Aggro-Rock Gets Aquabattered
>>>The Aquabats, OC's very own live-action Saturday-morning cartoon show-cum-ska band, have a new album out, the cumbersomely titled Myths, Legends and Other Amazing Adventures of the Aquabats, Volume Two. It's filled with the 'Bats' usual batch of lighthearted fare, touching on such topics as pizza day, mail-order packages, radiation, worms and pool parties. But for sheer satire, nothing beats "I Fell Asleep on My Arm," a dead-on brutal parody of aggro-rock that's liable to get their collective asses pummeled by wifebeater-wearing Huntington Beach thugs. The tune begins with the same menacing guitar riff that opens Korn's "Blind," followed by Bat Commander Christian Jacobs' melodramatic, Jonathan Davis-like sung/spoken lyric, which eventually explodes into a Sturm und Drang climax: "I put my head down on my desk/To help me get through this mess/I fell asleep, and before I was done/I woke up in shock; my whole arm was numb. . . . I FELL ASLEEP ON MY AAAAARM!!!" Though Korn's original version was (unintentionally) humorous enough, the Aquabats' lampoon makes the thing damn near pee-your-pants funny. From there, the song pokes fun at Rage Against the Machine ("Corporate America makes pencils for the man with the left hand! He makes pencils for the right hand! But what about the man with the numb hand?") and Limp Bizkit before coming back to Korn for a goof on Davis' boom-da-bop-da-boom-diggy-diggy scat from "Freak on a Leash," which devolves into a mindless sputter. After all that, Jacobs finally calms down: "Hey, I feel a lot better. I think all this jumping around has really helped the circulation come back into my arm. Cool. . . . All right, guys, wanna go jogging?" (Rich Kane)
>>>CONSPIRACY OF NINE What are we to deduce from the fact that the Offspring's new album, Conspiracy of One, debuted on the Billboard 200 album chart at No. 9—selling below the new Beatles hits collection, below the new Sade album, below Ricky frickin' Martin and below the fifth volume of Now That's What I Call Music, a compilation of current, overwhelmingly crappy pop hits? Their last disc, Americana, bowed in at numero uno on Billboard two years ago, so there are two possible explanations: either people are getting tired of the band making the same album over and over, or all the prerelease Offspring-vs.-Columbia stories made people aware—maybe a bit too aware—that they could just go to their computers and download Conspiracy for free off Napster. Still, LowBallAssChatter feels challenged by the album's first-week movement of 125,000 copies—just 122,000 more, and Roots Canal, the latest Weekly local-band CD, will pass 'em right by! (RK)
>>>ALMOST (BUT NOT QUITE) RESPECTABLE Those of you who saw Almost Famous—yes, both of you—might have a notion that writing for one of publisher Jann Wenner's magazines (such as the Rolling Stone that's depicted in the film) is a glamorous, sex-and-sin-filled good time. Hah! LowBallAssChatter thinks not: working under Wenner is actually something akin to being buggered by Slobodan Milosevic. Wenner takes pride in pumping up his famous rock-star pals to a degree that is shameful even by the standards of rock journalism. Witness music writer Karen Schoemer, who until recently was a regular contributor to Wenner's US Weekly. As Rock & Rap Confidential reports in its October issue, Schoemer quit US Weekly after her two-star review of Paul Simon's album You're the One was dumped in favor of another writer's three-star review. Reason? Wenner and Simon are longtime friends. Not coincidentally, after Schoemer left US, she had an assigned story for Rolling Stone canceled. And consider this: Mick Jones of shlock-rock band Foreigner is another Friend of Jann, and it's an unspoken rule around Rolling Stone that no employee's tongue or pen shall refer offensively to Jones or his group of walnut-faced, turd-tune-manufacturing terrorists. So when LowBallAssChatter got our copy of the new "100 Greatest Pop Songs" issue of Rolling Stone, without even opening it, we just knew what we'd find inside. And we were right: there at No. 83—above the Pretenders' "Brass in Pocket," above AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long"—was Foreigner's mega-schmaltz classic "I Want to Know What Love Is." Huuurrrlll!!! Sorry, Jann, but no amount of bias will ever make this aural abortion even a listenable song, much less one of the "100 Greatest." (RK)
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