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Lyrical Dissection

Monday, April 28, 2014

JENA ARDELL
  • Jena Ardell
Oh, Los Angeles, how you inspire us. You could be a song!

Well, the truth is, you have inspired songs, many many songs. In fact, our city and its beaches, mountains, denizens and myths have led to the creation of entire catalogs.

But perhaps the most inspirational aspect of L.A. is its streets and neighborhoods, judging by the number of songs which shout them out.

With that in mind, see if you can answer the questions in our quiz below.

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

beachboyscover.png
As we've already written, "baby music" sucks, and should be avoided, but that doesn't mean you can play your kid just anything.

After hearing that our friend's 4-year-old got suspended for dropping an f-bomb, we decided to rethink our tyke's Young Jeezy records.

So the Beach Boys were a compromise; Junior loves the timeless ditties, and Daddy digs them too.

But after hearing "Fun Fun Fun" for the hundredth time I began to wonder: What the hell is that song all about?

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Lyrical Dissection

This Is My Favorite Song, But I Don't Understand It

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Wed, Dec 4, 2013 at 3:30 AM

John Roderick of The Long Winters - VICTORIA VANBRUINISSE
  • Victoria VanBruinisse
  • John Roderick of The Long Winters
Tonight at the Bootleg, Seattle literary-rockers The Long Winters perform their classic 2003 work When I Pretend to Fall in its entirety.

They are a very important band because they are a very good band, but tend not to get their due, perhaps in part because they release albums about as often as most people get new refrigerators, partly because frontman John Roderick is very opinionated, but mostly because music critics are terrible people who have been raised to believe melody = weak sauce.

But while their tunes are completely accessible, their lyrics often aren't, and the song "Shapes" -- which is off When I Pretend to Fall and, I'll just say it, my favorite song of all times -- is no exception. Though it is an exception, because, despite being written in uncomplicated English words, it's particularly impenetrable.

So, since the song is now ten years old and I've cluelessly sung it aloud hundreds of times, maybe it's time to take a closer look!

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Nekrogoblikon - RICK CRAFT
  • Rick Craft
  • Nekrogoblikon
Vikings, hobbits, pirates, and of course Satan have inspired metal bands. But L.A. group Nekrogoblikon may be the first inspired by tales of goblin apocalypse.

Their new EP Power, like all their other albums, takes place in a universe where Goblins reign supreme and destroy everything lying in their path. In lesser hands, the gimmick would get old quick. But Nekrogoblikon have the musical chops -- especially the super-shredding guitars of Tim Lyakhovetskiy and Alex Alereza -- to make it work. Behold then: Our favorite Nekrogoblikon songs about goblins.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Clutch
  • Clutch

Throughout two decades and ten albums, D.C. rock outfit Clutch has evolved into one of the mightiest blues-rock bands around. One of the tangibles that make Clutch stand out is vocalist Neil Fallon, whose lyrical output and delivery at times borders on the edge of both awesomely absurd and absurdly awesome. With the band's new album Earth Rocker coming out this week, let's take a moment to revisit our favorite Clutch lyrics.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Medieval Times Swag
  • Medieval Times Swag
See also:

*Color Me Badd Lyrical Dissection: What Does "We Can Do It 'til We Both Wake Up" Mean?

*What The Hell Is Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way" About?

Anyone who tells you they know what's going on in the mind of Kanye West is a liar or a prophet. So just know up front: We have no idea what's going on in the mind of Kanye West. But that's not to say we're not interested. We're very interested. So interested, in fact, that we study the man's every move for clues to unlock his psyche. Understanding what makes him tick is our own personal twisted dark fantasy.

Often we look to the man's lyrics for understanding, and some bear fruit, like, from "My Chain Heavy": "It's Don Cheadle time, get extra black on 'em" and "I got called nigga on Twitter so many times, yo, I live that." But now let's turn to Kanye's verse on his recent "Mercy" (featuring Big Sean, Pusha T and 2 Chains). After studying it intently we now realize it's not just a song about Lamborghinis by guys who don't seem to know much about Lamborghinis. (Though it's that too.)

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Friday, January 6, 2012

lfo.jpg
See also:

*What The Hell Is Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way" About? UPDATE: Mind-blowing Shit Has Come To Light

*Color Me Badd Lyrical Dissection: What Does "We Can Do It 'til We Both Wake Up" Mean?

It's truly impossible to tally the changes the record industry has undergone in the past decade. But one thing is clear. The floodgates have been opened for no-talent assclowns seeking fame. Can someone please explain how Rebecca Black can really make waves with a song like "Friday"?

Well, actually, Rebecca Black is just a modern age LFO. And the only difference between the two is that rather than being cast off into viral-video infamy like Miss Black, back in 1999 these three Massachusetts boys with bad bleach jobs found themselves with a Top 5 hit in "Summer Girls" -- an absurd, moronic bubblegum pop song.

As such, we needed to take a closer look at the lyrics and see what these dudes knew about making hit records that apparently we were too blind to see.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Kenny G lookalike is the best
  • The Kenny G lookalike is the best
See also: What The Hell Is Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way" About? UPDATE: Mind-blowing Shit Has Come To Light

The early '90s were the dark ages, at least for those of us who were sexually inexperienced. There were no Internets available; all we knew about getting freaky came from V.C. Andrews and Skinemax.

Color Me Badd only made things worse. The New Jack Swingers' lusty (yet sweet) anthem "I Wanna Sex You Up" left us more confused than when we were scissor-sexing our Barbie with Ken. Was it just us, or were these mock-turtleneck clad Badd boyz a poor substitute for Dr. Ruth? Let's take a closer look at the lyrics.

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

bsbpane.jpg
Additional reporting by Ali Trachta

UPDATE: SOME NEW, MIND-BLOWING SHIT HAS COME TO LIGHT! See the bottom of the post.

See also: The 20 Worst Hipster Bands

Top 20 Sexiest Female Musicians of All Time

Welcome to our new column, Lyrical Dissections. It's pretty self-explanatory, and this week we're discussing beguiling pop song "I Want It That Way," by the Backstreet Boys. The best part is that Kevin Richardson himself -- who spoke with West Coast Sound's Ali Trachta about his upcoming holiday show and boy band gossip -- weighs in on the track's ludicrousness below.

The main problem with the song is not the plane in the video, above, to which the Backstreet Boys logo was clearly added in post production. (We find not a shred of evidence on the internet to the contrary.) No, the main problem is that the song makes zero sense.

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Don't you think?
  • Don't you think?
When it comes to musical decades, the '60s remains the gold standard. Though the '70s were initially mocked for prog rock and disco, it's now clear that prog rock and disco are awesome. And around this time ten years ago, folks began to venerate the '80s in earnest.

But as our distance from the '90s grows, it becomes increasingly clear that it was a desolate musical time. Kurt Cobain and hip-hop's golden age aside, it's pretty traumatizing. And the worst '90s song of them all has to be Alanis Morissette's "Ironic," right? It certainly seems to be the most nonsensical, at least if you believe the conventionally-held notion that nothing in the song is, in fact, ironic. But is that actually true? We decided to take a line-by-line look at the lyrics; if, in fact, the song makes more sense than we remembered, maybe the '90s deserves more respect.

For the purposes of this analysis, we naturally used the definition of "irony" from Reality Bites character Troy Dyer, played by Ethan Hawke: "It's when the actual meaning is the complete opposite from the literal meaning."

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