Showing posts with label Sackpunch. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sackpunch. Show all posts

Aug 2, 2013

Sackpunch #16: Dallas Davidson

Dallas Davidson Deserves a Sackpunch

I'm not going to bother writing much of anything about this dude. However, I believe, as much as a songwriter can, Dallas Davidson has done nearly irreversible damage to the genre of country music on the mainstream level. Some other writers have been a part of some truly awful songs, but Dallas' track record is a tote board full of douche-ocity, truck fetishism and misogyny. For that, he deserves one of the most painful and physically damaging sackpunches FTM has ever issued. If you need some proof, look no further than the following videos & songs. He wrote or co-wrote all of them.

And not one to rest on his laurels, Dallas has now provided us with what may be the worst country song of all time:

Get ready, DD.

Jan 5, 2012

The Final Straw

"…one of the most real country songs I've ever had the pleasure of listening to." - Country Standard Time

"A masterpiece that is as timely as it is well written and sung." - That Nashville Sound

""Cost of Livin'" is a remarkable artistic triumph that any artist would have just cause to be proud of." - 1 to 10 Country Review

"…the most frighteningly real song of 2011. – Dan Milliken (Country Universe)

"This track is a masterpiece, which I can’t praise enough…" - My Kind of Country

"…the song and Ronnie’s performance are a potent reminder of music’s gift and potential for reflecting life as it is — and for offering messages that truly matter." - Country Music Rocks

"If it doesn't reach the top 5, I'm done with country radio, other than making fun of it. This is a signature song of our times." - Farce the Music

"Shame on the program directors and station owners who don’t have the testicular fortitude to play “Cost Of Living…" - The Music Junkyard


So, here we are. 2 months have passed since Ronnie Dunn's "Cost of Livin'" peaked at #17 on the Bob Kingsley Countdown (and at similar rankings - mostly lower - on other charts) and I, true to my word, have not listened to top 40 country by my own decision in some time. To be fair, I rarely listened to it anyway, other than morning shows to hear traffic and weather reports, but still. This unforgivable snubbing of a masterful and universally praised song is the end. Screw you, country radio.

I'm not going to put this on the listeners for a change. Sure, 20-30% of listeners probably hated this song because it was too slow, too sad, too country, too real - but the rest either loved, liked or tolerated it. Surely that's about the same numbers for any given hit single on the radio. So why did "Cost of Livin'" get frozen out (of the top 20 in many cases)?

Could this theory be correct? I think it's very possible. I won't say it's a government conspiracy - more likely a business conspiracy. Big business would like to put forward the idea that the economy is improving - there's the axiom "as you think so shall you be" - no matter how slowly this may be so. And just maybe, they'd be so brash as to nudge Clearchannel into putting the kibosh on this song. Ronnie Dunn didn't, and for that, I applaud him.

“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you always got.” - Mark Twain

This was originally going to be one of my "sackpunch" articles, but country radio programmers have no balls. I doubt anybody was going to lose a job over playing Dunn's song, so why'd they stop playing it? If I knew the inner workings of single promotion and demotion, I'd have a stronger case here, but there's undoubtably enough blame to go around. I'm guessing programmers do as they always do - follow. Follow the lead of higher ups. Crank the happy stuff, the revolving-door redneck stuff, the mild 'she-left-me' songs with hopeful endings, the drivel that sells ads. Eyes on the bottom line.

In a way, eyes on the bottom line got us here… to this economy. Buying the cheapest crap, hiring the cheapest labor, resting on the cheapest of excuses. Get it now! Live for today! While that may be a good plan for the individual on some levels, it's not conducive to society's long-term success. I'll get off my lame attempt at making sense of America's financial situation, because I have no idea what I'm talking about.

I just know what I like to listen to. I just know I want something aimed at the heart, not the wallet.

How dare anyone in power determine for the listener what he or she wants to hear? Yet, this is country radio's business model. The 'failure' of Ronnie Dunn's "Cost of Livin'" is a microcosm of what's wrong with commercial radio and I'm done.

I know traditional country won't be played on mainstream country radio anytime soon. I've come to accept that. What I can't accept is that they won't even play something that makes the listener feel any feeling other than happy or blissfully ignorant.

For that, I feel that they can kiss my ass goodbye.

Nov 14, 2011

Sackpunch #15: Chris Brown Apologists

Every Chris Brown Apologist Deserves a Sackpunch

CHRIS BROWN IS A LEGEND This nonsensical phrase was trending on Twitter for most of the day yesterday. While the merits of the statement can't even be argued rationally (can anyone who isn't a rabid fan even name more than 3 of his songs?), the reasons anyone would harbor such a thought can. However, I'm not here to discuss the psychoses of these mind-addled folks. I'm here to deal out hard facts, namely….

Every Chris Brown apologist deserves a sackpunch. All of you.

The man doesn't sing live very often in concert. Oh yeah, that's because he's dancing so much, you'll say. Yep, that's because he's ripping off Michael Jackson moves so much. And according to reports, he's playing to a lot of empty seats lately. Legend?

Musically, he's not exactly breaking any new ground. He's R&B lite-pop. He's had a total of two (2) #1 Billboard hits and those were in his first two years on the charts. None since. Legend?

Does anything in the last two paragraphs seem like enough to elicit the sort of passionate defense Chris Brown receives from his supporters? See examples:

Chris Brown = The best there is + Can do no wrong. Please deposit ur opinions in ur bumbums. Thank u.

CHRIS BROWN IS A LEGEND end of. #teambreezy, die haters.

People are still not over the fact that Chris Brown hit a woman. Omg he made a mistake. It was YEARS ago. Grow up people -_-

Is there this much passion for other artists with similar followings/styles/success? Besides maybe Usher, who has three #1 albums and nine #1 singles, no. So what is it? Hmmm.

