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BADFINGER’S - Ass
The Brief History Of Casual Fridays
*Sigh* This poor album. It’s always popping up on Worst Covers lists. And it’s not even Badfinger’s fault. This info isn’t on Wikipedia and you know my position concerning info that’s not on a website where anyone can contribute: “Some 4chan user with zero expertise and a login name said it. I believe it. That settles it!” But in the interest of folklore, I’ll tell who is responsible.
Do you want to guess who’s to blame? Did you say music Wings founder and mortgage company spokemodel, Paul McCartney? Of course you didn’t. Because that makes no sense. Regardless, legend has it that while the worlds most famous vegetarian and British rook or bishop or whatever, was producing this album he did what every grown-up, multi-millionaire does when he works and he teased Badfinger’s front man, Paul Hamm, incessantly about Hamm’s last name. That does not at all sound right, and yet the myth endures! Some people, people who are maybe not-so-famous for their critical thinking skills, say that McCa insisted that Hamm change his name to “Peter Mama Buddha.” I’m not going to tell you how to run your life but you should totally question the validity of that claim. I’m going to give Paul the benefit of the doubt and guess that he had reasonable expectations of Mr. Hamm and how to draw/maintain healthy boundaries. It is, after all, the common trait of all successful record industry people. Right? Paul really cracked the whip it sounds like. The story climaxes when Hamm & company sick of the former moptop being such an irrational task-master and they left the Apple label and headed to Warner Bros, a record company most known for being more lenient. They even let Badfinger wear jeans to work on Fridays. In fact this is where Casual-Fridays originated*
Historians Idiots typically end the story with a pretty great epilogue: The former Beattle is said to have released Ass cloaked in this very well done tableau of a mule wearing headphones and ignoring what looks to me like God. Ha ha! Take THAT Badfinger. No one ignores “The Cute One.” And if you know even a little bit about gods - - be they of a Judea-Christian tradition, Allah, and even the inventor of Bros Icing Bros, Zeus - - then you know that Gods do NOT like it when you disobey them. They also don’t like it when you become so overrun by your ego and start strutting around Abbey Road basically calling yourSELF God, but you know what, I’m not here to judge. Anyway, there you have it. Ass: Behind The Music’s Crappy Cover Art.- RMF
*Not even close to being true
BADFINGER - Ass
Name: 2.3 (c’mon fellas. grow up. sheesh)
Look I have to confess, I actually believe every single word of this story. I don’t put it past him at all. Did you hear some of the stuff Heather Mills accused him of. I mean wow. WOW. And I heard that Linda McCartney didn’t in fact pass away from cancer, rather, she died from his WORDS. Sticks ‘n’ stones y’all. Anyway, I just wrote all that stuff about not believing it because I don’t doubt he’d sue us and take us for all of our blog dollars. As it is we’re STILL paying off Weezer - we eventually settled out of court and CAL slashed our snack budget.
Kid #1: Isn’t this racist?
Kid #2: Some people would argue that portraying blackface is always racist. Regardless of intent.
Kid #3: While others would argue that it’s important to note context. Like in this case we’re kids and so we’re naive to racism. We’re innocent. And that makes seeing us in blackface w/ toy guns even more menacing.
Kid #1: Isn’t it possible that it’s neither and it’s merely sensational and a cheap ploy at publicity during an age where the market for new music is so competitive that it takes a big statement to get anyone’s attention anymore.
Kid #3: Well for that matter it can be argued that race is an outdated construct and being in blackface or not being in blackface is irrelevant. Rather, it’s class that is a prevailing quality that determines society relationships.
Kid #2: But the only people who say that are white grad students that went to McGill.
Kid #1: Huh?
Kid #2: Oh you know who I’m talking about. The one’s that listen to music from bands that are deemed “progressive.” They wear expensive jeans and drink cheap beer and feel insulted on behalf of black people and poor people and anyone who they think is unhappy because they didn’t live in nice houses growing up or go to liberal arts colleges after they graduated from high school.
Kid #1: Sounds boring.
Kid #3: It is!
Kid #1: BANG! You’re dead.
