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Review of Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz (on Acid)

The following is the transcript of my live-tweeted review of Miley Cyrus’s new Flaming Lips-produced album, Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz. Oh also, I had just taken a tab of acid before I did this. Enjoy the anarchy!

Okay, so people are saying I should live tweet my reaction to the new Miley Cyrus record. So I’m gonna start doing that. Watch as my language becomes more and more unintelladsfkja

Dooo It – Okay, just took this stuff, so it’s not in complete effect yet. Starts off a capella, cool. Is she saying she likes beets? Like the vegetable. I like when the bass comes in. Good contrast between the verses and chorus. Christ, you can really tell the Lips produced this. How much input do you think she had? Ooh, I like those backing vocals coming in on the right channel towards the end. Yeah, smoke pot, sing about love. Nothing about acid, whatever.

Karen Don’t Be Sad – That’s immediately very different. This feels like it could’ve been a little further into the record to allow for an even greater contrast. Reminds me of Buggin. Oh shit, man. This shit really just kicked in and this song’s spacey quality just became ten times spacier. Don’t let them win, Karen. KAREN, ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME, KAREN?!

Floyd Song – Another slower jam. Is it supposed to sound like Pink Floyd? I guess, sort of? Kind of? I’m digging the minimalism of this one. Drums are coming in in odd places, like old Beatles record. I really like those backing vox spread across. Good use of delay in the lead vocal. Nice 32nd note thing going on in the guitar. There’s suddenly a weird How Can I Sing Like a Girl pad in the right channel. You are a girl, Miley. That is probably why.

Space Dude – Hmm, another slower one. That 32nd note thing is back. Actually, sounds pretty similar to the last thing altogether. Is that guitar out of tune or just being played badly? It’s interesting either way. Intentional badness is interesting sometimes. Unintentional badness is interesting too. Badness is good. Goodness is good too. This song isn’t bad though. What the fuck am I typing anymore. I like the pizzicato synth.

Space Boots – From dudes to boots. She’s sitting there with nothing to say, but I can’t stop typing. Ahh, a heavy beat. I needed that. The last few songs didn’t have much in the way of a beat. Beets? She smoking her weed and dying. There seems to be a running theme of vague drug-use. I guess Disney stars gotta start somewhere. Lotsa pads and spacey shit on this. I guess that’s appropriate.

Fuckin Fucked Up – Aah, a song to describe how I’m feeling. Okay, this is starting to feel like a ‘we’re gonna fuck with you’ Ween song.

BB Talk – Okay, it’s getting harder to tell when one song starts and the other begins. Not sure if that’s a me or her thing. I guess this is a new one. Another sort of lower-tempo one. Is she trying to rap? There’s lots of talking then a pretty poppy hook. Like a weird amalgamation of her old and new style. She’s putting her head in armpits and licking teeth. What the fuck is happening.

Fweaky – Is this another fuck with you song? It’s like someone’s messing with the EQ and volume knobs.

Bang Me Box – The beat returns, this time with a nice electric bass. Cool. I wasn’t expecting a disco song on this. I like the sparse guitars throughout. There’s like a vibration going through my fingers and the letters are starting to move on the screen. I don’t know how I’m still typing. Holy shit..

Milky Milk – Here’s some more Lipsy shit. I’ve still got the paper in my mouth, I’m chewing on it. That’s not a lyric that’s what I’m doing. The paper doesn’t taste like milk. Okay, I swallowed the paper. Shit. The milky milky gods. There’s a really dissonant chord somewhere in this, weird. There’s like this dance-pop synth too. Oh man, and everything’s just coming in at the end.

Cyrus Skies – That bassy, warbly pad is fuuucking coooool. Then a bell of some sort comes in. This one’s really minimal and slow. 8th note bass line’s neat. I like the range on the vocals. Okay, I’m pretty sure I just stared at my hand for 40 minutes. I should probably pay attention to this record. Holy fuck, is this song still going on? How long is this song? There’s this panning, piercing synth that works really well. And it fades.

Slab of Butter – I already am fucked up, asshole. There’s some insecty synths going on. I don’t know what that means. And it’s like they’re doing frequency sweeps. Oh shit, and suddenly a rock beat comes in. Beet? Yeah, this is some Soft Bulletiny shit. Like the Spark That bleeds. changing from section to section. A slab of butter melting in the sun, that probably shouldn’t seem profound. It probably isn’t. Oh, that was the only song that just ended.

I’m So Drunk – A famous pop star doing an obviously autotuned thing. This does not feel like drunk music.

