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Author Archives: Austin

1/3 of Smashy Claw... THE IMPORTANT 1/3!

Smashy Claw Sends You Some Spam – 12/26/2011

Sent out to the SC mailing list on December 26, 2011.

Hey there, beloved mailing list members,

We here at Smashy Claw have but a few humble updates to bombard you with on this, the day after your holiday festivities conclude. You no doubt are aware that this means it’s time to get back to all the chaos of life: work, dieting, traffic, alarm clocks, school, and caring about Smashy Claw. To help get you back into the groove of everyday existence, here’s some news to satiate the latter portion of activities we just described:

– Smashy Claw’s Weapon of Choice? Song!
– Dumb Holiday Cover Thing
– Twenty-Six and a Half: A Weird Al Tribute
– It’s Not a Real Heart
– F#$@ed Up Horoscope

— Smashy Claw’s Weapon of Choice? Song —
You may or may not know of the bloody, limb-disembodying competitions that go on at Luckily, we’re here to getyou initiated! Each week, the guys at SongFight! post a song title they’ve come up with to their home page. They task any and all musician types who come across the site that week to write and record (however rudimentary) a song based on the title given. In the past, Austin has entered several songs to these battles, each time ending in utter failure. However, our new song “Drool” (based on the title “Better than Before”) is quite good, we think. You should go listen to it at the website mentioned above. If you like it, vote for our song! If you hate it, vote for every other song in defiance and disgust.

— Dumb Holiday Cover Thing —
Earlier this month, Austin took the liberty of being extremely bored. As he often does during his boredom induced stupors, he recorded something stupid. This time, he recorded a holiday cover of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”, with a minor title change. He realized that the song would make just as much sense if Santa were replaced with Mr. Chuck Norris. Thus, “Chuck Norris is Coming to Town” was born into existence. Luckily, we’ve informed you about this song exactly one day after you might’ve cared. Nevertheless, you can listen to it at

— Twenty-Six and a Half: A Weird Al Tribute —
As this is the first proper email update sent out to this mailing list, we feel the need to inform you on a project that we were involved in a few months ago. In early 2011, Smashy Claw’s very own Austin Aeschliman produced a tribute compilation to musical comedian “Weird Al” Yankovic. As such, SC is featured on the CD, performing a very layered version of “Close But No Cigar” from Al’s Straight Outta Lynwood record. For those that might be interested, the album can be bought and/or listened to in its entirety at

— It’s Not a Real Heart —
As mentioned before, Smashy Claw is currently covering every song on Jonathan Coulton’s new album Artificial Heart. The newest cover added to the project is of the song “Sucker Punch”. Check it out!

— F#$@ed Up Horoscope —
You will kill a random stranger and put him in your passenger seat in order to drive in the HOV lane.

Your pal and eternal enemy,

“Friday” by Rebecca Black is the Worst Thing to Happen to Music… Since the Last Thing

Here’s a small essay I’ve written about a certain song that I wish I could punch in it’s stupid face.

By now, I’m sure you’ve all heard a certain song from thirteen-year-old Rebecca Black called “Friday”. You’ve likely screamed in terror at the screechy vocals and horrendous lyrics within. I can say without any hesitation that this song is the perfect example of everything that’s wrong with music today. This travesty employs the use of every popular music cliché imaginable.

1. Autotune:

The amount of note-improving autotune they use in this piece is just ghastly. I mean, do they have no shame? Are artists alright with it being so obvious that they can’t sing, and thus fail at the one thing they’re supposedly good for? I’m not sure, but it’s possible that Black just spoke the lyrics of this song (I’m sure she vomited several times in the process, it’s not an easy feet to look at those things), and then her production team made it sound like she was singing. You know, like the Gregory Brothers would do. In fact, just get those guys to be your songwriting and engineering squad, Rebecca. At least then you’d get some good backing vocals and instrumentation.