Kid #2: You got me! - RMF
WOLF PARADE’S Expo 86
Album Art: 7.3
Album Title: 6.7
Here’s the thing about outsider art, it’s charm, it’s brilliance lies in it’s outsider-ness. It’s outsider-ity. Personally, I think insane asylum inmates produce the best work. I bet Wikipedia would agree with me. Probs the dudes from Wavvs wouldn’t though. They would totes think that bros with graphic design degrees with an emphasis in trying to hard make the best art. See, I like the illustrations of psychiatric patients. But Wavvs clearly prefers hat tips to pot culture, and conspiracy theorists with vague nods to the font of “Saved By The Bell” all set against the backdrop on the print that MGMT boys like to sport on their kifaya scarves. Don’t get me wrong, I like cats smoking. Who doesn’t?! That’s crazy talk. But I wonder if throwing every raked over idea that a Parson’s drop-out had 3 years ago will make timeless album art. RMF
WAVVS’S Totally Tubular
Big Bear’s Doin Thangs
Historically speaking, men tend to see bears like the ones on this cover when they are hallucinating. The Shining, Hot Tub Time Machine, and Grizzly Man are good examples of movies featuring men who think they are amongst real bears. This is what makes Big Bear (government name: Anthro P. Moore) so awesome, because he isn’t hallucinating at all. He actually knows these smoking jacket donning bears very well. So, let me tell you a little story about that…
See, Big Bear was driving his 1992 GMC Jimmy in the Appalachian mountains many years ago. He was approaching a huge curve in an area notorious for rock slides, but thankfully the road was clear that day. After successfully maneuvering the curve, Big Bear decided to switch out his Newcleus Jam On It tape for Widespread Panic’s Everyday. Hatfield was a guilty pleasure of his when driving ALONE on mountain roads. His roots are deep in southern rap, but that music is a bit dangerous for the Blue Ridge Parkway. He preferred something more laid back, chill and white. Anyway, as Big Bear was changing tapes with one hand he felt a sneeze coming on and covered his nose with his other hand. With no hands on the wheel and another sharp curve quickly approaching, it would seem that Big Bear was in for a major disaster… Well, not to worry, he was able to grab the wheel in time and stay on the road.
Several minutes later while listening to Picking Up the Pieces, for no apparent reason other than fate, Big Bear lost control of his car and flew off the road. Thanks to the super-safe SumaKougar seatbelts recently installed in his Jimmy, Big Bear was safe as he tumbled down the hillside. SumaKougar belts were all the rage at the time due to their mention in about every rap song. Remember Master P’s Make Summer Safe Like This when he rapped, “Street racing. Strapped in. Looking fly. SumaKougar setbelts till I die?”
The Jimmy finally came to a stop. After Big Bear opened his eyes and unlocked his SumaKougar belt, he noticed four harmless bear cubs making a bunch of noise outside. Worried a protective and confused mama bear would be nearby, Big Bear carefully stepped out of his vehicle. It was then he saw two bear paws sticking out from under his vehicle. He knew it was the mama bear because of the high heels she was wearing … This was the birth of Big Bear and the point when Anthro stopped using his government name. Forever.
Long story short, this album cover is a photo of Big Bear with his adopted cubs on their 5th birthday. No big deal really. - CAL
Big Bear’s Doin Thangs
Here We Go Magic’s Pigeons
Apologies from Deafenestrate for being slow to review album covers lately. Our office in BOS was attacked by terrorists (Yankees), our SF office temporarily relocated to AUS and the PHX office A/C went down. But for better or worse, we’re backkchh and ready to attackkchh something great.
Up for review today is the lovely lovely Here We Go Magic cover for Pigeons. Look at this scary mess though! Such ravenous, carnivorous pastels here to eat you until you ARE dead. We haven’t seen this much deathly bloody pastel since Jenna Hager got bit by a rabid bat at Theta’s easter egg roll in Austin. You didn’t escape and you are now a big swirly red blotch.
