Satan’s Role in Music: In Defense of the Devil

Satan. I’m sure you’ve heard of him. Cheeky chappy isn’t he? Tempting Christ. Tempting Eve. Tempting you. He’s a real meddler alright. But not just in biblical matters, many believe Beelzebub’s got his grubby red hooves all over our music industry. Satan has scattered clandestine symbolism throughout mainstream chart music. These subliminal messages are manipulating our thoughts, controlling our collective cognizance, and causing us all to commit lurid acts.

It’s all here people. It’s happening.

Turn on the radio right now to hear the Devil himself coming in your ears.

It’s time to wake up.                                               Now I am awake.

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International Minimum Showbiz Age

A life without limits. A life without boundaries, without extent, without oppression. A life in which anyone can do anything at any time, regardless of their colour, their creed or their age. A perfect world? Not exactly.

Limitations are important. Limits are put in place to protect and serve the citizens of the world. While they may differ, the objective remains the same. We have legal minimum ages for drinking, driving and intercourse. These measures are imposed to minimise danger and maximise the safety of our world’s youths.

A 10 year-old cannot handle alcohol. A 10 year-old cannot handle driving. More importantly, a 10 year-old cannot handle the immense social pressures and media molestation that comes with stratosphere dwelling global superstardom.

My proposal – limits.

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The Wanted: Unwanted

Unwanted.

An All Time Low Indeed.

Ignorance is bliss, and if you’re blissfully unaware of the existence of The Wanted then I envy you. You’ll be surprised to hear that they aren’t the latest American-teen emotional pop band. No, these kids are a humble boy band.

The problem I have with this ‘band’ is simple: they represent everything that’s wrong with music. Everything about them is wrong. Take the name for example; The Wanted. This conjures up images of riots, ruffians and rebels, but the only thing these kids are rebelling against is musical decency. This group isn’t wanted. They’re unwanted. Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden is wanted, and although their crimes come close to that of the bearded bedlamite, constantly piloting their metaphorical planes toward my radio or television, hoping to bring down my empire unless I can find the remote quick enough to deter them, they’re not nearly as sought after by the FBI. And you haven’t made it until you’re on that Bureau’s list.

I may be wrong, but I seriously doubt these lads were all childhood friends who grew up together with the dream of one day becoming a pop sensation. I imagine a record producer stoically sifted through hundreds of young boys like some sort of horrifying paedophilic pop-culture butcher, where he finally found the five most generically pretty and vocally unimpressive slabs of meat the UK had to offer.

Tom, Siva, Max, Jay and Nathan. I disliked them before I even read their profiles. Seriously, go on to the website and look. They come across as more two-dimensional than Super Paper Mario. Siva for example, his hometown is Ireland. I’ve been. It’s lovely, certainly not a town though. Despite this, Max does exhibit some deep characteristics; He hates it when he comes into contact with dry sponge. Weirdo. Between them their favourite foods range from Dominos, full english, brownies andErrrrrm, pizza, chips, cheese toasties. And as for the music, well, their favourite bands are; Oasis, Coldplay and Boys II Men. Enough said.

What happened to passion? What happened to talent? Having said that, not all artificially engineered bands are turn out bad, just look at The Sex Pistols. But I’m fairly sure The Wanted won’t be arrested for boat tripping down the River Thames anytime soon.

And I haven’t even got to the worst part yet; the music. I can usually tolerate things at either end of the musical spectrum. From the impossibly genius to the outright insulting. It’s the centre of this spectrum that sends me to despair. The grey area. And this? This is greyer than cumulonimbus over a rainy midland afternoon. This is woefully tame. It lies somewhere between tepid and lacklustre. It inspired such a sense of melancholy within me I could scarcely complete my sudoku puzzle. From the soppy synthetic strings to the toe-curling, flinching, cripplingly awful vocals, [seriously, have you ever heard anyone pronounce the word ‘do’ like he does?] everything about this is so dry, it left me feeling parched and grief-stricken.

I recognise the need for boy bands, I do honestly. And while they’re not my mug of hot, caffeinated beverage, I can tolerate the top contenders. Take That for example, when judged within their own realms they stand head and shoulders above the rest of the competition. Their series of epic and uplifting anthems do enough to stay even in my judgemental mind. Shine is a great pop track, even if I do hear it all too often accompanying images of fresh fish on a supermarket counter.

So there’s plenty of good boy-band-fish in the sea. But how is it that every time I go fishing in the mainstream, I invariably hook the musical equivalent of an old leather boot. It’s all too rare I cast my line and hook a chthonic sea serpent which I have to desperately wrestle to shore as it thrashes violently, trying to tear off my head and spit it into the water. That’s what I want. Not a metaphorically gruesome death at the hands of a mythical beast, but music with some substance. Some danger. Dare I say it, a bit of oomph.

Sometimes while casually perusing music channels at 5am [which I do far too regularly for it to be considered healthy] I come across an absolute gem. The other night, while pressing channel + and slingshotting maggots into the murky horizon, a musical monster surfaced. From 1997; Aqua – Doctor Jones. You laughed upon hearing the title didn’t you? You did so because it evokes memories, amusing memories. Memories of a happier time, a simpler time. Whenever I hear The Wanted – All Time Low, I imagine the year 2087. A fragile old man, sat on the porch of his suburban dwelling. His lungs less efficient than the world’s ecosystem. A land that has rotted to nothing. Everyone and everything had died as a result of a nuclear fallout. This man, whom for the purpose of this metaphor shall be named; Dave, is the only organism left on the planet. There is nothing. Nothing. And he is alone. That’s what this group does to me. They’re an obscure darkness. They’re a fatal experiment. They’re a post-apocalyptic landscape.

