The Kinks - The Village Green Preservation Society
The Prisoner moves at a glacial pace and has been mauled by critics, but I’ve found the first third of the mini-series to be a gleefully absurd slice of entertainment.
That said, I’m not looking forward to the subsequent hand-drawn anti-escape orb pornography that will come as a result of The Prisoner's revival. (That should be the introductory argument used by people who prefer the original to the remake. In the 60s there was no fanbase that would be moved to draw ejaculating penises on rovers.)
Pictured above is pop chanteuse Alanis Morissette. When I was ten, her music was very important to me. I would wear out my cassette of Jagged Little Pill, enchanted by each and every track on sides A & B (even Not The Doctor). It was how I liked my music: angsty, introspective and vulnerable. It’s a shame that it was mainly unlistenable dogshit.
I adored Alanis, but time has not treated her Dave Coulier-crucifying offering particularly well. I’ve fallen out of love with Jagged Little Pill, nostalgia armour and all. That said, I’m not particularly embarrassed by my tween fandom of alternate universe Robin Sparkles. In fact, I’m a big fan of Alanis The Pop Cultural Entity. Did you see her on Sit Down, Shut Up? Fantastic stuff.
My music collection is loaded with thousands of songs that will make anyone with good taste cringe (how much Lisa Loeb is on your iPod?), but I’ll defend the majority of it with my dying breath. For example, I’m an enormous Barenaked Ladies stan, and I would never consider them an embarrassment or a guilty pleasure. Instead, I consider them misunderstood pop geniuses that I will ardently defend to the very pub argument death.
(Post derailment: If you’re one of those assholes that considers “ABBA” or “The Beatles” your guilty pleasure, it’s time to realize you sound like a fucking cocksore. Everyone likes ABBA and The Beatles. They have been scientifically certified as being great. You are pretending you’re dangerous and are covering up the fact that you probably had Cracked Rear View on both CD and cassette in Elementary School. Either be an unabashed supporter of the crap music you have in your collection, or give a real answer when asked about guilty pleasures.)
The albums that cause me embarrassment tend to be ones that I once enjoyed, but now legitimately can’t stand. (Alanis doesn’t shame me enough to make this list) Readers of this blog can verify that I lack shame and reasonable restraint, so the albums on this list must be positively dreadful if I’m mortified by typing their very names. Right, time to dive into this quintet of consumer failure and start the shame spiral.
The Five Most Embarrassing Albums I’ve Ever Owned
5. Bush X - Sixteen Stone: The lawsuit requiring Bush to be known as “Bush X” in Canada has been dropped, but it’s been so burnt into my psyche that I still instinctively include the “X”. It’s bad enough that Bush were absolutely horrendous, but what I cuts deeper is the fact I bought this album from a playground friend for $10. I paid using a chequebook my parents got me when I turned ten to ensure I made good investments. Clearly that plan backfired in a hurry (I also bought Green Day’s Dookie, shudder).
I have no real idea what I was drawn to about Bush. They just oozed unpleasantness. Frontman Gavin Rossdale reminds me of the jerk boyfriend that teen movies give female love interests so that the misunderstood lead can save her from his evil clutches. Only in this case the jerk boyfriend is greasier and armed with bleating earpoison pulled from the faultiest of post-grunge assembly lines. “Uhhhveeee gotttaa Maaaachiiiiiinneeeheeuuhhdd, (grunt).”
4. Dynamite Hack - Superfast: I bought this album in Alabama after suffering severe sunstroke and third degree (sun)burns. I would like to blame the purchase of Superfast on solar brainfuckery, but sadly that is not the case. In the summer of 2000, I was bewitched by Dynamite Hack’s cover of Boyz-N-The-Hood.
"A smug winking whitebread cover of an Eazy E song I never liked in the first place? This is the future of entertainment!", I thought not knowing that a decade later I’d want to build a time machine a punch my fifteen-year-old self in the face for thinking such a thing. I enabled FarmClub.com, for goodness sakes. That’s a shame that festers deep in one’s being.