I Forgive Yiew – Those insecty things are back. This album has a lot of sexual frustration and juvenile swearing. I like the group vocals, I like the Ah vocals too. I do a lot of Ah vocals too. Jesus Christ, this is probably all reading like that Daniel Keys novel.

I Get So Scared – This song seems like its trying to be deep. I just spent a while touching my teeth, so I don’t know if I’m qualified to judge deepeness, I like those glocks, glocks need to be in pop music more. Oh, some acoustic guitar and strings too. Cooool. More swearing for no reason. There’s a spirally thing going on. Is that a guitar? I don’t know. And it just stopped.

Lighter – It’s becoming harder for me to realize there was a time before this album started. It’s only been an hour, siht. This is another deeper one. Crying, dying. I could write better lyrics than this…….. probably not right now. Oooh, I like that pad that comes in at the very end. Haha, and there’s like a fucking Phil Collins drum. There’s a stuttering vocal thing, lots of vocals. What’s going on in my mind, And it fades

Tangerine – Is this song a reference to She Don’t Use Jelly? This feels like the 13th slow thing in a row. The next one should be faster. This has some weird panning. There’s a dude voice… oh fuck, it’s a rap break. This seems like the exact opposite song that needs a rap part, maybe that’s the point.

Tiger Dreams – It’s not fast, but there’s a steady beat. That’s something. Another faux-deep thing. Bullshit in the world, mmhmm, please do tell me about the bullshit daughter of Billy Ray Cyrus. Oh man, just took a really minor key turn, that was unexpected. Do these songs even have a structure? I’m too fucked up right now to tell. Oh, more autotune. I like that drum in the right channel, kind of off-beat. I probably sound like an asshole. This was a bad idea. There’s like a snotty NAHNAH vocal going on. That is not helping your case here, Miley. Yes, you kind of are singing the same song.

Evil is But a Shadow – It really feels like an hour is passing every time I write one of these, but I look and there’s 2 minutes of song left. What the fuck is happneing with time. This one is anoooooother goddamn slow one. I do quite like the distorted bass. Is that a clarinet? That cliche pop start thing where the vocals go down an octave suddenly. What;s with that shit? It’s like siwitching between a synth bass and real bass. And it fades.

1 Sun – The beat comes back. Welcome back, motherfucker. Where’ve you been, asshole? There’s a call and response thing going on. You think you have your own concept of time? I’m living in that fucking movie where they have the clocks that stop time. Was that a movie or a Twilight Zone? Twilight Zone, I should watch that on this shit. The sun, the moon. How much I really love you. Love seems to be a buzz word on this album, more than a word that means anyhting.

Pablow the Blowfish – Aand a ballad about a fish. Suddenly she’s Coulton. Oh shit, they’re eating sushi. That’s not cool, man. This one definitely makes me focus on the lyrics more, what with the nothing else going on at allness of it all. Was she on the same shit I’m on when she wrote this? Is this song supposed to be innuendo for oral sex? Not very subtle. Or maybe it’s like reaaaly subtle and I’m on some other world shit where I can like see into her mind.

Miley Tibetan Bowlzzz – Very fake sounding pads never done hurt nobody. She just uhin and ahin all over.

Twinkle Song – Did she just say David Bowie was shaped like Gumby? Now she’s seriously fucking with me. Another piano only song. Oh this is the last one, shit. How long have I been doing this? Good emotional performance towards the end, I can’t hit those notes. And of course it ends with an irrelevant swaer word, well done.

I guess the record’s over and my head is on fire. I’m going to find something else to listen to. Maybe I’ll talk about it. Not sure yet.

Okay, immediate impressions of Cyrus record before I find something else: that was totally a Lips record that Miley did vocals on. Really cool to see her do something new. It’s particularly important that someone as famous as her is doing something this strange. Maybe it’ll help the rest of us that do weird shit.

The Fast Bus

Starting today, something new is added to the mythos of the Smashy Claws. This era-defining development in question is that Nathan is finally writing some form of a thing for the website. So, enjoy this first post in an ongoing series where he tells you about a bus trip or whatever. I don’t know, I haven’t read it yet. 

As many of you probably have no knowledge of, I take the bus home. Though it may seem inconvenient, unsanitary, or just plain daunting to some, my bus experiences have helped me in ways I previously thought unimaginable. Who would’ve thought that behind all the musty hydraulic doors and crusty fabric lay something greater. What is this greater element, this gift, that the bus has bestowed upon me? Well, funny and/or interesting anecdotes of course! Anecdotes of which I shall now share.