I’m pretty sure HWGM put this cover out 3 months before Pigeon’s release as fair warning to any blogger who posts songs from their album leak. You illegally hypem.com and they will illegally eatu.com. Um yikes, I don’t know what that means for someone who just reviews the artwork? Poorly, I might add. I mean this is FINE art and I ONLY pretend to understand fine art to impress the ladies. Like at the mall or the airport. Usually it goes something like this: “How does this dress look on me?” “That’s some FINE ASS ART lady.” *smooch* *smooch* *smooch* I may not know what I am talking about, but I still get all the kisses. Just pretend to know everything with confidence and speak with a loud voice. Just like I did on this review. - CAL
Here We Go Magic’s Pigeons
FULL DISCLOSURE: I have a brain lesion. Could be something. Could be nothing. Probably nothing. Most likely, it’s nothing. So right off the bat something is wrong with my dome. But to make matters worse, there is a menagerie of pain medication in the medicine cabinet. So basically my mind is a swirl of stuff. It looks and feels like some sort if Ben & Jerry’s concoction. Like Junk Drawer. Junk Drawer is a flavor they are working on that is just vanilla ice cream with stuff that’s in your junk drawer. Expired coupons. old rubber bands that would snap if you tried to use them. A thumbtack. One of those small, hard, red superballs that someone has bitten into and taken a chunk out of. Some pennies. Some of the drugs are opiates. Like the one I’m taking right now. I keep nodding off….like my Dad’s girlfriend’s sister’s husband, Todd. Todd is a heroin addict. One time after a Christmas party my dad let Todd drive me to the movie theater to meet up with my friends. Last night I had a dream that I was watching a late night infomercial that was basically a Ponzi scheme for hippies. It would in effect, create their own currency and develop a hippie economy based on a bartering system. I’m tempted to say it was genius, but that’s a little tacky isn’t it? Going around calling your subconscious ‘genius.’ But anyway, yeah, totally dig this album cover. - RMF
Javelin’s No Mas
Album Cover: 9.8
Album Name: 3.2 (cause I want this forever)
The National’s High Violet
I once knew this girl, the type every lil’ boy dreamed about. Let’s call her Violet. We were in 7th grade together. Violet was perfect, smart, athletic, and had great handwriting. I bet she went to one of those art stores and looked for the perfect pen to compliment her handwriting. She probably tested out several pens on that “white paper pen test area” before finding the right fit. I’m sure she didn’t want to buy a bad pen that didn’t work. Got to test those pens! Anyway, Violet’s art store doings are beside the point and have no relevance to this post.
I’d do anything to get Violet’s attention. I’d show off my American basketball skills and monkey bar prowess at recess. I made sure my British Knights were squeaky clean. If I really wanted to get her attention I’d wear my Nike Huaraches, but this was for special occasions ONLY.
Drama class is when I first realized that I’d need to step up my game a bit. I was noticing some serious competition, including competition from my best friend, a fellow Huarache owner. Wellll, long story short… she didn’t choose me or my friend, but she did choose this French Boy. I think Violet was sold when French Boy did a perfect dramatic reenactment of a homeless man cleaning a windshield.
I was bummed! The next couple of months were spent sulking in a chair checking out the new Bon Iver or whatever was like that in 1993? Finally, I was able to snap out of it. The Tar Heels just won the NCAA tournament over Chris Webber. Technical foul! Technical foul! Kurt Cobain was still alive. I melted my Belinda Carlisle tapes. Times were good! The plan: I formed the Air Huarache Pact of 1993 with my friend. This was our homemade theme song. Our goals: one of us is going to get Violet and we’re gonna take down that French Boy.
I knew this plan wouldn’t really work, if both of us were interested in her. As hard as it was to do, I conceded the fight and put all the focus on my friend. And welllll, this other girl starting showing interest in me and asked me to accompany her to the $1 showing of School Ties. Why that was still in the theaters? I don’t know. New girl was also obsessed with my fitted Seattle Mariners hat that I got from mailing in $5 + 2 Frosted Flakes UPCs.
We devised this wonderful plan on the bus ride home. I took a wad of 8 colored markers and removed their caps. I scribbled the markers all over my friend’s face. He looked ridiculous. I was supposed to come off as the jerk and my friend the victim in need of Violet’s sympathy. Well, I think all we got from Violet was: “Awwww, look at you :-(” and I got dumped cause my girl said I was a jerk to my friend. Worst of all, the markers wouldn’t wash off and my friend had to go to the Mall with his Mom. - CAL
The National’s High Violet
Album Cover: 9 (Does this pen work?)
Name: 9.7 (A terrible love, she was)
Daryl Hall & John Oates’ Self Titled Album
(no can do)
All-aboard! Learn to fly the silver skies with Glam Rock Flight School! Established in 1975, GRFS is Pittsburg’s leading flight training facility! Come by for a private tour of our facility, meet the staff, and find out how we can help you achieve your dream to become a heavily-makeuped mustachioed pilot! Learn to fly with our One On One approach. This guy knows what I’m talking about.