Could it be? Noooo. But maybe… just maybe… this passion could be due to the elephant in the room that I haven't mentioned?

February 8, 2009, Chris Brown assaulted then-girlfriend, R&B megastar Rihanna. From then on, the opinion on Brown has been divided as far as east from west. Former fans without daddy and trust issues and people with IQ's above 95 have given him the finger. The remaining fans have gone all in. And off the deep end.

It's a love-fest and a blind one at that. It's a peculiar addiction. Mostly though, it's constant defense of an indefensible action.

"Eminem hit his wife. Charlie Sheen is an abuser. That was years ago. He made a mistake." Excuses excuses.

I won't defend Eminem. Anyone who lays hands on a woman to hurt them is a sick person, period. So why has society in general pretty much overlooked Eminem's abuse? He's white. I'll admit that's a factor. He's sold millions of albums. Money talks. It's been a much longer period of years since Eminem's crimes. Time heals wounds. Also, culture is more likely to overlook someone's flaws when they are innovative, iconic artists.

That's why Charlie Sheen hasn't been forgiven.

"Years ago" Yeah, three. And since then, Brown has only continued to exhibit a pattern of behavior that leads one to believe he's capable of repeating his actions. He broke mirrors and windows at Good Morning America when asked about the Rihanna incident. He threw a temper tantrum outside a Vegas bar, breaking a bottle and calling a bouncer a fa**ot. He insinuated that another singer was a homosexual when that singer called him out for the Rihanna incident. YESTERDAY, he said critics were just trying to get in Rihanna's pants. At a recent place of residence, he allegedly defaced property, parked exclusively in handicapped spots and played music at high decibels all times of the night.

Intelligent people won't ever forget, but some might be more likely to forgive if Chris would behave like someone who regrets his past.

"HE MADE A MISTAKE!" Wrong, a mistake is backing into somebody at Target. Chris Brown punched, pushed, threatened to kill, choked and bit a woman. By mistake?

Look, I can see maybe, maybe, maybe grasping a woman a bit roughly at the shoulders during a heated argument. I've never done it, but I can see where that might be an expected response for someone more highly strung that myself. Not that it's the best way to handle the situation.

But punching… pushing her head into glass and biting? Biting? How does it come to that? It doesn't for normal human males. Period. All the anger management in the world doesn't remove that from someone prone to doing it. Chris needs some respect-of-females-management. Some home training...

I get it, apologists, you dig the bad boy. You've latched onto Chris and unless he's caught on camera urinating on an underage female, you've got his back forever (R Kelly fans will overlook it though). You'll fight, curse and maybe more for your obsession. The more we hate on him, the more you love him.

Brown is living off you right now. If it weren't for you loonies, he'd be another has-been by now. Deservedly so.

Have some respect for yourself and women. I don't care if you keep listening to him. I listen to music from some real shitheads. You won't catch me defending their actions though. So stop it. Just enjoy his tunes and go to his concerts and buy his t-shirts and shut up. The haters aren't going to, but as soon as you (and your hero) stop reacting to it, the past will have a chance to become just that.

Until then, brace yourself. This is going to hurt you a lot more than it does me.

Here's your SACKPUNCH!

(not literally, I wouldn't hit a woman or a mentally-challenged person)

Feb 20, 2011

Sackpunch #14

Any Person Who Says Hip-Hop Isn't Music Deserves a Sackpunch

I'm probably going to step on the toes of a lot of friends and readers with this one, but it's got to be said. Rap, hip-hop, whatever you want to call it, is an entirely valid and artful genre of music. Yes, music. Read this definition carefully.
music |ˈmyoōzik|
1 the art or science of combining vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion : he devoted his life to music.
Obviously, hip-hop combines vocals and instrumentals. "Beauty" is subjective, but rap definitely has form. In fact, most rap songs conform to a more stringent form than other genres – 16 bar verses, anyone? Harmony? Rap songs often have background singers or rappers weaving their own vocals around and with the main vocalist. Expression of emotion goes without saying. I could end this piece here. The dictionary entry alone proves my point. Some of you need a little more convincing though (not that the most persuasive argument ever written could change some minds).

I'm not somebody who ever plays the race card, but there's an undeniable racial component to some people's aversion to hip-hop. Black people came up with the first rap songs. So what? Black people came up with the first blues songs and the first rock n' roll songs. They also had a hand in inspiring the earliest country music. Another culture may have created the vehicle, but it's an art form that can translate across bodies of water and colors of skin. The most popular (and arguable most talented) rapper is white.

Beyond race, people have other reasons…

They're just talking, you say. Wrong. They are talking in rhythm, with carefully considered syllables and rhyme. They're talking in a way that fits the tone of the lyric. They're talking in a way that mirrors the background instrumentals. They're talking with well considered word choice, using metaphors and similes. They're using cadence to draw you in and emphasis to denote the important points and emotions. If they're just talking – most people can do so – you try it. Let me know how that turns out.

But they just use canned beats and samples, you say. Wrong. Okay, partially wrong. Many rappers these days are working with bands and musicians live and on record. Have you ever seen a hip-hop artist on Saturday Night Live just standing on the stage with a mic and some speakers? Even the most studio-produced music these days includes guitars or other instruments alongside the beats, scratches and whatnot. And who's to say canned beats aren't music? It takes a lot of musical skill to blend the right tracks together to come up with an ear-pleasing arrangement of drums and accompaniment.

Rap songs all sound alike. Nope. That's a cop-out. Country songs all sound the same to non-fans. To be fair, the most commercial music does tend to run together in a sea of familiarity and milquetoast, but that's true in any genre. Hip-hop runs the gambit, sound and content-wise.

