Inspired by the July 23 birthdays of Guns N’ Roses’ Slash, Depeche Mode’s Martin Gore, Tony Joe White, The Penguins’ Cleveland Duncan, Manhattan Transfer’s Janis Siegel, Travis’ Fran Healy, Orleans’ John Hall, David Essex, Alison Krauss, Starpoint’s Renée Diggs, and Blue Mink’s Madeline Bell.
Tag Archives: Pearl Jam
Inspired by Black Music Month, LGBTQ Pride Month, and the June 15 birthdays of Harry Nilsson, Ice Cube, Slade’s Noddy Holder, Waylon Jennings, Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody, Erroll Garner, Neil Patrick Harris, Kansas’ Steve Walsh, Meri Wilson, Ruby and the Romantics’ Ruby Nash, Alien Art Farm’s Dryden Mitchell and Girls Aloud’s Nadine Coyle.
Inspired by the May 30 birthdays of The Clash‘s Topper Headon, The Marvelettes’ Gladys Horton, Cee Lo Green, Stephen Malkmus, Rage Against the Machine/Audioslave’s Tom Morello, the Charlatans’ Tim Burgess, of Montreal’s Kevin Barnes, Devendra Banhart, Donna A., Benny Goodman and Remy Ma.
Inspired by the May 29 birthdays of Oasis‘ Noel Gallagher, Spice Girls’ Mel B, Procol Harum’s Gary Brooker, Status Quo’s Francis Rossi, Melissa Etheridge, Disco Tex, Sylvia, Rebbie Jackson, The Hives’ Pelle Almqvist, LaToya Jackson, Danny Elfman and Churchill’s Bethany Kelly.
Inspired by Mother’s Day, the passing of Betty Wright, and the May 10 birthdays of U2‘s Bono, Sex Pistols’ Sid Vicious, Spinners’ Henry Fambrough, Donovan, Traffic’s Dave Mason, Larry Williams, Fred Astaire, Underworld’s Karl Hyde, Young MC, Filter’s Richard Patrick, Jay Ferguson, Craig Mack, Sunscreem’s Lucia Holm and Young Disciples’ Carleen Anderson.
Your knees start shakin’ and your fingers pop
Like a pinch on the neck from Mr. Spock
I think I read somewhere that there is a new Star Trek movie opening this weekend, or sometime soon. I didn’t pay too much attention. I’ve never seen any Star Trek movie, nor have I seen any episode of the TV show Star Trek, or any of its offshoots.
I saw part of one episode from the original series. Joan Collins was a guest star. I watched when she was on screen; I changed the channel when she wasn’t. That small fact told my friend Laura’s brother more about me than I knew about myself at that time.
I don’t know what Star Trek is about. I know there’s a spaceship called the Enterprise, and that’s about it. I don’t know when the show takes place. I don’t know the characters’ personality types or if they all get along or if any of them hook up.
I’ve heard William Shatner recite the lyrics to “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “Space Oddity” and other songs that were classics until the moment I heard Bill do ‘em. I’ve heard Leonard Nimoy “sing” a song about Hobbits (don’t get me started on my lack of knowledge about Hobbits! I’m not even sure the word Hobbits should be capitalized.). Those recordings weren’t enough to entice me into checking out the work that made those guys famous.
I’m also familiar with the song “Star Trekkin’” by a group called The Firm, not to be confused with the Jimmy Page band The Firm, though equally awful. “Star Trekkin’” went to #1 on the UK singles chart in 1987, and by doing so removed the bragging rights of anyone else who hit #1 on the UK singles chart. “Oh, you had a #1 UK single, Nicole Scherzinger? You know what else was a #1 UK single? ‘Star Trekkin”’.”
William Shatner was on another television show somewhat recently. I don’t recall what it was. I think it was set in a courtroom or a law office. I never watched it.
I don’t know if Leonard Nimoy did anything after the Star Trek TV series.
Though I don’t know from and couldn’t care any less about Star Trek, I do recognize some Star Trek references in pop culture, like in the lyrics that opened this post, which are from Beastie Boys’ “Intergalactic,” one of 1998’s best singles and the song that kicks off Tunes du Jour’s 1998 playlist on this Throwback Thursday. I take it when Mr. Spock touches someone’s neck, their knees shake and their fingers pop, like mine do when I listen to Beastie Boys. Let’s get poppin’!