Or maybe this is just the original “Contra” album cover? - CAL
Daryl Hall & John Oates’ Self Titled Album
Album Cover: 8.8
Department of Eagles
You know when you’re around a bunch of smart people, mostly strangers, and you’re doing everything you can to chime into the conversation? Your glass of spoiled Pinot is like totally empty, but it was completely full three minutes ago? Where did it all go? Your comfort level is so low that you won’t get drunk because your nerves are roundhousing the face of any alcohol in your system; however, you somehow feel completely woozy. You can’t get more wine yet because those hungry judgey eyes will notice the three-season-old Jcrew outfit you wore today. You know they’ll quickly change the conversation to your dumpy looking backside until you return with a handful of stale art gallery food. It’s not your fault you’re unconsciously pounding wine or that you chose a dated outfit… You had no idea you’d be at a stupid art gallery tonight discussing gold bars. There aren’t enough goldfish or m&ms to save you from this complete bore. You’re missing American Idol too. Seriously, you should probably stop hanging out with Stephan (STEH-fuhn) and his friends. You guys just don’t have a thing in common anymore. At this point you’re boiling over with self-inflicted frustration that you blurt into the conversation and tell all your take on Marcel Broodthaers’ work (pictured above):
“I think the Department of Eagles isn’t a trick name or anything, you guys. I really think this artist dude knew some eagles living in Brussels. He trained them, feed them, petted them and helped them set up their own society. AND IT WAS WORKING! They even had their own art gallery too. Just like this one. I bet they even ate goldfish. You know how birds love some bread crumbs, even civilized ones. And, like, you know, these eagles were so set. Maybe one day you’d see an eagle walking down the street with his broken comcast dvr under his wing on his way to wait 40 min. at the comcast building (birdhouse) while other eagles got their mess sorted out too. Just like us! Of course the whole town was run by THE department of eagles. A department full of the best, brightest and baldest of eagles. They made all the rules, but like any society it eventually failed and they had to sell their assets. And here we are today starring at this gold bar representing the financial section of the department of eagles. It’s a relic. It’s not art. It’s beautiful and heavy to hold, but its’ just a marker made of gold, you guys. The name tags we’re all wearing at this art walk isn’t art is it? See!”
You slam down your wine and walk away avoiding eye contact. That felt good didn’t it? You grab a chunk of brie and an oreo. You decide to leave Stephan behind. As you trip your way out the door, you hear someone caw something about Jcrew. - CAL
Department of Eagles
Band Name: 8 (that’s how many Eagles ran the department, I think)
NEIL DIAMOND’S Hot August Night
Here are some basic truths: I like the word hot. I like word august. And I like the word night. So were’s all good on that front.
But more to the point I am a woman, nay—-a HUMAN. If I am cut, do I not bleed?* If you tickle me do I don’t laugh? If you place before an album cover of the Jewish Elvis in front of my eyes will I not gasp and ask to be alone for a half hour?
But here is another truth, no matter how sexy this cover is (and it IS sexy) I think I feel so strongly about this cover because I relate so well to the photo. Here is Neil making a face that is so flinchingly unflattering. This is basically me in every photo. Every picture of me that exists is basically me making some variation of a blow-job face. And that HAIR! That thick, unruly hair. Untamable! Unmanageable! Like the Jazz Singer himself. (what?) And then there’s the light-weight denim bodysuit fully decked in Native American bead jewelery. When I’m not wearing that, I’m wishing I was wearing that. - RMF
*I don’t really care that this is an old joke construct. It’s from Shakespeare so you have to like it otherwise people will feel sorry for you for not loving Shakespeare so much. So you can just shut up.