K'naan blends pop and rock into his brand of hip-hop, and raps about love, politics and the problems of his home country, Somalia. He even has some singsongy tracks that most wouldn't even call rap. I dare you to listen to Wavin' Flag or Fatima and not nod your head.

Alabama's Yelawolf, newly signed to Eminem's record label, has a country and classic rock bent. Not hick-hop, mind you, straight up hip-hop that sounds authentically countrified. He talks about the problems of the rural south, broken relationships and economic hardships. Gone will grab your ear from the start.

Cypress Hill, still around, mixes Latino and rock music into their signature sound. Crime and drugs are the focus of their lyrics, but usually in a personal and often humorous manner.

Notice I didn't say any of these artists rapped about bling and booty. Sure, they all get into sex and materialism, but they don't linger on these cliched subjects, like the most visible and commercially viable rappers tend to do.

Like any style of music, you've got to dig around a little to find the best and most creative of the bunch, but it's always worth the effort. Surface is surface. The deeper artists are below the water level.

Yeah, I get that hip-hop just isn't for everybody. That's understandable; everybody's got their own preferences in life and music. But if you're an open-minded fan of art and music, there is some hip-hop that will appeal to you.

For those with a realized or subconscious racial reasoning behind their dislike of rap, or those who won't even give it a chance or those who still say it's not music… you should pull up your Dickies and get ready. My fingers are clinched, my knuckles are white (my soul is colorblind), and a house of pain is coming your way… boom, sackpunch!

Dec 26, 2010

Sackpunch #13

If you're a complete music snob, you deserve a sack punch

Look, I'm a music snob. I admit it. The more listens it takes for me to enjoy a song, the more I love it. If a band I dig is unknown to the general population, the greater affection I have for said band. If I can immediately detect the song or artist a current song is biting, I'm far less likely to enjoy it. My collection of music includes the likes of Wrinkle Neck Mules, Woven Hand, Whitey Morgan, Vampire Weekend, Two Cow Garage, Travel by Sea…. and that's just within the letters T-W on my iTunes. Most folks haven't heard of more than two of these artists…. so yeah, I'm a music snob, but only to a certain level.

I LOVE music… music can be fun!….and I can admit when something unhip is freaking awesome or at least unavoidably catchy. But I still usually prefer music that 90% of the population doesn't recognize. And yes, I make my living (okay, my hobby) making fun of mostly commercial music.

That said, if your "Best of 2010" albums list ONLY includes stuff like Beach House, Sleigh Bells, Deerhunter, LCD Soundsystem, Surfer Blood, Caribou and the ilk, you deserve a swift blow to the nether region, and I don't mean the sexual kind.

Yeah, I see you out there. A few of you dropped in some more "known" names like Jamey Johnson and Kanye West on your top 20 lists to make it look like you have broad tastes, but let's get real. You don't really enjoy those albums. In fact, I'm not sure you really enjoy music. You're as bad as the frontrunners whose iPods only include hot artists like Kings of Leon, Drake and Lil Wayne.

Your playlists of bands with animal names and tuneless electronica make me sick. No sensible human can honestly admit to themselves that they seriously only like music that is eccentric, inaccessible, lo-fi, hip and/or features lyrics that make sense to no one, including the artist.

You picked your niche a few years ago your junior year of college and have stuck with it through your sweater-vest clad internship at the non-profit and your fallback job at the Starbucks.

You run a blog where you break new artists five guys in a dorm have heard of, you and your readers debate the obscure influences and subtleties of the latest twee buzz band and everyone scoffs at (or ignores altogether) the newest mainstream releases, especially those who used to be part of your "scene."

You're a liberal… that's mostly beside the point here, but it goes with the territory. Any artist who espouses views contrary to the lefty side of thinking finds themselves at odds with your potential commercial influence on buyers.

Once an indie band hits it big, there's a discussion over whether they are still indie that's never resolved…. but their next release is glossed over, regardless. Arcade Fire, your days as a hipster icon are numbered.

Yeah, your spiritual leaders at Pitchfork will sometimes kiss the toes of an aforementioned mainstream artist who's released a rebellious effort, but that does little to move them or you towards the center. If Kanye's next album features another "Golddigger," you're both off the bandwagon.

You'll never admit any of this to yourself or your followers; music isn't to be enjoyed, it's to be hung on a wall like some abstract painting that everyone who's cool says is wonderful, despite the fact that a four-year-old could match the artfulness. Orthodox and Capitalistic = bad. Impenetrable and subsidized = good.

To be fair, I'll give you an out. If you go listen to all of the following and come back and tell me that you truly didn't enjoy at least 2 of them, I'll admit that you are not fit to stand trial - therefore you will skip the punishment and I'll let you go with a simple "Bless your heart," knowing that your insanity is incurable. Anyway, here's the list: (admittedly it's random, but it's a good cross section of the most listenable, but still a bit outside the mainstream, 2010 releases I heard)
Cee-Lo Green - The Lady Killer
Jamey Johnson - The Guitar Song
Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings - I Learned the Hard Way
Trampled By Turtles - Palomino
Truth & Salvage Co. - s/t
Randy Houser - They Call Me Cadillac
Dirty Sweet - American Spiritual
Kasey Anderson - Nowhere Nights
Sean McConnell - Saints, Thieves and Liars
Lissie - Catching a Tiger

If no 2 of those would approach your top 50 of the year or you didn't even take the get-out-of-sackpunch-free card and you remain resolute in your absolute douchey hipness, now is the time for you to prepare yourself. Take a couple of Tylenol, hit a shot of whatever hipster liquor you prefer, tense up your abdominal and leg muscles and close your eyes. Here it comes….

Nov 7, 2010

Jason Aldean Deserves a Sackpunch #12

Jason Aldean deserves a sackpunch

FTM has one true foe.

