The Butthole Surfers “Electriclarryland”


71leqXunDtL._SL1050_2 April 1996, Capitol

Very few artists have remained on my MP3 player since I purchased it in January last year. Gravity Kills, Garbage, the Ramones, The Pretty Reckless, The Descendents, The Dead Milkmen, Violent Femmes and, of course, the Butthole Surfers.

It’s strange to sit back and think of the other artists that have come and gone over the 15 months and why these few have been mainstays. I’m sure some of it is just dumb luck. I tend to listen to my MP3’s on shuffle at work and my player overloads me with much Gravity Kills or Pretty Reckless. Otherwise I would have tired of them and removed them. Due to my new-found love of punk The Descendents and Dead Milkmen will probably be on there for another year and how could I ever tire of Garbage, The Ramones or Violent Femmes?

But the Butthole Surfers are a somewhat different animal. I suppose the greatest thing about the album Electriclarryland is the diversity. It’s not an album of one song, or even one genre, but an interesting collection of strangeness. I’m not a fan of noise rock. Bands like Sonic Youth and Black Flag have never been able to hold my interest. And the Surfers’ previous album Independent Worm Saloon suffers for being a bit too noisy. But they started mixing that noise with great pop hooks and continued down that path until they created something that does an even better job of mixing noise punk and pop rock than Nirvana’s In Utero.

Some of the noisier rocker’s are indispensable. Opener “Birds” and “Ulcer Breakout” are fun, full throttle songs that test my ability to stand still with the latter being a love song to engines that reminds me of singer Gibby Haynes’ appearance on Ministry’s “Jesus Built My Hot Rod.”

I’ve never understood why “Pepper” was the single from this album. I enjoy that weird, spoken word, one note song; but I always thought the track before it, “Cough Syrup,” was far superior. Even “Ah Ha,” which appeared much later on the album was a much better toe tapper.

 

Paul Leary was never considered a guitar god, but maybe that’s just because not a lot of people have heard his licks on “Thermador.” With the great lyric “Everybody knows freedom, you’ll find it inside your head yeah/Everybody knows Jesus, he’ll be there when you are dead yeah” it befuddles me that this track never broke the top 40.

“TV Star” is one of the most hilarious songs on the album. A lovely ballad featuring steel guitar about being in love with a popular sitcom actress then ending it by saying his in love with another one… who came out as gay about a year after this album was released. I just wish I’d been able to publicly declare my love for Ellen Page in such a way.

And yet, there’s still room for some psychedelic noise. “My Brother’s Wife” is a strange track that doesn’t really do anything or go anywhere, but it is better (or at least shorter than) “Revolution 9.” “Let’s Talk About Cars” always kind of confuses me. I don’t speak French so I’m unsure if they really are talking about cars.

“The Lord Is A Monkey” is a semi-experimental tune with Haynes rapping. Honestly, it’s one of my favorite tracks. I don’t like rap much, but something about Gibby Haynes’ rap voice really does it for me.

And now that I listen to the album in it’s entirety and in order I have to say that the sequencing is phenomenal. The worst two songs on the album are at the very end. “L.A.” is another hardcore punk rocker that’s descent, but suffers from too much vocal effects. “Space” is a good outro. Just a few minutes of a slow, quiet guitar arpeggios followed by some heavy riffing. It’s not awful, but it’s not really worth sitting around for. “Space” is like the credits of this album. You can leave while it’s playing, and you’ll still have gotten your money’s worth.

 

The Problem with the Media


 

One of the things that annoys me most is hearing people bitch about “The Media.” It seems to be the most buzz worthy thing to bitch about. Your favorite politician down in the polls? Blame the media. People don’t share your political views? Blame the media. Donald Trump about to take over your country? Blame the media.

That’s not to say that the media is picture perfect and there’s nothing wrong with it, but getting mad at news outlets for sensationalizing trivial events and promoting popular topics is kind of like getting mad at a fish for swimming. It’s just how news works. It’s what made William Randolph Hearst and Rupert Murdoch millionaires. Get used to it.

There’s a reason they say “if it bleeds it lead.” Let’s face it, it’s interesting when people die. The media is not in the business of telling us what we need to know, it’s in the business of telling us what we want to know. If you’d like to change this start clicking on news stories about local elections and charities instead of plane crashes and the Kardashians.

I think many people get confused and forget that media is a business. These outlets exist in order to make money. The news isn’t an art form. It’s not some altruistic endeavor to educate the population as to what’s happening in the world and inform them of basic facts. The news is a product, like computer chips and tampons. The news is all these things and more available for only $19.95*

Sure, there are problems with the media. Most news outlet are owned by very few companies, but that sort of concentration of power occurs in nearly every area of American society and no one seems to care.

Also, many news outlets are extremely biased. This isn’t much of a problem as it’s usually pretty obvious. I recommend checking out several venues to get a full picture. I usually read stuff from Fox News and CNN just so I can see how both sides are spinning a story. I also like to check out news from other countries like Canada’s National Post, Germany’s Der Spiegel and Israel’s Haaretz. And with Twitter allowing me to follow feeds from all of these sources it isn’t difficult to get a well rounded picture.

And remember: Opinions are not facts. No respectable media outlet lies. They just twist facts enough to support their outlooks. You do it too. You’re doing it right now while you’re agreeing/disagreeing with me. It’s impossible for journalists to be completely unbiased as they are also human beings with opinions of their own.

Now go back to bitching about the weather.