NEIL DIAMOND’S Hot August Night
Album Cover: 8.9
Album Name: 8.2
The Black Keys’ Brothers
Is this a trick? - 10.00
It’s not? - 1.00
Well, maybe some points for making it easy on me? - 8.00
Brothers are important. Andrew always looked up to you. Give him a call soon, ok son? - 9.50
The National’s The National
Do you remember that time Mike Jones riddled “Back then hoes didn’t want me now I’m hot hoes all on me. MIKE JONES!”? Well that pretty much sums up this self-titled debut album cover from The National. Here we have a normal looking east coast frat star chilling in a pool. I can’t really tell if this is Matt Berninger or another band member. It’s definitely not Aaron. Beside the point. Anyway, back to the preppy hazebeast urinating PBR into the pool. Dude is only thinking about one thing: How to crush these women sunbathers. I’m mean seriously crush them. Over and Over. “Sex them up” as his pledge brothers would say. He needs some choice pickup lines though. This is the Hamptons and this is serious talent we’re talking about. You can’t just be a decent looking dude with 30 lax goals senior year. You’ve got to have name. And here is where The National is born. Little did this Cincinnati pool bro know… His failed pickup lines would eventually lead to fame, fortune and lots and lots of meaningless New York sex. Here are some of those now famous, yet failed pickup lines:
- “I was up all night again, boning up and reading the American dictionary!”
- “I can tie my tie all by myself! [head nod]”
- “I’m a perfect piece of ass.”
- “Take these girly arms and ever keep me.”
- “How does this sound? I pull off your jeans, and you spill jack and coke in my collar.”
- “I want to live in your blood.”
- “I have 2 sets of headphones?”
- “There is nothing you can say to ever make me want you. Just kidding!”
- “You look happy for a woman.”
- “You know I dreamed about you for twenty-nine years before I saw you. Can we please fuck now?”
Oh god. What have I done? - CAL
The National’s The National
Album Cover: 10 (A national hero, that dude)
Kilo Ali’s Organized Bass
This is going to be a short and sweet review, but what I’m about to divulge to you will be with you for the rest of your life. Prepare yourself for me to loot chi chi your brain/ding-a-ling.
First off, how often do you stare at album covers? Like, trying to figure out what’s going on from the bottom to the top or its tricky meaning or until you’ve lost y’all mind? This is rhetorical. If you didn’t do the aforementioned things you wouldn’t be here. Fuck those ACAnonymous members. We’re all dance in our bliss. Second, do you know what impossible figures are? Of. course. you. do. Ok. I’ve now prepared you for the life changing mind explosion.
Kilo’s head is an impossible figure. - CAL
Kilo Ali’s Organized Bass
Album Cover: 8 (Impossible figures are fun!)
Name: 6 (lack of use of the word ‘ding-a-ling’)
In honor of the birthday of The Little Emir (Justin Bieber) I am dedicating a post to the greatest type of band. The boy band. Now most bands are, let’s face it, boy bands because only boys are good at music. That’s just a fact you guys. Write that down.
Specifically this post is about bands with the word “boy” in the title. You know like Boyz II Men, Soggy Bottom Boys, Los Lonely Boys, Boys Like Girls (homophobic and perpetuates hetero-normative standards! Just kidding who, cares), Backstreet Boys, Junior Boys, Boys Noize, Pet Shop Boys. That’s it. Those are the only bands with ‘boy’ in the title. So don’t try and email me with additional bands that have ‘boy’ in them because that is the fully exhausted, definitive list and I don’t want to hear it. Oh! Beach Boys. That’s another one. SAFE.*
To wit let’s discuss two bands, Fall Out Boy and it’s sort of cooler bigger brother Badly Drawn Boy.
First of all what’s with all the tortured boy rockers singing about their emotions? Enough! Enough with the eye make-up, enough with the pleather pants so tight as to render you impotent so that when you try to conceive a baby with Jessica Simpson’s sister your doctor makes you switch to boxers. And enough with your whiny angst already. But this is not a site devoted to lifestyle and content. Nay. We judge superficially.But in this case it’s nearly impossible to divorce the band name from the actual band. On one hand we want to give points for naming your band after a made-up superhero from The Simpsons. On the other hand your band has Pete Wentz in it. So….even stevens on this one.
BAND NAME: 5.0 (just barely Pete. And you better watch it!)
As for Badly Drawn Boy, apparently this name also comes from a television show. Some British kids show, it turns out. Look I don’t like this name. I have no idea why. I just don’t like it. I get paid a lot of money here to write about WHY it is exactly that I like or dislike something, but in this case I just can’t. The name Badly Drawn Boy is just sorta dumb and too contrived but that’s mostly true for all band names. It’s trying too hard to be cute. But it’s better than Fall Out Boy.- RMF
BAND NAME: 7.3
*Beastie Boys. That’s the last one.