It's not Taylor Swift; she's got a unique niche and doesn't seem to be influencing a horde of clones. It's not Rascal Flatts; too easy, and they seem to be past their peak anyway.

No, FTM's official enemy of state is a wolf in sheep's skin. He looks the part of a country singer. He has a country drawl. He references the greats (Cash, Possum, etc). He's even authentically southern. I suppose you could even say he's talented... with a distinctive voice, "it" factor... and he's certainly got more country cred than the aforementioned artists. All for naught.

Jason Aldine Williams, aka Jason Aldean, is a scourge on country music. Garth Brooksian, even. What I mean by that, is that Aldean may change the face of the genre to a degree not seen since Brooks supposedly brought on the pop-pocalypse in the 90's.

Garth came hard with the arena rock; Aldean takes that a step further, jacking up the guitars as loud as anything you'll hear on douche rock radio. "She's Country" had riffs rivaling some mainstream metal acts.

Garth wasn't afraid to inject pop into his tunes, even counting a Billy Joel cover among his biggest hits. Aldean's new album contains a duet with American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson, that is 100% pop and primed for crossover.

As if those slights weren't enough, Jason has gone a step further in his plot to undermine all we hold dear at FTM. I realize I've already run this point into the ground, but really, can I say it enough? The second track on Aldean's new album, Screw You, Country My Kinda Party, is a rap song. Again, it's a rap song. Not talking blues, not Jerry Reed-style talking country.... it's rap.

We all knew this was coming. The verses of Big & Rich's first major hit, "Save a Horse," fell into a gray area between talking country and rap. The song came off as a one-off lark, and was at least a fun guilty pleasure - depending on who you ask. Their buddy, the affable Cowboy Troy, is a "hick hop" artist who's had several minor hits. Colt Ford has a similar story. These two guys seem pretty authentic, for what it's worth, and I have no problem with their chosen musical outlet. Then again, these are the exceptions and the latter two have thus far not shown themselves to be very influential in the direction of mainstream country.

"Dirt Road Anthem" (a Ford cover) is a harbinger. A major country singer on the verge of A-List/Entertainer of the Year-type stardom has recorded a song (which will definitely be a single, write it down) that is not just hip-hop influenced; it IS hip-hop. It's undeniably catchy (I shouldn't have admitted that) and will surely catch the ear of younger "country music fans" and soccer moms alike. And you know Nashville, follow don't lead; the gates will swing open wide.

The shrinking crowd of "real country" fans already has enough to bitch about... Sugarland, Swift, Rascal Flatts, etc. The introduction of rap into commercial country will be the final straw in the broom to sweep the last of us holdouts (who still enjoy Gary Allan, Brad Paisley and a few others) away for good.

Sure, I'll still tune in for comedy material and sometimes with "trainwreck" fascination, but I doubt I'll ever listen to US 96.3 for actual enjoyment again once the lineup is half pop, a quarter hip-hop and a quarter poser country boys. I shouldn't care anymore - it's been sliding for a long time - but I still have affection for the artists who at least attempt to bring more traditional sounds to the airwaves. Unfortunately and irreparably, the silver lining is about to come off the dark cloud.

And for that, Mr. Aldine, I suggest you pad your Wranglers with a few gym socks. Here's your crotch rocket of a fist assault. This one's gonna hurt you for a long long time....

Oct 19, 2010

___ Deserves a Sackpunch #11

Texas Music/Red Dirt Lemming

You know who you are. The guy in the Jerry Jeff t-shirt and the Southern Thread cap with a Shiner in your hand and a "whooo" on your lips. Yeah, you, the one with an inordinate amount of cockiness and hair.

You were born with one reason for feelings of superiority; your birth certificate says Temple, TX 1982. I won't begrudge you state pride. Texas is pretty cool: Willie is from there, you used to be a freakin' country, you can have temps in the upper 90's and snow in the state at the same time, you kill lots of baddies... if I was born there, I'd tout it like a mofo myself. I think my state (Mississippi) kicks ass, despite 93.5% of the country seeing us as a punch line to some joke about uneducated racist rednecks.

You also have a right to think that your music scene is awesome. It is. How many other music scenes exist in their own regional bubble yet still have radio stations that play only that style, have their own festivals, have their own culture, and support their artists to the degree that many have grown flat-out wealthy off of it? None others, that's how many.

Badass as they are, these two facts have clouded your vision. You see your favorite music as the be all end all and all others can GTFO. Nashville is fake. The worst Texas singer has more talent than the best from the middle of Tennessee. Nashville only cares about cash. Nashville sucks! In your mind, that's a Biblical fact. Well, here's some heresy for you: If it is gospel that Nashville sucks, then so does Texas!

Nashville copies success. So does Texas. How many Randy Rogers Band clones you got saddling up and riding the range out yonder? A lot, that's how many.

Nashville plays it safe. So does Texas. How many in the "scene" are willing to eschew beer, honeys and Texas as base material for songs? Not many.

Nashville leans pop. So does Texas (though to a lesser degree admittedly). Who are the biggest bands and singers? Stone country outfits like Wayne Hancock and Lucky Tubb? Nah, more mainstream sounding folks like Reckless Kelly and CCR. Sure they're great at what they do (did, in CCR's case), but they're also very accessible.

Nashville doesn't celebrate its more cerebral and artistically genuine artists. Neither does Texas. Otherwise, the Rodney Haydens, Josh Griders, Slaid Cleaveses and Jason Eadys would rule the roost. They're popular, but vastly underappreciated.

Nashville prefers image over substance. So does Texas. You got many physically unattractive stars out there? Didn't think so.

I could go on about your similarities to VietNashville, but you get the point don't you? The biggest difference is the geography.

Now don't get me wrong. Texas has still got most things over Nashville. You've got passion, grassroots connection to the musicians, a preference for artists who can actually play and sing, and a general reverence for the legends who came before. For that, you are to be applauded.