A not particularly good novelty song anchoring an album of shitball pop-punk. I could and should have spent that money on Cherry Coke instead. How dare you restrict this from us, Coca-Cola Canada! (Read more about this in my column for Future Diabetics Weekly)
3. Various Artists - Power Plays (Sports Anthems): God help me, I can defend Big Shiny Tunes 2, Now 3 and for some baffling reason WWF The Music Vol. 4, but I cannot defend Power Plays (Sports Anthems). Like a lot of grade 4 youth in rural Canada, I loved techno. Holy shit, did I love techno. Specifically, whatever techno was barfed from hockey arena speakers and Rock Em Sock Em compilations. I have no idea if anything by 2 Unlimited or Technotronic was actually successful in the world’s hottest nightclubs, but those groups were the weird ambiguously European glue holding together Manitoba minor hockey.
Power Plays was essentially an inferior version of ESPN’s Jock Jams. Some of the heavy hitters appeared (the afforementioned 2 Unlimited and Technotronic), but there were a few strange covers mixed in as well. Power Plays didn’t feature the original Cotton Eye Joe or Whoomp! There It Is, but instead soundalikes by the such chart-toppers as Dave H and Clock. Whenever I’m feeling blue, I like to think of the meeting where Tag Team and their lawyers angrily rejected K-Tel’s offer to appear on Power Plays. Billy Idol might be okay with getting low-balled, but Tag Team knows that their star can only rise higher.
2. Collective Soul - Collective Soul: Collective Soul are terrible. And I have three stories regarding my relationship with this band.
Story 1: One Christmas I received Moon Shoes and this album on cassette. I blared “Gel” at full volume and proceeded to jump around the basement. For about ten seconds at a time. My moon shoes would snap apart instantly and repeatedly. When I was eleven, I for some reason decided “Gel” would be my soundtrack for anything dangerous or extreme. It just ended up being a soundtrack for disappointment. It makes sense as with less around the clock radio play (CITI-FM was adamant about playing these doucheweasels on an hourly basis), I kind of noticed that the song wasn’t particularly extreme. Instead, Collective Soul revealed themselves more of a bland hodgepodge of bad CCR (who are already irritating) and castrated corp-alt-rock. They made Better Than Ezra look like Black Flag, etc.
Story 2: My friend Jonathan and I were incredibly moved by the video for The World I Know. Incredibly moved. So much so, we recreated the video using puppets during our church’s Christmas supper. COLLECTIVE SOUL’S VIDEO FOR THE WORLD I KNOW RECREATED BY FUCKING PUPPETS IN A CHURCH BASEMENT! I DID THAT! That’s just fucking weird. Like something a self loathing Michel Gondry would see in a fever dream.
Story 3. While the Arts Editor of the university newspaper, I interviewed the mayor strictly so I could ask him to ban Collective Soul from coming to Regina. The interview appears here but I have an excerpt below:
The Carillon (me): I feel like we’ve become friends over the course of this, so I ask you to do me a huge favor. Collective Soul’s playing in Regina next month and they are absolutely dreadful, so I need you to stop the concert.
Pat Fiacco (mayor of Regina): No, I’m not going to do that.
TC: Come on. Mayors do it all the time. I think Cincinnati does this annually.
PF: Think of they fans out there. They want to see this band, do you want to deny them the opportunity to see this band. You mentioned Nelson Mandela earlier, what do you think he would want.
TC: But they’re a terrible band.
PF: Well crank up your music on your car stereo instead then.
Newspapers give you a great opportunity to be self-indulgent. Self-indulgence is a constant motif in my life.
1. Kid Rock - Devil Without A Cause: I was initially going to defend this by claiming that I thought the rest of the album would sound like “Bawitdaba”, but that’s an absolutely horrible defense. One that validates Kid Rock’s appearance at the top of the shame chart.
Rest In Peace Joe C.
Okay, back to the cool stuff I normally listen to. Y’know, like Sugar Ray and Lisa Loeb.
Maine’s repeal of gay marriage makes me want to blow a dude eating wedding cake out of spite. And maybe for free cake. But mostly spite. It’s nice people that want to get married. Why the hell would you want to prevent that from happening?
Maine: Making straight dudes want to give blowjobs out of spite since 2009.
If you only lipsync aggressively to one song on public transit this year, make it something from the new Alphabeat album. (Or something with helpful travel tips. That way you can play coy on Heat Wave related issues while providing useful information for fellow commuters.)