By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
So, is selling such a holy song a sin? Of course not. But is it to be applauded as an act of phoenixlike self-immolation? A perky fuck you to his aging American fan base? Fuck that. That kind of cynicism would be only too appropriate for the age in which we live.
Then again, what do I expect from an American Leaguer? That was the worst part of the RS interview. The guy actually likes Ozzie Guillen of the Chicago White Sox. I mean, nobody likes Ozzie “I call people fags” Guillen. Ozzie “I publicly berate my pitchers for not intentionally hitting batters during winning games” Guillen. Ozzie “My team wins IN SPITE of me” Guillen. Ozzie “I have PRICK written all over my smug-bastard forehead” Guillen. Nobody genuinely likes him but his mama — and Bob Dylan.
You think you’ve heard a T. Rex homage or two in your day, especially lately — say, Goldfrapp’s “Ooh La La,” which should have been called “Ooh La La (Gang A Bong).” You think you’re okay with it too. It’s time. And then someone goes and steals the intro to “Twentieth Century Boy,” which is only the most exciting 20 seconds in the history of rock. (See “Hot Girls in Good Moods,” off the new solo LP by Butch Walker.) You hear it, and then you go, “Actually, maybe I’m not so ready for this.” And you’re so busy with the song’s radical Bolanectomy, you hardly notice the Loverboyist title. (As for the album’s title, it’s far too long to type here.)
I’m all for references and theft. But with a grab this straightforward — almost the rock equivalent of a sample — you just can’t win. A rip-off like that says to you, the listener, one of four possible things: 1. “You’re not smart enough to know I stole this.” 2. “You know I stole this, but it’s okay because nothing really means anything anymore anyway.” 3. “I’ll never be as good as T. Rex, so why try?” 4. “Whoo-hoo!”
That last one’s okay, but the problem is, we can’t be sure that’s what he meant.
Fortunately, Mr. Walker doesn’t need you to buy his record: After toiling as a leader of a “number” band in the ’90s — neoglam rockers Marvelous 3 — he was reborn as a producer to the stars (Avril Lavigne, Pink et al.). So it all worked out.
Butch Walker & the Let’s-Go-Out-Tonites play the Henry Fonda Theater, Thurs., Sept. 14, with the Adored and Damone.