Just don't go thinking you're perfect. Check Rita's blog every day for evidence to the contrary. Clearly, you have more strengths than mainstream country, but you also have the same weaknesses. Besides, Pat Green fled the Texas scene, so how good can it be? ;)

And for those of you who disagree and still think the Lone Star State's "Texas music/Red Dirt" singers and bands can do no wrong, get your nuts ready for a haymaker... now you'll be walking bowlegged for a reason.

Jul 20, 2010

___ Deserves a Sackpunch #10

"Gets Trashed at the Concert" Guy

Hey bro. Yeah, you working at the Check Cashing Depot... you with the tribal tattz, soul patch and prematurely receding hairline You probably don't remember me. Think back a few years to the Metallica concert in Memphis. Yes, you were there. Me and my buddies slipped into our not-so-great seats with our nachos and $6 beers for an enjoyable evening with the aging metal legends only to have you make it memorable for all the wrong reasons.

Of course, you and your hoochie looking girlfriend (you probably refer to her as "baby mama 2" by now) had seats directly in front of us. Of course you missed the opening act. Who pays $75 to see a full concert when they can be binge drinking in the parking lot, huh? Anyhow, you and your lovely lady friend made a big ruckus getting into your seats just as the house lights dimmed to alert us of the impending face-melting metal. You spilled your $6 beer on a dude beside you and had the gall to let out a stream of profanity that distracted everyone in Section Q from the curtain drop. You immediately did an about face to go get another overpriced American lager, the opening song be damned.

Ahh, a reprieve from the douchebaggery... we rocked out for 2 songs full of pyro and overused 4-syllable words before you made your triumphant return, nearly falling in the wet lap of the seething guy you'd spilled your Bud on 3 songs prior. "Whoooo hooo, "Sad But True!!"" you shouted as the band cranked out "Fuel." Dumbass.

Skip ahead a few songs, a cacophony of "whoo hoos" and $24 worth of beer down your gullet later. We hadn't heard from your tool self since you stared down Chris for "accidentally" looking down your skank's top when suddenly we smelled something funny. Yep, the "tree" was burning, because you weren't nearly intoxicated enough yet. You soon would be, though, and at least that settled you down a notch or two. It did not, however, save your seat from destruction.

Returning from an umpteenth bathroom trip, stumbling, slurring, drooling and pekid, you sat down hard on your seat with all your roided up weight and fell right through to the ash covered concrete. Another cloud of foul language belched forth from your fat head until your girl passed you the blunt again.

At this point we figured if we were being denied our full concert entertainment dollar's worth, we'd entertain ourselves. Y'all were zombies by this point and we were a little buzzed too, so we started pouring beer down the back of your shirts. You never noticed, only later declaring of your soaked t-shirt "I'm sweating like a mug up in this bitch." Dumbass.

I don't recall what songs Metallica performed in their encore because I was laughing and gagging at you puking up a kidney all over the row in front of you (thankfully not the one behind).

So anyway, you...who paid $150 bucks for tickets, dressed in your finest size-too-small tattoo print shirt and high dollar jeans.... You who only came to make out with your ho' and sing along to the one song you knew (Enter Sandman)... You whose blood alcohol level was surely higher than Ted Williams' fabled .400 batting average as you ruined the show for scores of metal-heads.... You... take it like a man:

Prepare to "Ride the Lightning" bolt of pain from this merciless sackpunch!!!

*This story has been embellished a tad to keep it current, but it's 95% true.

Jun 16, 2010

___ Deserves a Sackpunch #9

Anyone Who Wears a Flat Brim Cap

Here's where I show my age and my lack of swag. I guess this isn't necessarily music related (though I saw some people wearing these at Riverfest a couple weeks ago), but this is a trend that's really getting my goat right now. Flat f*cking brim hats. This is the dumbest looking style that has come onto my radar in some time (yeah, it's been around a few years, but it's just now getting big across the south), and dammit, I've lived through parachute pants (did not have), denim jackets (yep), mullets (did have), tight rolled jeans (once or twice), tramp stamps (uh no), saggy drawers (hell no!) and zip off cargo pants (?).

Basically, some "kids these days" (males ages 13-22) are wearing baseball hats with the brims either flattened out manually or purposely bought that way. I'm talking flat enough to set a drink up there for later. Flat enough to install solar panels. And they mean for it to look that way, it's not that the caps are un-broken in. To further piss me off, these whippersnappers cock the hats back on their pinheads at odd angles or turned slightly sideways. It is my belief that these young men sport them in this manner, not to attract the opposite sex (as if), but to rebel against the rules and laws of pleasing aesthetics.

As if the wearing of the egregious headgear and the askew presentation wasn't enough, some of these under-22 males have large, ugly-ass stickers on the bills. Really? Why don't they just go on and wear a purple top-hat that says "I'm a moron" on it? That would make it slightly easier for me to avoid them. I wouldn't have to get close enough to see their acne riddled face before realizing that they were, in fact, not of high enough intelligence to give me the directions I was seeking or tell me what time it was.

I'm not sure what culture originated this style, but it looks stupid on red and yellow, black and white - they are not precious in my sight - so it's not something I "don't understand" because I'm not of a particular race. I've seen these caps on white kids more than anyone and it looks drop-dead foolish regardless of skin tone.

Happily, these dolts' pushed back caps provide a clearer shot for decent humans and members of the style police to punch their smug faces in. And yes, do this at home. I fully support those who would inflict (moderate) harm on perpetrators of this horrific look. (for legal reasons I ask that you not say I gave you the idea though and if said activity happens, I was just kidding a couple of sentences ago... ha ha I meant ridicule, not physical harm)

You put a fist in their face, I'll punch 'em in the sack. Hopefully they'll never reproduce.