2. Exploitation

Black is on record as saying that her idol is Justin Bieber (admitadly, this is a strong indicator of what the quality of her work will be). It’s interesting that her and her idol would share so much in common. Rebecca Black is just the next unsuspecting child to fall victim to entertainment. She paid $2,000 to record a song she didn’t write, and now she’ll be famous for about a month, and then she’ll be screwed forever. Much like her good chum, Justin Bieber. That guy is, similarly, a stupid kid who has no fucking idea how hated and vilified he is by most of the world. Do these children disserve the loathing they get? The answer is no. They’re kids, they’re just really, really dumb. They don’t realize how shitty this music truly is, I bet when they grow up (if they have any artistic integrity at all) they’ll be ashamed of this terrible body of work they have wrought upon the world. Think about the things you thought were cool when you were at that age, no, actually, think about the things you created at that age. Would you want to make that a matter of international public record for the rest of eternity? I think not.

3. Lyrics

The people that should be hated are the people running the business, the songwriters who think this is what Earth wants to stick into its ear holes. These people think up a somewhat catchy hook, then they throw in the worst lyrics ever. Just look at some of the songs that have gotten mega-famous over the past few years: I Gotta Feeling by the Black Eyed Peas, OMG by Usher, Tik Tok by Ke$ha (the dollar sign makes me laugh), and anything by Rihanna and Katy Perry. These songs all contain dumb base lyrics that a fucking thirteen-year-old could come up with. In fact, I’m surprised “Friday” is so hated at all, it’s the exact same drivel you’ve allowed to be shoved down your throat for the past ever. Why can’t we have songs that are actually provocative, songs that are about subjects other than love and ‘getting down’? Sweet nonexistent zombified Christ, can we at least get a song where people don’t fucking tell us what the days of the week are?

4. Music

I’m getting kind of sick of this over processed techno shit. I mean, its cool and all that Lady Gaga helped re-popularize it, but does everybody have to sound like that now? Can we have at least one original artist these days who can come up with new sounds and innovations (this assuming we can find someone who can actually write their own music for once…. nah, it’s asking too much)? Another good cliché this song employs is the obligatory rap verse. I heard somewhere that these verses from well-known (in this case not so much) rappers is starting to replace the guitar solo/musical break, and I totally agree. I’d much rather hear a dude who’s really talented shred on a six-stringed rock stick than a dumbass dude fast-talk over music half-unintelligibly. What happened to the Slashes and Stevie Ray Vaughns and why have they been replaced by Pitbulls and Ludacrises?

This song is the perfect example of gluttonously terrible cliché crap. This thing is less like a song and more like an endurance test. I bet soon we’ll be seeing reaction shots of people showing their unsuspecting, innocent friends the music video to this song. The camera will zoom in slowly on the viewer’s face as he or she realizes what they have been subjected to. Yes, this will be a new, much more disgusting “Two Girls, One Cup”.  Congratulations Ark Music Factory, Rebecca Black, Rebecca Black’s parents, Justin Bieber, and any other monster who had any part in creating this musical assault. You have successfully made an instant legend that will be hated for decades to come, because unfortunate for Rebecca, the internet is forever.


10 Reasons Why The Beatles are the Most Important Band in the History of Ever

I’m sure that similar lists recounting the importance of The Beatles are everywhere on the internet, but here’s mine.

1.       The Beatles revolutionized music.  Before The Beatles came around, popular music was meant mostly to dance to.  It also seemed like every song of the previous decade had the exact same 12-bar blues melody (which brings up the unrelated point that Elvis was highly overrated).  The Beatles experimented with music so much that they cultivated what we still attempt to do in music to this day, yet it seems like no one else seems to be really doing as well: the perfect song.  It’s common to have an artist make two good songs then make 12 bad ones then hack together a horrible album.  The Beatles made every track on every album great.  That’s why they’re still so highly regarded today.  Their songs are timeless.  Anybody can become easily infatuated regardless of generation.

2.       The Beatles created the music video.  Today, in music, it’s almost breaking an unwritten rule if a popular music act doesn’t release a music video to accompany their latest single.  In the mid to late 60′s, The Beatles started making short films to promote their new songs in order to avoid having to go on 20 different TV shows and talk about it.  They were, at that time, referred to as promotional videos.  You could argue then that this one band invented MTV and this crucial part of modern music.

3.       The Beatles invented the hidden track.  A common occurrence at the end (or sometimes the beginning) of albums today is the inclusion of an extra track an act has made that is on the disc itself but not mentioned in the track listing.  This song is known as a “hidden track.”  On their 1979 final album, “Abbey Road”, The Beatles included a studio outtake, “Her Majesty” at the end of the album.  The track was hidden well because it wasn’t mentioned on the back cover and was obscured by a long bit of silence following the album’s final track-listed song, “The End.”