Eminem has often been accused of being homophobic. Maybe it’s because he rapped “I’ll still be able to break a motha-fuckin’ table over the back of a couple of faggots and crack it in half.” Maybe it’s because he rapped “My words are like a dagger with a jagged edge / That’ll stab you in the head whether you’re a fag or lez.” And “All you lil’ faggots can suck it / No homo, but I’ma stick it to ’em like refrigerator magnets.” And “Little gay-looking boy / So gay I can barely say it with a straight face-looking boy / You witnessing massacre like you watching a church gathering taking place-looking boy / ‘Oy vey, that boy’s gay,’ that’s all they say looking-boy / You take a thumbs up, pat on the back, the way you go from your label every day-looking boy.” And “You fags think it’s all a game.” Anyone can see how the artist born Marshall Mathers got labeled a homophobe, even if he pretends he doesn’t see it.
So it’s ironic that in his first hit single, the song that put him on the map and into the international consciousness, the music bed is based around a sample from an openly gay singer-songwriter.
“My Name Is” became Eminem’s first single to crack the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #36. Its music is taken from a 1975 release called “I Got the…,” written and performed by Labi Siffre. Siffre, who was born in England in 1945, says he knew he was gay since age four. He met his life partner, Peter John Carver Lloyd, in 1964. They remained a couple for 49 years, until Lloyd’s death in 2013.
Before Siffre would allow Eminem to use the sample, he made the rapper change some of the words on “My Name Is.” The lyric “My English teacher wanted to have sex in junior high / The only problem was, my English teacher was a guy” became “My English teacher wanted to flunk me in junior high / Thanks a lot, next semester I’ll be 35.” The lyric “Extraterrestrial killing pedestrians, raping lesbians while they’re screaming, ‘Let’s just be friends!’” became “Extraterrestrial running over pedestrians in a spaceship while they’re screaming, ‘Let’s just be friends!’”.” Said Siffre, “Dissing the victims of bigotry – women as bitches, homosexuals as faggots – is lazy writing. Diss the bigots, not their victims. I denied sample rights till that lazy writing was removed. I should have stipulated “all versions” but at that time knew little about rap’s “clean” & “explicit” modes, so they managed to get the lazy lyric on versions other than the single and first album.”
For Throwback Thursday this week, Tunes du Jour revisits some of the musical highlights of 1999, kicking off with Eminem’s “My Name Is.”
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“There’s a close race in Washington State…it’s called Referendum 74. It’s about the right for same sex marriages to take place. We’d like to dedicate this one to couples that are in love, no matter what — of the same sex, of the opposite sexes, or tons of sex.” – Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, introducing the band’s song “Just Breathe” at a 2012 concert.
Referendum 74 was put to the voters to decide if a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in that state should be upheld. The measure passed with 53.7% of the vote. Just after midnight on December 9, 2012, legally-recognized same-sex weddings took place.
Today is Eddie Vedder’s 50th birthday. Here are twenty of his best.
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I can’t find my Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam promotional athletic socks. I know they’re in my home somewhere. I wanted to post a photo of them on my blog today, Lisa Lisa’s birthday, but I can’t find them anywhere. I found my Tenacious D socks, but they do me no good.
Over the years, while at my various record company jobs, I’ve collected promotional tchotchkes. You’d be surprised what were manufactured. Madonna lollipops, a Rolling Stones matchbook, a Terence Trent D’Arby electric toothbrush. I have all of those at my fingertips. I have an Aerosmith thermos and an Eazy-E thermos at my disposal. I can find my Kiss lunchbox and my Aaron Carter lunchbox (autographed!), my Babyface clock and my Prong clock (I can’t name a single song or album by Prong), my Gloria Estefan CD wallet and my Toto CD wallet, my Bruce Springsteen wallet and my Pras wallet. Pras! The member of the Fugees you never hear about these days. I know exactly where to find my Eminem bobble-head, my Michael Jackson paperweight, my Ricky Martin diary, my Nas inflatable globe, my NSYNC make-up case, my Cher paper fan, my Dead Milkmen flipbook, my Jamiroquai flag, my Nick Heyward kite, my Aerosmith handkerchief, my Pearl Jam doormat, my Michael Jackson duffle bag, my George Michael oversize paper clip, my Alice Cooper water gun and my Poi Dog Pondering whistle. Who the hell are Poi Dog Pondering? Where are my Lisa Lisa promotional athletic socks? I know where my Sophie B. Hawkins “As I Lay Me Down” hammock is – it’s hard to lose that! I remember giving away my Celine Dion luggage. The line had to be drawn somewhere. But for the life of me, I have no idea where my Lisa Lisa promotional athletic socks could be.
When I find my Lisa Lisa promotional athletic socks, I’ll post a photo of them. For now, here is Ringo with my Pras wallet.
Enjoy Lisa Lisa’s birthday (she’s 48!). Here is a mini-playlist of her best tracks.