Some related links:
Things I Can't Stand (language warning!)

Apr 14, 2010

______Deserves a Sackpunch #8

Rascal Flatts

You may think you know what's next. This is where I say that the ten years Rascal Flatts has graced us with their screeching has been the worst era of commercial country music. This is where I blame them for influencing the further drift towards pop music. This is where I punch Gary The Voice in his scrotum for assaulting my eardrums on multiple occasions.

Wrong. While all that may be true, it's not worth arguing any more. Country is dead, long live country... whatever.

Fact is, for some reason I still listen to, report on, ridicule and lament country radio. Rascal Flatts is still played hourly on country radio. To that end, while I am not a fan, I want Flatts' music to be as good as it can be if I'm gonna have to hear it. Granted, the bar has been set low, but once upon a time, I counted the country boy-band as a guilty pleasure - or at least some of their songs. Those particular songs are all over 5 years old.

Since that time, RF has coasted on their relatively crappy resume, putting out song after song that barely differed from the last, at least musically. Now, I don't expect the guys to get all adventurous and put out, heaven forbid, an actual country album... or push the boundaries of commercial country in an artistic or positive direction, so I request quite the opposite.

Dance with who brung ya. Regress. Keep it simple stupid.

"Prayin' for Daylight" and "Everyday Love" introduced us to the "band" with big hooks, soaring harmonies and memorable melodies. "I Melt" was uh, cheesy goodness. "What Hurts the Most" and "These Days" were irresistibly catchy downers. "Bless the Broken Road" and "I'm Movin' On" were simple gems. Even the lyrically insipid "Mayberry" was an earworm.

Since those high water marks, aside from a couple of tolerable singles, pretty much all you've given us are mid-tempo inspirational tracks out the wazoo. There's hardly a hair's width difference between "Stand," "Unstoppable" and "Every Day." Great, they gave you airplay and ad placement, but yawn. If I want to hear elevator music, I'll go downtown. "Here?" Even the title just sits there.

If you're wondering why you're lacking in the award nominations recently, look no further than the above song releases. If even the country music machine is sick of you, something's very wrong.

You've got a cash cow in your harmonies and commercial persona. Milk it. Pop it up guys (can't believe I said that). Get campy. Do something! Don't just sit there. Much worse, in pop culture, than being a lightning rod, is being a limp dishrag.

C'mon guys, make it a little more interesting to hate you. Right now, you're fish in a barrel.

You know what's coming. A sackpunch designed to definitely hurt the most.

Jan 3, 2010

_____Deserves a Sackpunch #7

Anyone who plans to maintain musical status quo in 2010

Are you a formerly popular pop singer, rock band, or lead singer of a formerly popular rock band who has suddenly discovered that you were country all along?

Are you a hip-hop artist who plans to rap about your gratuitous amount of shiny trinkets, the gaudy, wide rims on your method of transportation, your preference for promiscuous women with large, round, mostly exposed derrieres and shooting those who disrupt your work towards acquiring all the aforementioned?

Are you a country singer with a dual lead guitar attack in your band, a vocal twang only in proper company, more than one stylist and a Twitter account maintained by your PR people?

Are you a rock band whose 2010 goals are to open for Nickelback, gain 1/10 of the followers of Nickelback, wear MMA-related apparel, get tattoos on your tattoos and screw lots of skanks, all the while sounding generally like Nickelback?

Are you a pop singer who expects to have her hoo-hah splashed across tabloid websites and skeevy perv sites at least once in 2010, lip sync to factory-written electro-dance songs, and have a minimum of one trip to rehab?

Are you a country songwriter with dollar sign eyes, a "Country Song Mad Libs" writing formula, no foundation in whiskey and tear-soaked real country, and Chuck Wicks on speed dial?

Are you a radio programmer who won't expose his listeners to any song outside the top 30 unless it's a new or previous release by a superstar?

Are you a record exec who prefers sizzle to steak, safe to honest, transient to timeless, album covers to albums?

Are you a blogger/blog reader who will do a great deal of complaining about the sad state of your favorite genre/music in general without offering some alternatives and suggestions towards its betterment in '10?

Are you a "music fan" who claims to be open-minded but has no interest in hearing what's beyond the mainstream this year?

My resolution? 365 days of Mike Tyson's sackpunch-out for every one of you.

Dec 1, 2009

_____Deserves a Sackpunch #6


You don't really like music that much in general. You just picked an artist,usually a solo artist, based on their "it factor" and a song or two that really spoke to you and then you latched onto that artist. You bought just the singles at first and reviewed them with odd vigor on iTunes, not even sure yourself where the manic fire came from. Then you bought the albums, then the t-shirt, then the fanny pack. You had crossed a line.
You joined the message board somewhere along the way and were indoctrinated into the "Cult of _____." There you learned that no artist shall come before _____. Especially artists who are similar in style, voice, look or success to _____. In fact, you shall use every opportunity to shoot arrows (verbally - well, txt-ually) at that artist. Fans of that artist are jealious of _____ (sic). Also, you must use all facets of technology to follow and defend _____. Alerts are sent to your inbox anytime _____'s name is mentioned in a blog post. Was it a positive mention? Yes. Agree! Agree! Agree! No. Jealious! Jealious! Jealious! (sic)
Once a fangirl of _____, you must hate the predetermined rival of _____. This is the most unbreakable rule of fight club.... err, fangirl-dom.
You must friend _____ on Facebook, listen to their music on Myspace (even though you already own a digital and physical copy of the album) and follow them on Twitter. Anytime they tweet, you must reply. After a while, you must reply with the belief that this person knows you and reads all YOUR tweets. If they tell a joke, LOL! If they reveal news, OMG! Because they read all replies themself and love to hear from you and you alone, oh obsessed one. They are not creeped out AT ALL!
_____'s latest single is the best one yet. Their latest album takes it to another level. Their current tour is the awesomest tour in the history of the world. Their latest promo pics are NOT PHOTOSHOPPED! They got snubbed for that award! It's behind the scenes politics because he/she's so hot!!!
Uh oh, third single tanked. That's okay, new single from next album already released even though it's not very good because top songwriters are no longer pitching _____ their best material. Call all the radio stations and request that turd anyway. Program manager's never heard of it? Screw him!!!
Dropped from the label? Well, I still like _____. They'll get picked up by somebo.... huh, who was I talking about again? Oh, yeah... ____ is still pretty good, I just, you know... I listen to them sometimes, I guess.

