with "whistle blowin'."

The unironically titled "Silent Night" drags a bad Beatley bridge and a worse Stonesy verse down with it. Speaking of swipes, Ian Hunter's hearty contribution to Great White's livelihood is of little regard here as heard in "Saint Lorraine," a blatant cop of "Once Bitten, Twice Shy." Singer Jack Russell may fancy himself giving throat in some old trad blues cat kinda way, but it sounds more like those hard road nights spent covering Zep and AC/DC have caught up with him. Great White and Ratt? File under more prattle endlessly chasing its tail.

Contact Bill Blake at his online address: [email protected]

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Bill Blake