Every time I inadvertently come across something so inexplicably stale, I suddenly feel the need to repeatedly listen to Pantera – Fucking Hostile, to cleanse my broken palette. Just listen to The Wanted Heart Vacancy. It makes me wish I had a brain vacancy. Fucking. Fucking. Fucking. Hostile.

MacTingz

Article first published as The Wanted Are Very Unwanted on Technorati.

Pointy-Toothed Prehistoric Sex Pests

Now I usually defecate at least once a day, sometimes twice depending on my meal intake, and when I do, I do what anyone else would given the circumstances – I read. Usually with any well-equipped British household there’s no shortage of reading material in the lavatory. From discarded magazines to spine-broken novels, the bathroom floor tiles of Casa del MacTingz is where paperbacks go to die. One such item has taken residence within my modest bathroom for some time now…

Living in harmony amongst this month’s Sky Magazines, this particular book has been a source of constant confusion for my already challenged mind. Every time I find myself sat atop the throne, I lift this humble slab of literature and begin to carelessly flick through the pages, skimming randomly and commencing my perusal of the content. Here I’m presented with my dilemma, for the subject matter within this novel is so lucid and thin, I don’t know whether to continue reading, or to use it as a substitute for my toilet roll. The item in question – Vampire Diaries: The Return – Shadow Souls.

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The Letter i: iHateYou

i i i i i

The 21st Century, it’s all iThis and iThat. From iMusic to iMac. iPlayer to iPod, iPad, iPhone, and iTunes. There’s iGoogle, there’s iCompany and there’s iSketch. Even the fictional figurehead of clandestine global evil has a little i before his name, isn’t that right iGod?

But when exactly did i become the letter of sophistication? Perhaps the ninth letter of the alphabet became jealous of letters twenty-four and twenty-six, who have become synonymous with mystery and cool.i launched its own campaign to rise through the alphabetical ranks to the very top. And i is trying damn hard to stay there.

Let it be said that I love Apple. You love Apple. Everyone loves Apple. After they went rotten for a while in the 80s and 90s, Apple reinvented themselves, but more importantly reinvented the letter i. Since then everyone from huge, multinational companies, to fledging new businesses whose creators happen to have seen far too many episodes of Dragon’s Den decide that to make their particular company or product stand out from the crowd, they should place an i before the title. But with so many lower case, iGnorant decisions being made, the global dictionary’s awash with critically dire diacritics.

One such example of a product needlessly condemned to the boring bin is the Vuzix iWear range. Now I propose that virtual reality video glasses are pretty cool to begin with, they absolutely did not need to be plagued by the i. This only serves to undermine the unparalleled uniqueness within by rendering it the same as everything else.

Genius.

But as special as pods and pads are, every self-respecting carnivore knows there is nothing, nothing more sophisticated than chicken. KentuckyFried Chicken to be precise. Yes, KFC really is food for thought, if you’re the kind of person that often finds yourself thinking; I’m growing increasingly bored of porcelain, I think I’ll take my family to dine from a grease-ridden paper bucket, with a smirking Disciple of Christ ominously staring on from the side. You do know why he’s smirking don’t you? He just lessened your chances of meeting the average life expectancy. Evil bastard.

But what is it that renders chicken more sophisticated than it’s meaty or mechanical rivals? Well the letter i of course. And if you’ve ever had reason to doubt this fact, simply contact Colonel Sanders and I am confident he shall dismiss your doubts with a true weapon of mass disillusion; the new KFC iTwist. i? Why? Why?Why? i?

iTwist: It makes about as much sense as a custard tractor.

Can any sophistication can be derived from the word; twist? What does this word conjure?

Twister?A spiralled ice-cream of artificial fruit.

Twister?A game for intoxicated inbred interlopes. Or my personal favourite;

Twister?A chasm of destruction delivering death to all who dare interact, much like KFC’s whole range of products.

In short, no. Twist, is not a particularly sophisticated action, or word. Meaning the complexities of this chicken wrap must be all housed inside that little dotted vertical line.

So although preceding a product with the letter ihas become a tired old cliché [much has the phrase; tired old cliché] It remains on the right side of sensible to place the letter before a suave, cultivated product; a machine perhaps. Machines are capable of incredible things, and will soon come to rule over all flesh-covered organisms. If anything warrants this stupid prefix, it’s machines. But chicken? Chicken?!I don’t care whether this is an OLED 1080p electronic chicken breast running Mac OSX Version 99.9.9 and beaming data holographically from a Wi-Fi hotspot located deep within it’s giblets. It’s still nothing more than a fucking chicken.

And as it happens, Sanders’ iTwist can do none of the aforementioned things. What it should really be called is the ‘goat’s cheese wrap thingy. Now there’s a catchy title, not arrogant in its approach, not patronising in its attempt to impress, but remaining informative enough to stand firm in the minds of prospective buyers. But in all fairness, “Each iTwist features a 100% all white meat Extra Crispy strip, fresh lettuce, and a blend of 3 cheeses, all wrapped up with a signature sauce in a colorful, flavorful tortilla.”

Shit.

3 cheeses?!?

Well grease my bucket! Colonel, please do accept my most sophisticated of apologies.

Yours

MacTingz

Article first published as iHateYou on Technorati.