4.       The Beatles helped create the concept album.  A concept album is an album where each track follows a continuous story line or common theme.  Although it’s true that none of The Beatles albums definitively fit this description; their album, “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band,” was originally planned to be one.  This album, in its released state, does show signs of this plan.  Due to that record’s widespread acclaim and influence, it’s not too difficult to see that The Beatles laid the ground work for the first real concept albums to come in the 1970′s from bands like Styx and Pink Floyd.

5.       The Beatles’ success and appeal transcends time.  It has been forty years since The Beatles broke up and they are still as famous and their songs as well known as ever.  In fact, just recently, they were ranked #1 on VH1′s “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” countdown with John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s solo work also placing in the list.  With new products such as compilations, the re-mastered box set and The Beatles: Rock Band being released constantly, it is certain that The Beatles are an immortal entity in music and indeed the world.

6.       “Lady Madonna”, “Hey Jude”, “Abbey Road Medley”, “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away”, “Norwegian Wood”, “Eleanor Rigby”, “A Day in the Life”, “Strawberry Fields Forever”, “Here Comes the Sun”, “Dear Prudence”, and “I’ve Got a Feeling”…these songs speak for themselves.

7.       The Beatles were one of the only acts to be as famous as they were awesome.  There are so many bands before, during and after that were almost as famous but made much fewer good songs or marks on the history of music.  The Beatles deserved their world-wide fame.  Artists such as, say, Elvis Presley, The Rolling Stones, Rhianna, Katy Perry, and countless other very famous artists, do not.  Though this point may be tainted with bias, I still think it’s true that The Beatles deserved their fame.

8.       The Beatles were the most successful band in the history of music.  Not only did they deserve their success but they had more of it than any other act in existence.  They have twenty number-one singles in the United States alone with plenty more than that in Britain.  They have made or inspired dozens of feature films and documentaries, have been a huge study for musicologists for years, have sold over a billion records worldwide and that’s just the beginning of their list of accomplishments.

9.       The Beatles changed the way studio dynamics worked.  Before The Beatles, it was common to have a band record their songs live in the studio and release it as mono.  When The Beatles started experimenting in the studio in the mid-sixties, they recorded in stereo and added more blends of sound than had previously existed in popular music.  As mentioned before, by adding these new instrument sounds together, they moved the rock and roll genre out of purely dance music and made it a spectacle of its own.  For example, the song, “A Day in the Life” is clearly not meant for dancing.

10.          Almost every single artist that has come after them has admitted or shown, in one composition or another, that they have been influenced by The Beatles.  The Beatles were so revolutionary, relentlessly famous and prolific that they could not help but influence most current artists.  Some might say, in fact, that The Beatles saved music from remaining in the coma that was rockabilly, and helped us to not revert back to classical.  It’s safe to say that if those four young men from Liverpool, England, hadn’t gotten together and started performing, that music today would be vastly different and much less interesting or enriching than if they had never existed.  The Beatles are the heart and soul of popular music.  The composers that wrote the soundtrack to many generations and the architects of current music culture.  I think their infamy and rabid acclaim will live on forever.

Toy Story 3

Welcome to a new series of posts in which I talk about stuff unrelated to the band. Enjoy my drivel, ENJOY IT!

The Toy Story movies have always been a big part of my childhood. I was infatuated with these films when I was just a wee lad, so naturally I was psyched to hear that they were making a final movie to wrap it all up. As if the fact that I associate these flicks with my childhood wasn’t enough, the main human character ‘Andy’ is going to college in the film, which I’ll be doing in just a few months, which makes this movie even more personal to me.

After watching the movie today I must say, I can not think of a better film to act as a finale to my childhood (before I turn 18 in a month) than Toy Story 3. There are literally no flaws in this cinematic masterpiece and you all need to see it. Even though this movie is more personal to me than it probably is for you, you’ll still love every bit of it. I mean I cried at the end of this thing and I hardly ever do that. In fact if you don’t cry during TS3 you’re an inhuman monster.

So, any way, to close: I grew up with Toy Story, and just as it comes to a close, so goes my childhood, both flashing before my eyes, and I say, it’s only just begun…