Hey, who's singing that new song? Is she popular? Carrie who? Hmmm.


Sep 17, 2009

___ Deserves a Sackpunch

Nickelback Fan

Admit it. You don't really like music. You just like the way the high school girls look at you when you drive by band practice with "Something in Your Mouth" cranking out the windows of your ragged out Mazda that still has the loud pipes. The huge guitar riffs stand as tall as the popped collar of your creatine fueled muscle filled Affliction polo shirt as you nod and raise an index finger towards the cute blonde with an oboe in her mouth. The bass in your Kenwoods pounds as hard as your Red Bull-juiced heart as you glare at the skinny high school boys waiting for their girlfriends by the band hall. You could kick all their asses at once, couldn't you? And Mr. Kroeger's garbage post-grunge hard rock band would also play on the soundtrack to that melée, wouldn't it?

Some would say it's Nickelback who's at fault here, but I'm gonna disagree. They're just a few guys who got lucky and found the magic formula for making millions of dollars a year by reproducing the same song over and over and over and over, throwing in some naughty sex talk every now and then for spice. That formula has earned them groupies, fine cribs, fancy whips, country songwriting gigs, record companies and fame. Who would give up that meal ticket? I wouldn't. Good on 'em. I can't stand them, but good for them! You go Chad!

No, it's you, Nickelcrack fan, who needs to feel the insane pain on your lower membranes. You are the one who fills the band's coffers year after year, despite their general repetitive suckiness. You are the douchebag who hates music unless it makes you look cool to the underage girls you stalk on your lunch break from Kinkos. You need something to pump you up while you're stinking up the Bally's leg press machine in your Ed Hardy wife beater. You're the tool who gets so drunk at the concert you don't even remember anything about the show except "that dude I beat up in the bathroom after I puked." You suck worse than the band. "How you remind me" of people who end up in jail for nefarious sex crimes and arson.

You probably don't have a very large target due to the 'roids, but assume the position. It's time for a migraine inducing, sperm-count reducing sackpunch!

Jul 27, 2009

____Deserves a Sackpunch #4

"Anything But Country" Guy

Yeah, I'm talking to you. You know who you are. Anytime somebody asks you what kind of music you like... the title quotation is your answer. You're an idiot, "anything but country" guy/girl. However, the fact that I know with 100% certainty that you're lying, renders your opinion null and void. Do you like industrial indie jazz metal? Do you like didjeridoo ballads? Do you like Brooke Hogan? Didn't think so. Have you ever heard a Steven Seagal album? Didn't think so. I think we can now agree that you DO NOT in fact, like anything but country.

The next issue is your prejudice. What?? Not me, you think, but you hear the words "country music" and immediately think "dogs, trucks, Deliverance, yeehaw, hate, boots up asses, beer, guns, Deliverance..." Yes, there have been country songs covering many of these topics, often at once, throughout the history of the genre but aside from maybe beer and trucks, I'm fairly certain none of those other things are currently represented on Bob Kingsley's country countdown.

"Well, I can't stand that redneck twang... wooo, howdy y'all." Prejudiced. If I said I don't like the way rapp.. well, nevermind, because even presenting an example would brand me as prejudiced towards whatever genre/group I mentioned...(and I love the old school era of that genre I was less than subtly hinting at, anyway) but it's okay for country people to be ridiculed for their geographically unique way of speaking and that's wrong. Perhaps you find a southern accent unappealing and that's certainly forgivable I suppose, but you shouldn't avoid an entire genre because of the affected drawl of a random few. Some don't care for some British accents, but if they avoided anyone who sang with one, they'd miss out on the wonderful music of the Beatles, Robbie Williams and the Stones (okay, one of those was a joke).

"Country is depressing and slow." Well, a lot of it should be... but it's not, actually. Have you turned on country radio lately? Maybe 1 of 10 songs feature any emotions other than love and happiness and most are fairly up-tempo...if not flat-out rock songs (check out the Crue-like riffs on Jason Aldean's ironically titled "She's Country" if you don't believe me). This is a double-edged sword, as most of what's on country radio is not authentic country, but that's an argument for another day.

Anyway, that's that. I don't have the energy to now present all the reasons you SHOULD like country, because personally, I say country doesn't need you. Keep listening to emo, you sissy. I just wanted to white-out your bullet points and stereotypes against country music and show what a moron you are. I also suggest you prepare for a life of solitude because I'm about to bring the pain.... with a future offspring negating SACKPUNCH!!!!