The only journalist I trust

The only journalist I trust

 

*I stole this from The Dead Milkmen who said the same thing about Blues music on “The Blues Song” from 1995’s Stoney’s Extra Stout (Pig).

St Patrick’s Day


 

And now… the day where everyone is a drunken asshole! (Which makes it only slightly different from most other days). Only today we’re supposed to wear green and listen to Dropkick Murphys. Well fuck that! Let’s mix it up a little bit.

Icky Trump


Has anyone noticed that Jack White seems to have prophesied Donald Trump’s presidential campaign way back in 2007? Or did Trump just get his ideas for the Great Wall of Mexico from this video?

What else did we miss in White Stripes’ songs? Who’s “The Union Forever” going to be about?

 

 

(For those of you fortunate enough to not know this, Donald Trump is a real estate mogul/business tycoon/reality TV star/billionaire/horrible human being who is currently running for the office of President of the United States of America. His principal policy is to build a giant wall between the US and Mexico to keep out all of the illegal immigrants. Much like Nickelback he enjoys an enormous amount of popularity and support, but no one will admit to liking him.

I assure you I will be voting against him, but to all international readers who cannot, prayers would be appreciated.)

Are You Lost 16


Picard Why would you google thatI like to think it’s because I’m such a great writer that people are coming to read my thoughts on music. Of course, what’s really happening is that people are typing crazy shit into Google and somehow ending up here. After reading Lebrain’s posts about what search terms lead to his site I thought it would be fun to share what leads people to The Audible Stew.

flyleaf flyleaf – You could probably just type in ‘Flyleaf’ if you were looking for the self titled EP.

groundswell band

Пит вентц с голубыми волосами (Pete Wentz with blue hair) – Usually I’m happy to get international traffic and learn about other languages, but please don’t come back here.

marilyn manson penis – Is this going to be available at Hustler stores?

very sad lil girl cry no boddy cr – My favorite searches are misspelled and unintelligible ones. What the hell are you looking for? Didn’t it show any suggestions? 

The kind of girl you want to take home to Mom.

The kind of girl you want to take home to Mom.

juggalo girl

screamo chick – How do you tell the difference between a screamo chick and a screamo dude? That wasn’t a joke, I’m really curious to find out.

i like rap music, because – This seems like a kid looking for some help with a report due at school tomorrow.

crow soundtrack back

maria brink latest

THE NUDE SECTION I get a lot of people looking for nude pictures here. A lot. It’s probably because I have actually posted pictures of certain artists naked. But I’d never sink so low to post what these people are looking for.

Haha… Just kidding.

screamo rock nude – This must be one of those newfangled genres that I still haven’t heard.

maria brink porn nudes

Vic-Rattlehead-fire-crotch-sexy-hot-shirtless-naked-assjoey jordison naked

megadeth nude – I understand wanting to see Stevie Nicks, Maria Brink and Taylor Momsen in the buff, but Dave Mustaine? Why? Why? WHY? Now I’m going to be thinking about his bare freckly ass all day you bastard. 

pretty reckless sexy – I love how there’s a long space there. I like to think it conveys that ‘sexy’ is just an afterthought, but it could mean just about anyting. What do you think?

 

The Best Band?


supergroups!

Now that I’ve completed my “Best Drummers/Bassists/Guitarists/Singers” project let me tell you why I dislike the “pick 4 musicians to form your dream super group” game.

If I take the top spots from all of the lists I’ve come up with over the past month what you’d have is a band with Dave Grohl on drums, No bass player, Dave Gilmore on Guitar and Leonard Cohen singing.

The point I wanted to make there is that just because a musician is great in a certain band doesn’t mean they will be great in any band.

I gave Grohl props for being versatile and playing with many different groups, but could you imagine him jamming with Dave Gilmore? I’m not sure that heavy punk hitting would mesh well with the classic rock stylings of Pink Floyd. And then to throw Cohen in there… well now we’re just talking about a disaster. (Although I do have to admit it sounds interesting).

diamond Dave and Sammy HagarIt’s strange the how different bands can sound with the inclusion/exclusion of just one member. Would Nevermind have been such a hit if Nirvana hadn’t replaced Chad Channing with Dave Grohl? Van Halen and Van Hagar are literally two completely different bands despite being 3/4 the same. So are Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave.

And what the hell happened to Korn? They were a pretty rocking heavy metal group and then they lost their guitarist and drummer and all of the sudden they’re like a techno thing.

While most musicians do pretty well in most groups it’s still pretty interesting to think of how they’d interact. the question isn’t “which 4 musicians would be the best,” so much as it’s “what would these 4 musician sound like together?”

I wish there was an antonym for the term supergroup. I know it’s meant to convey anytime a few musicians who are already successful get together, but there should be a term that we use when they get together and it’s really awful. Like chickenfootgroup.

 

More Stupid Lists:

The Best Singers

The Best Guitarists

The Best Bassists

The Best Drummers

Happy Wednesday


Fun fact, Wednesday is sometimes referred to as ‘Hump Day.’ I think that’s because it is in the middle of the week and you’re getting over the hump on the way to the weekend and not anything sexual.

Anyway, I watched Straight Outta Compton a few weeks ago. I thought it was a good movie and it left me feeling a lot of respect for those guys.

It also left me getting rap songs stuck in my head. And the problem with that is that I sort of missed the rap thing and only know a few lame tracks like “Baby Got Back” and “The Humpty Dance.”

Maybe if I buy The Chronic I’ll be cool