411 Fact or Fiction Music 02.01.13: She's Got 99 Problems But Kurt Aint One
Posted by Joseph Lee on 02.01.2013
Is Axl Rose misunderstood? Will listening to hip-hop and heavy metal lead kids to delinquency? Was Courtney Love's cover of Jay-Z' "99 Problems" any good? What did we think of Adam Levine's recent SNL appearance? 411's Shawn Lealos and Andy Rackauskas debate these topics and more in this week's Fact or Fiction: Music!
Welcome to another edition of Fact or Fiction: Music. I'm your host, Joseph Lee.
This week we have Andy Rackauskas taking on Shawn Lealos.
I should clarify that I didn't really have a problem with it. It did kind of really bring back some old school grunge memories while listening to it and I thought she added her unique touch to the song, making it her own. However, I really don't have any desire or want to listen to it again. It was kind of just there and didn't really shine as anything other than just another cover song. I'm sure her fans will love it, but I'm not a Courtney Love fan.
Andy Rackauskas: FACT.
Love's version has no joy behind it. It's boring. It's not clever. It's not new. And Rick Rubin isn't producing.
Ok, I like DJ Ashba quite a bit. His work with Sixx A.M. is pretty damn brilliant, so I am sure his stuff with Guns 'N Roses is pretty great too. I'm also pretty sure that Axl is great with these news guys because they are "his guys" and not major stars like Slash or Duff. As a matter of fact, there is also the case that Duff and Axl are getting along (Duff's band Loaded opened for Guns for part of the last tour). However, there are other things that count against Axl. His interviews make him sound like a whimpering baby who takes his ball and goes home when he doesn't get his way. His tantrums, his lack of professionalism over the years (quitting in the middle of concerts, coming on hours late and crying when curfew hits, etc…). There is too much public information out there to make me think that Axl has been misunderstood all these years. GnR is one of my ALL-TIME favorite bands and Axl is a really good vocalist, but he isn't misunderstood. He is spoiled.
Andy Rackauskas: FICTION.
Axl is a recluse. He doesn't really want to let anyone in. There's not much to be misunderstood, as he is just aloof to the public. He's got a big ego, and his fans still eat it up. The lack of info coming out about him adds to the false mystery. He's got talent, and still has some pipes. But, he's kind of just the typical rock front man with a checkered past and stays quiet to instill a belief that he's strange or mysterious. He's kind of a regular shy guy. He is basically not all that interesting. Of all the old G n' R guys, Duff McKagan is the most interesting. There's a guy with a story...check out his book, It's So Easy (And Other Lies). Basically the Great Oz has had the curtain opened... And let's not even get into whether anyone really cares anymore barring the most ardent fan or morbid curiosity...
I'm not really a fan of The Strokes, so this song really needed to impress me. Here is the problem, what I heard was Julian's annoying (to me) voice singing over Ah-Ha's "Take on Me." I think this is a song that fans of The Strokes will absolutely love because it has a great beat. But, the beat was used before on a superior song by Ah-Hah, so I will stick with that one and leave this one for the "cool kids" to listen to.
Andy Rackauskas: FACT.
I liked it. Didn't love it though. It's a little unusual for them and reeks of the latest trend of sounding 80's. But it's fairly catchy and not aggravating. The Strokes are a solid band, and this jam shows it even though it isn't their finest effort.
For now. We all know the truth about studies and statistics...there's usually enough on both sides of an argument to convince someone one way or another depending on who or how you ask. As much as one study will say it causes delinquency, another will say it doesn't. Part of me buys it. The study mentioned in the article could very well be right. I have seen proof on both sides. I knew guys that grew up listening to metal and rap who are doctors, lawyers, etc. I also know some that ran into troubles. But that's just my skewed small world. In the big picture, it shouldn't matter. People should have the freedom to listen to what they want. Obviously, parents can place restrictions on their kids, or make recommendations. But, the government should stay out of it. I fear this is where that is ultimately going... to paraphrase Ben Franklin, those wishing to choose security over freedom will end having neither security nor freedom.
Shawn Lealos: FICTION.
Ok, now you are going to get me started. I read the article about the "study" and it is complete crap. Music, movies, video games and comic books do not lead to delinquency - bad parenting and poor social interaction leads to delinquency. I guess when it comes to music, we go back to the thought process that kids who listen to heavy metal are more likely to rebel against authority. So, listening to Jay-Z or Avenged Sevenfold will make a kid run out and start stealing shit and vandalizing things. This is another excuse for parents to pass off the blame onto something else. I listened to metal my entire life growing up and it didn't turn me into a delinquent criminal. I will admit that kids who listen to rap and metal may do more drugs and stay out later than kids who listen to classical, jazz and pop, but that has nothing to do with the music. That is just what kids who are already delinquent listen to. There is a cause and effect here that seems to be out of place. If a 12-year old who is not a delinquent starts listening to Five Finger Death Punch, this study seems to indicate they will suddenly go crazy and start tearing shit up. But if a 12-year old listens to Justin Bieber, they will be a well-adjusted normal teenager. It's a crap explanation and a crap survey.
Yes. Bottom line, I'm always excited to hear what the godfather of punk does. It's not a guarantee of greatness, but his track record is pretty damn good. And even his fails usually have some redeeming quality. I want to hear it.
Shawn Lealos: FACT.
Kind of. I am a pretty big fan of Iggy Pop and think he has an amazing and unique voice. Normally, I will grab his stuff as soon as it hits, but the problem is that I will listen to it pretty heavily, and then put it away and not listen to it hardly ever again. That is just how I am with Iggy. Now, what I don't like is how Iggy Pop describes his new album, "Apres." He says that most music is about the human heart beat (it thumps and gets you excited). He said with this new album, it is more about breathing and soothing, intimate and a little sad. That is what he was shooting for with this album. He also said most of the songs would be in French, to avoid the "Anglo-America" music machine. Really, Iggy? I want more "Raw Power." I am saying Fact, because I think that "Ready to Die" will be the thumping power music that Iggy was avoiding with his upcoming solo album, which I probably will skip.
It's well done. It's clever. But it's not really funny. Kind of like most SNL things these days (or for the past decade or so...). Funny is when Levine get his arm chopped off on "American Horror Story: Asylum".
Shawn Lealos: FICTION.
I actually liked it. For one thing, I will always accept Andy Samberg, Lonely Island and a digital short back on Saturday Night Live any time. I actually thought it was clever to take the YOLO catch phrase and turn it on its head. Sure, I didn't laugh all that much through the video, but I thought it was funny in a creative way. Not everything needs to be laugh out loud hilarious to be considered funny. Watching how they took the ideas of just avoiding everything because you only live once, and don't want to die, was really fun.
Score Card: 5 for 6
Anything you agree with? Disagree with? Sound off in the comment section.