To begin this series, we start with a story about the night busses. In my home town/region there are two night busses that take me close to my home and one is notably faster than the other. The slow bus, however, has always been my preference because it drops off right by my house and is filled with chill individuals. One night, I had gotten off work far too late after an irate customer chewed my ear off for an hour and a half. Absolutely fed up with the day, I was left with a difficult decision. Should I take the fast bus? On one hand, I’ll get home really fast. Then again, on more than one occasion, friends have advised me against taking the fast bus at night. On this fateful evening headed back to my domicile, I decided to take the fast bus.

Starting out, the fast bus seemed like an obvious win. Minus one quiet man in the front, no one was on the bus; the lights were dimmed; there was complete silence; maybe my friends were playing some joke on me all these years. All was quiet in the 100 Acre Woods from what I could tell. That is, until we pulled up to the midtown stops. Suddenly, floods of strangers piled in. An endless stream of unrecognizeable smells followed. Bit of cheap beer here, some weed there, and body odor to the brim! The bus had instantly been transformed into a 21st century Dead Head bus. A little annoying? Yes, but a little odor and noise didn’t hurt anyone. Here’s we’re the story gets interesting.

Though I had made a valiant effort to ignore the bustle about the bus, the quiet man in the front of the bus was kicking my ass. He lay stone cold, completely unphased by his surroundings. As the bus continued on, this guy had no intentions of acknowledging, even with a slight movement, the loud crowd that had just ruined his and my quiet bus ride. Come on now, even I had made a slight eye roll. what made this man so impervious to the stimuli around him? Then my mind finally processed what was going on, this guy had no movement. He wasn’t some masterfully ignorant individual. There was something seriously messed up with this dude. At the same time I finally put everything together, the bus driver must’ve been on the same page. For, not one minute later, the driver brought the bus to a halt and got up to investigate. Turns out, this man was completely passed out and had been for some time.

The driver called paramedics and everyone on the bus was in an uproar. Not that a possibly dead man is a passenger on the bus. Oh, no. They are furious that we have stopped. Someone from the back yelled “Let’s move it! Drop him off and the meds can pick him up!” Needless to say, we didn’t. Have you ever wondered how fast it would take for an ambulance to find a gigantic bus, full of irate people, stopped on a major highway? Because the answer is 35 painful minutes give or take. Once the paramedics finally arrived they wheeled the man away and the bus was back on track.

I’m still not sure if the man who was rolled away that night was dead or alive. One thing I can say for certain, however, is I’ll never take the nightly fast bus again to find out. He will forever remain that of a Schrodinger’s corpse to me.

Johnny Fictitiouson

In my freshman year of college, a big part of my grade in English was to write whatever I wanted in a journal throughout the semester. After reviewing some of the entries, I realized that perhaps it might be interesting to put them out into the public by posting them on our site. Some of these may be dreadfully boring, outrageously hysterical, or entirely too personal. You be the judge, or don’t, whatever.

Johnny Fictitiouson is an average, lonely man. He is of average height, weight, intelligence, and sensibility. Each morning he eats an average breakfast, and every night he watches whatever television program is popular in the present year. He was ridiculed in his youth, and he makes constant references to popular culture. This way he is relatable to the audience.

One day, Johnny Fictitiouson stumbled upon some obscure artifact that was valued by some sort of cult/organized crime cartel/group of rowdy children. Johnny Fictitiouson soon finds himself under attack, even though he has no idea what the significance of the artifact is. Having been bullied as a child, Johnny Fictitiouson decides to no longer allow such abuse and makes the unreasonable and dangerous decision to flee and attempt to understand what is so important about this object. He soon finds that the thing has a rich powerful criminal/historical relevance, he must get the artifact to the proper authorities, ultimately to thwart the criminal unit he is evading.

Throughout the plot, many bad puns, stupid jokes, and cliché comeback lines are uttered, along this same line, many hilarious and conventional plot devices are deployed in order to ensure that this project will have some sort of commercial success. During one scene, Johnny Fictitiouson finds himself chatting with a witty person of the opposite gender in some sort of common social environment that he has run into after being chased. They soon fall in love and are inexplicably devoted to one another, in spite of knowing each other for roughly half a day. A montage sequence explores there growing interest in each other as they run from their pursuers.

After an appropriate film running length, the two find that the object they guarded for no reason has some sort of unexplained connection to the undead. Johnny Fictitiouson and his female companion character find that all along, the cult/organized crime cartel/group of rowdy children wanted the object to raise the dead. Then the audience leaves because supernatural plot devices have nothing to do with romantic comedies.

“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.

-Austin

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.

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