Jun 23, 2009

____Deserves a Sackpunch #3

Anyone Who Doesn't Like Music

In college, during my junior and senior summers, I worked at a state park on the landscaping crew. My supervisor was a hilariously cranky old guy named Buddy who shared my tastes in jokes, professional wrestling... and not much else. We got along fine, but the first day I hopped in his truck in my gray state issue t-shirt and torn up jeans, headed to a campsite to weed-eat, I found out our biggest difference. I reached over to flip on the radio to listen to the latest 90's hat act on the local country station and he said "Eh Ehhhh... I don't like music." "Come again?" asked me, confused by his foreign words. "I don't listen to music" he repeated. "Umm, okay Buddy..." I trailed off, rolling down the window to listen to the slap of road seams against the balding tires. I dealt with the situation respectfully, because I needed that 5.75 an hour to take my woman out to Jake and Rips and The Sportscenter and keep gas in my Corsica. In my mind though, I was delivering Buddy a tightly clenched fist into his groin area with all my might. I mean, he was cool and all, but who doesn't like music??
I still run into people now and then who claim to not care for music. What? Why? Do you not have a soul? What say you?
"I don't have time" you say. Don't have time to breathe? That's what it would be like for me to go without music. I'm addicted, admittedly, but I listen to music probably at least 50% of my waking hours so I can't fathom its absence. Sure, silence is cool.. and rare, but since it's darn near impossible to find silence, I'd rather have a tune going than listen to machines running, cars driving, people complaining and all the other parts of the din of everyday life. There are 24 hours in a day, there's plenty of time.
"Music sucks now" you say. Wrong answer. Most of radio music sucks now, but music doesn't. Do you have internet access? If not, your local library will happily hook you up with some online time as long as you haven't been abusing your privileges. With that tool, tool, you can find any kind and quality of music you desire. There's still tons of good new albums being released - in every genre. In fact, I'd say the last 5 years of non-mainstream music has been flat out excellent. Heck, listen to the old stuff again... it's still great. It doesn't spoil. There are at least 4 oldies stations on my dial and I live in a fairly small metropolitan area. Or maybe, get your ears checked. That could be the problem. Or ask the devil for your soul back. If not, keep quiet around me, or risk an eyewateringly painful sackpunch!

Apr 13, 2009

____Deserves a Sackpunch

Soulja Boy Tell 'Em

Tell 'em what? I'll tell 'em. This guy gives our mutual home state a bad name, okay a worser name (blame the MS education system on that bad grammurr). The fact that this dude with the paint pen decorated cheap sunglasses is a millionaire is frequently cited as proof of the death of hip-hop and a particularly harrowing sign of the apocalypse. I wouldn't go that far but... well actually, that sounds about right. War, Famine, Pestilence, Soulja Boy... This horseman of the end times boasts a quiver full of soul destroying weapons including pedestrian, nay, stupid rhymes, simple beats and pornographic terminology hidden behind silly slang phrases. Some of his stuff is so inane it sounds made up on the spot during a drunken ramble, but a lot of Soulja Boy's slang is actually not as fabricated as it sounds. Many of the words can be found on, and their definitions might just make you blush. His most popular song is a dance tune that includes a section about, and I'm serious, a man, ummmm, releasing seminal fluids onto a woman's back and throwing a sheet onto it, thus having it stick, resembling a cape... thus, the "superman" dance (in "Crank That"). Yeah, really. And he's peddling this stuff to your kids, or your niece, or that nice young man that delivers your morning paper into the birdbath. Almost as bad, Mr. Tell 'Em is peddling mediocrity, hell, slackerism as the pinnacle of pop culture. Soulja Boy's rap is a mumbling, barely coherent delivery, or as we in the know like to call it, flow... yet, his songs routinely lodge in iTunes top ten singles for weeks on end. I remember cranking "All Eyez on Me" in college and my roommate saying Tupac was a talentless thug. Well if that roommate were to flip the radio to the pop or urban station and run across SB's "Love Me Through the Phone," he'd suddenly feel very warm and sentimental for the days when Pac still ruled the charts and breathed air. Say I'm too old to get SB, that's probably a somewhat fair assumption... but even many young rap critics agree that Soulja Boy is a hack and that the current mainstream hip-hop scene is, by and large, soulless and pathetic...a parody of itself. Hmmm, reminds me of another genre. SB is symbolic of the genre's demise. Downloading isn't what's hurting rap sales; it's garbage sold as gold. A turd's a turd no matter how nicely you package it. Time to flush Soulja Boy. Or at least deliver him a violent sack punch.

Update: After writing this, I read that Soulja Boy said he was sorry for using vulgar language and that he would try to be more of a role model. Good for him, but for past wrongs and current bad artistry, the sack punch is still in order.

Mar 16, 2009

___ Deserves a Sackpunch

Here's the first in a new series where I rant about wrongs in music and music-related areas. "Sackpunch" is obviously figurative in many cases.

1. Whoever Keeps Signing Guy and Girl Country Groups
Ever since Little Big Town hit it medium, every record company has rushed out their own set of cute young co-eds who can harmonize and called 'em country. Lady Antebellum, while not in my collection, is obviously talented and have a lot of good songs in them. Little Big Town has vocal chops but their song choices have been anywhere from dull to moderately catchy. Things will only become more watered down from here though (oh too late... Gloriana), so let's stop now before I get angry. The herd mentality is what got y'all in the unenviable position you're in today, record companies.

2. Kurt & Layne Wannabes
It's been 17 years since grunge destroyed hair metal and changed mainstream rock music as we know it. Some would say that's a good thing, but I'm sure all would agree that an endless line of watered down Alice in Chains and Nirvana copycraps was not what Kurt Cobain or Layne Staley had in mind. Don't get me wrong... I enjoyed the originators and some of the followers but this sound is way past its sell-by date. Why does every dude singer sound like they've got throbbing hemorrhoids and no pillow to sit on? It's got to end (pun intended). Maybe there will be a new hair metal revolution to put an end to all the angst and grunting! Okay, maybe not.

3. Chuck Wicks
I'm afraid a sackpunch, in this case, might be a swing and a whiff... if you know what I'm sayin'.

4. Every Emo Kid
I thought emo was over in '05, but apparently not, judging by all the flophaired rats I've seen at the mall lately. I actually call a moratorium on the look and lifestyle moreso than the music. Go away, dark, teary wusses and wussettes. Life may suck but you suck harder.


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